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Fiction: Media relations is ‘free advertising’

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from July 2011. We welcome your feedback.

By Francis Moran

At the time my PR agency,inmedia Public Relations, was founded, I worked out of a large integrated agency in the city and some of the account executives there loved to push my buttons by declaring that media relations was free advertising. They especially liked to do this in client meetings because they knew it would prompt me to mount a fevered defence of the merits of PR and all the ways in which it differed from advertising.

I knew they were only kidding. I knew they really knew better. I knew it was all a bit of harmless fun.

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Design by committee is just plain wrong

By Francis Moran

The aphorism that a camel is a horse designed by committee is usually attributed to Greek-born British car designer Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, who was responsible for British Motor Corporation’s popular Mini. I never quite understood why Sir Alex would disparage a camel’s design — the animal, while unusual in shape and function, seems perfectly designed to be the ship of the Sahara that it eventually became. I take no issue whatsoever, though, with his sentiment that it is a very bad idea to ask a bunch of people to try to work together to design anything.

And yet, it is still too common an activity.

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Startup Canada Communities seeks to build regional economies ‘from the inside out’

By Francis Moran

Startup Canada, the grassroots campaign that is seeking to foster a more entrepreneurial culture in Canada, today launched its most audacious initiative so far with the creation in 15 different cities across the country of Startup Canada Communities, a combination of online and in-person networks intended to give entrepreneurs swifter and more immediate local access to all the resources needed to start a new venture.

We’ve been enthusiastic backers of Startup Canada from its very inception, and as I attended town hall meetings and other events across the country last summer and fall, one consistent theme sounded by entrepreneurs everywhere was that they needed both a one-stop clearing house for information about all the programs and resources available to them and a network through which they could connect with other entrepreneurs, with mentors and with all the other elements of the startup ecosystem.

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The folly (or possibly the wisdom) of discounting

By Francis Moran

I doubt if there’s a single business ever that hasn’t been asked at some point or other to discount its prices. For startups, it’s almost an inevitable part of the process in bringing their technology to market. There are pros and cons to discounting but, as you can probably guess from the headline, I’m not a big fan.

Here are some circumstances where discounting most often comes into play.

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My top travel tips

By Francis Moran

It doesn’t have much to do with bringing technology to market but today’s post is one I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Having spent the last two weeks travelling across three continents, six time zones and nearly 20,000 miles, it seemed appropriate that I tackle it today. A lot of entrepreneurs and startup CEOs become reluctant road warriors as they raise funding and meet with customers who can be globally distributed. If today’s post helps stretch your scarce travel dollars while making things less stressful, then I will have done well.

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