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How To Pitch Me on Your Startup

I am getting an increasing number of calls and emails from entrepreneurs in the San Antonio, Austin, and South Texas area about new technology startups needing PR (and some elements of social media) services.


Technical Wizzards Welcomed…. But Please Read And Make A Compelling Case Before You Reach Out To Me For Help.  Photo shot on the streets of Tel Aviv by me.

Here’s a few tips about how to approach me and here’s how work with startups and what I look for…

1.  NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement First

Today, I received a call from what I am sure was a well-intentioned entrepreneur who said he did not have an NDA and asked me if I had one I could send him.

You don’t need a lawyer to get one.  You can download a free one here.

Bad sign.

If you take your startup seriously, and even if you don’t really have anything proprietary, it shows prospective investors, partners, and service providers like me that you have something to protect and that you consider what you are doing to be very serious.

In this case, I really did not care if he had a NDA or not.  

Actually, it was a leading question.  I wanted to see how he would respond and how seriously he took what he was doing.  

I told him that my lawyer does not allow me to meet with startups without an NDA.

I see way too many things, way early and even if we don’t do business, I make it a rule of thumb that we have an NDA in place.  

When he asked to send him an NDA, he was putting the burden me.  

Not good.  

I passed and wished him luck.

2.  Management Team

You can be 18, 22, or 90.  With tons of experience or none at all.

You can have another day job.

Or you could be doing this solo.  

I don’t care. 

I just want to see who is involved, what their backgrounds are, and some sense of history.  If you have no history, it’s really OK.  I just want to know.

3.  IP – Intellectual Property

If you have IP that is yours – be it patented or patents in the works, that’s important as well.  It means you have some defensible strategy.  

No patents?  

That’s ok too….. just bring it up in the context of your pitch, so I don’t have to ask you.

4.  Funding

How are you funded?

Self funded.  Angel money.  Seed.  VC.

It’s all good.  Tell me what you are doing for money and how you plan to get to next level to secure funding.

5.  Who Should Cover You?

You’re reaching out to me for PR.

So, in a perfect world, who should cover your story?  Why?  What media / what mediums.

Think like a PR person and do some homework first.

6.  Make Your Pitch Realistic

“Our technology will revolutionize X….”

Uh… pardon me, but before you make a some outlandish statements like these, make sure you know what you are talking about.

Hint:  humility is a virtue.

7.  Yes, we have Beta’s 

In an perfect world (there isn’t one) it’s nice to have Beta customers who we can talk to in order to get a realistic view of their world and how and why they like your technology offering.  

Do you have Beta customers?  

Big help in that department.

8.  What Happens When I Google You?

Are you on LinkedIn?  Facebook? Twitter? G+?

What will I find?  What will I learn about you – or rather what will I perceive about you?

Make sure that your social presence is up to date, accurate and reflects what you are doing.

9.  Sell Me On Why I Should Represent You.

You have every right to interview me.  

But don’t forget, I am going to interview you as well.

I probably turn down most of the startups that come my way – not out of arrogance, or lack of budget, but because either I don’t think you have a good enough story (yet) or you won’t make a great, kick-ass client.

I want kick-ass clients who will listent to me, follow my advise, let me fuck up every now and then, and sustain a program so we can both be successful.

I don’t work for you.  I work for the media, the industry analyst, the blogger and the thought leader who I think should know about you.  

If I bring a great story to someone of influence, my job is to help them be in the know and discover what is awesome about your technology, your company and the team behind the vision.

10.  OK.  Let’s meet

If I don’t know you, and you want to meet, I charge a basic consultation fee of $500 to meet or have a conference call.  

This generally lasts about 1.5 hours and even if we don’t do business, you’ll get my take on what you are doing, some good advise on PR, and a week or two later, you’ll probably get another call from me, because now that you’ve made me aware of what you are doing, something will more than likely come to mind where the consult will be of further benefit.

Money aside, it also means you are serious about you’re heading in a new direction where you might want to engage with a PR advisor such as myself.

I like to get the money thing on the table in advance.  I am happy to have a short phone call at no charge and see what’s up.  

I don’t prescribe until I diagnose. 

After that, my time, like yours, has value.

Best way to reach me is here. 







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