Here’s How to Do PR on a Budget

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday I wrote a post about The Silent Benefits of PR in which I pointed out that most young companies I encounter don’t fully grasp the benefits of PR because they are less measurable than product milestones or customer acquisition analyses (like CAC/LTV). In that article I talked about how PR drives: recruiting, employee retention, biz dev deals, funding and even M&A and that often “attribution” to your PR activities is unknown.

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Lessons Learned: Don't launch

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, March 13, 2009 Dont launch Heres a common question I get from startups, especially in the early stages: when should we launch? Announce a new product, start its PR campaign, and engage in buzz marketing activities. This is the usual reason given for a marketing launch, but for most early stage startups, its a failure. If you are having trouble raising money, sometimes a little PR can help.

10 Essential PR Tips for Startups

10 Essential PR Tips for Startups. Sign up for her course on “ PR for Startups ” to learn more about getting media coverage for your fledgling business. Not to mention, early-stage startups usually only employ a few people focused on product and development. While pitching individual writers sounds more promising to many PR folk, you should always determine the official pitching method for your preferred publication. Check out these PR Tips!

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The Willingness to Learn and the Pressure to Be Confident

This is going to be BIG.

It’s nearly impossible to fundraise, hire, or lead without it—but at the same time, founders don’t know everything. Just because you start a company doesn’t necessarily mean you’re automatically a good manager, a good recruiter, or good at PR. You’re an early stage founder with lots of potential and you’ll become a great executive one day if you’re willing to learn Being a founder means showing confidence.

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Public Relations Tips for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs [Webinar Recap]

Up and Running

To grow a business, most entrepreneurs know that they should be implementing PR strategies. With over 30 years of experience, Jennefer is a PR veteran, and was named in 2013 as one of the country’s top 10 CEOs and entrepreneurs by “MadameNoire” magazine.

How to Configure Your Startup Team

Both Sides of the Table

I am fond of quoting that about 70% of my investment decision of an early-stage company is the team. My rationale is simple: everything goes wrong and only great teams can respond to competitors, markets, funding environments, staff departures, PR disasters and the like.

Twitter Link Roundup #190 – Small Business, Startups, Innovation, Social Media, Design, Marketing and More

crowdSPRING Blog

A Contrarian View: Hire Well, Nurture Carefully, Fire Prudently | by Mike Samson – [link]. A Contrarian View: Hire Well, Nurture Carefully, Fire Prudently | by Mike Samson – [link]. Early Stage Distractions | Nick Francis – [link].

Twitter Link Roundup #92 – Small Business, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, Marketing And More

crowdSPRING Blog

How to Hire a Graphic Designer – [link]. How to Hire a Graphic Designer – [link]. 10 Marketing Lessons for Early-Stage Tech Startups - [link].

Twitter Link Roundup #152 – Small Business, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, Marketing And More

crowdSPRING Blog

A startup’s first hires: What to look for | Fortune - [link]. Lessons from a top Angel Investor: Fabrice Grinda talks about his 100 early-stage investments – [link].

Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

Nor do they exist in the investors of early-stage companies. ” So I did want any rational person who wants to improve does – I hired a coach. Many great ones don’t thrive in the early phase of a company where the sales is more consultative or evangelical.

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Twitter Link Roundup #75 – Small Business, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, Marketing And More

crowdSPRING Blog

Business Development for Early Stage Startups – [link]. How to hire a programmer when you’re not a programmer – [link]. Every day on the crowdSPRING Twitter account and on my own Twitter account , I post links to posts or videos I enjoyed reading or viewing.

VC value add: trends and challenges

The Equity Kicker

In recent years VCs have been rushing to add value by hiring non-investors to help their portfolio companies. Founder Collective: hired a journalist to help their portfolio with PR. Playfair Capital: recently hired a Facebook recruiter to hire for their portfolio.

Building a High-Tech Startup Team

Business Plan Blog

This is true for early stage funding as well as venture capital funding. Furthermore, when faced with adversity only great teams can respond to competitors, markets, funding environments, staff departures, PR disasters and the like. Early Stage.

Announcing NextView Operator Guilds

View from Seed

And they tell us over and over again that they just care about four things: Hiring and developing a great team. Responsibilities included TV advertising, consumer media channels, creative, PR, research, UI/UX, photography, and brand strategy.

