OLD Media Moves

VC firms have become publicity hounds

July 23, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times writes Monday about how venture capital firms, which onced shunned publicity, are now courting the business news media.

Perlroth writes, “Now, up and down Sand Hill Road, venture capitalists, many of whom once shunned publicity, suddenly seem starved for it. In the last year alone, Sequoia hired Andrew Kovacs, a P.R. manager from Google. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers hired Christina Lee, the former head of communications at Hulu, the online television site. Lightspeed Venture Partners hired Kelly Mayes, a former director of communications at AOL.

“‘There has been a definite shift in the importance of brand awareness in venture capital,’ said Rob Coneybeer, a managing director at Shasta Ventures, whose firm is now looking to hire a full-time marketing person.

“Still, some venture capitalists think the self-promotion is fast approaching the level of shameless. ‘The marketing around V.C.’s is approaching what I might describe as an epidemic,’ said David Hornik, an investment partner at August Capital. ‘I don’t quite understand the venture capital celebrity. We should be supporting actors. The entrepreneurs do the work and deserve the credit.’

“‘If venture investors are spending time with public relations people talking about how important and valuable they are, they are necessarily doing it at the expense of entrepreneurs,’ Mr. Hornik said.”

Read more here.

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