Is All Publicity Really Good Publicity?

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Is it true that any publicity is good publicity?

Courting the media when your startup doesn’t yet have a product can be a double-edged sword, says Ashish Mistry, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of BLH Venture Partners, an Atlanta-based early-stage investment firm. “I’ve done it both ways, however in both instances I knew definitively that we would make the product,” he says.

Whether or not to take that course isn’t an easy choice. When asked about seeking publicity before your first product launches, experts resoundingly agreed: It depends on the company, the product and the market.

So before you decide to make noise, think carefully about what you hope to accomplish. Here are some things to consider.

Reasons to Do It

Reasons Not To

Timing is everything, according to Goldstein. “Too often we see startups announcing too soon and hurting their business as they stumble publicly or are delayed in going to market, or losing out on any advantages they might have due to competitors with deeper pockets,” he says.

Announcing too late, however, could mean missing key opportunities to perfect your offering and generate pre-launch buzz that can help your startup gain the attention that’s much-needed for a full launch.

So, he advises, keep it simple: Focus first on your team, then the product. When you have something real, ramp up the networking to prepare for launch.