Startup founders have a lot on their plate – from raising funds for launching the business to introducing the service or product to the market often with limited resources. PR is usually either wholly overlooked during these stages or done in a corporate-like fashion; both being the wrong fit for any startup trying to get publicity.
There is a fundamental difference in how corporates and startups operate – especially when you approach public relations. Having specialized in startup PR, we know that startups require specific reputation-building strategies, whereas corporates have established reputations and merely build and maintain it. When you start pitching as a startup, you need to go into it knowing that journalists either don’t know about you nor do they care – that is until you create the right urgency to make them care.
PR for startups vs corporates
Startups often launch PR initiatives that are based on corporate PR principles. In theory, replicating a successful model seems like a great idea, but the fundamental differences require you to approach strategies and implementations differently. As much as we would like to replicate Apple or Nike’s strategies, the likelihood of achieving the same success is exceptionally rare.
Startups must address their unique needs and challenges when they start creating a PR strategy. Understanding the difference in a startup mindset compared to that of a corporate or scaleup mindset needs an in-depth focus when building your PR plan.
Comparing corporate to startup PR, you will need to focus on creating brand awareness by showcasing that your product or service fixes a problem for a significant number of people. Each startup enters into different phases and depending on where you are in that cycle. Some of these objectives include;
These objectives each have their own communication angle and approach, and when pitching to a journalist, this is especially important. Startups looking for talent acquisitions, for example, would focus on aspects that would not only attract employees, but it would also need to be attractive to specific journalists and publications. Keeping in mind the angle of the story would be different that of a piece attempting to focus on customer acquisitions, for example.
Corporates, or established businesses typically have a historical track record of dealing with media outlets and have cultivated institutional relationships over the years they have existed This means they have not only created a distinct level of brand awareness, but they have also evolved to different objectives such as customer retention or different market segmentations.
In contrast, startups do not have the volume of customers that corporates usually have, which means they do not have newsworthy stories surrounding them. Startups must be smart about approaching angles and the press – keeping your wits about you in the media environment will give you a higher chance of success.
We know the pressures startups face, and having worked in the startup environment, we understand how to assist you in getting published and scaling your business in the press. Get started with this DIY PR starter kit for Startups and get exclusive insights from the PR professionals.