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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

October 2014

Is PR Worth It?

newspapersA few months ago we blogged about how startups should choose a PR firm and we talked about the abundance of advice entrepreneurs often hear from other entrepreneurs. We wrote, “For every story of the startup turned overnight success following a Mashable mention, there is a horror story about the startup that burned cash on PR and saw no uplift.” We cautioned founders to put the advice they receive from other founders and funders through a filter and make sure to start a PR program for the right reasons

Well we found a VC and former founder who passes the filter. Mark Suster, a General Partner at Upfront Ventures, recently blogged about, “The Silent Benefits of PR.” It’s worth a read.

Suster starts out by stating, “PR is an insanely valuable activity in early-stage companies.” But he points out that, “PR is often not tangibly measurable and for quant-oriented people this is hard to accept.”

Read the post here and learn how PR can support:

  • Recruiting
  • Business Development
  • Fund Raising: “No self respecting VC would admit (even to themselves) that they are influenced by what they read about you in the press. But human psychology can’t be ignored – we are all influenced by what we read.”
  • Staff Morale: “…employees love seeing their company get positive press.”
  • Enterprise Sales and Future PR: Suster understands that prospective clients and journalists considering featuring your startup are going to Google you. And the stronger the mentions, the better you show. At Double Forte we call that “Google juice.”
  • M&A

And for more on the benefits of a solid PR program, contact us. We could go on all day.

photo credit: Locator via photopin cc

3 Pitching Tips for Startups

Package your story
Package your story.

Recently, Double Forte participated on a “Pitch the Media Live” panel at WomanCon. Along with four media professionals, Double Forte General Manager Liz O’Donnell offered real-time advice to six entrepreneurs who pitched their companies.

Here are the takeaways:

1. Think big. Reporters talk to dozens of founders every week so keep two things in mind. First, they are not obligated to cover your company but they are probably required to cover your industry. Tell them how you tie into the bigger story – make your story relevant. And second, they can easily forget what made you special when they sit down hours after speaking with you to finally develop a story. Standout and be memorable by explaining how your company fits into a bigger trend. Tell them about your competition – if your business is well differentiated then you will stand out and by sharing the competitive landscape you’ll help the reporter find a way to cover your startup.

2. Package your story. Speaking of helping a reporter package a story, think like a producer when developing your pitch. What visuals would help tell the story? Do you have pictures? Video? Infographics? What experts can weigh in? Do you have their names and numbers? Can they provide quotes? What about results and data or customer testimonials? The more you can provide, the more likely you’ll see your company’s name in print.

3. Create a content strategy. Many journalists freelance and write or produce for multiple news outlets and sites, which means they may have the opportunity to feature your startup more than once – but they’ll need a new angle each time. Think through your content strategy. What is your main message and what are the different angles that stem from that message? For example if you are you launching a new coffee business, what’s the story for retailers? Consumers? Office Managers? What’s the visual story? What tips and advice can you share for brewing the perfect pot? Be ready with more than one relevant story idea when you pitch – you never know what might catch a reporter’s interest.

photo credit: Flооd via photopin cc

Millennials & Management Launches Today

Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 9.26.44 PMHere at Double Forte we know a little something something about working in a multigenerational environment. That’s because our leader wrote the book on it. Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work At Work, written by our president Lee Caraher, launches today and we are thrilled about it.

Under Lee’s leadership, our team of Millennials, Boomers and Xers work across generations. Boomers listen to Millennials and vice versa. Xers don’t get squeezed out of the mix. We collaborate, share, get a boatload of work done everyday and laugh a lot.

Now the rest of the world can learn Lee’s secrets of managing and harnessing the talents and energy of Millennials and creating a workforce that works. We don’t call her the millennial whisperer for nothing! Millennials & Management is available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Congratulations Lee from all of us at Double Forte.

 

Let’s Talk About Google Plus

google-plus-banner-550x268

If you think your company doesn’t need a Google Plus profile because you’re on  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, think again. Posts you share on Google Plus are indexed by Google’s search engine, meaning that if you’re sharing content and posts about your company’s products or services, when someone searches on the topic, you are more likely to show up. And, if you’re looking to target influencers and audiences by segments and audience (and you should be!), Google Plus can help. Google Circles allow you to track what kind of content the people in your circles care about and then you can share relevant information via Google Communities.

Here are some simple steps to get started on Google Plus if you’re not already there.

  • Create your company page
 Create your company profile, adding relevant photos and information so visitors can easily understand who you are and what you offer.
  • Spread the word 
Have employees and partners on Google Plus add you to their circles and start sharing content.
  • Connect across platforms
 Connect your Google Plus profile to your other social profiles  (website, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This will help drive traffic to your Google Plus page.
  • Find relevant communities
 Search for communities that are relevant to you company. Listen to the conversations happening here.
  • Share content
 Share content that is relevant to your community. Share a mix of company-generated content and industry news.

And after you get started, don’t give up. It takes time to build a presence and reap the rewards from any social platform. Map out three, six and 12 month goals for your Google Plus page. Maintain a consistent strategy and you’ll see the results.

 

 

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