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Signal Strength

With stronger marketing efforts, VC firms are making sure their message gets heard.

This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Looking for signs of a VC rebound? Take a second glance at those press releases in your company mailbox. VC firms are ramping up their marketing efforts twofold by hiring PR firms to promote their own portfolio companies and full-time marketing people to get their company names before prospective entrepreneurs. "I would estimate that the number of dedicated marketing professionals who work on staff or [on] a consultant basis for venture capital firms has more than doubled in the past four years," says Emily Mendell, director of public affairs at the National Venture Capital Association.

As VC firms try to raise new funds from limited partners, they've discovered that brand recognition is becoming more important. VCs are growing more aggressive so they can be the first to discover a hot deal or get a shot at the most promising entrepreneurs. This is especially true at smaller, regional firms that don't already have high visibility within the entrepreneurial community.

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