LFP250 – Guide to using PR in Tech Firms w/Ben Goldsmith CEO Goldsmith Communications

If you invent the world’s greatest Fintech App in your garden shed that’s impressive – but something only known to you. At which point you need to get the word out to relevant audiences. PR is an essential component in the modern world to help you refine and target that message and to get you and it into the relevant publications/podcasts et al that will reach your target clients and the market in general (think targets for next fund raise perhaps).

At a more macro level, the dark side of PR is that it is, as Musk said propaganda, and one often designed not in the recipients’ best interest, whether it be Bernays getting women to take up smoking or governments getting people to be injected more recently.

However that’s way above the Fintech space and in this episode Ben takes a very value-adding practical approach to what PR is, when you need it and when you don’t, what the value-add is, how to use it well and what to look out for when hiring a PR firm amongst many other insider-angles.

Ben is a long term player in the whole media and Fintech scene including the earliest days of Level39 and working at Balderton Capital VCs and formed his own boutique agency focusing on B2B Fintech and VC PR in 2017.

Topics discussed include:

  • Ben’s career journey and background working in various angles from working for free in the media to today
  • the importance of not doing PR too soon or inappropriately lest you make things more difficult for yourself
  • using PR along the growth curve and how it changes along with your aims
  • the PR process
  • the super-importance of a collaboration between the firms strategy and its media comms
  • the real value-adding lies in the first stage of the process – as unless your message is spot on you will not be spreading an optimal take for your business
  • quantifying/validating messages
  • audience
  • how to avoid “the tail wagging the dog”
  • the PR model form the perspective of being a recipient of thousands of PR firms communications
  • what goes wrong and what needs to be done
  • two extremes “spam everyone via an intern” to “focus your outreach”
  • ignoring the specific media’s pitching notes
  • specialised vs non-specialised PR firms and their respective roles, pros/cons
  • the general large firm pyramidal model of PR implementation
  • local vs global reach
  • the importance of eg the interviewee knowing the context in which they are “media-appearing”
  • speciating the technical media landscape
  • less obvious newsflow for Tech firms
  • hiring a PR firm – how to
  • “be aware of what you don’t know and arm yourself against that”
  • leveraging networks and funders to get a better feel
  • when to decide to get PR and when to decide not to
  • know why you are doing PR
  • relevant track record of potential firms
  • boutique, midsize and large firm interviewing and helpfulness of understanding their strong/weak points and use cases
  • the generally useful advice for a new senior/important hire of asking them how they would have approached situation that your firm didn’t handle that well in the past
  • discovering how much homework the PR interviewee firms have done on your firm
  • how much do PR firms cost in general and the main kinds of interaction/usage
  • shoutouts for Goldsmith Comms
  • team of five plus resources amongst freelancers

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!