Startups can fast track their brand by leveraging on net news outlets and by blogging. Indeed, all startups need to develop blogging expertise too - to generate a buzz of their own and to make it easier for bloggers to post news items, soundbites and articles. In other words, ensure your startup has in place dynamic social media management, the best brand and product awareness strategies, all feeding business development.

Q: How do startups build brand and product awareness?

A: Good exposure is what startups need. Startups need to get out in front of more people and early adopters.

Q: What exposure is there from industry blogs and websites?

A: There just isn’t a great single source covering the tech industry in Pakistan. The closest thing is but they primarily cover the Telecom sector. You will see posts on new mobile packages and news on hiring/firing in the telecom industry which would not interest more hardcore techies. One of the best efforts was made by Osama Hashmi in the form of Green and White ( Unfortunately, it ran out of steam. One great thing that happened was that greenwhite became "open sourced"(anyone could contribute), but the quality of content now lacks the former passion it had.

Q: Could you give any specific examples of lost opportunities?

A: Badar Khushnood, Google Pakistan Country Consultant, with Bramerz had a launch event for their Mobile App/Pakistani Foursquare called This was a big deal because Google Pakistan participated in the launch and was the first Google/local tech private sector venture. None of the common-named blogs like ProPakistani or CIOPakistan had a post on it. The worst offender is PASHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) – not only because they represent the local industry but they were also part of the launch event. There’s no article about the launch on their website. They just have a general article at

Q: What more could startups do to generate publicity?

A: After the launch, ProPakistani clarified they weren't invited because it was a closed event. Startups need to remember they should work with bloggers too and invite them to their events. Startups need to become expert net presenters or utilize people who can help them make the best net presentations.

Q: What impact does the quality of the content have?

A: You have to ask yourself – do you want the content to go viral? It has to be alive, compelling and passionate. Too often this is far from reality. Take the example of the main large-scale industry IT event in Pakistan – ITCN Asia. Coverage by CIOPakistan is dry and in the vein of a boring PR release. Compare CIOPakistan's coverage of the event: with what Osama Hashmi wrote in earlier years:

Q: What do the bloggers (micro; personal; amateur) bring to the table?

A: There is a fundamentally different writing style of entrepreneurs: it's passionate, it's positive and it's always asking for feedback. This is what makes Desi Back to Desh: such a good read.

Everybody else writing about the startup world ends up missing the point altogether. However, Desi is too busy to continue writing regularly. This is a time-consuming hobby. To bridge the gap and even to build and maintain the bridge, startups need to make writing their forte too.

Q: How could startups and blog supporters smarten up their act?

1. Invite everyone who can give you publicity from big to small, from social media to personal blogs, from avant-garde to established.

2. Present your information passionately and use all the different presentation methods from videos to print. Don’t just release one media notice – release in different formats including articles that websites will want to repost or can easily edit.

3. Live Event Coverage. Make sure you provide live event coverage. Post videos, post interviews.

4. Get expert help and quote them. Get the experts saying what implications this has for the industry. Get people from the industry to write or supply a quote. It would be great to get their knowledge and insight out for public consumption. Build up your bank of experts, articles and quotes. Pull them together to make a great presentation.

5. Build your own community. It's very important to build a community of tech people. People who want to hear about startups, people who run startups, investors, mentors, advisers. Cultivate the writing community too and monitor what works best.

About Muhammad Nasrullah
Muhammad Nasrullah hails from Lahore, the second most populous city in Pakistan.
Muhammad Nasrullah’s company has been named as one of Asia’s top 100 most innovative companies by Red Herring:
Pring is Pakistan’s largest social network with more than 4,500,000 users.

Author's Bio: 

I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions: British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Connect: Email!/abetoday