Fuck the Press Release
Date: 14-3-2011, Author: S. Ramasray

Fuck the Press Release

Startups, like BizFusion, depend on media coverage to get some traction going.
That’s why we send press releases to all the major tech blogs out there, but getting
a tech blog to notice you is hard.

Social Proof
We have spent a lot of time discussing why it’s so hard to get major blogs to notice us.
One of the big reasons why BizFusion never got noticed is “Social Proof”.
We never had a rock star investor like Kevin Rose or Jason Calacanis on our team.
Having a proven investor on board is a huge benefit for an internet startup.
But I really hate this way of thinking.

Tech journalists should judge startups on their merit.
Instead, they look for validation from Super Angels before they remotely start to care about
a startup/story.
It’s time that bloggers started thinking for themselves for a change and not look at what the
“Cool Kids”, like Kevin Rose are investing in. They should dismiss the entire list of investors.
Users of a product don’t care who invested in a company before they try something,
so why the hell do journalists focus so much on the list of Investors/Angels?

BizFusion is a bootstrapped company. Every line of code, every server we bought, all of it was
done in our own time and on our own dime!
That by itself is a huge fucking accomplishment that deserves attention.
It doesn’t need an additional seal of approval from an investor.

So to hell with Social Proof!

Inner Circle
Did you ever notice that the popular startups on sites like Tech Crunch are always backed
by the same investors?
These investors are buddies with Mike Arrington and he has no problem with writing about them
on his blog. Hell, those startups even get to visit the TC headquarters and have a site down with
the TC staff. So it’s all about who you know. Suffice to say that I don’t know any people at TC.
And believe me; I tried connecting with them.
But your emails end up in a large bin labeled: “Not Apple Related”.

So yeah, I stopped sending press releases to TC and all other major tech blogs.

New Strategy: Content Silo
Press releases don’t work. That’s why we trashed the concept of the Press Release.
But what’s the alternative then? Heard of SEO?
The BizFusion blog was the best marketing investment we ever made. Google loves content!
BizFusion has very little incoming and outgoing links.
This makes BizFusion a sort of content silo and it actually has a huge advantage!

Link farms are gaming the Google page rank system.
Google recently had to adjust their search algorithm to prevent this link spamming.
And this adjustment had an interesting side effect.
Content silos aren’t trying to gain the Google page rank system with link spamming, because they
simply don’t have any incoming links.

This means that content silos will inevitably receive a higher position in the ‘new’ page rank system.
If we further assume that content silos about specific subjects get pushed to the top of the list,
then BizFusion has an even greater chance of getting in the top Google results.
This is all speculation of course, but it’s not farfetched.
Google has always said that interesting, top quality content has the ability to bubble up to the
top of the search results list.

So having an active blog on a certain niche subject is always a good thing.
It’s more valuable than a couple of paragraphs by an uninterested TC editor.
Potential customers come in through the Google, Bing and Yahoo doorway.
They never take the Tech Crunch back alley.
That’s why you should focus on your own blog and your own content, instead of trying to
get mentioned on other blogs.

It’s a lesson well learned.

Wrap up
There you have it, my “fuck the press release” statement.
You might not agree with me, you may find the press release a useful instrument, but our little
startup has trashed the press release concept simply because no tech blogger is waiting for your
press release, unless it’s from an already established player like Microsoft or Apple.

It’s a damn shame that you only get press attention once you’re an already established
player in the market. Established players don’t need the attention anymore;
it’s the startup/upstart that needs it the most.

Sailesh Ramasray
Founder / Developer BizFusion

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