It all starts with an idea. An insight you can’t get rid of, that makes you fantasize about building this spark into a business, your business. So you jump and there it is, your startup adventure has begun. What follows is a journey full of the highest highs and the lowest lows, with many, many steps to take. Developing your idea into a plan, researching your market, finding partners and, of course, getting that much needed funding. When every second and buck counts, many starting entrepreneurs are reluctant to pay proper attention to a communication strategy. Here’s why we at Blydebelieve startups should absolutely invest in a solid brand story.
From the firm belief that doing good brings you good things in return, Blyde has partnered up with Rockstart by facilitating PR Expert Sessions. So far, we’ve met up with a number of start-ups to talk about their business and the specific questions they have regarding communication. How to get great PR, how to strengthen their social media channels, what the best moment is to start talking about their business and in what way. In almost every case, our advice is to take a step back first. Because a good understanding of why you do what you do and why you believe, with all your heart, the world needs your product or service results in a strong brand story. That story is the basis for winning over your investors, employees, partners and in the end, your target audience.
So, in short, what is our key advice in getting press and clients interested in your business?
Having a rock-solid story to tell. Developing a strong brand is critical to the early success of start-ups. You can have the most innovative, ground-breaking product ever conceived, but if you can’t create a strong foundation for communicating that value, you won’t go very far. It’s a bit harsh, but in the beginning, nobody cares. Start-ups must be able to explain why their product or service matters, before you can grab the attention of both journalist and consumer. The most successful companies out there distinguish themselves not – or not merely – by actually being the best. Their success derives from a strong understanding of why they do what they do. The answer is never ‘to earn money’. What made you decide to start this company? What do you bring that others don’t? And why should people care?
Okay, so I know I need to work on my brand story, but when should I start with PR?
Only if you can answer those questions, you can start thinking about PR and marketing. It makes no sense creating great marketing and PR plans without those plans being anchored by a guiding strategy about what the brand will represent. We know you are ready to share your awesome work with the world, but this is something that you shouldn’t rush. Make sure to invest time in really understanding what makes your business different and why it will attract people’s attention. These are hard questions. Keep asking until you have amazing answers. At the same time, don’t wait too long, tweaking your product until it’s absolutely perfect, risking someone else beats you to the punch. Ready to go? We can guide you by teasing out the information that will help communicate your value and credibility to customers and partners. Just be ready to handle the attention that comes with an effective PR program 😉
About the author
Marleen Koning works as an advisor at Blyde, a full service PR agency in Amsterdam. With PR as a starting point, Blyde bridges the gap between identity and image. Blyde works for entrepreneurial brands with a vision. Organisations that want to make a difference and have the guts to be innovative and develop their own route.