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Ready For Take-Off: How To Use PR As A Growthhacking Tool

PR As A Growthhacking Tool

Streamline your finances with Numarics' AI-powered solution

The booming creator economy and startup industry is leading the way: Through viral content, community-building and build-in-public strategies, they attract attention for their business. Or, as Zack Teperman, author of Cut The Bull$hit, describes it, "To attract attention, you must first generate some noise."

At a time when it's easier than ever to go out on your own and start a business, it's necessary to look for innovative ways to stand out from the crowd and fully realize your growth potential.  

One strategy has proven particularly effective: Growth Hacking. It's all about finding creative ideas and clever niches that lead to backlinks, traffic, lead generation and conversions. After all, if you work through the standardized marketing suite, the only business that gains traffic in the end is the one that blows the most budget. Just think of Google Ads or Social Media Ads.

PR As A Wonder Weapon For Reach

Public relations (PR) is a very efficient tool for achieving a large reach with a minimal budget. Established companies have long known that it can achieve great success with little financial outlay. SEO experts also love the use of PR because of its high effectiveness in generating organic traffic.  

But while creators in particular are absolute experts in developing high-quality content, they still don't always know how PR plays a role in this or how it can further increase their reach.  

So for startups and creators, I've put together a PR guide here as a first orientation. I've been a PR consultant for 15 years and have been with Numarics since the beginning. I also founded the do-it-yourself PR platform PRontheGO.com - there you can find more growth hacks following this guide.

Get Started With PR

I like to summarize PR like this: It's all measures aimed at leveraging the reach of third parties. This is done primarily through collaborations. However, the best-known PR tactic is media relations. This involves achieving placements in magazines, radio, TV, podcasts and daily newspapers, as these often have a very high reach. For example, you benefit from the reach of a magazine if your own products or person are featured there.  

But how do you start getting press coverage? It's easier than you might think, but there are a few things to consider along the way. PR success is only as good as the preparation as an overall strategy.

1) Perfect Your Value Proposition

The value proposition describes the added value you bring to your users or customers. Public relations is derived as the discipline of communication and the psychology of the masses, which means considering the people we are addressing. We respond to other people's needs or awaken them.

If we take Numarics as an example, we in the Numarics team know that we do accounting on the fast track, with an AI-powered accounting system developed by fiduciaries, accountants and experts in technological process automation. We are a fintech company focused on increasing efficiency in the fiduciary sector through the optimized interaction of finance experts and a digital ecosystem.

However, the value proposition to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Switzerland, the Numarics users, is not this breakthrough technology behind our finance experts. The value proposition is the added value in time and free head that our ecosystem and the paperless handling of accounting and all administrative activities offers. In addition, there is premium consulting by the accountants, who also simply have more time for valuable business consulting through the use of highly efficient technology. This is exactly the value proposition that journalists want to convey to their readers, rather than sounding like a billboard for "breakthrough technology."  

The value proposition is the foundation of your PR. Because if you can't tell people why your company exists, you won't be able to have a conversation with them.

What’s In It For Me?

When thinking about your value proposition, it helps to keep in mind that every potential user, journalist or other potential cooperation partner asks the question "What's in it for me? A journalist wants to publish articles that not only suit his or her readership, but get as many clicks and reads as possible. Founders who understand this provide content for these journalists.  

However, a mistake often happens in the process. You can be placed with your input and expertise on many topics. However, being placed on all topics, from let’s say veganism to artificial intelligence to fashion, just because you can talk about it doesn't get you anywhere. Then you are everywhere and nowhere. You need an agenda based on specific keywords and topics that you want to rank for because your business adds value to those topics.

2) The PR Plan

The most important part of PR work is strategically identifying your niche topics and keywords. Once you have identified them, you should focus exclusively on them.

