Elliotte PR

The career adventures, experiments, musings and news of Elliotte Bowerman
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The Bare Naked Ladies (the band, not to be confused with a random San Francisco day in Dolores Park) sings a whimsical song about “If I had a million dollars.” If I had $1M, Kickstarter is where I’d spend my dough (and Kiva - but that’s another post coming soon.)

Kickstarter’s been getting a lot of headlines lately (great PR, whomever you are!) Kickstarter - if you ever read this (chance is slim to none but worth saying) - I want to work for you/with you!

But I digress. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Amazing people that want to do amazing things, and need money to do them (hello, reality) create fundraising campaigns. Much like PBS telethons, Kickstarter allows each campaign to determine pledge amounts and the rewards you’ll get for how much you back the project. The more money, the better the reward.

It’s a brilliant premise, done on a user-friendly platform, with a huge and avid following.  As a person that loves art and creative thinking, plus I’m a bit of a tech/web geek, this site is beyond “teh awesome”. And if I had more money, I would be sponsoring so many projects. 

With that in mind, even though it’s not a direct fit with PR, I am going to share awesome Kickstarter campaigns that I wish I could fund. (And I’m seriously going to find a way to create a “this makes me happy” budget to use for this stuff.)

First up is Occuprint, which is an amazing part of Occupy Wall Street that takes the protest art and shares it with the world. My dream would be the $860 archive, BUT if there are 4 friends that want to go in with me on the $300 deal, we get a lot of cool stuff for $60 each.


Changing Education Paradigms - an RSA Animate video of a Sir Ken Robinson lecture.

One of my clients, KlabLab, is part of the education revolution. Sir Ken Robinson is an inspiration - and this RSA Animate video is amazing. I love the idea of taking a talk and giving it an animation; it’s also fantastic art. So if you’re going to do a video, do it RIGHT. Right, btw, is different for various audiences. KlabLab has a video blog and it’s not super polished professional - in fact, the rawness is part of the appeal. But they still add music, have a cool tone to the content, and spend time editing it for the message.

In PR, we’re constantly asked to prove our value. With social media, it’s hard to decide which metrics matter the most and to “make sense of all those numbers.”

Social Bakers provided a post recommending these 4 metrics:

  1. Fans - total # (but warning, you can easily BUY fans so how do you determine the quality of those fans? see #2)
  2. Engagement Rate - amount of people on average interacting with content
  3. Response Rate/Time - response rate and time to your fan posts, very critical for reactive engagement
  4. Growth - momentum and growth of your page
One thing it does NOT list is sentiment, which is a problem to me. If your audience is engaging (ie posting a comment to your wall on Facebook) but it’s NEGATIVE, that will do far more harm to your brand but looking at raw numbers it could be boosting the overall average.
I also think the engagement data should be evaluated not by average alone, but by TYPE of content and the average. Does a poll get far more responses than posting just a question? Do followers respond to photos and videos, or giveaways? Knowing what content types elicit more engagement will help determine future strategies.
It’s not a simple solution to make sense of all the data available. But it’s essential to success - so don’t over-simplify your measurement.

This David Wells post gives great advice on using advanced search queries to find guest author opportunities - which increase thought leadership and online presence.

Contributed content is a key element to building a company/expert profile. Adding the keyword helps you target the types of publications you’re interested in writing for. And he also provides good advice on the SEO track back you want to include. (note to self - must make sure that’s right for clients in future).

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

PRSA held a contest to define PR. http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/the-definition-of-pr-has-been-revealed_b34653

They received more than 900 suggestions.

From the Sony Tablet S launch party in September. Love it. Was an awesome party!

Just like the name indicates, evergreen blog content stays useful season to season, year to year with little or no need for upkeep. It can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader. If you’re wondering what makes blog content ‘evergreen,’ it typically encompasses the following three characteristics:

  • Timeless: As mentioned, content that is evergreen stands the test of time. With the exception of sometimes needing a few tweaks here and there, evergreen content won’t change much and is practically everlasting.
  • Valuable and High Quality: In order to reap the true benefits of being evergreen (which we’ll cover in the next section of this post), blog content must be valuable and high quality enough to get noticed. If a piece of blog content that you intended to be evergreen isn’t valuable to your readers and doesn’t attract substantial views when it’s first published, it will never become evergreen.
  • Canonical: Evergreen content is usually the canonical, or definitive, piece of content your business has on that given topic. It’s in-depth, detailed, and it likely took you a lot longer to create than some of your other, non-evergreen blog content.


As a former journalist myself, I’ve found my experience as a reporter invaluable to my PR career. I write as much or more now, I have to ask a lot of questions to gain clarity on a topic, and I have to tell stories.

TOA LogoI can’t emphasize enough the power of an effective original survey program for building brand leadership and media coverage. I’ve run dozens of surveys at this point, and plan to share my tips in future posts.

But for now, a perfect client example: TOA Technologies. You probably don’t know them, but they work with service providers like Cox Communications to make sure your cable guy gets to your house on time - and only makes you wait 2 hours or less. They’re B2B software based in Cleveland, and they wanted to get more awareness with general consumer media.

Waiting for the cable guy (or furniture delivery, or electrician) is a real problem, but there wasn’t data showing the COST. So in 2009 I established TOA’s Cost of Waiting annual survey of American consumers. The first one was small, but got 18 media hits (a huge bump for TOA). We drastically expanded the 2010 survey - adding questions, expanding to the UK and Germany, creating more content (amazing infographics, three PDF reports, a video and a microsite). We got 83% more coverage and much better quality - including the front page of the Denver Post, a broadcast hit on BBC and more.

I got new clients and the account transitioned to another team before the 2011 survey, but the survey groundwork had been set and I consulted on execution this past year. The team KILLED it with media coverage and created fantastic supporting materials. David Letterman and Conan O’Brian talked about it on air. MAJOR kudos to my Atomic colleagues in New York for the tremendous success.

My agency published a blog post case study in November, and you can watch the videos there.

The survey STILL has legs, which is true of great data programs. The Wall Street Journal wrote about it this week: The Wait-Time Misery Index.