Mark Cuban: “Startups Should Never Hire a PR Firm”

By Mark Macias

A friend just forwarded me a Business Insider article where Mark Cuban – the brash owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the reality TV show Shark Tank – discussed PR for startups and advised that they “Never hire a PR Firm.”

In his business book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, Cuban also elaborated on why many companies shouldn’t hire PR firms.

I sent Mark Cuban an email after reading his book – and he actually responded. Rather than elaborating, take a look at my email to him and how he responded. It will change your view on PR firms for startups.

And if you do decide to hire a PR firm, give Macias PR a call. If we got Mark Cuban to reply, imagine the response we can get from journalists.


My Email To Mark Cuban

On Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 9:38 PM, mark macias <> wrote:

Hi Mark,

I just finished reading your new book, Sport of Business. I heard about it on this morning’s Maria Bartiromo show, ordered it during the Jets game, and finished it by 10pm eastern. As a former journalist, I will tell you it was a great read.

I do want to correct you on an objective mistake from page 828 – Never Ever, Ever Hire a PR. You lead readers to believe that getting ahold of journalists is an easy feat. You are Mark Cuban. Doors open for you, but calls and emails won’t be returned by your typical or even exceptional small and large business owners. A great news placement requires persistance as well as a great story idea. Most entrepreneurs don’t know how to frame or uncover that news story. Pitching it requires even more insight.

I say this from experience. I was an Executive Producer with WNBC as well as a Senior Producer with WCBS in New York. I approved story ideas from publicists, reporters, producers and viewers. Do you know how many emails and calls I got each day? Strategies and tactics matter with publicity.

You are right – there are some PR firms that do only send out emails and those PR firms should never ever ever be hired, but you can’t make a blanket statement like that and here is why.

I am willing to bet your $2 seats that you did not have the time to call Maria Bartiromo and pitch yourself for the show. If you did, then you are even better at budgeting your time than I expected, however, no other small or large business owners will have the time, media expertise to get through, or the resources (most reporters now give out generic news email addresses because they are spammed by everyone). There is a time when you are saving time and money by having the professionals do it.

Other than that, loved your book. I already quoted a section and hyped your book to my 450 some odd facebook friends. That is the power of PR. I do hope in your second version, you amend that quote and add in the word “almost” in parenthesis.

And if you did personally email Maria, then I lost the bet and will donate $500 to buy Dallas inner city youth tickets to your game. I wish I could give more, but right now I am financing my PR company myself and you know what that is like.

Mark Macias

Mark Cuban responds to my email on why startups should never hire a PR firm

On Sunday, December 18, 2011 11:37 PM, Mark Cuban <> wrote:

i agree that if you want to go through an exec producer to get on a big show, you are right. The reality is that for most businesses there are trade journals and trade related websites. If you show any initiative and can offer somewhat of a unique perspective you will be heard

thx for reading !