The Naked Truth Goes Straight to Video…

The Naked Truth video is up, on Mixpo instead of YouTube, so we could stream the entire 56:53. This is your chance to hear five great journalists and bloggers talking about how entrepreneurs talk to them. Greg Gottesman from Madrona moderated.

In case you don’t have an hour to watch the whole thing, we’ve summarized the juicy bits.

FV is Fred Vogelstein from Wired, JC is John Cook from the Seattle PI, MA is Michael Arrington from TechCrunch, RB is Rebecca Buckman from the WSJ, TD is Tricia Duryee from the Seattle Times.


5:15, MA: If you have a really cool product it doesn’t matter how much of a buffoon you are, it’s going to get written about.

5:45, MA: Get rid of all the marketing crap that you’ve learned… Start with MySpace and say it’s different in this way or that way.

6:30, RB: What we do and what Michael does is now very, very different. The considerations are very different for a blog, a newspaper, a monthly magazine.

8:05, FV: Essentially what all of us do is we traffic in smart people.

9:36, JC: I would encourage everyone to give me the scoop first… I don’t get bent out of shape if it gets pitched to both [PI and Seattle Times] organizations.

11:06, TD: If you’re trying to pitch something for the largest newspaper, things trickle down hill.11:55, RB: What we like to do is bigger-picture trend stories… if it has been mentioned in other publications or other blogs, that’s ok, we can use that as a news-peg… but the Journal is very picky, as far as if the trend story has been written somewhere else, we’re not going to do it.

13:30, TD: Even if you send us a press release and you don’t hear back from us, it’s not like we just hit delete and are not even reading it… If I get five e-mails on a similar topic, I can see that the trend is happening…

14:30, MA [on PR firms]: Some PR firms are ok and some flat out lie manipulate and steal to get what they want. They think that we care a lot about exclusives… I don’t really care about exclusives, because I feel like if I write a better story, because I’m a blogger I have a natural advantage because others blogs links to each other… I don’t care that much about exclusives… what I don’t want to be is second… I don’t mind being the same time as everybody else.

16:25, RB: I would think for me a scoop is more what we call a concept scoop… it’s more like, hey, you’re the first publication that connected these dots and put the concept scoop together.

17:30, FV: A handful [of pr firms] can pick up the phone and call me and say they’re having a dinner with such and such company I’ve never heard of and because I know they’ve taken the time to be serious about choosing their clients, I’ll probably go. If you wind up getting a PR for the sake of lightening your work load I think that’s probably a mistake, you guys are the best sales men for your ideas and your companies.

19:00, FV: Every once and a while just to be evil if I know the CEO, I’ll call the CEO up and say you know you should fire your PR firm.

20:00, JC: I’m always looking for a news hook. For me a lot of the times that news hook is a financing event… just because a financing event is a transformative event in a company’s history.

20:45, MA: A lot of times, I’m not super-interested in hearing a PR rep’s idea of a trend and how their video site fits into it. I feel like it’s my job to come up with that.

22:30, FV [on how to approach a journalist]: Become a source of mine, tell me what is going on in the industry that you’re starting your company in. Tell me about the VC’s that are smart and the VC’s that are dumb.

23:00, MA: [Michael calls out Fred on giving more coverage to his sources, since Michael has been criticized for making the same comment before.]

24:15, RB: Not only can it suck your wallet dry, I feel like PR firms can suck the life out of you… If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re doing it for a reason, and if that kind of interest and passion is relayed to us, that makes us more interested in what you’re doing.

25:00,TD: Don’t worry about being completely polished.

25:20, TD [responding to a question about how to spin a journalist]: Why do you want to spin us? Are you doing something illegal?

27:15, JC [on ducking a question]: If there’s information that you don’t want to share, just tell me I can’t comment on that and leave it at that… just be straight up.

28:45, MA [on how to prepare for an interview]: Get the CEO on phone, you [as a PR rep] are not going to be able to know the product to the detail I want to hear about. If you’re the CEO, it doesn’t really matter, you know the product, I’m going to dig it out of you… I like to disrupt the story immediately by asking random questions… and try not to waste time… Some times a five minute conversation leads to a much better story than an hour conversation would.

30:50, RB: The worst thing is when you’re talking, they say something really interesting and then AFTER they say it, they say you can’t print that, that’s off the record.

32:05, FV [on if you screw up on the record]: You beg.

33:15, JC [on takign something off the record]: If it’s really important to the story, I will fight to get that in there. If it’s a guy that just misspeaks, and says something silly, I’m going to cut him some slack.

34:30, MA: I have two sets of negotations when I talk to an entrepeneur, one is tell me everything, and two is now ok tell me what you’re ok with me printing.

36:45, TD: if the facts are wong, you should let us know immediately… [But if it’s just an opinion from another source you don’t like,] that’s the breaks when you’re talking to a reporter.

37:33 JC: I really like follow-up after an interview… you have it in e-mail which is easy to access.

40:00 FV [on the company that is the best at PR]: I’d say Microsoft [laughter].


43:40, RB: We have some very, very high ethical standards at the Journal and that’s something that everybody who works there is very proud of.

46:00, MA: A lot of the young entrepreneurs are a little bit nuts in Silicon Valley, I actually forget the name of the disease they have, they’re so smart they cannot communicate with other human beings… literally people have this. They’re always a lot of trouble.

46:40, FV [on the most surreal interview]: I got to interview Jeff Bezos jumping on a trampoline… yes we were naked.

48:00, FV on getting into TechCrunch or Wired: It’s just personal, we hate you [laughter].

48:25, MA: It’s not their fault, it’s your fault. You can’t force this stuff… spending more money on PR is not going get into these publications… I mean it’ll get you into mine, I’ll write about you [laughter].

49:30, FV [on focusing first on the trade press]: Success breeds success… that’s exposure we’re all going to see. Whenever I try to get up to speed… I’ll pull tons of stories.

52:40, MA [on the importance of entrepreneur’s blogs]: I think it’s really important. When you have a blog you become 100 times more important to me as a reader than you were before. Because you have your own voice and you can link back… I think every entrepreneur should have a blog.

53:30, FV: It takes a huge amount of work. It absolutely builds credibility and it probably builds more credibility than any PR firm you could hire but it has to be reasonably transparent.

54:50, RB [on what entrepreneurs’ blogs are good]: [Redfin’s] blog is excellent [screams of joy].

55:25, JC: I do like the Redfin blog… I think Zillow does a really good job, they’ve made it a really important part of their PR strategy and it shows.

55:30, MA: Yeah, but don’t break your own news on your own blog, give it to us [laughter among the panelists].

That’s it! To read more, check out what John Cook, Dipika Kohli and Tricia Duryee have to say…

Our bonus link today comes via the Second Friend of Redfin from the Washington Post: Attorneys for two United Arab Emirates leaders urged a federal judge Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of children forced to ride racing camels…


  • apartments

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  • Daniel

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding poetry, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)

  • user

    Hello – the video on this article doesn’t work

  • Anusha

    eBook entitled The Book Trailer Revolution:Marketing and Promotion Through Digital Video was released last week. Though specific to book promotion, the valuable experience and information shared regarding digital video production and distribution could easily be applied to a variety of other industries.

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