In a piece that initially appeared in UKTN, CommsCo MD Ilona Hitel explains how tech founders can roll out a successful PR media strategy to help their businesses flourish.
Amidst global uncertainty, the UK’s start-up economy is thriving. We’ve got the talent, infrastructure and mindset to create some of the world’s most influential companies.
New businesses are springing up in every sector with amazingly useful technology. Whether it’s automation, AI, cyber security, health tech or those apps that let you turn on the heating from the supermarket, growth is everywhere. But however great the idea, how a start-up understands and works with the media can mean the difference between being front of mind, or crowded out by the competition.
Especially in the age of post GDPR legislation, inbound marketing (PR, social selling) will be all the more critical. From providing traction for investors to driving more organic sales, brilliant media coverage has never been more important.
With that in mind, here are our five top tips for a successful media engagement strategy:
There was a need for your product in the market, and the idea behind it was sparked by savvy and intelligent founders. Almost all of whom tend to not be shy of a bold statement, prediction or vision. Use these personalities and resultant soundbites to help your company stand out from the crowd. If it doesn’t come naturally, invest in media training.
But it’s not all about you
Every founder believes their company is going to reshape the world, but enthusiasm and some interesting opinions are not enough.
To win in the media, scaleups should view their news through the lens of the press. Journalists and readers don’t really care how wonderful your company is. It’s about what problem you’re solving for businesses, consumers, or both.
Think in headlines. This can make your industry peers sit up and take note as you challenge the status quo.
Steal media mindshare
It’s not underhand to track your competitors, and here, PR helps you play nice, but win. It ensures that your marketing efforts are more comprehensive, more creative and more compelling. Because your work deserves to be out there.
Get your agency to create a list of influencers and tick them off, one by one, to ensure you become the go-to source of comment. Line up targets, and pick them off!
I’m amazed at many company founders can’t say what they do in one sentence. Nail down what it is you want to say, then say it everywhere. Develop a tone that sits with your brand, messaging that is consistent across your channels, and make sure your team understand who you are and what you do.
Remember KISS (keep it simple, stupid!)
You’re only as good as your last Google search
Most people will come across you, or start their search for what you provide, via Google. Simple. So, the need for positive Google results is a no-brainer. Landing consistent media coverage, in high ranking publications, means your name will never be far from the top of a search.
If there’s a story in the news about your industry and you’re not in it, it’s a missed opportunity. Chances are, one of your competitors will be listed.
Hopefully this is useful food for thought. But if you want to find out more, register for our free “Scaleup Sundown” in May. It’s a chance to hear from PR and Marketing experts about how to boost business profile in the post-GDPR landscape. Plus, there’s the chance to network with peers and enjoy a good gin tasting. Why miss out?