Startup Lessons,

#StartupLesson EP017: Your Essential Guide to PR for Your Startup w/ German Marchesani

July 06, 2017

This Week’s Teacher; German Marchesani

The lesson’s keep on coming, and this week holds a special place for Stage One Startup.

Simply because of this week’s teacher, German, helped us with the hit series which was known as Secret Entourage Month.

That’s how we know he’s the perfect guy to teach us this week.

During this lesson, we’re going to be talking about PR (Public Relations) for you and your startup.

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Key Takeaways

What is PR, and what does it mean? [03:25 – 06:05]

German gives us a great version of what PR means for him and his role within Secret Entourage.

PR essentially means getting the word for your brand or name out there to individuals who wouldn’t necessarily know you existed using platforms with a wide audience, one that is exceptionally bigger than yours.

For example, if you are in the UK, and you wanted to be seen by an audience in another country, Nigeria in this case, then you will have to find PR opportunities that will allow you to get in front of that audience in that country.

By entering somebody else’s network or platform, it allows you to expand your reach to a wider audience.

PR allows you to obtain access to a wider network or audience that you wouldn’t usually get access to.

Which then gets you in front of the people you need to get in front of.

Is PR an absolute essential for all startups? [06:15 – 07:00]

This depends on what type of story you’re trying to get out to the world.

If you’re approaching a PR agency, they’ll ask you what your story is, to decide whether or not it will flow with their network and audience.

A PR agency will then help you tell your story to their network, who might be interested in what you have to say.

The PR agency will then go to a high network influencer and tell them your story, and if it’s not compelling or doesn’t connect then most likely, your story needs to change or, change audiences to better fit.

When should a startup look at hiring a PR agency? [07:01 – 07:45]

Brad asks this crucial question.

Is there a right time for a startup or an individual to hire a PR agency, or find good publicity?

Well, there is no right time.

You can always use Social Media to run an Ad, but if you want people to know you on a personal level, to build trust, then that’s when you should contact PR.

It’s always important to tell the story behind the product or service.

People buy from people, always remember that.

Should I find a loyal network, instead of a big network? [07:50 – 09:32]

There are thousands of publications, social media guru’s and influencers who have thousands, if not millions of “Followers” but are they going to work when getting your name or brand out there?

This depends on the product or service that you’re trying to sell.

You have to decide what area of PR you want to go down, do you want somebody to endorse your products on their YouTube channel, or Instagram page. Or do you want somebody to write an article on your services?

If your product or service’s audience is primarily focused on the younger generation, then you shouldn’t be seeking PR in an OAP (Old Age Pensioners) magazine. It won’t connect with that audience.

This goes back to my previous point of connecting with the audience on a deeper level with the story you are telling.

Should I change my story to fit the audience? [09:33 -12:29]

If you are doing everything right, and you are getting your story out there, does repeating your story on many different platforms become repetitive for the audience?

German believes that this all depends on the type of network that the story is being distributed to.

In our case, for example, we interviewed Pejman Ghadimi for Secret Entourage Month, and before getting PJ on the show, German prepped Brad and I to ask different questions so that we wouldn’t get stuck with the same answers and the same story that PJ has told before.

That way, we aren’t getting the same content as everybody else.

It works both ways!

You have to find the perfect type of people for this to work.

Should I hire a PR Agency or hire a PR person? [12:32 – 14:02]

This depends on what your budget is.

If you’re making enough money to pay six months retainer on a PR agency and they can guarantee to get you in front of people, then go for it.

However, if you’re not and you’re struggling, then hire a dedicated person.

Then you can task that person to build connections with people who have connections.

A freelancer who has a proven track record with this would be great for a startup who is bootstrapping.

A free method you might not have thought of when getting PR [14:03 – 20:00]

Connections.

We cannot stress this enough, building connection is key.

If you’re on Social Media, and you come across something or someone that you believe might help you get your name out there, reach out.

It’s that simple.

If this person is of an influencer status, then think of a creative way to get in contact with that person.

Don’t reach out to them because they can help you, find a way that you can help them.

Find something that you like of their and tell them about it.

Don’t forget about the people on the come-up, their network is growing by the second, and they are often easier to get in contact with.

Connecting with influencers and how to do it [20:03 – 25:14]

One essential tip for this, always do your research!

Unless they’re Tony Robins, then you have to do research.

Mainly for your own back, to clarify that they are the real deal and not all fluff.

After having done some research, get in touch with their people, find somebody who is close to them and then begin to build a connection.

Think about the timings in which you send your DM’s or email.

If the person you’re thinking about getting in touch with lives in a different area or time zone to you, then this could be key to getting in touch with them and standing out!

Utilise Social Media, “@” them via Twitter, find out how engaged they are with their audience, this type of message is great because it puts the person on the other on the spot in front of their audience.

Social Media Marketing, the Do’s & Don’t [25:15 – 28:55]

Social Media is great if you have the budget to spend.

You have the added benefit of targeting specific people in specific places that you know might like you and your business.

If you own a restaurant, then this would be perfect for you.

Endorsements are another great way to get your business out.

You can pay an influencer to endorse your product or service, this way their audience gets to know more about you and your brand because they trust the influencer.

How much time should I spend on PR for my business? [28:56 –  32:00]

If you’re creating content, then technically you’re already spending time on PR.

You can use that content to push out on your Social Media which may get the attention of somebody new, who then turns into a loyal member of your tribe.

If you have enough time to create content, then the distribution of that content should take as much time as needed.

Final Thoughts from German on PR tips for Startups [32:01 – 35:05]

There are many ways to use PR to get real with your audience.

Always tell a compelling story that will capture the imagination of your potential audience, make them feel like they can relate to your story.

Touch lives, and create life-long connections.


Resources Mentioned

Secret Entourage

Catch German on Instagram

Connect with German on Facebook

Motivational posts on Secret Entourage Instagram

Thanks For Listening! 

PS whilst on the topic, you can join our Facebook community by clicking here. Come and jam with a group of engaging aspiring entrepreneurs and startups all sharing their experiences with each other to grow together. We pump invaluable content regularly in the group to help you build your Startup, the right way. See you on the inside!

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