5 High ROI Tactics for Startup PR

Is your startup’s PR strategy up-to-date for 2021? Many startups we work with aren’t even 2020 ready 📘  

SaaS Is more competitive than ever. The best product doesn’t always win; rather the product with the best marketing strategy and brand presence.

A useful product gets created. But technical teams always skip on marketing when it’s hugely important: why?

PR can be expensive, wasteful, even counterproductive… So here are some high ROI methods to do PR for yourself – and actually get more customers.

What you’ll learn ⭐

5 Simple, Non Absolutely Useless PR Strategies (+ Our Own Proven Case-Studies) 📜

You’re diligent. You get the product made to a high standard.

Well, we’ve already mentioned startups we work with who know the old marketing and PR playbook pretty well. Problem is, that stuff doesn’t actually bring in more customers. 

See how we 15x-ed a SaaS last year

In my most recent case-study – linked above – I shared how “data mining” was able to drive PR for a VPN company:

  • Traffic value from $45,000 to $359,102
  • Backlink profile from 913 Referring Domains to 3530
  • Monthly organic traffic from 121,000 to 516,000
  • ⚡ 15X increase in sales from initial engagement

That was 2020. 

The moral?

PR works

You don’t need the next How to Win Friends and Influence People. You want something simple, something tried-and-tested, something you can use when doing press for your SaaS business to journalists.

OUR OTHER RESULTS IN 2020: 

Companies we earned huge media exposure for, landing them preposterous boosts in organic traffic:

  • By 7.083% in a year, for a new B2B software startup
  • By 200% (keyword volume) for a leading YC startup 

More convinced? Here are 5 non-nonsense SaaS PR strategies that’ll generate promotional rocket-fuel this year:

#1 The Story You Never Knew You Had 

Using Your Big Data to Generate Massive Media-Worthy Ideas 🚀

More perspective-shifting’s the best place to start our post with.

The Cisco VNI Forecast

In 1997, JK Rowling officially began her trajectory as the richest author in the world by. But how?

Rowling did what smart companies of today do. She analysed pre-existing patterns that worked really well (myths of old) and renewed them for the modern era.

It’s not about you

Ideas win over a bland press release, especially for the startups in the tech industry trying to get ahead of the competition, so #1 in this post is the Big Kahuna:

  • Find data 
  • Condense to powerful soundbites 
  • Let these become headlines / inform customer journeys
  • BONUS: Your story is visual (reporters love this… hence the Jeff Goldblum example below:)

3 Cases Where Data-Driven Marketing Shrinked Sales Barriers 🔎 …

Data Drive #1 – 

Demographics: DirectTV did this to find new customers (analyzing various data points including: age, gender, location, job) and found the perfect target … people who recently moved into a new home

US Consumers New Home
Directv Movers Event

Outcome ⚙️: Their new, data-driven campaign outperformed the original. They also appeared in The Wall Street Journal. 

It’s tricky to get reliable estimates on websites that don’t belong to you – of exactly how much traffic specific webpages have received during a period of time. But a quick basic glance at the sort of average stats (one by using SEMrush and the other Neil Patel’s free Ubersuggest tool) shows a startling amount of eyeballs on the website as a whole.

There is also no doubt that the Wall Street Journal has an extraordinarily high authority in the SEO algorithms.

Traffic Analytics WSJ

This alone is a PR win. 

⭐ FOUR PRO TIPS: How to measure the effectiveness of your PR campaign for yourself

Futurama Suspicious Meme

So now, you’re wondering how the heck we know this data drive was actually effective (worthwhile)…

Before we move on to more examples, let’s dig into measuring efficacies.

As a decision-maker, you need assurances that your PR investments are generating quality ROI results. Measuring a PR campaign’s effectiveness and impact is challenging but not pointless nor impossible. Here are 4 simple criterion our team considers prudent: 

1. Media impact 

Basically how many impressions you have in a given period. 

For instance, if you were mentioned by the Wall Street Journal online, you can’t measure physical circulation numbers. There’s less hope of divining how many times your specific article page was viewed as there are many more online WSJ articles than it has per physical paper publication (unless you made it into the digital print edition). 

But you can track the number of sum total “press clippings.”

