Article | 29 Jun 2016

Early Stage growth through PR & Marketing

Posted in PR and Communications, Marketing, Freelancer, Industry news, Learning, Events, Interview,

So you want to create some buzz around your brand, acquire more users, get more downloads and raise the ‘x’ million to take your startup to the next stage?

You need some great PR and Marketing to help you achieve those goals, but aren’t sure where to start, what it can offer and who can help.

On Thursday 9th June The Work Crowd hosted an event titled “Early Stage Growth Through PR & Marketing” to help start-ups, scale ups and SME’s to get some top tips from the experts.

You can view the live recording of the panel discussion:

The Panel Experts included:

Cathy White – Communications and Marketing Manager at Seedcamp, Director of GeekGirl Meetup UK and Future Head of Communications for Tech City UK.

Lynsey Barber – Technology Editor at City AM. Lynsey is a business journalist and has covered media, marketing and PR industries in the past. She now covers startups, fintech and the digital economy.

Oliver Smith – Senior Reporter at The Memo, winner of the Gold Award in MHP’s 30 to watch, he covered technology, media and telecom.

Alice Weightman (Chair) - Founder and CEO of The Work Crowd and Hanson Search.

See the live recording of the Q&A:

The best pieces of advice I gleaned were:

1. Set yourself goals

Identify what you want to achieve from the outset through your marketing and PR campaign. For example, is it to acquire new users, raise investment or make people aware of a new product feature?

2. Be in the know!

Know your audience, what they read, where they hang out and what they want to consume. There is no point in coverage for coverage’s sake. You need to target the media that your target audience is consuming.

Know the journalists you are wanting to pitch to, what do they usually write about, and what is their audience. Make sure you personalise your pitch and that your story is appropriately targeted to their readers.

Know your competitors, “stalk” them and set up google alerts. See what press and media coverage they get, their story/angle and who wrote it. You can then find a new and unique angle when looking for coverage of your own.

3. Be Direct

Don’t use jargon or be over familiar. Journalists prefer you to be to the point.

Don’t ever send your press release as an attachment, instead send it cut and pasted into an email or send it as a Google doc - incase you spot any spelling mistakes or want to make any updates after you have sent it! This means it can be read on the move from a mobile and should get the attention it deserves.

Have a clear call to action; for example, direct to your website.

4. Be Smart

Measure the effectiveness of any PR and marketing through google analytics. Did you get more visitors to your site, an increase in downloads etc.

Give an exclusive; a hook to a journalist on a story that can then build, grow momentum and run.

Be aware of the news, you might have a great story, but if the timing isn’t right…

And finally always check and double check your spelling!

We also heard some great success stories on how PR and Marketing has helped start-up brands.

TransferWise received a ton of exposure in their quest for transparency when their founders appeared in Liverpool Street Station in their underwear!

Digital Bank Tandem created a viral campaign by giving away shares to customers ahead of its launch.

Mondo gained incredible coverage with their invitation of pre-paid debit cards with credit ahead of their launch.

If you are looking for more tips on how you can ‘bootstrap’ your own PR, you can download our free toolkit here:


If you need some help to craft your story and target the right media then our network of freelancers here at The Work Crowd would be happy to help. There is no cost to use the platform, simply create a project and get connected today.

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Tagged in toptips, advice, marketing,