Four lessons startups can teach enterprises about PR

Enterprises are like the wise elders of the business world that smaller companies and startups look up to as they carve out their own paths to success. But when it comes to PR, enterprises can sometimes be burdened by their own weight, resulting in a failure to communicate a brand story or exciting vision. There are countless lessons to learn from the successes and failures of enterprises over the years, but there are also a few PR tricks these old dogs can learn from startups.

Be hungry. Anyone who’s ever experienced startup life will tell you just how cutthroat it can be. In order to rise above the crop, entrepreneurs need to feel the hunger pangs for success. This yearning can result in PR initiatives that feel inspired and creative. Enterprises can continue building momentum on the success they’ve earned by maintaining an aggressive approach to PR, rather than lounging in the comfort zone. For example, how can the enterprise repackage its company story for a new generation? In what ways is the enterprise adapting to a changing industry?

Be agile. One of the great assets of startups is their flexibility to morph business strategies as the market changes and reposition their PR strategies to facilitate new messaging. This benefit is largely derived from smaller teams with fewer cooks in the kitchen. Not many enterprises have this luxury with regards to PR, especially when there is an approvals chain that could wrap around the Earth. But those that can reorganize and manage teams effectively to react to new opportunities will find themselves staying one step ahead.

Be disruptive. Startups love to “disrupt” industries of their choice for good reason. It’s exciting. It’s futuristic. It’s changing the status quo. Of course, enterprises are perfectly capable of disrupting their own industries, as well, and many successful ones have done so. Startups tout in their PR efforts how they take a new approach to solve old problems, and enterprises need to do the same if they don’t want to be traded in for the younger, slimmer model.

Be young in spirit. Unfortunately, some enterprises are perceived as dinosaurs, unwilling or unable to adapt to modern times. This stereotype is perpetuated by poor implementation of newer forms of media, be it boring marketing videos or inability to use social media properly. Startups that rock PR do so because they leverage new technologies – whether it be measurement tools to determine the impact of PR initiatives or platforms to reach new audiences – that enable them to do their jobs better and stay ahead of the curve. And it was startups that really took to social media at first and used it in a way to connect with audiences on a personal level while articulating their brand identity. If enterprises want to leave the Stone Age behind, they need to be leaders in driving new PR trends.

Because enterprises have a lot at stake when it comes to PR, they have a tendency to operate within the warm embrace of familiarity and avoid taking major risks. (There are exceptions, of course.) While this isn’t necessarily bad, this urge to not stray from the well-worn path limits the potential of enterprise PR strategies to make a memorable impact. Don’t settle for satisfactory; think like a startup.