Duke of Digital

007 - How to Get Press for Your Online Business with Priscilla Vento

November 23, 2019 Brian Meert
Duke of Digital
007 - How to Get Press for Your Online Business with Priscilla Vento
Chapters
Duke of Digital
007 - How to Get Press for Your Online Business with Priscilla Vento
Nov 23, 2019
Brian Meert
Show Notes Transcript
Brian Meert:

Generating press can result in massive exposure sales and even increase your SEO rankings, raise those pinkies because today we're going to talk about how to get press for your business.

Outro:

Presented by AdvertiseMint. The Duke of digital will guide you through the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing, social media, and how to grow your business online. To submit a question for the show, text (323) 821-2044 or visit Duke of digital.com if you need an expert to fix your ads, the friendly team at AdvertiseMint is ready to help. Visit AdvertiseMint. That's M I N t.com or call (844) 236-4686 to grow your business. Here's your host, Brian Meert.

Brian Meert:

All right , I'm excited because today we have a Duchess here. Priscilla Vento, a founder and CEO of 30 miles North. It's great to be able to have you here on the show to be here . I love it. Okay, so tell me, I want to know because there's a couple of things. You're , you're working now with a startup clients and the gaming lifestyle, cannabis tech industries. You have over a decade of PR experience. And I was actually trying to think of when I first met you. I think we worked at a handbag event. Oh , long time ago. It was one of the first times that we met. Um, you've been doing a lot of your philanthropist with the adopted adopted arts foundation, girls in tech, rock to recovery. Uh , every time I see you on Instagram you're playing pool or skateboarding or doing these crazy adventures where I'm like, Aw man, that's what I want to be doing. Oh , it's wonderful. Well, I wanted to welcome you to the show. Did I miss anything or, you know , tell us a little bit more about you and

Priscilla Vento:

I mean, you seem to have wrapped it up. I'll see you later. Thanks for listening. Um, no, that , that's it. Yeah. I think we met before 30 miles North was thing. Um, back when I was working in fashion. So I actually came to the discovery of the whole tech world while I was working in fashion , um, way back when. And so I just, I fell in love with, with tech. I'm kind of a tech nerd anyway. And um, I kind of saw that as I was getting older, the fashion was exciting, but I kind of fell in love with, like I said, the tech and then I kind of saw that that's where, you know, money was going. Right . Yeah. Especially when I started 30 miles North in 2008, which was the recession and you know, fashion just wasn't making any money at the time.

Brian Meert:

Yeah. I think I've seen your name appears all the time on events or things that are going on in Silicon beach with a lot of the tech startups that are there or events related to publicity and talking about these types of things. So I've, I've seen you be very active even though I haven't seen,

Priscilla Vento:

yeah, yeah, that was a big part of my life for the first five years at 30 miles in North. Like you have to pay your dues, you have to network , um , any, you know, marketing guru or you know, celebrity or influencer out there that talks highly about networking is absolutely right. Like you have to do that. If you want to grow your business, you have to get out there. And I was out at these networking events, I would say three nights a week. Um, you know, and even if you don't meet anybody or you're not, you know, I'm not the most um , going of people when I'm out in , you know , those situations, I kind of stayed in the back, but you're still getting the land's view a scope of what's going on in your industry. Um, and so that was really important if it wasn't for my, you know, pushing myself and getting out of my comfort level and going to these events that you always see me. I don't, I don't believe I would be here today.

Brian Meert:

Now talk to me through 30 miles North cause it's a creative name. I love it. I was at your website today checking it out and was playing around with the little scroll thing and found a Whit cool little surprise. If you've got to go check it out. If you haven't, there was a little surprise waiting for you to give it a little play. Go to 30 miles north.com

Priscilla Vento:

and you'll see a little, it depends on if you go on your, you know, your computer or your phone, but you can kind of scroll around and move, move, move the world. Let's just,

Brian Meert:

yeah, yeah. There was a little surprise for you in deep space. Can I say that's okay . I'll wait . I'll give you too much away. I liked that. I like that. So tell me a little bit about the company and what you guys do on the type of , uh, you know, clients that you work with in terms of generating PR.

Priscilla Vento:

It's as simple as we're a digital and traditional PR agency and we mainly work with startups. Um, and you know, the startup clients that we've worked with are early stage through, you know, late later stage startups. Um, and , and that's really it. I mean, we, we work in all kinds of different verticals as long as it touches tech technology, right? So if it's a , you know, if fits in the cannabis space, you know, we've, you know, we're, we're working with, you know, cannabis apps or devices. Um, we have a couple of blockchain companies that we work with, a lot of gaming companies that are fun to work with. Um, and the lifestyle end to things. Again, if it has a , uh , a vertical in the tech space, then then where your , where your PR team for that.

