For some companies, it can be challenging to think about PR, but if you’re an innovative startup with a great story, a solid communications plan is a smart idea. It can be tempting to focus solely on “keeping the lights on” in the early phases of life, but there are plenty of good reasons why so-called “disruptor” companies need to think about communications early on. Here are just a few.
Communication is everything. Even before you opened your doors (or app, or online community), you already made dozens of decisions about how to communicate with the world. Everything from how the company got its name to the way services and products are described are components of a compelling communications strategy. After all the initial hard work it took to get started, why would you not continue to invest in a strong communications plan? Positioning your brand for launch is only the beginning.
Great (innovative) stories want to be told. The very definition of disruptive innovation has to do with a concept that rises to the top of the pile because it’s so different and new, it relentlessly changes the marketplace. Companies like Spotify and Dropbox have changed the way we think and behave, and the public clamors to understand who they are and where they fit in to their lives. An effective PR strategy can help make sure the story of the company, its products and services, is told accurately and told well — and avoids potential confusion or even controversy as word spreads. Which leads to…
Prepare for the unexpected. The most successful innovators have faced bumps in the road, and a strong, proactive approach to communications can help get out in front of confusing or controversial issues that might arise. One of the most famous disruptive innovators around shows us how relentless, early dedication to presentation builds wildly successful PR.
You’re in it for the long haul. The startup phase is exciting and full of activity, but as an optimistic entrepreneur, you see your company having a long life. Investing in your communications team from the start helps build the kind of institutional memory that becomes elusive over time. You want people around who have been with you from the early days. Taking the effort to choose the right team and secure those relationships early on is a simple step that goes far in the long run.