创业项目/公司PR指南-A guide to PR for startups Craig Kerstiens



Summary:As I’ve talked to more startups lately, it’s become clear that effectively working with PR teams and the media is mostly learned by doing.In-house PR is a full time person or team that works within your company, here you’ll often have a pretty different experience.Some pretty basic templates of standard questions for customers and partners can go along way in helping you actually uncover what they feel your value is.But it’ll include key things about recent articles written by the reporter, their beat, topics to dive into and ones to stay away from.

摘要:随着我最近与更多的初创公司交谈,很明显,有效地与公关团队和媒体合作大多是在实践中学习的.内部公关是一个全职的人或团队,在你的公司内部工作,在这里你通常会有一个相当不同的经验。 一些相当基本的客户和合作伙伴的标准问题模板可以帮助你真正发现他们觉得你的价值是什么.但它会包括关于记者最近写的文章的关键事情,他们的节拍,主题深入和那些远离。

You’ve built your product and you’re now ready for your first major launch. Or you’ve been through a launch or two, but are looking to scale the process as you’re doing more launches and announcements. You really have two options: do it all on your own, or work with a PR agency. One frequent crossroad is that you’re not at the point of a full time PR person, but unsure what a PR agency can offer you; and, further what’s the best way to work with them so you’re getting the maximum value.


As I’ve talked to more startups lately, it’s become clear that effectively working with PR teams and the media is mostly learned by doing. Because there’s not much guidance out there, here’s an attempt at some basic guidelines.


First there’s two types here and they’re not mutually exclusive. In-house PR is a full time person or team that works within your company, here you’ll often have a pretty different experience. From my experience, in-house PR people tend to understand a company message and vision because they are living and breathing your company values every day.


The other alternative is hiring a PR agency. An agency will have several (sometimes hundreds!) of clients. The relationship that you’ll have with an agency is much different than in-house. You’ll use them just like you would a consultant or contractor. Most startups end up with the agency approach first, because of the perception of “more people working for a cheaper cost than hiring in-house.” However, it’s of note an agency doesn’t alleviate you of doing work, nor should you want them to handle all parts of it.

另一种选择是雇佣一家公关公司。公关公司会有几个(有时是几百个!)客户。您与代理公司的关系与内部关系有很大不同。你会像使用顾问或承包商一样使用他们。大多数初创公司最终都会先选择代理公司的方式,因为他们认为 “更多的人工作,成本比内部雇佣更便宜”。然而,值得注意的是,一个代理机构并不能减轻你做工作的负担,你也不应该希望他们处理所有的部分。

An agency may offer to help with messaging, but take this somewhat lightly. I don’t doubt that some are very good at it, but in most cases I’ve found they don’t have the same amount of customer interaction as you as a founder or early employee would. Further, your vision of impact to the market and direction may be more distant than theirs. You should expect to own your messaging, just like you own your product.


Where they can heavily help is providing a lot of structured frameworks for helping you get to your messaging. Some pretty basic templates of standard questions for customers and partners can go along way in helping you actually uncover what they feel your value is.


On your key messaging/value prop, there’s two pieces I’ll drop in here. While I’d love to write another long post on it, I wonder when I’ll actually get it out. So the first is pitch the problem you’re trying to solve–Dave McClure talks about this as well as anyone. The second is don’t pitch features, pitch the use cases and solutions. Pitch what’s possible

关于你的关键信息传递/价值道具,有两块我就不说了。虽然我很想再写一篇长文,但我不知道什么时候才能真正把它写出来。所以,第一条是要把你要解决的问题投递出去–ave McClure和其他人一样,都在谈论这个问题。第二,不要推销功能,要推销用例和解决方案。宣传可能的事情

This is the number one area I’ve found that having PR makes a huge difference. In the world of reporting, different reporters have different beats (areas of coverage), styles, outreach preferences, and most importantly, different relationships with companies and people. Knowing all of this and how to pitch a story to them is key. Yes you can spend hours researching and creating a perfect story just for them, and do that again, and again and hopefully land some coverage. But I’d argue a bit: that’s not the best use of your time.


