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5 Tenets of PRTech + 2015 PRTech Awards Recap

Last week in New York, #TeamAirPR hosted the 2015 PRTech Awards to honor the leading minds in PR, Marketing, Technology and Media. Needless to say, the brainpower gathered in one room was staggering. (You can peruse a few snaps of the mind meld here.) Everyone in attendance was there to acknowledge that our industry is at […]


Marketing + PR = Happy Customers

As part of her contribution to the PR Council’s PR Genome Education Series, our brilliant Chief Strategy Officer (Rebekah Iliff) recently engaged a panel of communication heavy weights to discuss how Marketing and PR should work together to reach customers. Needless to say the conversation was illuminating. Not only did Rebekah cull together some of […]


Rick Liebling On The Power of 3: PR + Social + Tech

It’s been said that three is a magic number and when you stop to think about it, some of the best things in life really do come in 3’s.

Three-piece suits…three little pigs…three sheets to the wind…ok, maybe not that last one, but you get my drift.

In an effort to channel the power of three, we’re taking you on video exploration of the convergence of PR, social media, and technology.

To lead our triumvirate travels, we enlisted Unmetric’s Head of Global Marketing, Rick Liebling. A veteran marketer with more than 15 years of agency experience, Rick currently heads Unmetric’s marketing initiatives across the brand, product, and content communication strategies.

The long-time former PR practitioner turned global marketer is rocking at the center of social, PR, and tech, which make him uniquely qualified to speak on the shifts driving the landscape.

Rick operates under the firm belief that the vast amounts of PR and social media data available can be used to not only optimize all current efforts, but should also inform future decision-making across marketing. HEAR HEAR!

We sat down for a candid (and enlightening) conversation with Rick where he graciously shared his thoughts around how social analytics, PR measurement, and innovative technology can work together to demonstrate bottom line business impact.

Here are just a few of the tasty tidbits Rick offered up. All the videos are under 3 minutes and chock full insightful takeaways from one of the best in the biz.

Enjoy!

On integrating social media into the greater PR/comms strategy:

Rick Tip #1: Bring social media into the conversation early and involve them in the entire process from creative brief to ideation.

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6 Marketing and Sales Tactics to Avoid Like the Plague

When you’re a busy entrepreneur, there’s nothing worse than having your time wasted. A lot of frustration can occur as a result of others’ carelessness and disregard for your busy schedule and crowded inbox.

Many sales and marketing professionals continually miss the mark when it comes to outreach practices. From sub-par sales pitches to irrelevant follow up emails, these misfires can result in radio silence, bad word of mouth, or even worse, lost revenue.

So how can you be sure you’re not wasting a potential customer’s valuable time (or worse: pissing them off!) while still accomplishing your sales or marketing agenda?

First and foremost, take a good hard look at every communication you send through a “utility lens”. Is what you’re sending actually helpful or is it just adding to the noise?

Next, think about everything you’ve encountered that secretly made you seethe inside…then do the opposite. You’ll be amazed what you uncover when you turn a critical eye to your own experiences.

Since we’re big believers of putting our money where our mouth is, we decided to cull together 6 sales and marketing tactics we’ve recently endured. Real talk: we’ve experienced EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE at some point in the last 60 days.

If you’re the one calling the shots in terms of sales and marketing content, or you are squarely positioned in front of the customer, do yourself a favor and avoid these at all costs…

1. Distracting pop ups during demos

I think it’s awesome your team does Happy Hour on Wednesday at 4pm, but please keep calendar reminders, text messages, or other distracting notifications from popping up during a screen share demo. It’s unprofessional and let’s be real, I’m more apt to be nosy about your social life than pay attention to your product. Don’t let digital distractions steal the show.

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Beyond the SEO rigmarole, welcome to NEO™

This week, in completely un-AirPR fashion, we are going to talk about ourselves ad nauseam. Well, not really about ourselves but about something we are pioneering (which may even be more self-involved and gross) called NEO™. News Engine Optimization. I am weary of this practice of self promotion, as it often leads to your audience “voting […]


Killer content: 6 newsletters not to be missed

Admit it. You receive at least one email a day that gets you all giddy. Maybe you’re inspired by quirky copywriting or maybe those tips on how to metamorphose social content into conversions gave you something cool to share at your last marketing meeting. Don’t be shy —we all gain inspiration from somewhere.

Here, I invite you into my personal closet full of content crushes. Sign up for their newsletters, read their blogs like juicy tabloids (often and fanatically), and reap the rewards of being informed by some of best in the business.

