Ken Lerer Says Most Startups Should Just ‘Shut Up’

Ken Lerer, co-founder of Huffington Post and a number of other hot online media properties, shared some of his thoughts on how young startups should interact with the press.

He was asked whether PR and media publicity helps startups get funding, gain users and build brands. HuffPost, obviously, is highly dependent on its media reputation.

But Lerer said that for most startups, silence was golden.

“I think most companies should shut up until they have something to say,” he said in conversation with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget. “Too much press early on is not a good idea. You have to have a good, believable story to tell before you start trying to get coverage for something like funding.”

He went on to address his thoughts on managing buzz, saying that “getting buzz helps with monetization and fundraising. Buzz is okay if it’s for a strategy. It’s a bad idea if not.”

Lerer personally takes a stealth approach to the press in the tech ecosystem.

He sums it up this way: “I like to listen more than talk. I don’t like press interviews. I’d rather deal with my friends in business.”