Three Deadly PR Mistakes for Startups

25 Oct Three Deadly PR Mistakes for Startups

Ok, so maybe they aren’t deadly, but the crimes below are often committed and will significantly reduce your chances of coverage. We all know that budgets and (more importantly) time are tight in the startup world, but paying too little attention to PR can actually do more harm than good. Trying to avoid the three common sins below should start you on the path to media stardom:

1. Trying to be all things to all people. Clearly define your target market and develop three key messages for each segment that speak directly to them. Some companies will have one target group, and some will have many. If you’re in the many camp, take a look first at your top-tier targets before branching out. When you focus on targets that aren’t quite right or fall too far down the chain, you dilute the message and get lost in cycles of trying to please everyone. Find the right people, talk directly to them and expand when the time is right and you’ve built a core base of believers.

2. Making a bad first impression. Your website is your identity. Not only does it need to look nice, it needs to clearly and succinctly explain what you do, how you’re different and why your product or service matters. And enough with the buzzwords—just use the language your users would use. Also, make sure to include an ‘about us’ section and keep the ‘news section’ updated—reporters really do look there.

3. Thinking that your existence is news. Yes, there are some startups that get placements just for existing. These are usually businesses started by tried and true entrepreneurs whose next moves we’ve all been anxiously anticipating. If you’re like most startups, you’ll need more than just a launch to garner media attention. You’ll need funding, users, sales, monetization plans or real differentiation to spark the interest of a reporter who sees 300 startup launch pitches a day.

Avoiding these pitfalls should help you along the way, but if you’re looking for more advice check out our webinar: PR101 for startups.

Ali Robinson
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