Brian Meert:

Oh, I love it. And , and how, just to make sure everyone knows, how can they get in contact with you or find you , uh , what are the best ways to be able to get in touch

Priscilla Vento:

LinkedIn? Priscilla Vento. Uh , Twitter. Priscilla Vento is my handle. Everything is Priscilla Vento. I didn't get fancy with it, you know, or, or the company is 30 miles North. So if you just go and search for 30 miles North on Twitter, Instagram,

Brian Meert:

and that's 30 with the three zero. Right. Got it. Okay, cool. Just wanted to make sure I got that. Well, I'm excited because today I wanted to talk and dive deep kind of into PR and you know, I've always told people that PR is a game for your business. If you do it right, it can get you explosive results. If you do it wrong. Um , it can feel like a huge failure where people get frustrated. There's a lot of investment, maybe they don't see results. Uh, and I've seen people get turned off like, Oh , it doesn't work for us. And I'm like, Oh man,

Priscilla Vento:

you have to have realistic expectations. And I think that my job is to really line my client's expectations up. If I have a startup that comes to me and their product is so, so, and you know, after a little bit , 11 years of doing this in December, I can tell if there's a product that's too early for PR or you know, Hey, you should probably go and pivot a little bit before I'm coming to PR, you know , so be transparent. Like I always tell people, I'm not in the business of taking your money. I don't want to sign you on if I feel like I'm not going to be able to at least give it my best effort, which I always do for every client. But then, you know, at least I know I can. All right , get some good results within my client, you know, happy and every publicist needs to be able to turn away a client if they're not ready.

Brian Meert:

Well that's actually great advice. Should I call this or I refer to this as the ugly babies syndrome, which is, you know, people when they have startups are so passionate about it and their life and every moment is into it and they'll come to you and be like, don't you see everyone in the world is going to love this idea. And sometimes it's very difficult to talk to him and be like, man, I know you spent the last six months, but it might have a ways to go. Or there's other people looking at this. The feedback that I'm getting is, well it looks like it does one thing. What do you do?

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah, dial in. Their expectation is they're living in their own world and everyone say , Oh, this is great, this product's great. This is, you know, such a brand new, you know, product out there. And you know, if you're, if, if you know you're going your networking events and paying your due diligence, then you'll know, Oh, there might be some competitors out there. And , um , I just think that very early on, I have heard horror stories about, you know, clients, young entrepreneurs, hiring PR firms, and they're not delivering, which I understand everybody goes through that. You know, you'll go through a client where it's just really difficult to get them in the press and there's a lot of different reasons why that happens. Um, but at the end of the day, being extremely transparent with your client , um, and even telling them like, look, you can hire us and pay us this retainer. I can not gonna guarantee a placement. I guarantee I'll work my ass off for you and I'll guarantee I will, you know, reach out and, you know, create a great strategy for you. But if you just don't feel like it's going to be a good fit for you, then just say, no, you're going to save yourself a lot of time and, and a lot of heartache .

Brian Meert:

And that's partially why I wanted to have you on the show is because I've seen the results that you have generated again and, and again where you're like, Hey, check this out. And I seen all these publications are great articles and I'm like, man, you're who I want to come in and talk about this. So I mean, I think to some extent in terms of PR, so much has changed I would think in the last couple of years. I mean, when you think about traditional PR, you had TV, newspapers and radio that you were trying to get in one of those outlets, maybe magazines. Um, and now I feel like there's, you know, blogs and podcasts and social media and influencers and the list kind of goes on and on and on. What in your, you know , advice would be, what's in your opinion would, has changed in the PR kind of world in terms of how you approach and get businesses mentioned , um, in other placements in the last couple of years.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. I mean, we've, we focus mainly on digital, right? I mean, you kind of have to now in days, it's not like it was 10 years ago. Um, but what's changed? Obviously social media has changed and , and the ability to just go ahead and throw up a quick blog and call yourself an expert, right? There's a lot of those in the last 10 years that popped up. Now everybody has a voice, which is awesome. I'm all for it. But I think that on the PR end of things, it's, it's really figuring out who's the best fit as far as an outlet for that story or for that announcement or that product launch. Like, don't be lazy. Do your homework on who you're pitching. Um, you know, Forbes tech crunch, all these, you know, huge outlets out there. Have hundreds, you know, maybe not hundreds, but they have a ton of writers that every, every single one of them cover a different beat . And if you're pitching someone who you might think, you know, covers , uh , let's say like data security , um, or you know, you have a client that works in that space and they actually don't cover data security. They cover privacy, which might sound the same and it's civil, you know, similar, but they have two different beats and maybe someone only covers Asia data security or what do you have to really do your homework. Um, and so that's changed. Um, and there's just so many different outlets out there as well. And even more so now than even five years ago. I see. You know, there's just a lot more , um, I guess to choose from. Right. And it could really make a campaign that 10 years ago would have been like, Oh, here's 20 outlets. Now it's a campaign. You're reaching out to 50 outlets, right?

Brian Meert:

W w so walk me through this if, you know, there's lots of outlets out there. If you do your homework, which I think is a fantastic tip in terms of price , because, you know, not doing your homework, we'll get you like, why are you contacting me? And people are unhappy,

Priscilla Vento:

blame journalists for blah , you know, for saying, I never want to hear from you again. You're pitching the wrong person. And yeah , I don't blame them for that. They're busy people.

