The PR Traits of Inc. 5000 Companies

As a PR practitioner who works mainly with early stage, high-growth businesses, I’ve been fortunate to partner with almost a dozen Inc. 5000 companies. This year we have a client that ranked in the top 10.

It’s always exciting when a client achieves this success. In my experience, it’s a positive omen for later favorable outcomes, including successful IPOs and exits.

Thinking about this recently, I realized that the companies we work with that rank on the Inc. 5000 have similarities when it comes to their approach to public relations:

  1. A clear mission and message. Overwhelmingly, Inc. 5000 companies we’ve worked with are very clear about their mission, and are open to perfecting their messaging so they can communicate their mission in crystal clear terms. Message development can be a messy and difficult process, but not typically with these companies. Senior executives tend to be on the same page and come to a consensus quickly about what’s important to communicate and how to do it.
  1. A CEO invested in PR. Our Inc. 5000 clients always have a CEO who supports PR and is willing to put in the time needed to make PR successful. This means sharing thought leadership, being available to do interviews, and accepting coaching suggestions to improve interviewing skills.
  1. A commitment to thought leadership. A thought leadership approach to B2B PR takes the long view of winning clients or customers by contributing to the education of the industry. Our Inc. 5000 clients get this. There always is room for more promotional efforts, but companies that invest in thought leadership tend to be focused on the long game.
  1. Willingness to try new ideas/approaches. Growth companies tend to be open to trying new ways and channels for telling their stories and providing value to their industries. This may include creating unique content, visuals or channels that reach audiences in interesting and new ways.
  1. Recognition that PR is a growth channel. Most of our Inc. 5000 clients have approached PR as a lead generator. As such, they provide the necessary support so we can execute a revenue-focused PR effort that drives measurable value to the organization.
  1. Provides access to customers. No one tells a company’s success story more credibly than a customer. Growth companies are good at grooming customers to become partners in their PR effort by contributing to thought leadership articles, participating in interviews, co-presenting at important venues, and dishing up meaty quotes for news releases.
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