Category Archives: Meetings

Tip #207: How far will you go?

Elyse TKTK, CEO of Tealet.

Elyse Peterson, CEO of… what was that again?

You have a startup? Fascinating. Everyone has a startup.

Your challenge: Get noticed, and get remembered. It’s highly advised to appear at work events with some form of your logo on your clothing, but apparently that’s not enough these days. Witness this photo of Elyse Peterson, the CEO of Tealet, a grower-to-consumer tea distributor. She’s pitching at the 500 Startups event I am at. She looks ridiculous. And those peacock features must snag on things as she walks around.

But of all the companies about to pitch here, I’m pretty sure Tealet will be one that everybody remembers. How far will you go to be remembered?

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Tip #200: The oxymoronic press room

Oddly, the press room at an industry event is not a good place for press releases, nor for press relations people to hang out. It’s where writers go to write, for the most part. Some press rooms have stacks of press releases that journalists can grab if they want, but the pros rarely do.

Here’s the worst thing you can do, which just happened to me at the MobileBeat conference: Walk up to a writer hunched over his computer, you know, writing, and drop a press release folder on the table next to him while mumbling something about what it is. Trust me, this is not going to get you coverage. As Drew Olanoff said to me, “I don’t like real-world spam any more than email spam.”

Bonus Tip! You see all those MacBook Airs that we’re writing on? Yeah? Then why did you put a CD in your press kit, and not, say, a USB stick?

Mega Bonus Super Score! Good job not labeling the CD, either.

Unwanted, unloved, and unlabeled.

See also:
Pro PR Tip #111: Fling.
News.com coverage from MobileBeat: Zynga CEO on future of Mobile.

Yow! I made it to Pro PR Tip #200! I’d like to thank all the hard-working PR professionals who’ve managed to screw up and make this blog possible. You guys rock. 

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Tip #187: How do you quantify lack of focus?

When you’re demoing your mobile app, it is OK to not show me how the user changes units of measurement from Metric to Imperial. Really.

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Tip #183: A show of force is not necessary

I dialed into a conference bridge yesterday to interview a startup CEO. The conference call robot told me, “There are five people already in conference.” That’s right: One guy to talk and demo, and four generic PR handlers to listen in.

I felt like a patient in a teaching hospital.

Also, I don’t think the PR people liked it when I told the CEO, “Dude, you’re being overcharged.” But, man, four handlers for one little reporter interview? Come on.

See also:
Tip #46: Uh-huh

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Tip #169: Scale up your pitch

If you’re going to show a pitch video on your laptop during our meeting, at least make it full-screen so I can see what I’m ignoring.

Bonus tip: Learn how to do this before the meeting.

Related tips:
#16: Point of view
#41: Press F5!

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Pro PR Tip #155: Don’t ask, don’t tell

If you don’t ask me if I want to hear your pitch before you start pitching, then the answer to the unasked question is, “No.”

(Yes, I spent time this week in the demonstrator pavilion at the Demo conference.)

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Tip #152: You and what army?

To learn about a new company or product, the only person I really want to talk to is the CEO. It may just be me, but I like to focus on just one person during a pitch. So if the CEO is at the meeting, the presence of the COO, and the VP of something-or-other, and the PR flack too is simply distracting. One chaperone should be enough.

See also, Tip #32, Hush, Now.

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