Tag Archives: PR

FischTank is a leading media relations firm in NYC

Is Your Business Ready to Work with a PR Firm?

One of the most exciting times in the life of a young company or entrepreneur is when their product or services are ready to be unveiled to the world. With that excitement however, comes the realization of the task that still lies ahead – How do we get people to notice us? Then the light bulb goes on. We need PR!

Generally though, when most non public relations professionals think of PR, they lean solely toward media relations and news coverage. But media relations is only a small part of the PR puzzle, and an even smaller part of the overall integrated marketing strategy that’s really necessary to take your business to new heights.

So how do you know if you’re really ready for an integrated marketing strategy that includes the media coverage you crave? Here are four things to consider:

Do you have something to say? Gaining visibility comes down to being seen and heard. A product launch, funding announcement, or high profile personnel hire is a great place to start, but should not be solely relied upon to build a company profile. You are an expert in your field – use this to your advantage by getting involved in various industry discussions.

One of the easiest ways to gain media coverage is by discussing current trends and news within your specific vertical, with a perspective has broad industry appeal. This enables you to become a recognized thought leader within your industry, bringing instant credibility to your brand. Then the next time a reporter researches your company while deciding on whether or not to write about your announcement, they’ll see you’re legit.

It’s important for you to have something to say – and not always about yourself.

Do you have proper expectations? This is one of the first discussions that should occur at the onset of a new campaign so both parties can get a realistic idea of what is attainable, potential challenges, and end goals.

Too often, a young company will say, “We’ll take whatever we can get” which really lets the firm they’ve hired off the hook for producing measurable results. At the same time, it’s important for you to understand that it’s unlikely you’ll be on the cover of the New York Times on day one – no matter how good looking you are.

To use a baseball analogy, have a discussion with your new firm and decide what your goals are in the sense of singles, doubles, triples, and homeruns. Singles and doubles are the easiest to obtain, are most constant, and keep your rally alive, while triples and homeruns are less common but have a major impact. This way your campaign – and business – will really score.

Do you have a plan for leverage? It’s an awesome feeling to see your company’s name in an article or to create a great piece of marketing content internally to share with the masses, but your efforts can’t stop there. This is where an integrated marketing strategy really is crucial to ensure you reach current and potential clients, investors, and industry partners.

Don’t simply post a link to your website – use a multi-pronged approach that includes social media, email, your sales team, and self-publishing to increase value. Many companies don’t fully utilize the power of their positive press by proactively sharing it. Instead potential customers and partners are left to find it on their own – an ironic twist since these companies are struggling to get noticed to begin with.

Do you have the resources? Obviously money is a factor here, but there are other resources that are just as important. I’m talking about personnel – you and other members of company leadership. While the firm takes on the bulk of the work, there are times where they will need access to you to discuss trends, campaign ideas, schedule interviews, or ask questions.

You are, after all, the expert in your field, so it’s important that you make yourself available. If you’re hoping to simply write a check and then “set it and forget it” you may not get the results you’re looking for.

Any good PR or marketing firm will be flexible and work with you to meet your needs – whether you’re ready or not. But following this guide and coming prepared enables you to earn results everyone can be happy with, and maybe hit that grand slam you’re looking for.

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.

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

 

 

4 Tips to Hone Your Content Marketing Strategy

As any marketing professional or firm will tell you, it is no longer difficult or necessary to SELL clients and agencies on content marketing strategies highlighted by targeted blog posts, short videos and whitepapers busting with statistics. The benefits are endless and well-established — drive traffic to your website, solicit contact information for lead generation, establish yourself as a credible source and many more. What you SHOULD be telling your clients, is how to make the most of your content — ensuring delivery, download, engagement and return on investment.

Producing the content is only half the battle — let’s talk about winning the war and making sure your content marketing strategy achieves your desired goals:

1. Define your audience. Does your content have a specific end-user? The answer should always be, yes. If you are creating a whitepaper or blog post with the intent to receive downloads (and contact information) from a niche target audience, make sure your content addresses their pain points. For example, a financial advisor may want to solicit information and web visits from individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 who are getting ready to send their children to college. Rather than title your content, “10 Ways to Save Money,” try “The College Decision: 10 Finance Tips You Need to Know,” or something to that effect. Yes, you may get less downloads and web visits. However, the qualified leads and traffic you do receive will be much more credible and likely yield higher ROI.

2. Promote effectively. Too many times, I see an ad on LinkedIn or Facebook that says something to the effect of “Click here to reduce costs by 20 percent.” OF COURSE I want to reduce costs by 20 percent, who doesn’t? However, I may want to know just what it is we’re talking about! If I’m a marketer, and the cost-savings tip pertains to e-commerce, I’m bored already and will probably not consider you a credible source for content. Also, you were just charged $7.00 for my click. The same goes for e-mail blasts, the first thing most folks do with a nebulous e-mail blast is delete or unsubscribe. Similar to tip number one, try making it abundantly clear what the audience will receive if they pursue the content. If one were targeting a small business owner, then something like this may resonate — “automate your invoicing for only $9.99 a month” — as with this example, there is no gray area.

3. Ensure your landing page is efficient. How many times have you clicked an advertisement or link within an e-mail, only to find yourself directed to seven different sites, and required to fill out more information than during a doctor’s visit? It happens all the time. Landing pages suffer from poor graphics, text that doesn’t match the content you’re pursuing, slow webpage load times, broken links and other content marketing atrocities. It’s important to test your conversion process from start to finish, from the first click to the actual download/visit itself, to make sure there are no issues potentially damaging your credibility as a content source. Also, consider that most people don’t want to provide too much information, so when soliciting info, stick to the basics: name, company affiliate (if B2B), location and have phone number and reason for visiting marked as optional.

