When you’re a relatively new company, attempting to do something
please don’t say disruptive or innovative here um, hmmmm, new… it’s extremely important to watch for influencers in your industry who have insights or opinions about what you’re doing.
Exhibit A: “Adam takes off the gloves”
Adam Singer, who currently spends his days at the Google Compound Complex as Analytics Advocate, and moonlights as a forward thinking PR critic and founder of The Future Buzz, is one such person.
As you can see from Exhibit A, when we publicly launched our first product (Marketplace) he had a few opinions…which we welcomed.
OH! How boring life would be without challengers and dissenters!
Over the past year we’ve visited Adam at Google, lunched with him in San Francisco, awarded him a very prestigious “PRTech Award,” and even swapped quippy company T-shirts with him. Ahh, yes, this is a true PR match made in heaven. But it did take time.
Exhibit B: “Sharam and Adam play nicey poo”
Now, we bring you this illustrious – if not “coming out of sorts” – interview with one of our favorite Advocates.
Rebekah Iliff: Let’s start with an easy one. Can you tell us about your background and how your experience with PR has shaped your story?
Adam Singer: While in college, I was a total geek and created websites and grew digital communities in my free time (and monetized them instead of getting a part-time job). It was only after I entered the workforce and decided to get a “real job” that I ended up getting a trial by fire in PR. After my internship I ended up being hired as an account executive for a PR agency in Fort Lauderdale in 2005.
I hadn’t really studied PR save for a few journalism electives in college, but it turned out that my experience as a geek prepared me really well for the “new world” of PR.
Thrusting a social web, power user into the mix of a traditional PR agency early on proved to be valuable experience not just for me, but for my agency who promoted me from an account executive, to manager, to ultimately digital director within my first two years.
When we first started speaking with our “circle of trust” over a year ago in preparation for our Analyst launch, one name came up over and over again:
Katie Delahaye Paine.
Known by many as the “Queen of Measurement” (#QOM), she has been in the PR biz forever and runs a successful consultancy focused on PR Measurement. She regularly speaks on the subject, and is tapped for expert opinion on the evolving PR landscape.
Take, for example, her recent shout out surrounding the Vocus-Cision merger.
Not to spoil the interview, but she will say things like: “I can only speculate that stupid people doing dumb things don’t want to be measured.”
Well, I couldn’t agree more. I would also add that people doing small things don’t want to be measured.
Oh, and this: “The big shift has been away from HITS – how idiots track success – towards more meaningful business oriented metrics that are tied to web analytics or opinion shifts.”
Sassy, irreverent, and not afraid to speak her mind, we bring you an interview with #QOM which will likely make you that much smarter.
Read on for more #QOMisms. They are JUST. SO. GOOD.
Rebekah Iliff: You’ve been a pioneer in the field of measurement for more than twenty years. What’s kept your metrics fire burning bright after all these years?
Katie Delahaye Paine: One of the core beliefs I learned early on in my career was that you have to love the people you work with. I have been privileged throughout my career to work with the smartest most innovative communications professionals in the business. I can only speculate that stupid people doing dumb things don’t want to be measured, but for whatever reason I love the people I get to work with, love solving their problems, and love the challenges, especially when they say “we’ve never been able to measure what we do” – because chances are good, I can figure out a way to measure it.
DON’T FORGET: The 5th Annual PR Summit in San Francisco is 1 month away! Be sure to buy your tickets. Here’s 20% off because we love you: http://bit.ly/1iXXuWE
Back in the fall of 2013, I wrote this blog post where I equated the press release to that annoying guy nobody wants to invite to a party, but for some reason everyone feels obligated to invite.
This type of behavior (inviting unwanted guests) entirely eludes me – probably because I’m not nice. Or something like that.
Truth be told, however, being nice has its distinct advantages. Namely: you tend to have a higher quality of life and meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. These people, the ones you may have otherwise ignored while clinging for dear life to your bitchy resting face, can end up being great advocates for you…if you take the time to get to know them, understand where they’re coming from, and ultimately relinquish your propensity to thinking “hey, I’m usually always right.”
In a moment of weakness, niceness, and extroversion, I accepted an invitation to a PR gathering in San Francisco hosted by Paul Wilke (whom I adore), the founder of @UprightComms. While there, over an assortment of wine and charcuterie, I met a woman by the name of Serena Ehrlich – who just happened to be the very friendly Director of Social and Evolving Media at Business Wire.
Oh, and she was also named the “top 25 women in mobile to watch”, “25 women who rock social media”, “best social media blogger for PR”, and a various assortment of other titles that tend to intimidate-slash-excite me.
In true social media culture fashion, we spoke to each other briefly in person at the little gathering but quickly launched a rather heated Twitter affair – which is entirely appropriate given her skill sets. We have serendipitously run into each other at PR-related events over the past year, the last of which was the “PR News’ PR Measurement Conference” in Washington DC – where Serena graciously gave me her perspective on why newswires are still relevant (despite Google’s algo updates and my seeming disdain for press releases) and how we can measure their impact more effectively.
Have you ever had a moment in time where you’re thinking “wow, I’m on top of the world, I really know my $h!t” only to have your ego (rightly) deflated after a serendipitous brush with someone who, in actuality, is much more on top of it than you?
If that had ever happened to me, it would have likely happened when I came Twitter-face to Twitter-face with one Gini Dietrich.
Gini is the Angelina Jolie of the PR world IMHO.
She makes us all look like slackers. Just when you think she can’t possibly do ONE MORE THING a conversation like this happens:
Me: Hey Gini, whatcha doing?
Gini: Hi! So great to hear from you! I’m getting ready to speak on a panel in about 5 minutes on the future of PR.
Me: Oh geeez, should I call you back?
Gini: No, no, it’s totally fine. Right after that I have to jump on a plane and go to my book signing in New York.
Me: Oh wow, ok, well thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Gini: No problem! It’s absolutely my pleasure. Can you hold for one second please…my husband is on the other line and he’s calling because my son is having this thing, and I need to conduct an emergency tracheotomy via satellite before I jump on stage. BRB.
Me: (Inner dialogue: I’m a loser) Sure, oh my God, no problem.
All (slight joking) aside, I caught up with Gini fresh on the heels of her Spin Sucks book launch…a book I highly recommend to anyone looking to get up to speed on this crazy PR evolution we’re experiencing.
Soak up Gini’s wise words, she’s a class PR act….
Rebekah Iliff: Let’s start with an simple one: What makes you so passionate about PR?
Gini Dietrich: I suppose it’s just from being in the industry as long as I have. I mean, what? I’ve only been out of college for five years. 🙂 Truly it’s because I don’t think we do a great job of doing our own PR. There are so many misconceptions about what we do (and don’t do) that it makes me a little nuts. I come from the line of thinking that if you don’t like something, you should do something about it.
This week, The Holmes Report cited us in a post entitled: Are PR engineers the next big ‘thing’?
Growth hackers and data scientists step aside puuhleeease.
As fortuitous but somewhat strategic luck would have it, the journalist also cited Helen Phung of Optimizely in the article – who just so happens (let’s be clear though, nothing “just so happens” – #PRblackbox) to be our interview of the week.
Truth #1 – When Sharam introduced us a few months ago I was immediately intrigued by her “PR Prowess” and fundamental understanding of the nuances and nuisances of PR’s evolutionary future.
Truth #2 – We like totally stole her Twitter bio (PR Engineer) title and are now championing it like it ain’t nobody’s bidness.
Read on to find out why she’s the A/Bees knees and why Optimizely is making major PR waves.