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Does A Startup Need A Good PR ?

Does A Startup Need A Good PR ?

ravi-kikanRavi Kikan
Ravi is a Mentor at MentorEdge ( A CIIE- IIM-A initiative), A Knowledge driven enterprise. He is a Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector and B2B Marketing Expert.

After The Hard Work, It Is Also The Perception That Matters


Do you really think large enterprises or SMBs are the only ones that need Public Relations to ensure how they are perceived in the market ?


Public Relations (PR) is an integral part of the overall marketing mix that a startup should focus. It really however depends at what stage the startup is in.

I put this question – Does A Startup Need A Good PR up for grabs in the Startup Specialist Group and an amazing set of responses came in to answer this critical question.

One amazing CEO Holly Carinci shared this:

It depends on what you think “PR” is. I think that every Startup should have a “Publicist”, but then I am one so I’m a bit biased, clearly.

A Startup should hire on an outside publicist who can highlight their “sell” points (what will capture the media); write the best possible media release and get it out to the media. And not through a wire … through their own working relationships. The Startup will benefit by receiving media exposure that they never could have afforded through advertising and it will be more beneficial for them because it was something the media found interesting enough to write about, not just another ad.

I think that’s a fair view point from Holly.

One of the amazing experts Chris Johnson said:

PR is a way of touching people you don’t know but a startup should have a clear idea of who they want to be their first customers – this has been my biggest added value for startups who hire me as a consultant..

One of the CEOs Susan Muller explained this point of view:

PR is to inform the public of what you are doing (and build interest – which could lead to sales). It comes to play way earlier and before ‘selecting lead customers’ since it needs to build trust prior to selling.

There were a host of answers that CEOs, PR Experts, Mentors shared their views:

Here are the Top 5 reasons why a Startup should focus on PR:

  1. If you have budgets in place then it is advisable to hire an outside publicist or a PR agency to have a working relationship to handle your PR. It is more cost effective and focused.It is important that whoever handles your PR should understand your culture, product, market and the focus Target Audience.
  2. Social media is an integral part of solid strategic communications in my opinion but can’t replace coverage in pre-qualified trade publications or national broadcast media. Media relations is also an integral part. This is where an agency comes handy. Depending on your product you should choose wisely.
  3. Jame Rasheed added a fantastic point…..PR should be utilized after sufficient time is taken to have finalized the operation of the business as it ha a tendency in creating a hype. However, the strategy could very depending on the industry and the primary operation of the business itself. Such as if its service oriented then social media could be an essential tool to understand the mind of the customer on the business. But if its a product selling then promotional strategy works best ad then bring social media as a benefit. PR, in my view, should be utilized as a hype which works best in case of launching a products or service. The strategy can vary in accordance to the target group, industry etc.
  4. Invest into PR when you are totally prepared. Do not invest massively if you do not think you will be able to deliver! Because once you set the PR/Marketing ball rolling the number of customers you get will automatically increase!
  5. Shalini Singh added an amazing point. Startups should also know and realize that the benefits of PR would be seen in six to nine months and that the first three – five month goes in educating about who they are, what they are and how different they are from the regular world (Believe me, we do this and it is challenging to sell our clients – but I guess that keeps us going – the thrill of the challenge).

So what do you think, does a Startup Need A Good PR?

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Ravi Kikan


Guest Columnist at Inc42, Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector, B2B Marketing Expert, Mentor
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