Ottway Ducard stashed this in startups
Stashed in: @paulg
Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back? Because PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry, lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news. Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms.
I know because I spent years hunting such "press hits." Our startup spent its entire marketing budget on PR: at a time when we were assembling our own computers to save money, we were paying a PR firm $16,000 a month. And they were worth it. PR is the news equivalent of search engine optimization; instead of buying ads, which readers ignore, you get yourself inserted directly into the stories. 
Paul Grahams pieces are always such a pleasure to read. Like this one, they also age so well. This one, like so many, reads like a parable.
It's not about fashion, but about how startups should understand PR. One of the best books I read during this whole startup prep effort was his 2004 book, Hackers and Painters. What a joy to read, inspiring: http://www.paulgraham.com/hackpaint.html
ehhhhh... dealing with the press is easy. Write their stories for them, feed them, booze (or w/e psychoactives they prefer) em up, and they'll pretty much do anything you want.
You don't need a PR firm, you just need a good evangelist with an entertainment budget. You'll be amazed what you can get for a steak and good whisky.
However, I understand, if you have no experience dealing with the press and the subtle politics involved, why it would make sense to hire a PR firm.