PR for entrepreneurs

Recently, I was delighted to be asked to act as a PR and comms mentor at one of the ‘unconference’ break-out sessions that followed the keynote talks at Seedcamp’s entrepreneur business event. Hosted and curated by Natasha Lytton, the company’s head of brand and marketing, the Marketing Summit was attended by Europe’s most exciting start-ups.

Upon entry, attending entrepreneurs wrote their most pressing needs on post-it notes and stuck them to a board. Unconference session mentors then pooled the post-its into categories, creating titles for each stream. This ensured that each of the sessions were useful and well-attended.

I co-hosted a stream on ‘how to speak to media, and get them to listen to you’ with John Shewell, director of group marketing and communications at Berlin-based insurtech startup, wefox Group. John’s company is going from strength to strength, and has some pretty unorthodox ways to promote impressive funding news. John spoke to our group of young entrepreneurs about drip-feeding the press, and playing your cards close to your chest for maximum impact. While I waxed lyrical about our recent success using humour to defuse a serious B2B tech topic in ‘Tudder’ (Tinder for Cows). As well as answering queries directly on topics like ‘how do I find the right freelance or agency PR support?’, and ‘how does the pitching process work?’

A highlight of the Summit was the keynote by Giles Rhys Jones, CMO at what3words, which illuminated the power of ‘tech for good’ with some examples of how the company’s accurate geo-mapping app has changed the game for emergency services. On a less worthy note, the app also makes it pretty easy to find the entrance to your favourite venue! Giles told the room about an effective ABM campaign that what3words ran for a Chinese car company. It poked fun at a sat nav misnavigation scenario using an old Chinese fable about a woman who tried to find her love interest but ended up on the moon.

The entrepreneurs in the room ranged from those at series A, to those at series C funding rounds. And what struck me most was how young and motivated this young crowd was – from Rahel Tesfai, founder and CEO at afro-hair-stylist booking hub FroHub; and Okan Ozbek, co-founder at neuromarketing software business Neurolize; to Vera Merkatz, business development manager at AI-assisted CCTV company ThirdEye Labs.

The next generation of creators certainly seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing how to amplify brands and tap into funding opportunities.