Why Reporters Ignore Your Seed-Stage Startup Pitches, And How to Fix That

View from Seed

This is for the early-stage companies — the entrepreneurs with great ideas and tireless work ethics who feel like they’ve emailed half of the country’s news outlets with nothing but the rare “thanks, but not interested” reply to show for it. This one is tricker in the pre-revenue stage.

Changes in Software & Venture Capital – Part 2 of 3

Both Sides of the Table

Amazon in turn led to the formation of an earlier stage of venture capital now led by what I call “micro VCs&# who typically invest $250-500k in companies rather than the $5-7 million that VCs used to invest. Some have done earlier-stage deals and done well.

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

Both Sides of the Table

It is a truism that with more capital you will hire people more quickly and spend more liberally whether it’s on external contractors, PR firms, attending events, doing legal work (trademarks, patents) or whatever. It forces harder decisions about whom you’ll hire and whom you’ll delay.

Why Misunderstanding Startup Metrics Can Cost You Your Business

Both Sides of the Table

In product business it is often measured over multiple purchases and assumptions are made about the repeat rates and in the enterprise or services world LTV can be based on churn rates, which are notoriously hard to predict in an early-stage business.

Why The Haters are Wrong About Growth Hacking

Both Sides of the Table

” Sean is somebody widely respected in Silicon Valley (although he now lives in SoCal) for having helped many early-stage companies go through major growth periods by quantitatively testing features with audiences to help diagnose what led to growth.

How to Know When to Sell vs. When to Market to Customers

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re at a startup and new to sales & sales people you might want to read my basic primers: Why hiring seasoned reps at a startup might not work. Or thinking about how much capital you have and therefore how many people you can hire – you rigorously prioritize.

Nine common things that start-up founders tend to underestimate or overestimate

Version One Ventures

The value of a great hiring process. Founders should stay involved in every hiring decision for as long as possible. When you’ve reached the scale when it’s no longer possible to be hands-on in each decision, you need to make sure you have strong hiring methodologies in place – such as Jeff Bezos’ bar raisers that were implemented in Amazon’s early days to help weed out “cultural misfits.”.

Should Startups Announce Their Funding?

Both Sides of the Table

Understanding “The Funding Angle” I sit at enough board meetings to hear conflicting advice given to entrepreneurs about how to handle PR and announcements at startups. There are many benefits to this PR and I’ll delve into this more deeply in a future post.

How to Get into Venture Capital - An Update

This is going to be BIG.

Another case in point, Spark Capital just hired Kate Bolin --someone that had been interviewed at a portfolio company of theirs that had made a good enough impression that they labeled her as someone to stay in touch with. At the early stage, the ranks of the non-partner investor are disappearing. Like lefties out of the bullpen, VC firms now have recruiting partners, pr and marketing experts, technologists-in-residents--and USV even has an on board activist.

Do VC Platforms Make Sense?

Both Sides of the Table

Side Note : Upfront has hired Kerry Bennett as a member of our executive management team to run marketing – please follow her on Twitter here ]. So we decided to hire a partner, Stuart Lander , who would run operations for Upfront Ventures.

Q&A with Business Incubator Co-founder Joe Maruschak

Up and Running

Do you have an early-stage startup? A business in its early stages can often use a leg up, whether in the form of wise words from a mentor or an introduction to a strategic partner. These are very, very, very early-stage companies.

Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – A’s, B’s & C’s

Both Sides of the Table

In the early days of selling it can sometimes be an advantage to not have rigid pricing schedules, complex service level agreements (SLAs), hard-and-fast rate limits, etc. We had 4 or 5 sales reps that had been around since the early days.

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Getting Your Series A Mojo Back

Both Sides of the Table

From Aspiration to Hero For companies that do have that moment of success where everything seems to come together: funding, hiring, customers, PR, product releases and so forth — you have a “hero” moment where you feel invincible.

Minimum Viable Team

This is going to be BIG.

Who should you hire? Let’s start out with the basic functions of a tech company: 1) Engineering 2) Marketing 3) Sales 4) Business development 5) PR 6) Design 7) Product Management 8) HR 9) Operations 10) Finance Ok, that's just overwhelming. When the product is early and still pivoting, these are kind of the same thing. If you think about it, these things are all of the goals of another function on the list--PR.

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The Amazing Disappearing VC

This is going to be BIG.

