Why is PR important for attracting investment?
The UK has always punched above its weight when it comes to tech investment. According to the 2019 Tech Nation Report, UK businesses received £6.3bn in venture capital investment in 2018: more than any other European country.
Of course, a lot can change in a year. Data from the British Chamber of Commerce suggests that investment slowed in 2019 due to the uncertainty of Brexit. While it’s great that the UK is a player on the global business arena, it does mean that international politics and events can unsettle progress.
In these uncertain times, startups must use all tools at their disposal to attract the interest of investors — including PR.
As we explored in our previous blog post, investors do their research before funding a business. The right media exposure can help them form a favourable opinion of your brand. Appearing in a high-profile, hyper-relevant publication validates your business: if you’re worth talking about in the media, you may be worth investing in. Keep reading to find out how PR should fit into your investment strategy.
What can my business do PR about?
Here’s a trade secret: all businesses have the potential to achieve great media coverage. You just need to know how to tell the right story.
The most traditional way to achieve exposure is by sharing your business news with the media. This includes cutting-edge projects, new appointments, partnerships, and previous funding news. All you need is a well-crafted media pitch, and to make sure you’re sending it to the right journalists. If the story’s strong enough, it will pretty much write itself.
If you’re attempting to secure investment, definitely make a point of sharing all your business news with the press. If you don’t have any news right now, you can still achieve great coverage — you just need to work a little harder. A thought leadership PR campaign uses your business’s opinions and expertise, instead of ‘news’. It also focusses more on individual profiles, rather than the business as a whole.
Thought leadership consists of contributing guest content for relevant trade publications or providing commentary on trending news topics. It is more time-intensive, as you must prepare the comment or articles yourself. It also requires a strong writer, since trade and online publications will only accept editorial quality content. However, it is well worth the effort. Investors like businesses that have a strong and smart team: thought leadership is the perfect way to showcase the expertise and skills within your company.
Know your niche: be super-targeted to attract investors
Some investors prefer to work with businesses in particular sectors or tech scenes. This should inform the direction of any PR activity you take. If your business fits into a specific niche, make sure your company is all over any media associated with it.
Let’s say, as an example, your business has launched some new accountancy software. When you’re trying to attract customers, you need to gain exposure in media trusted by business decision-makers and finance teams. However, to secure investment, you should focus on channels favoured by investors: specifically FinTech ones.
For example, see what sort of news the FinTech trade publications like, and then work hard to pull together relevant stories or insight that will appeal to those publications and their audiences. Reach out to them with ideas for thought leadership articles, bylined by you. Follow any FinTech social channels and share their content, tagging them into conversations (without being ‘spammy’).
It may help to create a ‘wishlist’ of your dream investment firms or even well-known angel investors. Connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn (where appropriate) and see what sorts of stories they’re sharing, and which publications they’re following.
What to do with your media coverage
A PR campaign doesn’t stop when you’ve achieved media coverage. When your business achieves positive media exposure, be sure to upload news that you have been covered to your blog, and share it extensively across your social media channels. Be sure to tag or mention the publication in your posts: a like or share from them can help push your brand even further. Hopefully, in front of an investor.
While you’re thinking about social media, do a bit of a ‘comms audit’. Scrutinise your channels through the eyes of an investor: they will come looking. Ensure your messaging is on-brand and consistent across your website and social media channels. Even think about how the imagery you’re sharing reflects your brand.
When it comes to your social media channels, we recommend sharing a mix of relevant news stories (with your expert opinion or take on the situation), plus content that demonstrates your great team culture, and news from events or partnership. And don’t forget your PR coverage or your own blog content!
Create an ‘investor hub’ on your website
Make it easy for investors to find everything they need when they visit your website.
We recommend adding a webpage that provides the following information, or links to the below sections:
- Company news: this should include press releases about things like partnerships or previous funding, as well as any media coverage you have achieved
- Case studies: investors will want to know about any projects you have successfully deployed so far. This should include testimonials from clients, as well as any stats or data that validate your work (for example, client’s turnover increased by £Xm)
- The story so far: a bit like your ‘about us’ page, but more detailed and targeted towards investors. This should include a brief history of your founders, product launches, and funding to date
Want to find out more about using PR as part of your investment strategy? Get in touch using the contact form here: one of our team will be in touch to discuss your investment goals, and how Luminous PR can help.