When friends or family ask me, “What is PR? Is it just marketing?,” my go-to elementary answer is this: Marketing creates messages they want potential buyers to think about a product to make them buy it. PR works with industry experts (press, most often) to have them publish that message, which makes the sales process easier because the potential buyer already trusts the credibility of that media source.
There are absolutely many complex layers of work that go into accomplishing both marketing and PR goals but bear with me. The keyword in my description of PR is credibility. One of the secrets to making PR work for startups and long-standing companies alike is establishing credibility with your target market(s). In order to leverage editors’ credibility, you have to convince them of your own.
Established companies should underscore their experience in their industry whenever possible. This could come from highlighting the experience of your leaders and team, growth in customers and/or revenue, or–one of my favorites–custom research. If you’re able to leverage your customer base to conduct polls and publish the data, that information is a valuable resource to editors. They will revisit the research for months or sometimes years, reference it in their articles, and likely come to you directly in the future when they have a question and need a resource on that topic.
For startups or younger companies, you’ll need to rely on your friends–or champions as we like to call them. Champions can be customers, partners, industry analysts, or anyone else that understands your business, your message, and your potential. We leverage champions often for our clients, including supporting quotes in press releases, pitches, and interviews. The key is to develop those relationships early and once your champions are on board, keep them updated on the business as it progresses.
Whether you’re well-known in your industry or new, PR can help you establish credibility and make the sales process easier. Reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about how Connect2 can help you do just that.