If there is one skill that can differentiate your startup from the crowd, it is that of a copywriter with PR and digital experience. They can take your startup from looking like a startup to a company that knows what it is doing. They write in order to achieve your goals, from pitch presentations to investors, to websites, social media, press interviews and more. They are the ones who level-up the quality of your marketing efforts.
Everyone can write, but copywriters write with a purpose. They write to entice, educate, sell and build your brand in the way they convey your story.
Entrepreneurs are often subject matter experts. They come from various fields and have the skills to design and develop their product. However, one of the areas many struggle with is selling their solution to the market. They know marketing is the solution, which is true in the very beginning when they’re still figuring out the market and building their product.
The truth is many founders do not even need a copywriter full time. However, hiring them on hourly or project basis can help you see where your marketing efforts can improve, the opportunities you may be missing out on, and how you can effectively and efficiently improve your marketing efforts with minor changes. For example, if you make a social media video with some content, they’ll help you with editing it with an appropriate call to action in alignment with your marketing goals.
PR copywriters can also help you tell your story in a more enticing way, whether that is to a potential investor or the media. However, in this realm, media training has been seen to be more effective in helping founders become better speakers.
In our region, founders come from many backgrounds and cultures where English isn’t their first language. While it is a very useful skill to have, having an expert in the language tell your story and promote your brand in a way that resonates with your audience can be a key differentiating factor in a competitive market like ours.
Think of Apple. They may technically be a technology company. However, many in the industry would call them one of the best marketing companies in the world. They have and continue to differentiate their identity from others who by many respects have better products. In spite of the competition, they have had one of the strongest brand equities the world has seen. And it all comes down to the words they use and how they talk about the company.
In fact, accelerators in the region emphasise on the founder’s ability to convey their thoughts through writing. Because whether it is an email to a potential client, pitch to an investor, website, or presentation, words can make all the difference.
So how should you pick the copywriter who can deliver on all these accounts? Well, there are a few aspects you should look out for:
Experience: The more diverse writing experience they have, the better they’ll be able to adapt to different mediums. Look for creative writers who have written for digital mediums such as websites, social media, blogs, online publishers, SEO content and such.
Skills: Copywriters must also show conceptualisation skills to plan campaigns, design understanding, knowledge of design software, and overall grasp of 360 marketing strategies. Writing and making pitch presentations is also a key aspect, but remember that there are different styles of pitches used in the industry that differ vastly from advertising agencies to PR firms.
PR and media relations: Ask for campaign results or reports to gauge their skills. A good PR copywriter has the ability to pitch articles, distribute exciting press releases, pitch your brand to the media, get mentions and comments in articles.
Attitude and market exposure: The most important aspect of hiring any vendor or employee is their interest, understanding and willingness to learn and help your organisation. While market exposure might be a challenge to find, as media professionals aren’t exposed to the financial world of investors and accelerators, the attitude to learn about your sector could very well make up for it.
It is not easy to find a person with great PR and diverse creative copywriting skills, in fact, it might just be a rarity in the region. However, if you evaluate your needs, you’ll know if you want a good copywriter with PR skills, or a PR professional with writing experience; and you can look for one accordingly.
It might also do you well to know that to find all or most of the above in a high-quality freelancer or firm might not come cheap. However, a passionate freelancer or account manager will go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals, and make your investment well worth it.