Public Relations and Communications Tips by Tiffany Guarnaccia from Kite Hill PR

Public Relations and Communications Tips by Tiffany Guarnaccia from Kite Hill PR


I’m Tiffany Guarnaccia. I’m the founder
of Kite Hill PR and Communications Week. So I got my start about 15 years ago
really when the ad tech industry was just coming on to the scene in New York
and changing in a big way doing PR and marketing for ad tech
companies and from there I moved over to a few PR agencies here in New York City
and always had a taste for tech PR and how it was really changing and evolving
I spent some time in the music industry really during some pivotal years working
at a music and LimeWire just as Spotify was coming on to the scene and
unfortunately for lime where I did take them through a lot of crisis
communications against the major record labels which as you know during crisis
communications you need to be on your a-game and the outcome can be
interesting and oftentimes disruptive from there I spent some time in the
media industry working at the Huffington Post
so I had the opportunity to work directly underneath Arianna Huffington
she’s still very much a role model to me and gave me the inspiration to then
found my own company and go deeper into the core categories that I had always
been in my career from ad tech to media and marketing and really look at how an
agency like Kate Hill could represent the future of PR kaito PR is a
specialist agency so we work deeply within the advertising media and
marketing industries one core part of the advertising industry is of course ad
tech and and Mark tech a lot of those companies are the ones that are powering
all the ads might see on the internet helping to create a more personalized
experience it’s a really interesting category because there’s a lot of impact
with data with gdpr and new regulations as to how companies can reach consumers
it’s been a great opportunity to tell those stories on behalf of the
technology companies because we’re at a time where consumers are demanding a
more personalized experience they want a connection and the companies behind
those ads really need to be able to tell the right story at the right place at
the right time but of course it’s not only about advertising but the clients
we work with that kite hill and a part of our specialization to go into the
publishing industry so that could be BuzzFeed has been one of our clients
trusted media brands future advertising media and of course entertainment is
another category with a background in the music industry with working with
major record labels such as BMG you’ll notice a common thread that all of those
industries are very much in a time of disruption the future I’d say of
advertising and media have always been in question as they continue to evolve
and that’s what’s really exciting about working at kite Hill and in a specialist
agency is that we get to tell the story of a company today but really help them
look towards the future to help their executives be thought leaders to shape a
story that tells how the company will continue to evolve its those core areas
that we work with day to day but we also work with a lot of emerging tech
companies and tech startups in categories that impact many other
industries like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence it’s not only
the specialization that makes keitel different but we also know that a lot of
b2b companies and b2b technology companies are looking for something
that’s beyond traditional earned media that’s a part of what we do day to day
but that’s only one small part of telling a company’s story if you’re
going to be investing in PR and if you’re a b2b technology company that’s
looking to really make an impact and connect with your core audiences you
have to look towards other channels and think about a fully integrated
communications approach the way that I’ve translated that into growing our
business model has been to create three separate divisions kite Hill PR is at
our core that’s traditional earned media working with
the press to very much get a company’s brand in the headlines but we also have
the kite hold content studio where we’re looking at exciting mediums to tell a
story so visual video audio podcast a lot of these are crucial and that’s all
done through the kite Hill content studio along with longer form content
like data and white papers pressed love numbers but so do your potential clients
if you were a leading b2b company you might want to think about how you can
package up research and insights to really deliver back the right quality
content to your audience and last but not least when it comes to really
defining the future of PR it’s not only the stories that we tell but the
experiences that we create I’m a big believer in events and experiences and
how they can be used by b2b companies to really connect with core audiences a lot
of the work that we do for example day to day could be a half-day workshop an
industry Roadshow getting clients connected with and in front of their
target audience giving them a sense for who the company is and giving their
executives exposure is all a part of that and within that amazing umbrella is
also one of our own properties communications week which is a week-long
event every October where we talk about some of the emerging trends in PR and
communications when it comes to the approach it’s not only about the tactics
it’s not only about pitch in place it’s about the strategy it’s not just about
execution but it’s about Lateran up to the broader business goals I talked a
lot about our approach in our DNA for our culture as positive and proactive
that’s really key to any PR program because you want an agency partner you
want someone who is working with you as a strategic partner who’s thinking about
things with a positive and proactive mindset and to go further into what do I
mean by positive and proactive I do know that PR is a discipline where you might
face a challenge there may be other ways that you can look at an existing program
but how can you come to the table with an opportunity a new idea how can you
think outside the box that’s what we talk about when it comes to positive and
optimistic that’s a part of the secret sauce but again it’s about that
proactive versus reactive – of mindset always constantly feeding
