PR for Startups, and hacking humanity for the common good
Greetings all. What a week.
First, on the podcast front, Alexandra Skillman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexskillman/) shared her extensive knowledge in the world of PR for an entrepreneurial audience. We discuss at length PR considerations for startup founders regarding go-to-market strategies, overall marketing plans, working with journalists, reaching out to influencers, and avoiding common mistakes.
Or search for “Ventures” in your podcast app to find it.
I’ve always respected the “game” that campaign strategists in the USA - on both the blue and red sides - play in the USA. After watching the documentary The Century of Self earlier this year, the theatrics of modern-day politics - and PR in general - make a lot more sense to me.
In short, PR over the last 100 years was born out of Freudian principles that discovered something true about our brains: i.e. that we are inherently selfish and make decisions emotionally and subconsciously. This makes us easily “hackable”, especially in groups. (See also Herman and Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent).
We all know how this can be used for nefarious purposes, but is it possible to harness this for good? Can we learn something ourselves from the PR folks, the campaign strategists, the AI-optimized algorithms, etc… that can be translated into beneficial steps for humanity?
I think the answer is a clear yes. It will take leadership. It will take embracing common ideals around goodness, compassion, and empathy. It will take a fundamental paradigm shift away from “right vs. left”; and we must allow ourselves to be compelled by something greater than ourselves.
Can we turn this century into The Century of Selflessness ? I hope so. I can imagine a world where that is the case, but the steps to get there are - of course - blurry. I sense a strong desire from both the right and left to regain “our soul” as a society, and I suspect a new paradigm - a new axis by which to think about ideals - is on our horizon.
Go read Peter Thiel’s Zero to One again in light of our social landscape in 2020 and let’s talk.