Insurtech Start-up Success: The Role of PR
As a insurtech start-up, thinking about your PR at an early stage can pay dividends in the future. Here, we take a look at why
There’s a lot to think about when starting up as a new insurtech, and it can be tempting to put ‘soft’ matters, such as marketing, communications and PR at the bottom of the priority list while focusing on areas deemed more pressing, such as hard sales and attracting the best candidates. Ironically, however, it is good PR which makes those pressing matters much easier to achieve. Those who neglect to prioritise their PR strategy and execution are not only making life harder for themselves, they also risk falling into comparative obscurity before they’ve had a chance to make their mark.
How not to be left choking on competitors’ dust
Although it may seem counterintuitive to start thinking about PR before an insurtech is a well-known force in the industry, that is precisely what fledgling companies need to do to ensure they escalate from start-up to emerging, and then to established as quickly and comfortably as possible. Insurtechs who fail to come to that realisation, or act on it, will be left choking on the dust of their more PR-savvy competitors, who will be on their way to owning a substantial share of the market voice and becoming giants within the industry.
The best time for a new insurtech to start thinking about PR is when they’re new-born. This immediacy brings exclusive advantages: there’s no antiquated, or meaningless, company values to undo; no mission to restate; and no past crises to deal with before PR can have a net-positive impact. A brand-spanking insurtech offers the biggest and blankest of slates on which to plan some truly powerful PR.
Why there’s still room for a new player
Before the emergence of insurtech, insurance was in desperate need of a shake-up. Now, with forward-thinking companies coming to the fore, and ambitious leaders within them keen to be recognised as such, there is no doubt that getting heard above the noise is a challenge. However, having witnessed such staggering transformation in recent years, the insurance sector has developed an appetite for newness, change and innovation. Despite the crowd, a new player who is prepared to disrupt the current conversation, challenge thought leadership and offer a fresh voice to the marketplace is still very welcome.
Far from delaying company growth through focusing attention on PR, an effective PR strategy and programme will pave the way for swifter business development. Building trust and establishing credibility is hard to do and is even harder and takes longer for PR-shy firms. Getting out there from the start with clear messaging, a narrative that resonates with people, and well-written owned and earned media can turn a sluggish growth trajectory into a steep upward spike.
No man is an insurtech island
As much as insurtechs are about data, machines and artificial intelligence, they’re also about relationships. Man cannot thrive on data alone. Insurtech start-ups who are early adopters of PR will find they gain rapid visibility amongst key stakeholders. And it is this visibility, which ultimately becomes trust, that brings a start-up out of the shadows and puts them under the spotlight.
The prospect of doing business with a company they have heard little about does not excite or reassure a prospective client or partner. On the other hand, brand awareness and third-party recommendations created through effective PR (journalist and influencer reinforcement, for instance) drives a company’s reputation at a rate unachievable through organic growth.
The world has moved on. Move with it
A common misperception about B2B PR is that it’s all about generating column inches in trade magazines. Perhaps it was, 20 years ago. But the world of PR has moved on, and journalist liaison is just one part of it. An experienced technical PR agency will also work with their clients on building strong analyst relations, generating relevant and quality content for owned media channels (such as websites, blogs and newsletters), securing in-person as well as online opportunities (presence at industry roundtables and speaking appointments) and disseminating data and insights to selected influencers, and much more in between.
Step-by-step guidance to insurtech start-up PR success
What to do and where to turn first when considering embarking on PR activity can seem overwhelming, especially with all the other distractions involved in building an insurtech start-up. Here at EC-PR, we are insurtech experts, who guide you through what is needed step by step. We never launch straight in with tactical PR — we take a strategy-first approach. This means that we take the time to build a comprehensive communications strategy at the outset.
The communications strategy considers the company’s key messages, the reason for being, tone of voice and brand positioning, among many other factors. We do this in conjunction with you, through workshops and consultations. Once the communications strategy is agreed upon, we work with you to inform your wider team, so that the tone of voice and messaging are consistent. And only then do we begin to roll out the tactical PR campaign.
Go your own way — with an experienced partner by your side
Your communications strategy and PR planning will be bespoke to you and your organisation. That’s why we help you find your niche. It’s wise to have an eye on what your competitors are up to, but emulating them will only make you look like a second-rate counterfeit. Doing your own thing, and doing it well, is imperative.
Being bold is key — especially for an insurtech start-up, whose success rides on getting noticed for the right reasons. Don’t worry, we understand the regulations involved in the industry and the importance of compliance, and we respect the limitations of the industry. But we also have the advantage of viewing insurtech through a PR lens, meaning we come prepared with good ideas of what will cut through and get you heard.
Don’t get bogged down with corporate clutter
This exciting time when you are creating your brand, refining your register, getting to know your audience and populating your channels, is the ripest time to get your PR lined up, and ready to go. No longer is PR a silo of marketing and communications; each feeds into the others to make sure content is consistent and that messaging obviously all belongs to the same brand.
Values and vision are also at their clearest and freshest during the start-up phase. It’s so important they don’t get lost within corporate clutter. PR can make them stand loud and proud by reinforcing them through every touch point from internal communications, expert articles, blogs and client collateral, to press kits, events and news releases.
Patching PR in after the start-up phase is perfectly possible, but if the opportunity is there to introduce it from the start, our advice is to do so. It saves time retro-fitting owned media content, revisiting long-forgotten values and re-educating a team suspicious of sudden-onset PR activity.
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Discover how marketing and PR comms should and do work well together. Reach potential customers on every platform and at every point in their buying journey with cohesive and relevant messages.
Full disclosure: you need to be on board if you want your PR to work
For aspiring industry and thought leaders, early initiation into PR is a plus too. Few uninitiated leaders appreciate that if they want to get a lot out of their PR, they must put a lot into it. This can be shared out across their team of experts, of course, but it can’t be pulled out of thin air. ‘We need you!’ is true of a good PR agency when speaking to their insurtech clients. The people you want to influence and engage with don’t want faceless press releases all the time — they want you: your thoughts, your opinions, your comments and to know why what you’re doing matters. It’s easy to see the value of this once you’ve witnessed the results that PR can bring.To begin your PR campaign, you only need three simple things:
1 To have launched your insurtech start-up
2 To have buy-in to invest in PR
3 To have an appetite to succeed
EC-PR helps are insurtech PR experts. We work with insurtech at every stage of their growth to help them gain visibility and make their mark in the marketplace. Contact us today for an initial discussion on what we can do for you.