As an entrepreneur, a startup founder or a marketer, you’re quite often comfortable in doing pr yourself. But when the time comes you’re no longer the best person to get the job done, you may want to hire a professional. Here’s how to find good pr agencies for startups.
1) Ask your personal network for reference
Check out other startup founder in your 1st and 2nd degree network that got a lot of media coverage. They may have hired a pr agency for startups. A personal reference to a pr agency is usually the best way forward.
2) Check with your investors
Investors are great networkers and they often have connections with pr agencies for startups that worked for their portfolio companies. Angel investors are quite often (serial) entrepreneurs themselves and may have hired pr agencies in the past, too.
3) Ask your social media network
Facebook (Groups) and LinkedIn are still a great place to source potential vendors, even pr agencies for startups. If you have a large network, it may be a little overwhelming if the references come in, so you may want to think of a good system to vet them, or make your request extremely precise: “Hey dear friends, I’m looking for a startup pr agency. They have to have experience in B2B fintech SaaS companies in the Benelux. Thanks a million!”
4) Good old Google search
Hey, you might have even found this post via Google, right? A good Google search could do the trick, but don’t forget to check for references. Anybody can build a webpage and do a little SEO, building an actual pr agency for startups is hard work.
When you have found a handful of pr agencies for startups, make sure to come up with a shortlist. Talking to more than two or three pr agencies at a time doesn’t make a lot of sense. Here are a few tips on how to select the right one:
Is there a personal match? You have to work with these people ideally on a long-term basis. It helps when you can get along!
Ask for real client cases. Preferably in the same or similar space as your startup. It’s all about results. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of talk in this industry.
Check the required budget. It makes no sense to pursue pr agencies for startups that you can’t afford. You may find out that pr is more expensive then you’ve thought.
Provide them with a clear RFP (Request for Proposal) or briefing. Just sending them a line like: “We want to be featured in the New York Times and on Techcrunch ”will surely turn off all pr agencies for startups
Create a timeline for the decision making process, and communicate this internally and externally.
In general, hiring pr agencies for startups requires at least a month or two of your time, so do it timely. Not one day before announcing your funding round. (That actually happens a lot).
If you’re looking for a startup pr agency in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, or a tech pr agency in Europe, we’d be happy to help you out. Contact me via email or schedule a free consultation here. Feel free to comment if you have other suggestions on how to find the best pr agencies for startups!