How? Regularly search the inter-webs for how many times/where your brand is mentioned and any backlinks to source sites. Rank the authority level hierarchically and scan for signs of special engagement like shares, likes and comments. The same goes for social media

2. Content evaluation

So you were mentioned. But was the press coverage valuable? Did the reporter note your brand’s key messages? Does the article’s portrayal of your company shed a positive light?

It’s important to monitor the quality of impressions and articles, as well as quantity.

3. Organic traffic

What you don’t measure, you can’t optimise. It’s important to note how much traffic you have coming in before you start your PR campaign versus after.

If you have many projects with their own CTAs occurring at the same time, this may be tricky. Nevertheless, you could still discover clear trends such as a massive spike in traffic after a specific mention in a high authority part of the Internet.

4. Lead source

An oft-overlooked but simple way to get a clear idea of where your sales are flooding in from.

A well-executed PR campaign will be self-improving. Ask your new clients how they heard about your brand and its offerings.

Make sense? okay then, onto more examples 👇🏽


Data Drive #2 – 
Customer Journey: HubSpot decided to hit visitors who never quite became customers – they did this with target ads emphasizing how fast the CRM can be set up.

Outcome ⚙️: 10K people checked out the associated tutorial video on FaceBook alone with a good number of likes and a few shares. A specific subsection of HubSpot’s audience – those already considering purchasing – were given another reason to go ahead and buy. 

HubSpot-on-Facebook
HubSpot Facebook Video

Keep in mind that ‘retargeting ads’ focus on the audience who really knows who you are.

10,000 people – who might otherwise have taken longer to make a sale, or bounced altogether – were instead drawn into watching a tutorial video on the simple setup.

The trick to this kind of data drive is to know possible objections leads have to making a purchase. In this case, HubSpot decided some people were unsure how difficult the setup would be. You should know what your prospects most common initial hesitations are. 

Re-target based on their reasons for cancelling, which you’ve gleaned from data about your typical customer’s journey…


Data Drive #3 – 

Weather: An interesting study found that 71% of customers prefer ads tailored just for them… Very.co.uk turned this into a homepage banner campaign… Here’s what a user visiting the site on a rainy day would see – it even includes their first name:

Very Nicky Shop

Outcome ⚙️: The campaign garnered media press, a CEO press release and made this headline as well as this high traffic mention from a global media platform and the self-described biggest marketing site in Europe

A quick look at the second mention, from TheDrum (stats from SEMrush), shows that the site brings in over 1 million unique views monthly. That’s a good pond to fish in.

Traffic-Analytics

These are all actually (mostly) examples of direct PR (to the customer). 

And they’re endless in variety. 

Public relations (PR) is also about building relations with reporters and other influencer targets to promote a brand, company or product. 

Either way, you are selling ideas. Data-driven campaigns boost your chances of being relevant to the times. Like Very’s campaign, it gets you headlines, attention and recaptured targets. 


Getting into the Habit of Noticing Data Drives 🎦: 

Many times, these data indicators have already been goldmined. 

Notice how YouTube’s videos automatically play while scrolling on mobile? 

Well, thank Netflix, one of the first SaaS companies to instantly play programs once they are selected. 
It’s so effective at capturing attention, TikTok used this to get downloaded 738 million times in 2019, beating Facebook.


More Data Isn’t Always Better: 

Remember, ideas win the day. 

There are infinite pieces of data to mine at any point. It’s not the data, it’s how it’s framed and used. 

For instance: In 2018, NowTV used this giant sculpture of Jeff Goldblum famous chest, to generate interest in them and Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary premiere.

Jurassic Park

Outcome ⚙️: Massive PR for what would, otherwise, have been an unremarkable premiere. Headlines here and here and here, among others … even a Wiki Page.

Statue of Jeff Goldblum Wikipedia

SaaS Case Study: Using Data Mining to Attract Huge Business (As An Unknown SaaS)

Okay, so you’re loosened up a little…

Onto a case-study that relates to the average SaaS. 

Again…PR is about ideas (my aim is to get you into the mind state). Whatever can get a reaction inside the relevant target audience is likely worth considering.

As mentioned, infographics, something visual is particularly well-loved by reporters.

Content marketing Institute reports that B2B companies have nearly a 25% increase in chance of success with content marketing when used with PR.

