PR for Startups by Bridge Global Strategies


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One of the most important decisions a startup has to make is the choice of a public relations firm. This presentation describes the capabilities of NYC PR agency Bridge Global Strategies for launching startup companies.

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PR for Startups by Bridge Global Strategies

  1. 1. Public Relations Capabilities of for Startups September 26, 2012 © Bridge Global Strategies 2012
  2. 2. The Value of a Good Reputation• A good reputation: o It’s like money in the bank - it takes a long time to earn, but it can disappear very quickly o It sticks to a company or a product for a while after it is no longer deserved (so does a bad reputation) o It enhances profitability by attracting investors, employees and customers• Bridge Global Strategies’ prime focus is helping companies build and maintain good reputations, both at the corporate and product levels
  3. 3. Who We Are• A boutique PR firm with particular expertise working with start-ups and companies from overseas• Based in New York City, but working with clients from all over the U.S. and the world• We help raise corporate and product visibility, awareness & sales• We develop PR strategies that are appropriate, realistic, effective and affordable for a market newcomer• We are entrepreneurs; a lot of our work is for other entrepreneurs
  4. 4. Our Clients• Our clients have included: – Tech startups CoreMatrix, ecobee and Worktopia – International biopharma association New York Pharma Forum – Healthcare organizations such as the LV Presad Eye Institute – Online retailers Mabel’s Labels and Admiral Road – Luxury hotel chains Nikko Hotels International, Okura Hotels & Resorts and urban resort Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo – Bio-venture companies Transparent, Inc. and AnGes MG – Secret Fire Games, creator of The Secret Fire – Top Asian Business Schools (CEIBS, Indian School of Secret Fire Games Business, Nanyang Univ. Business School, Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Technology Business School) – Professional service firms RMi (healthcare marketing) and Verde Group (research & management consulting firm)
  5. 5. What We Do: Our Key Services• Communications to launch or re-position companies, their services and products• Programs to build and manage corporate reputations• Strategies and programs to build brand visibility and/or increase sales of products/services• A full arsenal of communications tools to carry out these strategies and programs – From media relations to events to marketing materials
  6. 6. What Differentiates Us• Big agency know-how and experience; small agency service, creativity and results – Don’t have to sacrifice resources for quarterly results – Employees and clients are our most important consideration, not shareholders
  7. 7. What Differentiates Us• Senior professionals actually work on your account – not just show up for meetings• Amazing client retention demonstrates the quality of our service 22 years! 15 years 19 years
  8. 8. Small and Hands-on, But With a North American & Global Network• Best of large and small agencies: senior level service, with a North American-wide and a global network (something usually found only with big multinational agencies) – Bridge was a founder of Public Relations Boutiques International (PRBI); Lucy Siegel, CEO of Bridge, was founding president – This network provides Bridge with “arms and legs” on the ground where we need them to help us help you, from Minneapolis to Moscow, San Francisco to São Paulo – For more information on PRBI, visit
  9. 9. BostonNew York (2 firms)Roseland, N.J.Philadelphia, Penn.Washington, D.C.Kansas City, Kan.Pittsburgh Grabs, SwitzerlandChicago Brighton, EnglandMinneapolis Moira, Northern IrelandHouston Munich, GermanyPhoenix (2 firms) Moscow, RussiaAspen, Colo. Sao Paulo, BrazilLos Angeles Buenos Aires, ArgentinaSan Francisco Dubai, U.A.E.Portland, Ore. Johannesburg, South AfricaSeattle Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaToronto Seoul, Republic of KoreaVancouver
  10. 10. Industry Experience• Academic Institutions • Industrial/Manufacturing• Appliances and Housewares • Non-Profit Organizations• Broadcast Media • Office Equipment• Consumer Electronics • Consumer Packaged Goods• Financial Services • Consumer Services• Food • Professional Services Firms• Games • Scientific Instruments• Governmental Organizations • Software• Healthcare • Telecommunications• Information Services • Trade & Professional• Insurance Associations• Internet retailers • Travel and Hospitality• Internet technology solutions • Travel technology
  11. 11. What We Do for Start-up Companies• Help build your company’s reputation and visibility with your key constituents – First we help develop communications strategies & the tactics to implement them – We help you shape the story you want to tell – We also focus on visibility with “gatekeepers” – those who can introduce you to many end customers – We can arrange industry analyst meetings with firms that follow and develop reports about companies in your industry – When you’re ready, we will introduce “big” business media (Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Inc., etc.) to tell your business story• We help position the company as a “challenger brand”• We help you become – or get credit for being – a thought leader
  12. 12. Challenger Brands• They have something truly different to offer• They aren’t using a template, they’re originalists• Their employees are excited about the future• Their leaders are risk-takers, but realistic• They have a great story to tell• They may be small, but the big guys are watching them
  13. 13. Thought Leadership• Entrepreneurs need a leadership “voice” to develop a challenger brand• Any company can have one, not just the industry leaders• The CEO is important in moving towards thought leadership, but can’t make the company a visionary one alone; as the company grows, others in management must support the effort• Entrepreneurial companies need a strategy to move towards this goal
  14. 14. Case Studies
