This is a guest post from Espresso’s Stacey Jaffe, who co-founded the agency with Lisa Fox.
Espresso is an agency that works predominantly with start-ups and growing businesses. Our approach focuses on getting under the skin of the brands we work with to fully understand the business founders and their background as a means to tell their story and build a brand personality. We seek to understand our clients’ business objectives in order to utilise PR to help achieve them.
Each client is unique with their own aspirations, story to tell and objectives. Our passion and proposition is to help start-ups achieve their business and personal objectives through the means of PR.
The PR landscape has changed significantly over the last year, the boom of exciting new businesses and innovations supported by the British public has resulted in new forms of media and new opportunities for growing businesses.
Here are five top tips from us on how to approach PR for start-ups:
1. Work with clients you want to work with
The beauty of having your own agency is working with clients you want to work with. Working with clients who you fully understand or consume on a personal level is a massive benefit. If you are not the target consumer, make sure you do your research and understand your target consumer, what makes them tick and what/who influences their spending habits.
2. Reserve budget for the must-have opportunities
Start-up businesses don’t always have additional budget to spend – every penny spent must be accounted for and result in conversion. Rather than using the budget on big campaigns that undoubtedly have a risk factor, we focus the majority of budget on fee allowing us the time to fully immerse ourselves with the brand using our experience and contacts to deliver maximum results.
3. Know your target audience
The media landscape continues to evolve. Think hard about media targets, whilse some coverage/publications may look impressive, they may not reach your audience. Start-ups usually seek PR with a purpose. Whether that be ahead of fund raise, to help enter products into retail, to build the brand and audience or to kick-start sales, we concentrate our efforts on the desired results and depending on the specific objective the media focus will change. For example, if a start-up is prepping for a retail meeting, a meaty business feature in a broadsheet is useful to have up a client’s sleeve. If we’re focusing on pushing sales and building a brand identity, we’d opt for a targeted influencer programme.
4. Work with the right influencers
It’s not all about the numbers; take time to investigate engagement and followers. When we started out in PR, social media was not on the table. We’ve had to evolve and learn and now truly see the value of working with the right influencer. We tend to focus on up-and-coming influencers with a genuinely engaged following. Don’t be afraid to spend reasonable budget on influencers if they can deliver well thought out, well executed content that impacts brand reputation, drives awareness and sales.
Got big ideas for your start up or start up clientele, but working with a small budget? Take advice from The Wildlife Trusts and Tiny Tickers on their successful (and tightly-budgeted) campaigns.