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PR For Startups: Navigating Competitive Landscapes

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Modern business has never been as competitive – whatever business you have, there could be 10 others in your local area doing the same thing. This can make it especially difficult for startups to thrive and make a name for themselves which is where PR for startups plays an important role.

A strong PR campaign for your startup business can do wonders and build your reputation in the absence of a proven track record and this is what I discuss in the below guide.

Understanding PR for Startups

So why is PR for startups important and how does it work? Simply put, as a new company, you don’t have any trust, recognition, or reputation. Regardless of how amazing your products are, because you are an unknown, customers will have a hard time trusting you and using your products and/or services.

Let’s look at an example. On the one hand, we have a startup business that has just launched its online store and product range. They have no reputation, a small social media presence, and there are no positive articles from journalists or influencers.

On the other hand, we have an established business that regularly features in industry magazines, has sponsorships with a range of influencers, and has thousands of followers on social media. Which company are customers more likely to choose?

Maybe 1 in 50 might take a chance and go with the startup, but in most instances the established business wins, simply because of their PR. Now, if the startup had a watertight PR campaign too, that could be a different story.

PR for startups makes up for your lack of business history. If you can create a positive brand image, get your name out there, and forge relationships with customers and industry people, the fact that you have just started becomes irrelevant as you are perceived to be a successful and trustworthy company!

Simple Public Relations for Startups - Strategies You Can Implement Today

So, what should PR for startups entail? There are a range of simple things you can do to build your reputation and improve your standing in your industry including reaching out to influencers and the media and being active on social media.

Creating relationships with influencers

Influencers are quickly becoming one of the most popular marketing and PR tools even though older generations tend to look at them with disdain. Influencers are for the modern generations and the huge audiences they appeal to are something that you should try to tap into as part of your startup PR strategy.

If you can create relationships with popular influencers in your industry you can benefit from their reputation and immense fanbase. To learn PR and influencer insights is also a relatively simple PR process and is one of the most cost-effective methods.

You either pay the influencer a set contract fee or give them free products. In return, they promote your products on their social media channels – everyone’s a winner and your reputation instantly skyrockets by association.

Reach out to media outlets and journalists

Influencers are great, but we can’t forget media outlets and journalists too. A successful startup PR strategy has to include forging connections with these people. Media outlets can be a great source of publicity as they can publish favorable articles and reviews of your company.

Similarly, industry journalists can boost your reputation and get people talking about your startup with positive social media posts and video content. The key is to make sure that the media outlets and journalists are relevant to your business, and that the items they publish are positive.

Stay active and engaged on social media

A strong social media campaign can do wonders for your PR but it’s also great for SEO too due to backlinks and social proof. You should strive to portray a positive image via your social media platforms and try to build followers.

More importantly, try to drive engagement too – make sure that you reply to customer comments and shares and consider the use of custom hashtags and media content in your posts to make them more interesting.

A simple trick is to look at trending subjects on platforms like X and get involved in the conversations. This can give great exposure and keep your business name in the spotlight. Just make sure that you research trending topics carefully and don’t accidentally support an unjust cause for example or something that could offend people.

Become a respected voice in your industry

From the word go a part of PR for startups is to establish yourself as a trusted voice within your industry. Get involved with new tech and developing ideas. Be the one to spearhead new initiatives or do things like writing white papers and articles about important issues in your industry.

Expert digital PR agency services can help with this too, but showing your knowledge and expertise helps build trust and shows customers and other companies that you are the real deal, even if you have only just launched your company.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Watertight Startup PR Strategy

As a fledgling business, you haven’t got the benefit of years of industry exposure, positive customer interactions, and a proven track record. These things come with time which is why creating a strong PR strategy straight out of the gate is vital.

By building your reputation and relationships with customers and the media you can overcome those initial barriers and start competing immediately.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.