Your PR Strategy will depend on the stage at which you are with your startup.
Stage #1: Sales - you start with this. Focus on low lying fruits that you can win, so that you achieve PMF.
Stage #2: Value Marketing - you focus on value (our product helps achieve xyz, cheaper / better / faster). RoI focused. Leverage channels where you can clearly measure the cost of acquisition and can scale up - aka - digital channels.
Stage #3: Brand Marketing - You focus on values. eg. Artists like x, use the products we make. Nike, Apple, etc.
You need to know the right time to transition and expand your focus. A "brand" will do all three as part of the overall campaign, with emphasis on values.
Your PR strategy should kick in, when you are in Stage #2 and Stage #3, and you have to do that consistently.
Though brand-new startups can get some publicity in the media talking about the story of the founders (especially if you were part of another successful startup) - or got funded by some well known Angels or VCs, that coverage is not sustainable. It is also not the time to focus on PR.
Keep in mind, that PR does not get you leads - only creates visibility. The goal for an early stage startup is one : Achieve product market fit. How? Get that initial set of users (100 customers for B2B). Before achieving PMF, too much PR can simply add noise to what you are doing and worse might get you customers who don't fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). I'd recommend working with a focused, cohort based "sales" approach to achieve PMF First, at that stage.
As the startup matures, so does the messaging and the channels through which you do. You also start focusing a little bit upstream in the funnel. You can start targeting profiles who are not just product-aware, but also solution-aware and problem-aware.
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