Insights from NetApp Excellerator’s PR Session

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Guiding the next wave of innovative tech founders through the changing PR landscape – that was a fun interaction I had once more this year when connecting with NetApp Excellerator‘s newest cohort. While everyone eagerly sought to leverage PR for their startups, it helps to get some practical guidance. This year’s program, much like the ones I previously led, combined group sessions and personalized consultations to empower founders with essential PR tools and strategies. As a firm believer in PR’s power, I understand founders often juggle numerous roles, making it challenging to manage every business aspect effectively. That’s why offering accessible, actionable PR insights proves incredibly valuable. Witnessing this hunger for hands-on, practical guidance firsthand is always inspiring.

Here is what I think with my vendor hat on from my corporate days, trying to pretend I don’t lead a data infrastructure PR firm. For startups, hiring specialist PR consultants can be more prudent than enlisting agencies that inundate them with meetings, junior staff, and presentations lacking tangible results. I’ve seen this inefficiency during my corporate days as well. Investors will quickly discern a startup’s PR efforts through simple searches. If little or nothing other than your own content surfaces about your company online, the PR firm likely underperformed. Startups should prioritize strategic, results-driven PR support within their budgets. I also find it helpful to have an agency give you feedback on marketing programs and events if they are truly specialized and know the players, because what a startup can do with its budget is very different than what a larger company can put together when it comes to marketing programs and events. Being creative and understanding the industry and offerings can help.

While I offered detailed information in my presentation covering media relations, analyst relations, social media, and even employee communications (which I led for a while in my career years ago), I am always pleased to continue the conversations after the session. The NetApp Excellerator program’s success is reflected in the positive feedback received and the continued engagement through LinkedIn connections and inquiries.

This is where I believe my insights can truly add value. PR isn’t just about writing articles; it’s about building relationships with journalists, strategically utilizing social media, and crafting a compelling message that resonates with your target audience. Witnessing the interest in this hands-on, practical guidance firsthand makes me grateful to be able to have these interactions.