Marketing bosses think with their heads and not their hearts. That’s because (a) their jobs depend on it and (b) the marketing and media landscape is constantly changing. What worked last year in a public relations or marketing campaign, or even last week, may not work again today. To boot, successful marketing bosses are increasingly […]
A few weeks ago, our Director of PR Engineering published a post about how to best manage outsourced PR as a guide for those looking to streamline their processes. I expanded upon this thought recently in the Forbes article “Six Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Media Agency,” noting that being crystal clear on […]
When it comes to PRTech, there are two key components to achieving success in this new world order: Technological investment and human capital. The problems tend to arise when PR loses sight of the human component and only focuses on the shiny, new tools in the PRTech ecosystem. Technological innovation is powerful, but all the […]
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.
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:
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?
Data 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.