SETsquared Blog

Why is PR so important to tech start ups?

It was fitting that SETsquared asked me to write a blog about why PR is so important to tech start ups around Valentine’s Day

After all, when it comes to PR for businesses in their infancy, it’s all about attraction.

I’ve worked on campaigns for every type of business, from local financial firms to international clothing technology businesses, and one thing they all have in common is that there’s always been something they have needed to attract.

In my observation, there are four stages of ‘attraction’ for a tech start up and PR has a major role to play at every one.

Attracting investment

While every out cost may seem painful during a company’s infancy, investing in PR in the start-up phase can yield a vital return on investment by helping to attract investment. A good PR agency will find a creative way to get a tech start up on investors’ radars, be that through profiling in key trade press or getting them seen at events like SETsquared’s investor showcases.

Attracting customers

Profile and awareness raising is undoubtedly the most important PR function for any tech start up and building recognition takes time. Working with a PR agency from those early days will build a brand awareness that makes it easier for sales teams to get their feet in doors.

Attracting good staff

Every good entrepreneur knows you have to build the best team to grow. But how do firms attract the best people? Positioning and promoting a company as a good place to work will help to bring people on board. Wonder why companies post pictures of their staff enjoying free ice-cream on summer days on Facebook? Or why you see pictures in the newspapers of Silicon Valley firms with slides in the office? They want people to want to work there.

Attracting an exit strategy

When corporates are looking for tech start ups to add to their research base, they’re very rarely looking at just one. Like a single person in a bar, they’re eyeing up what’s on offer and if you want to get picked, you’d better stand out. PR messaging needs to clearly define how a start-up is different from the competition and what makes it the smart investment.