Startup PR Costs: Plus or Minus?

Startup companies give PR professionals the opportunity to utilize their skills to the best of their ability. These companies give PR pros the chance to build a brand’s image from the bottom up and to introduce something unknown to the media — it even gives them the chance to perhaps work on the “next big thing.”

However, many startups don’t see the value in hiring a public relations agency. It’s something we’ve talked about at the agency where I work and the same debate appeared in an article on PRNewser.

It’s a problem agencies will continue to face — especially in startup markets like San Francisco.

In my opinion, it’s clear PR help is exactly what a startup company needs. One of the most important items a company needs to address upon launch is their key messaging. This will largely determine the public’s perception of the company and whether their product is successful.

PR agencies also understand how to reach a company’s target audience effectively. Not only do startups lack the time or manpower to do so, they aren’t experts at cultivating, branding and messaging for target customers.

Perhaps the most important reason startups should hire a PR firm is so they can be in control of how their story is told. If they wait too long, someone else could decide to do it for you — and that may not be what you had in mind. Given the nature of the Internet and evergreen content, it’s better to invest now and craft your story early on.

What do you think? Is it important for a startup company to hire a PR firm right away or should they wait until they are more established and can better afford the investment?

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