April 17, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Five Ways Startups Can Generate New Business With Public Relations

By Evan Nierman, founder and CEO of Red Banyan, an international crisis communications firm, and author of the bestselling book Crisis Averted.

When your company is new, your top priorities include keeping the lights on, creating a trajectory for future growth and figuring out how to get news about your brand in front of the public.

Most startups operate on a limited budget as they try to establish their foothold in the marketplace. So, what do they do for publicity, especially if they don’t have a background in communications or marketing?

The fourth annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey polled 300 communications professionals and found in the wake of an unpredictable year that 80% agree or strongly agree that organizations now place a greater value on communications. The results make sense, as we have now experienced more than a year of business disruptions and closures due to Covid-19 and are trying to get back to normal.

Savvy entrepreneurs who appreciate the value of effective public relations (PR) understand that skilled communications professionals know specifically how to capture the attention of the press or get their company’s message out to the right audience. Outsourcing your PR strategy to a skilled public relations and crisis PR firm can be a great way to ensure that you’ll meet your goals.

By outsourcing your PR initiatives, you’re taking a great step toward drumming up new business. When the public is aware of your services and value-add, attracting new customers and creating a stream of new business becomes seamless.

Here are five surefire ways that a public relations firm can help generate new business.

1. Build Awareness

Public relations is about getting the word out, and PR pros are experts at building brand awareness (registration required). Familiarizing customers with a product, service or brand is what public relations is all about. Think Coca-Cola, the brand name for a soft drink that became so popular people now often refer to off-brand sodas as “Coke.”

But don’t expect that kind of magic to happen overnight. While it can occur, most PR efforts are about developing relationships with key influencers that produce results down the line. Networking is a big part of successful PR.

When you work with a firm that understands your vision and goals, they will establish your presence in the marketplace so that your company remains top-of-mind.

2. Establish Credibility

Earned media takes time but will provide a greater long-term return than a paid advertisement. The more thought leadership your PR firm can generate for you, the more respect your organization has.

Writing pitches and finding the right journalists to send them to is a skill that takes time to develop. But when a public relations expert gets a client news coverage, the resulting publicity builds the organization’s credibility. Earned media carries more weight and authority than a paid advertisement, considering it is free and based on inherent value.

3. Increase Brand Visibility

Not only do experienced PR pros know how to land a brand earned media, which provides free publicity, but online news stories are also gifts that just keep giving. Online media remains visible on search engines indefinitely.

What’s more, any stories that are posted to the internet might be shared by other readers, picked up by other news outlets or linked to other entities. The connections provide endless opportunities for even more publicity, which can result in more customers showing interest in your brand. This way, when a customer searches for a solution to their unique pain point, there are already relevant articles promoting your brand as the solution.

4. Define Target Audience

Public relations is an investment, so it is important to make sure your PR efforts are aimed at the right audience. Strategic communications experts will help define your target audience so you can narrow the field and focus your attention on consumers who could truly benefit from your product or service.

Knowing the demographics, location and purchasing habits of your ideal buyer persona will make it easier to find new customers and understand their buyer journey. With your target audience established by communications professionals, you begin to think like your audience and understand the solutions they need.

5. Establish Key Messages

What is the company message you want to share with the public? Do you know how to publicize information about your brand so consumers know what you have to offer?

Brand messaging like McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” slogan, Nike’s “Just do it” and “Feel better, Tylenol” give customers a sense of what the brand has to offer. It also shapes the public’s perception of the brand or business.

Messaging can also be used to convey a business or brand’s core values and how they fit together as part of the whole package.

Public relations professionals can help startups grow their business, but they must view their relationship with the PR firm as an investment with a clear return. A talented PR firm can create new business whether your organization is a startup or an established brand that needs a PR refresh.

Getting the right message out to the right people at the right time is what PR is all about. By leveraging a team of PR professionals, organizations can create a steady stream of new business and returning, happy customers.

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