I’ve been running around to a variety of events at Philly Tech Week this month, and joking with fellow communicators about what it’s like to be “tech-adjacent” when your clients are technology companies, but you’re really not. (By that, I mean: we use technology, but we’re not writing apps or anything.)

Because of my work on The Build, someone added me to a few of the PR industry’s e-mail databases. Therefore, I get some really wild pitches in my inbox. And it makes me wonder about how much some startups are spending on PR and outreach when they haven’t really refined their business model yet. After all, if you spent the money to get me to talk about you on my show, shouldn’t you have given me something to talk about?

This TechCrunch column sums up one of the shadiest practices I’ve seen lately — a PR firm, under retainer, quietly hires a “contributor” to write a paid post without disclosing the link to clients.


The saddest thing about these stories — if you actually deliver a compelling experience to happy customers, you might not have to pay that kind of money to get legitimate journalists to write about you.

What’s the story you wish someone would write about your business? And what’s the gap between the service you’re delivering now and what it needs to be to earn that attention?