The master list of PR DON’Ts (or how not to piss off the writer covering your startup)April 23, 2019
When it comes to working with journalists, so many people are, frankly, idiots. I have seen reporters yank stories because founders are assholes, play unfairly, or have PR firms that use ridiculous pressure tactics when they have already committed to a story.
There is so much bad behavior that I thought that it might be time to write up a list of “DON’Ts” on how not to work with journalists.
I compiled this list by polling TechCrunch’s entire writing staff for their pet peeves when it comes to working with PR folks and founders around startup pitches. The result was this list of 16 obnoxious annoyances.
The interesting thread that connects all of them is that these DON’Ts are almost universal across the staff — few of these annoyances seemed to be merely personal preference. Avoiding these behaviors won’t guarantee coverage of your startup, but they certainly will help you avoid killing your news story before it even gets considered for publication.
DON’T change the capitalization of your startup multiple times
SEO is important, and so there are rules about how to capitalize things to maximize your exposure on Google and DDG. That’s important to get right, but for the love of god, figure out what the hell you want your startup’s name to be before you reach out to the press.