PR and communications are crucial business functions that you need from the early start-up phases. However, without being able to easily put a number on the ROI PR drives, it can be difficult to get buy-in from investors to build this business area.
In this article we will give you some pointers to help you show the value of PR, and importantly, help you demonstrate what can be achieved through PR.
A coherent story and messaging is paramount
Having a coherent story, defined and honed by a professional from the outset is valuable for a number of reasons:
It will help you to attract and put together a strong pitch to new investors
You will be able to make productive approaches to potential clients and customers
You can begin to create an employer brand and make your first hires
You can start generating some publicity without investing in more expensive marketing campaigns
You don’t necessarily need to invest in a full-time employee at this time, it may be that you begin with agency or freelance/consultancy support before making your first hire.
In the early days, a PR professional should help you to define your key messages, tone of voice and elevator pitch. They should help you to tailor this to your different audiences and identify opportunities to reach those audiences.
Without a strong foundation to articulate your business’s purpose and the value you will bring to these audiences, you could find yourself struggling to attract attention and not making impact with valuable interactions with the media etc.
Generating awareness and credibility for low levels of investment
Strong PR support can help you to punch above your weight in terms of generating awareness. Getting coverage in key publications and earning endorsement from journalists and influencers will help to elevate your brand early on and get you onto the radar of your key audiences.
PR professionals specialise in generating exposure and shining a spotlight on a business without having to pay the publication or influencer for the privilege. You invest money in the PR’s services, and largely, they will secure opportunities that don’t need additional budget.
While it’s difficult to put a value on a mention in a relevant publication, or an endorsement for your business, there is no doubt that you would be investing heavily in digital marketing activities to get the same level of recognition.
Aligning metrics to business objectives helps demonstrate value
Measurement and reporting is a tricky area for PR professionals, and often where PR teams struggle to demonstrate their value. To highlight the value they are bringing, you should ensure your PR team (or individual) is reporting on metrics that align with the business’ objectives and make sense to investors.
The focus should be on the outcomes instead of outputs. Here are a few helpful metrics you could incorporate into your reporting process.
Ultimately, if you can prove that PR efforts are helping to get the brand recognised by the right people and raising awareness of your products and services, you are putting yourself in a great position to generate sales.
If, on top of that, you can prove to investors that your PR efforts are helping to generate traffic to your website (and therefore giving you a good opportunity to convert) you will be in a good position to demonstrate the ROI on your PR activity.