Defining a startup can be challenging; is it based on company size, yearly or quarterly growth or projected income? While most people define a startup as a company in the early stages of its operation, there are no hard and fast rules of the definition.
We see a lot of startups in the consumer goods industry; everything from the small 2 man operation to larger teams with well over 100+ employees. While there is a place and time to be defined as a startup, as public relations professionals and brand consultants, there comes a time when we have to encourage the companies we support to evolve.
We know growth can be tough, especially for companies, but eventually every company will be faced with pertinent decisions about their future. To prepare for those moments, we have a few tips to prime your company for the transition from startup to the growth phase and ultimately transform into an established company.
Of course, this is our agency’s bread and butter. By developing core media programs that include company profiles and executive interviews that not only demonstrate thought leadership, but company growth, can be a determining factor when legitimizing a business or organization. The media not only creates a framework for discussion, but provides a platform for a brands’ message to be told to a wider, interested body of consumers and investors. The agency shapes and molds the message with the media to help accelerate a company into the forefront of consumer’s attention.
Effective media relations also give companies the chance to be seen by retailers and buyers. The agency pinpoints publications with readerships in key retail markets ensuring the product is seen by decision makers and buyers. Not only do retail partnerships create a steady stream of income, but provide a wider distribution of messaging which can help accelerate a company on all fronts.
Media relations isn’t the be-all and end-all for transitioning a company from startup to established. It takes a holistic approach. Everything from the look and feel of the company website to formal headshots and expertly crafted executive bios, no detail should be overlooked when entering the competitive space of Corporate America. Adding a creative edge with polished assets can create the perception of an established company even if the startup hasn’t quite reached established level yet.
Your PR representative should not only be a brand ambassador with the media, but provide guidance and direction during the entire growth process. PR representatives should seek and cultivate opportunities for brand growth by encouraging participation in mentor or accelerator programs, panel discussions and speaking engagements. Further, PR representatives should provide continuous brand counsel during these programs ensuring the brand’s message is being formed effectively and appropriately.
With the knowledge and know how from your public relations team, the agency can be a driving force for brand growth. Sam Cooke said it best, “It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gon’ come”, and if executed properly, those changes can effectively move a company from startup to established.