A lot of entrepreneurs and executives shy away from PR because they don't have expertise in it, rather than using press to create their own personal brand. This is a huge mistake. Thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide can attest to the importance of spreading messages about yourself or your company through social media, publishing content, networking and speaking at conferences. This type of personal PR is hugely important for any entrepreneurial career. Here's why:
1. PR Can Show Your Vision
Almost every entrepreneur and executive loves to talk about their vision ad nauseaum. Although it seems they talk about their vision every chance they get to employees and investors, the general public might not know what their true vision is. This includes potential customers and even future employees. If you are in the early stages of your product or company, this could hurt you, especially since the pressure is on to launch a minimal viable product and iterate. Being able to effectively spread your vision to the world is part of that process.
2. PR Can Land You Your Next Investment
Serial entrepreneur Ben Way knows this very well. He started a business when he was 15 years old as a computer consultant in Bath, England in 1996. The next year, a local reporter interviewed him, impressed with his computer acumen at such a young age. Way agreed to the interview, and he says he can only describe the results as a "pinch me moment." After a headline of "School Boy Has 60,000 A Year Business," Ben had a flood of phone calls and soon a 25,000,000 investment offer. This of course, is unusual. But a slide on your pitch deck showing that the press has taken notice shows your investors that you know how to handle journalists, get publicity, and tell your story in a way that's compelling to reporters. This can make you a more attractive target for investors.
3. PR Scales Your Career
Maybe your product gets bought. Maybe it never launches. Whatever the case, there will always be life after your current opportunity. Solid, consistent PR will show your next business partner, boss or investor you are the right person to bet on. "I consistently work with executives and start-ups looking not only to advance their product now, but leverage PR for their overall personal brand for future endeavors," says CEO Dave Polykoff of NewsLauncher, a site that publishes stories for companies.
4. PR Makes You Look Good on Google
You are an entrepreneur and/or executive. You are now going to be googled. What are your clients, investors, potential employees, press, and industry collegues going to find when they google you? Managing your personal brand on search engines tends to be a lower priority, but getting PR automatically fixes the problem without having to do much. You can even buy your own name and get a site going that links back to your press and help your own SEO. This will help legitimize your own brand quickly for a relatively cheap price, and hopefully fewer people will see those embarrassing college photos your buddy has on a webpage you can't get him to take down.
5. PR Helps Recruiting
Almost everyone looking to get hired does some investigation online of the companies they want to work for. There should always be an internal initiative to make sure you and your company look as attractive as possible to job seekers. You'll have a tough time recruiting top talent if you can't even generate enough interest in your company to get a few articles written.
6. PR Gets You More Sales
Nothing is more impressive than when A List publications give you an endorsement or simply just mention your services in a positive context. It doesn't even have to be a rave review necessarily. Just the mention of your brand can help to bring in new customers. Sometimes reporters will explain your product or messaging better than you have, and if they talk about you in a very positive way, people may be more likely to consider using your product or service. People buy from people they like and in the early stages of your business, press has the ability to make you look like a visionary and someone worth working with.