Eric Fischgrund is an entrepreneur, writer, sports fan, music-lover, and founder and CEO of FischTank Marketing and PR, a marketing and communications firm based in NYC.
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 email@example.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
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.
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.
Matt Bretzius is President and Partner at FischTank Marketing & PR.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
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.