Secrets to Creating an Exceptional PR Strategy

Episode #035: Connie Glover, Senior Marketing Manager at Trava and Principal Owner of CMarie Marketing Studio

Have you heard our attention spans are now shorter than a goldfish? Whether that’s a myth or a fact, we only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the public, which is why we have to rethink our PR strategies. 

In this episode, we chat with Connie Glover, Senior Marketing Manager at Trava, and Principal Owner of CMarie Marketing Studio. Connie is an accomplished marketing communications, PR, and sales leader who has an impressive career bringing visibility to companies and brands to life. 

We’re talking about how to grab the attention of journalists, best practices for writing pitches, secrets to level up your PR efforts, and so much more. 

Stephanie's Strong Opinions

  1. It doesn’t matter what your pitch says if your audience doesn’t open it. Your subject line and headline matter.
  2. Follow journalists on Twitter. When you start engaging with their content and tagging them in your own posts, they’ll start noticing you.
  3. Narrow down your pitches to three to four sentences. Content can be much more valuable and impactful when it’s shorter.

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Episode Transcription

Stephanie Cox: Welcome to Real Marketers where we hear from marketers who move fast, ask forgiveness, not permission, obsessed about driving results and are filled to the brim with crazy ideas and the guts to implement them. This is not a fireside chat and there’s absolutely no bullshit allowed here. And I’m your host, Stephanie Cox. I am more than 15 years of marketing experience and I’ve pretty much done about everything in my career. I believe speed is better than perfection. I use the Oxford comma, I love Coca- Cola, have exceptionally high standards and surround myself with people who get shit done. On this show, my guests and I will push boundaries and share the real truth about marketing and empower you to become a real marketer. So Connie, tell me a little bit about yourself that few people seem to know.

Connie Glover: I have a lot of secrets and a lot of skeletons in the closet. So what can I say on a podcast? I was a professional ballet dancer early in my life, like around my college age. So I had a really cool experience with stage performance and my ballet director had two daughters that were principals in the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine. And so even in a small west Texas school and ballet company, we got that real world experience. And I used to like to pretend that I was in the New York City Ballet.

Stephanie Cox: That is super cool. I am obsessed with the New York City Ballet. Have you watched, there’s a documentary on Disney + about it?

Connie Glover: I have not, but now that I know about it, I will find it.

Stephanie Cox: It’s really good. It’s multiple episodes talking about being in the school and what it’s like, and it was exceptional. Well, I’m obsessed with that stuff.

Connie Glover: Yeah, I am too. And I had a really fortunate experience early on in my career. I worked for a company that was in the interior building products industry. And I used to go around and give educational programs about different types of flooring. We happened to make custom wood floors, but I used to travel around to architects and we had a lot of architect clients in New York City. And so I would travel to New York a lot and train architects. And when I was in New York, I found a studio called Steps and it was on Broadway and I would go and take class. I would drop into a class and I would go in there and I looked like everybody else. I had my scarf wrapped around my neck and my legwarmers and walked into class and I know that most of the people in the class were probably going to be performing on stage that night and that’s where they went and took their studio class. And so I got to live out my dream in my head on those trips. And it was really pretty cool.

Stephanie Cox: That sounds like my dream as well. When I was little, like I was convinced I was going to be a ballerina, but I was not as good at it as clearly you were, so. crosstalk that dream died.

Connie Glover: I was like a big fish, small pond scenario because I was in a small west Texas school. I was in at West Texas State then. Now it’s West Texas A& M and it was the… Amarillo was the Lonestar Ballet Company in Amarillo. So could I have gone to New York? No, but could I pretend really well? Yep.

Stephanie Cox: So how did you go from wanting to be a professional dancer and that love into marketing?

Connie Glover: It’s a very roundabout story. When I first went into school and this was years and years ago, I don’t want to date myself too badly, but a long, long time ago when I was first going into school, computers were then becoming a thing. And so it was computer programming. And my dad decided for me that I would go into school with a computer programming major because he could see the future. And he could also see the future that if I was a woman in that industry, that I would be able to write my own ticket. Right. His dream was-

Stephanie Cox: Your dad sounds super smart.

