You’ve got the idea. Your business plan is in place. The financing is ready to roll. Now you’re ready to launch. Let the media tour begin, right?
In today’s world, launching a new company isn’t just a news release or even a media tour. There are simply too many new companies and products are hitting the market every day. To ensure a successful launch, a complex set of variables must be considered before hit the market. A well-defined strategy is the key to providing a strong platform for not only the launch, but the on-going growth of your new venture.
Public relations unlocks the door to what, how and when you should be communicating. As the backbone for setting the tone for a new company, public relations shapes your firm’s personality, and provides the basis for its credibility and reputation from the time until your success peaks.
As a result, public relations is a critical tool that must be included in your new company’s launch toolbox.
Here are the top five things that must be included in your public relations campaign:
• What’s the message? Every company should have solid messaging developed before it launches. The messages should explore: What are the key factors that will drive the company personality? What do you want to be known for? What are the pillars that contribute to your team, product or service, and digital footprint?
These messages form the foundation for all future communications serve as a springboard for all public relations activities.
• What’s the end goal for the company? Your communications and public relations planning must address the following: Where do you want to go? Who is your primary and secondary audience? Creating a vision that your team and your audience(s) understand and embrace will provide clarity on the steps that must be taken to achieve success.
• What are the best channels for reaching your audience? Your PR campaign should integrate a variety of communications tools that support your goals. In today’s world, these include content generation, media placements, sponsored content, social media – LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to name a few – branding, advertising, conference attendance, speaking engagements and more. Clearly, understanding your goals and knowing how to select the best tools and channels to put in your launch toolbox are crucial.
• What’s the launch budget? No company has an unlimited budget. A strong PR campaign means investing wisely in only those initiatives render the best possible return on your investment. That said, unexpected opportunities and challenges will come up as you move forward. You should consider a contingency budget to cover the costs of these unexpected issues – particularly during a launch. By planning for the unexpected, you’ll be able to explain – and move past – any hiccups that occur, as well as take advantage of any great, but costly opportunities that surface.
• Start Early. A strategic public relations plan means starting early. Providing relevant content to reporters, bloggers and influencers means generating consistent, on-going content that is timely and relevant. Preparing as much as possible in advance will make it easier and faster to roll out the program. Make sure your roll-out strategy is nailed down tight by asking yourself which key reporters you want to target first. Is an exclusive editorial ‘sit down’ with key targets worthwhile? Is a pre-launch ‘coming soon’ social media launch appropriate? Be sure to establish social media platforms in advance, complete with appropriate company information and initial content. Gather photography, create posts, and generate a pre-launch posting schedule.
So what’s the bottom line? Launching a company is exciting. There is no question that seeing it come to fruition provides a sense of satisfaction unlike any other. To make sure this happens, include a strong public relations campaign in your toolbox.
About the author: Leeza L. Hoyt, APR is the president of the Hoyt Organization, Inc., a full service, strategic public relations agency based in the Los Angeles area. Ranked on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of PR agencies, the 25+-year old firm is the Los Angeles agency partner of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN.org) a group of more than 50 agencies located around the world. For more information visit