Monday, 13 February 2012

Basic PR tips for Start-ups

I was reading this article on TechCrunch about Why VCs are getting into PR  and it got me thinking.

It makes sense for the people putting up the cash to also invest in positioning the start-up they are investing in. But hang on, there's a step before that, actually. What about how the start-up sells itself to the VC? Yes, of course, it's all about a solid business plan, development strategy and revenue model, etc. Because the VC at the end of the day wants to know it's going to make bank by investing in you.

So how are you going to convince the VC to give you its dollars? Many times I've seen great ideas get flushed down the toilet because of bad presentation. This is where some PR skills come in. Here are some basic tips for start-ups to consider, especially if all you've got is a two-minute pitch, for instance at the ArabNet ME Digital Summit Ideathon. 

1.Know your audience
Who are you really trying to impress? It's not your peers in the audience. It's the VCs. What does your audience want? They want to know that you know what you're doing, and that they'll make money out of your idea. That's what you have to show them.

2. Show passion.
It's your idea. Your baby. Your future. Believe in it, and present with energy.

3. Rehearse
Please God do NOT read bullet points from a Powerpoint deck or stutter nervously because you're not sure what to say next.

4. Get to the point - fast
Go straight to the idea  - no lengthy intros. What is it? Who is it for? Why's it going to work and how?
Pick a maximum of THREE messages you want to communicate about your idea and focus your entire pitch on those THREE messages.

5. Talk to the journalists
Get the media to talk about you before, during & if you can, after the summit. If you garner their interest, chances are the VCs will want to talk to you because the press is already writing about you.

Good luck.

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