Why PR is crucial for start-ups – part 4

Last week: It’s all about digital in the start-up space; Getting noticed by potential investors through PR

Are case studies useful for PR purposes?

Case studies can be a good way to get exposure in the media – but only if you do it right! No journalist wants to read a case study that is effectively a testimonial or endorsement for a company. What they want is a story. A narrative about what the issue was, how it was resolved and how that can be used to help other companies. Think of the tips that you can offer to others as a result of your, or your client’s, experience. The more information you provide that would be useful to others, the more likely the editor is to publish the story.

Some tips to remember when you are pitching a case study:

  • Write the article in narrative form (as a story).
  • Include the things that went wrong, and what you learned from them, as well as the things that went well.
  • Try to include some statistics or research results if possible.
  • Make sure you have the permission of your client to use the case study. Make them aware that the journalist may want to speak to them directly.
  • Offer some personal insights in the article; was it hard to do? What were the hiccups along the way? Did you have to change direction at any stage? Can you apply what you learned along the way to other clients?
  • Try to include a quote from the CEO of your business – and make sure it is impactful. Trite quotes along the lines of ‘it was great working with this client’ or ‘we are thrilled that we achieved such high results’ do not add value.
  • Remember that a photo can be the clincher. Try to include a shot of your CEO and the client or some other relevant pic to illustrate the story.

The more information you provide that would be useful to others, the more likely the editor is to publish the story.

 International coverage

As a start-up, particularly if you are in the digital space (software, SaaS, an app etc), international media coverage can be a real bonus. Why not try it? As long as your business can service customers in another country then there is nothing stopping you!

Overseas PR works exactly the same way as it does here. You can either buy a media list that has been put together for you or you can simply start to Google articles about the topics you are interested in and then approach the media directly yourself. For instance, if you have developed a new product to help the window-washing industry then why not look for articles about window washing or water usage or careers that involve working at heights and approach the journalist or media outlet that has published it. Most journalists and media outlets have published email addresses or contact pages for you to make the initial approach.

We want to make it easy for people to try PR overseas. As the world is so much more accessible due to the internet, cheap flights and things like Skype and FaceTime, people are not afraid of dealing with products or services that come from overseas. So why not at least let them know about your product or service?

Some businesses end up with more customers from overseas than they get here. And that’s not a bad thing, is it?

Jules Brooke, founder and owner, Handle Your Own PR


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