One of the most exciting things to happen to your startup is to receive a large investment. It is a big goal for most startups, to get that validation and the funding to continue and expand on the concept you are passionate about.
However, what to do with the money after the initial excitement can be a difficult decision.
Do you buy new computers for everyone? Upgrade the office? Hire more staff? Expand your product? So many ways to spend, and often it’s a game of prioritising what is best for your startup and channelling the money that way first.
What isn’t often considered is channelling some of that investment into building the credibility and reputation of the company. Establishing reputation and credibility is important because if no one knows who you are, you are going to have trouble getting them on board with your brand and what it’s offering.
One of the most effective ways to build the credibility and reputation of your startup is through public relations (PR).
I have been working with startups for over 15 years, helping them to build their reputation and credibility through PR and they all say these things about how it has helped their company.
Builds awareness and buzz
One of the downsides of just starting out is no one knows about you. One way PR can build awareness of your brand is by shinning a positive light on your company in the media.
Whether it is getting journalists to write about your company to feature in print and online articles, radio shows, podcasts and even TV programs, using PR can build the awareness of your brand so people understand who you are and what you offer.
When there are multiple positive stories across many platforms, this creates a buzz about your startup, which in turn helps to build a strong reputation.
Although you may have an innovative, intuitive or even ground-breaking concept, it doesn’t matter unless people trust your business enough to purchase your service or product.
Often no one knows what you stand for, and they would rather go for a brand they know and that’s been in the business for a longer amount of time. Using clever PR tactics, you can generate trust in your brand and influence your target audience so they know you are worthy of their business. For instance, having a credible and unbiased third party, like a journalist, talk about your business and what it offers, gives legitimacy to your business and builds trust.
Assists in growth
Apart from getting more customers, having a strong reputation can help you secure that next big round of investment. With the right strategy, PR can help put your business in front of those investors and business decision makers.
Or perhaps you’re looking to expand into new sectors. For instance, if you want to gain more clients in the health sector, one effective tactic could be to secure media coverage in the publications those health-related decision makers read, like the health sections of newspapers, health industry magazines, and dedicated health radio programs. This will help get your brand on their radar and build your credibility in the industry.
Getting a large investment really is exciting for a startup, but deciding exactly where to spend that money can be incredibly difficult. Think about the reputation and credibility of your startup, and how building a positive brand will help you to continue your success.
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. WWW.UNKNOWNTOEXPERT.COM Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. WWW.CPCOMMUNICATIONS.COM.AU