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NYC PR Firm

The FischTank Market and PR Team Picks its Favorite Holiday Songs

The holiday season has returned, and so too have the festive parties, good tidings, snowy sidewalks, NYC congestion, positive and informative conversations on social media, and of course — holiday music.

Like any other small business, FischTank likes to constantly argue music, and we are pretty confident that each of our opinions are the correct one. With that in mind, the FischTank Marketing and PR team presents their favorite songs of the season. Happy holidays all!

Fabricio Costa — Account Executive: Julian Casablancas – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

“I hold The Strokes very dear and they’ve always oddly but gratifyingly dropped new music around important dates in my life. This rendition of the SNL classic was in The Strokes’ vocalist Julian Casablancas’ debut album Phrases for the Young as a bonus track in 09 when I was a Junior in high school. Aside from featuring one of my all-time favorite vocalists, this cover did so well they actually did a live version of it on Jimmy Fallon’s late night show and Acura picked it up for a commercial that made that little synth jingle stuck in our heads throughout the entire holiday season.

Besides, who doesn’t wish it was Christmas today?”

Erin Hadden — Account Executive: Glenn Miller Orchestra: “Sleigh Ride

“I had to dig deep for my pick, but I finally landed on Glenn Miller Orchestra’s rendition of Sleigh Ride. Every year for as long as I can remember, my dad puts together his time-tested, critically-acclaimed mix of CDs to play during our extended Christmas festivities. This song is always the first track from the first CD he queues up. For this reason, it’s become the song that most strongly represents my family’s holiday traditions through the years.”

Kyle Evans — Account Manager: Bruce Springsteen: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town

“One of my favorite holiday songs is Bruce Springsteen’s performance of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” which might sound typical for a New Jersey native, but it’s mainly from being raised by two Springsteen fanatics.”

Katelyn Barone — Account Manager: “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” duet with Bing Crosby and David Bowie

“This is one of my favorite holiday songs because this was such an unlikely pairing that turned out to create a great Christmas duet. While I’m more familiar with David Bowie and have always been a fan, Bing Crosby is a classic especially around the holidays.”

Hilary Donnell — Account Director: “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues

“Fairytale of New York is one of my favorite Christmas songs because it’s more authentic than many of the songs we hear around the holidays, and reminds me of my dad, a major influence in my passion for music. Plus, the song would’ve never existed without Elvis Costello betting Shane MacGowan that couldn’t write a duet with bass player Cait O’Riordan. MacGowan did, then Elvis married her!”

Kate Caruso-Sharpe — Account Director: “Winter Wonderland / Here Comes Santa Claus” from the Pitch Perfect 2 Soundtrack

“While you’ll always find the classics like Mariah Carey and NSYNC on my holiday playlist, my favorite song as of late is “Winter Wonderland / Here Comes Santa Claus” from the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack. The Pitch Perfect series is a classic (at least in our house) and the mash-up between Anna Kendrick and Snoop Dogg is simply acca-awesome.”

Matt Bretzius — President: The Christmas Shoes” by New Song

“A young boy wants to buy a Christmas gift for his cancer-stricken mother. But once he reached the store, he did not have enough money for the ruby red Christmas shoes he had his heart set on. Thankfully a good samaritan (played by a young Rob Lowe, no less) steps up and purchases the shoes for the boy, who rushes home to place them on his mother’s feet just before she dies. It’s the consummate Christmas story. I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

Eric Fischgrund — Founder: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by James Taylor

“Yes, I chose the same song as Kyle Evans, but it’s for the right reason. Sorry New Jersey, but my artist is better:  JT > Bruce. This is my favorite holiday song because it was one of my favorite Christmas tunes as a kid, and James Taylor music always makes me think of my parents, who are big fans of his. JT was the first concert I ever attended, at age ten, with my parents and life long buddy Kyle Johnson.”

Seamgem

Marketing 101 for Equity Crowdfunding and Reg A+ Campaigns

Equity crowdfunding appears to represent a simple solution for businesses – both start up and firmly established – that are looking to raise money to fund their vision. By allowing investors (and fans of the brand) to invest in their company online, companies view this funding mechanism as a way to bypass banks, brokers, and toxic financers. You file significantly reduced SEC-paperwork, throw a website up, and wait for your offering to go viral. Once the internet does its thing and your hyperlink is shared by e-mail as well as endless Facebook and Twitter accounts, the raise will be complete and you can begin planning the listing of your IPO.

If this seems too easy and too good to be true, you’re right – it is.

Unfortunately, too many companies and individuals are being talked into this strategy without the appropriate background information, and as such, the results of poorly executed crowdfunding campaigns are much easier to find than the success stories.

But there are success stories that were made possible only because of those who adequately planned for them. Over the past year, I have spoken with at least 30 companies considering some form of equity crowdfunding (Regulation A+, Reg CF, 506c, testing the waters, etc.). One thing I am continuously surprised by are those who are unprepared to commence an online raise.

