One common thread about startups is that most are pressed for time and money. They know they need to establish their brand, but lack the major funding of most established businesses. Many try to muddle through in an attempt to pique the interest of journalists and secure media coverage. They understand the longer it takes to create name recognition the longer it will take them to build sales and profitability, but they aren't sure how to get the process rolling. Here are five publicity hacks for startups to quickly attract the attention of newspapers, radio and TV stations, and generate the needed publicity for immediate growth.
#1. Create a short summary highlighting what makes the business special and why it is different than other companies in the market space.
A startup should avoid the standard press release if possible. The common mistake is to create the typical release and just send it everywhere hoping something will stick. Instead, depending on the type and scope of the business, offer an exclusive story to the media with a lot of news “hooks”. Point out interesting details and pitch the local business journal, daily newspaper, or a TV station announcing your company's launch before it happens. You can put together an interesting summary with an eye catching headline. Journalists like to break stories and are always watching for new businesses they can write or talk about. Businesses can always issue and distribute a standard press release later after a major news outlet or two have broken the story.
#2. Develop a short, quirky video for social media.
Video, of course, is highly used in today's highly digitized world. A video can humanize the owners and team, and get people talking about it. Many people would also rather watch something than read about it. A video can help cover all the bases. It can depict some emotion and show aspects of the business print cannot deliver. A company can also link to their video for added PR value when the business does send out its press release.
#3. Host a special event.
A special event can create excitement for the leadership, team and recruiting. The right type of event can also have a lot of media value. Creating a special event is where creativity kicks in. You can do something a little off-the-wall such as creating the world's biggest cheeseburger or selling 50 dresses in 50 hours to build revenue for a nonprofit or repairing a house for a needy homeowner if you are a painting company or construction firm. You can do something related to computers if you are a tech firm. Many ways exist to execute an event and accomplish your goals. Remember a business will need something visual if you wish to attract local TV stations.
#4. Tie-in a charity.
Community outreach can be a key part of a communications program. A new company can develop something at the outset that benefits a local charity and gains the attention of the media. Editors and producers like companies that do something creative and give back to the community. You can do some special things with nonprofits that involve bringing your pets to work or small children. The media loves dogs and kids.
#5. Publicize your press coverage on social media and your website
Your newsroom should be kept up-to-date and make sure you link to your stories on all your social channels. Print, video and digital all play off each other with SEO benefits as well. Keep in mind the more coverage you get, and the more media relationships you establish, the more credibility you will have for future stories.
By Stephen Turner
Stephen Turner is a Principal and owner with Solomon/Turner PR, a public relations and integrated marketing firm in St. Louis, MO. Solomon Turner PR is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. The firm has been named One of the Top PR Firms in St. Louis for 12 years in a row by Small Business Monthly. Steve was named a Rockstar Publicist by Authority Magazine and Thrive Global. He has over 30 years of experience in PR and marketing communications. His firm, Solomon/Turner specializes in publicity campaigns, social media, and branding. Mr. Turner has written dozens of blogs and articles on PR and marketing. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Visit https://solomonturner.com