Why PR is important for start-ups

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have probably got your start-up business plan locked down, and are possibly even at the stage of having invested a great deal of time, effort and money to get your venture off the ground. So what is next? You got it! Let's get to market.

For any type of startup, especially those finding their feet within their respective industry, having a range of good PR tactics is pivotal to business growth. Many small businesses see PR as a luxury, only to be enjoyed by large scale companies with huge budgets. But in reality, PR is an essential - we're not just saying that - and highly valuable marketing tool that can increase visibility and help a business to stand out from their competitors.

Read on to discover three key reasons why PR is important to your startup.

1. It gives your brand a voice

When first starting up, the fact of the matter is very few customers will know about your business. To grow into a successful and thriving entity, this needs to change. Getting your voice heard in the press, through influencers or off the back of strategic partnerships can be incredibly effective.

PR provides many different opportunities to communicate who your company is. In its simplest form, it encourages others to do your advertising for you. As a startup, you are likely to face challenges around communicating a new offering within what may well be an already saturated market, particularly if you’re trying to disrupt existing product ranges or services. An active and consistent voice is therefore essential, and a well planned, startegic PR campaign provides a means for that voice to be heard.

2. It driving awareness

Your startup is only new once, and once you have introduced yourself and developed your brand voice, your goal should be to justify and highlight your market position. Making customers aware of what makes your business different and keeping them talking about it is a great way to do this. PR provides a means to enter and engage with the industry, spark conversations around who you are and what you are doing, and how your startup is benefiting consumers. PR allows organisations to continually demonstrate capabilities within key communications channels and get noticed. Naturally, the more people that talk positively about your business, the more enquiries you will receive.

3. It enhancing credibility

Markets are crowded. Once you have started generating awareness around your company, it is important to use PR to build your reputation. Credibility can be enhanced by engaging in industry debates or expressing a controversial yet educated opinion on industry challenges. Credible and positive press content will position you as an expert in your field and provide exposure that deems your business more attractive to potential customers.

It is difficult to introduce yourself as a new player, particularly within a market with other long established businesses. As PR experts working with both new and long established businesses, we are well aware of the challenges that can present themselves. PR can be a highly valuable and important marketing tool in providing a means to quickly and effectively raising a startup's profile within an industry sector, and ultimately make them stand out from the crowd.

Matthew Watt