In the startup ecosystem, the media plays an outsized role as a connector between the startup and its stakeholders, such as investors, B2B and B2C customers, business partners and press agencies. As we find ourselves in the midst of a persisting and complex pandemic, startups face the same challenges as SMEs and large companies, including having to drastically change their communication strategies.
Now that our normal way of life has been disrupted, the way we access information has been transformed too.
To help startups find a bright spot in this black swan moment, global news distributor PRNewswire held an online exchange with experts in investment, media and business. Below is the summary of the conversation.
An Investor’s Perspective
Hieu Vo, the CFO and Program Director at VIISA Startup Accelerator Fund, pointed out that it is difficult to predict when the pandemic will be over and the economic situation will normalize. For now, startups should focus on controlling costs and streamlining operating processes, he argues.
In terms of communication, investors expect startups to be honest about the difficulties they are facing and to have an appropriate response plan in place. Hieu believes that the present situation offers startups an opportunity to prove their viability and to boost investor confidence.
Investors are watching closely as they are considering their capital allocation options and will most likely decide to invest in startups that have demonstrated foresight and came out of the pandemic stronger.
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The Role Of Digital Media
Since the start of the outbreak, the media has been instrumental in keeping the public up to date with health-related news, while cementing its role as a key public-to-business connector, says Guy Truong, Founder and COO of Vietcetera Media.
“In the past months, we’ve noticed a profound change in how readers access and consume information. Startups should be paying attention to these new habits while staying attuned to the public sentiment. In the world of Covid-19, you can’t simply share relevant information about your business and hope it resonates. You must show deep sympathy.”
Instead of just focusing on introducing products and services, startups can talk about their contribution to the community or on how they’re doing their utmost to protect employees and customers during the pandemic.
Guy added that Vietcetera is always happy to support startup teams and tell their stories on Vietcetera platform. By way of illustration, he takes an example of a recent feature that prioritizes positive, in-depth messaging by asking startup founders to share tips on turning challenges into opportunities in the era of Covid-19.
A Voice From The Startup Community
Speaking on behalf of a company representative of Vietnam’s startup landscape, CMO of Appota Group Son Dang shared his observation that most startups are struggling setting up communication strategies due to budget cuts. As a result, many are choosing to switch from paid communication channels to more affordable options, such as social networks, earned media, affiliate marketing etc.
Talking about the early days of the outbreak, when the public was inundated with a continuous flow of information about the unfolding pandemic, Son recalled challenging his team to think more creatively to cut through the clutter.
Even more important, he believes, is the focus on positive messaging, on looking for and finding solutions that will see your startup through these difficult times.
Communicating the steps your business is taking is key to signaling to customers, investors and other stakeholders that your business is sustainable and to turning them in your long-term partners.
The Article is brought to you by PRNewswire Vietnam, a Cision Company.