Skeptical About Thought Leadership?

Skeptical About Thought Leadership?

Here’s Why Your Perspective Matters.

If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably seen the posts. Brash statements about business success. Pictures of flashy clothes and cars. Humblebrags about the fantastic team that “made it all possible.” Promises of extraordinary results if you just follow their plan/hire their company/buy their book/click this link. These posts have become the background noise we all wade through as we roll our eyes and continue scrolling. In too many cases, what passes as thought leadership is nothing more than a thinly veiled sales pitch or a cheap Ted Talk knock-off.

It’s no wonder, then, why many executives avoid adding their voices to the online conversation, choosing instead to focus on their relationships and day-to-day work. After all, when thought leadership goes bad, it can go very bad, and no serious business leader wants to come off as a cliche. However, leaders who are reluctant to enter the thought leadership space often don’t give themselves enough credit for what they have to offer. Others don’t realize the benefits this marketing approach can bring their organization. In reality, you don’t have to be Simon Sinek to make a difference in your industry. With a good strategy in place, any leader can become a thought leader.


Why Business Leaders Should Also Be Thought Leaders

Business executives are already leaders by nature. They manage teams, direct initiatives, oversee operating budgets and use their experience to make tough decisions. Within these everyday duties lay the kernels of big ideas that can educate, inspire and even promote. Thought leadership demonstrates these ideas through writing, videos, podcasts, speaking engagements and more. As a business leader, you have the opportunity to lead from the front by highlighting what makes your organization special. But that’s not the only reason to take the plunge.

Skeptical about Thought Leadership Infographic

The Human Element

It’s easy for organizations to appear impersonal, while its human face remains hidden within cubicles and conference rooms buried inside nondescript buildings. Thought leadership campaigns add an essential human element to your corporate identity. Through carefully crafted content, executives add personality and context to their company’s work. This strategy also humanizes the people making decisions behind-the-scenes. Most importantly, the best thought leadership connects business activities with our shared human goals. If you can show people how to connect and cooperate more effectively, how to improve in their work or how to thrive in their lives, you’ll transcend the typical buy/sell relationship into something much more meaningful.


You Have Ideas to Share

We’re not talking about E=MC2 here. Those ideas come along once in a generation. However, you’ve undoubtedly learned a thing or two over the years. Whether it comes from smashing success or crushing defeat, your experience can help other people move more successfully through their own lives. What’s more, your organization is full of professionals and experts who’ve built their careers on doing their thing. Knowledge and ideas exist within your orbit. The challenge comes in unearthing and sharing that innate expertise in ways people find relevant and exciting.


You Aren’t Doing This for Yourself

Undertaking thought leadership as an ego play is a losing proposition. Social media has helped us all become adept at spotting and dismissing inauthentic personal branding efforts. If, instead, your thought leadership campaigns remain focused on meeting your audience’s needs as a way of raising your company’s public profile, your work will have a tangible business goal and measurable outcomes. Any attention from these efforts will benefit your company and your team, which is the way it ought to be.


Your Organization Will Benefit From the Spotlight

Sustained thought leadership campaigns can also become significant sales engines for your organization. Research conducted by LinkedIn and Edelman showed that thought leadership drives new business, increases existing business and shortens the sales cycle. Thought leadership also supports other sales and marketing goals like increasing engagement, driving website traffic and building brand loyalty. As a leading company spokesperson, your efforts will bolster your organization’s reputation and boost its bottom line.


You’ll Recruit and Retain Better Employees

Thought leadership helps build organizational pride. When your leaders create exciting content that garners positive attention, it gives employees one more reason to love where they work. Plus, the new business your thought leadership campaigns generate could lead to more rewarding and profitable work for your staff. When it comes time to expand, your thought leadership work will have formed a positive backing of press coverage, making your organization more attractive to top-level talent.


You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

Perhaps most importantly, thought leadership won’t be something you have to tackle on your own. Instead, influential thought leaders work with a team that helps them develop ideas, create content, strategize placement and analyze the results. Taking this big step alone would be challenging for almost anyone. But with the right people in your corner, thought leadership can become one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal.


