10 PR Tips for Startups – Part II

August 26, 2010

6:39 pm

This is the second part of a two part post by Sarah Hardwick, Founder & CEO of Zenzi Communications. If you missed part I, you can read tips 1-5 here.

As promised, here are the next 5 easy tips to integrate PR part into your startup’s communications strategy.

6. Use Social Media as a PR Tool. It is imperative that any social media presence is tied to the timing of your overall launch and announcements.  If news about your company is leaked through Twitter, it won’t take long before a journalist figures out that the press release you sent them a week later is actually old news. Social media is also a great way to start active two-way communication about your business. Don’t just put information out there, but listen to what’s being said about your industry and comment back. Engage in your target audience’s conversations. This creates open dialogue and promotes the ideal image of your company. This just skims the surface as far as social media goes overall, but following these tips will help ensure that your social media efforts tie in with your PR program seamlessly.

7. Be An Expert. As a startup, you are naturally on the leading edge of the latest industry developments. Be an authority and resource for the media on new trends and seek out opportunities to intelligently comment on them to position you, your executives and business as innovative thought leaders and experts.

8. Partnerships. Look for strategic alliances and partnerships, where you can align yourself with others in the industry that are reaching the same or similar target audience, and connecting with you adds value that you can continually promote. This type of cross-promotion will expand your reach and cement your business as an expert in the industry.

9. Media Training. Investing in good media training, if you are looking to do TV and other high profile opportunities, is extremely important. Don’t go into an interview blind. It is crucial to be completely prepared in all areas of what that interviewer will have in store, and to be prepared to react appropriately.

10. Talk To Some PR Firms – At some point in the near future, you may want to hire a PR firm. When seeking a PR firm, be creative and focused with your needs to develop a plan that will fit into a budget within your comfort zone.  Agencies may work on a monthly retainer or hourly basis, or sometimes will agree to a flat project fee.  Find an agency that will really hone in on your business objectives and create a plan that works to help achieve those objectives in a strategic and innovative manner. Watch out for proposals that include any unnecessary extras such as potentially premature national media outreach if you only need local, for example, to accomplish your current goals.  The campaign goals can be modified and expanded upon at a later date, and the best agencies that know how to help a startup succeed will offer you a plan that accomplishes your goals in the shortest amount of time possible and increases your bottom line.


Zenzi Communications bridges the gap between traditional media-focused and digital agencies with an integrated approach that delivers bottom line results. If your goal is to increase exposure and market share, break into new industries, find investors or generate qualified leads, Zenzi can help you BE KNOWN and BE FOUND.  For more information: www.zenzi.com or follow them on Twitter @ZenziBEknown.

Disclosure: In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, we are disclosing that TECH cocktail is a client of Zenzi and they are one of our preferred partners.

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Sarah is the founder and CEO of Zenzi, a PR and marketing firm whose mission is to help companies “Be Known” and “Be Found.” The name Zenzi means crescendo, and since 2002, Sarah has successfully created a similar effect for clients including Nestle, Chiquita Brands, Dreyer’s/ Edy’s Ice Cream, Hilton Hotels, SpeedDate.com, Tech Cocktail and more.

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