Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

If you’re a startup, public relations is probably one of the last items on your to-do list. There’s usually so much going on during the early stages, with product development, customer acquisition, operations, fundraising and sales, that there’s hardly any room to even think about PR. Communications professionals or teams are usually the last hires in the room. However, there are many merits and reasons to hire a PR firm or have an in-house PR specialist from the get go. Brand building is important to all aspects of the business, from sales to luring investors.

Here are a few reasons why having a PR team is the right choice for your start-up:

Getting funding

One of the most important goals of a startup is to raise funds so that the company can exist and operate. For the most part, startups don’t have any recognition and the public is usually unaware of its existence. This results in investors being hesitant about providing capital to a unknown business.

This is where PR can come in. PR can help secure media coverage and write-ups that will create awareness and enthusiasm about the startup. Not only do they help in getting coverage, with their expertise, PR professionals can help secure the right kind of coverage that is essential to reiterating the brand message. Startups that have already established some sort of positive reputation with news of the new project have a better chance getting investors excited.

Getting Exposure

If you want to survive in this market, exposure is a must. Startups can hire PR professionals or agencies to build a favorable image of the company to the right audience. Image can also be a deciding factor when it comes whether a company is successful or not by determining product sales. A product or service that has exposure and is in the limelight is more trusted than a product or service that people have never heard of.

Creativity and innovation

The job of a PR agency or professional is to deliver the client’s message in a unique, creative and authentic way. Therefore, when it comes a typical PR approach such as pitching to the media, they’re looking for the most out of the box and attention grabbing way to do so. In addition to brainstorming and implementing innovative ideas, PR professionals will use their networks, contacts and expertise to makes sure the messaging is reaching the right audience.

Crisis management

Due to lack of experience, many startups fumble and make wrong turns when it comes to handling crises. However, PR professionals are experts in the art of damage control and are well-equipped to handle crisis situations. Whether it’s disgruntled customer feedback, negative press, or faults in manufacturing, PR firms have experience and the know-how to handle and respond to such situations. A good PR agency can provide advice and a swift action plan so the damage can be minimized in a short time period.

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Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.