05 Apr 2023

What kind of communicator are you? Does it matter?

Yes, it matters a lot if you are ambitious and seeking growth. Strong communicators outperform on all growth metrics.

Our 2021 analysis of 73 early-stage tech businesses revealed four levels of media performance…

1. The Invisibles

Representing 5% of the firms, they neither sought nor achieved recognition in earned media. They had small social media followings and published little content online.

2. The Opportunists

Most startups (45%) were achieving some reactive attention, but not driving their media agenda. In a year, they achieved fewer than 20 news articles each.

3. Good Communicators

42% of the tech firms we studied had started driving their own media agenda (a significant leap in business maturity), but with varying levels of success. In the year we studied, these companies generated between 20 and 150 news articles and up to 13 mentions each in agenda-setting media outlets.

4. Outstanding Communicators

7% of the startups we studied were Outstanding Communicators, generating hundreds of news articles annually, plus 20 – 30 pieces each in the most influential media.

While bigger, better-funded companies were more likely to have reached the point of being Good or Outstanding Communicators, there were other factors besides money.

We found varying levels of performance at each level of funding.

And we found that better communication correlates with stronger, faster growth:

💡 Outstanding communicators attracted ten times more new funding than good ones ($76m v $8m, on average) in 2022.

💡 The difference in growth between ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ was also shown in recruitment. Outstanding businesses grew by an average of 85 people in 2022 (compared to 25 at good firms).

💡 Outstanding communicators saw their online followings grow the most in 2022, adding 11,000 followers each on Twitter and LinkedIn. Good communicators attracted 3,000 new followers each across these platforms.

💡 While the growth gap between Good and Outstanding is substantial, the shift from a reactive media approach to proactively driving one’s own public profile corresponds to the most significant leap in maturity.

💡 Good communicators created five times more jobs, attracted 260% more followers, and secured 38 times more funding, on average, than the Opportunists did in 2022.

Download our Communicate & Grow report to discover what works in PR for startups and fast-growth tech businesses.