Media for start-ups By N Ravi Shankar of AimHigh consulting

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Media For Start-ups: (Understanding Media Relations)

Having made the bold move of launching a start-up business, it is likely that you are faced with the challenge of spreading the word about your products or services to potential customers. Most start-ups look enviously at the big brands, wishing they could emulate their marketing activities. Of course, they are never able to do so due to an acute lack of funds to invest in marketing, especially in the early stages.



The goal of media relations is to get positive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly as by advertising. Media relations involves working with media for the purpose of informing your potential customers about how your offering will benefit them, and doing so in a credible positive and consistent manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people who influence, generate and distribute news and features in the mass media.



One of the most cost-effective ways to build buzz around your start-up is to get it covered by the media, either local or national. But how does one go about doing that on a shoe-string budget?

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Media for start-ups By N Ravi Shankar of AimHigh consulting

  1. 1. COMMUNICATION CONSULTING • PUBLIC RELATIONS • ADVERTISING • INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONwww.aimhighindia.com | www.tenetadvertising.comMedia for Start-ups – Cases and FAQsN. Ravi ShankarCEO, Aim High Consulting01-06-2013, NSRCEL@IIMB
  2. 2. Why should you listen to me?
  3. 3. Our Clients
  4. 4. "The history of PR is… a history of a battlefor what is reality and how people will seeand understand reality."- Stuart Ewen
  5. 5. www.aimhighindia.comFAQsfollowed-byCases.
  6. 6. What is a good time to start PR?
  7. 7. If you have a reasonable answer tothis, then, it is a good time to startengaging with the media.
  8. 8. Why is PR better thanAdvertising / Social Media?
  9. 9. PR Vs Ad / Social Media• Credibility.• Third party endorsement.• Pull Vs Push.• Less cluttered.• Lower cost.
  10. 10. How long should the ‘campaign’ be?
  11. 11. Length of the ‘campaign’• What ‘campaign’?• PR is about ‘advocacy’.• PR needs to be seen as a ‘businessfunction’.• If you have not created anything thathas ‘sustained PR value’, do not wasteyour money on PR.
  12. 12. How much will it cost?
  13. 13. That is what Advertising costs!"If I was down to my lastdollar, Id spend it on publicrelations."- Bill GatesPR is highly cost effective.
  14. 14. Should it be just online, or offline as well?My audience is online, you know!
  15. 15. Be where your TG is!Horses for courses.Media learns and buys frommedia!
  16. 16. Why does PR fail?
  17. 17. What you are saying isnot new!What you are saying isnot believable!What you are sayingdoes not make anydifference.
  18. 18. Why can’t we do it in-house?
  19. 19. Well, PR is not ‘rocketscience’!But then, it is not ‘childplay’ either!
  20. 20. How do I measure PR success?
  21. 21. ‘PR metrics’• Output• Outcome• Key messages• Media Value
  22. 22. Does PR help me in a crisis?Will it help in ‘silencing’ the media?
  23. 23. NO!PR is not about fixing! Youcannot silence anyone withmoney or influence.But, concerted andlongstanding PR effortmight earn you a chancefor ‘fair-play’, during acrisis.
  24. 24. www.aimhighindia.comThere is good news for start-ups!There are a lot of ‘start-up spaces.
  25. 25. Today’s start-ups lend themselves to PR• Media eco-system getting built aroundstart-ups• Start-ups are ‘reformist’ in their DNA• Start-ups are involved in nation building
  26. 26. Media opportunity grid - StartupsMediaOpportunitiesfor StartupsCompany /EntrepreneurProfilingInvestmentProductmodification /extensionHR policiesTechnology
  27. 27. Profiling OpportunitiesCompany /EntrepreneurProfilingBusiness Dailies– special startuppages in all majorbusinesspublicationsBusinessmagazines – Mostbusinessmagazines havespecial sectionsfor startupsMainlines –Mainlinenewspapersprovide goodprofiling spaces tostartupsTV – Startupshows on allbusinesschannels
  28. 28. Business DailiesThe Economic Times Power of IdeasA special weekly page covering start-ups and SMEs thatappears on Friday apart from regular featuresMint EnterpriseA special weekly page covering start-ups and SMEs apartfrom regular storiesBusiness Standard Start-up CornerFull page on startups with a special half-page feature everyMonday that takes a look at one startup. The paper alsocovers start-ups regularly in other sections.The Hindu BusinessLineEmerging EntrepreneursA special page on start-ups and SMEs that appears everyMondayFinancial ChronicleRegular stories on start-upsFinancial Express
