A few days ago, Jevon MacDonald wrote a post on StartupNorth advising startups to avoid using Public Relations agencies or Marketers to contact him on their behalf. While he was speaking about his site specifically, his statement suggests that hiring a PR firm means a startup's priorities are "out of wack". I disagree. I don't think that every startup needs a PR firm, but there are certainly many that do. Getting some early coverage can be key to getting investors, and PR firms can help with reaching the right audiences and helping the startup founder tell an interesting story about the company.
While some founders are probably great at writing and communicating, there are equally as many that aren't. A PR agency can help draft emails, arrange interviews, and develop collateral. These are all things that PR pros excel at, and that would take away from time that a startup founder could probably spend working on the key element of their company.
What do you think? Should startups be hiring PR companies, or are they a waste of time?