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Above The Code: Early Stage PR for Palestinian Startups

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Startup PR Consultant, Alan Weinkrantz, approach to early stage startup PR. Presented at FastForward, Ramallah.

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Above The Code: Early Stage PR for Palestinian Startups

  1. 1. ABOVETHE CODE Early Stage Startup PR Ramallah - 10 July, 2013
  2. 2. TODAY... •Presentation online @ www.alanweinkrantz.com •Sharing principles, methods, approaches... each company is different •Practical tips, hints and actionable steps you can take with you
  3. 3. Why is a PR person here to talk about “PR,” when we are hardly ready to even think about this?
  4. 4. EARLY STAGE PR •This is NOT about getting media coverage •It’s about getting your startup prepared and put you in the mindset of: •Listening to media •Building your brand’s narrative •Telling and sharing your story •Being discovered by media
  5. 5. IN MY LIFETIME... •Three transformational periods that raised the global consciousness •Blues & Rock music - BB King,The Beatles, Rolling Stones,The Who, etc. •The infrastructure of what become the Internet •The rise of the social & connected web
  6. 6. We are living in one of the greatest cultural and business shifts ever
  7. 7. You can now... Do Anything Anytime Anywhere
  8. 8. You have a compelling start-up. How do you connect with the rest of the world?
  9. 9. INTRO... •Who’s in the room? •Startups: Status / Funding / Distribution / Partnerships •Companies: Technology / Product / Markets •Media coverage? Impact?
  10. 10. I’M HERE.... •To help you.... • think about the importance and role of branded content and story telling... •share your startup or company’s story •connect in a whole new way that a few years ago was left to the marketing department or an external ad agency or PR firm •discover and build the editorial fabric of your startup and help you succeed
  11. 11. ABOUT •30 years - yup, I am an old school PR guy.... and believe in the real power of PR •Discovering the global startup economy •Involved with Israel’s traditional tech sector for the last 18 years
  12. 12. LASTTWOYEARS • Speaking / Writing ... Observing / Watching • Geekdom - San Antonio • Wayra - Buenos Aires • TechLoft -Tel Aviv • GeekCamp - Santiago • TechStars Cloud - San Antonio • MexicanVC (500 Startups) - Mexico City • Microsoft Azure -Tel Aviv • The Leaders Palestine - Ramallah • Google -Tel Aviv
  13. 13. GOOD NEWS :) •Very low cost / no cost to create a start-up •Big Idea •Core team •Strong will •Servers / hosting
  14. 14. BAD NEWS :( •Someone in NewYork, Madrid, San Francisco, Singapore,Tel Aviv, Mumbai is thinking the same thing as you are :( •Hard to have a defensible position •Hard to protect your IP •Getting traction is tough
  15. 15. QUALITIESTHEN... •Strong Intellectual Property •Defensible technology •Strategic investors like Intel,AT&T, Cisco, Motorola, Bezeq, Microsoft •Traditionally,VC funded •30 engineers / CEO /VP Marketing /VP Biz Dev
  16. 16. QUALITIES NOW •No Intellectual property •Nothing really defensible •Strategic investors & partners - Friends, Family,Angels, etc. •Up until recently....No funding, or angel, micro, friends & family funding •Easy to run a virtual company... no real address, presence from a co- working space and an IP phone number
  17. 17. THE WORLD AS WE KNEW IT •Hardware •Software •Telecom •Security •Bio Sciences •Medical Devices Go to School Internships Go to College / University Summer Job Go to Work
  18. 18. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT •Consumer Web •Mobile •SaaS •Subscription •eCommerce •Marketplace High School Startup College / University - or not... Startup Accelerator Startup Work Startup Quit Day Job Startup
  19. 19. The rise of the multinational startup
  20. 20. THE MIND OF A CODER... •Focus on... •functionality •application •utilitarian value
  21. 21. 50 years
  22. 22. Rock & Jazz Music is code.
  23. 23. The Four Coders
  24. 24. Coders & StoryTellers
  25. 25. The Coders & StoryTellers of Jazz Music...
