The Handyman Approach To PR: DIY

In my last post, I counseled startups and entrepreneurial technology companies do not hire a public relations agency.  Put simply, you’ll spend too much money and get too few results.

Instead, do it yourself.  Why?

You’re the ultimate storyteller
No one is better positioned than you to tell how your company solves problems.  You understand your customers’ challenges.  You know your products and solutions.  And you have insight to your competitors and industry.

If you can converse with buyers, partners and VCs, you can communicate with journalists, bloggers and other influencers.

You’re tuned in 24/7
You probably know the key publications, blogs and other resources that are relevant to your company and industry.  Perhaps you already interact with those journalists and bloggers as well as others via comments.

Since you live and breathe your business, you’re able to identify trends and opportunities as they occur.

You’ll be seen as a thought leader and get attention when you publish timely information and actively participate in related discussions.

You’re wildly enthusiastic
When my wife was promoted to Mahogany Row at an entrepreneurial software company, she asked the CEO – after thanking him profusely – why he promoted her over seemingly more accomplished managers.  The reason, he told her, was her enthusiasm.

Similarly, you’ll find a receptive audience when your interactions are genuine and full of energy and passion.

Hey, I’m not saying that PR agencies are bad.  But if your startup or entrepreneurial technology company wants to generate what most call “buzz” or what David Meerman Scott more appropriately calls “attention“, understand that communications aren’t isolated to the hours an agency has allotted to you.

A better approach IMO is to hire a marketing evangelist or, given the constraints of the economy, a consultant who can handle myriad marketing projects – not just PR – and tightly integrate those activities.

What do you think – tell me about the pros and cons of using a PR agency versus handling it internally?

(Image: Lichfield District Council)

  1. #1 by effectivearticlemarketing on January 23, 2011 - 6:26 pm

    For some this may sound pertinent enough that they will actually work the information. However, despite its validity, I doubt I affect the community as a whole. At least you did your duty and rang the bell.

    • #2 by Mike Collado on January 25, 2011 - 8:45 am

      The success of the PR program hinges upon the company taking an active role to drive it whether it’s handled by an agency, consultant or in house marcom generalist. Thanks for the comment.

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