Why startups need PR in 2018 and forever

March 13, 2018

We all love Public Relations. Let’s be honest and admit that we do. I’ve been doing it for 10 years and have seen how clients react behind closed doors when that positive review comes in or they get a full page spread in their local daily.

We’re all human.

However, we don’t all understand what it actually is, and most of us are violently against paying money for professionals to help us ‘up’ our PR game.

But do you really know why PR is essential for your company, big or small? Well, especially if you’re a small company just starting out.

Here are some reasons with a few numbers to back it up.

pexels-photo-327273.jpeg
I love Converse because they were my first pair of proper sneakers

Brand recognition leads to leads (pun intended)

In-bound leads are a marketer’s dream. They are basically low-cost, high value leads that are actually looking for a service like yours.

Take, for example, the work I am doing for MyDoc, a digital health brand based in Singapore.

In the last six-months, fuelled by a funding announcement, as well as consistent product updates, we were able to get approximately 210 pieces of positive news coverage. Compare this to the same time period one year ago and that number was 16 pieces of coverage.

PR stats.JPG
Image courtesy of MyDoc

The most interesting stat on the chart above is that fact we improved lead generation by 6X, which is really good, even if it does start with a low base.

These numbers only refer to organic in-bound leads, as we have a strong new business team that focuses solely on outbound leads.

PR lowers your cost of acquisition

Besides in-bound leads, PR can lower your cost of acquisition in many different ways. Educated consumers that know your brand help reduce the time taken to convert them into paying customers.

There are varying stats depending on whom you ask in the industry, but from what we’ve seen, is that it can reduce the time taken to convert a lead from qualified to paying, as well as complement outbound lead generation as well.

We were seeing a gradual reduction in costs for MyDoc, but honestly more time was needed to show a consistent trend in cost reduction.

Konsyg CEO, William Gilchrist

Konsyg CEO, William Gilchrist. Image courtesy of Tech Collective

Some data I can share is a small sample but also points towards a positive correlation between PR and inbound leads. With my current company SYNC, we’ve helped clients like Konsyg, a Sales as a Service startup with their PR and content marketing. Through a single piece of high-quality media coverage, they were able to generate a 500% increase in inbound requests, meetings, and even proposals within a week of the interview being published.

Consumer trust

pexels-photo-261949.jpeg
Headlines and brand mentions do matter

I trust brands I read about, whether it be in the papers, online or even TV (who still watches TV?).

This is the best way to get a proper third-party endorsement as long as you do it right. New consumers know who you, existing consumers are more likely to use your service, and people who don’t trust your brand or are risk-averse, are likely to give your brand a chance.

Ths is best shown by the type of inbound leads we generated. Before we launched our aggressive PR campaign, we got a few inbound leads, but most were very exploratory, asking us to explain what we do.

Most of our leads that reach out to us now, are qualified and have a clear idea of how we can work with us or want to purchase our service.

Conclusion

Using PR is a no-brainer, especially as it can only have a positive impact on your brand. To start your search, I would suggest trying it yourself to see if you can do it yourself. If you’re lucky and have a great story, there is no reason you can’t get some amazing PR for yourself.

Otherwise, start-off small, working with a smaller agency that provides the core services you need. Remember, there are many benefits beyond backlinks, so don’t ignore print and broadcast media if the opportunity arises.

This post originally appeared on Tech Collective.

This post was edited on 20 May 2018.