Get Thee to a PR Firm
These entrepreneurs knew that it was time to hire a PR firm when . . .
The Effectiveness of PR for Tech Startups
Companies engaging in PR campaigns were 30 percent more successful in attaining funding within 1 to 3 months than companies without a campaign.
44% find the funding stream that fits your business. Go to the websites of the specific agency or department running the program and dig in.
45% of those without a PR program received funding in 3 to 6 months.
32% of those without a PR program received funding in 6 to 9 months.
--Jonathan Sposato, 42, co-founder and CEO of Picnik.com, a Seattle-based online photo editing site. The company was founded in 2006 and hired a PR firm in 2007, 10 weeks after launching its beta program to the public. Projected 2009 sales: more than $5 million
Her specialty niche became the trend. "I had a feeling that the industry was going to tip. Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth had just come out, and the world was talking about global warming--the green movement was stirring."
--Sharon Rowe, 52, founder of Ecobags.com, an Ossining, New York-based manufacturer of reusable bags and online reseller of sustainable, eco-friendly products. She founded the company in 1989 and hired a PR firm in 2006. Projected 2009 sales: more than $3 million
She dreamed of going national. "We wanted to build a national brand quickly and couldn't afford advertising."
--Jamie Pennington, 33, co-founder of Flexible Executives LLC, an Atlanta web-based marketplace where companies find vetted executives for project-based work. The company was founded in 2005 and hired a PR firm in 2007. Projected 2009 revenue: more than $1 million
Sales came to a halt. "I had tremendous growth (25 percent annually) for four years in a row, and then sales went flat. I was really worried that I was losing ground."
--Nancy Jaeger, 44, founder of USABride Inc., a Beverly, Massachusetts-based suite of e-commerce sites specializing in bridal-fashion advice and accessories. She founded the company in 1995 and hired a PR firm in 2008. Projected year-end sales: $1 million
It just became too much. "The breaking point came when I knew I could not handle the PR side of things anymore."
--Pamela Irving, 40, founder of Cape Clogs, a Bourne, Massachusetts importer/wholesaler of Swedish clogs. She founded the company in 2006 and hired a PR firm in 2008. Projected annual sales: $500,000