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The old days for a PR firm consisted of the daily grind to achieve media coverage in any form, not really understanding how or why it would move the needle for their client. Sometimes this directive came from the client itself, everyone scrambling for exposure without knowing why.

Public relations meant press release writing, drafting a vanilla statement when things went bad, and distributing boilerplate pitches to reporters that more or less reiterated what your website says. “We are innovative,” “we are groundbreaking,” “we are first-of-our-kind,” and “we anticipate tremendous growth” and last but not least, “we are making a difference for the future!”

PR firms were mostly “media relations” outreach factories, and many of them still are.

Now? Companies need to look for a heckuva lot more in a public relations firm. There are simple questions like “who is your audience?” and “what is your wish-list for media coverage?” but those are just that – simple and unlikely to evolve into any real strategy with tangible results. More important questions your PR firm should be asking include:

  • “Why do you feel media coverage is important?”
  • “How has your target audience traditionally found you?”
  • “How important are online search results for your brand?”
  • “What is your SEO strategy? Are backlinks important to you?”
  • “What’s your content marketing strategy?”
  • “Where does your site traffic come from? May we have access to your Google Analytics?”
  • “How do you plan on using media coverage?
  • “Do you have an e-mail marketing program?”
  • “What keywords and searches do you want to rank for?”
  • “What is your business development strategy?”
  • “Why did Kawhi Leonard’s shot fall against the Sixers in Game 7?!”

That last bullet is still on my mind. I’m writing this following two days of business in Toronto, site of where my beloved Sixers had their hearts ripped out, and where I’ve been subject to passing by at least two dozen “We the North” signs reminding me of last Sunday.

Sorry, I just blacked out. Back to business.

People at PR firms who sell its services, people like me, are in the business of meeting a potential client or customer and immediately telling them what they can provide. “We can definitely get you top-tier press.” “We will post to your social channels every day!” “We have an expert team of writers who can draft all your press releases.”

This is wrong, for so many reasons. It’s 2019. People, whether investors, potential customers, clients and partners, etc. digest information much differently than they did 15 years ago, or ten years ago, or five years ago…or last year.

The one size fits all approach has long-since given PR firms a bad name and led to numerous journalist shamings on Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve probably earned one or two myself over the years.

If your PR firm isn’t asking you about SEO, sales and business development, web traffic, or why you want to hire a firm – they’re not doing their job. There is the old way, “messaging documents” that take three months for some firm to rehash everything you already know about yourself, and there is the new way – understanding how an integrated approach should serve as an extension of your company’s public relations and marketing approach.

Take your pick!

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.

NYC PR Firm

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.”

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.

Zack joins FischTank to support client media relations

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.

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.