Smart PR tips for start-ups

  • 1
  • February 10, 2009
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

Even established brands are struggling through the recession, so what hope does a start-up have?

As usual, it’s a case of working smarter – not necessarily harder. Paradoxically, with a sizeable chunk of businesses cutting PR in response to the economy, it could actually be easier for your voice to be heard right now as fewer companies are fighting it out for the same media space.

So if you start on your PR now, you could be well on your way to becoming an established brand by the time the economy is looking cheerier.

You don’t necessarily need a lot of money to get you started on PR, but you will need to set aside some time and energy to engage with the media and get the right message across.

Here are a few hints and tips to get you started:

    • Set out your objectives. Think about what you want to achieve. For instance, do you want to increase your SEO rankings and drive large numbers of consumers to your website or is it more about getting a specific message to a niche audience?


    • Work out the top three messages that you want your audience to know about your company. Make sure that whatever you are saying to the media reinforces these messages.


    • Identify your audience. Find out what your potential customers read and get to know the kinds of stories that get published in your target media.


    • Research who to contact at your target media. Bear in mind that what the media wants is a good story, what you want is good coverage. To start a relationship with the media you need to be as helpful for them as they are to you.


    • Choose your stories carefully. Be realistic about what your target audience wants to hear about and try to tie in what you have to say as a business with the media agenda.


    • Be creative, but don’t lie, be overly critical of the competition or assume that any comments you make will be “off the record”.


    • Cut out the marketing twaddle. Editors don’t like it and won’t publish it.


  • As with everything in business, learn from your mistakes. If something didn’t work out quite as you had expected it, look back and try to figure out why. It will help you on your next PR project.