“Covering the Bases: PR for Startups” PT. 1: An Introduction and First Steps

ARPR LogoToday, we are introducing a mini blog series titled, “Covering the Bases: PR for Startups” where members of local public relations agency, AR|PR, will shed light on integrated communications strategies and tactics that we at 52 Businesses need to implement in order to help take this project to the next level. While we could’ve sat down for a consultation over coffee at PJ’s or drinks at Capedville with these Launch Pad-based ladies, we thought you guys might benefit from these insights too, so we will be nice and share.


Are you prepared for the party?

Why your personal brand is key when launching a new business.

How’s your LinkedIn profile looking? How about your Twitter profile and feed – yes, your personal Twitter account. These are a few of the very first questions we ask when we participate in client kick-off meetings. Why do we care? Well, it’s certainly not because we noticed the guy who photobomed your “headshot” (ok, maybe we did).  In the next few paragraphs we will tell you why we care about your personal image and why you should too, but bottom line: Eighty percent of a new company’s value is its CEO. Yes, your personal brand is essential to building credibility, buzz and ultimately helping you do what we love to do at AR|PR – #makenews. So, without further adieu here are 5 do’s to help optimize your personal brand:

1. Personal Audit – First thing first – Googled yourself lately?  Get on that bad boy and what old photos and digital collateral exists around your personal brand.  How do you want an investor, reporter or prospects to perceive you?  Is this currently being communicated in a Google search?

2. Update and Optimize your bio – Your bio is gold when starting a company, with 80 percent of your value in your CEO and/or executive team, it’s important that this bio is well-written, sings your praises, tells your story succinctly and most importantly speaks to your personality.  Be sure to incorporate keywords that related to your experience and business in this bio as it will be placed across the web and can help with your personal brand and website’s SEO.

3. Headshots – No, your headshots do not have to include the same Lifetouch background that you had in you
Example headshotr grade school yearbook pictures in order to be considered professional.  It actually would be even better if your headshots were onbrand.  Take Launchpad startup Airpnp’s cofounder and “PEO,” Max Gaudin.  We think it’d be great if he’s snap a shot on a toilet (fully clothed, of course).  Finally, be sure these photos are high resolution.  That’s what reporters are looking for and will be slightly annoyed when you send them your favorite selfie.

Here’s a headshot example from our client, Diane.  This pretty lady is the entrepreneur behind a hot sports analytics company, so we took her to a football field for her glamour shot.  Professional, yet onbrand.  You get the picture (pun intended).

4. Beautify your LinkedIn – Obvious things first – now that you have an updated and optimized bio and on brand headshot, make sure to include these nuggets in your LinkedIn profile.  Other optimization updates include:

  • Add keywords throughout your profile that will position you as a thought leader and help with SEO
  • Make sure your headline is your personal value proposition – it’s not just about your title and company
  • Finally, did you know you can add articles to your LinkedIn profile?  Well, you can…and you should.  These articles will help with thought leadership and credibility.

Check out our own Colin Grussing’s LinkedIn profile to see these tips in action.

5. Crunchbase and agnel.co – have you heard of them?  There are other professional social networks out there besides LinkedIn and these are two of them that are in line with any startup’s audience – investors.  These platforms will also help with SEO as well as executive positioning.

Finally, don’t feel bad if you have to phone a friend. Sometimes when your world is filled with countless emails, recruitment strategies and budgeting – a PR professional comes in handy. Having a team member who understands how to navigate the traditional and digital media landscapes, has relationships with journalists and knows what “AP Style,” “broll,” “soundbyte” and “embargo” means can be comforting when navigating the stressful seas of a startup journey.

At AR|PR, we understand that a traditional PR retainer may not be in the budget just yet, that’s why we are here to help with our Startup Packages. These three-tiered, one time priced packages may just what you need to give your brand a boost at a price you can afford.

Have more questions? We’d love for you to hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or, of course, LinkedIn.

Good Luck!