As such, here are some general tips for marketing an equity crowdfunding campaign:

  1. No two campaigns are alike. Like any marketing or communications initiative, no two companies are the same, and thus, no two crowdfunding campaigns should be executed the same way. The biggest mistake I see is thinking that a one-size-fits-all marketing approach that “worked really well in the past for another company and their raise” – will be successful. It won’t.

“Successful equity crowdfunding does require a great marketing plan executed by a creative marketing team,” said Kendall Almerico, CEO of Bankroll Ventures and one of the country’s leading experts on equity crowdfunding. “Coca Cola, Cadillac and Calvin Klein do not market their brands the same way. Equity crowdfunding companies must engage a team that understands and markets the company in a unique way that stands out from all the noise.”

Take this into consideration before planning, as each company and campaign requires its own messaging, its own advertising strategy, and its own look and feel. Figure out what your strengths are, and market to them. For example, if your story has great visuals, find a way to leverage it via some form of multimedia, preferably video. Perhaps you are an emerging company working in a high-growth industry with plenty of competition. Focus on how to differentiate yourself from the competition, while outlining the existing market opportunity and what it means for you and your investors.

  1. Get your online presence in order. Raising money from a diverse audience and group of sources can be difficult, but nothing makes equity crowdfunding so challenging as to do so with a poorly designed or ill-functioning website. The investment website is the primary way you are soliciting funds, and as such needs to clearly lead potential investors through the offering process. Think about it – using the analogy of an open house – why leave your trash on the front lawn, not fix the fence, and neglect a new paint job? Getting your digital presence ready means focusing on messaging for the website, carefully reviewing the design and aesthetics, proofing all content, and last but not least – making sure the user experience is a positive one! Do not underestimate the importance of the landing page for your online offering.

Further, legal context with regards to selling securities online must be considered. “General solicitation under the JOBs Act can open up many doors for a company seeking investments, but please, run your proposed content by your securities lawyer,” said Andrea Cataneo, securities attorney with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

“Solicitation can mean advertising, webinars, internet offerings, group presentations, but it does not mean hype or exaggeration.”

  1. Identify and market to your audience. Understanding your ideal investor profile isn’t easy, but it needs to be done to build and leverage a captive audience. If you are a company reading this and looking to raise money online, and already possess an existing database of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of contacts (be it customers, clients, partners, etc.) with e-mail addresses, congratulations! You are ahead of the curve. Or, perhaps you already have a good feel for the sort of individual who is likely to invest in your company, and now you just need to go about marketing directly to them. Review site demographics, consider the profile of past investors and interested parties, and try to make that determination early, but… 
  1. …If you don’t have an existing audience, build one. Far too often a company approaches us with a great idea, a designed website and video that clearly spells out the investment opportunity, and a strong message for the media. This should result in success, right? Well, not always. Equity crowdfunding requires some form of direct marketing, and to do so, a company must have a base, either a significant social media following or a database consisting of contact information. If you don’t, social media advertising has proven to be a lead driver of web traffic and conversions. Consider running a Facebook advertising or Google AdWords campaign that drives specifically targeted people to your investment landing page. As many know, online advertising can be precisely targeted, and is a great way to get an idea and offering in front of potential investors.
  1. Stay credible, my friends. Ah, so you finally have it figured out! Plan and processes? Check. Significant database to market to? Check. Brilliantly laid out investment landing page that seamlessly takes investors through the process? Check. Perhaps you are missing one last tool – news flow. Most public companies know this already – distributing press releases that outline corporate announcements, market opportunities, industry events, and other newsworthy items are proven ways to remind current and potential investors that you are a very active company. Similarly, getting featured in third-party, earned media (no pay for plays!) builds credibility, whether it’s in a trade publication, a daily newspaper, radio show, or broadcast television. Working with a media relations and corporate communications firm is a great way to produce press coverage, and reminds investors that you are a real company making news within a high-growth industry.

Equity crowdfunding was meant to spur innovation and growth, while providing Main Street investors with a means to access high growth companies. It is certainly not an untapped source where everyday web users are patiently waiting to visit an online investment opportunity. Be prepared, be proactive, and remain top of mind, and maybe the idea hatched in your own home will one day be listed on a major U.S. stock exchange.

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 currently 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.

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.

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.

 

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

 

 

Preach Patience and Consistency in B2B Marketing

B2B Marketers are under increased pressure to perform due to a multitude of marketing options, a changing online landscape, and new data-driven tools to measure ROI. This can create an environment where realizing goals and objectives becomes more short term and reactionary, as opposed to adopting a strategy and sticking to it.

E-Mail Marketing, PR, Social Media, Content Marketing

Tips for B2B Marketers to Maximize ROI

This is not to say any plan, marketing or otherwise, can’t be flexible in its execution, but that modern marketers are now more than ever forced into the precarious position of abandoning a strategy early.

