One of the most difficult tasks for any new company is getting noticed. Public Relations (PR) must be a key element of your launch plan. You need to get out and tell the world your story. Hopefully, this includes being involved in various forms of media including TV interviews, online articles, and blog posts. Unfortunately, most start-ups don’t have large budgets for PR.
If your PR budget is limited, its probably a good idea to look at smaller boutique PR firms focusing on start-up companies or focusing on companies in your industry. Its likely that a former industry professional will have gone off on their own and focused their efforts on how to help others get better attention from the press.
It’s a very naïve perception to think that the media will come to you and be interested in your story. An important element to any PR effort is to create your own stories. When in doubt, make the news, don’t let the media come to you. This effort may include writing the stories yourself.
The most common form of creating news in hopes of attaining media coverage is by writing a press release. A press release can cover anything from news regarding the launch of a company, entering a new market, a new product or service being launched, or any other newsworthy event. When writing a press release make sure the message is relevant. Make sure it is interesting. Never simply repeat ideas/news already in the market. Each press release you issue must have actual new information.
One helpful hint regarding writing press releases is to make sure that your stories has multiple themes and interests. Its highly unlikely that a media outlet will pick up on a press release from a small company focused on a single story. Your story must be part of a larger story. It must appeal to a larger market. No media outlet is simply going to republish a story you’ve written about yourself. You must include other relevant material the journalist can research. While writing a story for submission to the press will never be picked up verbatim, by writing the piece yourself, you are just making the journalists job easier, and increasing your own chances for coverage.
Try This: Read through press releases other companies in your industry have released and use these documents as a template to write your own release. Share these press releases with people outside the company so as to receive feedback and identify whether your story makes sense and is relevant.
Avoid This: Don’t spend too much time on PR related efforts if your product or service isn’t ready. Don’t jump the gun looking for press while your product is still in development. Wait until the offering is ready to launch before you have a dedicated PR effort.