Brian Meert:

Yeah. So if you, you've done the research, you've done, you've got the right person, you know, what are publications looking for? Like if you reach out to a person that's the right person, are you just welcomed with open arms or like, Oh my goodness, that's exactly what I write about. I'd love to hear from you. Or are they like, is it still difficult to get through and how do you follow up and what works?

Priscilla Vento:

So what I do on almost every campaign that I work on is I don't, first of all, we're not the PR company that will just write up a press release and throw it on a wire. And I think everybody kind of knows that that's not the best way to get yourself into like the likes of tech crunch or Forbes or , um, you know, VentureBeat or any of those. Um, but what I like to do is if I have a great announcement, I'll say it's a funding announcement. Um, I'll give it to one journalist as an exclusive, you know, why am I going to go and pitch 50 people who will probably say no because they know I'm going wide with it. I'd rather just give it to somebody that's kind of higher , you know, a higher tier outlet and shoot for the stars first. Like go to your eye . And I asked my clients all the time like, who, like, what outlet do you want to see yourself in? Like, what would you be proud to send your mom and dad? Is it Forbes? What is it? And they'll give me, they'll let me know and then I'll go and say, all right, well we can add that into the strategy if it works out. Right. Um, but I always give, I'm a big fan of giving my , um, contacts my reporters exclusives on stories and, and then, you know, let's just say it gets into the tech crunch and it's an exclusive for them and then roll it out after that, roll it out wide after that. Um, but that's, that's basically what I deal pick three of the top outlets to , to send this funding announcement to and start from there.

Brian Meert:

And I would say that that is probably a huge mistake I've made a lot in the past where it's we have some news and we get excited thinking everyone in the world is going to care about it and we try to get it to everyone in the world and do these big things. And I think when it was all done, when the dust had settled, I'd have been like, I would've gladly taken one article if there was one good article that said, Hey, you know, we'd read it . I'm like, that would have been better than all the work that went into it. Yeah . So I think that's actually fantastic. Have to

Priscilla Vento:

be masterful with your timing as well. So you have a client that is expecting for their company to launch or finding out , spend a launch, then ask for an embargo. Say let's get this press release approved a week early, even two weeks early. Let me send it out as an embargo, which means that the writer agrees to not publish it until you say when, until the time of day, let them do what they have to do, put it in their queue for writing and get it to editors and things like that. And then it launches on the day that your client expects. That's the best case scenario to go about it. And that way, you know, you have that one or two or three larger outlets who's publishing your story and then you can spend time on then you know, distributing the same story to bloggers and kind of smaller outlets who would appreciate the story. Right. Um, but you know, that's, that's generally what we, we do.

Brian Meert:

Oh it's actually a fantastic, I've never heard of that before. I've, I've attended a couple of, no , it's great the embargo, but I've attended tech events and been there as they announced something and I'll hit refresh on tech crunch. There's a whole article written and I'm like, Whoa , there's no way cause I'm there right here. And he just said that now I know. I was like, how did they get the information before?

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. Yeah. You literally say don't release this until you know, December 3rd at 8:00 AM, you know, Pacific and that's it . Yeah . Yeah. I mean it's not, it's not easy as that, but that's basically what an embargo is.

Brian Meert:

Now, would that work with any businesses or is that mainly used in kind of tech?

Priscilla Vento:

No, it works with any business. Just have to get that story to the right reporter

Brian Meert:

and I would like hearing you say this. I think one element a lot of people forget is the element of the writer and what they go through. They've got deadlines, they've got multiple articles or things that they're writing on. They want to write about things that are going to be popular and they get excited .

Priscilla Vento:

I can talk about this forever so that when you say what's changed in the last 10 years, like that's definitely changed . Right? Well , in the startup world, for example, you've, you have in the last 10 years, you have so much VC money popping up. More VC money means more startups are starting to pop up, which means there's more PR people trying to pitch stories to all these different writers and they're getting bum [inaudible] . I go on a Twitter sometimes and I crack up because there's some really, you know , uh, I guess popular , uh , tech writers for, you know, large publications and it's just, it kind of saddens me cause they'll , some of them kind of trash talk and Oh , I got this pitch from this PR person today. And they'll kind of tell, you know, give a little scoop on what the pitch was. Kind of talking trash. Right. Yeah . Um, and, and for me, I'm just like, well that must've been a junior person or someone who just completely like, doesn't understand how this works nowadays. So you have a little bit of the, you know, you're, you're in a race, you're a little bit in a fight, I guess to get your client's story in these top tier publications. Um, just cause there's a lot of people pitching is there's just a lot of companies popping up because there's a lot of VC money. Um, it's getting a little better, but you know, that's, that's how it's changed, I feel.