A number of VC firms have hired specialists in the area of recruiting. Others have partners with expertise in PR. Call me old fashioned, but what happened to the days where the criteria for being a full time investor at a venture firm meant having an expertise in the functional areas of a company--some product, maybe some tech, PR, marketing, etc.? In the early stage, companies need as much help as they need money.

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9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in a Month

Both Sides of the Table

Nobody really knows whether or not the idea is yet going to be big, so I believe in not over capitalizing too early. I believe that over capitalizing companies too early often favors the VC. Over funding often produces bad behavior in early-stage companies.

Introducing Lean Planning: How to Plan Less and Grow Faster

Up and Running

If you’re in the early stages of fleshing out your business idea, don’t worry too much about detailed market research. If you need to build a team to grow your business, who are the key people that you’ll need to hire?

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How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

Forget to get around to setting up that Employee Stock Option Plan and want to be able to give the early guys their options at a low strike price? I know he’s smart but you wouldn’t hire a Javascript developer to do your database design – would you?

Startup Recruiting Hacks

This is going to be BIG.

One of the cool things about being a fund that works with so many early stage companies is that bringing the whole portfolio together in one place results in a lot of collaborative learning opportunities. The more candidates you reach and evaluate, the better the idea you have of who you are looking for and the more you get the word on the street that you are hiring. Actually, startups tend to drop the ball on recruiting the same way they mess up in PR.

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5 of the most famous (and effective) growth hacks of all time

The Next Web

If a big corporation is pushing a new product, you might expect them to take out TV ads, online ads, maybe hire a PR agency and set up big distribution partnerships. PayPal famously offered a $20 2-way reward in their early stages of growth.

How Startups Can Use Metrics to Drive Success

Both Sides of the Table

And given your stage of development you sure better at least know what your goal is. Because it can be hard to define or agree company objectives at an early stage I believe most people avoid them. How many people would we need to hire? You Manage What you Measure.

In a Strong Wind Even Turkeys Can Fly

Both Sides of the Table

Everybody was doing marketing blitzes, over-paying to steal the best staff, pimping out urban offices to the nines , and hiring in a frenzy. Within a year, by late 2000 / early 2001 consulting firms were firing people en masse. Avoid the latest fads, trends or PR announcements.

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What Makes an Entrepreneur (7/11) – Detail Orientation

Both Sides of the Table

They got their round done anyway from a big late-stage VC. One of the large parts of the burn was PR, Marketing and attending conferences. When the CEO of an early-stage startup tells me that they plan to hire a COO I’m usually not interested in the next meeting.

5 Tips for New Angel Investors

This is going to be BIG.

Other angels are a source of dealflow and can be leads to the kind of talent your portfolio needs to hire to be successful. Early stage finds give you the opportunity to get exposure to the asset class without putting all your eggs in one basket. Are you a PR maven for fashion startups? Now that Facebook has gone public, there's a lot of newly created wealth on the scene. History has shown that newly creates wealth shops the startup scene like a kid in a candy store.

8 Questions to Help Decide if You Should be Raising Money Now

Both Sides of the Table

Every conversation about fund raising should start with what your current operational needs are and the stage of your business. million and you’re an early stage business this is probably a fair deal. They get the PR bump.

Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Nor do they exist in the investors of early-stage companies. So I did want any rational person who wants to improve does – I hired a coach. That doesn’t make them bad – it just means that they know that they are “hired guns&# and they act accordingly.

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How Private Equity and Venture Capital Investors Are Eating Their Own Dogfood

David Teten

In venture capital in particular, early-stage companies are often operating in frontier industries, where the rules are unpredictable and conventional analytic frameworks may be misleading. Even for later-stage companies with predictable financials, the lack of liquidity, audited financials, and standardized metrics creates real challenges to scaling quantitative investing. The Pocket Negotiator is very early-stage attempt to aid in the negotiating process itself. .

15 Entrepreneurs Share What Their Favorite Part of Running a Business Is


Oasis operates in 12 countries, and given our early stage and small size, I am closely involved with the operations in all of them. Share Being an entrepreneur or business owner has its share of ups and downs.

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Sneak preview, KISSmetrics (and more)

Startup Lessons Learned

Three premier early-stage venture investors have joined forces to sponsor the event: Baseline , Floodgate , and First Round Capital. Three premier early-stage venture investors have joined forces to sponsor the event: Baseline , Floodgate , and First Round Capital.