Another week, another hot new startup emerges. Startups live and die by their ability to drive customer acquisition growth. Of course, many startups are doomed to failure and cannot grow because they never reach to the desired market. Whether it’s a brand trying to keep abreast of new technologies to develop innovative campaigns or an agency looking to keep ahead of the competition by using the latest and greatest tools, the challenge remains the same. However, the only thing that can become the success mantra for any start up is 360 degree branding and therefore, all new entrepreneurs ask for marketing and public relation.
Digital Marketing is next big thing:
What’s fueling on-demand marketing is the continued, symbiotic evolution of technology and consumer expectations. Digital media including various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc… build vast increase in consumer base. Along with social media an apt SEO strategy that works on enabling the content in engaging audience and developing a robust communication between brand and public. Digital Media is more engaging and has a wide horizon to tap the TG. Digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always ‘on,’ but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.
Big brand vs. Start up:
The most apparent difference between brands and startups is that brands already have lots of loyal customers, many of whom are also diehard fans. Though, the startups do not have any of them. Brands also have name recognition, which plays a big part in both social media and PR as they fight for attention and therefore start up need to draw an outline strategy. Now, the question arises that who is going to plan out these strategies. Well, for this you need to hire a PR agency as managing PR is no cake walk and it requires dynamic strategies, powerful implementation, experience and a wonderful team. On the other hand, in-house PR is a big risk as it’s a team effort to create and maintain brand image. Many of the startups and industry leader suggests that a startup can handle their own PR initially in order to keep the marketing budget well in control. But the logic is to understand that whether a startup has the required resources to do so? Therefore, it is better to go for a PR agency as agencies are there which work very closely with various startups and are pretty affordable with their pricing. However, perfect blend of traditional plus digital PR does the ticks for Startups in India.
PR is one of the best and commercially viable weapon of marketing: Marketing encompasses everything you do or say that customers and prospects see or hear. That includes the way your proposals look and how they’re presented, your logo, your content and any traditional marketing that you use. The key to your marketing is to choose the weapons that work for you, that are applicable to your markets and customers, and that you can afford mentally and financially and therefore, PR is the best weapon of marketing as it is cost effective and builds a Marketing plan, Benefits list, Passion, Community involvement, Fusion marketing (strategic alliances), Follow-up, Customer research, Online marketing, A designated guerrilla marketer and Customer satisfaction.
Too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don’t care about the idea, the startup fails. Therefore, it is very important for the start up to work harder instead of working smarter and this is the time when actual PR comes into action. PR for startups is different than PR of branded companies.
Today, the Indian economy is in that phase, where the entrepreneurship could play a crucial role while contributing significantly to the growth and development of the country. But in an age where local talent is migrating to the west for innovation regulates the situation. Now, the question arises that, who is going to bring innovation? Is it the entrepreneurs? Do they have that much of time? Off course not. Then who is going to do so? Well the answer is off course the PR agency as they dedicate their heart and soul into it and develop strategies which will not only promote your product but will also build the brand image that is the company image.
If you have a new product, book, or business venture to promote, almost every PR professional in the country will tell you it can take weeks of work and prior strategy planning with a client before successful media coverage is pursued and achieved. But is it only the digital PR built the reach? The answer is no because traditional PR like newspaper, hoardings etc. also plays an eminent role.
Traditional PR vs. Digital PR:
At a time when anyone can broadcast their opinions about your startup to the world, public relations require a new level of engagement on the part of companies and entrepreneurs. Public Relations is experiencing a long overdue renaissance and its forcing PR stereotypes out from behind the curtain where they operated comfortably for far too many decades but this transformed when the latest social media wave came into limelight. Regardless of what we think we know about PR and the New Media or Social Media revolution, the truth is that we actually may know less about everything than we care to believe and therefore traditional PR still plays an eminent role as there are people who still prefer to have a newspaper with the morning tea. Though, the another problem is bandwidth in India as there are still certain places in our country where there is no internet access and in those places traditional PR comes into action. Some people have misconception about traditional PR that it is boring.
However, traditional PR does not always include the printed form of things and it is entertaining as well. Haven’t you seen any folk dance, drama, and nautanki or nukkad natak? Well all these are also a part of traditional PR through which PR professionals can share their message, Inform masses and even can promote the brand.
Though, it all depends upon the need of the startups as well as on the budget of the startups and for that one need to pick up the right PR agency.
How to pick up the right PR Agency?
When you do meet with PR people, evaluate them based on their ability to tell you succinctly who they have represented and pay attention to how well they summarize each company and what they do. Having existing relationships and the ability to show previous results is not optional. However, the most important thing things to ask a potential PR consultant or agency are to know whether the PR agency has required bandwidth and what are the strategies that will help to promote and build the brands image on its target audience mind and how can one reach to the target group. Though, it is always favorable to meet the team that is to meet the people who are going to take care of your startup. What clients has to say about the agency is also one aspect everyone should look after.
Survival of the fittest:
The bottom line about a startup’s first year is that it’s very scary. There are two aspects of fear that will trail you the whole year. The first is fear of failure. These are extreme versions of fear, of course, but they still make the first year of a startup very difficult psychologically. Well, Darwin’s theory these days, do not only target on individuals but to the start up’s as well. Unless you have created something so unique, so earth shatteringly original and so needed by everyone that word spreads like magic, or your investment partners are so famous that their story carries yours; you will have to fight it out with everyone else and even have to sustain with it.
A startup idea is like a ball of clay that you have to sculpt. Your first year is probably going to be a lot of sculpting. So it’ll be great if you do get funding, but if you count on it then you are probably going to pin yourself against a wall. The most successful entrepreneurs are incredibly passionate about their work. It’s the fire in their bellies that drives them to succeed.
There is no question; you have to compete for attention and in order to do so effectively and genuinely, you need someone who can help tell your story, the right way, through the people who reach your customers. It’s not an overnight process and it’s not something to “be gamed.” It’s a process of investing in, building and leveraging relationships now and in the long term. And yes, if you do things right, bloggers, reporters, and analysts will want to talk to you about your company and vision along the way.
The goal of your start-up public relations program should be to obtain maximum positive exposure for your company by creating awareness and understanding of the business both within and outside of the industry.
This article was originally published on Techaloo.com.