Brian Meert:

What would you say is kind of the difference between someone that's going to be a great publicist and someone that's so, so, or kind of average? Is it , I mean, I've always heard relationships. I feel like it's relationships or your ability to connect or, you know, reach the right person and have it at the right place and right time

Priscilla Vento:

you got to be able to handle a lot of stress pressure and you have to have thick skin. That's number one. Like if you can't pressure and stress, you're not, this is not the place for you to be .

Brian Meert:

No. Walk me through that. I mean, because ultimately the publicist is trying to, you're, you're kind of like the middle person between a client and a publication or an author and be like, just to be clear,

Priscilla Vento:

I , so I don't write press releases anymore. Um , my managing director, Joe Sloan, who's amazing, what up Joe, he's awesome. I love him to death. He's an amazing copywriter. And he writes, he works one-on-one with their clients to get really stellar press releases written that then he passes on to me. I just do all the media relations. Um, and so I'm sorry, what was the question again? I went off on this right. So, so a good publicist , bad publicist is thick skin. Yes. Um, if you're, if you're working in PR and you're working on a media relations end of it , um, I think that the ability to, like I mentioned before, be completely transparent with your, with your client . That's hard to do. Sometimes it gets hard to say, Hey , um, there's nobody picking this up right away. Let's move. Let's try another strategy here. Another story, another angle, whatever it may be. I feel like a lot of publicists kinda just walk away with their tail between their legs and they're not upfront with their clients. So that's a really hard thing. So what makes a good publicist is that being upfront , right? And then the other thing is, is, you know, being able to be very elegant with your followups and delivery when you're, when you're working with the writers because, or the reporters, editors are your outlets. They're super busy. Um, you know, you have to, you have to play, you know, you're the middle man, like you said, between your client and, and this outlet and you gotta appease both parties and keep your sanity at the same time. Right? Um, and, and so having, having the ability to just be really patient but yet diligent with followups , with your reporter, but make it make sense, right? Like be a little creative. Give them some story angles, like give them, give them some little seeds that they can grow in their head and, you know, go to bed and I say, Oh, this would be a really great story. I'm going to write about that company. Uh , and then the other thing that I'm just going to throw out there is like, people have got to stop call . I'm not a fan of picking up the phone and calling reporters. I'm an email gal. I don't want to talk to you on the phone. I know you're busy. I'm busy too. And I hear reporters complain a lot about the phone calls, which I'm sure that there's going to be a lot of PR people who disagree with me on this, but I think that the people who I have a really great relationship right now appreciate that I don't pick up the phone every three seconds to follow up and hound them on it because they're not to want to work with you again. You gotta be, you gotta play nice, you gotta be cool.

Brian Meert:

It really is like a social interaction where you're, you're making a new friend and I see a lot of people, a hundred percent get overexcited and they're like, Oh, I got in touch with the editor Forbes. Hey, what's up? It's just you immediately burn that bridge where someone's like, and this is now awkward and I have to tell you, it's awkward. It's not going to happen or I just don't want to talk to you . I'll just forget.

Priscilla Vento:

Nobody wants to meet you out for coffee. Nobody wants who has time for that? And if you live in LA, forget about it. Like you want to go out to sea , it's going to take me an hour to get to the coffee shop and back, like do your job email. You know, if you have to get on a call, scheduled a call one-on-one with your client. That's the only time I get on calls with reporters is when I schedule a call for questioning with the client. Right. Um , but other than that, I'm, I'm off the phone

Brian Meert:

now. How important in as you're talking with people, cause you mentioned sometimes if something doesn't work you will rework it and go with a different angle or a different story. You know, how important is the story to the process of getting PR? And it's example I love is Walt Disney when he used to go to bankers. Um , and he was like, I need to get money for , for the company to grow. And he would go into bankers who are, you know, generally cold and hard and how are you going to make us money and don't lose our money? And he would just be like, Hey, I want to tell you a story. And he would walk them through the story of snow white and be like, Hey, so there's no why there's these drawers and they mine . And uh, then there's this wicked witch and he would, they would say that the bankers would sit there like little kids and be like, Oh my , my family would love this. I'm in. And he would win them all over without ever talking about numbers, which is what you'd expect to talk and going with bankers. So how does that work in the, in the PR world?

Priscilla Vento:

Well, typically when a client, a company hires a PR firm, it's usually, especially in the startup world is usually because they have announcement, an announcement, they have a product launch or they have a funding announcement. And so the story is already there for you. You have a funding announcement for, for example, a to write up and distribute out . That's, that's easy. Like that's, I mean, I'm going to say it's easy, but that's given to you, right? That's like low hanging fruit. Yeah . Um, the, the difficult part. And where creativity is really important is when you have us, you know, a six month retainer with the client and you know, their , their stories are kind of ran out or their , I guess their launches or what they already have in the books, right is done for like how do you get your client in the press? Well that's not a press release. You can't just write a press release about nothing if you have nothing to announce, you know, you don't have a new hire, you don't have any. So that's where, you know, the , the power of the pitch comes in. Like when you get really creative and you , you start pitching story ideas to two reporters and pitching one-on-one and really, you know, maybe leveraging the power of like maybe, you know , um, thought leadership. Like what is your, what is your client good at? You know, can they be a thought leader in that industry? And getting them on camera for that and getting them one-on-ones for that. You know, that doesn't require a press release. You don't always need a writer press release. You don't always need to have a press release to reach out to press. Um, and so as long as again, it's, it fits within the outlet and then you scale that down and it fits within the beat of the reporter and then it fits within what your client is doing. Um, be creative, you know, think of some cool store, like, like your Walt Disney example.

