Today in software eating the world: Software eating PR!
As you might expect, I receive a ginormous number of stupid PR pitches each day, most of which come from people who are specifically paid to send me those pitches. But some of them are from well-meaning entrepreneurs who want coverage but just don’t know how to pitch.
The result is a lot of emails that are pretty much instantly archived without a second thought.
For startups, there’s usually a choice between hiring someone to take care of your PR — which usually means retaining an agency — or doing the work yourself. PressFriendly seeks to provide an alternative, in which startups can have more effective communications with the press through software.
To do that, the company has built a platform that walks a startup through all the things they should do before they begin to do press outreach. It also builds custom media lists for startups based on what their product is and which reporters might be most interested in the story.
The whole thing works like a kind of virtual agency. Rather than meeting with a human PR team, startups enter their information into a PressFriendly “pitch builder” which helps them to hone their messaging before they go out to press. And then there’s the media list, which I mentioned before.
But it’s not all software-driven: PressFriendly also provides consultation with professionals who can help work out the kinks and generally provide more advice. But like other companies that are trying to make more efficient use of people’s time, those folks will talk less to more people, rather than the traditional PR model of having dedicated teams for specific companies.
The whole point is to replace an agency as much as possible and do the work yourself, says PressFriendly co-founder Joel Andren. By doing so, founders can drastically reduce their costs: PressFriendly is a SaaS platform that costs between $99 and $999 a month, depending on how much consultation time startups plan to use.
The platform was founded by Andren, who was a co-founder of Bitcasa and head of marketing and BD at HelloSign, along with Paul Denya, who was the second developer at HelloSign and worked at global ad firm Euro RSCG.
The idea is that these guys and their software will be able to help get startups in line and ready to launch before they start emailing someone like me. Will it work? God, I hope so.