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How to Use PR as an Effective Marketing Tool at Your Startup

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Every business increases in productivity levels based on how much exposure it can get. This is why you find businesses investing a lot of money into different marketing strategies.

If you are conversant with recent happenings, you will notice that many startups are all over the news. What about these startups is newsworthy, and why do they seem to be the talk of news stations? It is nothing serious; it’s just the power of public relations – PR at work.

PR as an effective marketing tool refers to steps taken by businesses to put their business on the news to reach a larger audience and increase productivity.

To succeed at using PR as an effective marketing tool at your startup, knowing how to go about it is essential. Here are some steps that will guide you through the way of Public Relations.

PR Article Pic
Public relations as to do with getting the news of your business to its target audience. | Source: Unsplash.

 

Master the Art of Storytelling

The startups that make the most of Public Relations are those who have mastered the art of storytelling. It’s not just about getting into the news alone; you need a story your audience can connect to.

How can your startup master the art of storytelling to convert prospects into loyal customers?

  • Your story should focus on your product, purpose, and passion

There is one common saying in public relations – focus on your product, business purpose, and personal passion. When telling a story, you have to ensure you are not unnecessarily verbose or boring your audience.

To do this, your story has to talk about your product and how it can be beneficial to your target audience. Then, you have to share the purpose for which your business was set up and what drives the passion for doing what you do.

Considering that the story doesn’t have to be lengthy, you must know how to present these three points in your story using the correct expressions.

  • Tell your story as a journalist would

To master the art of storytelling, you will also have to reason like a journalist. This can be tricky for many startups because several things make up a journalist. How then can you reason like a journalist when telling a story?

First, your story or news has to be timely. A timely story considers what is trending or what sparks the interest of a particular audience. Timely stories always circulate faster when they make it to the news, and having your startup’s name all over the news is a great way to market your products and services.

Then, you have to ensure your story is relevant and unique. A relevant story is tied to a popular story in the news. Doing this helps to increase the reach of this strategy and also to convert more leads.

Finally, the story has to be unique, meaning you don’t have to say the same thing that every other person has been saying. Find new ways to present your argument to make a strong case.

  • Make your story unique to every journalist you’re working with

Having a story that captures your product, purpose, and passion is great, but that’s just the first step. You have to reach out to journalists who are willing to hear this story and amplify it. You’re expected to have a list of journalists you want to work with for PR.

To make the most of your experience with journalists, you should know how to personalize your startup’s story to each journalist. Doing this will not be possible if you don’t know something unique about each journalist.

PR Article Pic
Your startup should learn the best ways to relate to a journalist. | Source: Unsplash

 

Beyond Public Relations, Build Human Relations

For public relations to be an effective marketing strategy for your startup, it shouldn’t be a once and for all something. It has to be a once and again task, and that’s where building human relations come into play.

Building good business relationships with journalists you are working with means you won’t have to reach out to them like a newbie every time you want to work with them. A good relationship with journalists can make PR for your startup a lot easier.

To build healthy relationships with journalists, you have to offer value in return for their time and services. Always let them know there is something to benefit in the short term and the long run from the relationship.

Follow the right steps when connecting with a journalist

Many startups miss the point when working with journalists because they don’t know the right steps to follow. No startup records success using PR by chance; there are defined steps.

While it is impossible to exhaust all of these steps at once, the essential ones include:

  • Don’t be in a hurry to pitch

While the desire to put your business products and services in front of your target audience is understandable, you need to take a deep breath sometimes. Don’t be in a rush to pitch your story or assume every journalist will want to listen.

Find out what processes need to be followed to seek the permission of a journalist before pitching your story to them.

  • Speak to their professional interest

If you get permission from a journalist to pitch, try and communicate value to them before or after pitching your startup’s story. To do this, you will need to speak to their professional interest and let them know what is in it for them.

  • Provide an attractive headline and factual story

A good story is not enough; you need a catchy headline! Sometimes, it is the headline that attracts people to click on the link, and then they are engrossed in the story. Your headline is your first selling point, and that’s why you have to make it attractive.

An attractive headline with a factual story will always convert. Present your story in a relatable way and have it backed up with facts. These facts can be successes recorded by your startup or benefits of your products or services.

Conclusion

A direct and comprehensive PR as a marketing strategy can help boost your startup’s productivity level in no small way. However, beyond how to use this strategy, you should understand that PR evolves. As such, ensure you design a flexible strategy and allow for the many changes going on in the PR industry.

References

Forbes: Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Paradox Media Group: Using Public Relations as a Marketing Tool

Influencive: HOW TO MASTER THE ART OF STORYTELLING

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SMEStreet Edit Desk

SMEStreet Edit Desk is a small group of excited and motivated journalists and editors who are committed to building MSME ecosystem through valuable information and knowledge spread.

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