Public relations is an essential piece of every startup’s strategy, according to Colleen Kennedy, the founder of Enlighten PR, a Chicago-based company that handles strategy and execution of project-based PR campaigns for startups.
In a recent article in the PR Daily, Ms. Kennedy highlighted how important it is for a startup to strategically share its story with media.
“It’s crucial for startups to build credibility, gain users, and receive venture capital funding. Reporter relationships are the key to landing coverage in technology and niche industry publications,” she noted.
Many startups don’t know when, where, or how to kick off a media relations campaign.
Ms. Kennedy informs that reporters are not unapproachable or untouchable creatures and provides useful tips for startups to build stronger reporter relationships.
1. Be normal: Startup founders often worry about saying the wrong thing to a reporter. It’s important to take a step back and remember that you’re talking to a human being. Be genuine and target reporters who are talking about your company’s industry.
2. Be helpful: Reporters need sources and experts to fill out their stories. The best way you can build a relationship with a reporter is by helping her out when she needs sources or even offer yourself as a source to a reporter who covers your industry. You’ll also establish yourself as a top expert in the industry, which benefits your company as a whole.
3. Be concise: When you’re pitching a reporter on your product, cut out needless words. Lay the story out eloquently for the busy reporter, and aim to make their job easier. If you have a piece of newsworthy content, they will respond.
4. Be grateful: Congrats! You pitched a reporter and it turned into a story. The biggest mistake I’ve seen from startup founders and CEOs is dropping off the face of the Earth after a big round of news articles. It’s important to build an ongoing PR strategy, and stay on a reporter’s radar.
“If you implement a PR strategy that focuses on reporter relationships, you’ll see a payoff in media mentions,” Ms. Kennedy concluded.
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