Many entrepreneurs face a tough call in their startup journey, whether to employ a Public Relations agency or choose to do it in-house. The factors that go behind this decision can be many, one of them being a resource constraint that often gets in the way of associating with a fancy PR agency.
Entrepreneurship is a multi-faceted job and micro-managing everything may not be possible. If an entrepreneur does choose to go ahead with the Do-It-Yourself approach to Public Relations, then he/she should be prepared to put in a lot of time and work.
Thus, getting some insight into the world of PR is always a good idea.
- Know Your Industry: Before diving into something that isn’t your forte, it’s always best to understand the lay of the land Read literature, news, and articles relevant to your industry and identify the top authors, journalists, and influencers. Connect with them through popular media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Define an objective and have a PR Strategy: Possible communications objectives include (1) creating awareness, (2) imparting knowledge, (3) presenting a favorable image, (4) shaping attitudes, (5) stimulating a want or desire, and/or (6) effecting a sale. Once defined a messaging house should be created to target stakeholders. In the case of a startup, it can be its investors and the end consumer. Thus, a PR strategy can be two-fold. One, where you make your presence felt in publications your investors would read, such as Economic Times etc. talking about growth, projecting image. The second will be mainstream media which your consumers/users read, such as online publications, blogs etc. imparting product knowledge stimulating a want or desire thus effecting a sale.
- Figure Out an Impactful Story: Storytelling is a very effective style of communicating and building PR, especially if you are a startup. A great startup story should entail what you have to offer, who are you targeting and what makes you different from rest of the crowd.
- Author Articles: An impactful way of creating awareness of your business is to author guest articles with relevant publications. This gives you the perfect opportunity to make an impression as an industry leader and talk about aspects that haven’t already been discussed in the industry.
- Build the Right Connects: Having a functional network of peers, mentors and investors will help you in getting the additional push in your industry. Connecting through Summits, Events and offline Collaborations will help you in building business relationships, which can be pursued through Bridge Building Meetings (BBMs).
- Be Patient: Attempting to do PR by yourself is a daunting task, especially for new entrepreneurs who lack in terms of experience. If your press release does not gather enough momentum or if influencers do not get convinced, then do not lose hope. Building your image up is a lengthy process which requires abundant patience and perseverance.
Lastly, the key to striking balance in a Do-It-Yourself approach to Public Relations is all about having a simple and well-planned approach. The world of PR can be ambiguous, which will make taking certain decisions difficult. But choosing your audience with diligence and communicating your ideas with clarity will always give you a higher success rate.
By Anjali Sapra
PR & Brand Marketing Assistant Manager at CashKaro.com
India’s Largest Cashback & Coupons Site