Happy new year! It is a new business year and you are probably buzzing with great ideas on your business goals and resolutions for the new year.
As a matter of fact, seeing that Africa is a fertile environment that allows technology startups to thrive and grow with investors signing big and fat cheques, one of your business resolutions for 2023 is probably to do more with your fundraising efforts in this new business year.
After all, you have taken a step in the right direction and secured venture capital funding for your tech startup and it was no easy feat.
You are elated and say to yourself, “we have made outstanding progress and should do more this year!” I agree with you; you have accomplished a great feat and an important milestone in your tech startup journey that is worth celebrating.
As a matter of fact, the media is beginning to search you out to ask “how you did it” questions. You have also made moves and pushed your fundraising announcements to mainstream media.
The result is a ripple effect, and the entire tech ecosystem buzzes with news of your tech startup’s success in securing funds.
Congratulations! You have done well for yourself and your tech startup. However, you are just getting started!
Take a pause and think about some of the African tech startups that started and secured bigger funding before you, yet struggle to get the necessary visibility.
Ever wondered why they are struggling to get on the radar of strategic partners they need to scale up despite their fundraising announcements in the media?
Have you not asked yourself why they are stuck at the early-stage seed funding and unable to progress beyond this point?
It is because fundraising announcements are not enough to give them all the necessary visibility. There is more to do that goes beyond fundraising announcements, which as a matter of fact, are becoming stale and tiring.
There is so much more you can do for your tech startup with public relations, and you need to begin to think along these lines.
First, you need to get the word out about your startup and not limit it to fundraising announcements alone. I am sure there is more to your startup than securing funding.
Create a compelling and fascinating story of what your startup does and what makes you stand out from the noisy crowd with social proof and testimonials from well-known and influential sources.
Make your story big, bold and inspiring, then tell it to the world. Remember, no one can tell your story better than you, and the better you are at telling your story, the more likely you are to get the right media exposure.
In addition to creating and telling your story, invest in and build your owned media channels (e.g., company blog, social media platforms, newsletters etc.) by creating content around your start-up and the African tech ecosystem that is engaging and inspiring.
As you already know, the African tech ecosystem is budding, and many tech founders like you are grappling with the roller coaster ride of being a tech founder.
As you experiment, learn the ropes and make significant progress with your startup, share the journey of your struggles, victories and frustrations with your audience.
Create and share content that makes someone think, “Wow! That’s interesting! I didn’t know that.” Trust me, your audience and journalists will find you by your ideas and content.
Also, you can go in the direction of thought leadership. Ever heard of it before? It is a PR strategy that involves churning out content that makes people perceive you and your start-up as an authoritative source in the African tech ecosystem.
If you choose to go the way of thought leadership, share and publish your ideas, opinion and expertise on interesting, newsworthy, and trending topics in the industry on your start-up’s owned media, including, but not limited to your Medium page, Twitter platform, website, blog, etc.
The more interesting and out-of-the-ordinary your ideas and opinions are, the greater your chances of becoming a magnet for media attention.
As you invest in and grow your owned media by creating thought-provoking content, you will naturally attract the attention of journalists seeking interesting journalistic content in the budding and growing African tech ecosystem.
As these journalists come, nurture and build your relationship with them. While you are at it, don’t go full throttle, so you don’t come across as fake or only reaching out to them for what you want.
As with all relationships, take baby steps and build an authentic, mutual, and beneficial relationship with them.
See! There is so much more you can do with public relations that go beyond fundraising announcements. So, stop being content with taking walks by the seaside of public relations with occasional foot dips here and there without getting the full benefits.
Plunge deeper into the sea of public relations, wade in it, get soaked and wield the PR strategies shared in this article.
You will find that you will yield more lasting results that fundraising announcements alone would not do for your tech startup.