Connie Glover: Yeah. He was a visionary that way. And his dream was that I would go to work for IBM. So I went and I took my first semester of computer programming and I couldn’t do it, both physically couldn’t get it. And then mentally just knew that I wasn’t going to… That couldn’t be the passion of my life. And I have a girl that lived in my dorm, who I could tell was very good at it. And I didn’t know she was somebody I wanted to be friends with, but I knew I needed her help. And I went down and I said,” Please, can you help me just get a grasp of this?” And she did. And it saved me through that semester, but I realized that I couldn’t make my life out of that. And I had joined the ballet company at that point and I went home on winter break and I told my dad,” I don’t think I can do this for my job.” And he said,” Well, what do you think you’re going to do?” And I said,” Well, I would like to be a dancer. I would like to teach ballet, maybe open my own studio, maybe try and be in a company.” And he was so angry with me and he didn’t say much to me for the whole Christmas break. And then when I was going back for the second semester, he said,” You ready to go back. If you don’t want to major in computer science, fine, but you need to change your major to something where you can go and make a living,” and I didn’t know what to do. I had not gone through that whole process in high school about thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. And so I just picked marketing at the time. It sounded fun. And I thought I could… it sounded like something that would be creative and I became a marketing major. So it wasn’t until the mid point of my career though, that I actually got into marketing as a profession because the first half of my career was spent in sales. However, what that taught me was how to interact with sales and how important the two were to each other. And I could look at anything that I was producing and doing from a marketing standpoint, through the eyes of how it would help a salesperson and what a salesperson would need. And so I think it really helped me become successful, especially in the internal relationships that sometimes can be a little tenuous between marketing and sales.

Stephanie Cox: Well, and it’s interesting, right? Like the fact that you’ve had that sales experience. So you are more familiar with some of the challenges they face because I think sometimes marketers, especially in B2B, if you can’t empathize with the sales team and if they can’t emphasize with you, if you have lots of alignment problems that can cause a lot of friction. So what do you think was unique about your ability to be in both roles and see both sides of it and what you can bring to the table to help with that maybe misalignment that typically happens in other organizations?

Connie Glover: Sure. I think it’s evolved. So early on in my marketing career, I was very conscious about the communications in between what I was doing and what I was producing and how the sales people were talking about it with the customers. Sometimes there can be a really big disconnect there. They’re on the phone, they’re doing their thing. They’re going through their process. They’ve got the relationship, but have I provided the tools that allow them to do that and allow them to foster the sales process and bring it to a closed deal? And I’ve been in anything from selling actually a physical product to now technology. And so I was with one company… We actually started in sales and then moved into my first real marketing leadership role. And so I thought about the things that would help me from when I was in sales and then I had the relationships with the other salespeople and then I was able to create sales enablement tools for them based on what I knew firsthand I would have liked to have had when I was in sales and started there. And the other thing that happened on the side was that I also involved manufacturing and the production of the product, and then have brought that through into my roles where I’ve been in a software company, right. Or a software solution and brought in the production team, the product developers, and really inaudible help them to understand that what we were doing in marketing and how we were communicating what they were making translated over to, how we were actually marketing and selling it. And then it helped get those that were making the product into the mindset of what, is this going to mean to the customer? So it wasn’t just an impact with sales, but that also fostered, okay, well now we’ve got it together with sales. Let’s get it together with the other departments too, because what marketing does impacts everything for how the product is made and enhanced to how it’s being sold. And just being able to build those relationships and bridge those gaps and those lines of communication internally, it just brings the whole company into the mindset of what are we saying to our customers and what is it going to mean to them?

Stephanie Cox: And what you described is how I like to think about marketing led companies, right? Or marketing is inaudible leading the company. But what they’re doing is not telling everyone to do, they’re bringing everyone together. And so they’re all part of that effort. That’s honestly what you’re talking about. I’ve seen a few people during my career.

Connie Glover: Well, it’s taken a long, long time, but it’s also been really challenging too, because challenging, and if I made that sound like it was a little bit negative, but it’s been challenging in terms of how the marketing role has evolved. Tell me if you agree. I think you might. Where it feels to me like as marketing leaders, we are as responsible. I’m not even going to say almost as responsible. We are as responsible for the revenue of sales now.

