PR Strategy For Business: The Company Launch

News crew setting up to report on the floods

News crew setting up to report on the floods (Photo credit: max_wedge)

Economics and economies are contributing to the start-up and along with the great idea to launch a company comes the need for solid public relations counsel to strategize about the best way to distribute news.

Gone are the days when launching the company was straightforward. What we used to do was develop a media list, write a press release and get it approved, and then start pitching media one by one with phone calls, followed by executive interviews, and stories that appeared in media outlets.

I’m not going to say that was easy, but it certainly pales in comparison to what we do today (she said with excitement!).

Blending Traditional With Digital

Launching a company today requires in-depth strategy and a healthy regard for the social media sphere.

When a start-up is launching a company website at the same time it’s trying to establish a brand and reputation, there are elements to activate that enable a one-two punch in logical sequence.

A website with language by copywriters and marketers needs to launch with the appropriate optimization and back-end analytics tools.

Meanwhile, a message map should be orchestrated from which a few news releases and fact sheets are created.

The media list is trickier these days. Media outlets have fewer reporters on staff and also fewer print editions. Many publications are strictly online which means the lead time for publishing the news (especially if it’s hard news with a time element) is zilch. If an editor likes a story, he can clear a blank web page and run it! Funny, but true; you get the idea of the immediacy of the news cycle.

What that means is the PR team has to button up and think about every news angle, its impact on the company, how it should be communicated, and when. Please read this sentence twice; it is that important for your business’s success.

Factors To Consider

  • Should the news go on the wire, just online or both?
  • Should social media channels post the news same day and repeat it or wait?
  • Which social media channel should be regarded as primary for corporate news; how about consumer news?
  • Should bloggers be pitched? How about important journalists? Should you pitch them online via Twitter or traditionally via phone and email?
  • Do you want to field requests for interviews that are inbound or do you want to be aggressive and pitch and earn the hits?
  • Is your spokesperson trained using the message map? Is there a Q&A developed so spokespeople are prepared and not blindsided?
  • Has the PR team created a media brief of reporters who call requesting an interview?
  • When should a blog post news of a launch? Before or after a news release?

And, there is so much more.

The primary takeaway is not to confuse you, Ms. or Mr. Business; it’s to encourage you to hire a qualified public relations strategist with media relations expertise. Have no fear…I’m right here.

 

 

 

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6 comments
3HatsComm
3HatsComm

There really is A LOT more - and this is mostly just the publicity piece. Integrate full on social, PR to get other stakeholders - vendors, investors, employees, etc. - it's even more. And the sequence, timing is important. Had a 'coffee consult' a while back, one of those brain-pickings we hate and I swear, I actually HEARD the lightbulb pop over her head when I mentioned that I need the web done (or at least solid foundation) before doing anything as 'simple' as biz cards, brochure. Starting a new business, no matter how small, is a big thing. It's why pros like us are here to help. FWIW.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @3HatsComm You are absolutely correct...there's too much to share in a short blog post, however, if I (and you in comments) can communicate the necessity of hiring a professional to help, that's the ultimate goal.

 

Too many ignore that basic need, and the launch fails to go off as planned. Mind you, even with experts on board, this new normal creates a moving target and the pros needs to be highly flexible.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing So many small biz try to start, grow and sustain a brand when they don't the help they need, aren't willing to pay for talent (staff or consultant), nor put in the time to learn what's what. They want to pay $49.95 for a 'news' release about them opening a new store and then wonder why - b/c they haven't even read one post as smart as this! - why nothing happened. Sigh.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@jennwhinnem @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Of the 1,379 companies opening its doors (aka email account, trunk and iPhone) this week - yours is one of the 254 I care most about. :-)