Uber General Manager: Public Relations Is a Waste of Money


Last week Uber General Manager Chris Nakutis (follow him on Twitter) spoke to a group of entrepreneurs about his experience launching the e-commerce platform Short Stack–and became the latest heavy-hitter to weigh in on the “do startups need PR” debate. As you can tell from our headline, he answered in the negative.

Nakutis said that PR was not a valuable tool in growing his business and that the return on investment was not immediate or well-defined despite the good press.

Here’s the key quote: new companies “can almost jump over the PR process.”

Harsh words, but not unexpected from the tech industry. As PRNewser reported earlier, startups are leery of PR people. And they’re not alone.

According to new research carried out by Marketing Week in association with Weber Shandwick, PR agencies ranked lower than other specialist consultants (such advertising, digital or branding agencies) in terms of their reported value as a strategic partner to brands:

“More than five times as many marketers say PR agencies are losing ground as say they are gaining ground on other specialisms.”

So what’s a poor PRNewser to do?

In case you missed it, check out Paul Wilke‘s guest post Startups and PR: a Mutual Distrust Club That Doesn’t Need To Exist for his take on the five top areas of misunderstanding–and some suggestions for resolving this impasse.