The old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know is as relevant now as it ever was.
Getting on in the world of fintech is all about connections and exploiting them to help you get on.
A parallel world, but one which is equally important is PR – for you, your brand and anything the business produces.
Don’t ignore the power of PR
Now, you may think that PR is something reserved for the giant brands. But do you know what some of these hugely successful businesses were before they were giants? That’s right, hugely successful smaller companies.
There are very few businesses that can afford to ignore the importance of the media, and in particular, social media. Socials have the ability to wreck corporate reputations overnight – if not quicker. A corporate only need to make a simple misstep, miscommunication, or take a more belligerent stance against what turns out to be public sentiment and it can turn nasty very quickly. And it’s a long way to come back if that happens.
You may think that is not relevant to you as you brainstorm applications for your AI engine within some fiercely complex underwriting problem. But you’d be wrong, because that’s just the bad the side of PR.
Give the business a boost
Having a public corporate profile raises the profile of the experts within your business and gives you access to your target market. And if you say things that people like or consider insightful, this will considerably boost the brand, too. The likes of PensionsBee have done very well by knowing its market and what to comment on. Similarly Starling Bank, Atom and Funding Circle know their markets and what they want to talk about.
But just as you wouldn’t ask champion ballroom dancer to code your product, you need to find a specialist PR professional or company to work with.
A good PRs have all the contacts you might need to raise your profile. They also know which are most likely to be receptive to an introduction to discuss the market and give them some useful background.
The question you should already be asking yourself, now, is: “But how do I find a good PR?” It’s easy to find out the PR companies being used by your peers, competitors or companies you wish to emulate.
But you’re already getting ahead of yourself. You first need to understand what it is they can help you achieve.
What can PRs actually do?
Firstly, they will get to understand your business and help you to set clear – and effective – PR goals.
Then, they will help you develop your story and learn how to tell it effectively.
They will target the people who will be most receptive to it while working on the more resistant over the longer term. But they will get you in front of your target audience, so that you are showcasing your talents to the right people, be they potential clients or investors.
They’ll also help you meet the right people, because media relationships are just that – a relationship. These are things that develop over time and which can produce strong alliances. Because, believe it or not, journalists are people, just like everyone else.
Leave it to the experts
Now, if you think you can do all that yourself, you’re quite right, you can. But it’s not something you’re likely to do very well. And you simply won’t have time.
Don’t get sucked into the belief that if you build “it”, they will come. They won’t.
In fact, they probably won’t even read the press release.
So instead of making a bad job of a role you are not suited to, why not find someone who can add value to the business?