Even as some state governments have ended coronavirus lockdowns, it will likely be a long time before things return to “normal.” Stores, restaurants and bars may be open once again, but many are choosing to stay away. Consumer spending has begun to rebound after being battered in March and April, but it still lags far behind its pre-pandemic levels. A record number of people are out of work. On the tech front, VC investors are skittish. Q1 funding in 2020 is down significantly from the same time last year according to Crunchbase.
In this context, it’s critical for tech startups to continue investing in PR. However, it’s also important to remain flexible and look to PR experts who can hit the ground running on your behalf. That’s where outsourcing comes in.
Better feel for COVID trends
A dedicated PR firm has already navigated the post-COVID landscape and is more likely to know what stories will play in this strange new media environment. They have a feel for what works and what doesn’t based on experiences with other clients.
To get a sense of the stories that are landing with the tech and business press, check out Swyft’s COVID-19 Media Tracker, which includes thousands of articles that have been written since the virus upended the global economy in February, broken down by topic, outlet and traffic.
Unless your startup specializes in remote work solutions or hand sanitizer, it’s unlikely that you’re rolling in dough. And even if your startup did just get a round of funding, at this point the last thing you want to do is spend the money you need to bring on one or more seasoned full-time PR professionals. Nor is hiring a junior staff who is more affordable but far less experienced an option in this challenging time.
By outsourcing, you can get the deep experience without burdening yourself with long-term fixed costs. You can pay for exactly the amount of assistance that you need at this moment. As your needs grow, you can much more quickly ramp up your PR operation than you could if you relied on in-house staff.
Strong media connections
A PR agency that specializes in tech is more likely to have deep relationships with the most important outlets in tech and business journalism. In years of pitching on behalf of different clients, they’ve developed an understanding of what various reporters and organizations value in a story.
It’s unlikely that the in-house PR staff at a startup will have nearly as many media connections. Your PR hires may be smart and experienced, but it’s likely that that experience may have come in a different industry, covered by different journalists. In all likelihood it will take them time to familiarize with the outlets that you need to reach now.