Powering Up PR – Expanding the Aperture When Building Your Brand

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

Everyone wants to know about a buzzy, new startup. But finding ways to sustain storytelling momentum and stand out in a crowded news environment has become more challenging than ever, especially for startups that are past their infancy but still growing and scaling. 

That was a challenge that TCV portfolio company OneTrust — the leading B2B privacy, security, and data governance platform — had to navigate during 2020. By expanding the aperture of what a traditional PR campaign might look like, OneTrust was able to continue breaking news even in a remote-work world in late 2020. 

On this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja sit down with Gabrielle Ferree, the head of public relations at OneTrust, to discuss how to expand the aperture of PR campaigns, aligning with internal and external stakeholders, and navigating the tech press in 2021. 

Key Takeaways

  • Expand the aperture when thinking about your audience. 
    Major media outlets and legacy newspapers may be where your CEO’s mind goes when they think about press coverage, but it’s important to consider where your audience is when telling your company’s story. Since a brand’s audience may be more active on a specific social channel, or read trade publications at a greater frequency, it’s important to ask yourself where your people are, and build programs around that. 
  • Align PR goals to marketing goals to win C-suite trust. Even if PR and marketing are on different teams, Gabrielle makes sure to align OneTrust’s campaigns with the goals the company’s marketing team is tackling that quarter. Since marketing reports into the CEO, by aligning PR efforts to marketing outcomes, PR teams can show even more intrinsic value than just brand sentiment. 
  • Partner with internal stakeholders to strengthen milestone campaigns. Whether you’re celebrating an annual anniversary, or hitting a major growth milestone, it can be tempting to focus on the press release to ensure that an external audience knows about the milestone. But don’t miss the opportunity to partner with stakeholders across divisions to maximize the milestone message reach. When OneTrust turned five last year, Gabrielle worked with a number of internal teams to turn the milestone into a modified logo that was then used on all OneTrust documentation, marketing collateral, and swag sent to employees, partners, and customers — all already advocates of OneTrust who shared in their success. 
  • Working with the media in 2021. The vast majority of press release never get passed the delete key. With less time and more pitches than ever, short, jargon-free pitches are crucial. Make it explicitly clear why this story is a fit for these readers and why it matters now, say Gagen and Gabrielle. By staying aligned with the C-suite, it’s easy to continue to uncover the sorts of stories that help reporters look around the corner, even years into a company’s narrative.


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