Ketner Group has worked with dozens of B2B technology startups, and we often see familiar patterns in how they approach PR and media relations.
Startups naturally spend their first few years building their technology and team and ensuring the success of early customers. However, as a company wins significant customers, receives additional funding or begins seeking investment, PR ultimately becomes a priority.
Media relations is often the starting point for creating a larger communications program and engaging with a PR agency.
Why is this element of public relations so important? Here are several reasons why.
Media relations helps companies hone their story
Storytelling is at the heart of media relations. After all, media relations involves telling your company story in order to convince an editor to write about your solutions, which in turn can influence prospective buyers.
Stories must be easily understood, believable and persuasive. That’s why we always recommend that startups evaluate their company messaging and value proposition before engaging in media relations, to ensure they’re accurately communicating their story.
PR agencies like Ketner Group can provide the expertise you need to help you get ready to tell your story to the world.
Media relations demonstrates market acceptance
The very nature of startups is disruption—taking a fresh look at solving business problems with new, innovative technology. But how does the technology work, and what benefits does it really deliver?
Media relations is a critical way to validate your technology, as it gives you the chance to tell stories about your vision for the industry, the challenges your solutions address, and how customers are using your products. Because these stories are told by outside media, they gain credibility.
It boosts your market profile
Over time, editors and writers will turn to your company as a resource for articles and reports, creating more opportunities for media coverage and boosting your company’s overall presence. A well-honed media relations program can give you a competitive marketing advantage, too.
A key index of media relations performance is share of voice, which represents a company’s share of earned media coverage in a given month. By “owning the conversation” through a larger share of voice than competitors, companies can increase their marketing presence and punch above their weight class.
We use Cision as our preferred PR platform, and its share of voice reporting provides valuable metrics for measuring the effectiveness of media relations.
It supports fundraising
As startups raise funding, media relations can help attract the interest of investors and provide an important source of validation. Articles and press releases about customers are particularly important, as they provide external proof that goes beyond your investor deck.
It influences lead generation and sales
Clients often ask the question, “will media relations help generate leads?” As my colleague Mariana wrote in a recent blog, the purpose of media relations isn’t lead-generation, but it can help influence lead-gen and sales when considered as part of a well-rounded communications program. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this.
When one of our clients announced a major implementation of the company’s solution by a well-known top 10 retailer, the CEO quickly began hearing back from other retailers the company had been courting. In this case, one highly visible customer win opened doors for our client.
Companies want to know what technologies the leaders in their industries are adopting, and it can ultimately help influence their purchase decisions.
Media relations supports your exit strategy
A retail analyst friend used to introduce us to tech startups by telling them if they work with Ketner Group, they’ll get acquired. If only it was that easy!
Over the years many of our startup clients have undergone successful acquisitions, and we’re proud to have played a supporting role. Media coverage and share of voice can help attract the attention of would-be acquirers. When one of our retail software clients was acquired, the press release referenced an industry awards program that boosted our client’s reputation and visibility in the market. That program was one of the key elements of our PR program.
Media relations is a key strategy to supporting your startup overall
Media relations plays a vital role in your PR strategy. However, media relations should never exist in a silo, as it is only one facet of public relations.
As you consider establishing a media relations program, be sure to evaluate all your other communications channels, too—website, social media, content, blogs, paid media—in order to make sure you have a well-rounded program that’s firing on all cylinders.
That way, your startup will get the most out of its investment in media relations and every other communication channel.
Need help with media relations?
We’re experts in media relations, so if you’re ready to kick start a media relations program or just want to make sure you’re on the right track, we can help.
Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to learn what we can do for you.