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DIY PR Campaign Tips for Start Ups

Escape member Carlo talks about what he’s learned about PR from working with Adzuna, a tech start-up that gathers job ads from around the web and displays them on one website. When he collaborated in the launch, there was a great list of interested journos, a strategy to reach these according to their influence, a press release outlining how Adzuna broke the previous business models of classified ads websites and a related infographic.

Many small start-ups don’t have the resources to invest in a full blown professional PR campaign and attempt to get things rolling on their own with a DIY PR campaign. It may be a suggestion to hire PR freelancers for the launch (see Media Recruitment or Freelancer for candidates).

The following are some suggestions for your DIY PR campaigns:

Have Lots of High Quality Photos on Hand

When a news piece about your company is being published, you will want there to be a high quality photo associated with the story which will attract attention, make it more memorable and encapsulate your brand. Readers are more likely to remember things that they read if there was a photo associated with it. At Adzuna we took the time to produce an infographic to attach to the press release illustrating how the classified ads marketplace were obsolete compared to what Adzuna was offering and reinventing an entire business model.

You should have a good portfolio of product shots, screenshots, shots illustrating your services, spokesperson shots and much more. The more pictures you have for publications to choose from, the better. If your news piece is being printed by multiple publications you don’t want them to all use the same picture.

When you are preparing these images, make sure that they are of high enough quality. When it is used in print, a poor quality image from your phone or cheap digital camera will not look very crisp and clear. Invest in a good quality camera or have the photos taken by a professional photographer so that they are high enough quality and they will look great in print.

Have Something Eloquent to Say about Your Brand

When journalists are interviewing you about your company, this is your chance to tell the story of your company to the world. Make sure that you are telling that story in the most compelling way possible. It can help to practice what you are going to say in advance and prepare a couple of quotes before an interview. Journalists also love it when you have something concise and interesting to say about your company because it makes their job in writing the article much easier. If they get a very engaging story about your business from you, they will be more likely to call you back for further comments in the future. Take a look at the story of Kurt Varner that launched his startup while he was living in a car (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/kurt-varner-is-launching-a-startup-from-his-car_n_1371192.html).

Don’t Assume the Journalist Knows

When you are being interviewed about your company, you can’t necessarily assume that a journalist understands everything that there is to know about your product and your industry. Remember that they are outside of your industry and they deal with many different companies everyday so they might get confused.  Try to talk with your neighbours or someone from the older generations about your business and test out how much they understand the concept. Also, your company will be growing and changing and you will need to be able to explain its evolution to journalists who are writing about you.

When it comes down to it, the backbone of a good PR campaign is being able to describe your company, products and services in the most concise and engaging way possible and then conveying this information as widely as possible.