AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
Whatever type of business your new start-up is involved in, getting your name out there and making an impression is essential. Many choose to do this via advertising but that can be very expensive and the results hit and miss. Many new business owners tend to forget about PR when it comes to getting known but it can be a top way of generating interest for your new business. So why is advertising different from PR? Mainly because PR tends to be generated by a third party so is more believable, credible and even sometimes free! We all know that potential new customers can be put off when they see the words ‘Advertisement Feature’ above an article. If you do your PR in the right way, your employees and suppliers as well as target customers will retain good positive messages about you and what you do. Employing a PR company to do this for you can be expensive and just not available within the budget of a new business so how about doing it yourself? By making use of PR software, you can also analyze the results of your labor.
Here a few ideas based upon the 5 top ways to generate PR for your start-up:
- PRESS RELEASE – Get your writing skills polished up and create a winning article that you can circulate to the press within your area of operation. This could be local or national, all depending upon your market. Don’t forget the basics: catchy headline, short sharp paragraphs and sub headings so readers can skim and digest the essential facts quickly. Make it positive, upbeat and most of all, interesting! Don’t make it sound too much like an advert for your company or the chances of it being used will drop. Make use of PR software to get some measurement of how well your PR campaigns are doing and just how effective they are.
- DO SOMETHING FOR CHARITY – Everyone loves a company that does good deeds and really means it. If you are going to do something for charity, don’t just talk about it but make sure you follow through. You may get promoted by the charity but make sure that you do it yourself too. Whether it is a one off event or something that you will be doing on a continual basis let the world know. If you go down the charitable route you must be 100% genuine. Spread the word on social media, put references onto all your emails and letters, circulate a press release and generally get the message across. Don’t forget to make use of PR reporting to establish the effectiveness of your sponsorship campaigns. If results are not as they should be, make changes or move to something else.
- PROMOTE SPECIAL OFFERS/DISCOUNTS – Have monthly offers for customers to retain the current ones and attract the new ones. You will need to be a little inventive and come up with new ideas on a regular basis. Once you do, make sure that everyone knows about what you are doing. Publicize on your website, at the point of sale if you are a retail store, in emails and on any promotional leaflets that you circulate. Make your marketing material work hard for you. And don’t forget social media – get tweeting about your special offers and have a cut-off date to make people pay attention fast. PR analytics can show you just how well your promotions are working and let you know if you need to change or improve them.
- SPONSORSHIP – Depending upon what you do and your budget, this is always a good option. If you trade locally, think about sponsoring one of the local sports teams. If you are a much larger organization that trades nationally or even internationally, look out for sponsorship deals that can put you into the right place at the right time. It doesn’t matter what product or service you sponsor as long as it fits in with your image and the reputation you want the company to be seen to have.
- NETWORKING – Get you and your company's name out there. Attend specialized networking events where you can meet lots of new people who might be interested in what you do. Meetup is a great place to start. Keep it light – don’t bore people with a long running commentary about what you do. Give them a brief overview and then pass around your business card. If someone appears to be really keen, then you can discuss in more detail.
Public Relations Applications can be a great help, particularly when you are new to the world of PR. Use them to help you refine your PR campaigns and concentrate on what is working well for you.