SEMpdx Event: What’s New for 2019 in Digital Marketing

SEMpdx Event: What’s New for 2019 in Digital Marketing

I recently attended SEMpdx’s monthly educational event featuring a panel of digital marketing experts. They were tasked with providing insight into what is new (or will be new) in digital marketing for 2019.

As we have done previously when we think a topic may fit our PR Talk audience, we record it.

If you can’t tell, we are focusing PR Talk on digital marketing with the Engage Conference coming up on March 7th & 8th, where Amy will be speaking about Digital PR.

This PR Talk Podcast was recorded live at SEMpdx’s:

What’s New for 2019 in Digital Marketing Panel

Description:

Expert SEMpdx panel featuring a Q&A discussion on What’s New for 2019 in Digital Marketing.

Panelists:

Anna Hutson

Anna Hutson

Founder & CEO, Avenue

Kevin Getch

Kevin Getch

Founder & Lead SEO, Webfor

Scott Hendison

Scott Hendison

Founder, Search Commander, Inc.

Ryan Campbell

Ryan Campbell

Assoc Director Demand Gen, Obility

Caleb Donegan

Caleb Donegan

VP of Digital, Vacasa

Moderator:

Matthew Brown
Consultant, SEMpdx Advisory Board Member

 

Questions discussed during the event include:

What changed in 2018? What did 2018 teach you for 2019?

How did Google’s changes in 2018 effect SEO and Paid Search for B2B industries?

Managing a big enterprise client, did you have an advantage in 2018?

Do you need more content to perform well in specific industries (recipes given as an example)?

As agency owners, how would you change the mix of what you offer your clients in 2019?

What is quality content?

How will the technical elements of SEO matter in 2019?

In regards to schema mark-up, should you mark-up all that you can or just specific things?

Should you delete old content (blog posts) on your site?

What Google My Business (GMB) and local SEO stuff should we know about?

What is your prediction for voice search and the written word in regards to voice search?

How will website privacy impact 2019?

What will Bing do in 2019?

Share something new and improved for 2019 that you are excited about (tools, blogs, etc.)?

Do you have insights on email marketing and SEO podcasts to listen to?

 

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 PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs. PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.
Podcast: Mac Prichard: Prichard Communications

Podcast: Mac Prichard: Prichard Communications

Prichard Communications: Using superpowers for good

You wouldn’t intuitively think starting an agency during a recession is a good idea, but that’s just what Mac Prichard did in the spring of 2007.

On the brink of celebrating its 12th anniversary, Prichard Communications now has a team of five and may hire another this year. But Mac’s obligations don’t stop there. He founded and currently runs another company called Mac’s List and continues making connections with his Portland 10, a powerful networking event for social changemakers in Portland.

“I would say, in hindsight, a recession is a good time to start a firm if you’ve got the resources to do it and the flexibility,” Mac told me in our recent podcast interview recorded just before the holidays. “Because it’s a tough time to look for a job and it’s a good time to take risks.”

A young Mac’s 3 things

Even though he didn’t know it at the time, Mac was gearing up to run a mission-driven agency all along. He graduated college the University of Iowa with three goals.  

“I wanted to get paid to write. I wanted to work on election campaigns and I wanted to do human rights advocacy and I’ve done all three in my career,” Mac said. “I’ve worked for a human rights group in Washington, D.C. I was a spokesperson for the largest public works project in America at Boston’s Big Dig. I ran communications for a refugee resettlement agency in Massachusetts. I’ve worked for elected officials in Oregon, for both Earl Blumenauer and John Kitzhaber, and served as a spokesperson for four different state agencies.

“But the constant that runs through all these different jobs is they’ve given me a chance to work on issues I care about or make a difference in the community where I live and work.”

Political campaigns are the ultimate startup

He said his work in campaigns was great training for starting a business.

“It starts usually with a conversation around a kitchen table. And the money comes from friends and family. And there’s a product, it’s the candidate,” Mac said. “And on election night you know whether you had a sale or not and then you shut it down.

