PR When Preparing for an IPO Quiet Period

We’re in the middle of an initial public stock offering (IPO) boom, with Renaissance Capital reporting a nearly 200% increase comparing the first half of 2021 to 2020. Preparing for an IPO process is an exciting time for companies, which often announce the news with fanfare. And, as we’re still working through a pandemic, positive news on growth and development feels all the more exciting.

But for SaaS PR teams, quiet periods might introduce a caveat into their IPO timelines and strategies. Mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), quiet periods exist to stop insider training and improperly impacting stock prices. They’re also sometimes used around quarterly earnings reports. Despite the “quiet” in quiet periods, public relations for companies going public doesn’t need to come to a screeching halt. Here’s what to understand about the process. 

PR does not need to come to a halt during an IPO

If stopping all external communications is one side of the coin, the other uses a megaphone to shout audacious statements on products, trends or financial information. While there might be a scenario for either, the ideal strategy is somewhere in the middle.

Maintaining a normal course of business and communication is possible. For example, if your company has provided a “State of the Industry” report every quarter, this asset has a paper trail and is something your prospects or customers have come to expect. However, issuing a brand new announcement around a not-yet-generally available product with executive quotes on how it will revolutionize the category could generate a flood of new customers or interest. In a quiet period, that announcement may be interpreted as a ploy to pump up stock pricing. 

Additionally, if reporters often interview your subject matter experts (SME), you don’t have to freeze this strategy. However, consider the topic and publication. A video interview with Cheddar will likely require disclosing financial information — avoid this! — whereas an SME speaking on the best practices of team management to an HR trade publication will likely not broach sensitive topics. Again, if this type of media engagement was a normal course of business before an IPO, it can likely continue.

PR teams should also consider requesting email interviews rather than calls to ensure all parties (marketing, legal and the executive team) fully vet responses before publishing. This tactic avoids any accidental slip of the tongue or an unexpected question from the publication. 

Don’t ghost the audience that got you this far 

While a quiet period is necessary for brands, your customers and prospects aren’t expecting you to disappear on them for weeks. Keep your base engaged with the activities that caught their attention in the first place, like data-driven insights that shines a light on a new trend or helps your base solve a problem and thought leadership from your SMEs.

If you’re seeking public relations for going public, BLASTmedia — the only B2B SaaS PR agency — has played a pivotal role in every step of the process. If you’re looking to learn more, say hello.

Preparing For an IPO: PR Milestones

Going public is a momentous occasion for a SaaS company — and equally so in the world of SaaS PR. But before you can celebrate, there’s a lot that goes into preparing for an IPO. 

Whether you’re IPOing via SPAC or a more traditional route, this is a critical time to align your team on all fronts and build the momentum you need to make the move successfully. And when it comes to an IPO communications strategy, you can never start too soon.

Here are a few key IPO comms milestones to note:


It’s never too early to lay out an IPO communication strategy when you’re thinking about going public. At least six months before you file your S1, your PR team should focus heavily on garnering a well-rounded coverage mix inclusive of company news, industry thought leadership, feature articles and more. Public relations can support the factors that contribute to the perception of IPO readiness and this mix will add credibility when you officially IPO and people start Googling your SaaS company’s name more often.

S1 Filing

Your S1 filing marks the start of your quiet period. The quiet period ranges from your S1 filing date until 40 days after your IPO and is designed to avoid any positive press or commentary that could influence your company’s stock price. During this time, you’ll also be conducting your roadshow where you court investors in hopes of getting them to buy your stock. Because maintaining a normal course of business and communication is possible during a quiet period — more on that next week — this is the perfect time for the foundation you built pre-quiet period to shine.


Once your quiet period ends, it’s time to leverage your IPO to your advantage. It’s fresh and exciting so people will likely want to talk about it. One great way to get the most out of your post-IPO media coverage is to tie your IPO to an industry trend to give reporters something bigger to latch onto. For example, have there been other IPOs in your space recently that could point to new market growth? Attach yourself to show you’re a market leader.

Outside of the many administrative activities you’ll partake in as you’re preparing for an IPO, your communications strategy could be one of the most critical preparations you make. Want to know more about PR and your IPO? Keep an eye out for new blogs on the topic every week! 

Want to further discuss how to prepare a PR strategy to support your SaaS company’s IPO? Contact our SaaS PR team to learn more.

SaaS PR and Your IPO: 3 Factors to Support IPO Readiness

A successful initial public offering (IPO) involves planning and effort. For SaaS marketing and PR professionals, that planning starts long before the pre-marketing phase initiated by investment banks. Keep in mind, leveraging PR to support a desirable financial exit isn’t just about having an IPO communications strategy. Public relations can support the factors that contribute to the perception of IPO readiness, including:

  • Category creation
  • Brand awareness 
  • Positioning

And we’re not the only ones who think so. Marketing leaders with experience scaling companies like Datadog and Snowflake from early stages through IPO recently explored these factors — and how they relate to IPO readiness — in a discussion moderated by ICONIQ Growth general partner Doug Pepper.

