Navigating comms and PR with Lulu Cheng (Substack, Activision Blizzard) - Deepstash

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Cultural Erogenous Zones

Cultural Erogenous Zones

Lulu Cheng (comms lead @ Substack, Activision Blizzard) believes the foundation for communicating as an up-and-coming company is to identify the cultural erogenous zones of your audience. This should be a phrase that’s resonating with a something the audience deeply cares about. In the case of Substack it was freedom of expression. For the phrase to work it should be:

  • short
  • catchy
  • memorable

Examples: Mark Andreesen’s “It’s time to build”, Trump’s “Make America Great Again”.


121 reads

The Message Spreads in Concentric Circles

The Message Spreads in Concentric Circles

The company’s message can not be broadcasted. It needs to spread from in concentric circles:

  • It starts with the founders and the employees. They have to be excited about it
  • The message should spread to the power users who are gonna share it with their base

For Substack the power users were the early writers (like Lenny) who were passionate about the platform.


85 reads

People Only Care About Other Oeople

The institutional approach to communication is dead. Nobody wanna listen to a faceless company. People don’t trust institutions anymore. 

Messaging should come from other people that have an audience, that are trustworthy … that have a point of view. 


77 reads

Pressure vs Force

Pressure vs Force

Force is the total impact of one object on another, whereas pressure is the physical quantity of force spread over a certain area. As a small company you should prioritise force in communication, meaning a focus on very few things. One message with a point of view, few influencers. 

Going broad (general message that appeals to anyone) will not work if you are small. 


74 reads



Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


Lulu led the comms at Substack and she shares some of the ways she thinks about spreading the message for a small company.

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