  29. 29. MainlinesThe Times of India Spirit of EntrepreneurshipA space that features emerging entrepreneurs everyweekHindustan TimesStartups are covered on business pages, also profiling opportunities present forsizeable startupsDeccan Chronicle TechnomicsDeccan Chronicle covers startups regularly on theirTechnomics pageDeccan Herald Startups are covered on business pages and supplements
  30. 30. MagazinesBusinessworld Startup A space in every edition where one startup is featuredBusiness Today Regular coverage of startups in every editionBusiness IndiaBusinessmen in the news, CyberNews, Business Notes etc.Several spaces where startups are featured in every editionapart from regular storiesOutlook BusinessJust Started, The Big Idea,Emerging BusinessMultiple spaces where startups are featuredForbes Enterprise Fast growing startups and SMEs featured hereFortune Venture Fast growing startups and SMEs featured hereEntrepreneur As the name suggests, multiple spaces for start-ups to get featured and tell their storyINC India As the name suggests, multiple spaces for start-ups to get featured and tell their storyIndia Today Apart from regular sector-specific stories, special editions that feature startupsOutlook Apart from regular sector-specific stories, special editions that feature startupsThe WeekIn their leisure and technology sections, there is an opportunity for startups to get covered apartfrom regular stories on sectors.
  31. 31. Online MediaIndia• NextBigWhat.com• Yourstory.in• India Digital Review• Medianama• Startup Central• VC Circle• Techcircle• Iamwire• Trak.in• WatblogInternational• Techcrunch• TNW• GigaOM• Venture Beat• Techinasia• Techwire Asia• Pando Daily
  32. 32. Investment• High media interest in investment in startups• VC/PE has become a separate beat and most investments arenoted by top business and mainline media like The EconomicTimes, Mint, The Hindu Business Line and The Times of India• Regular coverage of investment related news on business TVchannels like CNBC TV18, ET NOW, NDTV Profit etc.• Also specific VC / PE shows like India’s Angels etc.
  33. 33. HR / Recruitment• Startups are important job creators today with higher growth opportunitiesand high level talent requirement• Workplace dynamics captured by various publications today throughspecial features and trend stories with startups playing a major role in them• Special HR and career pages in business publications regularly captureworkplace trends at startups. Features like People@work in HBL focus onwork culture at a single startup every week.• Opportunities across business magazines like Business Today,Businessworld and Outlook Business that regularly speak to startups forstories around workplace.• Media also covers big executives joining startups. Regular spaces inbusiness dailies and magazines like Business Standard, Hindu BusinessLine and Business Today for executive movements.
  34. 34. Marketing Campaigns• New marketing campaigns are actively covered by media.• Leading business dailies like ET, Business Standard, HBL andFinancial Express have special supplements for marketingcampaigns and cover interesting campaigns by startups• Specialized marketing media like exchange4media, afaqs,Pitch magazine etc. cover marketing campaigns by startups onan ongoing basis
  35. 35. Technology• New technology implementation attracts media interest• New technology on consumer end and back end is reviewed bymedia across mainline and business media• Online media like BGR India, Gizmodo, TNW etc. stronglyfocuses on technology developments by startups• A variety of consumer shows on television today like Cell Guruetc. focus on technology
  36. 36. www.aimhighindia.comSo, is it all rosy for a start-up who wantsto do PR?
  37. 37. Challenges• Clutter. We start from scratch!• Cynicism about the offeringitself.• Staying differentiated – fromgeneric & specific competition.• Media may not be as‘specialised’ as your business.• Geographically dispersedheterogeneous masses.• Bad experiences might gethighlighted.
  38. 38. What does that mean?• We cannot afford to be lazy• Disruptive business ideas will demand‘disruptive communication’!
  39. 39. Spare the details…• We need to learn to be brief –– Three short stories!
  40. 40. What do we need to do?– Tell a story, if the media has to write aboutyour client.– But, get to the point quickly.– Relevant and Interesting – that is all that isthere. And, that is all you need to know.
  41. 41. Examples of some ‘short stories’ we have created!• Olacabs– Cabs at auto prices• Flipkart– Cash on delivery• Skyline– A wall for the wall• BCIL– Bring back the sparrow• EduSports– Indian children are becoming unfit
  42. 42. www.aimhighindia.comAll the best…
  43. 43. Thank You!You can reach me on –ravi@aimhighindia.com+91 98452 13918www.aimhighindia.com

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