How to do PR The Right Way: An Interview with Ben Parr, Founder, DominateFund

ben parr

There are a lot of people creating and sharing content on the Internet these days, and as a small startup, it can be hard to get your name out there and get some good media coverage. The fact of the matter is, the Internet has fundamentally changed the way that online journalism and public relations work, and if you are to succeed, you need to adapt as well.

In a recent interview from San Francisco, Murray Newlands sits down with Ben Parr from DominateFund to talk about how the PR industry has changed, and how small startups can still manage to cut through the noise, even if they don’t have a budget.

To find out more, watch the full interview below:

These are they key takeaways from the video:

  • Ben Parr is the former editor of Mashable and the founder of early stage startup investment company DominateFund. Over the course of his career, he has worked as a tech-focused journalist and has endless experience when it comes to public relations. In this interview, Ben talks about a number of topics, ranging from the current state of the PR industry, to his advice for young startups who are looking to gain media attention.
  • In the interview, Ben discusses the PR industry as it stands now, explaining that the the industry of today is vastly different from the industry of yesterday. Prior to the Internet, there were fewer journalists and fewer publicists, which made for a more one-on-one type of relationship between the two. With the coming of the Internet and the wider access to publishing tools and information, it’s become much more difficult to get your name out there and to be heard. This is especially the case for small startups who not only lack a recognizable name, but also don’t have the budget to spend on a PR overhaul.
  • Ben shares some fascinating stats about the state of online publishing, telling us that in 2011 there were 1.38 trillion GB of data created, and by next year that number will jump to roughly 7.5 trillion GB of data, or 1.38 million times more data than the entire Library of Congress. As a result of this overflowing river of data, Ben contends that PR now and in the future must be more concise and to the point if you want people to pay attention. He says that there is an opportunity for longer-form content, but only if you are quick to arrive at your main point and then supplement it with engaging information afterwards.
  • As for his advice for small startups, Ben says that they must believe in and utilize the theory of violating expectations because people pay attention to the things that break the social norms and expectations. He says that if a small company really wants to catch the eyes of the media and the general public overall, they must do something that tuly stands out, is truly different, and violates peoples’ expectations. He offers up the examples of Patagonia’s “Don’t buy this jacket” campaign, as well as Old Spice’s recent line of commercials because these campaigns were overwhelmingly successful simply because people did not expect them or their content, and thus, paid more attention to it.
If you have any questions after watching the video, please leave them in the comments below!
To find out more about DominateFund, visit their website at dominatefund.com. You can also catch Ben speaking at the upcoming PR Summit Conference in San Francisco, for which YourStory is a proud media sponsor.
Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is YourStory’s US Correspondent and Deputy Editor of Search Engine Journal. Murray founded The Mail in 2013, an angel-funded startup publication covering performance marketing and mobile marketing. Murray is an advisor to a number of bay area startups and has authored several books.