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Public Relations - I have been finding more and more duds with PR firms in Toronto. I'm sure many of you have found the same. Who here knows the best people (contractors, firms, agencies) to help startups in T.O? ... See MoreSee Less
Mudit Singh RawatMichael Koral After just going through A small PR process last month, I have been a bit disappointed to say the least (we need someone to disrupt that industry ASAP!). Someone just told me today what a great job we do with PR, but it's not true and it takes hours of our time just to figure out how to pitch to media professionals who more often than not are not interested in your companies service.
I usually have more success if I personally reach out to journalists and give them an entrepreneur side of the story than doing a typical PR blitz about hey look at my company, it's great, etc (I must admit that I often end up doing the same).
I think the key here is instead of just saying why your company is awesome, you need to create a hook that they may want to write about. For example, we are in the food business and it's holiday season. My pitch now is a story on top 5 apps that help people save time during holidays.
If there is a PR media list repository, I will be happy to share my list with this community. Also, use HARO. It's time consuming but worth it. There are journalist from Inc., Entrepreneur, etc. who are always posting on that platform. We were featured on Inc. because someone wanted to write about crowdsourcing and I replied back to the lead.
Corey HerscuPR is relationship building and trust. Something that no amount of "PR blasts" can achieve. Mine and my partners' network is what keeps the lights on in the office. I can call most journalists personally and they take my call and hear me out. Further, I hate that people think there are "duds" in Toronto, when it's untrue; you're just simply not looking hard enough for the "right" agency. Don't hire because "your sister is friends with the owner", or because "they got their last client on the front page of a paper".. "or because they gave you a good rate". Pick a firm who's strengths lay in the area you're focused, and pay what they ask. I promise if you stop focusing on the amount of money and focus on the fit, you'll see ROI ten-fold. #endrant
Corey HerscuPeople naturally have big eyes -- including myself. We think "paying more" automatically means getting better, which isn't always the case. Focus on what you actually need in the next 30/60/90 days and work with someone who can/will customize their offerings for you (nimbleness).
Erin BuryI did all the PR at Sprouter myself, and found it was really effective, so there's nothing wrong with handling PR internally as long as you have someone who knows what they're doing (or who can figure it out along the way). The benefit to an agency? Plug-and-play networks of journalist contacts, no need to spend time on it internally, and industry know-how. The benefit to an in-house person handling? They live and breathe your brand, and own those relationships long-term.
Sean PowerOnboardly is my go to. Happy to make an intro.
18 hours ago · 2
Gerrit De VynckIf you have the time then try building the relationships with journalists on your own. I've been trying to organize coffee with a founder this week and I honestly think it would be a lot less painless if the founder had just pinged me directly instead of using a PR agency. Quality journalists will want to have a relationship with you too. That said, PR can definitely help you navigate the scene and I'd say is pretty much essential if you're making a big funding announcement with multiple stakeholders involved. Go with someone who shows up at tech events and is clearly long-term invested in the scene. Elena Yunusov and Corey Herscu are two of those people.
Matthew SlutskyThanks Erin. Totally.
I have always done all the PR for BuzzBuzzHome. It is not for everyone. You have to be a hustler. You have to be really nice. You have to understand social situations and need to be social. Again, I meet a lot of founders who don't have this, and need an agency to help them. Nothing wrong with that.
My technique is really simple: find all the journalists who write about your area and meet with them.
Let them know what you do, and what your area of expertise is. Let them know that if they are writing anything in your field, you can hook them up with some sources. I probably talk with 5 to 8 journalists per week, and help connect them. The stories are rarely about me. But, I believe in karma. When the time is right, they know where to come. And, if I think I have a good hook, I'll pitch them.
The key is, if they don't like your hook, then move on. No one likes to be annoyed. I don't like it when people annoy me, so why am I going to annoy a reporter?
So: be friendly, believe in karma, don't be annoying.
Matthew SlutskyOh, I forgot one: unless you are looking for funding, the typical "tech" story is pretty useless. I wouldn't waste my time chasing that. I'd rather work on getting my story out to people who actually are going to use my service.
Matthew SlutskyOh, here is an other one (sorry, at airport, so thoughts are coming in waves): your brand story and the story of who you are is pretty boring. It might make for one good story, but after that have some strategy on what message you want to get out, and how you are going to tell that story.
Love them or hate them, meetings play a crucial role in startup life. At a practical level, meetings are one of the main settings for problem solving, decision making and brainstorming. At a cultural level, meetings are a key tool for shaping norms for how people work together. Running successful me…
I have close to 100 Founders who are interested in being set up with a 6-8 person Founder Forum, so there may be 10-15 forums that I will create. The more people I have to build these Forums, the better. I will be able to pick the most relevant people from a larger pool. Cofounders and competitors can join as well, but I will put them into separate forums — I will remove conflicts like this.
1) Invite more Founders! (I'm going to have to cut off soon.)
2) Please complete the following form, so that I know more about you, your business and your potential conflicts, so that I can put you into the best group: bit.ly/ForumFormQs. At the end of the form, you will be able to join our Slack group (thanks David Crow). (This is also the link that you can share with others who want to join a forum or the Slack group.)
3) I’m running another Hangout, Wednesday December 2 at 10am eastern (this time so people can ask questions while I present). Joining me will be an experienced YPO member (Will Andrew) who is helping me and can provide another perspective on the value of Forums.
4) Once I hit 100 people, we’ll start putting you into Forum groups … and talking about your other Forum options (i.e. OneEleven, AceTech, EO, YPO).
Founders: you have a tough and lonely job. Do you have a confidential peer forum group yet? I’m part of a confidential forum group of 8 or so founders that has become an INCREDIBLE resource for everyone involved. We share everything: startup life, personal … stresses, successes. The business learnin…
The organizing team for Web Summit events is encouraging women in tech to attend their events, such as the Collision conference in New Orleans in April. You can see more about this initiative here on their blog: blog.websummit.net/commitment-to-change/.
Given the conversation we've had here about women getting involved in local events, I thought this was a great example of how it's being done for other organizations. (Of course, this is focused more on the attending vs. speaking side of things, but it's a start.)
For Collision, they are asking every confirmed attendee to invite one more female entrepreneur or aspiring female entrepreneur to join them at the conference - for free (of course, you still have to pay for your travel and accommodation).
I'm planning to attend, and hoping that others from this group will consider it too. I'd be happy to extend an invite to others that want to attend; all that I need is a name and email address to submit here: collisionconf.com/change... See MoreSee Less
As part of an initiative we’re running to even the gender ratio at our events, we’re giving ten thousand complimentary tickets to our events to women in the tech industry across the world – we hope that it will, in some small way, contribute to solving the problem.