When to get on the radar?
Time and time again many companies talk about when does it make sense to do PR and what should it look like. PR is a wide net. It can run the gamut from media to founders being on panels or one-on-one interviews. I have seen companies get so much press without enough in the back end to support the PR and then others where the PR was great for business.
There is definitely a balance. If you have something to report, besides closing a round which I have yet to understand the importance of that, then by all means figure out the right audience that should be hearing the news. Certainly, as companies become larger, it is important for the founders to get out there be it on panels and speaking to audiences about what their company does and perhaps discussing the reality of start-up world.
More than a handful of companies have done an excellent job of promoting themselves without anything tangible in the background. It goes under the heading that you can have a shitty product with a killer sales team you can win all day long but if you have a fantastic product with a shitty sales team you can easily lose. Everything is about balance.
Someone gave me the advice a long time ago that if you are asked to be on a panel, make sure that you believe the other people on the panel are better than you. You want to be on panels that elevate your game. Sports analogies work here…think about playing doubles in tennis.
There is not a handbook about when to be in the media, when to begin doing panels, went to start sharing your story to others about building your company, when to get out from under the radar, etc. Each decision should be thoughtful around message and timing. You want to get something out of those times you leave your desk. And as your company becomes more successful, particularly for women, there is the importance of being the role model for the next generation of female founders who feel more empowered because they can see clearly that another woman figured it out.