Having a strategic public relations program, and the patience to carry it out, will help sell your company. I know because I’ve led PR programs with successful exit strategies.
I’ve worked with two venture-backed or private-equity backed companies which used PR to grow their business and get noticed by potential buyers. I’ve developed PR programs for companies in the logistics and real estate industries that showcased their executives’ thought leadership and their client successes.
These clients had the savvy to integrate PR into their marketing program, and the wisdom to understand that an effective PR effort’s is a marathon, not a sprint. A steady stream of news coverage will win the race, especially when the news appears in highly targeted media outlets where your customers and potential buyers get their industry information.
PR is most impactful when you showcase how you’ve solved customer problems and share your news and helpful insights. Making news in business media or in your industry trade publications helps increase awareness of your company. It also makes you appear as big as the other companies quoted in a news story. So PR levels the playing field, and gives you a competitive edge.
Most recently, the CEO and co-founder of real estate photography firm, VHT Studios realized his longtime goal of being acquired, when his company was sold to Matterport, Inc.
We’ve worked with VHT’s CEO since 2013, and over those nearly 10 years, we’ve connected VHT to dozens of journalists, resulting in hundreds of news stories about trends in using professionally shot photos and videos market residential real estate.
The VHT team understood that using PR to place news in their priority outlets would be an important component in their integrated marketing strategy.
If you’re wondering how your business can deploy a public relations program for your company’s acquisition goals, here’s some advice to get you started.
A Solid PR Plan for a Business Exit Strategy
Set goals and be realistic.
Identify the topics that media will care about and choose the most knowledgable people within your organization to do media interviews. Create a calendar of seasonal topics that your experts can comment on regularly.
Be deliberate about your value messaging.
Review your company positioning — the messages in your marketing materials, or the comments from your executives when explaining their perspectives. Do their answers contain messages that demonstrate your company’s value to customers and the industry?
Conduct precision research.
Be precise when researching the best media outlets and journalists to reach. Spend the upfront time in vetting your media targets. Being sure you’re contacting the best reporters with your story ideas will save you an immense amount of time and bring instant gratification as you build relationships with the right journalists.
Become a news junkie!
Follow the news closely for trends your experts can comment on. Reporters are always looking for fresh insights, so follow their stories. Contact them when your CEO can lend an opinion to a hot trending topic. Journalists will be receptive when you call or email, as long as you keep it short!
Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Do call and email them! Establishing a relationship with a journalist takes time and effort. They’ll be receptive when you prove that you are too! Get them what they need and fast. Do the work for them, to ease their load. Make their life easier and they’ll keep coming back to you.
Your PR strategy should be realistic. Yes, everyone wants to be in the Wall Street Journal! However, a healthy mix of news coverage in industry trade publications and general business media is a guarantee for success.
Be patient. Our most successful clients have spent a minimum of two to three years building a PR programs and the media relationships that elevated their profiles in the news.
Capture Your Happy Clients’ Praise
Your hard work is what helped your client sell his/her company. So if they’ve praised you for contributing to this major milestone, make sure you take advantage of it. Here’s the comment from our happy client, Brian Balduf of VHT Studios.