But there’s more to this than PR stunts like the topless photo above. 
A ‘F2S’ case-study: PredPol

PredPol

Aptly named, ‘PredPol’ began working with Los Angeles and Santa Cruz police two years ago, using a variation of the Earth prediction algorithms and crime data to predict the chances of a crime. It’s accurate to within 500 ft².

PedPol continues to get press-attention, plus further adoption and – last year – worked with 50 police departments: Roughly 20,000 total patrol officers across the US, and even now in England (14 forces).

This is not an example of glowing press with the public. But it’s super effective with the police, who increasingly use PredPol for patrols 🚓 and have had a rocky time of public relations for some time anyway.

It’s:

✔️ A big headline

✔️ Powerfully to-the-point 

✔️ Seriously insightful or enticing 

KEY TAKEAWAYS 📋

Today we live in a world of impossible data. So let’s capitalise things: 

A few summary examples of how Big Data and Data Mining – about your business / the market – can be used: 

  • Sentimental Analysis / Social Media Mining: Combine social listening and Big Data for useful niche-community opinion data. Customise your campaign fittingly to better fit the perceived value of your target client. Stay ahead of bad news spirals in a world where over 30% of company crises go global in under 60mins. 
  • Earned Media: Rather than measuring the efficacy of your efforts via view counts or social shares, more accurate, robust and insightful data can be garnered by new analytics tools. For instance, how many clicked a specific link after reading the post? Of those, who purchased?
  • Trend Analysis: What’s worked in the past, what was its history? Search our popular hashtags, the triggers behind negative reactions. Adjust your messaging based on the trends you find, generate interest more effectively by analysing the audience first.
  • Database Marketing / Database Campaigns: For headlines and customer journeys. E.g.: A data-based PR campaign by Motovo targeted 30 top terms, e.g. beer, church,  college…by analysing 300k tweets, to discover precise populations / locations talking about these topics. Leading to many features like Bustle, Fixable and Mashable

In today’s world, the benefits of big data doesn’t depend on how much you have, how well you work with it. Adapt and make better real-time decisions, faster than your competition.

PRO TIP: Start here ☝🏿 in your PR plan. 

#2 Become a Master of Newsjacking

You Have the Sexy, Data-Mined Scoop. Release When Warm Hot 🌡️

Onto more less meta, more practical tips.

We’re narrowing down from the scale of the universe, though we’re still in the world of Big Data and Data Mining – we still need to lift-off. 

Reporter pitching via keywords

Fit your business story into a current discussion in an engrossing way. Some event occurs: You want to weave your analytics into what’s already going viral. 

Life of a News Story

Content marketers call this newsjacking, And it’s a great way to pitch reporters in a more eye grabbing way, great for both SaaS PR and marketing.

For instance, a piece of breaking news occurs in the tech sector going viral on social media such as Instagram. Perhaps you use this to pitch your hosting technology business press release in a clever way, to get attention.

Why does this work?

Reporters eat, drink, breathe current events.

News Story Meme

They want fresh stories relevant to the moment, the times. Aligning that story you developed, with breaking news, is a simple hack that can boost how likely your SaaS businesses is to get press attention.

Newsjacking Step #1: Create a template pitch 

No point in leaving this to the last minute. 

At any rate, keep your pictures really short. Focus on the really valuable content and make it clear what you want. You should be able to do this in 2-3 sentences, 25 words tops – 10 as your target.

Reporters work and tight deadlines on 24-hour news cycles. They’ll appreciate brevity.

You should avoid being ingratiating: No flattery, praise. Try to avoid pitching on a story that’s already been published. You might also not want to mention other places you published your specific story: Reporters often want exclusive stories.

⭐ Example pitches:

Reporters likely don’t know your business. You need to connect with them on a necessitous or emotional level.

Witty:

After the iPhone 6 was released, people initially thought their phones were bending in their pockets, causing some uproar. KitKat quickly seized on this with a witty, on-brand newsjack that created massive engagement:

And after the breakup of Brad and Angelina, Norwegian Airline’s response:

KitKat
Norwegian Airline Ad

Emails:

Here’s a little infographic on how great subject lines work:

Subject Line Infographic

Build up a collection of potential contacts, checking the beats on things like their social media accounts. You can also get this from tools like JustReachOut which has historical data and can automate the process:

Do you have cool visuals to incorporate in your pitch? It packs more data faster than words. Can you condense the key takeaway is into this image? It’s not necessary however. Some approaches:

  • Your email is a “helpful” email: Your sharing relevant content that might help them.
  • To build up specific relationships with influencer types, you can begin with an “appreciation” email, such as by pointing out a typo in a previous article, just so they have you on their radar. Nothing ingratiating, just passing. 

