Author Archives: Eric Fischgrund

Zack joins FischTank to support client media relations

Welcome! Zachary Pollack Joins FischTank Marketing and PR for a Summer Internship

Please join FischTank Marketing and PR in welcome Zachary Pollack  to its summer internship program! In Part Two of this thrilling two part series, FischTank founder Eric Fischgrund sits down with Zachary for an exclusive Q&A.

Zach, we are thrilled to have you at FischTank! Tell us a little about yourself, where do you go to school?

I’m current a junior at the University of Tampa

Good stuff! What is your area of study?

I’m majoring in Marketing, with a minor in sports management.

Ambitious! What do you like most about communications and marketing?

I enjoy being able to communicate as opposed to being sectioned off in a cubicle. I like to move around and see other people as well as talk on the phone and share thoughts and ideas. I love marketing because of its creative side. Being able to figure out demographics and target segments of consumers is very interesting, and I enjoy the challenge of working through how everyone can be so different yet share many common interests.

Very nice, marketing to various audiences sure is complex. I wish there was a simple answer. What industries interest you?

The sports industry is where I would like to be, specifically as a sports marketing executive hopefully one day working for an arena such as MSG (NY) or Amelie Arena (FL).

I’m a Philadelphia sports fan myself, but I’ll let that comment about MSG slide today. What are your favorite sports and teams?

I’m a big baseball fan and dedicate my love for the sport to the New York Yankees since 1996. Basketball is my second favorite sport and sadly have to say the New York Knicks. I also enjoy the PGA.

Baseball had a significant impact on my childhood as well. What about music? Who are your favorite bands/musicians?

I enjoy R&B hip hop but band-wise, I would have to go with Cage the Elephant.

Very nice. Last question for you Zack — share some hobbies with us.

I enjoy exploring Florida’s vast aquatic lands, my passion for music and instrumentals, and eating food from different cultures.

A true Public Relations Professional.

Meet the newest Fisch in the Tank: Intern Jennifer Latchford

This summer, FischTank has been fortunate to have two awesome interns join our team. In Part One of a dynamic two part series of hard-hitting interview style conducted by Eric Fischgrund, please meet Jennifer Latchford:

Jen, it’s great to meet you. Prior to joining FischTank, where did you go to school?

I graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in May

Wow, it’s great to have someone from the awesome state of Pennsylvania. What was your major?

My major is communication studies

That’s great, Communications was my area of study at Shippensburg University. Why are you interested in this field?

I have been interested in public relations and marketing because it’s very exciting to be a part of setting plans up for our clients to ensure success for their companies. I enjoy being able to see how one interaction with a company can open so many doors professionally.

Great answer, and I really appreciate that you emphasized the importance of generating success for our clients! More specifically, what industries interest you?

The entertainment industry has always been my main interest, one day I hope to work as a publicist or as a manager for a public figure involved in the media.

Good to know! I guess FischTank needs to work with more celebrities, although we are fortunate to do so with a few. Who is your favorite journalist?

Well I don’t really have a favorite journalist…I appreciate a sense of humor, but other than that I will read just about anything…back of shampoo bottles included.

Hmm, shampoo bottles. That’s a little weird but America is a free country. Music is important to everyone at FischTank — who is your favorite band/musician?

I don’t have a particular band I am a fan of either, but genre wise I LOVE country music.

Country music? You have a bright future here! Last question, then we’ll get you get back to work. What are some of your interests outside of communications and country music?

I am very outdoorsy-I like to hike, camp, kayak, etc.

PR and Digital Firm

Grow by Letting Go

One of the ways FischTank has been able to grow is relatively simple — hire smart professionals who can take certain responsibilities and weaknesses off your hands.

Stepping back for a moment to share an example. As a marketer/communicator, writing is one of my few more effective skillsets. Comparatively, numbers often pose a significant challenge for me. Although the books were getting done, invoices were going out, and taxes were being paid — handling accounting for FischTank was a tremendous time suck, and was getting in the way of my ability to execute other initiatives such as client services and business development.

