Startups & Small Biz: 5 PR Tips from an Entrepreneur
As a lover of both the culinary and business worlds, Reggie Milligan started his career as a chef before finding himself in entrepreneurship. A year and a half after launching his first food company, it was scooped up by a California-based enterprise, and he didn’t waste any time in launching his next venture: Mantry.
Started in February 2012, Milligan and co-founder Tony Hancock launched Mantry after noticing the biggest thief of creative cooking is time. They stepped in with Mantry – a monthly food subscription service – to do the hard work of curating American artisan food, and letting their customers do the simple task of waiting for delivery.
“It’s Christmas once a month for our subscribers,” Milligan said in an interview with blogTO. “Except instead of Mandarin oranges and razors, guys get Reindeer Jerky and an award-winning sauce from a hipster who spent three days making it in Brooklyn.”
1) Reach Out Directly – As a start-up, we bootstrap across every aspect of our business, Milligan says. “For PR, we don’t have the money to allocate to a PR firm at this point, and I have been successful in reaching out directly. As the co-founder, the media is sometimes surprised to see me doing the outreach, which is a great conversation-starter in and of itself.”
2) Schedule Outreach – Every Monday Milligan makes time for PR. Set a similar schedule to keep consistent and up-to-date on contacts’ coverage and the industry, as well as following up and reaching out to new contacts.
3) Time is of the Essence – In a start-up, being efficient is important. “Cision allows us to make sure every hour spent doing outreach is used to connect with the media instead of researching contacts; it’s a game-changer.”
4) Tailor Pitches – “If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody,” Milligan says.
5) Build Trust – “Marketing and PR goes beyond physically putting the product in front of the consumer. Getting your brand mentioned in outlets and on ‘products to try’ lists give you a lot of credibility. It’s hard to sell a consumer without press mentions.”
For more PR insight, download our free tip sheet: 6 Budget-Friendly PR Tips for Startups & Small Businesses.
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