New Beginnings: Season’s Greetings from PR Land

CLEVELAND –

Um, for some reason it feels like ages since I’ve blogged.

I got lost somewhere between the U and C of cornucopia this year, and haven’t yet fully recovered. But before the thrust of new beginnings shifts into snowball gear with Christmas and the holiday season, I figured I should get back to writing.

Essentially since hitting the ripe-old age of 26 in September, it’s been a whirlwind of cataclysmic proportions, both personally and professionally. And for that, I know those of us going through them are especially grateful. 

Few upcoming items on the docket:

  • The next Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup celebrating Kuno Creative and the launch of Paul Roetzer’s book will be taking place at PR 20/20’s headquarters Monday, December 19th. Tickets are limited, so RSVP if you have not done so already. For further details, refer to the link above.
  • Paul Roetzer’s highly anticipated new book, The Marketing Agency BluePrint, and subsequent Marketing Agency Academy: BluePrint Series is also underway this month. For more information regarding pre-order and book details, contact Paul directly or follow him on Twitter.
  • Joe Pulizzi’s new book, Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand is also available on amazon.com

This month’s HUG will cover the new Enterprise Training program/software, and progress made thus far with superstar case study Kuno Creative, who has been tearing it up in content and inbound lately.

According to Patrick Shea, the go-to-guy and lead liaison between HubSpot clientele and partner firms, Kuno Creative’s staggering results include a 500% spike in website traffic, more than 650 subscribers in 90 days and garnering 7,000 leads from social media campaigns.

Note that this event is not limited to HubSpot valued-added resellers (VARs); it’s open to all business folks in the NEO area interested in learning more about how rapidly the PR and marketing services industry is evolving, on a national and global scale. 

In other news, I’m honored and humbled to announce I accepted my first career offer, with another upstart HubSpot partner, Structure Marketing in November. I have been working with the president and chief operations officer since October, and am excited about the building process and potential ahead.

I also published a guest post in recent weeks with Gini Dietrich and Lisa Gerber over at SpinSucks, which garnered PR Readers Choice blog of the year in 2010.

Tectonic shifts occurring in the industry, and as always it’s awe-inspiring (and a bit daunting – especially for new kids on the block).

Just keep swimming… 

Just keep swimming Dory Finding Nemo Walt Disney

“Around here, however, we don’t look backward for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

Any-who, back to the new job. As the work progresses from PR, and blends traditional with new roles and responsibilities across content and clients;

I will be specializing in all editorial, PR and social media functions as chief content officer (CCO). Which is basically the new name inbound and content marketing has bestowed upon lowly, persnickety editor-in-chiefs…)

Re-branding, rebuilding and the growing trend of virtual/work from home certainly has its challenges, and is not for everyone. But I’m excited to be part of continuing to drive change and growth within the marketing and digital services industry.

Other than that, I’m happy to spend some time enjoying the music, sounds and sights of the holiday season (thanks, Spotify and turntable.fm…) and reconnecting with old friends/family.  

I don’t know about you, but the goodwill, regeneration and peace reverberating around the world makes this one of my favorite times of year. 

Final tangent: thanks to my room mate for introducing me to this guy. I miss, and need to reunite with, this part of my past

Wishing you and your family, friends and colleagues all the love, peace and joy you can handle this year.

To new beginnings…

RELATED LINKS

SpinSucks/Arment Dietrich Inc guest post – Wile E. Coyote in Social SpaceTime 

Matt Ridings and Amber Naslund Launching Social Business Venture

Paul Roetzer – The Marketing Agency BluePrint

The Evolution of Media webinar with PR Newswire (and other Halloween Oo de Lally)

Featured

Man, I really love fall. The hullabaloo and goodwill (and beautiful weather) starts every year with my birthday (the day after Fall equinox) and steamrolls right through the New Year.

Though Halloween’s as much fun for me as any other, my favorite time of year’s always Thanksgiving and the holiday season. A time of reflection, peace and reunion with family and friends. What’s not to love about that?, says this observer.

But anywho, I made a new friend over the weekend, and to borrow her sentiments it seems we fell out of the same tree. 

Her name is Sarah Skerik, a fellow PR nut and the current VP of Social Media at PR Newswire. She blogs about PR, social and search, so naturally we’re snug as a clown fish and sea anemone.

Great word, by the way, anemone. 

finding nemo Google eric cheng google plus scrapbook visual graphic

Nemo! ...with teeth

Moving on.

In summary, this was my first webinar outside HubSpot, so that was kind of cool. Some of the highlights we covered were:

  • Engaging in critical, compelling ways with audience/s is not episodic, but continual. Business and communications has moved from a “sometime” world to a real-time world 
  • Value rules. People (consumers) are no longer dependent on the proxy of trust afforded by a media brand
  • When compelling content is combined with intelligent distribution, earned credibility results
  • This accelerates the evolution from owned to earned influence 
  • Push and pull are not mutually exclusive. Savvy professionals and business owners acknowledge and activate a hybrid, holistic approach across the sales funnel

 In essence, we’re driving home the point I recently made about how social media is not the end-all, be-all of top performers in the business space. Social media is not for everyone.

