Build a Networking PR Marketing Grid
Every entrepreneur needs to know the audience that effects their
business. While buyers or customers are key, there are also other groups
that deserve an entrepreneurs attention via marketing and Public
Relations. The challenge for small business or startups is that few have
time or finances for this effort.
Taking the time to map out how to effect the broadest audience is
key. Before spending a dime on marketing or PR build a "networking
grid" to identify where your efforts will result in the most impact
and long lasting Marketing and PR effect.
Checklist for building a Networking PR Grid
- List your audience and what they do. Such as; users (buy my
products), trade pubs and writers (exposure), venture capitalists or
- Associations and Conferences. Where does your each part of
your audience go, what do they belong to? Are there trade events
multiple segments of your audience attends? If so announce
newsworthy items and send the press releases to your audience as
part of "recently announced at...strategy". Too many
events and not enough financing? Announce anyway, it is not
necessary that you be at the show and there is always benefit from
sending the release to your grid.
- What does your audience read? List the pubs and trades each
segment reads. What are the pubs that reach the most segments of
your audience? What pubs are critical to particular audiences.
- Concerns and Needs. What is important to each area of your
audience. For instance users want products to work and for a company
to be responsive. Venture Capitalists want a company showing growth
in a hot segment. An article positioned in a VC pub on your company satisfies
the Venture Capital Audience as well as lets your customers know you
know you understand the industry and will be around (endorsement).
- Determine the Best Communication Method. What is the best
way to stay in front of each audience segment. Does an Email
Newsletter work for several segments? Speaking at conferences?
After you have made a grid with information
identify the following.
- Which audience segment is the priority each quarter?
For example, if a funding round is coming up working to heighten
visibility and confidence with the VC audience is key. If customers
are needed work with analysts to get industry and product segment
- Hone your messages. Using your Grid of audience concerns
and industry trends, create messages that address these in simple
well crafted sentences. These are called key message points.
- Do the legwork. Your audience is identified. Get out and
speak, join associations or sponsor targeted events. Get articles
written and placed, build a plan to regularly communicate via
letter, press releases or newsletter. Build and maintain
relationships with Press and Analysts by visiting them with News or
Strategic Announcements. Focus on what you want to accomplish in
upcoming quarters and prioritize effort and key messages each
quarter against available events or optimum audience segments.
Last, can this be done low cost and without a PR agency? Almost
everything can be done by an entrepreneur with energy. Scheduling and follow-up
on introduction PR tours should be done with an agency who has access
and relationships with the press. Speaking, joining associations,
writing newsletters and simple articles can certainly be done
unassisted. The key is to work on things that last and building an
effective Networking PR Grid is the starting point. As a business grows,
hiring a good PR firm will be key, but many of the building blocks will
be in place.
(c)Copyright 2000 TECHdivas