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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 […]

Getting First Dibs on the Future of PR and Media

When a writer for Fast Company agrees to write a “first dibs” article for your company blog, it is all at once flattering (OMG! She’s gonna do that for lil’ ol’ us??), but also – ah hem – kind of scary.

Because…what if…everyone likes her better?

Inflated egos notwithstanding (and in true entrepreneurial fashion) this week we are thrilled to take the risk of Wendy Marx eclipsing us so that you…yes YOU…can gain interesting insights from one of the PR industry’s finest.

Read. Enjoy. Tweet. Discuss. Comment. Re-post. We promise not to be offended or to take it personally if this goes viral:

Getting First Dibs on the Future of PR and Media

By Wendy Marx

Want a peak into the future of PR and media?

Expect to see in the coming years a more ballsy, diverse PR profession that is less obsessed with scoring a big hit in old-time media than capitalizing on niche and non-traditional media. And expect to see a reimagining of media storytelling tools and tactics coupled with a new PR-journalist alliance.

At least those were the prognostications of some seers of PR and journalism at a PRSA Tri State District event titled “PRX: The Future of Media.”

One fact is patently clear: PR and its first cousin, journalism, are in a whirlwind of evolution of redefining themselves.

What’s ahead and how do you succeed? These PR and media crystal ball gazers articulated a roadmap of the future. Here are ways they recommended to get your own toehold on the future:

Shed the veneer of sameness

Decrying the commoditization of PR practitioners who are spit out of the PR factory in the same mold, Fred Cook, President and CEO of global PR agency Golin, urged the mostly female audience to dare to fail and keep more balls (or ideas) on the table. “Failure is the best way to success in your career,” said Cook, who regaled the audience with his failures as a doorman, chauffer, tennis player, and school teacher as chronicled in his book, Improvise: Unconventional Career Advise from an Unlikely CEO.

Continue reading…

Serena Ehrlich from Business Wire sets the record straight

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.

Continue reading…

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!

Continue reading…

AirPR & YEC team up to increase PR opportunities for entrepreneurs

Editor’s Note:

This blog post is touting a partnership AirPR has recently launched to promote the benefit of our Marketplace. So, yes, we are going to talk about ourselves.

But I think it’s relevant to where the PR industry is going (content marketing, publication partners, branded content, etc.) plus we interviewed the co-founder of our partner organization, and he has some VERY interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on, after the jump!

Continue reading…

PR Hack: February Retrospective

Ohhhh, so much March Madness happening!

Tech, music, film (SXSW), basketball (NCAA championship), Irish things (St. Patty’s day), CMOs getting cozy (Adobe’s SUMMIT) and probably a few other random things I’ve missed.

But before we jump the gun and get all excited about the next 25 days, please enjoy our February 2014 PR Hack, where (much like the Oscar Awards for 2013 are given in 2014) we report February news in March.


PR Hack February 2014

Continue reading…

Quantitative and Qualitative walked into a bar

Last week we kicked off the rolling, invite-only, stealthy, somewhat clandestine launch of our next product, which measures the ROI (aka assumptive value) of PR unlike any other solution on the market.

[Watch our video to learn more] 

Geoff MooreAs part of these activities, we hosted a speaker series last Friday in San Francisco where technology investor and author Geoffrey Moore (Crossing the Chasm, The Gorilla Game, Inside the Tornado) gave a keynote on the future of PR. The most “tweetable” sound bite from his presentation was the following:

“We have to have a quant front-end and a qual back-end. Because life is still about storytelling.”


The PR folks in the room were nodding vigorously and tweeting with wild abandon.

If quantitative data were the only kind in existence, the world would be a very flat, ultimately unfulfilling place. To be sure, we’d know the exact traffic patterns required to efficiently get us from point A to point B in record time (great, so we’re at the movie theatre 37.4 minutes early. Now what?), and perhaps the number of minimum licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop (so we can lick vigorously as we wait for the movie to start)…but we’d be bored as hell.


Qualitative data on the other hand, which can also be thought of as anecdotal or observed data, requires a level of creativity and inference that give “color” to the equation. Quant gives us the fundamental truths, but Qual brings those truths to life and makes the actions digestible. Continue reading…

7 hot tips for maximizing the value of media coverage

Generally speaking, there are fewer things I despise more than conferences. The only thing I despise more than conferences is, well, specifically…PR conferences.  Mostly because I find them filled with stuffy corporate communications folks who are still trying to figure out if they should spend 400k or 500k on PR for the year.

That must be a nice quagmire.

One Shaun Saunders, however, has of late eclipsed my original thinking about PR conferences. Mr. Saunders, who I describe as a fabulously dressed, fast-talking, PR renegade of sorts, is the founder of the PR Summit. I’m not sure exactly how he’s created the hip and cool slash utilitarian version of the PR conference, but he’s managed to do it, fashionably.

