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11 immutable PR tips for startup Entrepreneurs

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Apr 21, 2012

Startup entrepreneurs often talk about PR activities with great care. Questions often arise on how can a startup get media publicity. A billion dollar question indeed. Although, PR does solely mean to media publicity. However, getting featured and then getting noticed both are tricky jobs. Top of that, if you are a startup with scarce cash the experience will be a more intricate one. The most predictable cause could be inexperience. But getting media coverage is not a job equivalent to winning moon. Rather if you have solid plan and understanding it is a lot like a mundane work.

Yet, before getting mad on get featured in a newspaper or any other media, what one should focus on is result and impact of any publicity. Spending money behind false publicity is worse than having no publicity. Undoubtedly, PR activities are vital for startup firms to get traction and attention. And nobody will confess any doubt over the subject that getting covered by a mainstream media is the best way to do so. But PR activities have changed a lot over the time. With the materialization of new media like facebook, blog, twitter, now, one can easily do his PR activities without any cost.

Then and again, prior of deciding on what kind of PR activities you want to do and you need to do, a smart entrepreneur needs to answer few questions. What you need to do? How many ways you can do that? What are the among best ways? What will be the cost? How can we measure impact and result? The answer to these question builds the basis for conducting your PR activities.

Asking the right type of questions and giving conscious right answers can form a basis to start your PR campaign. However, here are some practical tips to make the job easy for you:

  1. Be handy on writing press release: Write a press release that deserves consideration and a space in a newspaper.
  2. Get some friends and well wishers in media houses: You have, no doubt, friends and well wishers in media houses. Call them and ask for help. If required give a treat. If you don’t any then make some. How is not a valid question at all!
  3. Make your story compelling: Ask yourself whether your story is compelling enough. If not work on your story.
  4. Make meaning: Which one is best- you go to and request media people to publish a feature on your initiative or media people come to you and interview you? If you can create meaning then things will roll out by itself.
  5. Use alternative media/new media: People now spend more time on social media (facebook, twitter, blog) instead of reading newspaper and watching TV. Get some skill on using social media. Prepare a team to do your social media activities.
  6. Make your launching programs public: Whatever small way possible, make it public. At least launch it with a bunch of your friends, colleagues and if possible some friends from media. It gives free word of mouth.
  7. Maintain some connection with media people: There are always an option to maintain such relationships. Moreover, if you can make news you will be on the news.
  8. Join social forums: Attending social forums is one of the greatest promotional activities one can ever do. Go and join. If possible play some important roles.
  9. Don’t overestimate media coverage: Nope, media coverage is not everything. If your target is to get attention and publicity there are always either ways. There are always a better way to do anything. Find it.
  10. Make news: To know how to make news I suggest to study Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.
  11. Don't appoint a PR firm: Never hire a PR firm to write your press releases. Do it yourself. Meet media people and I assure you they will be delighted.

Public relations is rapidly changing to keep pace with the rapid change in media sphere. Moreover, PR is no longer an afterthought; smart organizations are using new PR tactics to grow their businesses, better connect with users and increase their brand equity.


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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2 comments on “11 immutable PR tips for startup Entrepreneurs”

  1. I like your write up, an eye opener but tough to achieve for those in developing counytries like Nigeria where the level of literacy is low.
     

    1. Hey Safiya, thanks for reading me. However, i did not get your point, would you please take few minutes to explain. Thanks
      Ruhul

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