Newsjacking email template example:

Subject line: RE: OnlyFans now accepts bitcoin.

Email Body: 

“Hey Sam,

Read your post about OnlyFans accepting bitcoin and thought [company idea pitch] was further relatable news.

[Image?]

Thanks,

[Name, position]”

Newsjacking Step #2: Set up Google Alerts for specific keywords

Google Alerts for Keywords

Select the story that has been covered by most media outlets in your specific niche. Maybe it’s a massive sports event, or a controversial celebrity story that relates to your fashion SaaS product.

  1. Head to google.com/alerts in your browser.
  2. Input the search terms for topics you want to track. You get previews for each one you enter.
  3. Select “show options” to narrow alerts to specific languages, sources, and/or regions.
  4. Choose “create alert.”
  5. Have a member of your team reach out to media outlets or specific reports who have covered the topic with your pitch. 
  6. Track and test open/response rates and iterate on the pitch

Now you’ll get a notification when Google indexes a page matching terms you’ve chosen.

Newsjacking Step #3: Tweak to target the hitters

Avoid sending to generic email addresses like “tips@techcrunch.com.”

Target specific writers who cover the keywords you are targeting. This will let you develop relationships with each one who responds. You will have a greater chance of being read too (personalise your email to each person, though you only have a small amount of copy, so it’s limited: Consider hiring a copywriter too).

Double check: You can target the specific writer by checking the masthead (“about” section) for who’s covering what beat. Each industry specific publication usually covers a narrow selection:

Masterhead

Don’t rely on your pitch being forwarded to the correct editor. Targeting is very important. Have a look at their recent posts. What did their last 3 stories look like?

Newsjacking Mistakes

Before Writing your pitch, setting up your keywords and choosing the current event, ask yourself this:

  1. Does the message reflect your brand personality?
  2. Is there really a link between your brand and the new story? Does it make sense? (Topics can be very diverse, e.g. fashion designers can target vegans, climate change, worker rights – as well as fashion week.
  3. Do you have a clear sense of your target audience for this story?
  4. Is the story still breaking news? Were you too slow?
  5. Do you actually have an interesting angle? Being vague might damage your reputation.
  6. Is the breaking news sensitive or radioactive? Would associations be reckless – or a bold opportunity?

KEY TAKEAWAYS 📋

It’s (the pitch):

✔️ Crisp and concise

✔️ Targeted to specific reporters & beats 

✔️ Triggered by specific, customized (e.g. region) keywords 

#3 Answer Media Queries as a Subject-Matter-Expert

Put Your Know-How to Use, Help Journalists / Get Featured At the Same Time

Your know-how makes you valuable.

By answering a journalistic request, you get positive media coverage for your brand.

Media requests are where reporters asked for comments, information, quotes, or answers from experts on specific subjects or topics. Journalist requests are sometimes called PR requests or source requests.

Haro

HARO

Haro is a popular sourcing tool that lets journalists connect with relevant experts, and lets brands tell their stories. Standing for ‘help a reporter out,’ Haro gives you daily emails with lists of journalists and their needs.

Example:

HARO Example
⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

Access to 55,000 journalists and bloggers. More the 50k journalist queries each year from highly respected media outlets. It’s the most popular sourcing service in the western world – no greater reach around. 

ProfNet

ProfNet

An old brand that’s been around since 1992: they connect experts, journalists, PR professionals, and other associated parties. They’re now partnered with Haro (Help A Reporter Out).

It’s not free to use for businesses, but comes with deep, veteran connections. Trusted by mainstream reporters and looters, Wall Street Journal, etc., and influence bloggers. 

You can get access to government officials, publishers, industry analysts, academic researchers, and more. As with Haro, ProfNet is email-based. Queries come in relative to your specific experience/expertise.

⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

Aimed specifically at experts. Owned by the same company that runs HARO, if you want to go the media queries route (which we discuss later in this article), it’s a good option. As a subject matter expert, you’ll make contacts and earn mentions.

My Blog U

Also a tool to accomplish content marketing goals. For instance, make requests with brainstorms to get ideas on how to talk about specific topics. 

MyBlogU connects writers and bloggers who have digital assets and case studies and expertise and knowledge they want to share. Request help and get help in return. Think of this as a place where you can stash elements related to your project, to get unique angles and unexpected collaborations / mentions:

  • Quotes
  • Questions to generate user insights 
  • Request interviews / group interviews
  • Get expert opinions from people in your industry
⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

Crowdfund your way to more mentions. We’d have this as an extra option that could generate surprising mentions and connects. 

Business Wire

Another veteran: business wire has been around for 50 years: A portal to share and exchange multimedia news and financial disclosures.

The advanced targeting options and ways to measure your data. The downloadable press release option which is mostly automated by business wire. It’s a paid service, requiring membership to use but handy for connecting with experts.

⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

Again: As a paid, well-respected service, we put this in the same league as Cision. Give this 60-90 days – in tandem with that outlet – see what interesting PR emerges as a result of strategic sourcing. 

By Journalist Database

By Journalist Database

Presshunt.co is just one example here: With them, you’ll get access to a database of 580,000 journalists.

Rather than spending hundreds of hours sifting through all of the possible data in your specific industry –  reporters, journalists and broadcasters – find it all compiled in one place, with a focus on coverage and contact info. Sign up is free.

⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

Has automatic PR alerts sent to your email. Deep access to news databases. A realtime database of journalist requests and sources. And free to try out – with podcast and influencer search filters…

Things to consider when choosing a database for PR:

  1. Media database size
  2. International media database size
  3. Usefulness of such filters
  4. Pricing / contract length
  5. Availability of contact info 

Other databases to consider are Prowly, Cision, Agility PR, Muck Rack, Meltwater, 

Anewstip and Pressrush – among others. 

#4 Use Socials to Drive Traffic 

Use AMA’s (Ask Me Anythings) For Convo-Building 💬

You might not know that Reddit AMAs can send HUGE amounts of traffic to your site. We’ll start there. 

Here’s how it works.:

Firstly: Much-used, user-based social channels like Reddit are secret goldmines. Terrifying amounts of traffic flows through them, and even more, most of your competitors turn their noses down on these spots, because of the well popularised “trolling” culture.

So you’ll have to embrace these platforms and let your experience of it inform your content marketing strategy. 

Reddit has over 250 million users, with 50k+ diverse communities – so if you have something to sell, there’s probably a market for you there (this includes 850,000 subreddits). 

The two main ways to promote your business on Reddit:

  1. Paid ads
  2. Organic reach
⚙️ How it could increase to your SaaS company’s bottom-line revenue: 

You could possibly gain access to an enormous part of your niche while your competition completely ignores them.

The way to think of these spaces is like churches and festivals of old. Today, communities exist online as surely as monthly bake sale mom groups. 

Win them over, it’s free positive PR. 

Step one: find the right sub read it and reach out to its moderator.

You post AMA’s in specific particular subjects. In them, you disclose who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and create a new thread for the entire audience of that sub- Reddit to ask any questions they may have.

An example of international bestseller, Brandon Sanderson – known for epically-long fantasy novels 📚 – and his subreddit AMA, done a few years ago .

Our advice: Begin with smaller subreddits, until you begin to get a feel for the platform. Here’s a way to look for your specific niche, e.g. “entrepreneurism”:

Reddit Entrepreneur

You don’t always need to contact the moderator, but as best practice: They often help with promotion to the entire community, and can become fantastic advocates driving more people back to the AMA.

Step two: Don’t post too much, let your pre-existing audience know

This kind of launch works best if you only have a decent sized audience. So let them know about the AMA.

Talk to any previous content or guest poster collaborators and let them know too – ahead of schedule. Drop a message to your Facebook group. 

Don’t post too many AMAs in too many groups too quickly. This may lead to warning flags. 