Stephanie Cox: Yes. Or we should be, if you’re not like you’re doing something wrong people.

Connie Glover: Yeah. If you’re still back having fun and creating fun ads, then you’re not in marketing in 2021.

Stephanie Cox: I completely agree. It’s true though. Right. And it doesn’t mean that what you have to do, can’t be fun. It just means that if you’re not focused on the numbers and on what percentage of revenue that you were driving for the business and the bottom line, you’re not doing marketing well.

Connie Glover: And it used to be that marketing spent the money and had very little accountability for that. Now I still spend the money, but I have to account for every single dollar and bring in way more than I spent. And that has to be documented and reported on and I’m held accountable to that.

Stephanie Cox: Yeah. Gone are the days of us just asking for more money and just getting it, right? You have to know, okay. If I asked for insert, you know, a hundred thousand dollars, half a million dollars, okay, well I want a three, four X multiple of that. So if I give you a half million dollars, you’re going to bring in 1.5 to$ 2 million in revenue, right? Like that’s today’s marketing.

Connie Glover: And we have to be able to directly demonstrate that. And it gets to be a little bit scary. We no longer have the unlimited credit card.

Stephanie Cox: No, we don’t. I wish we did it some days but we that’s a subject for a glass of wine.

Connie Glover: Exactly.

Stephanie Cox: But one of the other things I wanted to talk to you about that you are really gifted in is PR and thinking about how to use PR as a tool, because there are like we were just talking about budget constraints and I think sometimes people assume that PR has a cost to it, which it does if you work with an agency, but the benefit it can have, even though it can be hard to track, it can be pretty enormous for a lot of organizations. So when you’re thinking about using PR as part of your overall marketing strategy in building up your brand, what does that typically look like for you?

Connie Glover: It is. So back in the day, when you were doing PR and you wanted to gain visibility for your company, your product, your service, if you could create a great pitch, literally I used to call journalists at their desk at their media outlet. You could get that information. You could get their contact info, you could call them on the phone, a lot of times, get them on the phone and pitch your story. So now not only can you not do that, ever at all, A, because most journalists are also bloggers are also freelance. Even if they do have a set home base is a media outlet, they’re probably contributors to other outlets. So they’re harder to find. B, noise, noise, noise. Blah- blah- blah they’re like the Charlie Brown teacher in their ears all day long with people pitching. C, most marketers these days don’t know how to do a pitch that will be heard and grabbing the attention of journalists because it’s like they’re trying to sell.

Stephanie Cox: It does.

Connie Glover: Right. And then lastly, the whole relationship between the PR professional, whether they are internal to your organization or part of a PR agency and the media/ journalists is completely different now. So it used to be companies would hire a PR firm because the PR firms had those relationships, they could call up a writer. They could say,” I’ve got a story for you,” and they could get it published. Now the PR agencies don’t have any more leverage or success at those relationships for their clients than an internal person would have anymore. And so for them to charge usually quite a bit of money because they still have to pay for the service, like the decisions and the PR Newswire and all of those distribution platforms, they still have to pay for that. But it’s also harder for them to get those relationships and its different relationships depending on the industry. So to justify paying out a PR agency is becoming more and more difficult. And I would really highly recommend that if you can do it in- house to try and do that first, because the tools these days are really, really sophisticated in terms of helping you build your targeted database and there are a lot of great PR professionals out there that have podcasts that are as valuable as this one, in terms of how to do appropriate pitch, what to do, what not to do, how to write a good headline, how to write a good subject line, all of those types of things, where you have as good of a chance as a PR agency of grabbing the attention of a major media outlet or outlets in order to get your story told and your message out there.

Stephanie Cox: Oh, there’s so much to dive in to what you crosstalk.

Connie Glover: I know. I could have swapped out to any of those sentences and we could of talked a whole other hour about each thing.

