Our PowerStart Program Delivers Strategic PR Resources to Pre-Series A Startups – Is Your Startup Ready?

Whether they’re reshaping markets or bringing a bold new vision to the forefront, startups have a certain magic about them. Many have a compelling offering but don’t always have the resources to hire a respected public relations agency to help build their brand positioning and awareness.

We recently launched PowerStart, a service offering designed to give pre-Series A technology companies access to topflight public relations, content and digital marketing services at an affordable price. The program, available in a tiered pricing structure, provides startups with the agility to choose the marketing areas that will best help them drive visibility, sales opportunities and revenue growth, secure partnerships, attract talent, acquire funding and more.

 

With PowerStart ready to help, the question becomes – is my startup ready for public relations?

A startup is typically ready for PR when it is clear about its business goals, has determined priority target market(s) it is able to address, has a vision for its brand identity, has compelling market proof (customers are key) and can articulate to its PR partner how the company or technology is unique and differentiated. With these ingredients in place, an agency is armed and ready to counsel on messaging and brand positioning, and to define the supporting PR functions and creative programs that will achieve the desired visibility and brand awareness results.

One of the most important pieces of the PR puzzle, is having a meaningful and ongoing engagement with your PR team, who will bring you proactive ideas. Your job will be to have a compelling perspective that advances a conversation. Startups want great press. Publications want great stories that best serve their readership. Understanding that PR serves as a bridge, connecting your story to the publications that matter, also means skillfully balancing those two (and sometimes competing) agendas. This is why PR agencies encourage startups to not only promote themselves, but to invest in relationships with these publications and serve as thought leaders. Offering valuable insight to reporters and expertise to the markets it hopes to reach, gives startups an edge when it comes to coverage.

If you’d like to learn more about our PowerStart program and explore if your company is ready for PR, I’d love to talk with you – drop me a line at sian@karbocom.com

 

Are You Vulnerable?

Protecting Your Company From Everyday Threats To Major Disasters                  By Julie Karbo, CEO

Bad CEO behavior. An oil spill. A dangerous product. These are the kinds of catastrophes that come to mind when many of us think of the corporate cautionary tale. It’s something that happens to someone else. Not us. Or we tell ourselves that disasters are large and cataclysmic in cause and effect. There isn’t anything on our corporate radar that can do that much damage. And if something does happen, we’ll respond quickly and avert any real damage. We mistakenly think we’re covered.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that no matter what the size of your company or how healthy your market is, no one is immune from damaging forces beyond their control. In 2019, who would have thought a global pandemic would sound the death knell for an additional 200,000 businesses of all sizes according to the Fed? We’ve seen legacy brands such as Hertz, Neiman Marcus, Gold’s Gym, and J. Crew file for bankruptcy protection. A crisis can be the death knell for even the healthiest companies.

We don’t need to look to a once in a hundred-year pandemic for dangers to companies. To be effective executives, we must broaden how we define and mitigate a crisis.  If a competitor suddenly announced a product that exceeds your product’s features and is backed by top brand endorsements and a high-quality marketing campaign, would that pose a threat to sales? Would a social media firestorm criticizing the company based on a policy or controversial customer action affect your ability to sell and hire? Would an unflattering analyst report damage the sales funnel? How about a problematic funding or IPO effort that could cause a financial crisis? The smart executive team realizes that threats come in all shapes and sizes and at any time. Thorough preparation is the best tool to mitigate even the most damaging market, natural disaster, and global event.

At Karbo Com, we’ve crafted custom crisis protection models for companies from startups to multi-billion-dollar brands. These shields of protection can focus on competitive threats, product issues, stock de-listings, social media revolts, community issues, management team errors or misbehavior, employee misconduct on social media, and more.

There are four critical elements to our unique process:

  1. Threat Assessment Matrix: This stage anticipates any threats to the company that could result in critical damage. This may include product failures, social media campaigns, competitive strikes, a problematic funding or IPO event, executive misbehavior, and more. Karbo Com also conducts an audit of key stakeholders and relevant outside sources such as media and analyst perceptions.
  2. The Message Matrix: In this stage, protective foundational messaging and customized narratives for key stakeholders and personas are developed and tested.
  3. The Playbook: Next, we create a custom playbook. This document will identify players, threat process and mitigation, and proactive and reactive programs and processes.
  4. Post-Threat Analysis and Correction: In the final phase, if a crisis occurs, a thorough assessment of the event and response is carried out and any necessary corrections made.

The crisis plan is a necessity, not a nicety. Don’t get caught in a game of Russian roulette.  The stakes are too great. Assess and prepare to alleviate – and in many cases avoid – threats to your company’s survival. If your company, no matter the size, is interested in learning more about how we can protect you from vulnerabilities, please contact us today: info@Karbocom.com.