Step three: Work the algorithms ⚙️

These three things will keep your post higher in the algorithms:

  • Activity: When was the latest comment? If you have multiple sources of collaborators and audience members associated with your business, trickle news of the AMA in phases.
  • Engagement: An offshoot of the above. But people actually posting comments, asking questions and so on? When advertising your AMA, make it a debate.
  • Upvoting: How many people press “up “in replies and comments. The more of these, the more exposure Reddit will give you. You may even end up on the front page. So this is a very important metric.

⭐ PRO TIP: Use your team to down-vote any trolls who get onto your AMA, and to promote some good, regular upvotes. And have a pre-made content spreadsheet with interesting how-to’s, thought pieces, case studies and links to popular content on your site – to share throughout the AMA. 

In the content spreadsheet even map out how you will edit your initial post: 1st, 2nd, 3rd… Your first post may simply say thank you for everyone who’s shown up and asking such great questions. 

Next, about an hour in putter linking that captures leads and hopefully can respond to people you are asking about your business offerings.

The third edit may wrap things up with a conclusion, thinking everyone again and adding any important links.

Think of your AMA as a “cheat sheet” to send large amounts of traffic to specific places

LEAD TAKEAWAYS 📋

It’s:

✔️ all about starting discussions

✔️ all about organic traffic

✔️ all about “not being above it the commoners”

Are you using Quora?

Quora AMA’s are another massively useful way of doing an AMA campaign.

Quora AMAs

You might strategize a little differently: Use one of the journalistic databases we listed above to find a journalist related to your niche.

Find a question with a good amount of traffic going into it (Perhaps a well-known person in your niche has responded themselves in this thread). Create an AMA that quotes something from the journalist’s past work, and reference the journalist as an expert in the field.

Send the journalist an email letting them know that they were mentioned in this conversation.

Make sure your answer is detailed with a quote or reference to the journalist or influence your targeting.

Shoot an email letting them know about your Quora answer (could also be a tweet). A great way to build initial relationships before making future pitches.

Other examples:

#5 Others People’s Stories 

Prototype Your Story Around Pre-Existing Successful Posts 🔲

A final tip to save you many headaches.

Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to create an Innovative story angle that will grab you unique media attention.

As an old saying in showbiz is that every story has been told before a million times.

A script-writer watches Jurassic Park and makes The Godfather, using the same plot structure / emotional themes ⚔️ but completely different details.

Certain topics are seasonal or, over and over again under new guises:

  • Human interest stories – these look into the personal aspect of an event organisation, evoking emotion. Think of David vs. Goliath or an heroic act.
  • Fun facts n’ figures – the media loves to share data around the latest research studies. They like surprising or affirming polls, surveys and percentages.
  • Stories related to current events – no surprise, the COVID-19 captured most of 2020, generating endless interest alone.
  • Stories challenging common knowledge – this is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: Turner popular belief on its head, proven with statistics. For instance, UCLA discovered one in five college students in California is homeless or has been so in the past year.
  • Seasonal stories – established staples of the media. During the holiday season, reports and observations specifically related to these events are in greater demand. You can plan this ahead of time.

The 3 PR Rookie Errors To Absolutely Avoid ❌

Not Free PR: 3 PR Errors That Won’t Do You Any Good.

#1 Mistake: Going With A Non SaaS-Specific PR Agency 

MailChimp Ad Campaign

Most PR companies won’t have a proven SaaS track-record. They’re hard to find. 

Even the big SaaS guys like Mailchimp – while staying far from radioactive PR fails that have anything to do with the COVID – now and again just lose track of who their customer is and how to talk to them.

Don’t write a blank cheque to a PR firm without a proven track record of successfully giving quality exposure to SaaS companies.

Request for specific media contacts in publications where you want to get features. Ask how they measure their metrics: Do they offer insights into users sent to your page from specific sources, rather than just shares and views?

Do not settle for generalities. Request specific success stories. Know that not every PR firm is equipped to handle SaaS companies.

You may actually be better off doing your own PR.

Companies We Have Worked With Section

If you are looking for a PR & marketing company who actually knows how to grow SaaS brands, have a chat with us

#2 Mistake: Not Connecting To The Modern World

I specifically used Reddit in the AMA section for this post.

Royal Mail News Title

While Royal Mail is noosed by old union contracts and dying an agonizing death, Amazon is consuming Earth itself. 

