Why I Did Not DIY Our Press Release

Press release edited by Robert Geller
The image of the marked up version of my draft of our press release speaks volumes about the risks of Do It Yourself (DIY).

What did it cost me to write our press release?  Nothing. 

(As a start-up founder, I write "nothing" readily.  Entrepreneurs stop counting the value of their time after about week one of launching their start-ups.)

What could it have cost me?  Everything.

The ever-present risks of DIY are 1) not knowing enough to do it right, and 2) not knowing enough to not do it wrong.

In the short-term, DIY is cheaper than hiring a pro to help.  But in the long-term?  Ooh, I've had some nasty, expensive experiences.

I am a writer, so when our new start-up had news to release (no, we didn't get funding, but still have good news), I wrote a draft and asked PR pro Bob Geller if he would review it for me.  I will admit that I expected my DIY effort to receive Bob's praise and an edit or two. My jaw dropped when I opened the file to see my carefully crafted prose obscured by strike-throughs and comments.  I got massively blue-lined.

I didn't know what I didn't know. 

I am an arrogant entrepreneur.  Arrogance isn't a virtue but I accept that I have the trait and its presence is part of the reason my start-ups will succeed.  (See?  "When" not "if." Arrogance.) I am also an enlightened entrepreneur, smartingly informed by experience.  Arrogance will not be the reason my start-ups fail.  When I need help, I'll ask for it.

Thanks for the help, Bob.

Update 10/25/12:  Our press release!

My Boss Is Almost a Psychopath
Who's in FRONT? Charles Steger


  1. Anne, thanks for your very kind words; for the record, I thought it was an excellent draft; marked up documents sometimes makes things look worse than they are.

    And I would not call it arrogance, the “curse of knowledge” makes it hard for us to be objective; that is why it is great to have others to review, there is no question that your expert editing and writing touch has helped me improve my content that needed some help.

  2. Very gracious comment, Bob. Yes, it takes a team – and I’m glad you’re on mine!

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