When we think about public relations there’s a misconception that it is useful for only a couple of things – brand awareness and limited customer acquisition. This is equivalent to looking at your brand new smartphone as a paperweight or a torchlight – while not totally incorrect, it is a complete waste of opportunity.
Now rather than go too deep into what PR or Public Relations is really all about, I suggest you look at some of the previous content that Tech Collective has been kind enough to publish. You can it here and here.
Some of the more relevant points I shared in those articles include:
- Public relations shouldn’t be measured by the number of articles that mention your brand, but by how it impacts your business goals
- PR has a direct correlation to inbound lead generation and a softer correlation to lowering cost of acquisition of customers
- PR builds trust – so while I focused on customer trust, it works the same way with investors
In this article, I would like to share some of the lessons we’ve learned working with dozens of startups in the region and helping them reach out to the investment community.
Why investors care about your press coverage
Based on what investors have shared with us, we know that there are two main ways that investors find potential startups to invest in. They either directly reach out to them for investment or the investor finds them.
Public relations helps with both – as a proactive activity that helps you promote your business to investors and as a reactive source of third-party validation that helps you prove your success to sceptical investors. It never hurts to send your PR coverage to investors to make sure they’ve read about you.
Investors see startups with a good PR track record as a company that has accomplished success. They’re fully aware that good publicity often brings about business growth, so it is also a way they assess whether it would be a good return on their investment.
Isn’t all PR the same?
Not really, but don’t ignore your usual PR activities either. Nothing actually beats increasing your revenue and growth – investors really love that.
However, investor PR is a little bit different, especially when it comes to what you really want to focus on for the story.
- The message changes a lot. For customers, you often want to focus on what makes your product or service stand out in the market. For investors, you probably want to focus on your growth and how you’re expanding your business aggressively.
- The publications you reach out to need to change. While investors are people too, they may not relate what they read in a lifestyle magazine with their role as an investor, so being in the right publications is a great way to improve your chances of being noticed by the investment community.
All PR isn’t the same I’m afraid, so make sure you are very clear about your goals for PR and are able to find a partner or build an in-house team that can deliver.
Investor-focused PR is a long-term game
If you’re looking at a short burst to help you secure coverage, this might not be the article for you I’m afraid. A good strategy is to play the long game and build a strong message that resonates amongst customers and investors. By having a good PR strategy and taking advantage of the opportunities that you get, you stand a good chance of at least securing interest in the investment community.
The ultimate sign of success is having your outbound investor calls turn into managing inbound investor calls. This takes time and a strong commitment to building a strong brand that has a clear and powerful message that attracts investors.
About the author
Terng Shing is the Founder and CEO of SYNC PR, a PR and content marketing startup that uses technology to reduce time spent on administrative tasks and help in the process of delivering results. Based in Singapore, Terng Shing has been focused on helping startups and SMEs build their brand story through media and content.
His experience includes over a decade of work in PR and communications agencies, managing top-tier fortune 500 companies as well as the leading startups in Southeast Asia. Terng Shing has a passion for innovative communications and is convinced that PR is the next industry to see positive disruption.