This isn’t an exact parallel for connecting to the modern world as a SaaS, but the central message holds up.

It’s tempting to relegate yourself only to traditional media. All you want is to connect with people who care about your brand: You have something to offer them and you’re good at it.

This is your story.

But you still need to attract media attention, you need to express your story in a way that connects with trends and events occurring outside of your firm – these are the branches connected to that centrepiece, the heart of your firm.

Brand Building

Consider searching out other influences in your niche: Blogs; organic search opportunities like Twitter, Reddit and Quora; anything that can zero you in on the perfect target audience – whatever corner of the inter-webs they happen to be hanging out in.

This will ultimately give you an edge over the more conservative competition.

#3 Mistake: A Vague, Unoptimized Strategy 

Unlike the Mailchimp example above, your PR should be integrated with your business.

If you connect closely with your marketing. You know exactly what you want to achieve via media coverage.

This is where liaising with professionals – particularly with copywriting, storytelling and visual designers – can be immensely useful:

  • ✔️ Are you using the right visuals? When done right, they can help you with fast pitching and headline generation.
  • ✔️ Do you know your story, are you telling it correctly and in the appropriate place? E.g. the right publications.
  •  ✔️Are you measuring your PR in detail? Eg. with something like Semrush.
  • ✔️ How long before results? Rule of thumb: 60-90 days.

Why PR Is Critical For Your SaaS  ✅

OK, you’re clued up on how to generate high-quality PR: From meta to micro. I thought it would be nice to circle back on why PR is so important:

1. Helps with sales 

How We’ve Seen This: Our 15x sales increase for a new VPN, in 2020. 

We mentioned PredPol earlier in this guide, a company that first generated the interest of US police forces in two states in the US by providing data insights able to predict crime in a 500 ft² radius.

In 2020, they posted about being accepted in the prestigious GovTech100 list again. 

And, currently, they’re working with 14 forces across the UK too… The moral: Public relations isn’t about becoming best friends with the whole nation. Know your target audience and give them data to be excited about.

Whether using a Reddit AMA or getting mentioned in TechCrunch, more eyeballs potentially adds up to more direct sales – from reputation, social proof and qualitative evidence.

2. Helps with SEO (even after search-aglo updates)

How We’ve Seen This (just two examples): 

  • Our 7.083% increase in organic traffic, in 1 year, for a new B2B software startup.
  • Doubling the organic traffic for a forex broker news site, via an outreach campaign.

SEO is a complicated matter bolstered not only by how much time visitors spend on your webpages.

Crawlers notice almost everything. Any they damn sure notice when high authority journalistic sources mention your product, and when views flood in as a result.

You’ll be seen as more credible – not only by those who come across you via these sources. Search engines factor in ‘social proof’ factors like this. Other sites also link more to high-auth articles in their own content, generating even more backlinks.

This tends to stick you in good SEO standing even as the algos update. 

3. Helps with brand awareness

How We’ve Seen This: Our 200% boost in kw volume for a leading YC startup

People may know you as the founder of some SaaS business, but are you trustworthy?

You said so on the “about” page?

Fat luck!

The higher the authority website you are mentioned by – assuming it’s done in a positive manner from the perspective of your target – the greater your reach will inevitably be.

There are infinite ways to leverage this sort of reputation: New leads in your customer journey may not even be aware of those mentions – a very cool opportunity to further spike already warmed interests. Reference the fact in new posts, for content marketing. Place logos on your website, where you’ve been talked about.

In some ways, the ROI of PR is too subtle to really measure. It’s truly rocket fuel, helping you get to other places more surely and faster.

The Red Carpet: YOU Can Take Great Steps 

Yep… You’re a Great Option

Doing PR for SaaS firms isn’t the same as for most other businesses. The tech industry is particularly innovative; moves at the speed of light; add to that, all of the industry-specific terms saturating it rather uniquely.

As a result, you have two options as a SaaS business owner: Go Rambo 🔫 (do it yourself). Or target proven PR firms that know exactly what’s entailed with SaaS PR – with success stories to back up claims.

My opinion?

As a fellow SaaS entrepreneur, I’ve found that founders make the best pitches, get the best mentions.

Are you ready to start your SaaS PR journey?

Fill us in with your own success story in the comment section below.

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