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Facebook's former PR chief reveals why no one is paying attention to your startup

Ola Olaoluwa
Ola Olaoluwa

A TechCrunch Early Stage correspondent spoke with Coatue Management GP Caryn Marooney about startup branding and the way founders can get individuals to pay attention to what they’re constructing.

Marooney just recently made the soar into enterprise capital. Beforehand, she was co-founder and CEO of The Outcast Agency, one of Silicon Valley’s best-regarded public relations corporations, which she left to develop into VP of Global Communications at Facebook, where she led communications for eight years.

Image Credit: Stock Image

While founders usually might consider PR as an approach to get messaging through to reporters, Marooney says that making somebody care about what you’re engaged in — whether they are prospective buyers, employees, or journalists — requires lots of the identical expertise.

One of the most important insights she shared was this: at a base stage, no one actually cares about what you could have to say.

Describing one thing as newsworthy isn’t the same as demonstrating it as newsworthy. And whereas large firms like Amazon can get individuals to pay attention to something they are saying, smaller startups have to be much more strategic with their messaging, Marooney says.

“People just fundamentally aren’t walking around caring about this new startup — actually, nobody does.”

Getting somebody to care first will depend on proving your relevance. When founders are forming their messaging to deal with this, they need to ask themselves three questions on their technique, she recommends:

  • Why ought to anybody care?
  • Is there a purchase order current for this?
  • Who loses in case you win?


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Ola Olaoluwa

Writer | Economist | Actor | Fashion Entrepreneur