SaaS companies are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn — valuations have fallen to pre-2016 levels, and investors are tightening their purse strings. Raising funds is going to be challenging over the next two years. Down rounds will be unavoidable. What does that mean for your company and its PR strategy?
A down round, a financing round that results in a lower valuation, doesn’t require radio silence on your communications. Sure, the news may not be the headline you’d like, and there are media outlets who straight up won’t cover down rounds. But that money is new capital for your company — cash you managed to raise when other companies are making cuts. Own that success.
Consider these three things when preparing a SaaS PR strategy for announcing a down round.
No. 1: No news is not good news
Down rounds are expected in this bear economy — you have nothing to hide. Any fresh capital is good news and should be shared. While the story may not grab as many headlines, an announcement demonstrates your company’s positive momentum, and many businesses can’t claim that right now.
Another consideration: funding information is publicly available through the SEC. If reporters want to find the information, they can. By making the announcement, you can control the narrative, telling the story the way you want the public to hear it.
No. 2: Funding rounds are a marker in time
When journalists cover your company in the future, they will gather context by looking at past rounds and other company information. Your funding announcement serves as a critical marker in your corporate story.
No. 3: SaaS PR strategy varies for every piece of news
A down road requires additional context than a typical funding announcement, so take the opportunity to educate stakeholders. Use this opportunity for thought leadership. This approach allows you to frame the story to benefit your company and keeps reporters from running with their own conclusions.
Consider drafting a blog post from the founder or CEO outlining the strategy behind the raise and explaining what it means for the company, including perspectives on fundraising challenges in the current economy. Link the blog post in the press release or in your direct message to reporters.
In today’s economic downturn, seize every opportunity to showcase your growth, profitability and momentum. No matter its form, new capital lets you demonstrate your value, promote your brand and build up your leaders. Shape the message the way you want to tell it.