Everything You Need to Know about Not Doing PR Yourself

In an article published on Fast Company’s website, Dave Llorens and Ashley Seashore did the business community a huge disservice by telling entrepreneurs that they can handle their own PR. They can’t and they shouldn’t. Fast Company couldn’t get away with an article written by an in-house counsel called “Why your startup shouldn’t hire a law firm.” Or a doctor writing an article on skipping the doctor’s office for important medical issues.

Under their article title ‘Everything You Need to Know about PR to do it Yourself’, Dave and Ashley do not provide everything an entrepreneur they need to know to do it right. There is so much more involved that even seasoned people like me, are still learning new techniques and approaches. It’s why lawyers actually do need CLE; even the most seasoned veterans are still perfecting their craft.

I recognize it is self-promotion to advocate for hiring PR counsel, but Dave and Ashley gave entrepreneurs a false sense of hope by telling them they can do it themselves. Smart business owners with no PR experience should employ the services of people who are experts in their field. Business owners are too busy running their companies and dealing with the day-to-day demands of a start up to focus on effectively developing and deploying an effective PR strategy. You can’t do it all.

The risk can also be embarrassing. Case in point: a start up boutique litigation firm in California recently posted news about the named partner’s children on the website. Because whoever told the lawyers that their children’s kindergarten and college graduation flyers should be posted on the News section of the website must not have PR counsel.

I recognize having outside PR counsel can be costly. But, in my experience the risk of not having counsel can be much higher, especially when the stakes are high. Wouldn’t a lawyer offer the same advise to her clients? I also recognize the author’s of article are trying to offer tips on how to approach a PR strategy, but their assertion that is something “anyone can do” does not make it something everyone should do.