Sorry, New York Times: TaskRabbit Is a Poor Substitute for PR

Multi-what?Why Hire a PR Firm When There’s TaskRabbit?

Are you messing with us, New York Times Bits Blog headline? Surely you’re messing with us.

OK, so you did find one guy who uses TaskRabbit to promote both his new IT consulting startup and his own freelance skills (which include “furniture assembly” and “curtain installation”) “in lieu of public relations or marketing firms.”

We don’t mean to diss Mr. Olton Rensch, whose story is indeed compelling.

But A+B does not equal C in this case.

First of all, Mr. Rensch needs to grow his business a good bit more before he can consider adding PR to his list of expenses. He’s a jack of all trades looking to establish a solid network of connections, not a business owner hungry for earned media. What would a firm even do with a client best described as “freelance IT consultant/master IKEA constructor?”

Congratulations to the man on his successes, but we feel like the NYT shortchanged PR with this headline.

Consider three questions:

  • Are you a business owner?
  • Do you need PR services to expand awareness of your venture?
  • Can you use TaskRabbit as a standalone replacement for those services?

Didn’t think so.