PR secrets for start-ups? PR is still a long way to customers

This week we stumbled upon the post in TechCrunch PR secrets for start-ups by Brian Solis, and read the reactions of Loic Le Meur PR secrets? bullshit.

Many bloggers picked up these “PR Secrets for start-ups” and the ‘blog-conversation’ was commented by Robert Scoble in his blog Scobleizer.
We wonder who is going to benefit from the large number of posts in the end.

PR: is this Public relations?

If it is public relations, then for a start-up that will be hard to do as there is no public at start. No market segment: as it still has to be found by the real customers.
Most start-ups are not really sure who exactly will be their ‘public’. They haven’t sold much yet, and thus the market needs to be explored and defined.

There are many good examples of successful companies who missed completely their initial market: Dyson targeted his no-bag vacuum cleaner at high income, but it was being bought by 2 income families.

In our case will we sell to: SOHO, SMB (Small Midsize Businesses), SME (Small Midsize Enterprises), or International companies?
Will they mainly be Manufacturers, Distributors, Resellers or VAR (Value Added Resellers)?
The main thing we know: LEADSExplorer will sell to B2B companies, due to the nature of the web service, excluding larger corporations, who will ignore us due to our size.

PR: is this Professional relations?

We wonder personal relations with whom?
Journalists, bloggers, ‘influential people’ – who are they an how do they relate to your future buyers?

This seems to have worked for Infinity Box Inc., who had their Wufoo (Form builder) mentioned in hundreds of blogs around the world. However they will not have known all of these bloggers. And many bloggers just have copied the message from one another. Thus the 3 people of Infinity Box can’t have had a relationship with all these bloggers.

By addressing the journalists, bloggers and ‘influential people’ you can waste a lot of time on the wrong media and wrong people.
The same time could have been used to address real potential customers.

If you don’t know your public or market segment, then who will be the influencers to address?
Moreover even if you know your market segment, then you still need to know if these people will get their information from those ‘influencers’. What’s the impact of the ‘influencers’ on the real buyers?

Trial and error

We believe what a start-up need is trail and error.
You try out a press release, a partnership, a post in a blog, a comment on a blog, a directory insert or a page on your website.
Try and measure what bring s traffic what not.
Measure the conversion from the traffic by kind to leads.
Then you know what works.

– People look for the strangest things on our website. We sometimes wonder if they are looking for a solution or to know ‘how to’ for other reasons.
– Some comments on a blog did generate loads of traffic, others nothing.

PR is one person?

They always say: ask the Xerox repair man what model to buy next, when he comes around for repairing the old one. He knows best.

We believe PR is not possible by an outsider person as he hasn’t got the drive (and he/she costs money), but has to be done by everybody in the company at any place at any time.

PR costs time and money
Time and money that could be used for on hiring a telesales or call centre services, working directly on leads. Or your time calling potential customers.

We know Cold Calling isn’t appealing as it is the ‘lowest’ one can get with the fear of getting rejected, whereas PR is high level and feels great.
Cold calling is two steps away from a customer and calling upon leads is only one step away from obtaining a customer in B2B.
PR is still a long way from getting customers in B2B.
Start-ups need customers.


One Response to “PR secrets for start-ups? PR is still a long way to customers”

  • Isla Watson says:

    Telesales is actually good for promoting your affiliate products both online and offline situations.

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