As we’ve scaled FischTank, my partner and I have made great efforts to hire a team that provides solutions. Naturally, this includes the accountant/bookkeeper who maintains invoicing and expenses in QuickBooks, coordinates payroll, and pays our taxes. It also includes the team in our office that now handles all facets of what we do for our clients — account management, reporting, writing, research, media outreach, website audits, social media strategies, and other marketing and public relations components.

If you’re a CEO reading this and nodding along — I encourage you to apply the same thinking to your marketing and communications efforts. Perhaps you’re putting off blogging until next week? Do you see your competitors continue to receive media coverage and wonder why the press isn’t writing about you? What are you doing to maintain some form of a digital media presence? Is your website acceptable or lacking updates? Where do you begin when writing a press release? Home come you aren’t using e-mail marketing?

Certainly many of you have asked one of these very questions. Some of you may find more than one example familiar. Perhaps many of you have suggested handling your company’s marketing and media efforts on your own. If so, best of luck and I’m sure you’ll do great. The question is — at what cost to yourself?

Marketing and Public Relations

Content writing and specialized writers are in high demand

It’s no secret — traditional media outlets like newspapers and magazines are cost cutting, utilizing syndicated content to publish news on their websites. While this may present a difficulty in attaining coverage, with space to fill, the opportunity grows for contributed content provided by “thought leaders” – executives from individuals, businesses, and organizations.

In addition to media in general, public relations has been forever changed by the Internet. Google and other search engines make online content important not only to control, but to continue adding to. Then social media changed everything when social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn began ranking high on online search. Now, it is equally important to maintain content on a social page as it is your own website!

These changes to the media itself and the increased importance placed on content is why content writing, and more specifically, specialized content writers, are about to be a premium. With smart companies everywhere committing to public relations strategies that incorporate social media, thought leadership, e-mail marketing, press releases and more, the need for content has grown exponentially. Now the very same writers who five years ago were writing for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are transitioning to the business side and driving smart content for brands. PR agencies have taken note, acquiring content firms and those who know how to execute on the digital side.

This is why 2017 and moving forward will be a big year for those talented with a pen.

FischTank Public Relations

FischTank Marketing and PR is Hiring at Various Professional Levels

FischTank is seeking individuals with anywhere from two to ten (2-10) years’ public relations experience, with a focus on media outreach and account management. The titles of Account Manager and Account Director are best suited for a team player who appreciates working in an up tempo, positive company culture.

Work is autonomous, proactive, and as minimally administrative as possible. FischTank prides itself upon being results oriented on behalf of its clients. Core client industries include clean technology (sustainability), marketing and business technology solutions, non-profits, financial services, biotech, and professional services.

FischTank possesses a strong company culture, frequently providing team lunches and happy hours, educational seminars and resources, and more.

Please apply by e-mailing careers@fischtankpr.com 

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Media relations
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience with relevant PR tools (Cision/HootSuite/etc.)
  • Positive attitude
  • Story identification skills
  • Familiarity with top tier and trade media
  • Works well with a team
  • Media results

About FischTank

FischTank Marketing and PR is a full-service communications and marketing firm serving clients spanning various industries including but not limited to clean technology, business and marketing technologies, marketing/ad tech, emerging technology, real estate, and non-profits. Incorporating an integrated strategy consisting of public relations, SEM/SEO, digital/social media, copywriting, and outbound marketing, FischTank helps clients amplify their message with results that impact their bottom line.

Public relations and marketing

Has Media Relations and Content Marketing Replaced SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is defined by Webopedia as the methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

Many early SEO tactics are often referred to as the Wild West of internet marketing. Those of us in the business ten years ago recall black text on black backgrounds, duplicate websites, a barrage of low quality press releases, keyword stuffing, and many other tactics that quite honestly, worked.

That is, until Google the sheriffs of internet search decided to change their algorithms and penalize websites (and the companies, organizations, and individuals who built them) for executing “black hat SEO” tactics designed to manipulate search engine results.

