8 most common PR mistakes to avoid for tech startups in the Indonesian market

Explore PR tips tailored for entering the Indonesian tech market. Overcome challenges and connect with your audience effectively.

8 most common PR mistakes to avoid for tech startups in the Indonesian market

For new tech companies looking at Indonesia, there's a lot to gain. But, making a good impression isn't just about having cool tech. It's also about how you talk to people and share your story.

Indonesia is home to tech unicorns like Traveloka and Bukalapak, along with the decacorn GoTo, making it a prime example of a thriving tech market with immense potential. With over 270 million people, Indonesia boasts the 4th largest population globally, offering a significant user base for tech products. Therefore, startups need to be careful and smart when communicating with the public (PR) in this new market, as it comes with its challenges.

Small missteps in communication can lead to big issues for your company. It's crucial to understand the preferences of the local audience and tailor your company's message to align with their interests. Effective PR isn't solely about dodging errors; it's about resonating with the local community and making them feel positive about your brand.

Here are the top 8 common mistakes to avoid when conducting PR activities, with Indonesia as the prime example.

1. Lack of a defined PR strategy

A clear PR strategy requires not only a deep understanding of what distinguishes a market—its culture, preferences, and behaviors—but also a thorough analysis of competitors within the local market. Ensuring your communications align with these unique characteristics guarantees that messages will resonate well with the intended audience.

It's important to remember that this means your PR strategy must adapt to each market's specific context, taking into account local regulations, media restrictions, and cultural sensitivities to ensure compliance and relevance.

Moreover, overly focusing on products without assessing whether the local market is ready or even interested might not secure the attention you're aiming for. A more effective approach is to create a narrative that demonstrates how your product addresses existing needs or fills a gap. This strategy can significantly increase receptiveness to what you're offering.

Ultimately, the success of a PR campaign depends on the ability to communicate clearly and relevantly. A clear PR strategy is defined by its focus on crafting messages that not only capture attention but also create a real connection with the target audience. This strategic approach reduces confusion and increases the likelihood of a positive response, setting the foundation for sustainable brand growth and engagement in the new market.

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2. Ignoring market preferences

In engaging with the Indonesian audience, two prevalent oversights are evident: overlooking religious sensitivities and neglecting the significance of local celebrations.

These lapses can significantly deter potential customers and adversely affect a brand's appeal. Specifically, failing to consider the wide array of religious beliefs can lead to campaigns that provoke backlash rather than foster goodwill.

Similarly, failing to recognize and celebrate local traditions can lead to missed opportunities for genuine engagement, distancing the brand from its intended audience.

These mistakes highlight a significant challenge in creating PR strategies: they need to be carefully tailored to match the interests and cultural context of the Indonesian market. When campaigns fail to consider local customs and values, they often fail to engage the audience effectively and can even cause offense.

Therefore, it's crucial for startups to invest in understanding and incorporating local nuances into their PR efforts. This approach ensures that their messages are not only respectful but also meaningful and relevant to the Indonesian audience.

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3. Ineffective media outreach

Reaching out to local media goes beyond just sending out news releases. It's about making real connections with journalists and getting to know what stories they're interested in. When startups just send the same message to everyone, they often don't get the attention of these journalists or their readers. This means they miss out on getting their news in front of the right people.

A lot of companies make the mistake of not customizing their messages for each journalist. This one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work because it doesn't grab the journalist's interest.

To fix this, it's smart to look at what topics a journalist usually writes about. This way, you can make your news more appealing to them. Also, using tools that help you find and connect with the right journalists can make a big difference. By matching your news with a journalist's interests, you have a better chance of getting your story out there.

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4. Overlooking local influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs)

Influencers and KOLs hold the power to sway public opinion, and their support can be instrumental in building trust and increasing a brand's visibility. Ignoring the potential to collaborate with these influential figures means missing out on reaching engaged audiences who trust and follow their guidance, which can severely limit a startup's ability to make an impact in the market.