  26. 26. Music is the original code
  27. 27. Great songs have....
  28. 28. Great narratives
  29. 29. Great voice
  30. 30. Great stories
  31. 31. Great tone
  32. 32. Music is in all of us
  33. 33. Everything is getting coded
  34. 34. “The Internet of things...” needs stories...
  35. 35. We learn to “write”
  36. 36. WE WRITE FOR... •Marketing •Business •Technical •Legal •Medical •Social
  37. 37. ... but we never learn the art of story telling, or how to write in simple language to explain what we are doing and what we feel
  38. 38. What you say, how you speak and what you communicate are the new lyrics of the online world
  39. 39. The experience your deliver on the platforms we now interface and engage with, are enabling billions of people on the planet to create the new melodies of a socially connected world
  40. 40. WRITE FOR STORYTELLING •Why is what you are working on important? •How are you improving lives? •How are you helping people hack their own lives? •What are you seeing in the way people are taking responsibility for their own health
  41. 41. LOOK WHATYOU DID! •Solved a problem •Figured out a way to connect two or more things and do something special with it •Codified a process, expertise, method or a discovery •Delivering of new type of experience on the devices & platforms we are using today - and in the future
  42. 42. GUIDESTO WRITING •Write like you speak...record yourself and transcribe what you say •Pretend you are speaking to an audience.... write in front of a mirror (seriously...) •Think of how you felt when you were read stories as a child
  43. 43. WHYTHIS MATTERSTODAY... •Story telling, having a voice, and the on-going narrative is a reflection of your startup / company’s heart and soul •It becomes the body of work that helps you recruit talent, attract investors, customers, build partnerships, and be discovered by the media
  44. 44. THE MEDIA IS YOUR FIRST MARKET to share and tell your story
  45. 45. you bloggers analysts media the consumer The Media isYour Customer.... enterprise... institutions.. &
  46. 46. WHAT I BELIEVE •Branded content & story telling is what’s next • It’s harder and harder to “get coverage” because of the volume of noise •Every company is a media company •Your startup is a rock band... you’re in the studio figuring out something new
  47. 47. WHAT I BELIEVE •Story is a defensible business strategy •Narrative is the supporting infrastructure for your brand •Tone is the voice of your brand
  48. 48. WHAT I BELIEVE •12 Fundamental Belief Sets •Not everything I do always works •I do this for me... I do this for clients. •There’s always exceptions to the rules •Discussion is based on a combination of experience and principles
  49. 49. WHAT I SEE... •Great ideas •Cool technology •Understanding the role of UI / UX •Little, or no thinking through the role of the written word, language, tone, voice and “speaking through” the devices we are using in our daily lives
  50. 50. From > Code
  51. 51. To > Above The Code
  52. 52. Alan’s 12 Fundamental Belief Sets
  53. 53. #1 - STOP PITCHING •Start story telling •Your pitch helps clarify / define what you do, but really sucks as a way to get coverage
  54. 54. #2 -YOU’RE REALLY A MEDIA COMPANYTHAT.... •Creates and makes media so you’ll be discovered, found and shared •YouTube •Twitter •Facebook •Blog •Pinterest •Instagram •SoundCloud •Google Plus •LinkedIn •UStream
  55. 55. #3 BUILD A BODY OF WORK... •Your expertise • Help the media do their job • So you can be quoted being discovered and covered by media leads to new opportunities...
  56. 56. #4 IT’S NOT ABOUTYOU •How do you help others do something in a compelling way you could not do before
  57. 57. #5 BE HUMAN •Get off your perch and write like you would speak •Converse with your potential market wherever they are
  58. 58. #6 LIKE MINDED PEOPLETEND TO FIND EACH OTHER •Give them a place to connect and share their story •Consider aligning with other startups like yours to create a multinational startup
  59. 59. #7 HAVE A MISSION •We’re out to make __________ better •We want to help _____ do _______ •We want to help others the opportunity to ________ •We’re connecting _______ with ______ so they can ________ •We make it easier to ____________ •Have your voice be heard about _________
  60. 60. #8THINK LIKE A SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHER •The potential to collect “Big Data” means you have something of incredible value to a potential partner, investor, or brand •Gives you a better chance of a lift when an exit may present itself •Big data lends itself to infographics, which contributes to your thought leadership and a great way to get media coverage
  61. 61. technology platform spark - what if? story... BIG DATA real value narrative to engagement Lift towards an exit... (c) Alan Weinkrantz “some funding.”..
