This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Ed Roberto is the Vice president for the Middle East and Africa Techstars. TechStars is a venture capital outfit that invests in cutting- edge digital technologies.
When it comes to exploring the options of communicating the message about your products and services, most start-ups get mixed up. They go to extents of investing in expensive public relations projects that sometimes is not relevant for their level.
In a real sense, start-ups don’t actually need to pay for communicating the message of their product and services through a public relations project since they are still in the development stage.
The argument here is that, when a company is still growing and exploring the market, it’s not relevant to the same emerging company to go ahead and pay a public relations firm to sell its brand.
Also, most start-ups haven’s made enough profits so it’s only prudent if they can cut costs by not incising the public relations aspect in their budget.
Again, when a start-up goes out to and does the public relations by itself, it only means that it will get the perfect chance to receive direct feedback on what the target customers think.
So, on the above note, the following four steps will enable a start-up to effectively do the public relations exercise on their own without contracting a respite firm to the same.
Step 1: Develop An Introduction Phrase
Since your going to sell the idea of your new product or service, it would be important to improvise the right wording that you would use to break the ice with the target market. Remember that no one has ever heard about your start-up so don’t assume that the public will automatically know some aspects of your product or service. It’s your sole job to explain everything in detail and that starts by how you introduce your product or service to draw interest from the listeners. A boring introduction will lead to the audience losing their interest and patience to listen more.
Step 2: Then Follow up
Once you have introduced your new product or service to the targeted market audience, make sure that you take their contact or at least know where you can find them in the next visit. This will be important for follow-ups .
Do not introduce your product or service to the market and then go back to the office and wait for the customers to come. Remember your launching a new product or service to a market that already (maybe) has similar stuff, therefore, follow-up on the people you pitched your product or service and remind them that you’re there for them all the time.
Step 3: Build Rapport
During the follow-ups on the targeted customers who had introduced your product or service to, don’t just show up and remind them about your business. Go further and get to know the same customers better.
Open up general discussions about life in your follow-ups. One the art of humor or anecdotes during your follow-ups. And also remember the names of all the targeted customers you’re doing follow-ups on. You can be writing down their names during your introduction phases.
During this rapport building, stages make sure that you avoid sensitive discussions, especially around politics because this can spoil everything.
Step 4: Offer Something valuable
After you have built the report, and the targeted customers are comfortable with your visits, then go a step further and engage them on how they can uptake your product or service. This could be through offering them discounts, offers, and other incentives. Or if possible you can offer them to sue your product or service for free during their first couple of days if they commit to buying.
Make this target customers feel you value their time and partnership in buying for your business.
Public Relations Is All About Business Development
Public Relations is all about building your business to the next desired level. For start-ups that are new in the market, there is actually no need to hire a public relations firm to sell your business idea since you actually need to understand your targeted market through direct interaction , you haven’t made enough revenue yet to hire extensive public relations services and you may have the time (something that big companies don’t have ). So, it’s my advice for start-ups to do the public relations roles themselves.