Stephanie Cox: Well, and that’s why I wanted to dive into like… Let’s start with the first one that really hit me to my core, which is around pitches. So obviously I’m the host of the show and I get pitches for guests to be on the show. And sometimes I’m like, marketers… Have you listened to my show? Because I’ll get pitched like a CEO or like someone pitched me other day, a head of finance. I’m like,”This show is called real marketers. You are not a marketer.” And I think to your point is, you have to do some research. Journalists aren’t going to respond to your email or respond to a call or even a DM on Twitter, however you want to get ahold of them if it’s not relevant to what they write about. So why are so few marketers, and I’ve seen this from agencies as well, not taking the time to figure out how to craft the right pitch? Is it because they don’t know what to do? Is it laziness? I mean, what’s your take on that?

Connie Glover: I think it’s a combination and it’s all of the above. And I think that they’re probably treating it like they treat a lot of their marketing communications processes, which is in the form of a blast, that the same message is going out to 50 or 100 journalists and it all says the same thing. And the problem is, is because we’re all so busy and overloaded and the job of the marketer is become so complex, as we talked about early on in this conversation, reading their stuff, figuring out what they want to write about, thinking of a creative subject line, writing a unique email, and then sending it to one person.

Stephanie Cox: A lot of times-

Connie Glover: It doesn’t seem very time efficient, and there are some ways where you can make it efficient, really. But I’m happy to dive in and give a few pointers on how you can make it seem less daunting. And that means, Stephanie, be the entire reason why people still are paying agencies.

Stephanie Cox: Well, I’m going to take you up on that since you offered, tell us.

Connie Glover: So the way that they approach a journalist, the same way that they do sending out communications to prospects, right? We’ve all got the database. We all have our nurture sequences. We all have the messages that we’ve crafted to appeal to most of our target audience or ICP. That might work to a certain extent, but rarely if ever do we get a customer that gets a first ever email from us that responds and says,” Yes, I would like a demo,” How many-

Stephanie Cox: crosstalk… when it doesn’t happen?

Connie Glover: Right. But how many touches does it take… Back in the old days it took seven. Different ways to communicate before somebody actually took notice. So now we have, like that we have a lot of different ways to connect with our prospective customers, through our email nurturing, through our social media messaging, through our content, how we deliver the content. And at some point somebody is going to engage with us. And that’s the first step. It’s the same thing with PR and getting the attention of journalists or bloggers or writers. So I recommend that the place where you start is on Twitter. These days, most journalists live on Twitter. Not LinkedIn, not any of the other social media platforms, but believe it or not, we don’t use Twitter to market and engage with our customers. That’s not where our customers live, but we do use it to grab the attention of someone that may want to take notice of and share our content or write about it. So if you start with finding articles and many of us through our social media efforts are researching articles that we curate that are about our industry, maybe not written by us, but it shows that we’re sharing other information in our space. When you do that, you find an article,” Oh, this relates to us. We’re going to share that across our social platforms.” First thing you do is take notice of the author. Then you research the author and find them on Twitter. Then you add them to your list, which you can build if you have a PR platform or just start building it on your own. You add them to your list as writers, journalists, to keep an eye on, okay. Then you look for other stuff that they’ve written about and you share their work and you tag them and you comment and you shout out. And pretty soon, they’re going to notice that you are taking an interest in their work. And hopefully they’re going to take a notice of you. Hopefully they will follow you back, right? So you’re engaging in a conversation with them without actually engaging in a conversation with them. When you start doing that, then you start noticing commonalities and themes across various types of articles in various journalists. So then you can start crafting messages that can actually go out to more than one person, but because they’re all writing about similar things and taking a similar approach and they’re in a similar space, then it’s going to feel to them like it’s actually just written and targeted at them. So you can do all of this and serve two purposes. A, you’re finding great content to share and curate so that what you’re putting out there in your thought leadership space isn’t just written by you and promoting you. And two, you start getting to know the people that you want to target from a media standpoint, and you start developing your… the media equivalent to your ICP, your ideal customer profile that way. You also get a lot of good ideas when you’re reading these articles, because they all have to do the same thing that we do. They have to come up with a compelling headline for their story, right? And that helps you get a feel for some catchy phrases that you can use in your subject line for the emails when you’re going to send out a pitch for a story. And it doesn’t always have to be a new product. You can, if you’re doing anything at all that’s unique and you pitch it as, this is something different and I want you to be the first one to know and be able to write about it.

