1. Stay the course
Major changes will take time to be felt. Campaign promises on regulatory practices, legislative changes, as well as new budgets and restrictions won’t come into effect short-term. The new administration’s transition team has missed critical meetings in DC, and is still filling key roles. In the meantime, the current administration is rolling out new policies and funded programs in the midst of the hubbub. Your customers, their infrastructure, and your market analysis didn’t change overnight, so don’t change up your messaging straight away. However, this may be a time in which untapped spokespeople may step into the spotlight for media opportunities if they are experts on hot topics like H1B.
2. Be open to new partners
Private funding and foundations may play a renewed role in certain technology spaces. Democratic supporters will look for ways to offset their ouster and shore up their agenda. It’s likely that Hillary Clinton will put energy into the Clinton Foundation. The Obamas’ plans to stay in DC after inauguration may lay the groundwork for new private projects. Fears about the new administration’s policies may drive renewed activism among private funders and customers who seek to “vote with their dollars.” This may be especially true in environmental and educational verticals. Spokespeople who can anticipate and articulate the market opportunity in these spaces will be great resources to the media.
3. Use the quiet to experiment and plan
Some teams may be experiencing a lull as media friendlies and colleagues are unable to respond. This means there is a bit less attention on smaller startup teams. This makes it an excellent time to explore creative ideas, invest in research, or get to those back-of-mind agenda items. In the short term, contributed content in media outlets and friendly influencers’ blogs can play an important role.
4. Look before you leap
Wait out prognostication about where the new administration may invest or create new market opportunities. The markets spiked on November 9 and 10 over potential for renewed military spending. However, the disorganization in DC suggests it may be too soon to know which direction spending will shift after inauguration. Government agencies and technical contractors are still delivering scheduled deployments on time, and will be doing so right up to the holidays.
5. Invest in your local community
Use the media scrum and attention on DC as a time to strengthen ties with people who are responsive. Everyone can use a little extra love from local regulators, to community partners where employees volunteer, to current customers. Use the time freed up by unresponsive partners or media to advance your reputation and strengthen your nearby connections.
The outcome of the election has many startup teams (and reporters!) feeling overwhelmed. However, the only major change to date is the scope of the story for DC and national journalists. Take the opportunity to refocus and redirect activity, and your team will be on track for a powerful end to Q4 and strong momentum into 2017.
Maura Lafferty is an influencer relations specialist, with a particular focus on media outreach over social channels. Maura has over 14 years’ experience in public relations, and relationships with media working in national, California, and Silicon Valley newsrooms.