Content Marketing is a great place to start. Whitepapers, bylines, blog posts, case studies, and other forms of content are often developed in-house or by a marketing agency, then promoted through the website, online advertising, e-mail marketing, and/or public relations. As you can imagine, this form of marketing incurs cost – production, design and delivery. I caution current and potential clients to exhibit patience here – as repetition is key. For example, if a whitepaper fails to generate downloads and leads, or a blog post fails to drive visitors to the website to increase SEO, there is no need to panic. Go back and review the delivery – consider the time of day or day of the week the content was published, or review the ads you placed on LinkedIn to generate clicks. Perhaps you will find it had nothing to do with the content or landing page, but because you reached your audience via e-mail blast at a time normally spent away from the computer, like 4pm on a Summer Friday!

Takeaway: Analyze all aspects of the delivery before switching up your strategy.

Digital and Social Media is in fact more than a buzz word flung around during a business development meeting. Agencies, firms and consultants may promise high volumes of lead generation, bumps in share price, and instant revenue – expectations that are rarely immediately met. In reality, it takes time to establish a platform, cultivate a following, and execute upon strategic objectives. It’s a far smarter practice to focus on quality, not quantity of the content and messaging published via social media. For example, work on creating complete profiles with customizable links for tracking, then click “Tweet” or “Post.”

Takeaway: Identify reporters, colleagues, existing and potential clients, analysts and influencers – then engage them personally and with focused content.

Say the word “Public Relations” and a CEO’s eyes may gloss over with visions of Wall Street Journal features and Good Morning America appearances. Aspirations are great, and you should be encouraged to think big, but start by focusing on a media plan. Identify reporters from trade publications, regional media, online outlets, and yes – national media – that you believe a Company message may resonate with. Introduce yourself (or your client), and explain what kind of analysis or insight you can provide, or what kind of news you may have in your pipeline.

Takeaway: Form relationships with reporters and media outlets. Reporters always seek value, and if you can position yourself or your client as an expert, or their news as being important, you will achieve exposure.

Integrate these ideas into your media plan and you may see results, but know that patience is key. Like anything else, a real sample size may tell you not only what you’re doing well – but also what you need to improve on. By following a strategy and reviewing results, you’ll learn more about your B2B marketing efforts than if you abandon them early on.

 

Media Relations and Marketing Experts

FischTank Marketing and PR Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

FischTank Marketing and PR -- NYC Media and Marketing ExpertsGood afternoon! A quick note before we share the release below. The first year at FischTank has been exciting, challenging, eye-opening, and most importantly — a learning experience.

However, none of this would be possible without the support from our wonderful clients, who deserve the results we achieve on their behalf in exchange for the trust they place in us. We are also very appreciative for our partners and friends, including accountants, lawyers, vendors, and others within our network. We are thrilled to consider you members of our professional family.

It’s been one year of success, but that is exactly as stated — ONE year. There is a long way to go before we actually celebrate anything, and as you probably know, there are no guarantees in any walk of life. You make your own breaks, and in an effort to keep things breaking our way, we look forward to continuing to work our tail off on behalf of our clients.

Thank you again,

Eric Fischgrund

Link to Release

FischTank Marketing and PR Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

NYC-Headquartered Company Continues Growth; Adds Team Members and New Practice Areas

FischTank Marketing and PR, a full-service communications and marketing firm helping clients across multiple industries amplify their message and elevate their brand, today announced its one-year anniversary since it’s inception.

FischTank, founded and led by Eric Fischgrund, provides strategic marketing and communications solutions including but not limited to public relations, digital marketing, SEO/ORM/SEM, advertising, and content marketing such as whitepapers, blogging, and press release writing. The boutique firm caters to clients spanning multiple industries and verticals such as clean technology, emerging technologies, real estate, non-profits, professional services, and business technologies such as adtech, social platforms, and other marketing solutions.

Recently, FischTank named Matthew Bretzius, a former journalist turned PR and marketing professional, as Vice President. Bretzius brings in-house and agency-side experience to the firm, with a strong reputation of leading startups to Inc. 500|5000 companies in amplifying their brand messaging to resonate with customers/clients, shareholders, and relevant media outlets.

“We are so appreciative of our clients, partners, and team members who made this first year of growth so successful,” said Eric Fischgrund, founder of FischTank. “Matt’s addition to our team has bolstered client services and enabled us to expand at a scalable rate. We are most thankful for the exciting clients we get to work with on an everyday basis, and look forward to continuing our results-oriented approach of providing them sound marketing and communications solutions.”

“I was thrilled to join FischTank due in large part to the terrific roster of clients and partners that Eric was already working with,” said Matthew Bretzius, Vice President at FischTank. “I’m very excited to see what 2015 brings not just for FischTank, but for our clients, as we continue to grow and work together over the next year to achieve results we can be proud of.”

About FischTank Marketing and PR

FischTank Marketing and PR is a full-service communications and marketing firm serving clients spanning various industries, including but not limited to clean technology, emerging technology, real estate, marketing/ad tech, and non-profits. Incorporating an integrated strategy consisting of media relations, SEM/SEO, digital/social media, copywriting, and outbound marketing, FischTank helps clients amplify their message with results that impact their bottom line. For more information, visit http://www.FischTankPR.com or follow us Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/Fisch_Tank or Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/TheFischTank