“After having created all these systems, hired people, presented a product, and sold it, you start all over again. I’ve been through that process about a dozen times. My win-loss record was about 50/50. So, I had my share of failures. But like a good startup culture, like the one in the Bay Area, there’s no stigma with failing. If you ran a good campaign, it’s just seen as part of the learning process.”

 

Finding your niche

Prichard Communications is a social change communications firm that works locally, as well as nationally. Their clients include the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Ford Family Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation among others. They also work with purpose-driven brands, local governments and public agencies, including the City of Hillsboro, Clackamas County and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District.

The agency is a Certified B Corp., meaning it’s thinking about the triple bottom line. “So, we not only think about the profit, but we also think about the community benefit, and environmental consequences of our work,” Mac said.

That is one of the many things I admire about Mac and his agency. I think with any successful firm, you need to get clear about the clients you want to serve. And the more focused you are, the better you’ll understand their needs and the better you’ll be able to serve them. It seems that the best firms always have a niche.

 

Beginning with the end in mind

Mac said they begin each client engagement by identifying the desired business outcomes their clients want and then work backward in developing a communications plan or project.

“And usually, they fall into one or all of three buckets,” Mac said. “Usually the organizations that hire us want to attract funding of some kind. Maybe it’s a grant. Maybe it’s increasing membership dues, bringing in some sort of revenue. The second bucket is usually audience growth. Maybe they want to bring more people to their website. They want a bigger audience. And the third is usually a policy change. So maybe they need help working with elected officials. There’s an idea they want to get in front of policymakers out there at the local or national level. So, whatever those results are. That’s where we start with our clients and we work back from those outcomes to build communications programs.”

 

The work is still about telling stories

If you’ve worked in PR and communications over the last 10 years, you’ve seen how much the work has changed. But some things have remained consistent.

“When I started my career, it was all about media relations and it was about getting past the gatekeepers to help the organizations and the people I work for tell their stories,” Mac said. “We’re still telling stories and helping our clients tell them. But now we’re making our own media or we’re helping our clients do that.”

Mac said a lot of what he and his team do is teach their clients how to do communications themselves. For example, they are helping the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation create a Grantee University, which will be an online learning platform that teaches the organizations receiving grants from the foundation how to tell stories.

“In the end, it’s going to increase the capacity of their grantees. And so that when a grant ends, they’re going to have the skills and the knowledge that they need to successfully tell their stories and get their communications results,” Mac said.

 

Running an agency

While Mac had a diverse career prior to starting Prichard Communications, it didn’t include the traditional stint in a PR agency. So, he faced a steep learning curve when he started his agency.

His advice? He’s a multiple year alumni of the PRSA’s Counselors Academy, which is a professional interest section within PRSA and, according to its website, “is dedicated to helping members succeed through access to collaborative peer relationships, meaningful professional development and education programs, and information on best practices in public relations counseling.”

“And that’s where I learned the nuts and bolts of how to run an agency,” Mac said. “It was transformational. I’ve gone five years in a row to that conference. It gives me a chance to work with other agency owners and leaders from all over the country and most of them are in very different niches. But the principles of how to run a successful agency are the same whatever your client base or the services you offer.”

 

Mac’s PR advice

I asked Mac if he had any advice for someone new to the PR industry. He said to connect with people in the companies where you’d want to work or who are doing the work you’d like to do. Go learn how the staff and the founders got where they are, what they are doing day-to-day and learn from those experiences.

“Think about what you’re passionate about. The issues that you care about. And where you want to make a difference,” Mac said. “And go to work for organizations, perhaps in the nonprofit world as a communications professional, that are doing the work you care about.”

About the guest: Mac Prichard

Mac Prichard is the founder and president of Prichard Communications, which was founded in 2007. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa. His career experience includes working for both Earl Blumenauer and John Kitzhaber and founding a second company called Mac’s List.

Connect and follow Mac on social media:

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 PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

Minicast: Role of Ethics in Marketing

Minicast: Role of Ethics in Marketing

The Role of Ethics in Marketing

I was asked to join an AMA-PDX panel discussion event on the Role of Ethics in Marketing. Listen to this minicast for a sneak peek on one of the topics, “Fake News”, and attend the FREE event on Thursday, January 17 at UO Portland.

