International public relations agency Working with high-growth technology companiesB2B, consumer, corporateLondon and Paris, Berlin20 people and growingSale of French company Musiwave to Openwave for 100+ million eurosEntry of Facebook into FranceClients include: Pinterest,Evernote, Flipboard, Zendesk, SendGrid, Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin,Eventbrite,HotelTonightStripe, GP Bullhound,Seatwave, SumUp Rubicon Project, Unruly Media, Infectious Media, Lot of text – don’t waste time trying to take notes on it, I’ll make available to you – follow me & balloupr on Twitter, we’ve already posted the link.Some PR people make it sound as if it’s magic – and magic you won’t have access to unless you hire them. That’s not true, I’ll present tips for doing it yourselfWe don’t have agreements with the media that they write about our clients, we have to earn the media attention by understanding how our clients fit into the news agendaThis involves a understanding of what they do but also where the company needs to go, which is why we insist on direct line to the top-level managementAlso, a word: PR not for everybody – some people want to know exactly what coverage they are going to get, we cannot guarantee it. Deliverables, sure. If you are a SN company & LI announces it’s IPO the same day you have an announcement, you will likely get little coverage – the SN agenda will be ruled by LI that day (and for several days to come)If you can’t handle this uncertainty, PR is not for you.Let’s talk about what it can do for you
Focus on basics.
I spend a lot of time advising startups not to use a PR agency, which is pretty funny considering I run a PR agency. At this stage, you & your founders are the best PR -- us LI and FB, Tweet, ask clever questions on Quora. Create a community. Get to know who your Twitter followers are, see who follows you & your company, see who they follow, get involved. Find out where else your followers are present on the social web, learn more about them, see where else you can engage them, etc., which is exactly what you should be doing.Get these first 1000 users deeply involved, and get involved with them -- it's the best investment you can make. Another reason not to hire a PR firm is that when you are in a very raw beta, the last thing you want is media attention, b/c you will only get one shot with the media at this stage. If your site is buggy, you'll get a bad review. And everybody will know it.Save the PRfirm for very specialized projects when you are up & running smoothly, and start after your Series A or so.
I’m going to change your perception about what PR is
Everybody thinks their startup is the best EVER, just like everybody thinks their baby is the most beautiful baby in the world. Thus, they think that everything they do is newsworthy. But let’s think objectively about this.Reporters want scoops – they answer to their editors & to their readers
To approach the media, you have to take a long hard objective look at yourself, see where your company and your news fits in
Look on line, see some of our PRs, use them as a templateNote market differences in grammar, punctuation, tone: US vs UK, France, Germany, etc.
This is an oldie but a goodie
Don’t be afraid to mention competition! They validate you and help people understand what you do, what space you are in, and why you they should care. Saying you have no competition means either you are stupid or you selected a space that no one thinks is worthwhile.
Don’t worry about entering to win!These are great to meet investors. But don’t become a perpetual competitor -- 3 is about the limit.Want to talk about which ones to enter? Let’s discuss how to decide – Seedcamp, Pioneers, LW, TNW, TC Disrupt, etc.
Conferences are awkward situations. You know that you need to make the most of your time there – chances are that you paid not only the entrance fee, but also for the flight and the hotel. But why do we fail to make meaningful connections at conferences? Because we often forget the perspective of the very people we are trying to connect with.Conferences are excellent opportunities to further your business goals, be it funding, partnerships, sales, an article, or an invitation to speak. So have these clearly in mind when approaching each person. Know what you need to get from that conversation, and realize that you’re likely not going to get funding, close the sale, etc., right there. But you can get yourself further down the line with an invitation to connect later about that very topic.