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The one thing to avoid when PR-ing your start-up

Hotwire Global

Today is the big day. The day you’ve been working towards for months, maybe even years. You’ve built your highly innovative product from scratch. Your team, aligned with your standout corporate values, are on the edge of their seat, armed with balloons and celebratory cake. Your marketing team is bursting to share with the world the incredible progress the business has made. Finally, the public will get exposed to the most successful and exciting brand they’ve never heard of – at least, they haven’t heard of them yet.

That’s right – today is the day you launch your start-up.

It’s all cylinders firing at once. The product team is preparing for an influx of users, while the marketing team has everything from a press release to animated social media content ready to go. The leadership team has been rehearsing their messaging in the mirror and even the reception desk is ready to take inbound enquiries.

It should be one of the most exciting milestones in your business journey. But all too often, launch days fall flat.

Despite the hype, excitement and tireless hours poured into the preparation, launching a business can often lead to a demoralising anti-climax, leaving everyone involved asking themselves and each other ‘What happened?’.

Having worked with a range of start-ups, scale-ups, and even established businesses with new product launches, there are many reasons for a business launch to flop, but one stands out among them all.

Drinking the kool-aid.

Falling in love with your brand and company is, in many ways, part of your job. It’s important for start-up teams to be their own strongest evangelists. However, when talking to the media about your business, it’s important to look at the news and business from their perspective. And that means, leaving the kool-aid at home.

The media are looking for three key things:

  1. Is it new? Many start-ups claim to be unique and addressing a significant market gap, but if the concept is easily mistakeable for another company that is already in the market, it won’t be seen as new in the eyes of the media.
  2. Is it controversial? If there isn’t a genuinely interesting angle, the likelihood of clicks, engagement with the content, and social shares are low. These are just some of the metrics journalists are measured by today and they’re well-trained on how to spot a start-up that is more interested in their own profits than the industry problem their product can solve.
  3. Is it informative? Once you’ve ticked the first two boxes, journalists will need to have all the information in one place. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking your start-up is so exciting that the journalist will be interested in multiple emails back and forth with you to get the story they need. They’ll expect the angle, news, data points, photography, and more to all be in the initial outreach and if it isn’t, don’t be offended if they skip your email altogether.

Launching a new business isn’t easy, but it doesn’t need to be rocket science either. Join us on International Women’s Day and meet with like-minded entrepreneurs to discuss how to scale your business. You’ll hear from inspiring business leaders including Emma Lo Russo, CEO and Co-founder of Digivizer, and join group discussions with start-up and business leaders from Investible, Minnow Designs, Fingerprint for Success, Ronai Services, Hotwire Global and more.