July 2, 2015 Clyde Group

How Startups and PR Agencies Are like ‘Ships in the Night’

Public relations professionals know that the smartest startup firms include communications strategies in their business plans from day one. Clyde Group Founder and Managing Director Alex Slater speaks to the (frequently missed) opportunities that exist for these new businesses when they appropriately consider strategic communications and the media to differentiate their products and services from competitors.

 

“Before Microsoft was even incorporated, Bill Gates famously asserted that if he was down to his last dollar, he would immediately spend it on PR. The (then) startup maverick Gates was, and remains, a rarity: an entrepreneur who fully appreciated the importance of communications in a company’s early going.

Strategic communications and media are often overlooked by fledgling organizations. That’s a result of many concerns for startups: time, money and staff are in short supply, and PR’s payoffs aren’t always immediate. Returns are hard to quantify. Sometimes it’s as basic as the fact that PR is not a priority. 

That’s understandable and communications professionals should bear some of the blame, too. Outside PR counsel is too expensive for many startups. It’s too easily relegated to the “nice to have” rather than the “must have.” It’s always something to think about when the company is stronger. External PR counsel has done a terrible job of appreciating the long-term potential of investing their time and expertise in startups that matter.

That view is also shortsighted. As competition for money and attention increases, audiences grow ever more fragmented, hindering startup success.

This new reality for startups means that communications must be part of the broader strategy. For some startupshigh tech messaging apps such as WhatsApp and innovative point-of-sale systems such as Squarecommunications is the strategy. It becomes the competitive advantage, the scalable product and the platform for growth. Even for startup “ghosts,” having the right message and telling the right story is critical for success.”

 

See the full article at PR Daily.

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