  62. 62. #9 PUT IT OUTTHERE •You never know who is going to find your content and engage • You don’t have to have high quality production values to do this • Hardware is cheap. Tools are free. Tons of creatives to help you. • Put your brand in play
  63. 63. #10 DRAW, PAINT, PHOTOGRAPH, ROCK OUT •Do something or learn to do something creative other than working on your startup •It will re-wire your brain in an unexpected way my drums circa 1968
  64. 64. #11 IT’S NOT ALWAYS REPLICABLE •Just because one strategy or tactic worked for one company does not mean it will work for another
  65. 65. #12 GET LUCKY •Go wide •Get lucky •Run with it when you strike a chord
  66. 66. HACKYOUR OWN COMMUNICATIONS •Think of yourself as a reporter & story teller •Much of this you can do yourself •Leave digital bread crumbs
  67. 67. PLAN.... •Post and write relevant content so you can be a source to media on your field of expertise •Develop & publish infographics you can share •Follow a wish list of 20 journalists you think should cover you •Read and comment on relevant articles without being self promotional. •Ask end user / beta customers if you can refer to them to media •Follow editorial calendars •Create your own editorial calendar
  68. 68. F1 F2 F3 F4 Role.Tone.Voice. CEO: Serious.Thought Leader. CTO: Technical. Knowledge. What’s Next. Biz Dev: Forward. Opportunity. Open. Lead Dev: Innovator. Code. Team. “F” = founder
  69. 69. August September October F1 F2 F3 F4 90 Day Editorial Calendar Planner 2x topics per month from each - 24 posts per quarter
  70. 70. NOW.... •Make a wish list of where you belong •business / tech / bloggers •media appropriate to your space •analysts / influencers appropriate to your space •track competitors or companies in your periphery on news.google.com to see who covers and writes about them •track competitors on Angel.co
  71. 71. PLAN FOR PR •If you follow some of these basic principles, you’ll be further ahead. •This process takes at least six months to one year to really get on a journalist’s radar and be sticky - sometimes you can get lucky •Get everyone on your team to make this part of their regimen as it will make them aware of the opportunities that await you when you are ready. •Bring up PR in your team meetings in a “what if...” scenario. Be Ready For PR SoYou Can Succeed
  72. 72. RECOMMENDED READING •How to HackYour Startup’s Public Relations Strategy http://blog.clarity.fm/how-to-hack-your-startups-pr/ •Why Branded Content is Beating Editorial http://www.digiday.com/brands/why-branded-content-is-beating-editorial/ •The Pressures of Content Creation http://www.scottmonty.com/2012/11/the-pressures-of-content-creation.html •Brands Will Become Media http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2012/11/brand_media.html
  73. 73. TOOLSYOU CAN USE... •Most are free •Develop a discovery mentality •Start connecting the dots •There are journalists looking for compelling ideas
  74. 74. www.angel.co
  75. 75. www.muckrack.com
  76. 76. Text www.twtrland.com
  77. 77. www.listorious.com
  78. 78. www.helpareporter.com
  79. 79. CODE OF ETHICS •Have fun •Create intellectual & capital wealth •Do good things that make the world slightly better •Help others
  80. 80. Rise...
  81. 81. please share:) ABOVETHE CODE™
  82. 82. alan@weinkrantz.com Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. SlideShare. Scribd. Instagram. YouTube. © Alan Weinkrantz And Company 2013 AboveThe Code ™ all photos - except slides 18 & 21 - (c) Alan Weinkrantz 2013