Keeping up appearances and why doing nothing isn’t an option

Article by:Ilona Hitel


If you’re one of the 51,000 tech startups incorporated in the UK last year – according to government numbers – my guess is you need to differentiate and stand out from the crowd.

But in today’s recessionary, high interest rate environment, you’ll likely be canny with your spend and reigning your horns in. So, how do you manage the dichotomies of the situation? 

Whatever happens, you should start with the assumption that you have to do PR even when times are hard, and consider what you are losing if you don’t. Of course, we would say that. But here are a few reasons why even keeping up a small drumbeat of thought leadership and profile when times are hard is imperative for growth.

Where are you?

We’ve recently completed a few competitor audits and seen organisations and their organic SEO falling off a cliff when they stop PR. Likewise, they stop appearing in listings or independent analyst reviews that are obvious go-tos for buyers researching their options. This has an impact on their ability to drive the number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) they need, or convert if their website doesn’t have up to date content to nurture leads.

Messaging and competitor audits can help you understand where you are, and help point out what you need to do to maximise your profile among your target markets. With a clearer picture, you can fine tune and sharpen your budgets to be targeted at where you need to invest for most return. 

Competition is rife

So, you know that thousands of startups appear each year in tech – and probably in your sector too, if not now then soon (especially if you work in AI).

If you’ve had the advantage to be an early mover and create a category then you need to hang onto it. More than ever with AI, things are shifting fast. Don’t jeopardise what you’ve built up and lose visibility for the sake of a small investment in ongoing content marketing. Find your niche and focus on the recession-proof industries where you can. PR and content marketing can help you do this by ensuring your company name appears when relevant prospects go looking.

Challengers are brave

History tells us that those that pursue marketing even during recessions win market share and gain on the competition. Now is the time to stand out. According to Henry Ford, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” Famous examples of companies who moved their position dramatically up the rankings by marketing during recessions include Bosch, Walmart and Samsung. And examples of how companies excelled in recession are well documented. Isn’t now the time to get creative and create credibility rather than go quiet? 

Is PR as expensive as you think?

In recessions, services become cheaper, and we all know it’s a buyer’s market. Take advantage of this to ask for a good return for your smaller investment – don’t stop but do more for less.

PR can seem too out of your reach if you look at industry averages, but like targeting the right prospects for your business you need to target relevant suppliers. Look for one which really can deliver more for less and supports startups and scaleups specifically. Projects might be the way to go, for now – don’t pass that customer story or corporate development up for the sake of half of a month’s marketing salary. 

Be canny with your spend, but don’t stop it at the expense of your profile, position in the market and pushing ahead.

Want to find out more? Get in touch today.


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