Stats that Prove Startups and Small Businesses Need PR

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Updated 2/12/2019

Public relations is a powerful tool for startups and small businesses trying to compete in marketplaces dominated by larger companies. With small budgets, however, PR can often fall low on the list of to dos. For startups and small businesses that want to gain the attention of potential customers and hold a stronger position in the market, PR can help. Here are 10 statistics that prove the value of a strategic PR campaign.

1. 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders (Demand Gen Report). Customers want to hear from you! From thoughts on current events to industry changes, there are many thought-pieces executives can write for third-party publications. This adds an element of trust for buyers, who can then recognize your expertise.

2. Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites (Hubspot). Millennials especially want to read third-party sources to gain information on a topic or trend, so if they are in your target market, PR is a must.

3. 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement (Content Marketing Institute). Advertisements can be too pushy, but articles in renowned third-party publications can be trusted more.

4. 93% of B2B buying processes begin with an online search (HubSpot). Searches tend to begin with looking up a customer pain point and clicking on articles. If your PR piece comes up in one of those top spots, you will gain a qualified lead, who will read the article and likely click on your company to learn more.

5. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate (imFORZA). Those users who click on your website from a PR piece have a high chance of closing, compared to outbound marketing tactics. These are better, more qualified leads coming to your website.

6. B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand's site (Google). Since researchers do so many searches, you want your company and your company’s content to rank high on search engines. A byline or article about your company from a reputable publication will rank high on a search engine, which will keep your company in the buyer’s mind.

7. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads (Content Marketing Institute). Customers want to know the people behind the brand, and their thoughts and opinions on industry issues. Customers prefer this over the ad experience.

8. 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in (Content Marketing Association). You may have concerns that writing a thought-piece or byline is a waste of time, but 68% of people want to read this content from brands they like.

9. 60% of consumers are more likely to be on the lookout for products when looking at content marketing (Content Marketing Association). It’s not just that consumers like reading content from your brand, but they are also in the buying cycle, looking out for potential products while reading your articles.

10. People are tired of old tactics. People want to be in control of what information they receive (Ragan)

  • 86% of people skip TV advertisements;

  • 44% of direct mail is never opened;

  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email that they had previously opted into.

Consumers want a different approach, more inbound, personalized tactics instead of outbound, appealing to the masses tactics.

11. A Chief Marketer report found the content most effective at moving prospects through the B2B sales funnel are articles and blogs [49%] (Chief Marketer). PR articles are an excellent way to move prospects down the funnel. While blogs help too, having articles published in industry magazines show expertise.

12. True rumors are confirmed within around 2 hours, but it takes over 14 hours for the average false rumor to be debunked (PLOS | ONE). A company of any size doesn’t want a bad rumor going around out there. A PR team can help debunk any false information faster than handling it internally.

For startups ready to tackle PR

13. 70% of publishers are open to getting pitched a set of ideas that fit their beat, and they prefer collaboration over getting pitched a finished asset without prior contact. (Harvard Business Review). PR teams know reporters and their beats, as well as how to position a story that the reporter is likely to cover.

14. 68% of journalists say they "just want the facts" or the who, where, why, and when. (AdWeek). Many startups get too close to their idea and think different parts of the startup story are important. Journalists really want the meat of the story, and a PR team can help dissect what’s interesting and what’s not.

15. Journalists receive, on average, 50-100 press releases every week. 44% prefer to receive them in the morning. 68% just want the facts (B2B PR Sense Blog). A press release needs to stand out, and PR pros know how to write a hook that can attract attention.

If your startup or small business ignored PR in the past, now is the time to start. Even if you’re on a budget, download 50 Public Relations Hacks for Startups that can help you move your campaign forward.