“The journey to an IPO is as unique as the company embarking upon it,” said Doug in a recap of the session written with ICONIQ Growth’s Brad Delaplane. “But no matter the path, every organization must ensure that investors are receptive to the company’s story. Through category creation, positioning, and brand awareness, the marketing function plays a vital role in how a company’s public readiness is perceived by the market.”

As a SaaS PR agency working with companies at all growth stages — from startup to publicly traded — we’ve seen time and again how PR can impact category creation, brand awareness and positioning for any SaaS company, not just those looking to IPO. 

So, if you’re a marketing or communications professional working for an organization eyeing an IPO, or just someone looking to influence a target audience, here’s a look at three factors that play into perception — and how PR impacts each.

Category Creation

There are several ways to leverage PR when creating a new brand category. We often advise clients looking to establish a new category to consider a combination of thought leadership and product-based announcements. 

While product-based announcements — and the traditional assets like press releases that go with them — might seem obvious, pairing these announcements with thought leadership develops a regular cadence of media coverage. It also provides a vehicle for the company to introduce important keyword phrases and tell a larger story about industry needs. 

When it comes to category creation, successful thought leadership campaigns include consistent messaging and bold statements. Saying something bold sets thought leaders apart from other spokespeople by offering something new to the media, which, in turn, helps to secure media coverage.

As BLASTmedia PR Director Kate Johnson shared in a recent article about PR for category creation, “‘It’s time to abandon business intelligence tools.’ [is] a pretty bold statement to make, especially when you’re technically calling out major BI brands.” But it was the kind of comment BLASTmedia client Logi Analytics needed to land an article in Extra Crunch and continue building the story around its new brand category of embedded analytics. 

Kate goes on to point out how brands can leverage company news or data, in addition to bold statements to support category creation efforts.

“Analysts often provide a sense of third-party validation when creating a new brand category because they offer insight and data points from other industry players. Pushing relevant company news or owned data as a PR campaign alongside thought leadership is another way to build credibility.”

PR efforts to support category creation don’t just impact perception; they can also help with the IPO process later on. As the team at ICONIQ explains, “if the company establishes itself in a distinct category many years in advance of the IPO, then the process of writing the S-1 will be much more fluid.”

Brand Awareness

When our team asks new clients for PR goals, they usually start with “increasing brand awareness.” And while PR isn’t the only way to generate brand awareness, it is often one of the most cost-effective. PR, and the media coverage generated as a result of PR efforts, provides third-party validation, while also allowing the brand to retain a level of control over messaging (more on that in a bit). Some even argue that more earned media mentions signal more brand awareness.

Generating brand awareness involves getting your brand in front of the right people. For B2B SaaS brands, that audience often includes one — or more — of the four pillars of B2B SaaS PR: investors, employees, partners and customers. One of the best ways to get your brand in front of these audiences is through media coverage.

Brand awareness can be challenging to quantify, so consider this example of the relationship between media coverage and brand awareness: BLASTmedia supported Veritone (NASDAQ: VERI) during a product launch. PR efforts around the launch resulted in more than 20 media briefings and 15 articles in business and technology outlets — including two pieces in Barron’s. The initial article in Barron’s was credited with a boost in the company’s stock price which traded $3.29 higher the Monday after the piece ran.


Unlike brand awareness, positioning considers what the customer thinks about a brand and how the brand is distinguished from competitor offerings in the minds of a target audience. 

As with other factors playing into the perception of IPO readiness, thought leadership is also helpful for positioning. A SaaS company looking to influence how its target audience sees the brand could seek out opportunities to comment on industry events, contribute a quote about an industry trend, or draft and submit an article educating others in the industry. These all are examples of thought leadership. 

Other media relations efforts also contribute to positioning, especially those leveraging the media and other industry influencers to build credibility. For example, customer stories — like a recent story about our client Phenom and customer Southwest Airlines placed in The Wall Street Journal — provides third-party validation of Phenom from both the media outlet and the customer. 

PR is an effective and important way to support category creation, brand awareness and positioning for any SaaS company — including those not yet preparing for an IPO. For those looking to ensure that investors are receptive to the company’s story, PR isn’t just effective in developing the perception of IPO readiness; it’s vital. 

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B2B SaaS Companies to IPO in 2021

B2B SaaS companies reigned supreme in 2021. As workplace landscapes continued to shift, industry leaders leaned on B2B SaaS solutions for their reliability, accessibility and cost-effectiveness. An increase in business and, in turn, more money created a clear path for several B2B SaaS companies to IPO this year. In fact, the number of B2B SaaS companies to IPO in 2021 increased 125% compared to this time last year.

