Updated: Nov 24
We all know that storytelling works better than hard selling. In fact, most people read online reviews to make purchase decisions instead of letting advertisements influence them, according to the Gladly 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey. As a start-up, it is crucial to build a positive image of the company alongside selling a product or a service. Any company that is just starting out has the advantage of building its reputation from the ground up. To become a stable, established enterprise is a goal every startup dreams of reaching, but what they forget is that PR can aid in their journey to newer heights.
If you are a new company, here are some ways you can build your PR strategy:
The foremost thing before setting out to both strategize and execute is to ensure all your online channels are up and running, and are clean of anything that can be perceived as irrelevant or immature. Whether it’s the company website, blog or social media accounts, treat them as a part of or an extension of your brand and be consistent throughout. Sooner or later, people are going to search and read about you, especially after your marketing and PR efforts are in full swing. Check if all the required information like contact details are on display on the website, and social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are up to date.
Building a brand story
As a young company, being active in building the right story that resonates with your audience is of prime importance. This gives you more control over how you want to portray your organization and what message you want to communicate, rather than letting others convey what they think your organization is all about. Humans are curious by nature. Once a new player in the market catches attention, people want to know everything about it. Give your audience what they want. They want your origin story. As a company fresh in the field, that’s what you can bank on. Try to find new facets of your organization that you can present in a unique and compelling way.
Spreading brand awareness
Whether it is through community-related publications or traditional media, the focus should be to get your start-up story out to the world. This is a sure-shot way of gaining credibility and building your image as an emerging leader in the business. Make use of opportunities like opinion pieces, guest posts, and even posts from your team and leaders, thereby showing your expertise in a holistic manner. Apart from the positive PR that you gain, the increased visibility of a brand attracts talent, other businesses, endorsements and most importantly, new consumers. As you build credibility, you are also building your reputation.
Managing online presence
In this digital age, being on the internet is not optional anymore, especially with the amount of competition in the market. You might already have an online marketing strategy in place. Back it up with PR to boost it. Whether it’s well-established or a new entrant, if a business has a presence on the internet then ORM should be a part of the overall PR plan. Be aware of what is being said about you and where. Any social media mention of your company demands immediate attention and prompt response. Try answering any queries and be a part of any discussions regarding your brand.
More often than not, PR is seen as an unnecessary expenditure. It demands equal, if not more efforts than what goes into marketing. Both work hand in hand to bring your brand to the forefront of the media and your audience. Most start-ups, having just entered the market undervalue themselves, thinking they have nothing else of value apart from the actual product they are selling. But what they have is a unique story of how they came about and when you have a voice as a brand, people will listen.
This article was first published on Reputation Today.