Mark Cuban, the outspoken entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner, and “Shark Tank” investor, tells Business Insider that a young company should almost never hire a public relations firm.
That’s because the main job of PR professionals — wrangling members of the press — isn’t impossible for an entrepreneur to do themselves.
“Whatever industry your company is in, you probably already know who the key writers are, and if you don’t, you need to do the work to learn,” Cuban says. “Then reach out to them.”
Between blogs, Twitter, and other social media platforms, reaching a reporter isn’t difficult, he says, and many have their contact information posted on whatever publication they write for.
What’s more, you know your business much better than any PR person you’d hire.
“It’s better to develop relationships with those folks directly than try to train a PR person to learn your business and figure it all out,” Cuban says.
Plus, the relationships you develop early will become more important down the line, since the prominence of the journalists you’re working with will increase as your company grows.
“The relationships will have long-term value to you, and the money you save can be the difference between living or dying as a company,” Cuban says.
Of course, “there are always exceptions, but for the most part, do it yourself.”
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