Michelle Han February 18, 2016 | 03:01:04

6 PR-Friendly Traits Of Successful Startups

When you’re a technology PR agency working with mature startups in growth mode, certain characteristics form patterns as you develop PR strategies. As natural storytellers, we’re always looking for the compelling narratives that tie to broader themes, and when it comes to tech companies, these traits tend to make themselves clear. Here are the PR-friendly characteristics of many tech startups.

They were born out of necessity. A business owner who needed a better tool for sending large files to clients; a game developer who craved a way to track performance in app stores; or a talented black finance executive who realized most minority candidates don’t find their dream jobs. These are all examples of technology companies we work with whose key offering wasn’t something they intended to develop — it was something they needed to create to continue doing what they were already doing, only better. If your product comes into the world out of necessity and then takes on a life of its own, it could be indicative of future success – or at least, a great PR opportunity.

They introduce a new solution for a common point of pain. This flows out of the first: chances are, if you needed to create this product or service, others will find it valuable, too. Solving a problem no one else has solved, in a way that’s accessible for those who need it, is one sure way to growth as a tech startup.

Their founders have a compelling story of self discovery. As a team with an entrepreneurial spirit, we share the excitement of tech company founders who have been transformed by experience, good and bad. Successful founders are on a personal journey — they’ve overcome challenges, tasted victory, experienced setbacks, and fought their way to new beginnings, all of which make for a powerful narrative.

They have strong convictions. Tech companies aren’t usually nonprofits, but they share the sense of mission-mindedness that motivates nonprofits. Whether it’s the belief that the workforce should be more diverse, or that a traditional art form is worth preserving, these companies are excited about a cause. Which makes sense, since launching a company — and making it successful — is hard work and takes conviction, perseverance, and grit.

They take risks. Starting a new venture is never without risk, and those in tech fields are especially aware of this. Startup founders have had to overcome fears of failure, rejection, or being made obsolete. Many do fail, but rather than accept it as the final word on entrepreneurship, they learn important lessons and move on. Part of Steve Jobs’ well known legacy was his views on risk-taking and failure as a way of gaining valuable experience.

They stay focused. Life at a rising tech company can feel like a roller coaster ride at times, but it’s hard to get successful leaders distracted from key goals that are crucial to the company’s success. They tend to know what the goal is, and won’t rest — or leave others alone — until it is met.

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