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Clarity PR — a London-based firm that represents over 100 startups in industries ranging from consumer retail to fintech — focuses exclusively on implementing public relations strategies for fast-growing technology companies. Today, Clarity includes 35 professionals across London, Berlin and New York City — with a West Coast office in the works.
I spoke with Clarity CEO Sami McCabe about four of the best ways to get people talking about your business.
1. Be outspoken about your culture
As Clarity has grown, McCabe has spent a lot of time focusing on the firm’s cultural dynamics.
“Talent is everything. I’ve witnessed how culture is the top priority of our most successful clients. In the post-millennial world, you need to be able to retain top talent in order to sustain the challenges of scaling,” he says. “You should share — and even brag — about the development opportunities that you offer your employees.”
2. Tell the story of the problem you’re solving
“The media is naturally drawn to the negative narrative. A quick flick through a publication such as [U.K. gossip rag] The Daily Mail will confirm this,” McCabe explains. “So, work at bringing to life the story of the problem that you’re solving.”
By helping others understand the pain point, your problem can be positioned as the solution.
3. Be prepared to say something contentious
According to McCabe, many founders tend to bore the average journalist with technical knowledge and non-committal commentary.
“The media is constantly on the lookout for people who can offer interesting insight and opinion on a wide range of issues. It’s a pretty simple and obvious equation: If you roll out anodyne corporate banalities, you won’t be called on again to provide media commentary.”
4. Get customers and clients to tell your story
McCabe also advocates asking your happiest customers for commentary.
“It’s easy for you to say your product or service is wonderful. It’s a whole lot more compelling and credible if one of your customers confirms it. Be constantly on the lookout for people who are willing to speak to the media about why they use your product or service over anyone else’s.”
You should also think creatively in the way you thank customers for their testimonials. Some examples include highlighting your customer’s business or providing them with a free upgrade.
In a post-digital world, and with a growing millennial customer base, it’s more important than ever to maintain positive buzz around your company. By being outspoken about your culture, telling the right stories, sharing candid insights and receiving endorsements by your customers, startups can develop the momentum necessary for long-term success. Of all the insights shared by McCabe, another rings especially true: “persistence is key.”