President and Co-Founder of @Launch_it - Your newsroom for the world! NYC, Whiskey, Bacon, Cuse.
It's definitely arbitrary but there is almost always logic behind it (unless it's dumb money) as it determines the % investors get, hopefully making sure cash isn't ever an issue (at this amount) and your exit multiple. Slack now needs to exit/IPO at least for $5b+ to get their investors an OK return.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Stewart Butterfield on his Unicorn status: “It’s arbitrary as fuck. There’s no logic to what you get valued at”
Definitely a Wingpreneur - I'm a team player and like to collaborate.
1 year, 3 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229975
Well it’s kind of ironic because in the startup world we
also encourage people to fail fast and learn from your mistakes. For an early
startup, that’s easy to do because no one cares and you generally don’t have
many users but when you’re well funded and have big name investors behind you,
then it becomes a PR/branding issue.
Lets be honest, 99% of startups fail, so in my eyes when
they pivot it means they tried something, it didn’t work out like expected and
during that time, they found something new that could potentially work. I’m all
for pivots and am not embarrassed to admit my company pivoted and is more
Lana is also amazing :)
1 year, 5 months ago on Why is pivot such a dirty word?
This is exactly why you would hire a "high priced" PR firm to focus on your media outreach and communications strategy. You're running a successful company and are to busy to focus on this - yes you can send out a few personalized emails but you don't want to head this up. Coverage isn't guaranteed but your chances will greatly increase.
1 year, 5 months ago on Media coverage for startups: Dispelling three common misconceptions
They are trying to do PR Journalism - a combination of their formal writing background mixed with the communications, content marketing business side. Nothing wrong with that. You would think tech writers would be the last to think that a startup would be their savior after writing about so many companies raising capital and failing. Who could say no to a big tech company though offering you a nice salary? They can't all be winners but some will figure it out.
1 year, 5 months ago on Sorry, journalists — you can’t rely on tech companies for your next big payday
I'm definitely 4 and 5. I don't know if I "break the rules" so much as bend them and see what I can get away with. Rules also can be industry standards (not always illegal stuff) - "this is how we do it" type things - so I love thinking differently than the conventional wisdom.
1 year, 7 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228136
@foremski How is producing content that is "like journalism" unethical and fraudulent? I agree with everything else you said but definitely not that statement because how many journalists have become PR pros as just an example? Not counting all the very articulate PR pros themselves.
PR pros and community managers produce tons of thoughtful and honest engaging content that is highly ethical and super legit. If you could please elaborate on your point, I'd appreciate it.
1 year, 12 months ago on A PR guy calls out the flacks and the hacks
Everyone knows that demo day is when a company will be successful or not - so quick to judge without actually covering what any of the companies do. Yes, the Kickstarter for X is annoying and they shouldn't have a bunch of them in one class but it will take years until we know if any of the companies make it so I wish them the best of luck.
The investors are looking for their 100x because that's their business model and not a startups. Lets be honest though, almost no company is doing what they started out doing a year later or after they get funded. I'm sure a few of them will be great lifestyle business, just not the next AirBnb/Dropbox... geez talk about pressure.
1 year, 12 months ago on Y-Combinator Demo Day 2013: Still looking for the next Airbnb or Dropbox
As a former PR pro right out of college who focused on tech startups, this is spot on. And it's kind of ironic that for an article written by a PR pro, your headline is misleading like you would expect from a journalist trying to garner more pageviews. You're not calling anyone out by name or using any examples, you just told it like it is and described the weird "paradox" of tech PR, which is fine, just interesting :)
PR is growing and "the media" is being disintermediated so I like to say that we are now in a world of PR/Brand Journalism as you described above.
Since when is tweeting a requirement for being a dean? His job is to run it like a business and hire the right people etc - plus @sree works there and is one of the best with twitter!
2 years ago on So Columbia Journalism School’s new dean doesn’t Tweet. So what?
Well said, thanks for clarifying it again so everyone gets it.
