I’m not sure if Jason Calacanis‘ recent email diatribe on how PR sucks* is the spluttering end of the last bout of the PR is dead meme or the engine revving up for a another go round but after reading such advice as:
You don’t need a PR firm, you don’t need an in-house PR person and you don’t need to spend ANY money to get amazing PR. You don’t need to be connected, and you don’t need to be a “name brand.
My philosophy of PR is summed up in six words: be amazing, be everywhere, be real.
I suddenly realised that what social media types seem to be lacking is empathy.
Calacanis goes on to give ten top tips on how to do your own PR as a start up, referring back heavily to his own experience to show exactly how anyone can do their own amazing PR.
In fairness he includes some very good advice, a lot of which I and my colleagues have given to our clients over the years ourselves, and I recommend that you head over and read the full newsletter for yourself. However I can’t help but be struck by the same thought I had on reading Loic Le Meur’s excellent PR advice for start-ups, which included such gems as:
If the product gets traction, it will get coverage anyway.
Both Le Meur and Calacanis recommend that the founder be the spokesperson and that if you build it, they will come. I have to agree that if you have a personable, eloquent founder and an amazing product then you probably don’t need a PR agency. Especially if the founder can spare the time from developing a great product to build a network of contacts, be they journalist, bloggers or end users so that the word does get out.
However, if you have an awkward spokesperson or a product that is merely great then you could probably use some help and it would be nice if the current batch of PR nay-sayers could look beyond their own experiences and understand that not everyone or every company is the same.
*I’m majorly paraphrasing here.