On this week’s episode of the PR Talk podcast, Amy welcomes John Hall to discuss tips for productivity, how to combine thought leadership, SEO and PR to own your industry, and the difference between credibility and influence.

John is the Co-founder of Calendar.com, author of “Top of Mind,” strategic advisor to Relevance Media group and columnist for Forbes and Inc.

Time Boxing as the Number One Time Hack

John understands the important role that time management plays in work-life balance and he even founded a company based around this insight. Calendar.com helps users organize their schedules and allocate periods of time to specific projects. Its analytics tool tracks time spent for analyzing and tweaking what isn’t working.

John’s most important time management hack is time-boxing, which is rated number one among the 100 most productive habits. By blocking out specific portions of time to accomplish tasks and projects, we can become thoughtful and goal-oriented with time.

John says that reflecting back on previous weekly schedules is just as important. Did you take too much time on project X? Do you need to add more breaks? John is a strong believer in taking mental breaks throughout the day to completely remove yourself from work in order to come back even stronger once that break is over. 

Amy adds that it’s probably best to not start your day by checking emails because that causes you to go down a rabbit hole and lose control of your time and schedule. 


Content Alignment Strategy AKA the Trifecta

John recommends you use his content alignment strategy which combines thought leadership, SEO and PR in order to own your industry. He points out that it’s pretty hard to do good public relations without thought leadership which, in turn, will help Google recognize your company and therefore improve your SEO. 

It’s one thing to have a good product and employees, but you must also be a leader, provide relevant information and earn trust. In a nutshell, thought leadership aims to bring customers to you when they are in need of something you provide, which fuels PR. From there, Google will notice your media relevance, increasing your SEO. 


Credibility Versus Influence

John says there are three categories your company or an individual can land in: 

  1. Perception of Influence – A few articles have name-dropped your company.
  2. True Influence – People change their behavior based on what your company is telling them.
  3. Credibility – There are many articles mentioning your business, you are producing good content, and are respected. 

Each category can be ideal depending on what level your company falls under. For example, John says startups usually land in the perception of influence category because they are new to the industry and can’t become credible in one day. They work their way toward influence and credibility. 


The Difference Between Evolved and Traditional PR

Amy and John also discussed what hiring an evolved PR firm means. They agreed that old models of PR may still be helpful, but are going away in terms of that being the firm’s only methods. Media placements used to be everything, then content was considered king, then distribution, but in today’s world you need the right traffic at the right time. 

For firms to be considered evolved, John tells Amy that they must provide clear deliverables when working under retainer, have realistic service fees and be willing to partner with other firms that have specific expertises in order to do right by the client. Amy calls this “PR-to-PR.”

Amy and John discuss much more in the full episode including industry standards for thought leadership, the hub and spoke model for completing the trifecta and what clients are expecting out of PR firms. Listen now to take the next step to owning your industry!


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About the guest: John Hall

John is the Co-founder of Calendar.com with a passion for helping people take care of the most precious assets we have: our time and relationships. He is also a PR/SEO/Thought Leadership strategist that can give an honest assessment of what you can do better to become more of a leader in your industry. He wrote a book called “Top of Mind” and does a lot of speaking on helping people build trust and engage the people that matter to them most. Additionally, John writes a weekly column in Forbes and Inc, contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Lifehack, Mashable, Fast Company and more.

Connect and follow John on social media:

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

Samantha Custer
Samantha is a freelance contractor at Veracity Marketing and helps streamline PR efforts for our vertical markets. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications and has a great interest in influencer marketing and social media content creation.