Great Leaders Are Already Thought Leaders

Thought leadership doesn’t have to be cliche. When done well, it communicates ideas, promotes an organization, builds identity and connects us with shared goals. In reality, these are activities great leaders already participate in every day. Thought leadership simply extends those activities outside your corporate walls in ways that return benefits to the organization. With a little planning and care, your thought leadership will rise above the noise to become something truly useful.

Stress Awareness Month: a PR Talk Compilation [Podcast]

Stress Awareness Month: a PR Talk Compilation [Podcast]

Breathe With PR Talk During Stress Awareness Month

Three Wise Guests Share Important Mental Health and Wellness Techniques 

April is Stress Awareness Month and since we’ve been living with a worldwide health pandemic, we thought there couldn’t be a better time to highlight the pertinent advice we’ve received throughout the years about stress management and mental health. This episode of PR Talk highlights some short snippets of thoughts from three of our most popular guests, with topics ranging from how taking a daily supplement can boost your mental capacity during times of stress, to simply honoring the fact that communications is indeed a stressful job and there are things we can do to ease that mental burden.

Sheila Hamilton

First, we highlight Sheila Hamilton, the popular KINK FM morning show host turned full-time mental health advocate. Upon her late husband’s tragic death by suicide, Sheila wrote All the Things We Never Knew, a memoir about her experience navigating an inadequate mental healthcare system with a mentally ill husband and the aftermath of his eventual suicide.

Here we highlight how as service providers, PR people have a tendency to over-deliver out of fear, along with the ways in which our physical health plays into our mental health.

Listen to Sheila’s entire episode First Things First: Taking Care of YOU during Coronavirus.


Mark Mohammadpour

Next up we have Mark Mohammadpour who found himself overweight and unhappy while working at top PR firms. After losing over 100 pounds, Mark now provides health and wellness coaching through his company Chasing the Sun

Mark and I talk about the stressful roles communicators must fill, along with the most common mistakes we make with our health.

Listen to Mark’s entire episode “Living Our Best PR Life” is Mark Mohammadpour’s Motto as He Helps Communications Pros Thrive.


Libra Forde

The last interview we showcase is with Libra Forde, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Self Enhancement, Inc. I have become obsessed with her inspiring “Motivational Minute” videos that are regularly posted to her Facebook page (@librabetall). A self-professed “thought partner,” Libra is a leader, speaker and change agent and can be found at

Here Libra and I talk about the importance of bringing daily routines, breathing, breaks and more into our working days.

Listen to Libra’s entire episode Welcome the New Year with a Much Needed “Motivational Minute” with Libra Forde.


Fika Talk with Audrey Rosenberg

If you listen all the way through you will be treated to a bonus segment from the mini-series Fika Talk about how Breaks are good!

Don’t Miss an Episode

You can access more great episodes by subscribing to the PR Talk podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio and Spotify.

About the guest: Sheila Hamilton

Sheila Hamilton is the host of Beyond Well, a five-time Emmy award-winning journalist, radio host, and the author of two mental health-related books, All the Things We Never Knew and a new novel to be released this year. She co-hosted the highly-rated Kink morning show for more than a decade and was voted Portland’s favorite radio personality in 2016.

Connect and follow Sheila on social media:

Cassidy Quinn on PR Talk

About the guest: Mark Mohammadpour

After a career spent rising through the ranks of some of the country’s most respected PR firms, Mark Mohammadpour needed a change. Overweight and unhappy, Mark chose to prioritize his health and bring new meaning to his career. After losing over 100 pounds, and keeping the weight off for more than a decade, Mark now provides health and wellness coaching to communication professionals nationwide through his company Chasing the Sun. You can also subscribe to the Chasing the Sun podcast on iTunes or Spotify.

Connect and follow Mark on social media:

Mark Mohammadpour

About the guest: Libra Forde

Libra Forde is the Chief Operating Officer of the Portland nonprofit, Self Enhancement, Inc. However, her popularity has risen lately with her inspiring and honest “Motivational Minute” videos posted weekly to her @BeTallLibra Facebook page. A self-professed “thought partner,” Libra is a leader, speaker and change agent available for speaking engagements at

Connect and follow Libra on social media:

Cassidy Quinn on PR Talk

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Public Relations Isn’t Just for Red Carpets

Public Relations Isn’t Just for Red Carpets

Public Relations Isn’t Just for Red Carpets

To many, the idea of public relations, or PR, implies celebrities, fancy red carpets, glossy magazine spreads and hotel room press junkets. Or it’s the cynical hired gun who swings into action to manipulate public opinion after someone important was caught cheating on their wife, cheating on their taxes or cheating their constituents. Within this framework, PR is all about spinning lies into truth and vice versa. While those negative perceptions certainly have some basis in reality, most PR professionals are ethical, rational and strategic thinkers who are assets to their clients. It’s almost as if…wait for it…public relations could use a little PR of its own.


