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How to Maximize Your PR Dollar While Waiting for Series B

While MSLGROUP partners with both established and emerging growth companies, a number of our clients are in earlier stages of development and seek our public relations counsel and high-impact media exposure to help them achieve Series B funding. The Series B round is a crucial step for many businesses, as it brings them one step closer to executing their go-to-market strategy and to their ultimate exit. In fact, according to Rock Health’s 2014 mid-year review, “Digital health funding [specifically] reached $2.3B in 2014 YTD alone, representing a year-over-year growth exceeding 170% and eclipsing the 2013 total.” MSLGROUP’s Digital Health client base also continues to grow and we are often asked, “How do we make the most of our existing, limited, marketing budget as we strive to achieve our Series B funding?”

This is a time in a company’s lifecycle where it is crucial to streamline and prioritize activities. This is not the time to take out large advertisements, hire a celebrity spokesperson, or start sending out expensive and flashy press kits. Rather, many companies are focusing on developing a targeted plan with their agency to achieve maximum return on their PR investment by attaining goals such as:

  • Establishing their brand as an innovative and disruptive company at the forefront of its industry;
  • Introducing the company’s signature technology as a pioneering innovation compared to existing market approaches;
  • Developing and elevating the reputation and thought leadership of the company’s executives and key opinion leaders;
  • Increasing customer awareness to influence their buying decisions.

Achieving these goals will certainly bring companies closer to obtaining Series B funding. The ideal PR agencies can support these goals through campaigns such as:

  • Developing and honing the company’s brand narrative and PR message;
  • Arranging an executive media training session for the key spokesperson(s) prior to media outreach;
  • Conducting strategic media outreach to key trade, business and local press to raise awareness of the company’s disruptive technology and benefits among key audiences;
  • Leveraging the company’s CEO to establish a thought leadership campaign with strategic trade, business and local media;
  • Executing a rapid response program leveraging relevant, breaking industry news to ensure the company is injecting CEO commentary into the ongoing conversation;
  • Organizing a social media program, beginning with Twitter and potentially the company’s blog depending on the target audience.

The role of PR in supporting Series B funding is to steadily begin to build the buzz about the company and its disruptive product, but also to establish the company’s senior executives as credible, trustworthy thought leaders within the industry. As trade and local media coverage begins to build awareness, investors will also see the momentum build, bringing the company one step closer to achieving its funding goals.

Digital Health Companies in the US; Source: rockhealth.com/resources/rock-reports/

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Shannon Weidinger

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