PR guide for startups

As the founder of a start-up, you have plenty to keep you occupied, which is why we wanted to provide you with a simple guide for the initial level of PR work, ensuring you don’t find yourself lost among the trials and tribulations of the world of communications.

LVL 01: Reasons

Anyone wanting to communicate should know what they have to say. Without a reason, there can be no communication - it’s as simple as that. To help you find the right reasons to appeal to the media and the public, you should reflect on what it is that makes YOU the expert. Alongside product information, launches, location openings and the like, you also have plenty of experience in the sector and can turn your classifications into developments in your market.

LVL 02: Target groups

Reach isn’t always simple. For start-ups in particular, it’s all about reaching those people who will be using the product or service in question. This may be a potential client, sector-relevant multipliers, or even potential financial backers or future partners. For this reason, you should take into consideration who is relevant to you, and communicate on that basis.

LVL 03: Touchpoints

Different target groups mingle at different locations, but don’t worry – you can reach them all! You can find users and the public in all the places you enjoy as a private consumer: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and so on. You can find your professional contacts on Xing, LinkedIn, Twitter or at networking events and trade shows. To help you build up contacts with media partners, our portfolio includes the PR software zimpel, which provides access suited to start-ups.

LVL 04: Content creation

Certain texts, videos or images are suitable for your communications depending on who your product is aimed at. Plenty of this can be carried out using instinct alone – for example, check out our visual PR white paper and the home-made PR webinar video. You can find some useful tips for writing a press release here. Of course, you also have the option of hiring professionals to write your content, which saves time but costs money.

LVL 05: Publishing

It’s time to take your brilliant, target group-relevant content to a wider audience. The simplest way of doing this is by using your own company website. You do have a company website, don't you? This is your home hub, and acts as your online business card. It’s where you can use your own blog as a mouthpiece for your chosen topic and nominate a press contact person for the media. In addition to this, it’s worth considering setting up a newsroom in a press portal. These are often visited by researching journalists, users with a particular interest, and communicating competitors.

A third proven remedy belonging to the standard repertoire of communication is the press mailing list. A mailing list containing the latest addresses for subject-specific journalists multiplies the quality perception of your message tremendously. You should also consider keeping a suitable contact person and if necessary, providing more in-depth information by download link, ideally as an attachment.

Endboss: Measuring success

Measuring the success of PR campaigns can often be a headache for communicators, as unlike with marketing, they are not necessarily expressed as an increase in sales, and can be hard to quantify. But don’t panic – the easiest way of measuring the success of your PR is by methodically running through our LVL 01 and asking WHY you started a particular campaign. Do you want to generate more likes on Facebook? Would you like to increase your presence in the media? Perhaps you’d also like to find a new partner. Create specific goals that are derived from your specific reasons for communication. As a result, you will be able to check whether you're on the right path or whether you have to make any adjustments.

There are, of course, tools available to help you along the way. Our in-house analytics solution is supplied as an integral part of our ots publishing tool, and represents traffic to your press in clear figures while scanning the internet for overlaps. In zimpel, a reporting tool provides an estimate as to how many journalist a particular email has actually reached. There are also tools such as Buzzrank or Hootsuite to monitor social channels. But before you get lost amidst all these evaluation tools, don't forget the very first, and most important point from this guide: be very clear about what you want to say and achieve!