Moreover, when selecting influencers, the mistake often lies in prioritizing follower count over the relevance and engagement of those followers to the brand's target audience. This oversight can lead to partnerships with influencers who may have a large following but little influence over the specific demographic a company aims to reach.

Additionally, choosing influencers whose values and lifestyle do not align with the brand's can dilute the brand's message and weaken its public relations efforts. Ensuring that influencers share the company's values, such as a commitment to sustainability, is crucial for maintaining a consistent and credible brand image in the eyes of the public.

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5. Ignoring owned channel integration

While securing placements in major media outlets is certainly valuable, many startups overlook the crucial step of amplifying this earned media on their own platforms. This missed opportunity significantly diminishes the overall impact of their efforts. Focusing solely on external coverage without leveraging it on your website and social media channels can leave a disconnect between your brand and your target audience.

Consistency is key, especially when entering new markets. If you use specific keywords in your media outreach, ensure those same keywords are present on your local language website pages. This strengthens your online presence and ensures seamless messaging across all touchpoints.

Remember, your owned channels are powerful tools. Regularly updating them with fresh content, aligned with your overall brand messaging, not only boosts SEO but also keeps your audience engaged and informed. By integrating these strategies, startups can maximize the reach and effectiveness of their media coverage, ultimately solidifying their brand presence in new markets.

6. Not having crisis management and prevention

Startups often underestimate the importance of crisis management and prevention, which can compromise their online reputation. Neglecting to monitor their digital brand perception leaves them vulnerable to challenges, especially when penetrating new markets. Misinterpretations of their narrative can result in significant consequences, such as boycotts and public outcry. Therefore, it is essential for startups to establish a comprehensive crisis communication strategy to mitigate potential damage.

To effectively prevent and manage crises, startups should consider implementing several key measures:

  • Conduct crisis simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of their response plan and identify areas for improvement.
  • Regularly review and update their crisis management plan to address evolving threats and incorporate best practices.
  • Communicate the crisis management plan to all relevant stakeholders, including employees and investors, to ensure a coordinated and transparent approach to crisis response.

By implementing these proactive measures, startups can better anticipate and address potential crises, safeguarding their reputation and ensuring long-term success in the market.

7. Not measuring PR results

Simply obtaining coverage in prominent media outlets may temporarily keep your company in the spotlight, but this is only a short-term benefit. PR strategy should not be seen as an end goal; instead, it is an ongoing process. To achieve maximum results over time, it is important to establish PR metrics to gauge success in areas such as awareness, engagement, and sentiment generated by PR activities.

Failing to analyze these metrics can have negative implications in the long run. For instance, when sales decline, it becomes challenging to determine whether it stems from insufficient PR activity or issues within the sales channels. This lack of insight can lead to missed opportunities for improvement and hinder the company's overall growth and success in the market.

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8. Not hiring PR partners

Selecting the right local partners, such as PR agencies or market analysts, is pivotal for startups. These partners possess valuable insights into the local market dynamics and can assist startups in effectively reaching their target audience.

Additionally, working with local partners benefits the lean PR team of startups. By utilizing the expertise and networks of these partners, the PR team can accomplish more without the need for extensive resources or manpower.

This allows the team to focus their efforts on strategic initiatives and campaigns, maximizing their productivity. Overall, partnering with local entities helps streamline PR efforts, enabling the lean PR team to achieve greater results and contribute significantly to the startup's success.

By avoiding these typical PR errors and tapping into the knowledge of local partners, startups can effectively communicate their brand message, connect with their audience, and establish a solid presence in the market.

Remember, PR isn't solely about gaining coverage; it's about forming connections, shaping perceptions, and building trust gradually. With the correct approach and partnerships, startups can begin a successful PR journey that leads to continuous growth and success in the Indonesian market and beyond.

Content Collision provides performance-based digital PR services and B2B content marketing services for tech startups in APAC and beyond. Book a discover call to learn more.

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