I am a Startup baby, who has been learning a lot since she entered the world of #Entrepreneurs. Based on my observation so far, I have tried to put up some of my views regarding whats , whys & hows of – Public Relations, External Communications , #Social Media & #Marketing , especially around #Startup Accelerator Programs .
Now, I ain’t no expert in the media industry, but this is my sincere 1st attempt at understanding PR in this era of new age media and penning down the same.
1. Public Relations
PR according to me, should address the following needs / concerns :
-Understanding the notions that exist in the market regarding your Company, Offerings, Products / Services & designing effective strategies to ensure that what your intentions are rightly communicated
-Creating brand awareness & right public image
-Striking the right chord in the minds of both – the direct end user as well as the media
-Creating content that can be used as tools for building relations with different communities, marketing & advertising
-Earning the attention from media instead of paying for it
-Managing Crisis situations
2. External Communications
A #startup accelerator needs to connect with various communities in order to ensure it’s visibility at all times. External communication can be through various channels
a. Online (Web) – Social Media, Promotional Emails, Blogs, Newsletters, eMagazines, Interviews etc..
b. Offline – Newspapers, Magazines, Press Conference, Talk-shows, Promotion Events, Launches, Posters etc..
Content is the crux of these communications. This could be in the form of –
a. Informal / Direct – Story, Info-graphic, Short movie, Speeches, Call for applications, Response to inquiries/applications etc..
b. Formal / Indirect – Press Release, Articles, Statements etc..
The aim of maintaining external communications is to build awareness, grow audience, neutralize disasters, correct wrong notions , serve up to date information on a platter right in front of the targeted audience so as to ensure a long lasting relation with large communities.
3. Who should be targeted & How
Consider the case of a well-established, yet less popular startup accelerator. Following are certain ways to go about targeting, marketing and building public relations –
a. Students – Posters/Handouts/Guest Lectures/Events etc. @ Schools & Colleges highlighting Student Entrepreneurship Programs & Job enabling opportunities ( Region / Locality based information dissemination )
c. Start Ups – ‘Target the Problem’ as well as ‘Full Package’ approach on Social media & other channels.
Example 1 – What I call ‘Target the problem approach’
The accelerator provides various solutions to the possible problems any Start-Up may face, we could create content for each problem and the concerned Accelerator Program as a solution for that.
Example 2 – What I call ‘Full Package approach’
Visual story, consolidating all problems and their solutions by the Program. Story of a start-up that has actually leveraged most of the benefits @ the accelerator.
d. Partners – Collaboration Invites, Conferences, Appreciation on Social Media & Other Public occasions to build a rapport apart from regular updates. Potential partners should be targeted for Accelerator Partner Program.
e. Media – Roll out exciting press Releases, Stories, Launch events to capture their attention apart from direct formal communications.
f. Investors – Provide Insightful content on the Funding Segment, such as statistics on Start-Ups in different sectors (Health Care, Ecommerce, IoT etc). Covering investor stories would make it a two way communication.
1. Interactive & Directed Social Media communications could play a vital role in capturing attention not only for the specific segment but also for XYZ as a brand.
2. Open Call for Media Start-Ups to conduct a tour of the Facility could create a buzz.
3. Location based stories ; Usually, people in India (for that matter most countries) are interested in knowing more about which Indian Start-Up got funded, or enrolled in accelerator etc. and what was the story behind it.
4. Personally sending appreciative or encouraging messages on Social media channels helps build a good rapport and increases the probability of referrals.
5. Increasing the frequency of generating content on new age media such as Mobile Magazines, You Tube Channel could give entrepreneurs a glimpse of what they can really achieve through the Program(s).
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