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Leveraging 4 key types of PR data

Are you sick of talking about PR data yet? Good. Neither are we.   Data collection and evaluation are (or, at least, should be) integrated into the daily rituals of PR pros. With the bajillions of measurable actions consumers take every day, the massive amount of information PR pros must sift through grows exponentially, which, […]

4 Pitfalls of Brand Journalism to Avoid

Perhaps for obvious reasons, we (meaning the AirPR crew) tend to obsess about all things “owned content.” Not only have we spent thousands of hours building a product that can give it definitive value and metrics, but we’ve also dedicated endless amounts of energy developing, executing and #shamelesslyplugging our own blog, brand channel, whatever-you-wanna-call-it-where-no-one-tells-us-what-to-do. Yeah! […]

8 Elements To Transform Your Press Page Into A Newsroom

During a recent PR Council webinar Marissa Aydlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Appboy, challenged businesses to think like marketers, but operate like a newsroom. After reflecting on the insights Marissa provided on how to go about this (which you can hear by streaming video from 10:35-12:30 and 27:44-31:22), I got to thinking about other areas […]

Content Marketing: Building A Web of Influence

Can you name the last time you stopped to look at a spider’s web? Chances are, if you hate spiders, it was not recently. But there is much to be learned from these intricately designed feats of art and engineering. Every part of the web is connected, making it both complex and powerful. If any […]

Math: PR Style

Who remembers sitting in your [insert preferred mathematics class here] thinking, “When in the name of Merlin’s beard am I ever going to use this absurd theorem in real life? This feels like a gigantic waste of time.

I can honestly say that there were many an afternoon where that exact thought went through my head. Which may explain why I chose a less numerically minded career path.

But here’s the rub.

The closer I look at everything we do here at AirPR (and everything PR pros do in general), the more I realize just how intertwined Math is in our day-to-day. From time management to data visualizations that allow audiences to extract meaning from numbers, math is everywhere.

Why PR should love mathPR measurement guru, Shonali Burke, sums it up nicely: “If you’re managing a client’s budget, you’re doing Math. If you’re using data points to pitch a story, you’re doing Math. If you’re managing a research project which comprises surveys, you’re doing Math. If you’re running your own PR business, you’re absolutely doing Math.” she asserts.

“And when measuring PR, even if your metrics are primarily output metrics, you’re doing Math. What else would you call counting all those impressions, hits, and followers? I think many [PR] pros think ‘differential calculus’ or other complicated functions when they hear ‘Math’. However, regular Math? Everyone does it without even knowing it, so it’s time to stop being frightened of it!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Shonali.

In order to boost your computational confidence, we tapped a few mathematically minded folks to help uncover 5 hidden ways PR pros are using math.

1. Probability Theory & Classification

To see these two principles in action, look at the intrinsic ranking methods used to identify priorities and hierarchies before, during, and after PR campaigns. Not every PR activity gets the same amount of attention or time dedicated to it. By weighting outputs, ranking outlets, and making explicit choices to use some words or messages more than others, you’re totally enacting the underlying principles of Probability Theory and Classification. Go you!

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The PR Measurement Challenge

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Imagine trying to invent a light bulb with a match. Or cure malaria with a rampant mosquito. The “problem” with PR has always been, and will always be, understanding how on earth the investments made in it […]

How every startup needs to think about PR

Every once in a great while you come across a human who quite literally exudes passion from every ounce of their being. Even if they tried, they wouldn’t be able to contain their excitement and zeal for life.

They are a rare find, so when you do encounter them it’s highly likely you will want to do one, some, or all of the following:

  1. Capture them and study their every move in order to understand what, exactly, makes them tick.
  2. Ask them a million questions to see if you can throw them off their game.
  3. Poke them to see if they’re real…or just a big, fake phony.
  4. Clandestinely stalk them to either confirm or deny that they sleep on an alien space ship at night.
  5. Spend as much time with them (without it being awkward) so that you can absorb some of their passion-y goodness.

Jenn Hirsch, founder of MarkedPoint, is one of these unicorns I describe above. After finally getting over the fact that I will NEVER – I MEAN NEVER – be capable of meeting her toe to toe for outward facing passion (inside I’m bubbling over, I swear), I accepted the defeat and decided instead to enjoy our dynamic for what it was: two gals mildly obsessed with educating the world on how to make PR better. From startups to Fortune 500s, we’ve discussed it all.