Stephanie Cox: And I mean that.

Connie Glover: And mean it and mean it don’t just say it and then have the same old product that you’re just trying to sell. You use that as a disguise to sell. That happens in press releases too and it drives me crazy. So, and you keep it as short as possible. I was trained by a woman named Amy Lemley. She’s a seven time published author. Her most recent book from a few years ago is called Work Makes Me Nervous. It’s about workplace anxiety. And she taught me about packing a tighter snowball and that is her phrase and I use it a lot and it drives everything I do from a website, home page to a press release to a media pitch, to an email in a nurture sequence. Say the most impactful thing you can say in the fewest amount of words. And when I am doing something like a pitch for PR or anything else that matter a homepage to a website, I spend 85 to 90% of my time on the subject line or the headline, or what’s above the fold when you land on the homepage of a website. In fact, when we used to produce websites together, we would literally spend 85 to 90% of the time coming up with the three phrases that we’re going to go on the homepage of the website and the other 10% of our billable time, in writing the entire rest of the website. And that’s how you approach your pitch because I’m telling you what, it doesn’t matter what you say in the email if they don’t open it.

Stephanie Cox: As I say, what’s crazy about that is it’s so simple yet so many people don’t do it. Like when you’re saying, and I’m like, why wouldn’t we do this? But then I feel like so many times we just get… We don’t think about the importance of the headline, or like you mentioned, what’s on the homepage of the website and we dive into the body copy of it or other pages and we don’t realize is we’ve already lost someone.

Connie Glover: But it’s hard, Stephanie, like, have you ever seen that… It’s that meme where there’s a chalkboard and there’s all these squiggly lines all over the chalkboard. It was a quote by Einstein and the caption is,” Simple as hard.”

Stephanie Cox: Yes.

Connie Glover: It was all these squiggly lines. And then next to it, there’s like a straight line. Simple is really hard. Simple is way harder than complex, I think. But it’s simple if it’s going to grab somebody. And then if you do the work on the subject line or the headline, they actually opened it up and this applies to anything, whether it’s PR or whether it’s your nurture sequence emails or whether it’s anything else that you do, inaudible blogs, when they open it up, Hey, what would you say? Or start with things like,” Can you imagine,” dah, dah, dah, or” What would you say if I told you that,” XYZ? Right? If you drank this lemonade, it will taste exactly like real lemonade complete with pulp and everything and you don’t have to hand squeeze a single lemon. Would you take a sip of this? Like whatever it is and then our new product is groundbreaking in the industry because it’s doing what has never been done before and that is X. And your pitch is four sentences. I would love for you to give you the first opportunity to write about this. We’re going to release it to the general public on X date, contact me here.

Stephanie Cox: It’s simple, but that’s why it stands out.

Connie Glover: It stands out. It’s hard because as marketers, we feel like we have to be the ones responsible for saying the most amount of stuff and that if it’s three sentences, people are going to think that we’re not doing our job. It’s only three sentences. Oh, this possibly do us any good, but yet three sentences can be so much more impactful and valuable than three paragraphs.

Stephanie Cox: Well, I talked to people about this all the time, and I talked to my team about it, even yesterday. This idea that people don’t read anymore. And what I mean by that is it’s not that people and consumers aren’t reading books, but they don’t read content the way that they used to, because there are so many other things going on around them. Like you talked earlier about noise with journalists. Just like consumers, we have a ton of noise. So when you send out an email, chances are people are not going to read it word for word, they’re going to skim it. And if it’s multiple paragraphs, what am I supposed to pay attention to?

Connie Glover: Exactly.

Stephanie Cox: And now you’ve lost me and I’ve moved on. I’ve not responded. I’ve not taken whatever action that you wanted me to take, because I wasn’t clear what you wanted me to do with it. I think it’s an important lesson for us all to think about.

