Upraise Marketing & Public Relations president Tim Johnson talks with Doug Simon about what it takes to get the best results when your client is a smaller startup on the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

“I love working with startups because the people have all of this energy,” Johnson says. “They really need help and know they need help, so that’s creating a great environment to work with.”

The first thing that Upraise focuses on, he says, is “trying to get a lot of the basics in place.” Some of those basics are “getting media going and getting them trained, getting them prepared, working on their key messages and working on how they present themselves.” They also include working with clients on social media, speakers programs and content development programs.

Johnson talks about the strengths that come with being a smaller agency. In addition to being able to move faster than a larger firm might be able to, he tells Simon that small agencies can give startup clients greater access to senior PR pros. “A company with a budget of five to ten thousand dollars a month wouldn't get anywhere near somebody with my level of experience at a big agency.”

He also says that working with clients who have smaller budgets makes it essential for an agency to “try to outthink and be more creative than our competitors with bigger budgets.”

How to develop and keep talent is another pivotal area that comes up for discussion. “I think about when I was an account executive,” Johnson says. “What did I want in my environment and what did I get that I liked and what did I get that I didn't like?”

Those concerns can cover factors ranging from where an office is located to offering employees personalized training. “I look at the accounts that they're on and I look at the accounts that they want to be on, and I'm very focused on where they want to take their career.”

Johnson also offers some tips on what leaders at startups need to bring to the table. “They need to think about investing in marketing and devoting the time that's necessary to make it successful. A good agency will pick and choose when they need the CEO. But when they say they need the CEO, he or she really needs to appear. And if you look at successful startups, they're often the ones where the CEO is willing to do that.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.