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5 Tactics For Ensuring Customer Success

What do you think makes a B2B company successful? Turning a profit? Going public? Rapid growth? If you put yourself in the shoes of a customer success manager (shoes I’ve filled more than once), the correct answer will be revealed… If your customers are succeeding (with your tools, support, and encouragement), then you’re succeeding too. […]

The PR Optimization Pie

Ever have one of those late afternoons where you stop to take a breath and realize your desk has become a complete disaster area in the past week? Yeah, that was me last Friday around 5:50pm. Since most everyone else had left for the weekend, I decided to take advantage of the peace and quiet […]

PR’s Past, Present and Future as told by Sally Falkow

When it comes to PR prowess and expertise, there are not many individuals who possess both in droves like Sally Falkow. As president of PRESSfeed and one of the industry’s leading minds on new technology and digital PR, Ms. Falkow brings over 30 years of PR experience to the table. Sal (as she often signs […]

#MeasurePR + PRTech = PR’s Bright Future

Last Tuesday Rebekah co-hosted Shonali Burke’s first #measurePR Twitter chat of 2015 alongside Deirdre Breakenridge.

The topic? Why, PRTech of course.

Considering these are 3 of the smartest (not to mention loveliest) ladies to ever utter the letters PR, it’ll come as no surprise that the rousing chat was chock full of wisdom and key industry takeaways.

Curious about what hot topics were discussed, what PR pros should be paying attention to, and why PRTech is proving to a defining force in 2015?

Of course you are.

Below is a taste of the juicy chat tidbits as well as a few takeaways guaranteed to take your work to the next level.

Let’s get after it…

PR bright futureOn the importance of measuring PR:

  • “Understanding [PR] performance let’s you enhance, iterate.” – Julie Diaz-Asper
  • “If we want a seat at the ‘grown ups table’ we have to earn it via metrics.” – David Rockland
  • “We cannot say ‘PR drives bottom line’ and not embrace measurement. Either we’re integral or peripheral to business.” – John Friedman

In case it wasn’t clear from the astute observations above, PR measurement is a non negotiable. Proper measurement helps us optimize and improve, while clearly demonstrating the value PR. In regards to PR measurement, let’s make a pact here and now: We vow to be practical, produce great work, and measure our asses off. How about you?

Continue reading…

The myth of DIY PR (and why I yelled at Inc.com)

There are two particular things in life that make my blood boil to a point where I actually start having hallucinations:

#1 – People who can’t commit to anything fully and who often use words like “try” “should” “possibly” and “maybe”. Sometimes in the same sentence. These folks couldn’t stay in a relationship if they were chained to a bed and couldn’t make a business successful if they were handed $100 Million on a silver platter. Note: stay away from these types of people if you ever want to have sanity in your life.

Example phrase – often in the form of a text message: Oh, I am really going to try to make it for sure. I should possibly know maybe by like Friday. TTYL. LOL.

#2 – This second point is perhaps less personally annoying and just more generally, no completely, unacceptable: people who talk about things of which they have little insight or expertise but simply because they have seen it done or experienced it on some level they believe they are experts.

For example:

Exhibit A: Someone who has been divorced 5 times giving relationship advice to her 25 year-old daughter. This conversation can be overheard in places like, oh say, Beverly Hills, almost on a regular basis.

Exhibit B: Someone who has never actually started a business giving advice to an entrepreneur about how they should run their business. This also, ironically, tends to happen in places like Beverly Hills. And pretty much every other place on the planet.

Exhibit C: A Sales and Marketing blogger writing a grammatically incorrect and misleading article about Do-it-Yourself PR on Inc.com of all places. [And thank you Meredith Fineman for bringing it to my attention with this email subject line which pretty much sums it up: “head –> desk.”] Continue reading…

PR, the psychologist meet Advertising, the dentist

I’m a big, big fan of personification. Huge. So much so that sometimes I mistake my mother for an actual hen or my friend Tom, as alluded to here, as the discipline of public relations. This habitual form of self-entertainment and creative process is rivaled only by my fanship of satire, as can be seen, oh say, here.

My belief is that the personification bit happens often for one of two reasons:

A. I’m cray. #highlylikely

B. It’s the easiest way for my brain to understand extremely abstract concepts. #alsohighlylikely

After having spent an entire day reviewing and thinking about PR Measurement followed by getting mouth-maimed by an exceedingly chatty dentist, I had a light bulb moment: PR can be thought of as an engagement with a psychologist, and Advertising can be thought of as a visit to the dentist.

The former is a two-way conversational process that can often take months and years to finally take effect. The outcomes in behavioral change vary from “marginally functioning adult still caught up in narcissistic tendencies” to “highly functioning adult able to get through the day without feeling like a loser.”

The latter is a one-way ticket to conversational hell whose goal is clear (as painful as the getting there may be): clean teeth and healthy gums. The sale is direct, and you know what you’re getting. They may serve it up to you differently, but the tools are all relatively the same, the process is the same, and the outcome is “measurable.”

Why is this an interesting personification topic of discussion?

Well, for starters, the past several years have been spent attempting to dislodge the use of AVE’s (Advertising Value Equivalency) as a valid PR measurement tool. In fact, the recently released Nasdaq/Ragan survey of 1,467 PR pros reported that (with regard to “problems with measurement”): “32% believe PR pros measure the wrong things,” while 22% liked the answer, “Are we still talking about AVEs?!”

Another respondent was decidedly candid: “AVE is total BS, like comparing baseball to the Kentucky Derby.”

Or a psychologist to a dentist. Continue reading…