How entrepreneurs should craft a communications strategy

Although it might seem daunting, it’s crucial for new organizations to establish an identity and customer base. Here’s how.

In an era of entrepreneurship, bright minds are stepping out of the traditional workforce and launching businesses.

When it comes to startups, it’s important to pair ingenuity and passion with PR prudence and a tight communications strategy.

Develop your own communications strategy by focusing on your messaging and relationships.

When creating your message, consider the following:

What are you saying?

No matter how eloquently you craft your message or how in sync you are with your media relations team, you must prioritize your product or service.

Align your product, user experience and customer service messages. You cannot expect your marketing and PR efforts to make up for operational errors. Your marketing and media relations outreach must be backed by a solid product and strong customer experience efforts.

Ask communications experts to help develop your brand’s voice and pin down the identity and positioning of your product. This is a process, not a light switch.

How are you saying it?

When talking to journalists and industry experts, you must be accessible and genuine.

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Try not to distance yourself from potential customers with jargon. Know that negativity never wins. Instead of dissing the competition, work to understand your competitors and determine how to differentiate yourself without trash-talking.

From Brew Media Relations’ Brooke Hammerling:

If you’re a huge company, sure you might be able to pull off being snarky or sassy, but as a startup, all you should be is respectful of your competition.

Avoid making broad, sweeping statements or generalizations. Doing so could alienate your potential customer base.

Be steadfast with the promises you make to journalists, investors and customers. If you set a deadline, do not miss it. Most new companies don’t have proven track records to fall back on. Be aware that you’re creating your public image as you go along.

Develop a target audience.

In a crowded industry, it’s important to cut through the noise by reaching out to customers individually.

Once you identify a target audience, you can focus your message and tailor your efforts to meet their needs, concerns and personalities. Every customer matters.

Lindsay Cosner is an account supervisor at Gotham PR in New York. In 2017, the agency celebrates its 15th year.

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