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I'm sorry, but this is really basic stuff, and I doubt it will help any startup founder who has done even ten minutes of research on the topic of PR. Founders without famous backers or extensive networks should look at more advanced marketing and communication techniques, and try to create or participate in a movement that resonates with the press, through a marketing story and through a compelling answer to the question "Why is this done". In getting press and customer interest, I strongly feel that answering why should come before answering how or what. This is why great pitches != great products. Also, it's a very hard process, and lots of PR agencies are surprisingly bad at this. This is one of the reasons why a business co-founder is so important for a startup.

@VSerge, this wasn't meant to be a comprehensive list of advanced strategies. I just threw some quick thoughts, posted on company's blog and posted it on HackerNews with hopes of starting a discussion about ways people got PR. I guess it wasn't apparent in the post, but I would love to hear more tips from the community about things that worked/ didn't work for them.

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