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Fire bad clients who are over demanding says Murray Newlands

26th November 2014


Murray Newlands is a happy man, which he attributes to having found what he is good at and likes doing. He obviously likes keeping busy, as he runs an international marketing agency based in San Francisco, regularly contributes to tech news site VentureBeat and has recently written a book called How to get PR for your Startup: Traction. If you are also a business owner and want to be as happy as Murray, he advises: “Fire bad clients who are over demanding and unrealistic, focus on the happy ones who make your life happy and get more of them.”

Newlands first moved over to San Francisco from the UK for romantic reasons, but when his relationship did not work out, he fell in love with the city itself, he says: “San Francisco has great people, the networking opportunities are amazing and the outdoor activities are world class.”

As well as liking San Francisco, Newlands is also a big social media and Twitter fan (where he has well over 60,000 followers). “John Wiley, a publisher, found my blog through Twitter and offered me a book deal. I know editors of publications look at the potential of new writers to promote their work on Twitter when considering them as writers. I have won tens of thousands of dollars of client work from people finding me through social media.”

Living and working in San Francisco, Newlands has met many start-ups, and as a contributor to publications, gets pitched to every day, but finds most of these pitches are terrible. This inspired him to write his book: “I wanted to provide help to all those startups out there trying to make it. Just because you are a great software developer and CEO does not make you great at PR. I wanted to offer some help. Most startups start with a problem or need to fix some challenge that affects people’s everyday lives. All too often, that solution of meeting people’s basic needs gets lost in the message. You could just be meeting the need for entertainment or for connecting with friends and loved ones, but you are meeting a personal need.”

Discussing why he loves working in communications, Newlands says: “I want to work with positive, creative people and working in communications gives me that possibility. Marketing and PR people are generally creative and working with them as a consultant enables me to work with them at the most creative time in their work day.”

However, there are some PR behaviours that Newlands believes need to stop: “Stop cold pitching and cold emailing and start making relationships, which will be much more valuable to you over the years. Stop asking journalists to do things for you and start asking them what stories they are working on and how you can help them. Stop agreeing to promote things that you are told to just because you are asked to; no one cares that your company has a new junior sales rep and no one is going to write about them.“

Instead, Newlands offers this advice: “Think big picture and pitch stories about the problems people are having and how people can overcome them and then include your company as just a part of that solution.”



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