Let's take the example of Numarics once again. Numarics was founded as a fintech company and offers the classic services of accounting - except that behind the human accountant there is a high-performance machine. So, of course, the founders of Numarics answer all media questions related to accounting, finance and and financial technology (fintech). But Numarics also brings its own agenda to the journalists' table: we are opening up an area that has been quite difficult for SMEs to access, the financial sector. Finance has traditionally been closed. Accountants have not yet found a way to make their insights from analyses such as cash flow statements and cash flow statements available to founders just-in-time and present them in a way that is self-explanatory and allows insights and forecasts for the founder. Startups have often continued to hire an additional chief financial officer, the CFO, solely to evaluate the statements received from accounting. So this is about the topic and the keywords "technologization in accounting" and opening up topics such as democratization and access to financial knowledge and the resulting mission of Numarics: to pave the way to success for small and medium-sized enterprises.

3) PR In Action

Many paths lead to success and there is no one right way. Here I'll show you an efficient step-by-step strategy that has proven successful for many startups I've worked with, and that you can easily apply yourself.

Step 1: Listing Your Business In Directories

First of all, it's about developing relevance. In today's digital world, this means generating Google results. This allows interested customers, cooperation partners or journalists to find out about you and your company.  

First, find a tag line for your value proposition that you add to your business and that is catchy. For example, the tagline for Numarics is "We speak numbers". For my DIY PR platform PRontheGO, it's "The Entrepreneur's Source For Global Prime PR Hacks."  

Then place your business in relevant directories in your industry along with your tag line. You can start with a Google Business listing, for example. There are local and global directories for all business models and industries. For startups, 10words and Product Hunt are popular to introduce your startup to early adopters.  

Step 2: Prepare Your Founder Profile

Your founder profile is more relevant to journalists than your business itself. This is because you are the potential interview partner and thus the voice of your company. Therefore, create a short profile that lists your qualifications and answers the "Why?" for starting your business.  

The why is answered in the profile of Numaric's co-founder Dominique Rey, for example, like this:

Dominique Olivier Rey is co-founder and CEO of Numarics, an intelligent, AI-powered accounting system that enables Swiss companies to effortlessly manage their accounting and finances 100% digitally.

Rey is a federally certified accountant, banking specialist and business economist. He is also recognized by the Swiss Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) as an audit expert and is secretary of the EXPERTsuisse Banking Audit Commission.

Rey left the safe corporate environment to create something meaningful, something new, something that will last and add value to society and leave a legacy.

You can write your profile in first person or third person, depending on where you publish it. LinkedIn is obviously the first choice for professional placement. Then I recommend you create a profile on Qwoted.com. Here, journalists can find you for their planned articles and under the topic tags you list. Your founder profile also serves to introduce you to journalists and networks, i.e. the actual PR work.

Step 3: Pitching And Guest Articles

Use your catchy tag line for your startup and your founder profile now to introduce yourself to journalists and networks. In Switzerland, for example, there is the Swiss Startup Association, where members are also presented in entrepreneur interviews. Further opportunities for entrepreneur interviews are offered, for example, by the platforms IdeaMensch.com and Authority Magazine.  

Research podcasts, magazines, daily newspapers, radio stations and blogs whose readers might be interested in your business. The best first press pitch is an email introduction with your founder profile and the topics you want to talk about. You can usually find the contact details on the media portal's website.

Many media outlets then also offer the opportunity to place guest articles. In the startup sector, this is the case with HackerNoon or BuiltIn, for example. But for every industry there is the possibility to create collaborations for guest contributions. Always keep an eye on the readership of the medium in order to create relevant contributions on your topics.

If you take these first steps, you'll find that you're right in the middle of PR and that there are endless ways to leverage the reach of others. For example, via news hijacking, where you as a founder provide expert commentary for media outlets on current world events. An important topic is also customer satisfaction and activating your customers as testimonials and brand ambassadors.

I wish you the best of success with this first guide to getting started in PR. We at Numarics will of course continue to provide you with Growth Hacks.

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