PR Workshop – Do you still remember that particular sizzle in your very first relationship? The first weeks when you still were nervous and shy and all these questions were hanging in the air? Are we really right for each other? How can we deepen our relationship? How do we talk to each other?
It’s almost the same when a startup and a VC first meet. Do the partners actually like each other? Is it going to be something permanent? How is the relationship going to look a few years from now? Communicating well is consequently not only important in your private relationships but also in your business relations.
Relationship Advice from the PR Workshop
In our online Workshop “Startup and Communication: VCs & Media – Expert PR Hacks”, we had a closer look at the interesting relationship between companies, VCs, journalists. Three experts showed us how to find the ideal VC partner for your company and how PR can help: Rouven Dresselhaus (Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Cavalry Ventures), Niklas Wysk (PR Consultant atBallou PR), and Felix Mergemeier (Account Manager at Ballou PR).
Whether (and how) the relationship works out depends on many factors according to Rouven Dresselhaus. His best advice for every startup:
“Be open and honest, challenge your partners. Also, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out at times.“
… It’s How You Say It!
How do I tell the best stories about my company? How do I frame the story of our lunch? Niklas Wysk and Felix Mergemeier gave us some pointers on how to answer these questions and how to work with the press. Both agreed:
“It doesn’t always have to be TechCrunch. Good PR work doesn’t rely on the portal where the article is published. What’s most crucial is the way your company is talked about.”
The Most Important Learnings from the Workshop
- Get To Know Everything About the VC’s Profile
Most of the time, investors decline your requests not because they don’t like your idea or you personally. Many investors have a specific profile and specific sectors they invest in. So, often the investors prefer just another profile. Which is why should inform yourself about their preferences before you send a request.
- Dare to Write
Don’t be afraid to contact VCs or journalistis without having been introduced in some way. A strong network is helpful but not necessarily critical. Dare to contact the VC or that journalist. The worst that can happen is that you get turned down. And that, according to Rouven, Felix, and Niklas, is not bad at all. Keep going!
- Keep It Short and Simple
Every good relationship involves kissing. Which is why you should stick to the KISS principle in your PR work and when designing your pitch deck. Don’t play “buzzword bingo” when presenting your company. You should rather impress with a perfect pitch and, most importantly, with strong facts.
- Set Yourself Apart From the Competition
Competition – always an irksome topic. The best way to set yourself apart from your fellow startups, is by focussing on your unique strengths. That’s where your Unique Selling Point comes into play! So, that’s what you should think about: What makes you special? What do you have that your competition doesn’t have? If you can answer these questions, it’s also going to work out with that VC match.
PR work is always relationship work. Get to really know your journalists and your PR partners. Be courteous and considerate when you communicate. In the long run, you built solid relationships which also strengthen the way your company is seen from the outside. It’s worth it – who wants to break it off prematurely and then spend the rest of their career listening to horrible breakup songs?
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