Without further ado, I bring you 6 newsletters content marketers should sign up for right now:

1. For cream-of-the-crop copywriters: Copyblogger.

This blog is all about how to streamline your content creation, measure success, and storytell in a way that’s both authentic and branded. From how to spice up bland text to “The 5 Things Every (Great) Marketing Story Needs,” Copyblogger shares the ins and outs of words that work. The best part? The content is stripped dry of overused jargon. It’s straight-forward, quality content about well…content!

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PR + Technology = PRTech…Are you in?

Public Relations + Technology = a tricky relationship that typically incites two reactions: 1. Irritation by PR professionals who will argue – to the death – that public relations can’t be automated. They are partially right. They are partially wrong. No one is arguing that robots will ever be able to build relationships, handhold pissy clients, or […]


Airing PR’s Dirty (Data) Laundry

Let’s be honest. In an era when even the most challenged of industries are employing data-driven decision making, there’s no reason PR shouldn’t be able to catch up. As media mongers, we’ve long relied on vanity metrics to prove our work’s worth. From AVE (advertising value equivalency) to print circulation, these dirty-data metrics are often muddied with inaccuracies, and they fail to strategically inform our work.

Dirty Data is:

  • Incomplete
  • Misleading
  • Non-integrated

Think about the falsities of “print circulation” as a metric. Does the number of newspapers sitting in an untouched stack by the doorway of a coffee shop really equate to the type of exposure you’re looking for? Does that number help you decide what story to pitch next? Or, are you simply assuming the success of past campaigns? If the latter, you’re definitely playing with the little devil we call dirty data.

Reporting the success of a news story you’ve pitched using dirty-data metrics (aka “vanity metrics”) may show why you deserve your job, but it doesn’t tell you how to do your job better.

Before you blast off into a dark mood because you’ve just realized you’ve been working with faulty numbers this whole time, know that you’re not alone. It’s a problem within the industry and there’s already a solution out there — it just hasn’t been embraced widely yet. Why not be one of the first? I’m talking about improving your data literacy and applying clean data to your PR strategy.

Clean Data is:

  • Devoid of inaccuracies
  • Interpreted in a uniform way
  • The basis of a strategy that works

Here, I examine three companies — that have nothing to do with PR — to demonstrate how data-driven decision making help achieve better business performance. Think of it as “data inspiration.”

How could PR can benefit from similar business tactics?

squareData Beast #1: Square

Did you ever hear the story about the little, Seattle-based ice cream shop that got mobile and tablet payment provider Square to revert to an earlier version of software? The NPR article “Technology May Turn You Into A Bigger Tipper” outlines the stellar story of community-driven data and service.

In the merchant-preferred version of the Square software, customers were presented with a screen that suggested optional tip amounts before they could get to the signature page to complete their transactions. In the new software version, the tipping option appeared on the same page as the signature box. There wasn’t as much of an incentive to give a few bucks for a job well done, and tipping declined (in a huge way) instantly. Square’s solution? Revert to the preferred software version immediately and avoid the wrath of unhappy merchants (and potentially “bad PR”).

What the PR Industry can learn from Square:

  • Community feedback is invaluable data.
  • The ability to pivot on a dime should be a best practice for any business.

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4-Part Guide for Interview Preparation in a Pinch

You’ve reviewed the 7 Signs You’re Ready for PR and landed an interview with star business reporter after chatting them up at a networking event. Giggles dispersed, you now come to terms with the part that makes you panic: They want to interview you tomorrow!

You choose to

1. Feign illness (complete with faux coughing) while making the call to cancel.

2. Politely ask if the reporter would mind rescheduling (Until you’ve had enough time to build key messaging, prepare talking points, and buy the perfect interview outfit)

3. Accept with enthusiasm, kick it into overdrive, and nail down some strategic talking points stat. You’ll dedicate some extra time to building messaging after the interview so you’re more prepared the next time you hook one.

If you chose A or B, shame on you! When opportunity knocks, it’s in your best interest to answer the door. It’s fine to agree upon a different date and time than the one a reporter first proposes, but this should be due to scheduling conflicts, not your want for a generous amount of prep time.

If you chose C, great job! You have enough time to pull together talking points, and transform into the star spokesperson we know you can be.

The following 4-part guide is packed with ideas and tips for interview preparation when your time is limited. You’ll just need a trusted colleague who understands your messaging objectives and business goals and a few free hours to hash out a plan. Reserve a conference room and have at it!

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Spin May Suck, But Gini Dietrich Rocks

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.

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