The politics of PR is an ever-changing landscape (not that I have a ton of first-hand PR *agency* experience myself, but in my limited time in it as a co-founder of Consort Partners, I’ve witnessed a lot as far as I’m concerned). Today we had an embargoed press release from Seesmic get spilled before it’s time. I was very disappointed about it, but once a story is “in the wild” as they say, there’s no pulling back. The story about Seesmic was seismic – causing ripples and reverberations in many places and my biggest regret is it left Loic in a reactive position. Loic is one of the most radiant and charismatic personalities I’ve met in a long time and he has turned a potential negative into a positive by opening his heart, mind, and diary. See Loic’s blog post here for full insight into his experience: Loic Le Meur.
I’m confessing all of this here, as I want to let y0u know that we too are taking Loic’s advice to heart to be transparent and open in all you do. We have experienced a situation that has caused us enormous stress (okay -I’m having a glass of wine while I write this… and yeah, I’m still working at 10pm…), but it has also elevated the exposure of Seesmic to another level – they are now #1 in Techmeme (at this very minute) and are also ranking up higher and higher in Google, Technorati, etc.. But I also confess I probably wouldn’t be so open about all of this if we didn’t have a pretty nice track record of good publicity for Seesmic to date (yes, Loic and Seesmic are both ideal entities to work with).
So to embargo or not embargo? I think the lesson I’ve learned in all of this today is maybe this whole “embargo” system is ready for the dumpster. For those relationships that are trusted and true, you never have to worry about a leak. For those you don’t know or don’t know well… all of us at Consort will be working on gaining the trust of those whom we don’t know or don’t know well so we too can make this a gain for everyone.
Now back to the Seesmic conversation… without my glass of wine… don’t tell anyone…
Today, the Financial Times features a story written by Chris Nuttall that focuses on the entrepreneurial experience and spirit of Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic and the international conference, LeWeb3. The article is entitled Share Ideas to the Maximum. While it provides an insider’s view on Loic’s journey from his first start up to becoming France’s #1 blogger and founder of beta/invite-only video conversation site, Seesmic, it also for the first time publishes Loic’s 10 tips on what to do (and not to do) when starting a startup.
Here’s an excerpt from Chris’s article:
● Don’t wait for a revolutionary idea. It will never happen. Just focus on a simple, exciting, empty space and execute as fast as possible
● Share your idea. The more you share, the more you get advice and the more you learn. Meet and talk to your competitors.
● Build a community. Use blogging and social software to make sure people hear about you.
● Listen to your community. Answer questions and build your product with their feedback.
● Gather a great team. Select those with very different skills from you. Look for people who are better than you.
● Be the first to recognise a problem. Everyone makes mistakes. Address the issue in public, learn about and correct it.
● Don’t spend time on market research. Launch test versions as early as possible. Keep improving the product in the open.
● Don’t obsess over spreadsheet business plans. They are not going to turn out as you predict, in any case.
● Don’t plan a big marketing effort. It’s much more important and powerful that your community loves the product.
● Don’t focus on getting rich. Focus on your users. Money is a consequence of success, not a goal.