What should every startup know about public relations (PR)? Communications consultant Lindsey Green tells us in a helpful article at The Daily Muse. The key points:
- “PR is no substitute for having a great product”
- “You Want the Press That’s Right for You”
- “[D]on’t use PR to try and be something you’re not”
- “Launch is a Crapshoot”
We found the first paragraph of Green’s article particularly compelling:
PR exists to build momentum. PR gets your name out there, letting you showcase what you’re doing well and driving awareness of your offering. Because let’s face it, when you’re a brand new start-up, no matter how amazing your product, it’s going to be painfully slow growth if you have to wait for your 15 initial users to tell their friends’ friends how great you are…But PR is no substitute for having a great product. Nor is it a guarantee of sales, sign-ups, or funding—if anyone promises you otherwise, be wary!
To a dedicated, cleantech PR firm like Tigercomm, much of this advice rings true, not just for startups in general, but for cleantech startups specifically. Clearly, PR for startups is as much of an art as it is a science. Also, it’s important to point out that PR can never be a substitute for saying and doing compelling things related to your product, service, or business model. Still, we find it reassuring that the advice Green offers in this article validates much of the counsel we give to our own clients, including how to smartly and effectively generate attention and create “buzz” in a company’s respective cleantech space.
In addition, we thought this piece was helpful in that it avoided giving “one size fits all” advice. The fact is, not every company is at the same level of technological development, growth, or innovation. That’s why, as the article points out, although “we all want to be the coolest kids on the block,” it’s much more important to know who you are, who your audience is, and not to “use PR to try and be something you’re not” -- concentrated solar power provider and Tigercomm client, AREVA Solar (then-Ausra) is a good example. Smart advice like this is why we believe the article is worth a read.