PRWeek TV: Agency views on working for tech start-ups

Tying in with this week's feature on how PR is helping digital and technology start-ups, two agency professionals offer their views on working with entrepreneurial clients.

Lotte Jones is co-founder of Blue Rubicon spin-off Surname & Surname and Tom Berry is head of technology for global agency FleishmanHillard.

The difference when working with a start-up as opposed to a Google or Adobe is ‘ less about the kind of work and more about ways of working’, says Jones.

‘Start-ups move incredibly quickly and demand a huge amount of tenacity… you’re often answering to the CEO or the founder and they’re wearing the hat of the head of marketing as well, so you’re constantly having to work flexibly as a team, both in your head and logistically.’

Berry’s advice to start-ups considering bringing in their first PR agency is ‘you have to have an end point in mind'.

He says: ‘You have to know the audience you want to talk to: is it investors, is it customers, is it the industry? All of those things require different approaches and tactics. It pays to map all that out up front. There may be agencies who jump at the chance to work with a start-up, promise the earth and all they will do is churn out press releases.’

Jones warns the most difficult audience for a start-up to reach is the tech community. ‘It used to be you could shout about a tweak to a platform and people would write about it, but now journalists are more cynical.’

Berry suggests: ‘What can be useful to reach a cynical tech journalist is to think about what else is going on in the market in terms of more mature companies. If there are large organisations that have a particular point of view on that business issue you are trying to depose or challenge, then you can piggyback on those sorts of stories.’

Read our feature on how tech start-ups are using PR here.

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