The dictionary defines hack as ‘to cut or chop with repeated and irregular blows’ and that’s exactly what PR will not do for you.
This is actually a common misunderstanding that many startups face. They think the day they take PR help, be it from a person or an agency, that they’ll be seen on the front pages of a newspaper and be trending on social media.
PR is like a pretty box, which houses all your outreach to the media, in the effort to secure some earned media. But the role of modern day Public Relations has massively evolved, because we’re living in an age of always-on conversations. A good example is how the Benue-based Singer Vic O dropped a diss track for two popular artists and immediately started trending on social media, and blogs too carried it the next day. I am not suggesting that this action from him was PR-inspired, but it’s an example to testify the always-on conversations age we’re living in.
What’s common to all startups is the passion that they posses for their product or service. It’s sometimes not justified, but it’s infectious for sure. This matters to the media outreach startups plan for themselves. People may question your offering, it’s ingenuity, it’s creativity and originality, but no one can ever question the passion you’ll get to the table.
If there was one thing that startups need to start doing, with respect to PR, it’s deciding what their key message is. Coke is about “Happiness”. Apple is about “thinking different”. Dell is about “the power to do more”. Mercedes-Benz is about “the best or nothing”. Everything they say or do, via PR, advertising, events or digital, is about their key message. What’s yours?
Jan. 18: Bonus Built in Africa episode: Town Hall meeting with Peter Salovey, President of Yale University
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