Webinar: PR best practices for technology startups
What does PR have to do with technology startups and which best practices are most vital?
These were the key questions on the agenda at the recent webinar: ‘How to reach international media headlines, and why it counts’. Co-hosted by our CEO and Founder, Victoria Usher, the event aimed to share specialist insights on PR for technology startups. Joined by Tania Amar — startup business mentor, storytelling strategist, and CEO of CXP Consulting — the two entrepreneurs discussed how young technology companies can build a media presence worldwide.
Here we outline the core takeaways for startups looking to enhance their reach, influence, and impact with an elevated company profile:
Best PR practices for making a global impact
- Go beyond discussing technology
While it may make sense to generate noise around an emerging tech company’s main product or service, profiling CEOs and business leadership creates a captivating story for global technology media. By tapping into the wealth of experience senior executives hold, technology startups can lay firmer foundations for successful PR strategies that amplify their share of voice with quality thought leadership. In addition to raising a consistent and sustainable media presence for leaders, showcasing senior expertise will help cement a company as a key frontrunner in its sector. For example, that might include sharing a unique pathway to the top or discussing the particular circumstances that sparked a startup idea.
- Start early and ensure a receptive market ahead of time
Technology startups need to begin building their media presence as early as possible; ideally, looking to set up PR strategies six months in advance. Developing messaging takes time, so starting early allows companies to get ahead of competitors when drawing media attention.
Too often, startups initiate PR and marketing late in the day, reducing their share of voice and turning their efforts into a catch-up game against more established competitors. A number of misconceptions feed this approach; startups frequently think they need to have their product on the shelf, own numerous case studies to demonstrate its capabilities, or have a large roster of clients before they begin PR activities. None of these are true. To contribute to global media, startups can address relevant areas of interest in their sector and define their position within it – alongside profiling their senior leadership teams – to warm up the market and complement marketing initiatives. PR and marketing are partners, after all, with owned and earned media being upper and bottom of the funnel activities respectively. As a result, they can be used to expertly enhance one another.
- Understand where your story fits in the media
When companies start to build their share of voice, they must understand that journalists are looking to be challenged, educated and informed. In the technology industry, change is fast-paced and dynamic, making anything future-looking a key point of interest for global media; regardless of whether startups sit within the fintech, telco, or cyber spaces. Reporters and editors want to know what’s around the corner for businesses, so they can share valuable insights with their readers and position their publications as go-to sources of information. Consequently, companies that can aid them in this mission will perform best.
Core considerations for growth during COVID
- Hold onto that entrepreneurial mindset
Growing any business might seem daunting given the present state of the market, but there are a number of successful startups thriving today that were founded during, or shortly after, the 2008 financial crisis. From Square, the financial services company, to consumer-facing businesses such as Airbnb and WhatsApp, innovative startups can still serve the needs of client bases during economic downturns. To follow the renowned proverb ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, and entrepreneurs that turn challenges into opportunities stand to succeed. This culture of innovation is especially prevalent in the Israeli startup space – the lack of water resources, for example, has made the country a world leader in drip irrigation. All startups can adopt a similar mentality and ask themselves, how can we pivot in light of the current environment?
- Develop a supportive ecosystem
Another vital learning from the Israeli startup industry is that startups don’t operate alone; forming a support network of investors, mentors, and incubators strengthens businesses with the talent and resources needed for success. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are uniquely abundant in opportunities to connect with angel investors and corporate innovation centres, which hugely benefit startups’ growth. In other regions, technology companies need to focus more on widening their network by building their company narratives in key media and earning the attention of potential supporters. By concentrating on thought leadership-driven PR, startups can align their strategies with business objectives, helping to secure funding rounds and drive growth.
- Keep tabs on current and emerging trends
Despite investors becoming more cautious overall, 2020 has seen a number of acquisitions in the technology space. For example, cloud communications specialist Twilio picked up customer data platform Segment for $3.2 billion, allowing it to enable personalised consumer outreach at scale. Moreover, chipmaker Nvidia confirmed its $40 billion acquisition of chip designer Arm, to progress cloud computing across smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and AI technologies.
While digital communications and cloud-based services are earning interest this year, it’s likely the technology sector will see an uptick in foodtech and agtech investment further along the road. As consumers grow more conscious of what they eat – as well as more focused on the sustainability of the world’s agricultural industry – more startups will emerge in this space. In 2019, funding for foodtech consumer apps surpassed $130 million in the UK, while surplus and waste initiatives gained $32.6 million in investments. These kinds of startups are well positioned to begin making noise in their sector, fuelling development and gaining further traction.
To discover more on how technology startups can maximise their global presence through PR and about unique innovation from Israel, listen to the webinar recording here, or contact Tania Amar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning about the global B2B PR services GingerMay offers technology startups, get in touch at email@example.com.