Here’s a look at the 22 B2B SaaS companies that went public in 2021 (updated November 2): 

SaaS Companies to Go Public in 2021

  1. Qualtrics
  2. DigitalOcean
  3. Coursera
  4. AppLovin
  5. UiPath
  6. DoubleVerify
  7. Procore
  8. Marqeta
  10. WalkMe
  11. Sprinklr
  12. Confluent
  13. SentinelOne
  14. Blend
  15. Kaltura
  16. DISCO
  17. Couchbase
  18. Outbrain
  19. Toast
  20. Freshworks
  21. GitLab
  22. Amplitude (direct listing)

IPO date: January 28, 2021
Qualtrics is a leading experience management software. Enterprises including Adidas, Hulu and SONY use the company’s four-solution platform to drive their data, customer, product, employee and brand experiences.

IPO date: March 23, 2021
DigitalOcean is an American cloud infrastructure solution that provides a cloud-based platform companies can use to deploy, manage, and scale applications of any size.

IPO date: March 31, 2021
Coursera is an online education company that partners with universities and organizations, including Yale, New York University and, to offer courses, certifications and degrees on its platform.

IPO date: April 15, 2021
AppLovin’s leading marketing software leverages machine learning and predictive algorithms to provide mobile app developers a powerful, integrated set of solutions to grow their businesses.

IPO date: April 21, 2021
UiPath is a software company developing robotic process automation and artificial intelligence software for companies like Google, NASA and GE.

IPO date: April 21, 2021
DoubleVerify is a software platform providing online media verification services, including digital media measurement, data and analytics for agencies, marketers, publishers and advertisement networks.

IPO date: May 19, 2021
Procore is a cloud-based all-in-one construction management software built to help crews finish quality projects safely, on time and within budget.

IPO date: June 8, 2021
Marqeta is a modern card issuing platform that provides infrastructure and tools to help companies build and manage payment programs, including Square, DoorDash and Klarna.
IPO date: June 10, 2021 is a project management platform used to improve team management, communication and productivity for businesses, including BLASTmedia!

IPO date: June 16, 2021
WalkMe’s digital adoption platform enables organizations to measure, drive and act to maximize the impact of their digital transformation.

IPO date: June 22, 2021
Sprinklr provides enterprise software for customer experience management.

IPO date: June 24, 2021
Confluent is a customer experience management software that enables thousands of the world’s largest enterprises to market, advertise, research, care and engage their consumers.

IPO date: June 30, 2021
SentinelOne is a cybersecurity platform that delivers autonomous endpoint protection to prevent, detect and respond to attacks across all major vectors.

IPO date: July 16, 2021
Blend is a cloud-based, digital lending platform that supports and simplifies applications for mortgages, consumer loans and deposit accounts for financial institutions, including Wells Fargo, BMO Harris Bank and Navy Federal Credit Union.

IPO date: July 21, 2021
Kaltura provides live and on-demand video SaaS solutions to thousands of organizations worldwide to engage hundreds of millions of viewers at home, work and school.

IPO date: July 21, 2021
DISCO is an all-in-one legaltech software solution that applies AI and cloud computing to provide processing, case assessment, managed review and production to lawyers and legal teams to improve case outcomes.

IPO date: July 21, 2021
Couchbase is a NoSQL cloud database for business-critical applications, including developers, architects and DevOps at companies such as LinkedIn, Verizon and PayPal.

IPO date: July 23, 2021
Outbrain is a web advertising recommendation platform that connects advertisers to open web consumers, displaying links to sites and providing a vital source of revenue for users.

IPO date: Sept. 22, 2021
Toast provides a single platform of software as a service (SaaS) products and financial technology solutions that help restaurants streamline operations, increase revenue, and deliver amazing guest experiences.

IPO date: Sept. 22, 2021
Freshworks Inc., is a leading software company that builds tech that works for everyone, making it easy for IT, customer service, sales, marketers and HR to do their job and delight their customers.

IPO date: Oct. 14, 2021
GitLab Inc. is the provider of The DevOps platform, a single application that brings together development, operations, IT, security, and business teams to deliver desired business outcomes.

Amplitude (direct listing)
IPO date: Sept. 28, 2021
Amplitude is the Digital Optimization System that enables organizations to see and predict which combination of features and actions translate to business outcomes — from loyalty to lifetime value — and intelligently adapt each experience in real time based on these insights.

Is your company’s goal to IPO in 2022? Have other acquisition or funding news to share? Contact us to learn how BLASTmedia can implement a PR strategy to support your SaaS business at every stage — from scale-up to publicly traded.