With a good PR person or agency you’ll be able to strike a mix of:


• Here’s the outlets I want to be in and why (have a good reason for why).

* 这里的网点 我想在和为什么(有一个很好的理由)。

• What outlets you feel like your key customers are reading, and validate this with the agency.

* 你觉得你的关键客户在读什么网点,并与代理公司进行验证。

From there, if you’ve found a good agency they already have relationships with your key journalists / publications. So if you have a compelling product, you just need to give them the right messaging of the particular launch or news.


What else to expect from your agency


A surprise for some is how the whole process works. The agency is going to be there on the phone with you. You’re not going to hang out over beers while pitching being chummy. The reporter is listening to multiple other pitches, it’s likely they had one right before you and right after. The agency is there listening, helping keep time and track of conversation for reporter fact-checking after the interview.


Hopefully they’re also keeping notes. They should be able to provide you with some high level notes of what message resonated with each reporter and what didn’t, what you covered, and what they asked. This is especially useful for future interactions.


Similarly you should get a briefing 1 pager ahead of time. You should be able to skim this, you don’t have to memorize. But it’ll include key things about recent articles written by the reporter, their beat, topics to dive into and ones to stay away from. If you can connect the dots, those notes from an initial call start to feed into the 1 pagers for future calls.


Of course it’s important to land the briefing in the first place, but just as important is getting it right. Coming into it, the reporter will have already gotten the high level pitch… It’s why they took the call. You’ll get a mixed bag of those that are open to teeing up the opportunity to those that want to get right to the news. Roll with what they prefer, but also don’t be afraid of trying to hit some of your key points.


Sound bites help hugely here. Analogies, customer references, whatever you want to hit. Have it ready. Also if you’ve got a great sound bite that helps tell the story, it can make the reporter’s job easier. Just don’t swing too far into happy go lucky marketing land. It’s important to remember that you’re talking to a person. Have a conversation – don’t talk at them.

声音片段在这里有很大的帮助。类比,客户参考,任何你想击中的东西。把它准备好。此外,如果你有一个很好的声音剪辑,有助于讲述故事,它可以使记者的工作更容易。只是不要太过摇摆到快乐去幸运的营销土地。重要的是要记住,你是在和一个人说话。有一个谈话 – 不要在他们说话。

It may seem obvious when you think about it, but as you’re talking the reporter is writing. Or at least you hope they are. Some do it by hand and type up notes late, some type right then and there. When you hear a pause it doesn’t always mean to keep going and it seldom means hurry up. Become extra comfortable with pauses. Check in if you’re going to fast, if they’re following, if they have any questions. I’ve had people bring me in a beer before because I’d had multiple cups of coffee through a few pitches, and they were trying to slow me down a bit. Know your pace, and then slow it down.


It’s okay if they don’t have a lot of questions, they may not. They may have none at all. Yes, pause, and give them a chance, or even ask if they have any. But don’t stress too much if they have no questions.


On the flip side of that – you’re PR person should have prepared a list of questions for you beforehand that the reporter could possibly throw your way. Be sure you’ve thought through and practiced all the Q&A scenarios before the interview so you aren’t caught off-guard when you’re in front of the reporter.


If it’s your first go around, don’t stress too much. Have the headlines you want in your mind and key messages, or better yet write them out. Personally I write key things on a whiteboard nice and large before I’m on the call. Finally once you’re all done, enjoy reading the coverage. But you’re not all done after you get some coverage look back, run a retrospective just like you would for a software project. What worked well, why did or didn’t something work. What can you improve next time.


*Full disclosure, this is based across interactions with a small sample size of different PR agencies and individuals. Mileage may differ heavily from PR firm to PR firm, but hopefully the above provides at least some roadmap for more clarity vs. flying blind. As always if you’ve got feedback/questions, feel free to let me know @craigkerstiens


Finally a special thanks to Paul Katsen for much of the inspiration on creating this post and to he and Katie Boysen for review

最后要特别感谢Paul Katsen,感谢他和Katie Boysen对这篇文章的评论,感谢他的灵感。


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