Startups of all sizes are looking to develop their businesses. While many focus these efforts on marketing to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, PR strategies are a valuable – but often overlooked – asset. 

PR helps startups cultivate market dominance through brand awareness, revenue and sales leads, social engagement, thought leadership, and website SEO. In addition, PR ensures that your customers gain the product insight and social validation they need to feel assured in their purchases.

Whether partnering with a PR agency or kickstarting efforts yourself, creating a killer PR strategy will enable your startup to take the necessary steps toward success. Let’s look at the best steps to create a winning PR strategy. 

Review current PR strategy activities

First, it’s essential to examine your current and previous PR activities. How successful were your initiatives? If a strategy went well, great – keep up the good work! If a prior PR initiative went poorly, learn from your mistakes by tweaking your approach for the next iteration. 

Taking stock of your current startup PR activities is necessary to understand your recent achievements and room for growth. This review also helps shape your PR strategy for the future by giving you a better idea of campaign cadence and timelines to expect results. 

Interview key stakeholders

Key leaders within your startup may have different perspectives and goals regarding what they’d like to achieve. They’ll also have initiatives that require PR assistance during the upcoming year. Scheduling interviews will enable you to better understand their expectations and prioritize accordingly. 

Check in with stakeholders, including your product marketing team, digital marketing team, CMO, CEO or founder, events manager, and VP of HR.

A group of seated coworkers discusses strategies around a table.

Thought leadership opportunities

Well-written thought leadership content boosts your reputation as an industry authority. Content pieces also increase your SEO by creating beneficial backlinks that direct readers to your website. Consider scheduling brainstorming sessions for potential thought leadership topics. What topics can you provide genuine insight into? 

Scan your competitors’ content for gaps and begin writing to fill these openings. Next, keep organized by creating a timetable for content delivery and publication. Lastly, remember that industries are ever-advancing, so it’s essential to always be on the lookout for the latest trends and news to create valuable content pieces.

For more information on best practices for creating thought leadership articles, check out our previous post on the importance of thought leadership and how you can become a thought leader in your industry. 

Trade shows and sponsored events 

Now that life is approaching a semblance of normalcy post-COVID, trade shows and sponsored events are in full swing. Trade shows are prime events for announcing major product launches, strategic partnerships, and other important news. In addition, these networking opportunities are great for connecting with prospective customers and journalists – not to mention scoring prized press coverage. 

A large crowd meets at a tradeshow.

The following outline is a great reference guide for sections to include when planning your trade shows in your PR strategy:

  • Trade show communications strategy
  • Messaging and key talking points
  • Communications timeline (timing announcements and other important deadlines like panel speaker submissions)
  • Spokesperson availability with associated blocks of time
  • Contact information of outside PR firm if relevant
  • Plan for all expenses

Product development

The product development section of your PR strategy should originate from product marketing and reflect the latest product guidance. Product launches and development are always excellent media opportunities – don’t let them go to waste! 

We suggest breaking out a product roadmap to help you pin down the primary intent of your media announcement. Product roadmaps are helpful because the sheer amount of moving parts attached to a product launch can be an organizational challenge. Your product roadmap should include the launch time, product benefits and features, and new product marketing collateral. 

Put it in a calendar

Creating a calendar is a tried-and-true method of adhering to your plan and staying organized. Without some form of organization and timetable, it’s easy for media opportunities to fall through the cracks. Likewise, breaking down your key announcements, trade shows, and other opportunities helps ensure you get the biggest bang out of your PR year. 

Pro tip: consider color-coding or creating line separators for different activities based on their category, whether a product launch, speaking opportunity, startup funding announcement, contributed thought leadership article, etc.

Create a budget

We understand creating a budget for your startup’s PR is often less science and more guessing game, especially if your startup is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, creating a PR budget is critical as it allows your startup to allocate future spending wisely. We recommend taking the following steps to create your budget:

  • Review the past year’s spending
  • Discuss with your stakeholders
  • Review your product roadmap and events
  • Engage with your PR firm if applicable
  • Talk with your accounting team
  • Review your calendar

PR shouldn’t be a confusing part of your startup’s communication process. When done well, PR can help grow your business through brand awareness, SEO, and social engagement – not to mention revenue generation. By following these steps, you’re well on your way to creating a premium PR strategy. 

We understand that sometimes questions go unanswered. If you have any inquiries about PR practices or would like to discuss partnering with Swyft, contact our PR experts

Share This