the PR program you have to think about that ongoing cadence for media relations
that’s how a b2b company can really break through when it comes to looking
at what works versus what doesn’t work I can answer that question from two ways
one as an agency owner and thinking about building a successful business and
getting us to the amazing point that we’re at now it’s all been about
investing in the right talent I’ve seen mistakes because in any industry and the
PR industry included that there’s competition for top talent and owners of
agencies or even if other b2b companies can really look at just one side of the
coin when you’re looking to hire and think just about skill set as opposed to
culture fit but we’re in a business of people so what not to do I’d say is to
not think about your culture especially if you’re a smaller team and the broader
impacts when you’re looking to build a business on the other side when you
think about so that’s building a business flip it to the other side let’s
say I’m running a PR campaign day-to-day and I really want to think about what
should I not do if I’m a marketing person I’m thinking about investing in
an ongoing program I think the mindset we bring to the table every day is
important so it goes back to the core values of Pro activity and really
thinking about when am i investing in PR and how am i creating that ongoing
cadence a big mistake that I see from other agencies or even founders of
startups that are just launching a company and they’re so excited they want
to tell the world about their existing product or service so they think about
PR in a vacuum they think about it as a one-off splash and only envision a
headline in TechCrunch but there’s a really big mist and a really big mistake
to doing it that way you’re not thinking about how can I
relate with my audience on an ongoing basis it almost can be a detriment to
your company because it can look like you’ve been in the headlines but then
you’re pulling back and there’s no investment and traction so a big thing
to avoid is only investing once and not thinking about
the long-term and an integrated program as you move forward it’s not just one
big splash in a bucket it’s about the drip feed of ongoing communications and
there’s there’s a really big combination to that so I always talk about it in PR
Peaks and PR valleys so in the peaks any company a startup company will have a
big news announcement you might have a big funding announcement that’s coming
through that’s great that’s a time to celebrate that’s the time to certainly
invest in PR but what happens in the valleys that’s just as crucial that’s
when we usually really fill the gaps with salt leadership looking at building
out an executives profile investing in content like violent articles data other
research reports that can help to tell that company’s story and prove the value
of their products and services and an ongoing basis so one big lesson I’d give
to other founders of companies and other b2b companies overall is to think about
sometimes you have to sacrifice growth for quality if you’re looking to scale a
business make sure that you have the right infrastructure to support the
growth plans that you have to really set your team and your company up for
success there’s many different things you should think about when you’re first
investing in a PR agency one is that you want to look for an agency that really
knows your industry look for a specialist firm – it’s all about the
people so make sure that you feel like you have a great relationship and they
also have relationships with journalists in your category overall and three the
times got to be right so think about a long term investment the value of PR is
a great question because that conversation is really reaching a fever
pitch in the industry right now we’re at a time where the question of earned
media and its value is really being put in the spotlight so there are many
different ways that owners can look at driving value but I’d also caution them
to know that every program should be customized to their business and the
metrics and outputs should really tie back to their overarching business goals
PR is top of funnel it’s something that can help you drive brand awareness but
you should really think about the pullthru and how does that relate back
to the rest of your marketing metrics and how do those drive your
business forward when it comes to really thinking about the future of PR I’m
excited in many different ways I believe that the vision for the future of our
industry is looking at a more integrated approach
that’s exactly why kite Hill has a model that is traditional PR content like
podcasts and video and other forms that help you connect with your audiences and
tell your story combined with events and experiences to
really help you connect with your audience’s face-to-face when you’re a
b2b technology company today you should also be thinking about how can I shift
and change with my industry and know that the future of b2b PR and P to B
marketing will start to look a lot like b2c communications overall we’re
starting to take a page out of the book that is traditionally consumer marketing
there’s a lot more sex appeal there’s a lot more connection there’s so many ways
to tell your story well I am forever reading different business books I think
in in my position I always want to focus on education and how am i pulling from
other insights and learning other lessons one business book I love is
called rocket fuel and it’s all about a model that is the visionary and
integrator oftentimes like many other b2b founders out there the person who is
the founder of the company who is the CEO is a visionary
they’re in the seat where they see the future of the industry and they’re
focused on oftentimes marketing and looking at connecting with audiences
sales there’s so much on your plate but the other part of that puzzle the yin
and yang is the integrator someone who could be regardless of title it might be
president or CEO but someone who’s looking at the other part of your
business and helping those operations the people functions other things that
help you to succeed it’s all about how that combined approach can propel your
business forward I thought it was a great read you

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