The role that PR plays, regardless of the size of your company, has become more important than ever. The PR industry has been one of the most disrupted industries – due to the changing media landscape and the rise of real-time news thanks to social media.

The internet spreads stories – fast. And that means good stories and bad stories.

With social media able to create a media storm within mere minutes, reactive PR is essential to protect your brand and reputation. Having a response to a negative story can mitigate disaster, protect your brand image and help bounce back from bad press.

However, proactive PR is another important component of a business – it can help grow your industry reputation, drive business, and increase your standing in the eyes of investors or shareholders.

Public relations can be ‘make or break’ in many situations, with the ability to big up a business.

Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, credits PR with kickstarting her business, telling the podcast ‘How I Built This’ about how a popular daily email, DailyCandy mentioned Drybar before it’s opening, and bookings exploded.

Since the launch of the first Drybar Alli Webb has stressed on the vital role of PR and media to the growth of the business. Working with the Media: A couple of days prior to the opening of the first Drybar, DailyCandy (a popular daily email newsletter in the 2000's) ran a story on the store. Webb started receiving a tremendous amount of bookings, and thought something was wrong with the system. She then found out that it was directly due to the DailyCandy article. This is why working with PR professionals is as important as your brand/startup itself. However, no amount of PR and media blitz can substitute for low quality product/service or an ill prepared launch. PR and media are like engines on a rocket: they will get you on course to success that much faster. Getting the right people to use your product/service :I purposefully didn't use the word influencer. Sometimes the key people that can drive your business (at the start) are those behind the scenes : tv/digital producers, writers, industry professionals and influencer managers. That is not to say that there is not a time and place for using influencers. However, at the start you want to spend wisely and not foolishly. Gain momentum with your brand and build a strong foundation. Word of mouth is still as powerful as ever. PR is important - even for startups: Alli Webb and her brother Michael just launched their podcast series "Raising the Bar", where they interview entrepreneurs. A key message that they both stress on when giving advice is, "don't bootstrap PR", even if you are a startup. Alli and Michael speak passionately on the vital role of PR to the success of Drybar and their new concept Squeeze. What is good PR? It a nutshell it doesn't stop with press releases and a couple of interviews. PR experts need to help in the long term communication strategy and be constantly telling and retelling your story - people love hearing stories! And in todays digital environment there are an infinite amount of methods to retell your story. PR is also important for MENA startups as it brings their stories in front of regional and international investors #drybar #pr #dubai #success #startup #girlboss

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But, PR – public relations, is not just about press releases or issuing statements in a crisis. It’s about relating to and with the public, about how the public perceives you and your brand. It’s about liaising with media to help get your message out there and getting your brand in front of the right people.

In episode four of Savvy Talk, Maha discusses PR for start-ups, and says PR is important, but you don’t need to pay huge fees to an agency or have a large in-house team. ‘PR can give you a lot of mileage, and it helps you with investors. It helps with customers and for customer acquisition. So everyone kind of needs to know a bit about how to be a PR ninja.’

So you don’t have to spend loads on a team, just follow some quick, easy steps to boost your PR.

Some quick tips from Maha.


#1 Prepare your assets

Evaluate your social media profiles, your bios, your information and make sure it’s all clear and concise. You know your message and USP better than anyone else.

#2 Follow journalists and reporters on social media

This is to get an understanding of what kind of thing they’re interested in, what they’re writing about. This will help you to streamline your pitches to journalists. Know what they specialize in or are interested in, to refine what you approach them with.

#3 Newsjacking

Newsjacking is where you inject your idea or twist on a current news event. You can do this with your brand, find ideas and ways to talk to journalists by newsjacking and helping add value.

#4 Attend events

Maha says there are plenty of reasons to do this: “try to get yourself, if you’re a new company and you’re a startup, try to speak at an event because you get three hits out of it. One, you’re speaking on stage, so people are listening to you. You have an audience that is sitting in the crowd. Two, there are journalists at events. So a journalist might hear your story. You might have an opportunity to talk to a journalist on the sideline. And three, everybody’s holding up their phone, creating content at an event, at a conference to show that they’re there.”

There’s so much you can do for your business, tune in to episode four of Savvy Talk to find out how you can amplify your PR strategy without spending a fortune.