In June, Matter’s Open Door program conducted one of its free classes on PR, media relations and social media for startups. Below are some of the session’s best takeaways.
I’m the only one on my team that has time to work with media. How should I approach it?
It’s important to have a consistent contact person reaching out to the media in order to build a solid rapport over time, so try to build a couple hours each week into your schedule for devoted media relations work. While it is not expected (or recommended) that you constantly send reporters new pitches, you do need to find creative ways to consistently reach out with story angles that will benefit your brand and their readers. Really think about the kind of information they want to provide, and be realistic about how you fit in.
Tip: Read a couple articles each week from your target publications or journalists so you can get familiar with what they like to cover.
If you’re working with a small team or handling pitching by yourself, focus on the journalists that are most actively covering your market first. You can expand your efforts once you become comfortable with the process.
–Sage Morander, Account Executive
How can I create compelling social media channels if my customers are businesses, not consumers?
B2B companies can still be creative, both in the copy of social posts and in visuals. Use images, graphics, videos, GIFs and more to showcase your company’s personality across your platforms. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun! But be conscientious about the trends you choose to adopt – don’t try too hard to be “with it”.
When you’re posting promotional content, make sure you’re including “lifestyle” (or “workstyle”) visuals that put your products or services in the context of your customers’ daily lives. This creates a human connection with your brand while bringing more life to the work that you do. Similarly, make sure you capture images at events, conferences and internal happenings that include people. Leverage these people-laden images on social to display your culture and corporate values.
Tip: Continuously build a content library that you can pull from for posts throughout the year.
-Julianna Sheridan, Senior Account Executive
I’m already up to my ears in prototypes, presentations and meetings. Is PR really that important to what I’m doing right now?
Yes! But not necessarily how you think. It takes time to get ready for a dedicated PR effort, and more time still to execute that effort so it brings you the type of positive coverage that will enhance your marketing, sales, social and recruiting efforts. Indeed – it’s time you might not currently have.
But, what you should make time for is thinking through a PR strategy that will aid you in the future – especially if you’re courting new stakeholders. They’re interested in investing in ideas that have staying power. It’s your job to show them that you know what needs to be done at each stage of growth to ensure your company succeeds.
Growing companies need meaningful exposure. They need differentiated messages. They need trained spokespeople. They need thought leadership. Outlining your approach for these elements now could just be the thing that convinces a stakeholder to come on board.
-Vanessa Boynton, Account Director