Jason Calacanis on startup success: Be Jason CalacanisWe know that Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis likes to feed his pinup bulldogs Taurus and Fondue burgers from In-n-Out and Pinkberry froyo (to keep their coats glossy and brains brand-aware, we're assuming). Little did we know that he's also eating his own dog food. In a monstrous essay sent via telegraph email titled PR Strategies for Startups, he offers his tips on garnering free publicity by gaming the press. A lot of it is stuff you probably can't get away with unless you're already wealthy, have cute dogs, and are named Jason Calacanis.But in the section, "How to bond with a journalist," he suggests that "you can cut to the front of the line by spending just 30 minutes researching the journalist you're pitching." We're not sure what's creepier: (A) that Calacanis emailed the piece directly to me and very special contributor Paul Boutin, nagging us to post it, or (B) that his suggestions describe the duties of the minion he employs to monitor us.
I've gotten so obsessive about this that my liaison Tyler, whom anyone who's met with me in the last year knows, keeps tabs on our journalist and blogger contacts. He not only reads their work, he always stays in contact with them. This means we are in constant research and dialogue with the folks who are covering us. This means when we meet about a story we know as much about the journalist as they know about us—sometimes more! Tyler will hand me a stack of stories and background information on the people we're meeting with on the flight to another country so I can play catch up.
I have officially been scared into never oversharing again, lest some flack or wantrepreneur watch and wait until I'm in a vulnerable emotional state to better prey on me.