Connie Glover: And there’s two points to that, Stephanie. You know I agree with you so completely on that, but two things on that. So A, I always recommend, and I try and practice putting your whatever your call to action is in two places in your emails. One after the first three sentences, even if you haven’t gotten to the part about it. Now, like you want somebody to register for a webinar, you introduce it with one or two sentences, register, here’s the register button. And then you explain what’s in the webinar and then another register button. Because like you said, the likelihood that they’re going to make it down to the bottom and then see the register button may or may not happen. Likely won’t happen. So that’s the first thing that I always like to recommend too. But to your point about how people don’t read anymore, I feel like that is also true about video and that the same concepts have to apply to video, to webinars, to speaking presentations on stage, when we get back to that, because it used to be that the video was the way of getting information without having to read something and you could double task or multitask if you had a video on. You could at least be listening to it and doing something else. But I feel like you’ve got to get to the gist and have a compelling opening and a compelling first two or three minutes to make people want to listen to the rest of it. And I think the Ted Talk is the perfect example. So the way to not start any type of… And it just drives me crazy on webinars. And I just wish it would go away. I understand why it might be kind of necessary, but I love Ted Talks because the speaker comes out and they say something really dramatic, impactful, thought provoking or provocative, or it’s a question that makes you stop and go, inaudible and then they keep going. There’s none of this,” Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate… Thank you for this warm introduction,” inaudible and then the audience is they’ve tuned out. So same principles apply with any type of meeting in these days. You’ve got to spend the time on the first thing that somebody is going to see, subject line, headline, first spoken sentence, or two, how you start your webinar, how you open up your video, because you’ve got to assume that somebody’s not going to make it all the way through and whatever’s the most important thing for them to know has to be done in a compelling way, really super quick.

Stephanie Cox: I completely agree. I was watching a video today. It’s funny that you mentioned this and the video was two and a half minutes and after about 45 seconds, I was like,” What is the point?” I couldn’t crosstalk even… and it was a video I wanted to watch, but I was like,” You’re going to get to this at the end of it,” So I scrolled through and get to the end to find out what the point of this video is. And it’s true. I remember years ago where it was like,” Oh, keep your videos under three minutes.” And now I’m like, when you look at things like TikTok as an example, do you have to do these shorter videos because we’re actually conditioning a entire audience of people who want to see shorter things. And they’re used to that. So when you give them a one minute, 90 second or three minute video, it’s almost overwhelming to them. Right. My kids are teenagers and one of the things that they say sometimes is when I have them watch a video, that’s more than, I don’t know, two minutes,” Is this like a movie?”” No, it’s not like a movie.”” Is it a show?”” It’s not a show. It’s a video.”” What do you mean?” That’s how they equate stuff, right?

Connie Glover: inaudible.

Stephanie Cox: It’s like three minutes. No, but to them crosstalk like everything is so short. So it’s interesting about how much of that is changed in and to your point like just get to the point quicker and be more bold with it and get people’s attention. I think that’s why Ted Talks are so great and I love that they force you to only have a certain amount of time where you have to say what you mean, quickly. I wish more conferences were like that. I feel like this move to digital and I get why it’s happened due to everything going on in the world, part of our challenge has been like,” I’m in front of my computer all day at home. I don’t want to sit and listen to someone speak at me virtually if they’re going to drone on.” Right. I want them to get to the point. I want to know what I’m supposed to learn faster. I think that’s hard for a lot of people.

Connie Glover: And yeah, it’s very hard. And this is the theme of our conversation today. Simple is hard. And two quick examples to your point. I’m a movie buff and I love all things film and movies and Hollywood. And back before COVID my husband and I would go to at least one movie every single week and most of the time, because we would always go on Saturdays, it would be a double header, right? I saw every movie that was nominated during award season for anything. And I have become a giant fan of short films. And short films are 20 to 30 minutes. The beauty of short films is like the Ted Talks. There is no time to mess around with fluff. And so you pay attention to every bit of it because you don’t want to miss anything because you know there’s no fluff built in because there’s no time. Right. So that’s a great example if you think of everything that you do in terms of Ted Talks and short film. I was on a miserable 10, probably almost 15 minutes in they were still talking about all of the things they were doing for COVID compliance.

Stephanie Cox: And your bored.

Connie Glover: And I-

Stephanie Cox: And so is everyone else.

