Adam Singer on analytics, PR success and Jack Bauer

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”

AS rant

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”

AS SFM

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.

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Communications-Marketing

For all the time, effort, money, resources, brainpower (shall I also mention frustration and coffee?) put into defining PR, I have come to believe it boils down to one thing.

Well, technically two: relationships and communication.

More specifically, the PR model may be best understood in the context of “relationship marketing” and (as Richard Edelman recently alluded to) “communications marketing.”

[If you are having a “No shit” moment, I apologize. Please do redirect yourself here immediately for a better use of your time.]

This first aspect, relationship marketing, deals with the more traditional aspects of PR including the ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with media and influencers; and perhaps even open doors to potential partners and large-scale customers. This is not a learned skill, like writing a press release or creating a media list. It’s the application of emotional intelligence to solving a problem: where the solution begs a fundamental, if not fully developed, understanding of what makes relationships tick. Furthermore, once the relationship is established, it requires insight into how to go about serving the need of the end receiver.

Let me be more unambiguous…

Lindsey is a relationship marketing professional working at a PR firm. Rebecca is a journalist working for a major publication. Lindsey has an established relationship with Rebecca based on years of feeding her good information, ideating story ideas that her audience will enjoy, and let’s not forget that VIP invite to a Google Glass event. Rebecca (the receiver) trusts Lindsey (the giver) because, well frankly, she just “gets it.”

This is what separates true PR from PR running around in a tactics drag.

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4th-of-july

While everyone else is off drinking beer and eating hot dogs, overachieving startups like us are busy working. Well…working and culling together useless pieces of information for your entertainment.

Why are we doing this, you might ask?

It could be because we’re a self-proclaimed bunch of weirdos. Or it could be because no one gives a rat’s ass about anything anyone says for the rest of this week (helloooooooo, I have much more important things to think about, like sparklers and BBQ).

But really, it’s to amuse ourselves while we fantasize about an extra day off. Especially our Chief Architect, Patrick, who is wearing the same clothes today as he was wearing yesterday – much to our surprise this morning – because he was here all night. Working. And probably thinking about fireworks.

Without further ado, we bring you 4 things you really didn’t need to know, but now you do know.

1.  When you yawn and stretch at the time, you are “pandiculating.”

Yawn Stretch

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PR Event Wrap Up

Last week was a whirlwind of PR awesomeness. We had the pleasure of attending the 5th annual PR Summit in San Francisco (thank you Shaun Saunders), the Publicity Club of New York’s New Media Influencers Luncheon (thank you Peter Himler), and the first round of AirPR’s PRTech Awards in NYC (thank you Mediabistro and Porter Gale).

Curious about what hot topics are being discussed across the country by PR pros, media, marketers, and technologists alike?

Of course you are.

Below you will find three PR trends that permeated every event, oh-so-tweet-worthy PR tidbits, and the individuals leading the PRTech evolution that should definitely be on your radar.

Let’s kick it off with the trends, shall we?

#1 – Data must be used to drive marketing and PR decisions

No longer can PR rely on purely anecdotal or observed data. For the first time ever, companies and publishers have insights into what is working in terms of content and messages and PR professionals across the globe are now required to use data to drive and optimize their efforts.

#2 – The role of PR is finally getting the credit it deserves due to technological innovation

The lines are blurring between social, content, media relations, media buying, and analytics with PR assuming more responsibility in all of these areas. PR is breaking out of its silo and establishing itself as one of the most important layers in any organization. Technology and measurement is helping cement PR’s seat the table as a key business driver and decision maker.

#3 – Social, content, and measurement are the 3 elements shaping the future of the PR

This trifecta demands that PR rock at the intersection of the strategic insight and creative thought. From social and blogging, to partnerships, thought leadership, contributory writing and beyond, PR pros must create relevant communication in real time and ensure all pieces of content marketing are connected, supportive and of course, driven by data.

And now, in case you’re looking to quote bomb Twitter this week, we’ve got you covered.

From PR Summit in San Francisco

On content:

  • “To better relate to people…Write an amazing story first and then fit your company in later.” - John Rampton
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Start with the “Why?” not the “What?” - Jill Rowley
  • “We are programmed to pay attention to things that violate our expectations.” - Ben Parr

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Queen of Measurement

When we first started speaking with our “circle of trust” over a year ago in preparation for our Analyst launch, one name came up over and over again:

Katie Delahaye Paine.

Known by many as the “Queen of Measurement” (#QOM), she has been in the PR biz forever and runs a successful consultancy focused on PR Measurement. She regularly speaks on the subject, and is tapped for expert opinion on the evolving PR landscape.

Take, for example, her recent shout out surrounding the Vocus-Cision merger.

Not to spoil the interview, but she will say things like: “I can only speculate that stupid people doing dumb things don’t want to be measured.”

Well, I couldn’t agree more. I would also add that people doing small things don’t want to be measured.

Oh, and this: “The big shift has been away from HITS – how idiots track success –  towards more meaningful business oriented metrics that are tied to web analytics or opinion shifts.”

Sassy, irreverent, and not afraid to speak her mind, we bring you an interview with #QOM which will likely make you that much smarter.

Read on for more #QOMisms. They are JUST. SO. GOOD.

Katie Delahaye Paine headshotRebekah Iliff: You’ve been a pioneer in the field of measurement for more than twenty years. What’s kept your metrics fire burning bright after all these years?

Katie Delahaye Paine: One of the core beliefs I learned early on in my career was that you have to love the people you work with. I have been privileged throughout my career to work with the smartest most innovative communications professionals in the business. I can only speculate that stupid people doing dumb things don’t want to be measured, but for whatever reason I love the people I get to work with, love solving their problems, and love the challenges, especially when they say “we’ve never been able to measure what we do” – because chances are good, I can figure out a way to measure it.

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