In addition to a discussion around Fake News, we share details of the upcoming Oregon Ethics in Business Awards. Read more about our take on Fake News: A Dangerous Accusation for the PR Industry.

The Role of Ethics in Marketing at UO Portland

Mike Rosenberg will join Nick Footer, CEO of Intuitive Digital and Deb Hatcher, Founder, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer of A to Z Wineworks on a panel to discuss the role of ethics in marketing. Topics will include copyright issues, branding, the “fake news” movement, and understanding what information is reliable.

This free event is hosted by the American Marketing Association.

}

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Doors open at 6 pm
Networking 6 – 6:45 pm
Presentation 6:45 -7:30 pm
Networking 7:30 – 8 pm

January 17th

Hosted by UO SOJC Portland
2 drink tickets/person
Hors-d’oeuvres & dessert

University of Oregon in Portland

Main Event Room
70 NW Couch Street
Portland, OR 97209

The Role of Ethics in Marketing

At the University of Oregon in Portland – White Stag Block

Free Event

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 PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Nigel Jaquiss: Willamette Week

Podcast: Nigel Jaquiss: Willamette Week

Reporter of “Last Resort,” Nigel Jaquiss,
Talks Investigative Reporting

And Why It’s Important to Invest in Relationships with the Scary Reporters

Perhaps the most well-known journalist working in Oregon today, Nigel Jaquisstwenty-year career at Portland’s alternative weekly newspaper, Willamette Week, has been prolific. Nigel is the reporter who took down Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber for using his position of power to benefit his fiance’s business, resulting in the first resignation of an Oregon Governor because of a scandal. He broke Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ romance with his 17 year old intern. And most notably, he won a Pulitzer Prize for unveiling the years of sexual abuse Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt inflicted on a 14 year old girl when he was Portland’s Mayor.

Nigel came to journalism rather late in his career, working first as a crude oil trader for some of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street. So as we began our conversation, I was anxious to ask him how he came to leave that career in favor of something so different.

“I’m Interested in Telling Stories”

When Nigel was in his early 30’s his father died unexpectedly, and his mother succumbed to lung cancer not long after. “That really focused me on the obvious fact that life was short,” he said. After the birth of his first daughter, he began asking himself if he was really doing what he wanted to do. Ultimately he decided that the answer was no.

He’d always loved writing, so Nigel decided to leave his oil trading career and try his hand at a novel. But like any good oil trader, he had a back up plan ready in case it didn’t pan out. For Nigel, it was journalism school. “My backup plans turned out to be my plans,” he joked.

After earning his Master’s Degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1997, Nigel was hired at Portland’s Willamette Week and began turning out the high level investigative journalism he’s known for today.

After landing in journalism, Nigel stumbled into the investigative side of things, saying that he came to journalism wanting to write pieces he was interested in and that readers would be interested in consuming, which is more of a features reporting approach. “I’m interested in telling stories,” he said.

His first cover piece was about the best high school basketball player in the state who was playing with only a .81 GPA, which was acceptable at the time. After the story was published, outraged school board members changed the standards under which students could participate in extracurricular activities.

“I realized from that one sentence that you could change policy or change lives in some way,” Nigel said. “That’s what focused me on the idea that trying to find out things that people hadn’t known or didn’t know and bringing it to their attention could be really powerful.”

 

The Reporter of Last Resort

What would arguably become Nigel’s biggest story came to him almost as an afterthought. Neil Goldschmidt’s ongoing sexual abuse of a young girl while he was Portland’s mayor was something of an open secret among Oregon’s rich, powerful, and well-connected. The allegations were also known by certain members of the Portland press.

In 2004, as Goldschmidt began to reemerge into Oregon politics, reporters at the Portland Tribune and The Oregonian were given parts of the Goldschmidt story, but weren’t able to bring it to press for a variety of reasons. When I asked Nigel how he was able to put the pieces together after so many others had failed, he said it had a lot to do with Willamette Week’s unique position in the Portland news market. “I think it was the case of me being the reporter of last resort,” he said. “People tried other things and it didn’t work and so they’re like, ‘okay we’ve got nothing else to lose so let’s go to Willamette Week.’”

