All these startups need customers. As Stanford entrepreneurship professor Steve Blank said: “Most startups fail not because they lack for product, but because they lack for customers.” You can’t exactly run a successful Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana stand if no one is looking to buy bananas.
Well-placed PR can be invaluable for startups looking to reach an initial audience. It certainly doesn’t replace a sustainable marketing strategy, but it could be the initial difference between success and failure.
The thing is, startups are not traditional clients. Here are some tips for maintaining startup clients from my experience in hiring and firing PR firms.
1. Don’t oversell
Startups are about speed; entrepreneurs expect results quickly. They also don’t need front-page placements on The Wall Street Journal. What relationships do you have now that lead to placements? Understanding this mindset will help build trust. Achieving results can take time, but you need to explain this up front. For many, this will be the first time they interact with the media.
2. Be a bridge