You’re starting to think about securing a new round of investment. So you ramp up networking in startup circles, you start building materials and cultivating contacts, and you strategize about how to show up outside an investor’s kid’s preschool.
This is also the ideal time to be thinking about public relations. When you approach fundraising exclusively through relationships and networking, you essentially convince everyone individually that you’re worth the investment.
Instead, by deploying PR strategically, you streamline the introductions to what you do, because your target investors will have read and heard about you already. In fact, they may even start lining up to fund you … turning the tables on who’s courting whom.
As one of our customers recently put it, after even just one press release, “we received immediate investment interest, which was a catalyst in reaching our next phase of development.”
The trick, though, is starting early. If you wait until you’re already actively fundraising to do any of this, you’ll in for an uphill battle.
So, here are our top tips for using PR to attract investors:
1. Define your narrative. Be hyper clear about what you do and how you benefit customers. Have a mission statement and a company one-pager, and make sure everything you say aligns to it. When you’re finally sick of hearing yourself repeat the same thing, that’s when others might finally be hearing it.
2. Know who your investors trust. Identify the type of investors you’re looking for, then understand the information sources they trust. That doesn’t only mean journalists; it can also be digital influencers or board members. (Hint: Spry can help identify the right trusted sources).
3. Build relationships early. Relationships with media and influencers are just like with customer – start cultivating it well before you want to close the deal. Connect with them on social, meet them at in-person events, and let them get to know you before insisting they write about you.
4. Establish a base of content. In the interim, search is your friend. Build an active blog, use your LinkedIn page to publish blog posts, and showcase not just what your company does but also your unique expert perspective (in PR jargon, your thought leadership).
5. Create news hooks. Think creatively about how to secure interest or coverage. Can you uncover anonymized customer data or noteworthy trends? Spotlight a new hire or a community initiative? These might not all get covered, but your consistent press releases show momentum and ensure people know not just your name, but what you do.
The good news is, if you start early and harness the latest technologies, you can achieve this far simpler and affordably than you think.
For starters, tap on-demand experts through Spry to define your narrative and identify the influencers and media who matter most (such as this list of the top 60 startup journalists: https://sospry.com/downloads/complete-startup-media-list/). Spry can give you a roadmap to where to go and how to get there that gives you a firm starting position.
Then, tap freelance journalists (again through Spry) to write compelling press releases, blog posts or LinkedIn thought leadership – tied to the creative news hooks noted above. Then all you have to do is share these with the contacts you’re cultivating.
The sooner you start, the better the results. Done right, you’ll have investors knocking down your door to get a chance to support your world-changing idea.