Done right, social can be optimized with other elements of the marketing mix for dynamic options, goals and results (because some of us are really geeky about the spirit and power of human potential).

And again, it is only one piece of the overall pie for converting qualified leads/customers, generating revenue, building awareness, driving action and change…the list goes on.

Forget Justin’s FutureSex Lovesounds, Future Productivity’s the rage now.


As media continues to evolve, quite a bit of soul searching also becomes a crucial element of business strategy. What are you trying to accomplish?

As Joe Pulizzi’s said time and again, what does success look like to you?

Ghouls, trolls and ghosts aside, I hope you all enjoyed the Halloween weekend…and still have all your teeth after bobbing for those apples (hayrides, Halloweekends at Cedar Point and whatever else all you crazy kids do) …   

RELATED LINKS

Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire – Beyond PR: Engage Opportunity Everywhere

Gini Dietrich – Six Reasons Social Media Doesn’t Work

Paul Roetzer – What Are You Trying to Build?

Mark Schaefer – Snobberati: Bringing Down the Twitter Snobs 

DogPound Debonairing with Cleveland.com and the Browns

CLEVELAND – Last night it really hit me: this city’s going places. 

Never mind that guys like Joe Pulizzi, the Godfather of the phrase “content marketing” and Paul Roetzer, founder of the original hybrid/inbound marketing agency — continue to redefine and champion the spirit of the community.

Joe Pulizzi content marketing world cleveland

Courtesy of Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Putting Believeland on the map as hometown underdogs, testament to a community that deeply values its roots and shows heart, hunger and humility.

Damn. That was a lot of alliteration.

As opposed to a sniveling, inflated superego who says Akron is his real home. Coming from someone who wasn’t born and bred here (CalifNYorker), even outliers like me know how tactless that is.

For shame, doc.

But back to Cleveland and 2011. Tonight’s tweetup at Cadillac Ranch with Cleveland.com and the Browns marked the beginning of fall, birthdays, and culmination of summer weddings, blogging/media conferences (our very own Content Marketing World) and Boston Inbound Marketing Summit, vacations — and refreshingly little buzz over the F-word.

Over today’s #F8 conference hailing the “new age” of social networking via timelines, open graph and a new class of applications. The constant squawking for power in the social realm’s starting to riff even the savviest of users.

PR 20/20 Todd Sheppard social media Cleveland tweetup chomps mascot

Courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Promising myself I’d resist the urge to be that guy, myself and another member from last month’s Cleveland.com Twitter20 devised a social experiment prior to the event: where the words Facebook and timeline were officially taboo.

It was actually easier than I thought it’d be. Maybe because the novelty of newest, biggest, fastest and better’s older than the Ed Sullivan Show.

But still not as annoying as all the whining and complacency surrounding what people should be used to by now: life goes on.

Tech will always be moving forward. So in the time that it takes to jump on the haterade bandwagon, maybe do us a favor, can it and do something. Take control of your social experience.

Facebook social network users social media

Mildy apparently the new “Mildly”

Who knows, Google+ could announce it bought everyone out tomorrow and that’ll be the end of it. 

At the heart of it, though, dogpound debonairs are not unusual: We just genuinely like people. Get a rush out of making new connections, meeting and commiserating over some pretty badass people, like Gini Dietrich and Chris Brogan.

Still stand on the shoulders of giants.

Because at the end of the day, all the tools, apps and open-graph sharing cannot replace the power of genuine, human experience. In-person. In real-time. Always looking upward and outward.

About working on your business, not in it as Gini says.

Other than scoring a free pair of tickets to the Browns/Titans October 2nd (props to all the winners, you get a star next to your name below) —

That’s something to really get pumped about.

Browns Tweetup Cleveland social media Cleveland.com Byron Fernandez

Courtesy of Cleveland.com

Chomps Cleveland Browns mascot tweetup Cadillac Ranch

Chomps riding the Bull

Dawgs in Attendance:

Alana Munro @dawgpndgirl

*Me @byron_fernandez

Jennifer Spiker @SportStoleMyMan

Jessica Donlon @jessicadonlon

Julie Provins @julieprovins

*Kasey Crabtree @kaseycrabtree

*Laurel Miltner @laurelmackenzie

Lukas Treu @ltreu

*Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

Stephen Garvin @CleveNole

Todd Sheppard @taawd

Tracy DiMarino @tracydimarino

RELATED LINKS

Julien Smith >> Information is Not the Problem

Gini Dietrich >> Four Ways to Unplug and Focus

How to Lose Credibility in Less than 10 Seconds: Netiquette 101 

Contact Byron