What is PR?

Even business leaders who know that PR is about more than bragging or covering up problems may view PR as a luxury they can’t afford — particularly if they already have a marketing strategy in place. But in truth, a solid PR strategy is a crucial component of any businesses’ broader sales and marketing efforts.

PR is a separate discipline that reaches out to audiences in different ways than marketing. It’s also flexible enough to shift messaging and audiences depending on the targeted industry. If you’re only activating a marketing strategy, you’re likely missing out on critical opportunities PR could uncover. And when you maximize PR with other disciplines, PR can become the driving force in your growth efforts through collaboration, asset sharing, and coordination.


PR in Practice

Most PR activities are far removed from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. In fact, PR is pretty dull. When a program’s primary goal is to obtain media coverage, PR professionals tell the news, just like reporters do. To develop those stories, we build systems that collect facts and uncover themes. These systems are always running in the background, ready to provide helpful information when it’s needed most. But PR also works for companies in other essential ways.


It’s Proactive

When it’s done well, PR builds a trail of goodwill and puts a human face on your company. That way, in the event the press or public ever checks you out, or, god forbid, something does go wrong, there are assets available that can work for your organization. A functioning PR program creates systems to leverage opportunities or deal with emergencies. Without them, you could be caught flat-footed.


It Builds Your Public Brand

Your organization is probably already doing dozens of amazing things every day that the press and public would be interested to hear about. However, it’s hard for organizations to understand how great they are when they’re in the middle of doing the work. PR provides an outsider’s point of view and a fresh set of eyes with practice identifying story ideas. With these assets in place, you can begin telling your story to your audiences and build a brand that’s distinct from what you’re selling. As we like to say at Veracity: if you’re doing something unique, and nobody knows, then did it ever really happen?


It Adds Credibility

Nothing makes a company feel substantial like an established history of media coverage. Passing that newsworthiness test adds a level of credibility that self-promotion just can’t match. Savvy companies harness PR-generated news coverage to connect with distinct audiences in varying ways. For instance, sales representatives can use a piece of PR content as an effective follow-up tool. Founders who may be eyeing a future sale will find their businesses more attractive with a couple of years of media backing in place. Media coverage also sends a powerful message to current employees and potential recruits that what you’re doing is getting noticed.


It Improves Employee Retention and Recruitment

Not only will PR help build your brand and credibility with your neighbors, customers and other external audiences, but it can also improve your reputation with the most valuable stakeholders of all: your employees. Positive media coverage provides external validation, builds company pride, and makes your employees feel like their work matters. This same coverage will also have a positive effect on potential new employees. Finding good talent is difficult in the northwest, and positive press coverage can help you break through to new audiences.

PR in Practice

More Thought than Flash

Underlying all these benefits is a coherent strategy that matches effort and assets with the opportunities that will reach the right audience. Real-world PR professionals aren’t interested in coverage that vanishes with the pop of a camera flashbulb. Instead, we want to build a lasting story around your company, employees, products, services and customers. Taken together, these stories form the backing of public perception and sentiment that will last for years. When you look at it in that way, PR is much more of a necessity than a luxury.

Staying Ahead of the Puck that is Google with Michael Cottam [Podcast]

Staying Ahead of the Puck that is Google with Michael Cottam [Podcast]

Staying Ahead of the Puck that is Google with Michael Cottam

“I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” — Wayne Gretzky.

Somewhere in the middle of the PR Talk conversation I had with Michael Cottam he cited this quote in reference to how he approaches search marketing. This means that Michael doesn’t just focus on what Google is doing, he broadens his view to what Google will be doing. There couldn’t be a more fascinating way to think about the ever-evolving topic of search, and especially how it relates to PR.

Michael Cottam is a renowned search engine optimization (SEO) expert who many in the search industry already know. Beyond providing highly-coveted search consultation for clients, Michael is the founder of Visual Itineraries, which he calls his SEO “sandbox” because it is where he tests search theories for clients.

