Using PR To Help You Attain A Successful Exit
The economy may have slowed VC funding events, M&A activities and IPOs, but lighthouse technology companies continue to use PR to help pave the way toward a successful exit.
For example, in early May Profile Capital Management acquired our client, Panzura. Their enterprise file and data management solution is helping global enterprises migrate to hybrid- and cloud-native technologies and enable distributed teams to collaborate on data as effectively at home as in the office. A few weeks later, Couchbase, the creator of the enterprise-class, multi-cloud to edge NoSQL database, announced it has secured $105 million in Series G funding and is seeing huge increases in deal sizes and new business growth. And earlier this month, Rancher Labs, which provides open source software for managing Kubernetes at scale, announced it was acquired by SUSE, to create the world’s largest independent organization with open source and cloud native solutions.
As it turns out, companies that help enterprises become more agile, more resilient and more adept at remote working continue to intrigue investors — and that’s the story we told in various and complementary ways to lay the groundwork for their successful exits.
If you are looking to integrate PR into your journey, here some best practices we followed to generate a groundswell of coverage, along with some pitfalls to avoid:
Build relationships early. It takes time to build trusted relationships with the press, analysts and influencers whose opinions affect your key stakeholders. Don’t wait until the last minute to enlist a PR team who can land the big stories. You’ll see better quality coverage when you’ve taken the time to cultivate relationships with the people who write about your success.
Establish Credibility. Become an authoritative voice on the topics your customers care about. Deliver a steady stream of news and value-added content that demonstrates the company’s success in the marketplace, integrates the leadership teams’ unique perspectives and demonstrates how your innovations help to tackle big market challenges. Avoid sending out press announcements that only your senior team cares about. Publish them on your site, if it makes sense to do so.
Take an integrated approach. Integrating PR with multi-channel marketing ensures your quality coverage becomes part of your audience engagement, so you can move beyond building brand awareness to driving MQLs and generating investor interest.
Get the timing right. Once the deal is sealed, and the time has come to announce your IPO, M&A or funding round, be scrupulous about what information gets disseminated, and when. Consider pitching an exclusive to a tier-one publication that can run the story shortly before the press release crosses the wire, along with select outlets under embargo. Follow up with journalists and analysts with day two stories with other key stakeholders.
These tactics can maximize your PR efforts, but there are some pitfalls you should work to avoid, as well:
Don’t let the cat out of the bag early. Inform employees, customers and partners the moment you issue the release over the wire — but not before. Invariably, the news will leak out, stealing your thunder.
Don’t boast. You may be an instant millionaire the day of the exit but humble! Show gratitude and emphasize the contributions of your teammates and partners for helping your organization reach this turning point.
Don’t forget about your investors. They made this possible. Be sure to include them in press and analyst interviews covering the exit. Their extensive networks can amplify your announcement, as well as provide unique angles.
Don’t expect The Wall Street Journal to publish your story on day one. As news gets out and interest around your story builds, the big guns will begin to take notice
A Good Story Is Hard to Put Down
Careful planning and PR work around exit strategies can pique the interest of investors, influence mergers and acquisitions and yield substantial returns for market disruptors.
Ready to plan for your exit? Reach out today to to see how we can help make it a success.