How to do PR in-house for startups?

Entrepreneurs starting their ventures face the biggest dilemma on how to create awareness for their start up amongst stakeholders. Although advertising is an effective manner to raise awareness, the problem is that effective returns can only be realized on high advertising spends – something that most start-ups do not have a budget for.

The solution to the above problem is to employ one of the most important tools of marketing- PR. In simple words PR can be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its public.

PR is very much a professional service and an industry on its own right, but getting started with PR is not only cost effective but also easy for start ups to do on their own and that’s what this post is about.

Here are 6 quick and easy ways in which start-ups can use PR to help build awareness and meet their branding objectives.

Define the Objective: It is imperative to define the objective before the start of a PR campaign. Usually these objective fall between the spectrum of generating awareness on one end, with generating leads on the other.

Target Media List: Once the objective is defined the next stage is deciding the media to be targeted.

Choose your media list based on your target market. Is the publication you want to get covered by read or accessed by your target audience? If not this could be an exercise in futility.

Create a Database:  Once the relevant target media list is prepared the next step is to find out the contact details of journalists and bloggers who write for them. Most of the time the email ID or twitter handles of the author is mentioned right below the article.

Drafting a Press Release: A press release is a note to the media  introducing them about various news items including new products and services, financial results of a company, etc. A press release needs to be concise and should have a captivating headline along with a quote from the spokesperson of the company. The most important thing to be kept in mind while drafting a press release is that it should never exceed one page.

Introductory Mail: This is the most important step where in you introduce your company by highlighting its uniqueness and its interest factor, what makes your story interesting and newsworthy? Remember publications hare only going to be interested in your story if their readers will find your story interesting. Tailor your release to ensure that it is relevant to the publication’s audience.

Authored Articles: Authored articles help you establish yourself and thus your organization as a knowledge leader in your industry. By writing for reputable blogs and other publications one can establish themselves as a spokesperson for that industry. Although this will not happen with only one or two, it makes a huge impact in the eyes of your customers.

Speakership Opportunities: There is nothing more exciting than being invited to speak at industry relevant conferences or events. These kinds of events and conferences provide a platform for knowledge sharing and networking, most importantly it gives you a platform to talk about your business and build on your credibility.

The most important thing, which needs to be kept in mind, is PR requires a high amount of patience. It is one of the most cost effective marketing tools, which comes with many long-term benefits. So keep running the race until you become the next Flipkart or Zomato of your industry.

There are also many wonderful workshops that can help you kick start PR in house, here’s one of them, if you find more please share them with us by adding them as a comment to this article.

Gyaanexchange is conducting a workshop for the same, you can register here

About the Author:

Dev Dave, has been a PR practitioner for  4 years and has handled reputed brands like Zee learn, Rediff.com, Fitness First, Essilor, Samira Habitats etc. He is currently the head of online promotion for Gyaanexchange.com