Always full of great information, I am normally talking with Michael either at a busy conference or while collaborating on a mutual client. So I took this dedicated time to really dig in and get my questions answered. Even if my questions are in the weeds or are very technical, I don’t care because it will help us help Veracity’s SEO PR clients!

Battle of the SEOs: Does Michael Agree with Rand About Links?

First, I had to know if Michael agreed or disagreed with Rand Fiskin’s notion that links are not nearly as important as they once were for SEO (check out the last PR Talk interview with Rand titled “The Wall Street Journal Problem” for more context). 

Michael wholeheartedly agreed with Rand. 

The backstory is that Google used to rank web pages higher in search engines by relying on quantifying their external links. But now, Google has improved its ability to recognize quality content within web pages. While links are still important, websites that thoroughly cover specific topics will in turn rank for those specific topics.


Google’s E-A-T Attempts to Take the Consumer’s Place

Michael explains that in addition to links, Google is now considering “E-A-T,” which stands for “Expertise, Authority and Trust,” to rank web pages. For example, Google can determine the authority of a web page by attempting to discover who wrote the page and then follow a trail back to previous content by that author. If the author has written authoritative posts and been included (mentioned) as a source in other websites, Google will consider them an expert, thus trusting the page. Therefore, thought leader names are becoming just as important, or possibly even more important, than company names in terms of establishing credibility and resulting SEO.  

Since Veracity handles a lot of guest article placement for thought leaders, I wanted to dig into this concept further. I would think that name credibility could be built by landing many guest article placements. However, Michael said that interviews (or getting names included in articles) by credible third-party sources (such as reporters) are just as important. You want a mix of both to build your thought leader’s name, as well as the company name. 

The E-A-T concept allows Google to mechanically re-create what consumers would see along the decision-making process and ultimately what websites they would click on. In this way, Google essentially acts like a consumer to serve its customers (web searchers).


Schema Markup Can Help Us Tier Press Lists

Back to my favorite topics of links, if all else is equal, of course you’d place more intrinsic value on the website article that also provides a followed link to your website. However, we could also review the “schema markup” (a type of structured data) of web pages. This hidden code enables search engines to understand what the page actually is about so it can more readily appear in searches. For example, appropriate schema markup will tell Google that a webpage is really a press article, as well as who published and wrote it. 

PR people should not inquire or advise press/web contacts about schema markup. This is a much bigger deal than simply asking the press to add a link into a previously written article.  Additionally, there are ways we can discover who is using ideal schema markup in order to tier websites/press by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or Rich Results Test to see if the site is using structured data (see more about these tools in this Search Engine Land article).


Are No-Follow Links the Devil?

For a long time we have been talking about no-follow links not being very great for SEO. However, Mike Rosenberg has been unsure about this for a while, so we posed the question to Michael Cottam.

He said that Google cares very much about “user-generated links” (links generated by others), which are found on social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and on forums and places like Reddit and Quora. You want a mix of outside press (links and/or mentions from other websites) and buzz from user-generated links, which are no-follow, because they show what is hot right now.

However, there should be a natural bell curve pattern in the links. You don’t want to do a bunch of Facebook ads to generate comments and links for users at only one time. Ideally, you’d get some outside press coverage first and then share that article on social media (with some budget behind it) to show Google that people are also talking about you, which will increase the search impact of the original article.


We talked about so much more in the interview. More detailed questions such as how to approach keywords when writing press materials were answered. And larger topics, such as: 1) how search and PR teams can effectively work together, and 2) if search and PR could ever be combined into one role. That was an easy no!


Don’t Miss an Episode

You can access more great episodes by subscribing to the PR Talk podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio and Spotify.

About the guest: Michael Cottam

Michael Cottam is the founder of Visual Itineraries, a sales closing and lead-generation tool for travel agents, and is an independent SEO consultant, focusing on technical organic search engine optimization, Panda optimization, and Google penalty recovery. The former SEMpdx board member is currently involved in the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, where he recently moved to be closer to the outdoors. 