2 years ago on If you’re going to rebut the Series A crunch, it’s a good idea to know what it is first
@ginidietrich It's done and CES already used it at this past show - sending you an update shortly :)
2 years, 1 month ago on I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media
PR is hard because we rely on someone else (media) to do an aspect of our job. If you don't do 2 or 3 though then you shouldn't be in PR, no matter how long it takes you to do it. #4 is fueled a lot by #1 because it is so easy to get lots of emails that are perfect and on the boundary of potentially interested and hit them all at once. Almost everyone is guilty of this at least a few times - especially when your client thinks their news is "worthy" of press.
But this all comes with the territory right? PR pros outnumber journalists/writers 4:1 so while we know you get hundreds of emails a day, it's your job to go through them. On the event PR side, which is really an interesting space, I'm creating a platform to change all of the PR outreach - stay tuned!
Makes sense - send it out early in the day and hope it propagates. Having never used a wire before, do writers/journalists actually "look" through them to find news?
2 years, 1 month ago on The worst times and days for press releases
Great title - well managed "issues" will only become public as a case study later on when the facts come out and you can learn from it. I agree with points #2/3 but from personal experience with a client, never encourage anyone to act swiftly to respond to an incident. The example of Sandusky is more a political one initially as if they fired either coach it would have created a situation, which they decided not to do and hopefully sweep it under the rug. Big mistake in hindsight of course.
My advice is to get everyone together, gather ALL the facts, create scenarios and determine the best response if one is actually needed.
2 years, 1 month ago on You’ll Never Hear About a Well-Managed Issue
PR isn't even close to dead - it's actually growing and expanding it's reach more into digital (social media), content creation (SEO), ads (paid media) and sales.
I think the press release, which as its name states is only for the press, should be worried. But a news release, which is intended to inform your customers and community of your news is still very prevalent and expected. Most PR professionals are great writers (a lot are former journalists) and are capable of writing great stories to engage their audience in truthful and honest discussions. You can call it Content PR, Brand Journalism or as I like to call it, "PR Journalism," but at the end of the day, you have to produce content people want to read and engage with.
2 years, 2 months ago on Why Are We Still Writing News Releases?
CES is still the place were large brands make their major announcements and show-off R&D projects that they've been working on behind the scenes (with no launch date). Having attending the last 6, I have seen the rise and fall of 3D tv's and the emergence of every "i" product imaginable but the one thing that has continued to grow is the presence of startups who can really disrupt.
Eureka Park doubled in size this year to over 150 companies and ShowStopper is still as prominent as ever with over a hundred of the "coolest" startups and SMB's at the show. Each company is just trying to make it big, so there will definitely be some winners and losers but from first hand experience from being on the floor and working with some of the companies, this trend will only continue to grow!
2 years, 2 months ago on Do CES’s TVs, bendy screens and crowded halls even matter?
I just want good news - long or short! And for everyone who keeps complaining that there is a punctuation or grammar mistake, I would like to see you write a story like this. As long as the points gets across, I can live with it.
2 years, 5 months ago on Suddenly everyone wants New Yorker style content. Only one catch: Who is going to write it?
I think Pinterest will be just fine - if anything this is just creating more visibility and loyal users for them. I use Facebook and Pinterest for two completely separate things so it wont affect how I use either.
2 years, 5 months ago on Will Facebook Collections Kill Pinterest?
Thanks for the mention of @launch_it. The pinterest look and feel is great way to display a lot of content (pictures/text) in a visually appealing way that allows for easy discovery as you scroll through.
2 years, 6 months ago on The Great Pinterestification: How Pinterest’s Design Legacy Might Trump the Company Itself
This is great. A press release is for the press, not your consumer! I just launched my new company Launch.it and introduced the concept of a PR Journalist, which is exactly what you're advocating. Write a story that you actually want to share and have people read, that is truthful, honest and not full of jargon. No one knows the product or service better than you, so don't rely on someone else to write the story.
2 years, 10 months ago on Is corporate America killing our PR writers?
