I joined a promising startup which had been around for 1.5 years and needed a media whiz to beef up their presence and create buzz, so their user base grows – the main problem at the time. I was excited, moved cities for them and took a serious salary cut just so we could do this thing. Then I realized they’re about to flop and they want to generate media buzz and acquire new users on a zero budget. No ads, no incentives. The money situation got so bad that they started paying me by the blog post / tweet / Facebook update… I had to find another job. I could not convince them you cannot make something out of nothing. Has any other media and comms mgr experienced that?


  • Making something out of nothing is highly untrue. You can market and reach millions of people by inherent viral loops in the design of your product. I had only a $1000 marketing budget and brought in 6 millions uniques so far. While I attribute some to the marketing spend, the glut of that traffic came from the viral design. Yes, you cannot plan for virality but you can definitely imagine what people would want to pass on to others.

    • OP here. Our product requires individual users to actively engage with it. I joined at a time when tampering with the design or service wasn’t an option. Hence my frustration with the lack of paid media.

  • What kind of “media whiz” doesn’t ask these questions before he/she takes a huge pay cut and moves cities?

    Advice is lost on those who lack humility.

    • OP here. I asked the right questions and got mostly the right answers. There was gonna be ad budget at first; it got cut later. The founders were looking for a media whiz; their words, not mine. Sorry if I created an impression of smugness there.

  • Just out of curiosity, besides ads, what other “incentives” are expected by the media to get covered, as you mentioned?

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