If you are starting a business, you will be busy raising finance, hiring people, securing contracts, etc, but it’s never too soon to think about communications. Don’t think of marketing and PR as bolt-on activities once you’ve launched your business; instead they should be integral to your business development strategy.
As a start-up, your budget is unlikely to stretch to a full-blown advertising campaign or hiring a PR agency. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help build your brand reputation, attract new customers and stand out from the crowd.
Consider where you want your customers or clients to see or hear about your business. Do you aspire to the front page of a national newspaper? Paid-for advertising or free editorial in regional press might be more realistic and achievable to start with. Are your products or services aimed at the general consumer, or would they be more suited to specialist trade publications?
Once you’ve decided on your outlet, research individual journalists and approach them by phone, email or on social media. Think of the key messages you wish to convey to your customers or clients, through them. Pitch your story as you would pitch your investment opportunity to investors: keep information simple, concise and relevant. The same applies if you are doing a radio or TV interview.
And remember, pictures tell a thousand words, so make sure you have good quality, high resolution images - or even video – of your product or service, which you are willing to share with the media for free.