First Round Capital’s new PR tool Hack PR is “an order of magnitude less lazy” than the existing ways journalists reach out to startups, Josh Kopelman, the venture capital firm’s founder, said at PandoMonthly in New York tonight.
Announced at the end of last year, Hack PR is designed as a tool to connect journalists with startups for specific queries. Using the platform, journalists can place requests based on company size, location, or industry, and be matched with relevant startups.
Speaking to Sarah Lacy, Kopleman plugged the new venture as a superior alternative to emailing VCs asking for connections to startups. “We thought, wouldn’t it be great if you could have a marketplace for startups – not just for our portfolio, but for overall – where journalists can reach out to just find venture-funded startups instead of emailing us,” Kopelman said.
Lacy countered: I just think it encourages lazy journalism, which is already an epidemic in the tech world.”
Kopelman conceded that Hack PR is a startup and it might not work, but he countered by saying there are 2,000 startups and 600 journalists already signed up to the service. Traditionally, VCs have fielded calls from reporters and directed them only to companies within their portfolio. So having access to 2,000 startups across the board rather than, say, just the 200 in First Round’s portfolio gives journalists that much more reach.
“If at least they could ask 2,000 companies, I think that’s less lazy than just asking one portfolio of 200,” he said. “It’s an order of magnitude less lazy.”
Hack PR still hasn’t opened to the public. On signing up tonight, this reporter got a message telling him to hold tight until December. It competes with HARO (Help A Reporter Out), run by New York-based PR fiend Peter Shankman.
To watch the interview in its entirety, click here.