Brian Meert:

Yeah. Yeah. Um, I just, I've, I've always found that, you know, when connecting with people, a lot of times they can come to just understanding their world. And, you know, I, I feel like a story a lot of times can go a lot further. And I think, especially in press , you know, you mentioned like pitching them ideas, you know, there's people that would be like, why would I give the writer or whoever's, you know, the publication, the idea for this story. And I don't think a lot of people realize that that happens all the time.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. How do you think most of these stories that you read that are so unique are there, you know,

Brian Meert:

they're , they're coming from the publicist or someone that's pitching them. So, I mean w

Priscilla Vento:

I mean, I won't, we won't take all the credit we help, but yeah, that's,

Brian Meert:

and I think, you know , ultimately any author, I would say the things that they're going through their day is they're overwhelmed. They've got deadlines, they've got, you know , their boss being like, Hey, we've got to get more out, or we want more traffic. Or you know, those are the things that keep them up at night. And so I think what people don't realize is when you come to one of those writers and be like, Hey, here's an idea. And it's in their world, they're like, yep , done. And it's in, and they're like, I want to work with that. Let's go. Yeah . It can be that simple when all the dominoes line up.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. And , and if you get turned down, you know, go to the next one, build yourself a list. Like before you start, like if you have an announcement or you have a pitcher story idea, take the time to build a really good list of reporters who you can reach out to. You don't want to have all this and then reach out to one and then they say no and you're like, well what in the hell do I do now? Have a good list. And then just keep going. And then at the same time though, you have to balance the timing with your client. So if the first person said no and you go onto the second person and it's taking you know, a couple of days , make sure your client knows that you're doing your job and that you're still reaching out to the report report report, update the hell out of your client because we get bad rep for like, Oh I hired this PR person. They didn't do anything for you know, their , I don't know what they're doing and report.

Brian Meert:

Okay, report, show , show progress. You know, when this kind of is a great segue into the next question, which would be, when should a business, you know, try to do it on their own and when should they bring in like an expert? Um , you know, and a lot of times you as businesses are growing, they've got limited resources. And so, you know, when,

Priscilla Vento:

well, let me ask you something. Would you give yourself your own haircut? Would you give yourself your own surgery? Would you, you know, would you go and pull your own tooth out? No. So why would you want to do your own PR? I understand when people say that they want to do it. And I do know of some people getting results. Um, but you're going to have a one off story here and there. You're not going to have a strategy. You're not going to have a campaign. You're not going to have any good tactics behind it. You're not going to already have a Rolodex of wonderful reporters that we've been working on for who knows how working with, for who knows how long. You're not going to have a team behind you know, you. Um, and so I just, I just think like, take that as far as it's gonna go, but if it's really eating into what you should be doing, which is building a great product and managing your team, focus on that and hire out somebody to do your job .

Brian Meert:

I love it. I , you know, it's crazy cause you know, when you go and go to like networking events, a lot of times when you're just meeting people one by one, it's like, Hey, hi, my name is Brian and what do you do? And it's that little back and forth. But when I've done speaking events or something and there's a host that gets up and says, I want to tell you all about this person. Um, and they give a , you know, some fun stories and tell some jokes and it's, you'll walk down off of that and everyone's like, I want to come talk to you. And that really is kind of the role of the publicist is you don't have to go and try to , to toot their own horn, they've got someone there. It's like there's someone that you need to meet. I'm the connector and I want to put you to ,

Priscilla Vento:

yeah, I mean, this, this whole topic on, you know, you know, we're early stage. We don't have a lot of money to do or to hire a PR person. I totally get that. You're bootstrapped, you have this great plan . You know, there's going to be a time though where you just send up saying yourself and your advisors will probably say you're just, you just have to stop and hire someone who can, who can do this for you. Um, so my easy answer is like, I wouldn't recommend doing it on your own.

Brian Meert:

Oh, that's great. That's great. I mean, that is the truth is you'd rather do it. Right. Um, and I just, I, I can speak to that from trying to do it on my own and failing miserably. Several times I've been like, man, I, I've read articles that say , send out a press release. I'd pay money, do it. And be like, that was a complete waste of my mind and a publicist. But again , it was a complete waste of your money. Why did you do that? Like you should've reached out to the people who are writing and I'm like, yeah, okay, fantastic. You learn those in wish you could go back and do it.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah, yeah,

Brian Meert:

yeah . This is why. Yeah . Yeah. Um, well let me do this. You know, how, do you have any examples of when you had to get creative to kind of make an article happen or go around the traditional, I'm going to wait for the normal process of emailing someone is any fun stories or something we like, man, this is where I made magic happen.

