It’s never simple for a tech startup to decide on a PR strategy. It’s even more challenging as a tech startup if you’re targeting customers in multiple markets around the world. Regardless of whether your tech startup is based in Europe, North America, South America or Asia, here are a few things to take into account when choosing an international PR agency.
Understanding of tech startups
Tech startups often require a slightly different touch than what PR agencies offer other types of companies. You should be wary of an international PR agency that doesn’t have deep experience working with tech startups and enterprises. You’ll want to work with people who not only understand your end-users but also how your product or solution adds value. That often takes the form of expertise in helping design and articulate messages that appeal to tech news outlets and drives interest in your offerings in the form of website traffic and lead conversion.
While picking an international PR agency with a niche focus may sound appealing, it’s often more important to find a PR partner that has a strong track record of delivering great results and providing a superior customer experience specifically catering to fast-growth, agile startups. After all, an international PR agency will be working closely with you on planning and executing your tech startup’s communications strategy to achieve the growth you seek. Many of the partner agencies in First PR Alliance work across multiple industry verticals and pride themselves on adding measurable value to your marketing team.
Strong ties to target markets
Whatever international tech PR agency you hire needs to have a deep understanding of the markets you are trying to penetrate. If you’re targeting CISOs of German manufacturers, you’ll want an agency that understands the media landscape in Germany, has relationships with relevant media outlets and knows what story angles resonate with journalists and end buyers alike. If you’re going after multiple markets, then you’ll want an agency that either does work in all of those countries or has partnerships with other PR agencies that specialize in those markets. First PR Alliance, a network of top tech PR agencies in 19 countries and five continents, is one such network and features agencies with experience in a wide variety of tech industry verticals.
A history of results
A list of former clients can be impressive at first glance, but if you’re going to be coughing up steep fees for an agency’s services, you’ll want to take a peek under the hood. Above all else, you need to see evidence that they have delivered a positive ROI in past work. You’ll want to ask for specific metrics that their past work has produced for clients, such as:
- Media coverage
- Lead generation
- Website traffic
- Social media engagement
Access to top talent
Many large international PR agencies don’t offer smaller clients access to their most experienced personnel. They’ll still charge you premium fees, but they’ll stick you with junior-level staff. Not only will these employees generally lack significant experience, but their attention will often be divided between a variety of small clients. You’re better off seeking out a boutique international PR agency that specializes in tech startups and puts its full weight, including its senior-level staff, behind all of its clients — and often at a lower price than the big-name agencies.
Does this agency display interest in getting to understand your company, its mission and the brand you’re trying to build? Do they ask lots of questions and do they appear to take what you say into consideration? Do their proposed solutions appear to align with what you told them, or does it look like they’d do the exact same thing they’d offer any company that walked in the door? A good international tech PR agency never offers boilerplate PR strategy. Instead, they offer creative solutions that spring from a genuine enthusiasm for the product you’re selling, which can only be gained by listening to the client.
Capacity & Flexibility
You’ll want to make sure that the agency you’re hiring has the resources and staff to deliver results right away. But just as important is their ability to scale if and when your needs increase. As a tech startup, there will likely be lulls when you don’t need significant PR assistance, but you also need to be able to count on the full force of your agency when you’re entering a new market, announcing a new product release or coming off of a successful funding round.