Muck Rack Co-founder Gregory Galant: 7 PR Business Goals to Work Toward

Here are seven feasible objectives behind PR activities alongside tips on how to apply them to your public relations strategy.

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5. Raising Money

Many venture capitalists and angel investors spend a tremendous about of time reading news about the industries they invest in. Union Square Venture’s Fred Wilson wrote, ”I do read news pretty much non stop throughout the day.”

Prominent angel investor Chris Dixon took it further to note, “A person mentioning news that I didn’t know about, that is relevant to me, is a failure in my newsreading methods.”

A story can be aimed at investors perhaps by mentioning impressive usage metrics or key hires. VC associates who don’t have decision-making power may then reach out to you, so you will usually be better off getting introduced to a partner, but having well-timed press can generate more excitement as your meetings are happening.

Where to target: Target your public relations efforts toward websites like TechCrunch, PandoDaily, GigaOm and the Wall Street Journal.

6. Hiring strategies

Similar to investors, potential employees will want to get involved with companies they hear good things about. People actively looking for their next job will start reading almost as much as VCs.

For example, Zendesk provided Business Insider with an office tour, which inevitably got turned into a slideshow with an impressive 70,000+ views. Potential customers won’t care much about Zendesk’s two fully-stocked kitchens, but it surely is a nice recruiting tool.

Where to target: Focus PR efforts on media outlets your potential employees read or watch. For instance, if you are hiring developers, aim for sources that get quoted a lot in Hacker News and Techmeme.

7. Test new ideas

I recently met with the managing director of an accelerator that strives to adhere to the lean startup’s minimum viable product (MVP) philosophy. He lamented that the whole point of the MVP is to validate an idea or learn from users and customers, but many startups only get the products out to their friends and family for feedback.

Without a ton of users, and for consumer apps–a wide variety of users, how can you know if your MVP is right for the market? Imagine if Pinterest had relied only on their techie friends for feedback rather than gaining broad feedback across the country.

For instance, we have been able to use press coverage to quickly learn from users a) how to improve good products, and b) how to quickly know if a product is a dud and needs to be completely reworked. The faster you get users the more quickly you can learn.

Where to target: Target business blogs that cover new product launches.

Of course, PR is not the answer to everything, and I’m not necessarily advocating you use PR for any of these functions since it depends on the dynamics of your startup.

But if you are going to use PR, as many startups have done very effectively, it’s essential to know what you want to accomplish with it — so that you get more than a Google Alert out of it.

Connect with Gregory on Twitter.

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Gregory Galant is the Co-Founder of Muck Rack, a social network for journalists and companies seeking press, and the executive producer of the Shorty Awards. To help fellow entrepreneurs, he also created Venture Voice, a podcast with the founders of Twitter, LinkedIn, The Vanguard Group and more. He is a mentor for TechStars NY. BusinessWeek named him one of the “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs of 2010.”

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