A solid PR strategy is an essential component of successful fundraising for any company nowadays. This is particularly true for tech startups, as a thought-out promotional campaign is needed to properly demonstrate the importance and viability of your innovative product, service, or concept.
Most tech startup executives are well aware of this, successfully leveraging the power of expert PR to raise funding. However, all too many of them abandon their PR efforts once they’ve hooked investors and secured the funds needed for making their projects a reality.
As a matter of fact, PR is just as important post-fundraising. Once you’ve raised funds, a new PR strategy and a slightly different approach to fully take advantage of your promotional activities. Here are four reasons why.
1. Continuous branding and media presence
Neglecting PR in the period of time between fundraising and bringing the product or service to the market is a common mistake. In the case of most tech startups, this period could constitute anywhere between several months and a couple of years – which is far too long of a media absence.
After raising funding, your new PR campaign should focus on building hype around the service you’re developing, as well as reinforcing your branding and key messages in the public’s minds. This way, when you’re ready to launch your product (or seek further funds), you should have a well-prepped audience ready to turn into a customer base.
2. Fundraising can be used for a success-story angle in promotional materials
Once a tech startup has secured funding, it’s a great idea to share the news via a well-written press release, aimed at the right editors and audiences. By including the details of your fundraising achievements and milestones, you can establish your brand as successful and noteworthy. Particularly if the startup is looking to attract new talent through a PR campaign, an impressive round of funding could function as an incentive.
Similarly, information regarding successful funding rounds can be used in other promotional activities, including the brand’s Wikipedia page and social media.
Wherever possible, it’s recommended to include the amount that has been raised. This gives the story credibility and reflects the rate of success achieved by the company. Although there are some investors who’ll be reluctant to allow your PR rep to share such details, it’s worth taking the time to convince them it’s a good idea.
3. Sharing your investors’ profiles will strengthen your own
Funding forges a connection between the startup and the investors. This association can be leveraged in a post-fundraising PR campaign, particularly if one or more of the investors represent a prestigious venture or brand. Being publicly associated with them gives the tech startup much-needed credibility.
A good PR campaign should be used to spread the news that an investor (or several) saw the potential in the startup and chose to provide funds for it. This will help to put the startup on the public radar, raise awareness of its activity, and attract both future investors and future customers.
4. It’s an opportunity to share your startup’s vision
A tech startup should leverage every opportunity to share its values, vision, and growth strategy, particularly at stages preceding the official launch of the product or service. This is an important element of something we’ve touched on before: generating hype and awareness around the startup and its project ahead of the launch.
The post-fundraising stage is the perfect time to start sharing these messages in a natural, organic way. For instance, a press release on a successful funding round can include information on how the newly-raised funds will be used. In this way, the startup can organically share its growth strategy and begin introducing its upcoming service (or service expansion, if a product has already been launched).
The reason why the moment after a funding round is of such importance is that a press release, or any other media activity, usually needs to involve a milestone or a breakthrough. Most editors and outlets are only going to be interested in releases that involve a significant piece of news, and it’s considered bad PR practice to put out press releases without a good reason. At the pre-launch or pre-growth phase, a typical tech startup won’t have many significant milestones to share. This is why it’s so important to use fundraising news as a vehicle for sharing other important information, that wouldn’t normally merit a press release or media attention on their own.