Having a good visibility is important for business. Without it, a business can be pushed to a corner of isolation.
It is not easy to create and maintain a good level of visibility when you don’t have a reasonable public relations game plan – a common challenge that many startups share.
If you’re not happy with the level of visibility of your startup, here are some recommendations to address this concern:
1. Make a plan. Don’t rely solely on a tactical approach but instead, develop a communications plan for a whole year with specific objectives. Your plan should include key elements including key messages you wish to communicate, a media plan and a projected timeline.
2. Review your startup positioning. It is best to conduct a review of your startup positioning to make sure it is solid and that you are able to articulate the positioning clearly. In many cases entrepreneurs struggle with positioning and cannot explain their company well in front of investors or even on their website. If you face these troubles, be aware that they can affect how you are perceived in the market which situation could ultimately jeopardize your quest for visibility . You could start improving the situation by as basic as perfecting your elevator pitch.
3. Improve website content. Spend some time to reflect on how your website has functioned as a communications platform for your business. You can leverage on analytic tools to run an audit to determine your website performances. Focus on filling up your website with content that your customers and stakeholders would appreciate. Whitepapers, a press kit, a company profile, FAQs, product info are some of the content to consider.
4. Develop a sound media relations plan. If your media publicity performance is poor, a review of the planning and execution of your media relations should be considered to address your weaknesses and leverage on strengths. To get on media relations, start with identifying media outlets that are most important to your startup based on whatever impacts you are trying to create and think of how you can start building a relationship with journalists. An email note that explains who you are and why you matter is worth sending to journalists if you don’t get to meet them in-person. Be professional when connecting with the media. Consistently look for editorial opportunities throughout the year.
5. Incorporate press releases into your storytelling. If a press release was never part of your communications, try to look into it now. There are various media outlets that you may reach to tell your startup news story using a press release. A press release would make an effective way to encapsulate your message into a format that journalists are already familiar with. Consider some of your milestones that can be shared in a press release and when a press release is ready, circulate it to the media to interest them in your story.
6. Review corporate information. Review your company information so that any most recent significant changes or updates will be reflected in your company profile document. Recently hired a CTO? Make sure it gets into the company profile.
7. Be smarter with social media. Online engagements are important in most of today’s business environment. Just having a Facebook page won’t do much if it lacks content or interactions. So improving your social media engagements can help increase your visibility among the community. Active participation in relevant online forums may also be useful.
8. Start blogging. If not enough time is your reason for not blogging, find a motivation to change that. Start with a plan. A company blog is an effective dynamic platform where you can share your startup events, updates, and to share information as part of your content marketing efforts.
9. Become a better communicator. You might want to consider asking someone you trust to evaluate your communications skills and then work on any shortcomings identified. You can also do a quick check on how well you have performed in press interviews, business networking sessions, or events like live pitching to investors. Find out your areas of weakness and look for improvements. When you communicate well, your stakeholders will become interested to listen to you and this brings you a step closer to establishing a good relationship with them for a long term.
All the best!
By Kam Hashim