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5 Questions to Ask Before Launching Your Startup PR Campaign

Andrew Cross

I’ve worked with a lot of startups, and there’s one thing they tend to have in common: moving quickly. Entrepreneurs don’t have time to second guess once a decision has been made, but that decision still needs to be informed.

Many startups come to Walker Sands looking for PR without knowing whether they’re ready to handle it. For that reason, I put together this guide on the questions entrepreneurs should ask before they take the plunge with PR. I’ve included the opening section below, and the full version is available here.

Whitepaper Photo

As an entrepreneur, you know this story well.

You’ve spent the better part of a year prepping for this launch. You’ve put in place all the legal prerequisites. You’ve secured the right sales partnerships to get this thing off the ground. Your engineers haven’t slept in a week, fueled by Chinese take-out and enough Red Bull to kill a moose.

The time has come for the big unveil. Now you’re ready to open the floodgates. Or are you?

Before launching a PR and marketing blitz, it’s time for a quick reality check. Having worked closely with companies to launch countless new products and services, we’ve seen a few trends emerge, and the most successful companies aren’t afraid to ask themselves a few questions up front.

These questions are more than boxes to check off. In many ways, they are determining factors for success.

Here are five of the most essential:

1. What’s your story?

Not the boilerplate on your ‘About Us’ page. The one you tell clients every year at the holiday party. The one that answers the question, “Why do we exist?”

Cisco co-founder Leonard Bosack was working at Stanford when he wanted a better way to communicate with his wife. He found a way to connect a pair of local area networks (LANs) across campus, and the idea for Cisco was born. They came up with the company name – a shortened reference to San Francisco – while driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is symbolized in their logo.

You aren’t Cisco, but you already have a go-to narrative for the sales process, and you probably have a story that’s resonated with investors. It’s a story that needs to show (not tell) what you’re all about and just as importantly, what problem you solve.

A good PR firm will help you articulate this story. They’ll be able to distill it down to a 30-second sound bite, or even into a 140-character tweet. They’ll help you get it in front of the right eyeballs. But at the end of the day, it’s your story, and you need to embody it.

2. What kind of ammunition do you have?

Once you have your story, you need a strong plan outlining how to tell it – at the right time, to the right audience and with the right key messages. What tools do you have at your disposal?

To keep reading, head on over to the Walker Sands website and grab the full version.