As we gear up for this year’s conference (July 30 & 31 in San Francisco), Shaun and I have interviewed a couple of folks who have some thoughts and advice about PR, media, relations, social media, and so much more.

This week we’ll start with an interview Shaun conducted with Murray Newlands (TheMail) and next week I’ll be posting an interview I did with Greg Galant (MuckRack) in New York a few weeks ago. And yes, they…in all their “hipness and coolness”… will be speaking at the PR Summit.

7 hot tips for maximizing the value of media coverage

[Shaun Saunders interviews Murray Newlands]

With an ever-increasing number of businesses engaging in content marketing, PR, and media outreach, getting media coverage is progressively more difficult as journalists are pressed for time and chased for attention. I asked Murray Newlands, founder and editor of www.themail.com, how to best maximize the value of media coverage when given the opportunity.

Once you get great press coverage, what’s next? Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of that media coverage and ensure that you are invited back, or if you’re lucky, be referred to other publications.

1. Make a positive comment and encourage fans to do the same: Remember, it’s normally much better to promote content that someone else has written about you than content you’ve created. If someone else comments on it, then engage with those comments.

2. Share it on your Facebook page and in relevant groups that you belong to: Why not make that a paid/promoted post as well? You could do the same on Twitter and make it a promoted tweet. Don’t forget to promote it on LinkedIn and Google+, too, if it’s relevant. If you have fans that have their own followings, ask them to do the same. You could even pay for them to do some promotion on their profiles or fan pages. If you’re clever enough to regularly cross promote with other businesses, why not pay them to do a promoted post on their fan page and agree to do the same for them when the time comes?

3. Share it on your site: Write a short introduction to the piece and link to it. After all, why would you want to create content that your audience can’t find? Regardless of where it’s posted, always make sure that your network and your audience knows about your content. Continue reading…

Top 5 PR don’ts from an important tech reporter we can’t name

To forward the discussion from last week’s post “How to pitch the press” I thought it would be fun, and possibly frustrating, to point out the Top 5 Don’ts courtesy of a really important tech reporter from a really big news organization that will go unnamed.

But let’s just say it’s one of the top ten, and if you ever appeared in print or online in this publication you’d be extremely happy with your PR efforts. I will also point out here that 40% of tech stories covered by press are about the big five: Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter. This is an important factoid to note if you think, for ANY reason, you deserve or are guaranteed press coverage for your tech company on a regular basis.

The Journalist
Just who is this Tech Reporter X? Hmm

It ain’t happenin’. Fish elsewhere. Contribute to niche blogs. Write your own blog with an interesting point of view. Get social. Create meaningful relationships with influencers. This is all part of the PR machine.

This blog post is not intended for seasoned PR pros – because they will likely be privy to the points he (or maybe it’s a she?) makes below…save the last point which is still largely up for debate. We will get into embargoes next week. THAT will be a fun discussion.

Straight from “Tech Reporter X” are the Top 5 Don’ts:

1) Don’t ask reporters to rewrite a press release. They take pride in THEIR work, not in being YOUR amplifier. [Sorry to jump in, but this goes back to the article “Journalists: it’s about them not you” from a couple weeks ago]

2) Take NO for an answer. Meetings are great. Introductions are welcome. Connections are awesome. They don’t always (often) lead to immediate stories. Trust that if a reporter wants to cover the news he/she will. Pressure from you to do so is only a deterrent. So in “don’t” form I guess it’s – Don’t be annoying! Continue reading…

Journalists: it’s about them, not you.

The chasm between your company story and the journalists that are going to care about said story is wide. So wide, in fact, that to make the leap across you must fundamentally understand what you are asking them to do. More than that, you must understand who they are.

Have you ever tried to build a following of your own around content? Meaning, created a point of view, continually written about it in an eloquent and controversial way, generated conversation around it, and then convinced your audience to “buy” whatever you are selling?

If you have, then you understand that writing stories and connecting dots for your audience is fundamentally about you. It’s about your experience, your knowledge, your mistakes, and your passions. As writer Amanda Palmer eloquently reflects:

We can only connect the dots that we collect, which makes everything you write about you. Your connections are the thread that you weave into the cloth that becomes the story that only you can tell.”

Bearing this in mind, let’s talk about what you – a startup founder, a PR pro, a communications person – are asking for when you ask a person from the media (particularly top tier media) to push your story out to their audience: their trusted following who they have likely spent years building…yes, often under a large organizational umbrella, but mostly by their own chutzpa to unearth those gems of stories to entertain, educate, and engage their constituents.


You are asking them to take a personal bet that YOUR story, YOUR product, YOUR fill in the blank is so darn interesting that it will make them look like a hero, a first mover, a trendsetter, a breaking news deliverer, or just down right, flat out smart. Really smart. Beyond that, you are asking them to take a personal interest, which enables them to connect the dots between past experiences to tell your story in a more compelling way.

It’s that simple. And we must respect it. Continue reading…