Priscilla Vento:

I mean, I'm making magic happen every day, man. Oh shoot, you're putting me on the spot now. Um, I , that's really hard for me to answer. I'm not trying to sound completely like arrogant here, but I mean every time I send a pitch out I feel like it's, you're making magic. I'm making shit happen. Like that's just, I live my life thinking that I think everyone else should too. You know, it makes me happy and I love what I do, but I do truly feel like, you know, examples of when you get created. I can't give you an example of all the examples of when I get creative because I just feel like every time I'm sending pitches out, it's creative. Like I, I, you know, I love doing roundups for apps. You know, like, Hey, you know, here's a productivity app. Um , Hey, what's up Mashable person who does all of the roundups for Mashable? Like, here's my client who's a productivity app and here's seven other productivity apps. What is , what's that saying? Like, it's better to have a part of something then, you know, then nothing, right? So, yeah, these other productivity apps are there too. And a lot of people will be like, Oh, that's , you know, there are competitors, Hey, you're getting that. And they're all there. They all are. So they're not, every part activity app is the same. There's going to be different functions for different people. Right. And Hey, we got on Mashable or wherever Elliot is in. So, I mean, I really love those kind of short gatherings of different apps for different outlets. I do a lot of those. I think

Brian Meert:

I th yeah , I think that's so fascinating because a lot of times people think, I've got my business, I got a fight to get my business in there so that it stands out above my competitors. And that approach is not at all the fight. It's, Hey, yeah, there's, there's the five other competitors and me and all six of them and let the consumer decide and research and look to it. And the truth is, you are in that article.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah, I actually have a really good example. Not I thought of it. I'm not going to name the client. I mean, I'm not going to name the client. Um, this was a couple of years ago . I was working with an an OTT client over the top client. And um, they're , the reason why I'm not gonna mention this is their , they pivoted and they're doing something else now, but they had these multiple channels on an over the top network and one channel. They had a partnership with this pretty huge , uh, um, uh, content , uh, company out of , uh , Europe. And they had all great catalog of really obscure horror films, like really cool Japanese and all these different horror films from all over the world. I had a great catalog of it and I said, man, I really love like the Reddit and imager forums. Right? But the thing with that is you can't go in as a marketer, right? They'll call you out, you're not going to get any upvotes on it. So I, I asked , um, one of the creatives at the company said , Hey, can you take like 20 , uh, get animated gifs of like, you know, 20 different , uh, horror films in the catalog, like really short ones, 10 seconds of like the really cool parts of the film, right? Yeah . I said, yeah. So a few days later I get , um, all these animated gifts and I threw it up on immature . And I said, here are 20 horror films you won't find on Netflix. And it got over a quarter of a million upvotes and views on it. And at the very end, I very, very elegantly plugged the client link. That was it. So it wasn't over the top. Sellsy and I had a little synopsis underneath each, each film and it just, it did really well.

Brian Meert:

Uh , and that I would say that's, you know, I've always heard that referred to as a push or a pull where you know, you can push something out. Um, and that's where you're pulling people in, meaning you, you plant a seed and you wait for them to be like, wait, where do I find it ? If it's not Netflix, where is it? And you know that they are then going to follow them.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah, they did. Yeah. Oh yeah, it was, yeah. I mean I want to say now there's probably closer to 300,000 views or up votes on it and a couple thousand comments that are funny and hilarious. I love that whole community then in that community for years now and, and I'm not going to tell you guys my handle cause we were in like, Oh she's trying to sell. No I, that was like one out of maybe two times. I did this. I don't do that often, but that's just one way that I knew that this community was going to love it. Like it wasn't a big publication, you know, it wasn't, but I just knew that these are the people that would really appreciate these, you know , really cool horror films from around the world.

Brian Meert:

Yeah. Yeah. You know , one of the common things I see, or at least I've had, you know in , in my experience that people I know that have run into issues generally PR and on the negative side would be a tweet that went out or something on social media and got picked up or other, everyone's like, Oh my goodness, this person said that. And you know, there's generally a big uproar and you're generally, when it's happening in the moment, people are really freaked out either on a company stand point where they're like, everyone is now saying our company is associated with something that we don't want it to be or that you know is, is other people disagree with and you know , it can get really intense and it's a really fast paced moment. Is that something like what would you be your advice to anyone going through that? Is it, do you need to take action and , and get out there or do you just let it go by for a couple of days and it blows over and there's, you know, more scandals that happen and people just forget?

