A few weeks ago I conducted an exclusive interview with two of LinkedIn’s leading tech ladies, Sarah Clatterbuck and Erica Lockheimer, alongside PR Manager Kenly Walker. We talked about everything from how to ensure your LinkedIn connections aren’t aware of your stalking habits, to how the company’s “women in tech” initiatives are setting an example […]
In PR, an industry largely driven by the female constituency, there are two distinct camps: the mean girls and the nice girls. The “PR mean girl” is not a stereotype – it’s a living, breathing, actual creature. And it totally sucks.
When I shifted into the tech side of PR, I needed to know who my advocates would be…because they were (and are) the ones who would support us in moving the proverbial PR needle.
Before we launched our second product, I asked my former colleague, Kelly Byrd, to give me her Top 10 list of PR nice girls – because our first product had surfaced the mean girls, and I wanted to arm myself with “reinforcements”.
At the top of her list?
A very talented, beautiful, kind, and extremely intelligent gal by the name of Deidre Breakenridge. In addition to being the CEO of Pure Performance Communications, she co-founded #PRStudChat and is the author of five (YES FIVE!) PR and social media focused books.
If it’s not obvious by the following interview I conducted with her a few weeks ago, I have a serious serious serious #nicegirlcrush on this woman.
And I imagine you will too…
Rebekah Iliff: You have been at the forefront during the convergence of marketing and technology. What are the 3 biggest things in your opinion that have changed over the last decade due to this fusion?
Deirdre Breakenridge: We’ve experienced so many changes over the past 10 years, but here are the top three that come to mind as a turning point in our communications:
Randi Zuckerberg’s ascension to the “voice of reason” in our fast-paced, digitally-enhanced, technology-connected age couldn’t have come at a better time.
In her recently launched book Dot Complicated, Randi addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time, how to put up boundaries around technology, and essentially build a life that is tech-interdependent.
Bonus about Randi: She’s about as sweet as they come and totally sincere in her mission to enforce positive tech role modeling. However, she does have a lil’ sass. Love.
My favorite quote ever came during Dell World 2013 a few weeks ago while she was doing an interview with Moira Forbes.
When asked how she responded to Mark when he first wanted to bring her into “The Facebook” fold:
“Why would I want to work for your stupid, little startup?”
From Facebook to the frontlines of untangling our wired lives, here are some seriously useful insights and thoughts from Ms. Zuckerberg…
Rebekah Iliff: If the core of a person’s life is a narrative, should this be true for businesses and how would an industry like PR support this?
Randi Zuckerberg: In this day and age, a business absolutely needs a narrative to succeed. As social media and an online presence becomes an increasingly integral part of the marketing plan for any business, companies have to fine-tune their persona and voice to fit the story they are promoting for their business. The businesses that are transparent and authentic are the ones that will draw (and keep) the most loyal consumers. An important role for PR is to encourage clients to really be thoughtful about how they present their brand to the world via social media and general online presence.
RI: You talk about a couple of “crisis comms” situations, both personal and professional, in your book. Are situations like these something you should tackle alone or is it important to have support? (*cough cough..PR)
RZ: Today, the lines are blurred between personal and professional crisis comms. Thanks to social media, every employee (from intern to executive) reflects and adds to the reputation of their firm. That’s why we need to always be careful of what we post online, even to our personal networks. For personal crises, it’s fine to handle them on your own, or with the advice of friends and family. The moment it implicates your company, however, it’s a good idea to have the support of a PR team. Also, make sure to train your employees to proactively communicate with customers, instead of waiting to act reactively after a crisis occurs. Continue reading…
In light of the holiday last week, we decided to forego sending out an email, which would have likely clogged your overflowing Inbox. So, post Labor Day, and much to your non-white-wearing delight, we bring you a Double Feature blog post. In said post, we will (at my expense) explore feeling like a total A-hole […]
As a continuation of last week’s post, where PR renegade Shaun Saunders interviewed Murray Newlands, and leading up to next week’s PR Summit in San Francisco, I present an entertaining conversation with Greg Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media (creator of Muck Rack and the Shorty Awards).
Greg is one of those guys we can all learn a lot from; in terms of just normal human being-ness…he’s pleasant and unassuming but not afraid to ruffle feathers. It’s a fine balance, but he does it with extreme adeptness. In this interview he talks about the future of PR, what journalists like, and that little thing called Twitter. P.S. He will be speaking at PR Summit next week!
Rebekah Iliff: What was the impetus behind Muck Rack, and how’s it going?
Greg Galant: When we created the Shorty Awards in late 2008, we were surprised by how many journalists were using Twitter to do their jobs. We had inbound press requests from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC and many more. At the ceremony our pressroom was filled with over 60 journalists. We ran out of drinks for them.
So we learned journalists like to tweet and they like to drink. We thought we could help with the former desire. In April 2009 we [Sawhorse Media] launched Muck Rack as the first place to find journalists on social media. After we saw its popularity, we re-launched in late 2011 as a full-fledged social network for journalists and introduced Muck Rack Pro to help companies get more press.
We’ve got over 15,000 journalists on Muck Rack. Most of the top PR firms and many Fortune 500 companies are using Muck Rack Pro, in addition are many “growth stage” companies including Hubspot and Hootsuite. We also have many tiny startups using it to scale their PR efforts.
RI: How has the PR role changed since the days of Steve Jobs (i.e. needing to know 4-5 journalists to get your story out)?
GG: Three big things have changed in media:
#1 – There are many more outlets that matter.
#2 – Journalists change jobs and beats more frequently.
#3 – You can find and build relationships with journalists using social media.
The first two make life harder for PR pros, but the third is a huge opportunity most people in PR are still not taking advantage of, in my opinion.
RI: Talk about the concept of “Slow PR” – what does it mean, and why does it deserve lip service?
GG: Much of the PR industry has devolved into writing stale press releases and emailing it en masse (i.e. spamming) to hundreds of journalists. Emailing lots of journalists the same thing seemingly doesn’t have a cost. But it’s not very effective. And in the long term there’s a big cost to your reputation.
Slow PR is about using social media to heavily research which journalist you should connect with, building relationships and sending focused pitches – over time. Continue reading…
Ahhh, post-holiday brain mush. ‘Tis going to be a fun week. The past few weeks I’ve been torturing enlightening you with media relations best practices. Or shall we say “arguably” best practices, because they are and always will be up for argument. That is, until PR becomes the equivalent of performing a root canal. There’s only […]
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