As such, many SEO firms and internet marketing professionals have disappeared, and a new crop of digital marketing professionals and firms have emerged.

FischTank has received an influx of requests from B2C and B2B companies, non-profits, individuals, and other organizations that are looking for the right way to increase not only their position in online search within their respective industries, but to also find ways to strengthen their online reputation (ORM). These companies are slowly moving away from “quick fixes” and old SEO/ORM tactics, and seeking efforts that generate long-term, high quality results for their brand. A few effective strategies to review include:

  • Media relations, the practice of engaging editorial, third-party media entities, represents an effective tactic for driving SEO results. The reason is simple — media sites generally receive significant online traffic. A business themselves, media platforms via publishers, advertisers, and journalists do their best to publish strong content (with even stronger headlines) that drive users to their website. By sharing announcements and providing expert commentary, companies are able to gain inclusion in these stories, often with a hyperlink, which builds their respective positions with search engines.
  • Content marketing appears in many forms. The easiest first step is to develop a content calendar for self-published content such as press releases, blog posts, white papers, and case studies. Sharing these pieces on social media and within networks relevant to one’s industry often results in click-throughs to the website, increasing site traffic and rankings for the URL of which it’s hosted.

A more advanced form of content marketing is creating content to be published elsewhere, generally by third-party media or affiliated websites. For example, a company could draft a 500-700 article on something relevant to their sector, then share it with a trade publication within that industry. 99% of the time, that third-party media platform (or affiliated organization) will publish the article as a byline and attribute it with a URL to the individual and company that created it.

  • Social media. Perhaps the easiest of these three ideas to execute, creating social platforms and posting on a regular basis are almost guarantees to rank on the first page of search engine results. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all high quality platforms that, when content is published to and receives even minimal engagement, easily outrank mundane online results for a search for a company, organization, or individual.

Yes, these ideas may be easier said than done. In order to execute, companies seeking improvements to their online search results must identify marketing/PR firms or individuals that understand quality content. It is wise to seek firms that possess existing relationships with journalists, are strong writers themselves, and can execute social media tactics on a regular basis, not some “set it and forget it” approach.

Avoid anyone who promises a quick fix, and create a long-term strategy that ensures online searches for you and/or your brand reflect and present the best of what you do.

To learn more about how FischTank may be able to help your brand, please contact the team at info@fischtankpr.com 

What is Public Relations, Really?

This op-ed was originally published for Bulldog Reporter on January 12, 2016.***

In 2011-2012, The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) conducted a crowdsourcing campaign to effectively boil down the definition of public relations into a clear, modern message:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Really?

Public relations is a component of an integrated communications strategy.

This graphic seems to do a pretty good job.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing incorrect or outdated about the message you just read. It’s much better than I, or most, can do, and I consider it to be very accurate.

However – how many PR professionals would echo this sentiment? The same question must be asked of potential new clients – how do they define PR? Intuition and experience tell me that they wouldn’t come up with something so accurate either.

Let’s start with those working within the PR business, we all know there are quite many of us. Short of conducting a survey, I’ll just have to use my imagination:

  • “It’s getting my clients in the media.”
  • “Media exposure so people are aware of my client and their expertise/services.”
  • “Sharing my client’s story with the public.”
  • “Improving my client’s image and reputation.”

I stopped after four because it was repetitive, but I believe one could go on for another 20 minutes and a) use the word media several times as I did; b) continue to be repetitive; and c) still not fully comprehend the difference between action and objectives.

This, finally, brings me to my point. Public Relations service, one I consider to fall within and be a function of overarching Marketing and Communications practices – misses the boat when it comes to aligning a client’s goals and its own PR strategy. Instead, we’re left with many PR professionals (misguided by leadership) that are looking to force client inclusion in stories that don’t benefit (a key buzzword from the PRSA definition) the company they are paid to effectively represent. Most call this fitting a square peg into a round hole – many PR pros just call it a Thursday. This is why we see articles from reporters up in arms over misguided and mass-blasted media outreach, as noted here, here, and here.

