Despite A Rough And Tumble Economy, New Enterprises Continue To Be Born

Have you heard of The OutCast Agency, a PR firm in San Francisco? No? Then you’re not with a start-up technology concern from The Valley.

According to The Wall Street Journal, each month OutCast sees 50 to 75 companies seeking its services, up 50% from last year. “We can’t take on 98% of the business that knocks on the door,” agency partner Reema Bahnasy said.

While the job market in much of the U.S. remains weak, Web start-ups keen to establish their brands and to grab media exposure are driving a surge in business at Bay Area public-relations companies. Many firms say they are hiring.

Kay Luo, a former LinkedIn Corp. executive who last August began providing public-relations consulting gets multiple requests a week from start-ups seeking her assistance. Ms. Luo said she has begun taking equity stakes in start-ups that she works with, effectively “becoming an angel investor in the companies that I advise.”

The Journal makes no mention of these same start-ups turning to brand identity firms, ad agencies, content marketers or the like, but there’s unquestionably a need there, as well, and I don’t think the need is localized in Northern California.

I’d like to hear from you about taking on start-ups as clients. Not just in hi-tech, but in all fields. It can be a real high wire act to build a brand from the ground up, so please, tell us a story and show us how you did it.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.