If you’re the founder of an ambitious b2b start-up or scale-up, how soon should you be thinking about a PR strategy?
From a PR perspective, most young businesses fall into one of three camps –
- The businesses that don’t think they are ready for PR yet.
- The guys that are trying WAY TOO HARD without clear direction.
- The half-hearted, box tickers.
Each group is being hampered because they don’t have a well thought out strategy, and they probably fail to fully understand the value of PR in the early stages of growth. And that’s all completely understandable.
Ambitious business owners have got a lot on their plates so creating a PR strategy will tend to get bumped down the to-do list. Some may also feel that PR is a bit of a luxury, to be introduced further down the line with immediate focus going into areas that show a more ‘tangible’ R.O.I. But for me, they may have missed the true value of PR and the role it plays in supporting your business goals and the rest of your sales and marketing activity.
PR activity that tells your brand story, brings the great work you’re doing to life, and positions your brand at the heart of the most important industry conversations, can be a cost-effective, direct way to get the word out.
Relatively new businesses targeting aggressive growth need new customers, great employees, and possibly more investors. PR is a great way to get on the radar and influence all three groups. Here’s why…
- Increased visibility and credibility
Visibility and credibility go hand in hand – either one without the other is of little use to a new business. The whole point of PR is to raise awareness among your target audience while positioning yourself as a trusted authority and building your reputation.
This is particularly important for young businesses that lack the heritage and track record of other, more established competitors. Over time, your business will earn trust and awareness – if you keep it consistent, relevant, and well planned.
- Personal brand activation
PR is a great way to tell an authentic story. By telling the story of the company’s founder(s), and key individuals in the business, you are humanising your brand and creating personal connections. Often, the people behind the business have the experience and credibility that the business lacks, and it’s easier to create an emotional connection on a personal level. If your audience feels confident in and connected to the person or people behind the brand, they are more likely to feel confident in the business itself.
- SEO support
If SEO is a part of your marketing strategy, then PR can support that activity.
Google’s E-E-A-T is a key part of how it reviews and rates online content. It stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness and is applied to three areas:
- Your website.
- Your content.
- The creator of the content.
PR is perfectly placed to build E-E-A-T –
- Experience: Using PR, you can build up a catalogue of onsite and offsite content that showcases the first-hand sector experience possessed by the author.
- Expertise: Interviews, guest posts, thought leadership articles and more – PR can also highlight your authors’ knowledge through key online channels.
- Authoritativeness: PR helps to build the reputation of the author as an authority on a topic. Having your author and brand featured or mentioned in respected media titles is an extremely effective way to build your online authority.
- Trustworthiness: Earning coverage and highly prized backlinks from established, trustworthy 3rd party publications is a clear sign to Google that your website is trustworthy, as they are secured through merit.
- Builds your employer brand
Salary and perks can help to attract the best people, but company culture and values are just as important in the hiring process. PR can communicate the ‘why you should work here’ story and make your business a place where top talent aspires to work.
If you’re a young ambitious b2b company with a great story to tell, it’s the perfect time to develop a strong PR strategy and start building your visibility and credibility in the market.
At bClear we’ve 18 years’ experience to draw on, and we can help you with everything from developing your strategy, audience personas and messaging, to executing a monthly plan and reporting transparently on the results.
Why not get in touch for a chat – can you afford not to?