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Worried About Raising Capital in a Recession? Give Your Company The Edge By Doing What Other Entrepreneurs Often Overlook. There's one frequently underutilized resource many entrepreneurs overlook that could give their company a competitive edge.

By Adam Horlock Edited by Maria Bailey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs and founders need to generate capital investment to grow and succeed, yet attracting such investment is daunting in this market. Amidst heavy competition and negative market forces, one frequently underutilized resource provides many companies an edge: effective PR or public relations.

By generating positive media coverage, PR can create interest in a startup and make it more attractive to potential investors. Emphasize the R in PR to build relationships with key influencers and industry experts who can promote a startup to a broader audience. By using PR effectively, startups can overcome the challenge of declining investment and improve their odds in the current market.

Start using PR as a strategy to attract investment

One of the most important — and often overlooked — aspects of PR for startups is its role in attracting investment. A well-executed PR strategy can help raise awareness of your company and generate interest among potential investors. Here are some of the most effective ways to use PR to attract investment:

1. Highlight your company's unique selling points

Beyond the problem you are solving and the solutions you offer, you need to promote what makes your company unique. Star by answering these questions: Why should investors put their money into your business? Why are you succeeding when perhaps others are failing? Make sure these points are clear in your PR.

Any company, large or small, must clearly understand its unique selling points (USPs). These aspects of your business make you stand out from the competition and attract customers and investors. PR is essential for promoting your USPs and ensuring they are communicated effectively to your target audience. Without PR, your USPs may be lost in the marketplace noise, and you could miss out on vital growth opportunities.

PR can help you clarify your USPs, identify the most effective channels for reaching your target audience, and craft messages that resonate with them. By promoting your unique selling points, PR can help you to win new customers, partners, and investors.

Related: How PR Can Attract Investors and Add Value to Your Startup

2. Use social media wisely

Social media is an excellent way for startups to connect with potential investors and get their companies noticed. However, it's essential to be strategic in your use of social media, ensuring that the content is received by different audiences continuously. Use social media to share news about your company's progress, announcements about new products or services, or articles that showcase your company's thought leadership. By sharing interesting and valuable content, you can attract the attention of potential investors and get your startup noticed. Always mix things up and keep new audiences engaged by consistently sharing various types of content.

3. Stay focused and consistent

Throughout this process, it's crucial to maintain a high level of consistency and relevancy. Keep your communications clear and concise, and stay focused on continuously putting your startup's message out. This can be a challenge, especially in the early stages when you're still trying to figure out what your brand is all about. But it's crucial to maintain a high level of consistency and relevancy. PR is all about building relationships with the media and the public, so they can become familiar with your startup and what it has to offer. If you're not consistent, you will have difficulty building those relationships.

Stay consistent, clearly grasp your brand's story, and consistently push that story out. To start, narrow the focus to existing relationships and lean on your team, existing investors, and others involved in the startup. Go for faster wins, even if it means blogs and freelance writers first. Reinforce your message with social media content. From there, go for media coverage.

4. Get media coverage

Good press can be a powerful tool for attracting investment. High-quality media coverage can help to build trust and credibility with potential investors. This goes beyond just a few press releases, as quality media coverage includes getting articles, videos, and other extended content on your business. PR can be time-consuming and costly, but it is often worth the investment. High-quality media coverage can help to build trust and credibility with potential investors, making them more likely to invest in your business.

High quality does not always mean an article is published in the largest media outlet. For example, a great story or article can run in a local television affiliate and spread from there. Many founders assume that PR means getting the brand's story published in an internationally known publication. Sometimes the best way to start using PR is to get noticed locally and build a PR campaign.

Related: Why You Need A PR Agency and How to Choose One Wisely

5. Find a dedicated expert PR team to ensure your message is heard

An experienced PR team can be invaluable in helping you to craft a story that will resonate with investors. They can also use their connections to help get your story in front of the right people. But most importantly, a good PR team can provide honest feedback and constructive criticism. They can help you identify potential weaknesses in your investment pitch and suggest ways to address them.

Not all PR agencies are created equal. When choosing a PR agency to help with your investment round, look for these essential qualities:

  1. When choosing a PR agency, it's crucial to find one with significant experience working with startups, preferably with a record of success with investment rounds for other startups. You'll also want to look for an agency that is calm under pressure and able to adapt quickly to changes. And, of course, it's essential to find an agency with which you can build a good rapport — after all, you'll be working closely together.
  2. Second, they should deeply understand the investment process and what matters to investors. Ask for case studies of other startups they ran PR for during an investment round. A PR firm with a deep understanding of the investment process can help you craft a winning message highlighting your company's strengths and ability to return investment quickly.
  3. Third, they should have a creative and unique approach to generating attention for your company. Yes, press releases are essential and often underutilized. However, a resourceful PR team will find ways to get articles published detailing and validating the purpose of your startup, why it matters, and why it is the right investment opportunity.
Adam Horlock

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chief Operating Officer, Edit Media Consulting

Adam Horlock is the Chief Operating Officer for Edit Media Consulting. His agency offers PR, social media and business consulting services to brands nationally. He has made numerous media appearances and continues to be a resource for entrepreneurs nationwide.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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