Press Coverage Done Right: A Story Of Social Media, PR And Stalking

Michael Brenner on Mar 8, 2011 in Social Media

You know what they say, “there’s no such thing as bad PR.” But for marketers, there is nothing better than good press coverage in a respected trade publication.

Recently I saw that one of my Twitter friends Rachel Macik (@RachelMacik) scored a huge win for her company Atos Origin with this article coverage in the highly-coveted CIO.com media property: “Killing Email Softly – How One Company Is Planning Its Demise.”

When I ReTweeted the article and congratulated Rachel, she responded:

More interesting… @kmburnham [the author] and I met on twitter! It’s a fun story. This is where it all began https://bit.ly/ib56cL

So I asked Rachel if she would share her story and she agreed…

Q: How did you meet Kristin on Twitter?

I’ve always read CIO Magazine to learn more about the IT business, and to keep on top of the latest news. But more importantly, I was (and still am) trying to build a relationship or at the very least get noticed by journalists for the greater good of my company. This is no easy task. I’m sure these writers are inundated with mundane press releases and nonsense chatter to get their attention. I try my best to not say anything unless I can actually add value. The 2009 article caught my attention because this CIO was Making IT Fun Again, and I like fun. Dave Patzwald had began his career in marketing, (which means he’s probably the coolest guy ever), and it seemed Kristin had a good interview with the guy.

I was also new at Twitter and blogging, so I wanted to make sure I could catch her attention and use my @-tag wisely. I stalked, no “followed” Kristin for a few days. I learned she liked to ski, she used slang, she seemed to be young and cool, up and coming. Dave Patzwald was actually not part of Twitter at the time. When I commented on the story and talked about how Dave needed to step it up a little with his ol’ marketing roots, he accepted the challenge. His tweets didn’t last long, but it was enough to encourage me that I was doing the right thing.

@davepatzwald: @rmacik i accepted your challenge and joined twitter after kristin alerted me to your blog… glad to know there are others like me!

Q: How did your initial conversation almost 2 years ago turn into this recent story?

Honestly, it’s difficult to not send every journalist every bit of good news from your company. Over the last couple years, this is actually the second story Kristin has published about Atos. My first story in CIO magazine was around the Vancouver Olympic Games (Atos is the Worldwide IT Partner for the games). Since I knew Kristin was a skier, I figure she would have a personal interest in the news relating IT and the Winter Olympic Games. I kept her updated with the latest news regarding the Games, and eventually, Kristin was able to publish the first released from the testing lab.

Since then, Kristin has moved to covering social media and Web 2.0 for CIO.com, so I haven’t bothered her with “typical” news. When we had the latest innovation series which announced the banishment of corporate email, replaced by social media… I knew she would be interested.

Q: I think a lot of marketers dream about getting this kind of exposure for their company and their CEO. What tips can you identify for the average marketer to achieve this kind of exposure?

Best tip I can give is to read -read a lot. And know how to use your online stalker skills for good, not evil. One of my favorite websites (because they speak the truth) is www.theoatmeal.com and because the artwork is awesome. My all-time favorite comic is the “How to use Facebook”. As I laughed at this, I realized I was nearly failing/succeeding at being the most annoying online stalker ever. My best tip is to not be the RASH.  https://theoatmeal.com/comics/facebook_suck

  • Don’t freak anyone out by over commenting or retweeting everything they say. You will become white noise.
  • Don’t keep changing your profile picture. They don’t know your name. They recognize your photo.
  • Don’t send every press release to everyone.
  • Don’t expect immediate feedback, or any at all. If you’ve tagged their name, they’ll read it. If it’s interesting, you’ll hear back. If it’s not, try again—LATER.
  • DO be personal and show your true self… but don’t overdo it. Once you enter the social space as a social ambassador of your company, the corporate name is still attached to your persona no matter what your disclaimer says.
  • DO know who you’re following and why. Use Twitter lists and Linkedin folders…they work wonders to keep you focused on following different subject matters.
  • DO keep updated with personal interests of your target audience and their career objectives. Only send them relevant news—not everything.
  • DO let them know when you’ve read something they’ve written, give feedback on the actual article website, not just twitter. Make sure your feedback counts as part of their ROI on the article. Your personal congrats is nice, but doesn’t mean squat to the boss.

Q: You must be considered like a total “rock star” by the CEO?

I’d like to think my CEO reads my twitter feed, is a fan of all the Facebook pages I’ve created for the company, and perhaps has google alerts set for every time I make a comment anywhere on anything (scratch the last one 🙂 )…truth is, I’m certain he doesn’t. Honestly most people don’t know what to do with me and my social savviness. I believe management knows the power in social media, how news can spread like wildfire, and it’s important to learn how to manage situations before they become “situations”. They let me test waters, do my job, learn how to use the social media for the greater-good, I like that freedom.

I even wrote a blog once about our CEO’s hair to see if I could get some sort of feedback on my writing. (He does have fabulous hair by the way.) I was hoping these CEO’s would all have Google Alerts set up with their names, and I would have immediate notoriety… but I’m still waiting 🙂

Q: Have you seen any results from the coverage that you can share?

You’re interviewing me, that’s a good start. As of today, (three days after the story post), there are 116 tweets and 68 shares on facebook. Even the CIO.com Executive Editor weighed in on the story. I’m happy with the turn out so far.

@elanavaron: @kmburnham This morning, 104 unread messages in my inbox. 85 of them irrelevant to me.

 

Well I appreciate that Rachel was willing to share her experience with my readers here on B2B Marketing Insider. Please follow Rachel on Twitter and check out the Rachel Macik blog.

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 2 comments
  • Trish Cunningham

    Great article on how @RachelMacik was able to score big with CIO.com on Twitter! Being concise, engaging and relational keeps folks interested! Keep up the good work Michael! Best regards, Trish Cunningham
    twitter: @trishrc

    • Michael Brenner

      Trish,

      Thanks for the comment. I thought it was a great story and so happy Rachel was willing to share it. As you said, I think the main point is that she forged a relationship and through a few iterations ended up with this huge score. Something worth aspiring to vs. emal blasting press releases!