When your startup is in its early stages, your focus is probably more on product than on PR, and rightly so. But don’t ignore PR altogether. We’re starting a short series on the 5 things you must do before your company or product launches.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore each of the topics below in detail. For now, here’s an overview of what we’ll cover:
- Develop the story of your brand. Answer the following question: who are you, what makes you special, and why should I pay attention? Your story informs the rest of your PR efforts, from pitches to press releases, and eventually marketing campaigns.
- Draft your PR launch plan. You don’t have to identify every single date and tactic, but your plan should include your launch goals, target dates, and the strategy you’ll use to achieve them. At this stage, keep your plan simple and flexible.
- Understand your competitors. Watch your key competitors closely. Analyze their failures and especially their successes. The things your competitors do well can teach you a lot about how to conduct your own launch.
- Identify a budget. When you’re operating on a shoe string, dedicating money to so-called “soft” activities like PR can feel wasteful. But launching a company costs money. Think carefully about what’s important to you, and spend wisely. But spend something.
- Build anticipation. Whether it’s making your beta version invite-only or sending a series of teaser emails to key analysts, find ways to build excitement. When you are finally ready to launch, you’ll already have a line of people eager to hear your story.
Next week, we’ll dive a little deeper into the first point on the list: Develop the story of your brand.
In the meantime, are you in the midst of launching a startup, or have you been there in the past? Please share your lessons in the comments.