4. Make sure your sales team is locked in. You are almost there! You created informative content, promoted it efficiently, and solicited plenty of sales leads. Now what? Don’t let the conversion process stop there! Before structuring any content marketing campaign, ensure that you have a plan for what to do with those leads. The next step should require a phone call, introductory e-mail, physical mail or meeting or any other “touch point.” In most cases, it is highly recommended to reply within 24 hours, at the latest, to ensure the lead doesn’t go cold, and you receive the credit for your effective content marketing strategy!

4 Marketing-related Reasons Why LeBron Stays In Miami

Here we are again. LeBron James, the best basketball player in the world, is a free agent. His current team, the Miami Heat, remain confident in their ability to re-sign him (sound familiar, Cavs fans?) while a half dozen teams are openly salivating at the prospect of signing one of the top 10 greatest NBA players of all time. James’ basketball legacy can no longer be called into question; he cannot be labeled a loser, choke artist, or anything less than a champion and MVP. That being said, his legacy as a professional athlete, celebrity, and teammate can certainly continue to grow, or become badly tarnished, as it was in 2010/2011 — before the championships.

There are several factors aside from money and basketball, primarily related to his marketability, which will weigh heavy on James and his agent’s minds in coming days and weeks:

1. He won’t leave Miami, yet. Sorry Miami, while you certainly love your LeBron James, your passion for professional sports certainly ranks towards the bottom of those in large markets. Your reputation remains a sad video of Miami fans fleeing the AmericanAirlines Arena at the end of Game 6 of the 2013 Finalsthinking the series-ending loss was minutes away, only to miss one of the most historic comebacks in NBA Finals history. That being said, no sports team deserves to have its heart ripped out publicly (other than the Cowboys), especially when its efforts to do right by the player could never be called into question.

Following ‘The Decision’ public relations debacle when he promoted and executed a total body slamming of Cleveland on national TV, it took years to rebuild the brand equity and improve the public perception of James. If he chooses to leave Miami after one contract, he runs the risk of infuriating yet another major city. Additionally, while James’ free agency period has lacked the theatrics of 2010, fans around the country will still see a departure from Miami in the same light.

2. He wants to avoid comparisons. James has made it very clear that he does not compare himself individually to all-time greats like Jordan, Bird and Kobe. The media and the public do that for him — read any article on James, scroll to the bottom, and find the Average Joe gleefully stating “he’s no Jordan.” This social media maven is most likely unaware that he’s complimenting James — what professional wouldn’t want to be compared to the greatest of all time in his or her industry? However, James should walk a fine line. Going to Chicago will only intensify these comparisons to MJ, as would a commitment to the LA Lakers would do the same with Kobe.

Additionally, hopping teams seeking a better landscape is only going to draw comparisons to the greats listed above, and others, as something they didn’tneed to do to win. James will never distance himself from the comparisons, but he can do his best to let his brand stand alone by not giving the media, and Facebook trolls, any unnecessary ammo.

3. He has no better option. Let’s cross the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers off the list for the reason listed above, James’ brand needs its own city to grow within and dominate, and he just doesn’t have the same marketability as Jordan or Bryant if he enters their markets. But wait a minute; there are two teams in LA! Eh, I’m not buying it. Thanks to Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers are literally the one team that many sponsors won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Heading to ‘Lob City’ will only bring controversy, which James already has enough of. The NY Knicks are too ego-driven and theatrical, the Cleveland Cavaliers are owned by a man who publicly assailed James for leaving four years ago, and joining Dwight Howard, a man with his own horde of detractors, in Houston just doesn’t seem feasible.

4. The bond with his teammates is too strong. Yes, Dwayne Wade appeared to be a shadow of his former self in the Finals, Chris ‘Corner 3′ Bosh struggled at times, and the rest of the Miami Heat cast unraveled quickly. However, James formed very strong bonds with those players as teammates and friends, and I just can’t see him leaving them now. The ‘Big 3′ as they are known, have unfinished business (although four Finals appearances in four years is nothing short of great), and I believe they, along with Pat Riley, will sacrifice what’s needed to make another run. If LeBron can lead his team through the ‘hardships’ (funny word choice following a Finals appearance), he can cement his legacy without tarnishing his brand.

First blog post on a Sunday afternoon

FischTank Marketing and PR finally launches

Nothin but a fresh start!

Where to begin?

I’ve always had A LOT to say, enough that it has frequently gotten me into trouble with family, friends, and teachers…hopefully in a way they each appreciate.

I’ve found a way to parlay that enthusiasm for communications into a career in marketing, public relations, writing and digital/social media. I guess I should consider myself fortunate — my most annoying quality has built my career. Life is funny.

I’ve enjoyed the marketing/PR positions and clients I’ve held and worked with for the majority of my career, but what I’ve really enjoyed is learning and making a difference. I love when a campaign results in a return on investment for the companies I work with, whether it’s to support a major launch, generating sales, or establishing someone as a dominant player in their industry.

Because of this, I believe I’ve received a free education — I’ve worked with a variety of brilliant entrepreneurs, clean technology companies making our planet greener, wacky consumer products enjoyed by millions, innovative technologies that change industries, real estate professionals building the next big thing, and financial services firms managing billions of dollars.

It’s been a blast, and for that reason, I decided to leave my full-time position working at a top PR firm in New York City, to start my own marketing consultant practice.

With any luck, I’ll continue to grow as a professional while doing great things for the companies I work with.

Here we go!