Traction channel – Public relations (PR)

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This blog article is based on the 3 Things This Week’s edition dated 10th May 2018. The theme of this edition is “Public relations (PR)”, one of the critical channels for startups!

 

Public relations (PR) traditionally refers to a company’s public messaging of all kinds. In this traction channel, you deal with getting coverage from traditional media like news outlets, newspapers, and magazines.

There has been a shift in how the top media outlets operate. These organizations now scour smaller outlets for captivating stories they can present to a wider audience.  It’s better to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. For them, the direct approach is rarely the best approach. Instead, you approach obliquely. So, you find the blogs that TechCrunch reads and gets stories ideas from. Chances are it will be easier to get that blog’s attention. You pitch there, which leads The New York Times to email you or do a story about you based on the information they’ve seen on the news radar.

Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can. Here are a few ways to do it: Submit a small story to community sites (like Digg, reddit, Hacker News, etc.) with larger audiences. Share it on social networks to drive awareness, which you can further amplify with social ads. Email it to influencers in your industry for comment. Some of them will share it with their audience. Ping blogs in your space and show that you have a story that’s getting some buzz. These writers may then want to jump in themselves to cover you. Once your story has been established as a popular news item, drag it out as long as you can.

Here are 3 things that will take your know-how on this channel further:

Thing # 1: PR For Startups: The Art of the Press Release in 7 Steps

Most people know what PR – aka, public relations – is. Communicating you and your company’s message is an important part of expanding your startup business.  And of course, the immediate goal of PR is to generate press coverage, but by doing this effectively, you can ensure your business is mentioned in future articles even when you haven’t made an announcement; that is what owning a space is all about. So, as discussed, one of the best ways to generate press attention is by using a press release, which informs journalists and editors of the announcement you or your company is making.  To the uninitiated or those who aren’t comfortable writing, this may seem like a daunting task. Creating a press release and then pitching it to journalists can be broken down into just a few simple steps.  This guide will take you over the 7 steps to crafting a killer press release that won’t get ignored.

Thing # 2: How to create quotes for journalists or bloggers: 13 tips to get it right 

Getting your startup business covered is one of the most important things you can do to get your product out there.  Quotes are an integral part of a story. Not only do they make it more entertaining to read, but they offer third party views and therefore give integrity to a story and therefore, journalists look for getting quotes from people connected to the market or industry that the story is about. On the other hand, the sources of a quote in a story are perceived as authorities on the matter.  In other words, a quote from you in a media story puts your face to face with people who matter. It helps you and your startup get a stellar reputation. This article helps you work on refining your quote and also gives you some tips on how you can excel at it.

Thing # 3: PR Checklist for Startups

As your startup grows you may choose to hire a PR firm or consultant to help you with this traction channel. This is especially true if you chose to focus on PR as your traction channel. A good PR firm can help you: Figure out the best messaging and positioning to the press. Unify your message to the press. Do a lot of the legwork in setting up press engagements. If you have just this in your mind to go about this traction channel, this article gives you a great checklist on optimizing your efforts.

 

I would be happy to know how you have used this traction channel for your business and if you have some lessons to share with fellow entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

 

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