Mindy M. Hull
CEO and Founder

Foundational PR: Five Critical Pillars To Build For Every Business

March 22, 2023

You’ve decided to hire a PR firm. Smart choice! Foundational PR is one of the most important steps in establishing a strong working relationship with an agency. MGP begins every relationship by focusing on the core pillars below. Foundational work sets a company up for success. It helps the company and its PR agency build a game plan for talking to reporters, analysts, bloggers and more. It also creates everything businesses need to have on hand when they start interacting with journalists. 

Here are the critical pieces of foundational PR MGP recommends each business and agency work on during the early stages of their relationship.

  1. Key Messaging/Narrative Development: Key messaging is the critical piece of the foundation. It tells a company’s story, from overarching messages to investor messages. It demystifies technology, eliminates jargon and strives to tell a story anyone can understand. Key messaging seeds every part of a successful PR campaign: pitches, press releases, content, etc. To dive deeper, check out MGP colleague Shane Mehling’s fantastic primer on key messaging. Pro tip: ensure key messaging includes the company boilerplate used on every press release. 
  2. Company Fact Sheet: The most common questions from journalists seeking an interview aren’t deep or complex. Instead, journalists want to know when a company was founded, who the investors are, where the business is located, what the product is, how it works and what makes it different, and who is in management. Make friends with reporters by having a company fact sheet that answers common questions ready in advance.
  3. Q&As: Preparing a list of common questions reporters are likely to ask beforehand gets executives on the same page with messaging and prepares them for curveballs. Thinking about any negative questions your company might get asked is equally important as knowing the answers to your FAQs. A good Q&A document includes “Tough Q&A” on top of standard questions — especially if your business is in a sector with controversy or crisis (like energy, bitcoin, adtech or privacy).
  4. Executive Bios: Similar to strong key messaging, a good bio should strive to tell a story about your leadership and spokespersons. Make sure you have ready-to-print biographies of key executives ready to go. A synopsis from LinkedIn won’t work. 
  5. Logos and Photos: The internet is a visual medium. Images are more important than words. Have photos of all executives, products and logos on hand and organized. Images must be high resolution (300 dpi or higher) for print use or both company and publication will look bad. Ensure you have logos and photos ready in various formats — .jpeg, .png, .eps and .ai are the most common. For logos, be sure to include a variety of logos for use on transparent/white backgrounds, as well as black or dark backgrounds. If necessary, consult with a designer to ensure what you have is usable. 

The foundational PR work agencies do early in a relationship lays the groundwork for every PR campaign or outreach that follows. When you get started, ensure that crucial foundational PR is handled carefully. It will make your job easier and set you up for success. 

Want to work with an agency that builds flawless foundational PR materials and executes breakthrough PR campaigns? MGP is a San Francisco-based PR agency specializing in emerging tech for startups and scale-ups. Get in touch at hello@wearemgp.com.