But no, this is not another article blasting PR professionals. Perhaps there are two sides to this issue, and the other is the client only articulating the outcome they want from PR efforts, and believing PR and PR alone will get it done. Will PR boost their stock price? Generate new leads? Maintain brand equity? Improve recruiting efforts?

These are all possible! If a Company hires a firm who immediately generates media results in some of the right publications, how can you fault the relationship? Easy – the job isn’t done. Re-read the definition once more, and if you have time – read the entire short page of content. The word “media” doesn’t appear once. That’s because media outreach is in fact only a component of an effective public relations campaign.

In my humble opinion, there are many boxes that need to be checked in a sound PR strategy, including but not limited to:

  • First and foremost, defining a message is key. Take the time to do it early, and do it right.
  • It is time for PR firms to embrace digital marketing efforts. No, I’m not just talking about social. E-mail campaigns customized to each client’s needs are paramount. While most of a client’s audience will actually miss that awesome WSJ mention, anywhere from 20%-40% will catch it if you take the time to cultivate e-mail lists and send a timely, professional e-mail following the media relations coup.
  • Event attendance. Many companies struggle to pinpoint where to find their audience. Tradeshows, conferences, etc. are a good place to start. Forget sponsorship, purchase two passes and fight for the attendee contact list (see bullet two).
  • Web analytics. Please tell me you are paying attention to where your customers are coming from, and where they’re leaving your website?
  • Content is king. Yes, old saying but it still rings true. Write good content, attract smart people.

There are many more, but remember – they are resources and options, not requirements, for every campaign. The takeaway here is short and simple. To strengthen “relationships between organizations and their publics” – both the PR industry and their clients need to stop believing media relations and public relations are one in the same, and start building a more encompassing marketing and communications strategy.

 

PR Account Manager in NYC

FischTank is Hiring: Public Relations Professional

FischTank is seeking an individual with 2 – 5 years public relations experience, with a focus on media outreach and account management. The role of Account Manager or Account Director is best suited for a team player who appreciates working in an up tempo, positive company culture.

Work is autonomous, proactive, and as minimally administrative as possible. FischTank prides itself upon being results oriented on behalf of its clients. Core client industries include clean technology (sustainability), marketing and business technology solutions, non-profits, and professional services.

FischTank possesses a strong company culture, frequently providing team lunches and happy hours, educational seminars and resources, and more.

Please apply by e-mailing careers@fischtankpr.com 

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Media relations
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience with relevant PR tools (Cision/HootSuite/Meltwater)
  • Positive attitude
  • Story identification skills
  • Familiarity with top tier and trade media
  • Works well with a team
  • Media results

About FischTank

FischTank Marketing and PR is a full-service communications and marketing firm serving clients spanning various industries including but not limited to clean technology, business and marketing technologies, marketing/ad tech, emerging technology, real estate, and non-profits. Incorporating an integrated strategy consisting of public relations, SEM/SEO, digital/social media, copywriting, and outbound marketing, FischTank helps clients amplify their message with results that impact their bottom line.

FischTank Joins SITO Mobile Bell Nasdaq Bell Ringing Ceremony

FischTank leadership was fortunate enough to be asked by client SITO Mobile to join them during their bell ringing ceremony, as they uplisted to the Nasdaq Capital Market last week. SITO CEO Jerry Hug provided opening remarks from the heart, as expected, and plenty of fun photos were taken.

A special thank you to the teams from IRTH Communications and Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference, among others, for all of their hard work during during the process. For more information on SITO Mobile, a leading mobile engagement platform provider, please visit their website: http://sitomobile.com/ or follow them on Twitter @SITO_Mobile 

FischTank client SITO Mobile is a leading mobile engagement platform provider

Eric Fischgrund and Matt Bretzius attend SITO Mobile’s Nasdaq bell-ringing ceremony