Because PR, done well, will:
- Boost your professional standing
- Increase your brand recognition
- Boost your brand reputation
- Get your brand in front of more potential investors
- Grow excitement around your product or service
- Help you grab market share
And that’s far from an exhaustive list. These days, a comprehensive marketing strategy isn’t enough—you need PR in order to get your name in front of the people who are going to help you push your business to the next level.
Here’s why PR is so important during your startup’s fundraising stage, and some of the strategies you can start with.
Being seen as an expert in your field can significantly boost your chances of investment.
If you’re founding a B2B tech startup, chances are you’re already an expert in your particular field. But if people don’t know that, investors will still see you as an outsider and, therefore, a significant risk.
That’s where PR comes in. When you invest in B2B PR, you’re investing in building a portfolio of mentions, interviews, and authorship in the outlets that matter. And while PR is certainly a long game, one of the more immediate effects of these efforts is an elevation of status in your industry.
If you’re being quoted in an article or podcast about the future of your niche, or you’re authoring an opinion column about how the pandemic affected your product innovation, that’s building your credibility. Journalists don’t seek out quotes from people who don’t know what they’re doing, and publications certainly don’t publish columns if the author doesn’t have some useful information to offer readers.
Those publications, podcasts, and other news and commentary outlets are important sources of information for investors. They keep an eye on those things to get a pulse on who’s got the new ideas, who are exploring daring innovations, and more.
At the beginning stages of your startup, investors are buying into you: your story, your vision, your experiences.
When you’re raising a Series A, you’re still at the beginning of your company’s journey. Investors will look at any and all data you’re able to offer them, of course, when they’re deciding whether or not to invest—however, at this stage, they’re really buying into you and your story more than your product.
So the better you are at telling your story and getting your name out, the better.
PR is the best way to do that. By working with either a B2B PR agency or an in-house media specialist, you can secure placements and interviews, as well as more innovative PR opportunities that will help you go from totally unknown to someone who’s taking part in, if not leading, important conversations in your industry.
PR today doesn’t just mean press releases and news interviews.
If you’re thinking of PR in terms of press releases, interviews on morning shows, and speaking engagements, think again. Those activities are all still important, but digital PR offers a much wider range of opportunities today than it did a few years ago.
A B2B PR agency with its roots in digital and social media can secure you opportunities like:
- Reddit AMAs
- Alexa flash briefings
- Product Hunt product launch campaigns
- Clubhouse Room appearances
- LinkedIn and Twitter chats
These are just a few of the options that a great digital PR agency will go after on your behalf.
Sharing past successful raises can help you gather momentum as you go into a Series B.
So let’s say you’ve achieved a successful Series A, and your B2B tech company has been steadily growing and perfecting its product.
In a year or so, you’ll be gearing up for a Series B.
What does that mean for your PR efforts? It’s easy to pump the brakes when everything is sailing along smoothly, but it’s important to continue sharing your expertise and thought leadership.
In addition, at this stage in your company’s life, publicizing any successes—including the Series A you successfully raised—will help you gather momentum as you continue growing the company and getting ready to raise more capital.
PR tactics that would work well during this “quieter” phase include things like:
- Announcements of your successful Series A fundraise and your company valuation
- Announcements of new leadership or staff additions
- Interviews with new C-suite executives
- Ongoing participation in Clubhouse conversations
- Streamed product demos
- Participation in industry events and conferences
Competition is fierce for venture capital. Anything that can help you stand out from others in your field is a net positive.
Budgets are tight for startups, especially right at the beginning. Spending money on anything that isn’t strictly necessary often feels irresponsible if not downright impossible, and too often, PR gets pushed into that “not necessary” category.
However, here’s the truth: competition for venture capital is fierce. You may have a product that’s truly new and innovative, even one that lots of people seem to want—but if investors have never heard of you, that uphill climb to convince them to invest becomes far steeper than it has to be.
And if you’re in a market that’s already crowded, the chances of you standing out are extremely low.
If instead, you’ve been active in the press and on social platforms, sharing your story, your brand’s story, and your successes, investors can look to that as a form of social proof that you’re worth their time.
A few strong PR mentions can go a long way toward helping you differentiate yourself and your brand from other companies doing similar things—and that can open the door to an investor meeting.
B2B PR can help boost your company’s performance through sales, customer registrations, and more, making you more attractive to investors.
The B2B sales cycle is long and non-linear—clients often move forward and back through different stages multiple times before they finally make a purchase.
Thought leadership can be extremely effective in helping move clients through this process faster and with fewer speedbumps, both of which are critical for a B2B tech company that’s still trying to make its way in a particular space.
PR efforts like webinars, Q&A sessions, virtual conference participation, and commentary in popular publications can also help you build trusted, long-term relationships with your current clients.
This will help ensure that they’ll return to you, and not your competitor, the next time they need the product or service you sell. The more customers you retain and engage, the faster you can sustainably grow your company. And the faster you grow, the more attractive you’ll be to investors.
B2B PR can play a major role in increasing trust in your startup and attracting potential investors. Remember, PR is what allows your voice to be heard in an increasingly noisy online ecosystem.
To learn more about how PR can help your B2B tech brand, get in touch!