Connect and follow Michael on social media:

Michael Cottam technical seo consultant

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

“The Wall Street Journal Problem” with Rand Fishkin [Podcast]

“The Wall Street Journal Problem” with Rand Fishkin [Podcast]

Rand Fiskin’s Very Good News, Launching a Pandemic-Era Company and Getting Audience Savvy


We were honored to have Rand Fishkin, co-founder and CEO of the audience intelligence software, SparkToro, on the podcast! Rand is probably best known for his previous role as the co-founder and CEO of the go-to SEO software, Moz, since he only recently made SparkToro available to the public this past April. In fact, he couldn’t have picked better timing to launch his new software right as the pandemic was kicking into full-gear. That was a joke.

On the podcast, we talk about a whole host of things, besides what it was like to launch during one of the worst crises our world has ever seen. In true Rand fashion, he expertly takes any topic thrown at him. I have briefly highlighted the topics below, offering you some quick Rand nuggets, but you’ll really want to dive deeper and listen to the interview for the full picture.

Managing “Prestige Coverage” Expectations

Rand categorizes expectations of garnering coverage in top-tier publications what he calls “prestige coverage” as “the Wall Street Journal problem.” What’s interesting is that at one time Rand was among those who presented “the Wall Street Journal problem” to others.

Telling us about a sizable investment he made in a PR firm as the founder of Moz, he re-analyzes the original goals (or lack thereof) that led to such high expectations. While the firm did generate prestige coverage, it didn’t make a tangible business impact.

Rand holds himself accountable for this PR mishap, saying that because his goals weren’t measurable in relation to their business effect, possibly they weren’t even goals at all. Today he would build his PR strategy starting with more specific goals that directly align with the goals of the actual business bringing us into the natural segway of selecting PR audiences and media list building. 


How SparkToro Helps PR People

When paired with concrete goals, earned media efforts can be targeted towards audiences that can help move those goals forward. This is where SparkToro comes in. The audience intelligence software helps marketers truly understand the consumption habits of their key audiences. Bringing “the Wall Street Journal problem” back into the equation, Rand and I discuss various instances in which audience intelligence comes alive. 

For example, reviewing Moz’s past PR mishap as a case study, if they were attempting to reach search engine marketing decision makers, shouldn’t the PR team have directed their attention to the likes of a Search Engine Land rather than a Wall Street Journal?

While the PR team probably should have guided their client to naturally come to this conclusion, today this PR team could use SparkToro to analyze audience patterns. Perhaps even more important, we can lean on the platform for managing the “prestige coverage” expectations of others.

SparkToro Plastics search

New Press Tab on SparkToro

However, what is not mentioned in the interview is that SparkToro recently launched a new Press List Building feature just for us public relations professionals! The new tab, called “Press,” displays the press outlets that specific audience types are consuming. This is different from how SparkToro already displays the social media accounts followed or websites visited by targeted audiences. 

SparkToro Press Feature

Rand’s Very Good News About Links

Within this very detailed conversation about audiences, Rand provided PR people who are focused on search with some very good news! Apparently, we do not have to hustle as hard to include website links to our websites within the online news coverage we generate. Landing some really stellar coverage, only to tell the client that a link wasn’t included, has always been a disappointing struggle. Rand says that we don’t necessarily need to worry about this anymore since links are not as important as they once were for SEO. Getting brand and/or keyword mentions are just as good, if not better (depending on the outlet), than getting links. 

Too good to be true? Ever the skeptic and over-analyzer, I asked renowned search expert, Michael Cottam, what he thought about this news. We’ll air his response in a very detailed and fascinating (to us search nerds) episode on February 24th. Tune-in then to hear if Michael has a yay or a nay for Rand.


Did I Call Rand Fishkin a Failure?

Oh yes I did, but it wasn’t by putting my foot in my mouth, which would be true to character. While talking about how launching a company in the middle of a pandemic—a sad fact is that when SparkToro launched, 15% of their email list bounced back, clearly indicating lay-offs—we compared this time to when he launched Moz in the middle of yet a different recession! 

Therefore, Rand is no stranger to hard times. With that in mind, we also talked about the fact that Rand’s mom was also a founder and entrepreneur, which could quite possibly be one of the reasons he’s been able to turn unopportunistic times into opportunities for others through creating thriving businesses that provide jobs and much-needed services for companies and marketers.

Don’t Miss an Episode

You can access more great episodes by subscribing to the PR Talk podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio and Spotify.

