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Startups, Don't waste money on PR firms

This piece is derived from Michael Seibel’s talk at Startup Istanbul 2014.

Alright, press. A lot of people think that they need to hire someone to do their PR. At Justin.tv me and my co founder had a little competition on how much money we’ve wasted and we’d write up on a whiteboard and every time we wasted money right up there we added up. I’ve wasted over a hundred fifty thousand dollars on PR firms. So I’m giving this device because I don’t want you to do the same thing. Ninety-nine percent of PR in the early stage, you can do it yourself. The best piece of advice  I’ve been given about PR thing that completely changed my whole perception is that PR is exactly like business development. Like how you would do deal. You get a warm introduction, then follow-up, then you build a relationship and you provide something of value. When you’re dealing with press is the exact same thing. You need to get an introduction from someone hopefully who that reporter has always written about. You need to be able to structure your pitch so that it’s real news. Something launching, money being raised, a significant hire, a significant new deal. You can’t just expect the profile piece. And what you need to do is make sure you treat that as a relationship. Once you have a reporter who’s written about  you’ve got to follow up with them. That becomes a very important relationship.They can continue to provide value if you continue to follow up. PR is very simple and don’t spend money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9_fQwFbBUQ]]>

─ January 13, 2016