  15. 15. ecobee: Green $$$ Made Easy?• ecobee hired Bridge in September, 2008 to help make its corporate and product debut• We worked with ecobee on a PR strategy for the company and its ecobee Smart Thermostat. We divided the PR campaign into phases: – Announcement phase with pre-orders – “Product available” announcement – Trade shows to get to know trade media – Consumer media/reviewers – Business media and analysts last• Set goals for measuring success• Produced press materials Helped launch ecobee’s third• In consumer PR phase, arranged product product, new Smart Si Thermostat in reviews, reaching out to traditional consumer 2012 media• Launched second product in early 2010• Launched third product in early 2012
  16. 16. ecobee: Early Media Results (First 6 Months)• U.S. articles written on/in: • 107 North American blogs • 12 Overseas blogs • 18 newspapers & magazines • 3 TV shows• Audience impressions: over 140,000,000• U.S. coverage included: • Engadget • Technorati • Gizmodo • Ubergizmo CEO Stuart Lombard with ecobee’s original • CNet • Josh Spear Smart Thermostat • Treehugger • NBC TV Chicago • Good Clean Tech • Business Week TV (PC Magazine blog) • New York Post • Crunchgear • London Times• CPM = 28 cents• At least 3 X this number of media impressions achieved after 18 months!
  17. 17. Launched New Mutual Fund at Start of “The Great Recession”• Startup investment firm Structured Investment Management’s innovative mutual fund was approved by SEC just as Lehman Bros. fell• With market in chaos, journalists ignored news of new mutual funds• We paused PR to conserve budget, waiting for media to return to routine coverage; but crisis worsened and spread worldwide• Worked with company to start building thought leadership; used time to achieve greater visibility for company and fund• Arranged several opportunities for CEO to comment on the financial crisis on Fox Business News and CNBC. He was able talk about the new fund on air• As the media slowly returned to covering routine news, we were able to arrange interviews with trade media, BusinessWeek TV, Smart Money, Kiplinger’s, Louis Rukeyser’s Mutual Fund Report and Money Magazine
  18. 18. North American Vacu-Seal Launch (Averting Disaster!)• Bridge worked with Canadian affiliate High View Communications to launch “Vacu-Seal by Pack Mate,” a hand-held kitchen vacuum sealer• Unexpected problems interfered with the launch: – The product was supposed to be first of its type on the market but unexpectedly, Reynolds launched its hand-held vacuum sealer earlier, with wider retail distribution and at a third of the price – Linens ‘n Things, Pack Mate’s key retail partner, went into Chapter 11 and didn’t provide promised retail promotion• We sent product samples to media and used multiple pitch angles with many types of journalists• Despite formidable obstacles, the campaign – PR only - achieved 22 million impressions, at a CPM of 6 cents
  19. 19. Admiral Road’s Cause Marketing Program• Bridge helped Admiral Road, a Canadian manufacturer of children’s fleece products, to enter the U.S. market• We suggested a cause marketing program as a way to inject some news value into announcement of a few new products• The new products were personalized fleece blankets for babies and kids decorated with monkeys, zebras and giraffes• Bridge positioned the new products as a new line, and named it the Admiral Road “Baby Safari” line• Bridge arranged a cause marketing sponsorship for Admiral Road with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)• Announced the new “Baby Safari” line to the media; stressed donation of a percent of sales to AWF• Admiral Road was included on the AWF web site as a sponsor (a million unique visitors/month), with a link to the AR site• This strategy provided a news hook for media coverage and attracted new animal-loving customers• Cause marketing relationship lasted for more than five years
  20. 20. Crisis Management ExperienceOur staff has helped to save companies large and small from crisesranging from boycotts to bankruptcies:•Korean economic crisis – Provided issues management and media relations counseling to bolster a top Korean conglomerate’s financial viability and U.S. image during collapsed economy in Korea• False rumors – Developed internal and external communications strategies to stop rumors of foreign company’s U.S. market withdrawal and sale; media trained senior executives and conducted aggressive media outreach• Greenmailing – Counseled corporate management on media relations involving a greenmailer who tried to use the media to manipulate the company’s board of directors; conducted aggressive media outreach to discredit the greenmailer•HIV-Contaminated Plasma – When a drug company’s HIV-tainted blood products caused a massive crisis, we developed a crisis management and communications strategy, provided counsel to the CEO, and set the direction for media relations and internal communications. As a result, we were able to help the company wind down media attention and stabilize its business environment
  21. 21. Lucy Siegel President & CEOLucy’s experience spans almost every area of PR: communications positioning, issues andcrises, corporate media relations, executive speeches, internal communications, mergercommunications and a wide range of other matters related to corporate reputation. Sheis also proficient as a marketing public relations counselor, helping clients position andsell their products and services, both in consumer and B2B industries.She started her career in journalism and then moved to PR at Equitable Life, where shedirected communications for the group health and pension asset management businessesShe then moved to Tokyo where she worked for Cosmo Public Relations, which appointedher its first non-Japanese board member.After returning to New York, she launched and headed a subsidiary for Cosmo beforeopening her own firm, which she ran for seven years until it was acquired. It is now partof Publicis in New York.Prior to founding Bridge Global Strategies LLC, Lucy spent seven years at Publicis, whereshe co-directed public relations in the agency’s New York headquarters, managing the PRstaff and overseeing all PR clients.Lucy has served in many industry leadership roles, including as an officer of the PublicRelations Society of America’s New York Chapter, Women Executives in Communicationsand the organization she helped found, PR Boutiques International. She is a graduate ofConnecticut College in New London, Ct., with a major in government.
  22. 22. Thank you for taking time to learn about us! Lucy Siegel President & CEO Bridge Global Strategies LLC 16 West 36th Street, 10th Fl. New York, NY 10018 212-583-1043 Blog: