Why relationships are key for growing your business and why brands should target a stupid majority to attract the active support of a smart minority.
How to say something useful about PR on TEDx?
Since PR is such a powerful tool for changing the game for many organizations, I wanted to share a recipe for PR success.
I wanted to talk about the importance of identifying a stupid majority to ensure your community’s engagement1.
Now, most organizations hesitate because this kind of thinking will require standing up to a powerful majority:
“But what if we make some people angry?”
— Well, what if you don’t?
Brave brands who dare to take a stand together with a smart minority can expect a loyal and highly engaged following. I also talk about eggs and bacon for breakfast, torches of freedom, and why rock stars sometimes get naked.
A formula on how to succeed with an underdog PR strategy for your business — by identifying a stupid majority.
We all know the story.
Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior, was defeated by the young David, who would later go on to become the king of Israel. David, being inferior in size and combat experience, used a slingshot to defeat the mighty Goliath from a distance:
Instead of fighting Goliath on his terms (strength and power), he used his advantages (speed and accuracy).
The legend endures since we find comfort in knowing that the strongest doesn’t always win. Now, the underdog strategy isn’t just useful for fighting; over and over again, it has proven useful when it comes to PR as well.
Here’s how you can use the underdog PR strategy for your business:
We need to talk about your broken relationship with PR.
Journalism, as we know it, is going to hell in a handbasket.
It’s serious, of course. Journalism is the Fourth Estate, and we all depend on the freedom of the press and its willingness to tell important stories.
Communication as a profession, on the other hand, is doing just fine. The media logic is constantly evolving, and so are we. Obviously, there’s going to be some friction as communications and journalism sometimes overlap. Against such a backdrop, let me pose this rather naïve question:
Is there a way for journalism to let go of the idea that PR is a problem and instead focus 100% on finding new solutions to their problems?
The annoying corporate habit of mindlessly promoting irrelevant press releases with unclear call-to-actions.
“The press release is dead,” some say.
Well, calm down.
Businesses will have to issue official statements to the general public in the future, too. Neatly packaged information (aka “content marketing”) is great, but businesses must also keep their audience up to speed with what’s going on.
However, there are two common PR practices for press releases that drive me crazy.
I plead with you, communication professionals of the world, please stop doing this:
Don’t stare yourself blind on trying to reach more people, because it always begins with just one happy customer.
Originally published on Idea Hunt.
Why is it good to be a “contrarian thinker” in PR?
With limited resources, new ventures must focus their marketing efforts. Growth hackers are wisely targeting one ‘low-hanging fruit’ after another to maximize momentum.
Entrepreneurs are building their MVPs (minimum viable products), testing for product/market fit, and when they have it, they scale using various growth tactics.
All good things, of course. And that’s how most startups are doing it.
So, why might it be a good idea to do the opposite?
What makes some brands so explosively exciting? And how can you replicate this 'explosiveness' for your business?
Some brands are just explosive.
- What makes these brands so exciting?
- Can you replicate their formula for your business?
As a professional spin doctor, I often get contacted by brands who wants to make a huge splash; they might fancy the idea of inbound communications, but building a community one person at the time takes too long, they argue.
They don’t have the luxury of time and can’t just focus on long-term relationships in their marketing. They must go big — or go home.
In short, they need some PR dynamite. So what’s the recipe for it?
Many leaders, politicians, and communication professionals invest in media training. However, many mistakes are being made over and over. Here's how to avoid them.
Over the years, I’ve must’ve done between 50-60 media training sessions with corporate- or political spokespersons.
Standing in front of a camera or a microphone can be stressful for anyone, especially if you’re facing a crisis. Therefore, many leaders, politicians, and communication professionals invest in media training.
Still, many have expressed their concerns about corporate media training in general. They say:
“You can always spot a media trained person. They talk and act like assholes. Honestly, I don’t see the point in whatever guys like you are teaching these people.”
Talking with reporters, especially in tense situations, is difficult. What official spokespersons often do, is that they take what advice they’ve been given, and they take it too far.
Here’s how this happens (and how to avoid it):
Can there be a unifying definition of PR? This is the story about the difficulties of finding that definition.
Someone once tried to count all definitions of PR:
They allegedly gave up after obtaining over 2,000+ different ones.
My vanity forces me to add to this already long list, so I had to create a PR definition of my own:
In this post, I’ll explain in-depth how organisations structure their PR work, what PR does and where it comes from:
I’ll answer the question, what is PR?
Getting traction for a bootstrapped startup can be tough. I've put together a startup roadmap for accelerated PR in a four-step process, including workshop material and spreadsheets.
Doing PR for startups is a special challenge — and a challenge very close to my heart.
Their enthusiasm and naiveté are both mesmerising and contagious and there’s something very special about spending time with people who are taking huge risks to fulfil their dreams.
But working with startups is also risky business for the advisor, which makes it difficult for me to take on more than one or two at the time. Most startups go under and many struggles financially. Many startups are also inexperienced when it comes to working with advisors and agencies.
In short, there’s no way for me to help as many startups as I would like to. And that’s why I decided to write this post, to help startups to get their PR strategy sorted out — despite being bootstrapped and fighting the odds.
Here we go:
Do you know of Lindsey Stirling? Lindsey Stirling is the self-made dubstep violinist who’s absolutely killing it on Youtube with her unique blend of fantasy, dubstep and classical music. The story is that she tried to get herself signed with a record label back in 2007, but they all refused her. I guess they thought […]
Do you know of Lindsey Stirling?
Lindsey Stirling is the self-made dubstep violinist who’s absolutely killing it on Youtube with her unique blend of fantasy, dubstep and classical music.
The story is that she tried to get herself signed with a record label back in 2007, but they all refused her. I guess they thought that fantasy dubstep violinists are too small of a niche to be commercially viable? Either that or they just didn’t find her sound and talent appealing enough.
As I’m writing this, her song Crystallize boasts 132,000,000+ views on Youtube and record labels are now desperate to sign her. But she keeps doing her thing — without any support from the copyright industry. And that’s good for her.
But more importantly, Lindsey Stirling’s success is teaching us several valuable PR lessons:
What exactly falls under the jurisdiction of a community manager? Here, I've outlined a typical job description for the growing profession.
‘Community Manager’ is an increasingly popular job title.
I think of the community manager as a classical conductor, dedicated to showing the online community (the orchestra) how to get in sync, never through force or coercion, but by using the magical powers of suggestion alone. It’s an important job, to put it mildly.
But what exactly is the role of a community manager? And what does a community manager do?
Imagine two guys. They live in the same place, they have similar jobs, they drive comparable cars and they have matching family constellations and socio-economic backgrounds. They’re both Average Joes. Now, will you reach both of them through the same media channels? In corporate communication, how we group people is often referred to as ‘segmentation’. And […]
Imagine two guys.
They live in the same place, they have similar jobs, they drive comparable cars and they have matching family constellations and socio-economic backgrounds.
They’re both Average Joes.
Now, will you reach both of them through the same media channels?
In corporate communication, how we group people is often referred to as ‘segmentation’. And how you segment your market is important. In fact, your success depends on it.
But we must stop grouping people on a basis of their age, gender and location. We must find our way back to the ‘publics’ in public relations.
Here’s why (and how):
Examples of how to write blogger outreach emails that will get influencers interested in your pitch. Anyone can use this simple script.
How to write a blogger outreach email? Is there a science to it?
Well, I don’t recommend using ready-to-go scripts. As a blogger, somehow you can always feel when someone’s pitching you cold with a generic copy&paste template. It’s a lot of work, but I recommend you write individual emails. It’s worth the effort.
However, a little structure is often a good idea.
It's time for PR in Sweden to embrace the fact that the Swedish social media usage has surpassed our traditional news media consumption.
It’s time for traditional PR to act.
It’s time for all of us to embrace the fact that we now consume more social media than news media, according to a recent study.
One could also argue that people are more interactive and more two-way communicative in social networks compared to when they consume traditional one-way mass media.
“Social media” is not a PR “add-on” anymore.
And PR must change now:
Good PR doesn't have to be so complicated. Here's a matrix to keep things straight.
Download your copy of Doctor Spin’s classic press release template here (zip bundle with Microsoft Word and Apple Pages template).
In 1906, near Gap, Pennsylvania, there was a train wreck that left more than 50 people dead.
The accident was, of course, a tragedy for everyone involved, but potentially also a disaster for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They retained one of the first PR agencies, Parker & Lee. The agency had been founded only a year before the accident in 1905 as the third PR agency in the US.
One of the founders, the legendary PR professional Ivy Lee, wanted to help the Pennsylvania Railroad, his first major client, to get the right story out, so he crafted the first ever press release. And rather than trying to suppress the story, which was common practice at this time, he invited the press to the scene. In spite of the unfortunate accident, the Pennsylvania Railroad got good press coverage (Cutlip, 1994).
Keeping the press (and the public) up to date with an official statement is still something we at times need to do. So how do you write a press release?
Well, I’ve got a classic press release sample for you.