So when Jenn agreed to pony up a guest post for our blog, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. We hope you can absorb some of her PR passion, and take to heart her great insights…particularly if you are a startup!

How every startup needs to think about PR

When you’re a part of young company, ‘the grind’ shifts from doing the same thing day in and day out to constantly being asked to do a different (and often seemingly impossible) things day in and day out.

As those of us in the trenches can attest, every day in a fledging venture brings more chaos and more opportunity. Hiring the right support system is vital to organizing the chaos – and a great PR team can help do just that.

So how do you create a coherent communications strategy with your PR firm to make your new ventures stand out from the crowd?

First, accept the 3 challenges of startup PR:

1. Your PR needs will change roughly every 3 months along with your business

This is the golden rule. Your business – and your needs – will change every 3 months because you are constantly learning, growing, testing, and refining. Because PR constantly communicates this growth to the outside world of partners, consumers and investors, you are going to need a team and strategy that can adjust to your needs.

2. There is a short attention span for “new”

Why do you think we get a new iPhone model every year? We are conditioned to look at for the latest, hottest and biggest news in our culture. Especially in startup land where fortunes are made (and ruined) in years, not decades. Your audience(s) needs to have new information on what you’re up to to keep you top of mind.

3. Your competition is hot on your heels

If you have a great idea, you can bet others are chasing after the same one. With their ideas competing for attention, you need to stay focused and have a clear message so your audience knows why to choose you over others.

Second, understand the impact these strategies have on your PR:

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How to moderate a panel like a PRoooohhh

Ahhhh conference season. My favorite time of year.

Suitcase? Check.

Emergen-c? Check.

Extra phone charger. Check.

Priority boarding access? Notsomuch. But hey, we’re on a budget.

From New York to San Francisco – and any city in between with a conference center that holds approximately 5,000 people and sets its base temperature to 61.4 degrees – lanyards and media rooms and shoddy wifi unite to serve up new products, industry trends, and cocktail hours to those in the know.

Or at least to those trying to get there.

As a regular conference goer, typically under the auspices of media-speaker-moderator (sometimes I even pretend I’m part of the catering team just to change it up), I always like to brush up on my skillzzz prior to embarking on these journeys then reflect back on what I could have done better.

PR experts panelThis year was more of a “moderator” year, so I became personally fixated with how to up my game. In light of that, I surveyed a few super smart folks who are moderating pros, and came up with a listicle of things you can pass along to your unsuspecting clients (be gentle) or can implement yourself if that tickles your fancy.


Porter Gale says…

#1 – Over prepare. Know everything you can about your subject and the topic. Make sure you have some fun facts that demonstrate the depth of your knowledge (e.g. past career moves, personal stories, quotes from PPTs or articles they’ve written).

#2 – Don’t interrupt your subject but know how to thoughtfully move to a new subject if needed.

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Treat Yo Self PR Style

In case you missed it, PR has gotten a lot more complex over the past five years. From understanding technology to broadening skill sets, the PR role has expanded to account for these changes. I won’t go into great detail here, but if you need proof read this, this or even this. With complexity comes […]

Your PR Professional Development Toolkit

We live and we learn. Our early careers all about trial and error, but now many of us are working to refine, polish, and fill our tool belts with the best set of wrenches available. Given the onset of PRTech, there’s no better time to do take the initiative and invest in yourself. Let’s all step on the gas a bit to truly accelerate the pace at which we’re evolving in our respective PR roles.

From employing empowering body language tricks before your next thought leadership lecture to being bold enough to reframe your organization’s origin story, here’s how to turn it up.

What do we want?

To become more valuable than ever!

How do we do it?

Through data, measurement, and compelling content!

Great. Let’s get started.

Invest in Authorship

The first rule of PR club is that you don’t talk about PR club. Wrong! Talk up a storm. Start establishing yourself as an expert through compelling writing today so you can lead the way in future (and present) content marketing. Being influential in a niched area will give you credibility as both an individual and brand representative. Start with a sprint session: Jot down the first five blog post topics that come to mind, choose the strongest one, then force yourself to write for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Here’s a stopwatch for you. Think niched expertise, owned media, authorship, and comprehensive distribution plans.

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