Starting out in business is no cheap undertaking.
Whether you’re a service provider, the inventor of a new product, or a facilitator who believes their concept will set the world on fire – money will be paramount at the outset.
You’ll be thinking about all the upfront costs which you absolutely have to swallow just to get yourself off the starting blocks….
> Registering your company
> Securing finance to buy stock or equipment
> Interviewing staff who can help realise your journey
> Shelling out for customer databases
But what about the upfront financing of your PR and marketing?
The last thing you want is to create a product that everyone wants…but have neglected to communicate with that same audience that you exist and have the answer to their prayers.
These days, most enterprising business founders will ‘get’ that they need to invest from the outset in some degree of exposure.
Initially, that might see them:
>Adopt a brand identity
> Get it online (commission or build a website)
> And perhaps start flashing the new business cards or office signage.
Yes, PR can often seem like a ‘luxury’ in a phase of business where you’re already spending out time and again on simply getting yourself into that business race, but it’s no good penny-pinching in an area where you’ll end up with a harder battle to secure your first clients.
Ignoring the need for PR and strategic marketing advice would be much like filling in your form for a 26.2 mile marathon race and telling yourself you’d ‘done enough’ to cross the finish line….despite having no trainers, a lifestyle befitting of a sofa-slob, and not a single coach or companion to help you with your goal.
Here’s five considerations for initiating PR at the early stage of your business journey:
1) Be realistic with a budget. Don’t just barter for the cheapest. Give real thought to what you need PR to achieve for you and see it as an important investment.
2) Consider the relationship you intend to have with a Public Relations professional. Chat to several agencies or consultants. Make sure the ‘fit’ is right.
3) Know how you’ll need to measure progress. Don’t blindly go into a PR commitment without thinking through what each party would expect to be a sign of ‘success’.
4) Build in regular assessments of how the PR activity is going and how it might be tailored. This is particularly important when your enterprise is new and you’re potentially becoming aware of new opportunities you hadn’t initially expected pre-launch.
5) Enjoy it and be involved. Don’t consider appointing a PR professional should mean you standing back and having no say in what media relations activity or marketing takes place. This is ‘your’ story, so help the practitioner or agency in ‘telling’ that dialogue in a way most befitting of your ethos!