Connie Glover: I tighten in into the question and answer. I said,” I thought this was going to be about what you expect at the live event and how to prepare as a sponsor. Please do another session when you can tell us about housing, our booth set up, how to ship our stuff, when we need to ship our stuff and what the deliverables and the timeline are,” and I hung up. Because-

Stephanie Cox: Good for you.

Connie Glover: …what I could have done was,” Hey guys, we have been working super hard with the city and with the venue to make sure everybody is safe and COVID compliant. Here’s a link to our document that tells you everything you need to know about that. Now let’s talk about, what’s going to happen with you as sponsors. We’re on a short timeline here. We’re four months out. Here’s what you can expect.”

Stephanie Cox: Or that could have been like one slide.” Hey, everyone as sponsors, here’s what you need to know. You have to wear a mask. There’s hand sanitizer, you need a vaccine and we’re going to check temperatures. Okay. Moving on.”

Connie Glover: Yeah.” If you want way more details that we were almost going to spend 20 minutes talking about, then here’s the document, here’s the link.” I mean, it was ridiculous and I thought,” I hope those people never have to go and market for anybody and grab the attention of a prospective customer or pitch a media story because they’ll fail.” And I was angry because I felt then that my time was wasted and all of us are getting more and more sensitive to that these days as well.

Stephanie Cox: I completely agree. I don’t have patience for my time being wasted, especially when I’m being misled. And I think you mentioned this earlier, right? When you talked about PR pitches. This whole idea of like, don’t tell me that your products know when it’s really not. Same thing with a webinar, digital event. Really anything. Don’t tell me it’s something and then when I get there, I realize it’s the complete opposite of what you sold me on.

Connie Glover: Exactly. Exactly.

Stephanie Cox: Final question for you. If you had to give someone one piece of advice as they start thinking about really investing and I’m not talking about money, but their own time and resources and do PR for their business, where should they start?

Connie Glover: I’ve got one type of tool and one person on where to start. Start with the person. Anne Wiley is a PR pro. She is a veteran. She has been around for decades and she knows her stuff and she has kept herself very, very current. And has evolved as the industry has evolved. Follow Anne, follow her on LinkedIn, read her stuff and you will get a really good, succinct and efficient dose of the best practices for PR in 2021. So I’m giving a plug to Anne. She doesn’t even know me, but I continue to learn a lot from her. And two, there are a lot of technology tools and platforms that all serve a really good purpose. And so you can figure out which one is the best for you. I happen to use Cision right now, but I’ve used some of the others. A lot of these tech stacks have merged with each other. So I used to subscribe to one and now it’s part of another one. But what has happened is they have evolved from being so much more than just a place where you can release your press releases because that used to be what PR News Wire and PR Web and all of those used to be was a place for you to be able to go and submit a press release out to the World Wide Web. Now that’s almost feels like an afterthought that these tools all give you a way to research journalists and research writers and media outlets in your space, find those that you think would be most impactful for grabbing their attention, start building your list there, start using what you find there to then research them on the social media outlets, particularly Twitter and research where they write so that you can read their articles and get to know them a little bit better. But it serves as a really good portal to keep all of your media relations in one place and then be able to also distribute your emails and your news to targeted media personnel and outlets. So, to give you an example, when I first came on board at my former company and my current one, they each had PR service that they were a PR firm that they were using. This current one they were paying a PR firm$ 10,000 a month and plus the cost of the press release when there was press releases involved. And what we were getting back in terms of when we actually got his story accepted or got the attention of a media outlet or got an interview or whatever feature article, a couple, a quarter maybe, one or two. So we invested in a tech stack and for under$ 20,000 a year as compared to$ 120,000 a year, I gave the company back a hundred grand for the year by bringing it in- house. And I managed that and I get help from another member of my team. And it’s not our full- time job. So not only are you saving the money by bringing it in- house, it sounds like a lot, but once you get going and get into your group, like with your other marketing practices, you can create a really efficient way of managing how you approach the media and can get really successful pretty quickly.

Stephanie Cox: You’ve been listening to Real Marketers. If you love what you’ve heard, make sure to subscribe, rate and review our podcast. And don’t forget to tell a friend. All of this marketing goodness, shouldn’t be kept a secret.