This will at least change the mentality most people have that angels and VC's actually make money, which they obviously dont! It also shows that you really can't pick a winner, no matter how smart you are or how much due diligence you do. And now we have the JOBS act where non "sophisticated" investors can fund companies... I'm just along for the ride!
2 years, 10 months ago on Venture Returns are Horrible, and It’s the Fault of…the Investors?
I look forward to my daily digest to learn about new and cool things.
2 years, 11 months ago on Quora Co-Founders Share Numbers, the Secret to Surviving the Hype Cycle
Our industry is painted in such a poor light all the time because we rely on someone else to make us look good. While media relations aren’t everything we do, it’s what we are known for. Sometimes it does work out the way we want, so the client gets angry and say they wasted all this time and money on PR for nothing. On the other side, we are all calling, emailing and meeting the media at events on behalf of our clients and they obviously become overwhelmed with “news” that they can’t physically or financially cover. They then complain about spam and mass emails to their audience and we have no rebuttal. Our industry is between a rock and a hard place.
Interestingly enough though, the industry continues to grow for a few reasons. The first is that there are so many new companies that need strategic communications and thought leadership to help with media relations. Secondly, the big media that we are always trying to get in is crumbling at our feet. Really smart and talented writers/journalists/columnists are being laid off because their company’s business models are not sustainable anymore. So where do they go? Many of them have joined the PR ranks because of their media background but mostly because of their writing skills. And third, is because social media has created a direct avenue to our customers. We no longer have to rely on someone else to get the story wrong or mess up the facts, we can write the story that we want written about us and begin to take credit for it. In a world of transparency and honest discussions, companies are breaking their own news.
The NYT and other large media outlets are calling us out because they are scared. Scared that we can replace them, so they put down our profession so that we continue to rely on them.
With regard to “regulation,” that is the last thing that I want. It just brings up the questions of who will be apart of it, how do we elect them, how do we enforce certain principles and is it even worth our time? Can you really kick someone out of their profession and will that actually stop them from doing it? The only regulations I care about are my colleagues, clients and their customers. In the highly transparent world that we live in, anyone can call you out for “spin” and I hope that they do so that you never do it again.
3 years ago on Call for Regulation In the PR Industry
@asdupre That's good to hear! Who is teaching your class? I used to work with Branagan and Rotolo early on.
And to clarify (because that's what we do in PR), PR is definitely a form of "business," as I was running a small agency with my dad. Maybe not in the classical sense of course but we I did a lot of strategy work beyond just press releases and media outreach. When you work with tech startups, they need as much business help as they do PR - something you will learn fast when you have your first clients.
3 years ago on Syracuse PR Student On Defining PR
I went into PR after graduating Syracuse (GO ORANGE!) even though I studied business but was able to learn everything after 6 months on the job. It was still hard for me to tell people what I did, though most people can't explain what they do, so I usually tell people that "I make other people famous." It's a little crude but if you think about all the "famous" people you know, they have a brand and reputation that they maintain through various things they do and that's what they're known for. It doesn't mean you have to be on the red carpet or on TV, it just means that you're known and liked by the people it matters to.
I had to teach myself social media at 'Cuse so I'm jealous that they have classes now...
It's kind of interesting that PR professionals who are supposed to be the go to for level-headedness and clarity in times of crisis like this, are the ones kind of freaking out. I'm guilty of it as well, I was the one that voted for #4. So their is definitely an added level of respect for writing such a tempered article in light of all of this.
With that said, I'm going to look at this as if you were my client. From the looks of it you are trying to launch a new product and want us, your PR counsel, to tell the world that it's red and shinny but in reality it's blue and lackluster. I think we can all say this has happened at some point to our displeasure and we have all dealt with it accordingly. We can either go along with it and pitch the media or fire the client for ethical reasons because it's not the truth. At the end of the day it's just another announcement and there will be many more to come.
