B2B Startups: Tech PR for a Tougher Market


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Despite the economy, fears of a bubble, and sometimes sheer reality, consumer-focused startups seem to be almost rolling in VC money — and why not? Every investor wants to get in on the ground floor of the next Facebook. But that leaves B2B startups — despite the payoff potential of large contracts with big players — in a tougher fundraising position. As the Wall Street Journal reported today, while the total investment in B2B tech firms is greater, it rose at a substantially lower rate over the past year — a 21% increase compared to B2C startups’ 182% jump. So how’s a potential B2B game changer to get a piece of that pie?

It pays to see the challenge of startup fundraising as a kind of PR on steroids — the same requirements for innovative thinking, top-notch, attention-grabbing communications, and a buzz momentum propelling a company from strength to strength. The tools may be different (no press releases aimed at VCs), but the goal is the same: a reputation that inspires confidence, in this case, measured by dollars of investment.

If anything, this pre-final product or service phase is most heavily dependent on PR skills — and of the most highly trained variety. Fail to inspire and the dollars go elsewhere; over-hype and the concept may burn cash — and then bridges — without making it out of development. This is the time to put your concept and company through serious paces with a professional who can predict the hard questions, and help you figure out if you’re really prepared to answer them.

Being a bit of a tech junkie, I read far too much these days about startups, incubators, and venture capitalists — and relatedly about commentators’ fears that the explosion in tech development is just another market waiting to go “pop.” Some concerns may be justified — perhaps especially in the mushrooming B2C field — but I remain convinced that the chaff just comes with the wheat. And part of the process for startups competing for easy or scarce money is demonstrating “wheatness” by working with a professional to tell your story by first making sure you have a real story to tell.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Schackai
Kate combines a technical understanding of web 2.0 with classic PR savvy, resulting in online communications that both humans and Google love. She joins Crawford from WordPress development firm TCWebsite, where she worked in online marketing and search engine optimization.


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