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public relations Archive
After meeting with a number of clients of the past month and discussing goals and strategies for 2010—I began organizing my thoughts into a list of what I think we can expect to see from marketing, PR, social media, and technology in 2010:
1. 2009 was the year that social media “experts” infiltrated the masses. Everyone with a Twitter account and Facebook profile was deeming themselves an expert. In 2010, the real enthusiasts and savvy folks will emerge and the snake oil salesmen will fade.
2. The press release continues its evolution. I do not believe the press release will die in 2010—however it is undergoing a transformation. Think Optimus Prime. Organizations will always need tools to disseminate their news and adhere to disclosure rules—however never before have we had so many different options. Linking to content such as online video, blogs, social media will make the press release smarter and also improve your company’s “searchability.”
3. While not the first person to think this—I do strongly believe that Twitter will either trial an ad-based model or perhaps introduce a professional fee-based option in order to generate revenues.
A few random thoughts on last night’s PR for Start Ups event:
There is still a huge gap / void / disconnect between agencies and start-ups. This was most clearly illustrated by Sabrina Horn’s comment on seeking clients who have passed Round A and are bearing down on Round B, and Charlie O’Donnell’s reaction, best summed up as “WTF?!?” Most start ups aren’t getting to Round A these days. Some of this is due to the economy. Also, it’s just much cheaper to do business now than it was in the 90s when you needed VC money to even get your idea off of the envelope. So given that, who’s going to take a risk on the next AOL or Netscape or Twitter? Not any agency that sets a $15K limit in retainers.
Honestly, I can empathize with Sabrina. It’s brutally hard to even hold a conversation with someone if they have a great idea but no money now and no money for at least the first few months. Which is why most start-ups should take the best bit of advice offered by the panel which is to bring someone in-house who is clued to marketing and willing to work like a dog for the glory and infamy.
And frankly a lot of start ups do think it’s all about press and getting into TechCrunch and don’t understand (or don’t care about) the finer points of positioning and messaging.
Editor's note: Mark posted a reply to my article about "The Most Important things for a startup to reach mainstream." I thought his comment should become its own article. So have a read below about why Mark believes public relations (PR) is vital to reaching mainstream.
I'm constantly surprised by the large number of techies who fail to understand or appreciate the role of good PR in launching and sustaining a company.
Good PR helps:
- articulate a message that resonates with customers
- generate press coverage that drives sales leads and sales
- attract partners
- create market leadership
- render competitors less relevant
- attract investors at favorable valuation
- maximize exit valuations.
For the less enlightened tech startups who shun PR, there's an attitude of "build it and they will come." While this is true within the core of the tech community, to truly reach beyond the TechCrunch geek crowd into the mainstream, a startup needs to get media coverage in trade publications (if the product is B2B) and mainstream media such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, and broadcast radio/TV.
I often run into Web 2.0 startups that believe they can succeed based on viral marketing alone. Unfortunately, not every company can have the same viral power of Hotmail, Facebook or Skype.
Yes, it's possible to succeed without PR. Smart entrepreneurs recognize, however, that good PR acts as a catalyst – a multiplier if you will – that helps startups break away from their competitors and achieve their fullest potential.
Mark Coker is the founder of Dovetail Public Relations, a Silicon Valley technology marketing firm. Mark is a contributing writer for VentureBeat and his most recent story covered Y Combinator's Startup School.
I decided to take today and use it as a public relations day for the Fat-Off. Thanks to Scott, I sent about 20 PR e-mails to other weight loss community sites to see if they would either participate or provide some coverage for the Fat-Off. And I contacted PRWeb about creating a press release. They want $299 to create the release which frankly I would rather not spend right now. So I may have a friend work on the press relase. Let me know if you have any other ideas for getting the word out about the Fat-Off.
I have the review for RunFatBoy about 85% complete but decided to do some exciting PHP code for the evening. I figure I have enough weight to lose that RFB can hold for another day :)
You will see some changes and you won’t see other changes I made. But I assure you that all of them will help enhance your experience in using CenterNetworks. Some of the changes include:
- Addition of a Get Involved bar at the top of all content pages – this should help with the viral ability of the site
- New style for comments – still working this out a bit
- Faster page rendering
- Other misc tweaks which I cannot share since we are on a code orange alert level
We will be applying to be a 9rules site on Wednesday, I wonder if they will accept us.