Now, nearly 15 years later, Nigel still finds himself thinking about the story that has defined so much of his career. “I often think about the number of people who knew about it and didn’t do anything about it, and the corrupting effect that would have on their lives,” he said. “They knew they were harboring crime and they knew they were benefiting from it. So how did they feel about that? How did it change their lives? How did it change the way they conducted themselves? It’s a terrible thing to know something that evil and do nothing about it.”

 

“That’s Not When You Want to Form a Relationship”

Of course, because this is a PR podcast, I wanted to talk with Nigel about how he interacts with PR professionals during the course of his work. He was quick to point out that Willamette Week’s journalistic emphasis doesn’t lend itself to traditional PR pitches. “The strength of many organizations is focus, and our focus has always been more about accountability and less about general news,” he said.

To get the paper’s attention, Nigel advises us to think outside of the traditional pitch. “So we’re not going to say, ‘hey new product launch in Washington County for a tech company,’ but a tech company in Washington County that is getting cross-wised with the county assessor’s office over an assessment is something we’d be interested in.”

But that’s not to say that PR pros should ignore the Willamette Week altogether. Quite the opposite. “The way that a relationship between a person in the PR business and the news business can work is if there’s a real relationship,” Nigel said. “Where there’s an understanding on both sides of what the other person does.”

This relationship becomes especially valuable for a PR pro finding their client on the opposite side of Nigel’s reporting.

“Even the most ethical, the most upstanding corporation or nonprofit in this city is someday going to do something they wish they hadn’t done,” Nigel said. “Or they’re someday – through perhaps no fault of their own – going to be on the wrong side of the news. It’s going to happen. It happens to everybody. And when it happens, you’ll have to form a relationship when you’re at your most vulnerable. That’s not when you want to form a relationship.”

Nigel has more to say about the relationship between PR and the press, so click through to hear the rest of my interview.

About the guest: Nigel Jaquiss

Nigel Jaquiss is a reporter for Willamette Week, an alt-weekly newspaper in Portland, Oregon. He received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for his story on Neil Goldschmidt’s long-hidden sexual abuse of a young girl while mayor of Portland.

Connect and follow Nigel on social media:

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 PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

Again! Veracity is a Top Public Relations Firm in Portland in 2018

Again! Veracity is a Top Public Relations Firm in Portland in 2018

We are humbled to announce that Veracity has again been recognized as one of the top public relations firms in Portland! This distinction comes courtesy of Clutch, a B2B rating and review service. Clutch uses in-depth market research and client interviews to gauge the caliber of services offered by firms to help businesses make informed buying and hiring decisions. After extensive research on the leading PR firms in Portland and interviews with their clients, Veracity was ranked second overall with a perfect 5 out of 5 rating.

Veracity has also been recognized as one of the top 20 internet marketing companies in Portland by Clutch’s sister-site, The Manifest. The Manifest helps firms identify their business challenges and arms them with knowledge, insight, and potential solutions by highlighting outstanding service providers in their area.

Accolades and industry recognition are always appreciated – who doesn’t enjoy being told they’re doing a good job? But that’s not why we constantly push ourselves to provide excellent service; we do it because our clients’ satisfaction is of the utmost importance. We could tell you about how happy our clients are, but why paraphrase when they’ve said it best:

“Veracity is thoughtful, creative and does a great job of staying ahead of what is going on. They have gone above and beyond what they were hired to do. We are very pleased with their work and our relationship with the team.”

Clutch Review Veracity

At Veracity, we are dedicated to helping businesses build closer relationships with their target audiences, and we do so at a level of excellence and thoughtfulness which is unparalleled. If you would like to work with us then feel free to reach out. And if you’re still not convinced then see what else our clients have to say about us on our site or on our Clutch profile.

 

Additionally, Veracity is featured on UpCity

Podcast: Malia Spencer: Portland Business Journal

Podcast: Malia Spencer: Portland Business Journal

Recorded Live at PreGame HQ: An Interview with
the Portland Business Journal’s Malia Spencer

Plus some new PR pet peeves from Malia, and what exactly is a startup anyway?

