How to Leverage PR for a Development Stage Company

Let's face it … the early years of a development stage company can be daunting. You have to conduct market research, develop your product and secure adequate funding to get your venture off the ground.

You’ve invested time, energy and resources to prepare your product launch. But are you truly ready to share it with the marketplace?

PR Success Factors for a Development Stage Company

The next step feels like it should be to launch a full-blown PR and marketing campaign. But before you jump into a PR campaign, you need to slow down and answer several key questions that will ultimately determine your success.

Walker Sands’ white paper, "5 Questions to Ask Before Launching a PR Campaign for Startups," describes five essential factors to consider:

  1. What’s Your Story? Why does your company exist? You should have a go-to narrative that conveys your message to investors and audience members. A strong PR firm will help you develop and share this story. Even more, they'll help you get it in front of the right audiences.
  2. How Will You Share Your Story? Now that you have your narrative, you need to know how you're going to tell it. Identify the tools and platforms you have at your disposal and take advantage of collateral like white papers, blogs, video, etc. Use the people within your company to tell compelling stories to the media. Your customers and clients can serve as brand advocates. And remember: best stories are often told across several platforms, not just one.
  3. How Will You Measure and Define Success? Once you've nailed down your story and identified collateral, you need to figure out how to quantify the results. But without a set of defined goals, you could easily use outdated metrics that don't truly measure PR effectiveness. Instead, try analyzing things like:
    • Growth in sales of a particular product or service
    • Qualified leads
    • Increase in web traffic to a landing page
    • Social media conversations and audience sentiment over time.

    Unless you track these crucial KPIs, you can't gauge which strategies are working and which ones need improvement.

  4. Are You Open to Criticism? The fact of the matter is that your customers have a big say in your brand's reputation. They're active on social media and in touch with the latest industry trends. So you want to be visible across these platforms. As a development stage company, you're likely no stranger to criticism. Now, social followers will have a say, too. They can be critical of your products or services - be prepared to engage and respond in constructive ways. .
  5. Do You Have the Time to Dedicate to PR? Devoting time to an external public relations program takes time and resources. Many businesses hire a PR team and entrust them with brand messaging—with little to no guidance. For PR to be effective, expect to invest time in:
    • Weekly meetings with your PR team
    • Conducting interviews with the media
    • Reviewing press releases, articles and contributed bylines

    For clear communications, appoint a member of your company as the go-to person for your PR firm. When a journalist calls with an interview request or technical question, the PR team can quickly respond because they know exactly who to go to.

Walker Sands: The Ultimate PR Solution for a Development Stage Company

Walker Sands can help your development stage company develop and execute PR campaigns that connect with key media targets, core audiences and industry influencers.

To learn more, download our white paper "5 Questions to Ask Before Launching a PR Campaign for Startups" or contact us today.