The trouble with start-up PR

Tomorrow's Business

Is PR a scam? (Bear with me, the answer is mostly “no”).

I ask after reading this piece on Forbes, The Five Biggest Mistakes Start-ups Make in PR.

There is perfectly sound advice contained therein.

But when I ask start-up firms what their experience is of PR, they seldom say: money well spent.

More typically, they think, through a fairly bitter process of trial and mostly error, that they were mis-sold.

Brilliant entrepreneurs with clever ideas but no knowledge of PR or the wider City get made promises all over the place to secure their custom.

If you pay us x thousands pounds a month, we will get you into the FT four times, and the Telegraph twice.

When this doesn’t happen, the client is told that’s because (s)he didn’t follow instructions.

It is not clear if the PR firm knows it was mis-selling or has just got so into the habit of exaggerating what is likely that they think it is business as usual.

I’m not talking about Brunswick or Finsbury here – but the small entrepreneur can’t afford them in the first place.

I have seen small biz folk let down by PR agencies enough to wonder whether it is a matter of routine. Feels like a short-term game plan, besides anything else.

Discuss.

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