Malia Spencer has spent the last four years digging deep into Portland’s technology, startup, and entrepreneur culture for the Portland Business Journal. She was originally hired to cover banking technology, but quickly transitioned to reporting on venture capital, private equity, and angel investors because they’re a growing part of Portland’s burgeoning tech sector.

Early in our interview, recorded live at PreGame HQ, I asked Malia for her opinion on Portland’s place in the national tech scene. She breaks the country into three basic tiers, with areas like Boston, New York, and Silicon Valley occupying the top spots, Seattle and Austin in tier 2, and other cities like Denver and Portland in tier 3. In Malia’s view, Portland is trying to move up to tier 2 thanks to its recent growth.

I was prompted to ask Malia about how she defines a startup, because I often ask myself that same question. Could I call my own business a startup and pitch it that way for coverage? While Malia takes a rather broad view of the word in her own coverageoften profiling the abundant maker and food entrepreneurs in PDX – she defines a more traditional startup as a company with a high gross potential over the short term that’s also backed by venture capital funds.

Malia also covers other small companies that might not have a lot of investors, but that often depends on how she believes the story will land with her audience.

The readers who are looking at the business journal are “people who have grown businesses, and can read a story to learn what they can do to help their business,” Malia said. So the stories she gravitates towards are going to include those details.

So what should you do to have your company featured in the journal? Malia was kind enough to share her best PR tips, and perhaps more importantly, what PR pros and entrepreneurs should absolutely NOT do.

 

Malia’s PR Pet Peeves

Always prepared, Malia came to our live podcast interview with a list of pet peeves she’d sourced from the members of her newsroom, which PR Pros would be wise to heed.

  • Malia’s #1 pet peeve is pitchers who don’t do their homework. She says she gets so many irrelevant story ideas from people outside the Portland area that too often turn into irrelevant phone calls. Malia advises people interested in getting PBJ coverage to first read the journal so they understand what’s in it and what the reporters cover.
  • Never ask for an advance review, because no journalist with any ethics would ever send one.
  • If a reporter hasn’t responded to your pitch, don’t do more than one telephone or email follow up. Malia says that if she’s interested in a story idea, she’ll respond to a pitch immediately.
  • And finally, no more than 2 people on a conference call.

 

Malia’s PR Tips

So once you’ve avoided these pet peeves, what can PR Pros or entrepreneurs do to get coverage in the journal? Malia says, it all starts with the story.

  • First there needs to be a news hook. The journal is generally interested in new C-Suite hires that might make a big impact, or if a startup has raised a new round of funding. They also frequently cover businesses that have landed a huge sale or a contract that’s going to change what it’s doing in a big way. So before you pitch, think twice about how you’ll position your story’s news hook.
  • Malia reminded the audience that even if she decides to follow up on a pitch with her own story, the final version could look different than your original suggestion.
  • In response to an audience question, Malia said that pitches don’t have to come in the traditional press release format, and in most cases a regular email is sufficient.
  • Many times, entrepreneurs can get coverage by simply reaching out to reporters personally to let them know who they are and what they’re doing, and then inviting them to talk more about it over coffee.

Beyond feature stories, The Portland Business Journal also publishes other regular content that PR Pros and entrepreneurs should consider.

 

  • One good way to get coverage is through “The Pitch.” This feature is essentially a written investor pitch which combines a company questionnaire with a write up interview about a company’s genesis story. “The Pitch” always runs online and will run in the print edition as space allows.
  • The journal also publishes weekly lists throughout the year, such as The Fastest Growing Private Companies in Oregon or The Largest Architecture Firms in the Portland Metro Area. PBJ editors are always looking for list topic suggestions or business nominations.
  • In addition to lists, the PBJ also publishes regular awards for outstanding businesses and business executives. When this is mentioned, I remind PR folks that clients will love you forever if you get them an award.

About the guest: Malia Spencer

For nearly five years, Malia Spencer has covered the technology, startup, and entrepreneurs beat for the Portland Business Journal. Sign up for her free, twice-weekly newsletter TechFlash.

Connect and follow Malia on social media:

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 PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.