What start-ups and small businesses really think of PR agencies

Start ups and PR jpg

What Start ups and small businesses think of PRSo the results are out… HK Communications conducted some in-depth research among start-ups and small businesses to gauge their views, understanding and experience of PR.  The research was conducted over a few months, we held a focus group among start-ups in London, spoke to small businesses and conducted a survey… and the results are telling.   

The overwhelming view was that most start-ups and small businesses would rather do their own PR than appoint an agency, if they knew how.

However, as is stands, the majority struggle to generate their own publicity, and are underserved by the current PR model.  This no-win situation means that most start-ups and small businesses miss out on invaluable PR which would help promote and grow their business.

Our survey revealed:

  • 62% of respondents haven’t or wouldn’t employ the services of a PR agency. Of the reasons cited:
    • 59% say that agencies are too expensive
    • 31% feel they’ll represent their brand better themselves.

As for the start-ups and small business that have attempted to do their own PR and pitch their business to the media:

  • Just 28% said that they had been successful
  • 44% said they found it difficult to engage journalists
  • 28% said that they eventually got some coverage, but it took them a long time and effort.

Since launching HK Communications last year, we’ve been looking at ways of supporting start-ups and small businesses, for whom publicity is key to growth.  The focus group reveals that the traditional PR consultancy offering doesn’t work for them.  They don’t have the budget to engage a PR agency, and of those that have, they’ve not had the best experience as they felt that they didn’t get value for money, or they were just a number among bigger clients.

The general consensus from the focus group was that most start-ups and small businesses were best-placed to do their own PR, as they were their biggest brand advocates and they generally had more time than budget.

In response to the results, we’re launching our PR 101 masterclasses, a product offering aimed at start-ups and small businesses which will teach them the basics of PR, such as story-finding, pitching to different types of media, and the do’s and don’ts when engaging journalists.

The masterclasses will complement our existing consultancy service, and is the perfect offering for start-ups and small businesses wanting to know how to create their own news.

The masterclasses will be offered on a 1:1 basis, while plans are afoot for group sessions and online learning, so watch this space!

For more information on the PR 101 masterclasses, visit: http://hkcommunications.co.uk/services/pr-101-masterclass/.

If you’d like to find out how to uncover a story in your business that journalists will love to cover, download our free storyfinding toolkit here.


Halima Khatun

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