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#5 Reasons Why Start-ups Should Hire a PR Firm A PR firm helps start-ups gain publicity across right media channels and eventually attract investors for funding

By Neha Bajaj

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Last 10 years have witnessed an astronomical development in the start-up culture in India.

Over 19,000 companies have been established according to the Economic Survey 2015-2016, released by the Government of India.

The report stated that Indian start-ups have raised $3.5 billion in funding in the first half of 2015 itself. Start-ups are the future, even the authorities have understood their potential by introducing the 'Make in India' scheme. Keeping this growth in mind, Public Relation tool can be utilized by start-ups to enhance their presence in the market.

Ideally, start-ups are supposed to avoid as many expenses as possible and stay away from all frills and luxuries. A good PR agency can help a start-up create unique brand identity for itself in the market place.

However, in the minds of many, there is a misconceived notion that start-ups do not require a PR agency. On the contrary, a good PR strategy can prove to be extremely beneficial for them. A start-up needs a PR agency to build brand awareness among their target audiences and it can add wings to the company's vision.

A PR official helps you tell a story about your brand in the most unique way to your audience. People often confuse advertising and PR as one. However, that is not the case as advertising is paid media whereas PR is earned media.

1. Funding

The most important requirement for start-ups is to raise funds for the new venture, in order to meet their overall goals and objectives. Most start-ups are virtually unknown to the public, which makes investors wary and hesitant in providing the necessary capital to the company. A PR firm will help start-ups gain publicity across right media channels and eventually attract investors for funding. Hence it's vital to have immense media coverage and enough write-ups that will inspire or influence readers and create awareness or fondness for your company. PR firms help start-ups convey their story in a unique way and reiterate the brand positioning and messaging to the world. Start-ups usually fail to realize is establishing a new project is news and have better chances of selling than any mid-size company.

2. Image-Building

Start-ups should hire PR agencies as they have the fundamental expertise and knowledge to help project a favourable image of the company to the precise audience. In today's world, an image is everything it can either make or break a company. Ultimately, the image of a brand is a deciding factor that determines the product sales. People are quite impressionable and they associate much better with products or services that are more in the limelight. PR firms are able to enhance the client's image through various media platforms to garner positive publicity. To survive in the market, exposure is everything, to be above par start-ups should consistently attract media attention which can be better grasped with the help of a PR agency.

3. Gain Credibility

At some point in time, we all crave for appreciation and work harder to gain attention. However, in the world of start-ups, there is huge competition and struggle for ventures to establish themselves among others. Obviously, an advertisement is always an option to gain all the attention you need in the world but that would never give you credibility as a brand or organization. A crucial piece of information on an important news outlet is a stamp of approval from the third party and thus, brings you step closer to credibility.

4. Enhances Creativity

Start-ups require the skill sets of a PR agency because they will provide them, with a broader and an objective perspective. PR firms are known to help clients deliver out of the box and creative pitches to the media as well as the public which are beneficial to entities such as start-ups. A PR practitioner will help to develop and foster innovative ideas based on existing trends in the market to make sure that the company is reaching the right audience and is consistently getting media coverage. Start-ups should realize the importance of a creative campaign that can help them win awards and be remembered by consumers for cutting edge and quirky ideas.

5. Damage Control

Many start-ups are not well-equipped to handle crisis situations such as that of a disgruntled outpour of consumer feedback, due to a fault in the production or manufacture in some of their products and so on. PR firms, on the other hand, are better experienced and specially trained to handle and prevent crisis- like situations which can have disastrous consequences for a start-up in the long run. A good PR agency is well equipped to swiftly tackle the situation and provide a proper action plan to implement in case of a crisis situation so that maximum damage control can be achieved in minimum time.

Neha Bajaj

Director & Founder, Scroll Mantra Pvt Ltd.

Neha Bajaj, Managing Director & Founder of Scroll Mantra Pvt Ltd. has over a decade of experience in the marketing and communication sector. She graduated from Delhi University in Bachelor of Commerce and worked for almost 8 years before taking the plunge to start her own agency. She is a versatile and passionate professional with a strong inclination towards achieving operational excellence, media intelligence and strategic campaigns to realize communication objectives.

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