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After the Funding Announcement: PR Strategy

A Guide to Creating Corporate Messaging that Stands Out

Your startup just announced a major funding round and you saw a flurry of positive media coverage. Now what?

Savvy companies know a successful post-funding PR strategy is critical to keep the media momentum alive. Funding offers the media an attention-grabbing news hook. But, a sustained, long-term PR strategy requires more than one news announcement. From thought leadership and newsjacking, to proactive outreach and data mining, below are the key steps you should take when formulating your long-term communications strategy.  

Get clarity

Get clear on what business objectives you want the PR program to support

The first step in building a strategic communications program is to first have a clear understanding of your company’s core business objectives. These are not one-size-fits-all and can even change multiple times throughout the year, but you’ll need at least one high-level business objective to help frame your PR plan. Some examples of objectives we’ve seen with BAM clients include:

  • Building credibility
  • Reaching new customers
  • Recruiting top talent 
  • Attracting investors 

Define goals

Establish overarching communications goals that will help you achieve your business objectives 

Once business objectives are laid out, it’s time to identify how PR can support them. PR goals are what you’d like your communications program to accomplish, which should support back to those business objectives you’ve already crystalized. PR goals should be broad and qualitative, rather than quantitative. 

For example, if one of your business objectives is to recruit top talent, then a PR goal to meet that would be to establish your company as an attractive place to work. Later in your communications plan, you’ll outline the strategy and tactics to execute that goal.

Establish objectives

Define measurable communications objectives to track for progress against goals

Before finalizing any strategy and rolling up your sleeves to get started on deploying that strategy, every communications program needs to outline how you’ll measure your progress against the PR goals. Where goals are qualitative, objectives are quantitative.

If we look at the prior example of a goal to establish your company as a desirable place of employment, an objective to show success in meeting that goal could be to apply for five HR/culture-focused awards.

Craft strategy 

Determine what you need to do to achieve your objectives

Identifying a strong strategy is a critical component to kicking off the execution portion of a communications program. This should include the following steps:

  • Introduce your company narrative through a consistent cadence of news
  • Elevate that narrative through increasing executive visibility and thought leadership
  • and finally, expand your reach through targeting new audiences in a variety of mediums

An example of a strategic initiative that would help you reach your objective of applying to awards that highlight company culture would be to promote those awards through owned channels (social media, newsletter, marketing materials, etc.). Securing earned thought leadership media placements is another way to both elevate your position and expand to new audiences.

Deploy tactics

Identify exactly how you’re going to execute against the strategy you’ve defined  

You’ve got a solid communications strategy in place, now it’s time for the fun stuff! Tactics are the specific actions you will take that will bring your whole plan together. Some tactical deliverables relevant to our example above would be:

  • Create list of top industry awards 
  • Draft industry award submissions 
  • Create media list
  • Draft press releases 

Measure success

Finally, it’s time to measure the success of your campaign. The most obvious place to start is tracking right back to the quantitative PR objectives you created for yourself, but there are a number of other KPIs to dig into too. For example:

  • Coverage sentiment: positive, negative, neutral
  • Coverage type: mention, quote, feature, byline (% goal for each)
  • Media type: business, trade, tech, national (% goal for each) 
  • Interview conversion rate
  • Messaging pull through

While each campaign will call for its own unique approach, the formula above should set you up for a strong post-funding communications program.

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