Health IT

What do venture capital firms get out of blogging?

A fair few venture capital firms and/or their partners are blogging these days. With the new rules on advertising courtesy of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission we could see more of that. Motives differ from brand promotion to offering new ways to communicate with entrepreneurs and potential investors. But there will continue to be […]

A fair few venture capital firms and/or their partners are blogging these days. With the new rules on advertising courtesy of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission we could see more of that. Motives differ from brand promotion to offering new ways to communicate with entrepreneurs and potential investors. But there will continue to be a gap between those venture firms who see something to gain from it and those that see it as pointless.

An article from Thompson Reuters’s Venture Capital Journal referenced by PEHub weighed blogging pros and cons for firms. In an interview with Mike Maples Jr., the managing partner of Floodgate Fund who doesn’t blog he said: “We don’t get involved in every debate and have the last word on the topic of the week…We want to be known as the people who find the Godzilla lizards before anyone else. Beyond that, not so much.”

He added that one motivation for blogging is to go for a broad reach and seek wide name recognition and another was reinforcing a disciplined message (ie, brand identity).

It’s probably not a big surprise that most of the VC bloggers are technology investors.  Bruce Booth, a partner with Atlas Venture, is one of the few life science investor bloggers. Safeguard Scientifics has included entries on diagnostics and healthcare IT in its blog as well as technology and broader topics for entrepreneurs. There are some firms that blog about healthcare IT among other topics in the mix, such as Polaris Partners, and Venrock Associates (its healthcare IT blog is penned by Brian Ascher, a partner). Some are penned by partners, others reflect a mix of partners and guest authors from other firms.

A survey on brand management and venture capital by DeSantis and Breindel and provided by the National Venture Capital Association asked CEOs how strongly various digital media channels influenced their perception of VC firms. About 23 percent of technology CEOs said they were most strongly influenced by a VC firm or partner blog — that was more than online media,VC rankings and the firm’s website.  Just 4 percent of life science CEOs said that blogs had that level of influence for them.

Asked which channel best delivers their message, only 5 percent of VCs credited their firm or partner blogs, while 15 percent of CEOs said it was the blog.

 

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