A startup is one experiment almost everyone around us have or will try at least once in their lifetime. Whether you’re an IVY league graduate or a college dropout, an artist or a homemaker. The idea of startups fit right with almost everyone as long as they are enterprising. If the branding is done right then the business takes off setting a certain standard and attracting potential consumers. Branding includes marketing, brand aesthetics and brand philosophy. Unfamiliar terms and a hazy meaning to each department can be intimidating and the proprietor is eventually left confused with whom to approach for what. As a former journalist and a blogger currently, I keep receiving queries for brand consultancy, media coverage, digital marketing, designing and even endorsements. On turning down some of the offers, the client looks at me puzzled wondering why am I turning down a project that is paying well enough? Social media and paid media smudges the boundary line and we don’t blame you for feeling helpless.
To make your entrepreneur life a tad bit easier, we attempt to decode everyone’s role so you don’t end up wasting your tight startup budget. Do contacts matter? At every level yes. But if you don’t have any, that does not mean they wont respond to you. Does a big budget matter? Yes but there’s always juggad.
Journalist - Someone who writes or reports for a publication or a news channel. If the journalist is at a junior position they have to wait for their editor to allocate stories to them. If the journalist is relatively senior, they have the authority to pitch stories and subedit other journo’s articles. Most publication houses have their own tie-ups where if a brand sponsors an advertisement, in return they get media coverage. Many times ‘story-sellers’ don’t know how to categorise their brand and miss out on the silent supplement which is secondary to that of another preceding or concurrent publication. With mainstream newspapers, these supplements provide lifestyle news such as HT Brunch, India Today Home Decor etc. The best way to approach these newspapers and magazines are through your PR.
PR - Public Relations usually work as freelance PR executives or through an agency. Or even in-house PR representative. if you have the capacity of retainership then you can opt for a monthly tie-up where they continuously work on getting your brand some media attention or the other. At the end of the month, they provide you a compilation of all the coverages they got for you. Some big companies that depend heavily on marketing find it convenient to hire a spokesperson or a marketing representative who handles every media requirement. They have to create their own database and network on your behalf. But some companies don’t have so much work and they approach an agency to do an event for them and invite all the journalists and bloggers.
Blogger - A profession which is not so new anymore but still not so clear to everyone. A blogger is more multifaceted than any role mentioned in this list. They become the face and the voice representing your brand during your tie-up. Good bloggers don't write for free; they offer packages that include a photoshoot, article, social media campaign and even event collaborations. Even though these basic rules are same for everyone but few good bloggers might be particular about exclusivity, association rules or they can instead host other bloggers on your behalf as well. Some may offer to take care of your social media also some may not. Choosing the correct blogger for your brand is very tricky. Please carefully study their aesthetics, writing skills, engagement and reader's feedback. Numbers can be bought so look out for the organic popular ones.
Social media Strategist - There are a lot of young graphic designers who freelance as a social media strategist. They create illustrations, animations, info graphics and regularly post it on all your social media handles. They know which hashtag to use when for maximum engagement. They are addicted to their gadgets and are very handy in displaying the right picture. For companies who have a website can request their vendours to handle their social media as well since they usually come hand-in-hand. But if you learn the trade, it is best DIY.
Web designer - A website vendour takes care of the technical bit of your brand including designing a website, coding, help with buying the domain and hosting, They look into your analytics, SEO etc. They can also make your logo and letterheads and it's always convenient since they are vary of your website.
Host: Brands may like to have regular events that are interactive and invite the right guests who will either be their potential customers or their opion matters to the world. socialites, celebrities, famous bloggers are usually the choices for hosting an event. They are required to bring in guests, curate the event's decor and feel and arrange the session.
So if you are looking to market your brand, this simplified explanation for various media roles should help you. For further queries, reccomendations for any of the above, contacts or even consultancy; you may write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.