Back to the future: how email is helping build profitable internet startups

In the age of Facebook, Twitter and blogs, one might think that social
media is a far more important to startup success than, say, email. But
a new generation of startups, many of which are lean and achieve
profitability early on, are proving that email can be a powerful
contributor to success.

In a blog post entitled “Email Newsletters Are Still A Serious
“, startup entrepreneur Jason L. Baptiste details how email is
an important ingredient for an impressive group of upstarts, including
Groupon, the group buying site that investors have valued at more than
$1bn, Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which was recently purchased for a rumored
eight-figure sum and Thrillist, which is reportedly on pace to do more than $10m
in revenue this year.

Q&A: Peter Shankman, Founder of Help A Reporter Out

Peter Shankman is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, a New York City-based marketing and PR strategy firm, and the author of Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them. He’s also the founder of Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, which helps connect reporters to more than 100,000 expert sources.

Peter is the trainer for Econsultancy’s Online PR and Social Media Workshop in New York next week, which explores how PR has radically changed thanks to the growth of social media.

I spoke to Peter about online PR, social media and HARO.