About the guest: Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the co-founder and CEO of SparkToro. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through his blogging, videos, speaking, and his book, Lost and Founder. When Rand’s not working, he’s most likely to be in the company of his partner in marriage and (mostly petty) crime, author Geraldine DeRuiter. If you feed him great pasta or great whisky, he’ll give you the cheat code to rank #1 on Google. 

Connect and follow Rand on social media:

Rand Fishkin on PR Talk

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

A Public Relations Dictionary

A Public Relations Dictionary

Jargon, Slang, Vernacular, Lingo, Definitions…whatever you want to call it

In any industry there are special words, expressions and phrases that are used within it. Many of these words have particular meanings that may be difficult for outsiders to understand. While writing “A Modern Guide to Public Relations” I created a dictionary. However, it ended up being too cumbersome to use in the book but we still thought it would be fun to share it with you! 

Orphans: Singular words on a paragraph line. Similarly “widows” are a singular word at the top of a page. You want to avoid both. They are solo words from a first line that travel over onto a new line to sit all by their lonesome.

An Orphan example: Wait for it. It is coming. I know you are impatient but you must bear with me.

Beat: The particular area of interest a reporter covers for an outlet. Examples could be as broad as health, businesses and lifestyle; or lean toward such minutiae as the cannabis industry, dog-friendly activities and aerospace mechanics.

B-Roll: Secondary (hence B) video footage that can be sent and used by media to accompany a story. 

Community Rags: Another name for local or community newspapers.

Copy: Words.

Drop-dead: This is your last-minute deadline, like really really this is the deadline, no, it really is, like your chances really will end, I am not kidding around, seriously dudes. 

Earned Media: Media coverage that is not bought. PR coverage is often called earned media because you cannot buy it, you have to “earn” it through hard work or reputation, therefore it has more credibility.

Morning meeting: The most important thing to know about TV. Explained in the book. 

Op-Ed: Short for “opposite the editorial page,” as these opinion pieces are usually printed on the opposite page of the editorial section where newspaper editors rant about issues. 

Owned Media: Media that you produce yourself, so you own it. Blog posts, videos, podcasts, magazines and even entire online media rooms are examples of owned media.

Paid Media: Advertising or any other form of media that is purchased. TV spots, billboards, paid contributed articles, advertorials, Google ads, social media ads are all types of paid media.

Persona: Your target, whether it is press or your ultimate audience like a consumer or business decision-maker. It’s the person you mockup in your head via brainstorming or research that you ultimately need to sway. The term is mainly used in content marketing social media circles. 

Police Scanner: A tool the media uses to listen in on conversations among local police so they can also be aware of emergencies. However, now they typically rely on Twitter for this.

PSA: Public Service Announcement. 

Put the issue to bed: You’re done. The issue has gone off to the printer. No, they can’t get your pitch in now no matter how much you toss your hair and bat your eyes.

Rolodex of Levi Eshkol shown phone of LB Johnson


Rolodex: An ancient form of contact management, depicted as a manual card catalog of contacts.

Sound-bite: Quick, important bit of words that your press representative says, typically used for radio and television. 

Spot: This is an old-school advertising term that means commercial. Many accidentally use the word in reference to earned media TV segments garnered without paying the outlet — unknowingly belittling the accomplishment. Anyone can get a “spot” with a little money. 

Talking heads: People who are just talking in an interview on TV or at an event. Listening to someone drone on and on is typically boring for press — and many of us — hence the negative connotation of “talking heads.”

Voice Over: When a media member provides comment to accompany on-air photo or video footage.

The Wire: The Wire is like a PR distribution service, but for journalists. Stories that run on wires like the Associated Press (AP) or Reuters are syndicated — meaning a media outlet can republish one of the syndicated stories rather than assigning a reporter to cover it.

Since today we finally submitted the “A Modern Guide to Public Relations” to Amazon — we thought that taking this huge step and leap of faith today, January 20th, the date that everyone has been waiting for, would be very meaningful to us — I am tired.

However, odd sayings and definitions abound in PR and by now I am mentally unable to rewrite what is already in the book. Therefore, if you have further questions about additional gems like: ghostwriting, bylined articles, SEO PR, and everything else under the traditional and digital PR umbrella, the book should be available on Amazon in a few days. Yay.