Priscilla Vento:

I mean, I haven't really ran into that too much. The , the closest thing that I ran into that recent more recently is I ha I repped an NFL player and he was gonna retire and an outlet had mentioned on a T , I don't think, I think it was a tweet and Instagram post , you know, former NFL, blah blah blah, blah. Cause they knew, you know, they weren't supposed to saying , but they knew that he was going to retiring . I get a phone call on a Saturday, I'm sitting on my deck looking at the ocean and Oh my God, we gotta have him pull this down right away. And so, Oh man, I'm glad I didn't start drinking this margarita. Let's get this going. Like, and I had a , you know, email a hundred people to say, Hey, rip that . And the outlet was nice enough to remove everything, but, and there was no real, you know, nobody really picked it up. But that was really the closest that we're , we're not really , um, you know, I , I feel like our clients have so far in the lesson, 11 years, knock on wood, haven't pulled any dumb moves and said stupid shit on Twitter. And I'm happy about that cause it makes my life a little easier. Um, I just feel like working with early stage entrepreneurs and, and, and , uh , an early stage team or they don't, a lot of them don't, don't have a lot of time for the whole Twitter move. But I would say that if I had to give advice on this, I, I'm always a big , uh , I'm always big on, Oh, you know, owning it. And if you have to apologize for whatever reason really mean it, don't apologize. If you don't mean it. Like that's, it's just going to come off as disingenuine and nobody wants, that's just going to be another headache. Um , and transparency's a huge, a huge deal. Right. And if you've learned from it, be sincere on what you learned from it. If it offended somebody, if you know, whatever it may be, you know, just this sincerity goes a really, really long way. Um, yeah.

Brian Meert:

Oh, that's great. That's great. Yeah. I feel like I learned that lesson the hard way when I , my parents beg , apologize your sister and then mean it and boom, spanking.

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. See ,

Brian Meert:

what was it that was five years old. I learned that lesson. Okay. So walk me through, are there any PR tools that are essential that you use on a daily basis or that help you kind of get the results , uh, at the end of the day without giving away all your secrets, but a couple of good ones that you're like, man, or any good ones?

Priscilla Vento:

Every, every PR person right now all together. Say it. Cision or Meltwater. Eva . I mean, they're both great. Especially if you're a , you know, an , uh , if you're a young publicist or young, I don't mean as an age, I just mean like you're starting to get into this career or you're just starting an agency. I think it's a great, great tool , uh, to have , um, you know, that's where you start building your relationships and not , and it makes it a lot easier to do. What I said in the beginning is find the best reporter for your story. It's, that's the best and quickest way to do it. It's the best and quickest way to, you know, create a list of, to reach out to. Um, I'm a big fan. They have great reporting tools. Um, and we've had to decision for a long time until kind of recently. I, I don't really rely on it too much anymore. So, yeah, I mean,

Brian Meert:

I , I've, I've heard that from generally publicists that build up their relationships and their own network where they have a history of, I'll come through for the writers and I'll connect you with the good stories. Um , and I think once you have that , I mean, that's really [inaudible] . I would actually go back and say that that's probably one of the big benefits on hiring someone versus you know, let's bring in someone young and just having to do this and figure it out. You know, the end result is, you know, press and mentions and a lot of that does come from years of working together with the people who are writing or putting up these stories.

Priscilla Vento:

Another tool that I want to recommend that would , uh , you know, really just make your agency just as agile as can be, is stop using a word excuse . You can't collaborate on a word doc with you and your rise team of writers or you and your client for approvals. I, when , if any of my staff sends me a word doc, I'll send it back and say, put it on a Google doc and share it with me. I will not open it . It , there's no way there. It's just, it doesn't make sense to me to use that form anymore. Um , and I've ran 30 on Google docs. It's the beginning. Um , and it , it's been around since then. And so , uh, you can just imagine how many folders I have in my drive right now. It's just insane. But 100% of my company's ran through that. Everything is all of the communications. I can have a writer in Ohio and be able to collaborate with them without missing a beat. And it's wonderful. And I think anybody listening right now who's wanting to start an agency get on that right away.

Brian Meert:

Yeah. Oh, it's , it's so critical. It's amazing how much I use it. But I will get annoyed if someone sends me like a word doc or a presentation or a spreadsheet and I'm like, I want get in there at the same time you and me, I want to get in and let's talk on the phone while we're making the changes so we can just get it done. Um, and it's just when it, when it comes, when it's not in that, I'm like, ah, yay .

Priscilla Vento:

Yeah. And , and the way that we use , uh, use it to, you know, send, you know, press releases for approval and we're able to ask questions. I just love it. Yeah. I'm a big fan.

Brian Meert:

So way, way more efficient than a , than the other method for sure. All right . So is there ever, you know, I know sometimes people will say there's no such thing as bad press, but I mean, is there ever a time when you would say to a company, you shouldn't be going out and getting press right now?

Priscilla Vento:

Yes. Um, if you're, if you have a technology company, you're building an app and you can't handle a half a million people come into your app because it's going to break. Don't do press if you have the money to pay for that server, bring it on. Yeah. But that would be one way where one time where it'd be like, you don't need press right now. You can't afford the server yet to handle that much. Um , that many downloads. So that's one thing. Another one would be, you know, I've had clients come to me and say, Hey, we wanna , you know, this so-and-so outlet reached out to us. We want to work with them. And I'm like, yeah, but I'm still writing this press release and I have a whole strategy. Like, I, we can't fit this in until later, but they want to see it now. Um, if it's a small, if it's a really small outlet and you're better than that kind of sounds like a Butthead kind of thing to say, but like, not that you're better that , but if you, if you know that you could do a larger than that, then listen to your PR person, right. And maybe save that outlet for later. Um , but there've been a few times where I'll look at a client and say, think that that outlet's a little too small for what we need right now.

