June 18, 2011
Public relations is key to establishing your business as a significant competitor in your market and understanding your potential customers, according to Sarah Hardwick, Founder and CEO of Zenzi Communications. Her PR and marketing firm’s mission is to help companies “Be Known” and “Be Found.” Under Sarah’s leadership, Zenzi has taken startups public, launched breakthrough products and services, and navigated complex mergers and acquisitions.
At our Startup Mixology Conference on Thursday, Sarah described how public relations is one the most powerful and effective tools your business can possess. PR connects your company with your entire target market. It helps you to tell your story, gain awareness and recognition, establish credibility, generate sales leads and stand out from the competition. PR can even help you generate content that will help your site get picked up by search engines.
She listed the 3 essentials for PR:
1) Connections- Who is your target market?
What motivates them? Who influences them? How can you reach them? What touch points can you use? Twitter has become an awesome tool for PR because it allows the company to connect with their followers/customers and receive feedback while staying engaged. Just make sure before you start a PR campaign that you have a strategy in place.
2) Conversations – 90% happen offline
What is your audience talking about? What are they sharing? How can you educate and add value? How can you actively participate in the dialogue? Face time is very important. This is not just a one-time reach out. Your goal should be creating lasting loyal customer relationships.
What is unique about your company? How can you package your message in a fun, interesting, unique or surprising way? How can you appear bigger than you actually are?
All are key questions and points that every startup, no matter how small, should think about and plan around if they want to maximize the opportunities out there.
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