19 June 2024

PR for startups: gold dust for future unicorns.

Grace-Tucker
Grace-Tucker

Grace Tucker

Account Director

Founders have a tough gig. They’re the ultimate plate spinners. More often than not, they’re working at every hour of the day to develop their product. Meanwhile, in saturated markets, they’re devising strategies to engage their target audience and looking to raise investment. Startups have the unique difficulty of having to craft a route to market often on a shoestring budget. This makes fundraising all the more pressing, especially as they compete with the legacy and heritage of bigger businesses.

There are more than 5 million small businesses in the UK alone, so standout is vital to win the attention of potential investors, partners and customers. And while PR support is often overlooked due to budgetary constraints or other priorities, it’s one of the strongest tools in your arsenal. For founders who may think that PR is only relevant after a successful funding round has closed, that’s far from the truth. Here are three reasons why PR is gold dust for fundraising.

Get Their Attention.

The headline: investors need to know who you are.

Building brand awareness and visibility is key. Your news cycle may be sporadic, which is common for early-stage startups, but there are other PR tactics to pursue to entice the investors you’re looking for.

Among other things, PR consultants will:

  • craft newsworthy stories
  • update your website
  • build relationships with target journalists
  • write reports and case studies
  • announce awards and partnerships
  • secure interviews for your spokespeople
  • map out your comms strategy from the outset.

 

The takeaway: press releases are just one of the many tools at our disposal that pique an investor’s interest. 

Build Your Credibility.

One thing investors and consumers have in common: they’re wary of their wallets.

Potential investors want reassurance that their investment will yield returns. Earned media is one of the best ways to establish this trust. This is publicity you secure without paying for it, as opposed to bought media. If a third party has filtered and approved your content, this immediately adds to your credibility. A pre-pandemic survey by YouGov found that more than 9 out of 10 consumers trust earned media, against 5 out of 10 who trust paid ads.

A solid PR strategy will not only work to increase the volume of earned media across a variety of outlets (e.g. podcasts, thought leadership, profiles, blogs, and broadcast), but your team will advise you at every step.

Contrary to the old adage, all press isn’t necessarily good press, and the wrong outlet can damage your credibility! When putting together your pitch deck, positive earned media examples help to establish trust between you, your brand and investors. 

Highlight Your Expertise.

At the heart of any successful PR campaign is originality. In inundated markets, the first step is crafting your unique value proposition into a compelling narrative. This clearly articulates your product as well as the problem you’re addressing and how your innovation meets the market gap.

By deep-diving everything about your brand, founders’ careers, and team, this core element of your PR strategy will make you stand out against your competitors. This is particularly important for early-stage founders developing their product, as investors are buying into you and your story more as much as the offering.

But regardless of whether you’re pre-seed or not, startups at the cutting edge of their field tend to attract the most interest for investors, so bringing to life this differentiating factor will set you apart. 

Build Your Brand.

It’s true: PR is often considered ‘not necessary’ when startups are allocating their budget.

But you know what else is true? Competition for VC is fierce.

If you’re approaching investors who have never heard of you, that mountain is even harder to climb, especially against stiff competition. The faster you can secure investment and consolidate a consumer base, the easier sustainable growth becomes, which has the knock-on effect of making you even more attractive for Series A and B.

PR isn’t a quick fix – a word of warning against any agency or freelancer guaranteeing Forbes, Tech Crunch and Wall Street Journal in a week! Trust takes time to build with investors and consumers alike, so a robust PR strategy will be gradual.

For founders who want to lead their industry, it’s an investment worth its weight in gold dust for all future unicorns. 

 

To accelerate your startup PR strategy, we’d love to help – get in touch!

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PR for startups: gold dust for future unicorns.

19 June 2024 PR for startups: gold dust for future unicorns. Grace TuckerAccount DirectorFounders have a tough gig. They’re the ultimate plate spinners. More often than not, they’re working at every hour of the day to develop their product. Meanwhile, in saturated markets, they're devising strategies to engage their target audience and looking to raise investment. ...

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