Brian Meert:

I like that. I mean, I liked the fact that you bring it back to kind of the infrastructure, which, you know, I think in the startup community it's all about hit the gas and we'll figure it out down the road and I break shit and then fix it later, or whatever it is. You're out down the road. Yeah . And to some extent, I mean, it , that's kind of very much the culture. Uh, but I think, you know, press has the ability to completely, and then what happens is, you know, if you bring on more than you can handle, then everyone just has a negative experience and they're like, Oh, whatever. And then you get [inaudible] .

Priscilla Vento:

And by the way, that also is for the fashion world. Just I remember back in the day when I worked in fashion, I had this particular handbag in, I want to say it was in style. It was an in the magazine in style under like deals and steals and somebody on my team didn't do an inventory and we had only like maybe 36 of those bags left in the company. And so it was like a useless placement because it was sold out right away where we should have sent them a bag where we had, you know, hundreds, hundreds and inventories.

Brian Meert:

It can be a huge missed opportunity.

Priscilla Vento:

And that, that act , that story right there actually is why I learned to ask developers is this going to break if it gets in, you know, if we start going hard on press. So

Brian Meert:

I love it. Um, okay . Well, the finish shop. Uh, is there any final pieces of advice , uh, you know, if there's other businesses out there that are, you know, wanting to do more with PR. Any final words or advice or tips that you would give to them?

Priscilla Vento:

Um, any , uh , businesses out there who want to do PR on their own?

Brian Meert:

No, I mean, I , I just think, you know, most businesses are gonna have the same problem where they want to grow, they want to expand, they

Priscilla Vento:

want to have their business, you know , be better, get more sales. Yeah. I have one little tidbit and I , you know, I can't speak for every agency out there and, and you know, if you're hearing this and you're like, well, duh, Priscilla. I mean, I don't know, but this, this is actually a piece of advice I gave last night to somebody I was on a phone with who just started a cannabis PR company and they reached out to me because they needed advice. And I'm happy to give advice. Are you a competitor? Probably, but it doesn't matter. Like there's , there are so many products and companies out there and there's so many good PR people out there and there's so many good PR agencies out there. And I always tell clients, whether you're my client or you're looking for prayer , I always say there's thousands of PR firms out there who could get you in all these great outlets, but hire the people you want to work with. Like if this person makes you feel good and they're a delight to work with and, and you just like their vibe that go with that person, that goes a long way in a working relationship. Um, but the , the last thing that I wanted to say on that too is , um, this person was saying, Oh, you know, we hired a publicist, she's kind of junior . Um, she's writing out, she's a great, great writer and she's writing out all these press releases and then pitching them and it's just not going anywhere. Like nothing's happening. And I'm saying, well, she probably hates media relations then if she's a good writer, let her write , hire someone to do media relations. You know, it's like that movie art. And copy the person who creates the art doesn't necessarily write the copy for ads that in fact, I don't even think that ever happens. You have someone who writes copy and you have a designer who creates the art. Um , same thing goes for here. I feel like I , I, I feel like it's, it, it makes for a better work environment. It makes for a little bit of a more , um, I guess how agile process to have somebody write your press releases and hand it off to media relations expert. I feel like a lot of agencies, they write the press release and they do the media relations. I'm not a fan of doing that. No . Why not? I just feel like you're either really into, you're a really great media relations person. You get a high from getting placements. Like you get a rush from pitching and then getting reporters come back to you and saying, yes, we want to work with you. It's like a hole . It's a high, it is. It's like when you're a stockbroker in your , you know, do that whole thing. Um, and I think that writers are very creative and, and you know, especially tech, you know, technical writers are creative as well. And I can't see someone who's a really stellar technical writer really be stoked about having to then go and pitch all these, I think it's the two different people, right? Like you're , you're to be a media relations expert, you have to be able to kind of schmooze and do that. And it'd be a really

Brian Meert:

great technical writer. It's like a programmer, right? Yeah . Like you're not going to ask your CTO to go do the job of a CMO. It's just not, it doesn't, it's two different people for sure. And that's why when people ask me like, Hey, we're struggling with PR, what do we do? I say, hire 30 miles North . Yeah. Well thank you so much for being on the show. Such wonderful advice and you can just tell that you know everything about PR and how to do this, but thank you very much. It's been great. And uh , yeah, thanks for having me. You're very welcome.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to the Duke of digital podcast with Brian . Mitt. Want to network with other business owners. Join our exclusive group at facebook.com/groups/duke of digital fancy the Duke. Leave a five star review on your favorite podcast app and you can be mentioned on the show. The Duke of digital was produced by advertisement and recorded in Hollywood, California. All rights reserved.