In the case of PR, I honestly don't think you can define it right now because it's going through a transition with social media that puts PR professionals in the drivers seat. We are relying less on the media (only part of what we do) and engaging directly with our customers/communities in meaningful and honest discussions. The underlying issue though that you bring up in you last sentence is performance and results - something that we don't take credit for or publicly display. We work behind the scenes mostly as we are in the bridge building business and connect our clients to the world.
3 years, 1 month ago on PRSA Response to PR Definition Criticism
I choose option 4. None of the above.
3 years, 1 month ago on Redefining Public Relations
@AmyMccTobin Definitely a lot of overlap as PR is a function of Marketing.
3 years, 1 month ago on The Difference Between PR and Advertising
@ginidietrich He started TSI Communications and was one of the first investors in Pinterest http://pinterest.com/about/team/ (Brian Cohen).
And I've tried the line before and I just get a blank stare... I don't recommend using it anymore.
I hate telling people that I do PR because I get two reactions - "oh, ok" or "So what do you do?" I then half jokingly tell people it's my job to make other people famous...
When my father used to run his agency, he would always hear his employees complaining that they couldn't pick up anyone at a bar because when they told them they did PR they would walk away and/or roll their eyes. So being that he was in PR and told the truth well, he told them to say that they were "media ecologists" and that worked pretty well ;).
Influence inspires action and popularity gets eyeballs. Some grey area but that's how I see it.
3 years, 1 month ago on Is there a difference between influence and popularity?
@BrianCarter Thanks! I would actually love your thoughts on something I'm working on that is completely centered around content that creates conversation.
3 years, 1 month ago on Is Content More Important than Conversation?
@ginidietrich Hah I have sometimes when I read something and think WTF is this person thinking? In this case, I always find it odd when the writer doesn't comment on comments... such a waste and discourages me from ever commenting again. But Brian did reply, so I will be back!
All you are online is content. Creating content is hard enough and then you have to drive people to that content by becoming an influencer and expert in that area. Then people will start to engage with you. So I would say content is more important than the conversation because you can't have a conversation around nothing.
I worst though is when I comment on an article, facebook page or even @reply someone and don't hear back from them. I feel like I'm yelling at a screen...
I think it would be impossible not to talk about some of these PR blunders because they are actually really funny and sad at the same time. They basically become niche memes that we circulate around the industry and hope that no one will ever do again. I just heard a good quote that pertains to this, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”
Now, a few people in the comments have suggested that we celebrate PR success and my only question to that is how? In other jobs like sales, if you make a big sale it is public and is something that you can celebrate. In PR however, if I get my client gets covered on a top tier website, they definitely don’t want to give any credit to me, let alone my agency. PR is for now behind the scenes but that is all starting to change.
3 years, 1 month ago on Are we helping or hurting by blogging about PR flame-outs?
PR is the truth well told. Unfortunately there is a negative stigma around our work, but it’s only in generalities and can’t be linked to any specific event or thing. And if we are “spin meisters,” I challenge you to call us out, as it will only force us to improve our communications.
As PR evolves and moves into more content creation, beyond press releases, I know we will build better credibility and get over this speed bump. We are in the new age of PR Journalism where we can write the story we want written about our client, as most of the time a journalist will just copy and paste the news release anyways and take credit for it. The PR professional is the closest to the product they are announcing and know it more intimately then the writer who really doesn’t care, as they have numerous other stories they have to write.
If you put a real story written (not press release) by a PR professional next to a story written by a “journalist” side by side, could you tell which was written by the PR person? Probably not.
3 years, 3 months ago on Dear PR Pro, Is PR just Professional BS-ing?
I see Klout as just another popular way to benchmark your online presense and nothing more. They, like numerous other companies are creating a system that can be gamed and still has some inherent flaws to it, which is perfectly fine.
From a marketing/PR standpoint, I commend them on their brilliant execution. They are putting everyone against one another depending on your "klout" and then giving you free stuff to make everyone else jealous - making it almost like an exlcusive club.
4 years, 1 month ago on Klout Needs to Target and Segment for It to Work