I am writing one of my final papers about the public relations challenges of working with startup companies. I figured a condensed version (the paper is 8 pages) would make a good blog post. Ruder Finn has a lot of startup clients. I emailed my coworkers and asked them all for insights on what makes working with startup companies difficult. The number one thing I heard was that startup companies tend to lack a clear understanding of what public relations is. Clients often expect way more than is realistic. The want the cover of Time and the front page of the New York Times even though that is way out of their league. Startup companies, because they are created by people who are really passionate about them often lack an objective perspective. They think that everyone else is just as excited about their product or service as they are and can’t understand why every reporter out there is not dying to cover their story.
My coworkers also mentioned that because startup companies don’t fully understand what public relations is, they often use public relations as their entire marketing, sales and advertising strategy. Since public relations is not the same as sales, marketing and advertising, clients will often be upset when public relations practitioners can’t deliver everything the company wants. Often this leads to upset clients give who are easy to give up on public relations altogether when they don’t immediately see the results they want. Other challenges people pointed out include lack of financial and personnel resources and limited or no public visibility.