Episode 38 - What You Need To Know About Public Relations

What You Need To Know About Public Relations

Would you like to be featured in Forbes? Who wouldn't? We are going to dig into this and much more about public relations with our special guest today, Dr. Jay Feldman from Otter Public Relations. Check it out!

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What You Need To Know About Public Relations



Tim Fitzpatrick
How would you like to get featured in Forbes? Who wouldn't, right? That is why we were going to dig into this and a whole lot more with our special guest as we discuss what you need to know about public relations. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. Thank you so much for tuning in today. I am really excited to have with me today Jay Feldman from Otter PR. Jay, thanks so much for joining us and taking the time. Really appreciate it.

Jay Feldman
Tim, I appreciate you having me on the show. And I love the introduction. I'm super excited to see what I can get back to your audience and teach them all about PR.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. I love it, man. I was on your podcast a little while back, Mentors Collective, so I certainly appreciate you popping on and sharing your wisdom with our audience as well. So before we get into things, just fun fact. What's your favorite movie and why do you like it?

Jay Feldman
So common gate question and it's been the same answer for a couple of years now. It's going to be a Wolf of Wall Street. I'm a huge fan, but I've never been in a movie theater. I'm like sitting on the edge of my chair just like. Yes, like I love this guy. Let's go. It gets me super hyped up. I love everything about it. I'm going to go with the Wolf of Wall Street.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, cool. It's definitely a good one. What a crazy story. It's kind of hard to believe that somebody actually lived that.

Jay Feldman
Crazy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Especially somebody like me who's ten on the street, straight and narrow, a little bit more frequently. So, yeah, crazy story. So before we jump into PR and all these cool things about it, tell us a little bit more about you. You know what you're doing now with Otter PR? You kind of it seems like you have an interesting background. So to learn more about it.

Jay Feldman
Yeah. And I like to think I have an interesting background too. I actually graduated from medical school a little more than a year ago, so I'm a medical doctor. And through medical school, I actually started and grew a seven-figure marketing agency that's focused on Instagram growth, ended up selling that, and jumping into PR. When I realized the model that I was running on my marketing agency wasn't sustainable is based on Instagram automation and did really well. But algorithms came around the business crash.

Jay Feldman
We had a huge pivot into PR and this is something I'd been doing for a while already for myself and my partner, building up our own media presence as thought leaders. And I've been featured in all of the major media outlets. So as my partner and we decided to go into business together and do this for people and it just exploded. So we've been running this PR agency for about a year now, but I've been in a marketing space for a long time and now we're located out of Orlando, Florida.

Jay Feldman
This is our offices. We've got a team of about thirty-five now and growing quickly. And yeah, we focus on everything from organic PR to paid PR to verification to Wikipedia, and it's just been a blast. I love the people that I work with, love our clients. And I know this is it for me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Hey, so why did you get all the way through medical school? Were you not quite sure at that point?

Jay Feldman
So I wasn't sure I was going to be a successful entrepreneur, you know, as most aren't until they get started until halfway through medical school. At that point, you just finish the hardest part is already over with. And I do love medicine and I talk about it all the time. And I probably will go back into training at some point when I felt when I sell the company, which is the eventual goal. But I do love medicine. Don't get me wrong.

Jay Feldman
I still teach, educate, create content regarding it. But obviously business gives you the freedom and the lifestyle that everybody wants. And I'll be able to get back on a much larger scale doing what I'm doing now.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, yes. Well, and I guess if, you know, if you're anybody on your staff is sick, you can always diagnose. So they're in good shape.

Jay Feldman
I want though. Go see a doctor.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I guess that could get uncomfortable sometimes, right? Yeah.

Jay Feldman
I don't currently have malpractice insurance.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Yes. Yeah. So I said you had an interesting background. I wasn't lying. So let's dig into this stuff because I think PR for a lot of small businesses especially is man, it's like a black box. I mean, they have no idea what the hell is going on with it and where those benefits are. So I'm excited to dig into some of the stuff.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So first off, let's talk about how you get verified on social media. I think it's also important for us here to hit on kind of what is being verified on social media as well, just to make sure everybody's on the same page.

Jay Feldman
Sure. So I'll start off with what is verified to the people listening who don't know quite what that means. And that's that blue checkmark that you see across every social media platform you've ever been on. That's next to names of household thought leaders, brands that are very commonly up here in the media and the purpose of verification is to prevent an account from being impersonated or falsified by somebody else trying to be that person or brand. So it's an indicator by the head of the social media that says this is the one account that this person or brand owns.

Jay Feldman
And anybody trying to bee this account that you can easily tell it's not them because they don't have the checkmark. So that's the purpose. And when people are trying to get the checkmark, they really need to keep that in mind because it's that impersonation that's the risk and that gets people that blue checkmark.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So when you're verified, you're preventing somebody from, I guess, for lack of a better term, kind of spoofing and impersonating your business.

Jay Feldman
Correct. It's a step by the platforms to prevent impersonation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So how do we get verified?

Jay Feldman
Everybody wants the blue checkmark. It is the twenty-first century's equivalent of instant credibility and authority. Everybody wants a checkmark that I did a whole hour and a half webinar series on this. I'll try and not keep it that long.

Jay Feldman
But the moral of the story is anybody can do it. Obviously, the best way to do it and the way that most people do do it is you become somebody notable and you do that through exposure in the media. The verification checkmark is an exact correlation to what is going on in the media. The more commonly you appear across not only online platforms, but if you're on TV, if you're huge on multiple social media platforms, you're at high risk of impersonation. So they give you the checkmark.

Jay Feldman
There are a lot of agencies and we do this as well, that offer verification services where you can pay an agency to provide that media coverage and then submit your account for verification through a backend media panel. So imagine you're an athlete or a rapper and you get picked up by a massive agency and you don't have that verification yet. The first thing they're going to do is get you that blue checkmark and they have access to it. Backend Facebook panel, they call it a media panel.

Jay Feldman
They only assign it to agencies doing over one hundred one hundred million dollars in ad spend a year to request that checkmark. And agencies such as mine have access to those types of portals to request that checkmark from the back end. And it's a much higher likelihood of it working. But in order for it to work, that person needs significant media coverage and in top tier outlets that are actually credible and notable.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So it's by getting that exposure, it's making it easier for the social channel to actually verify that you are who you say you are.

Jay Feldman
Yeah. The first thing they're going to do at Facebook or TikTok or whatever you're trying to get verified is throw your name into Google News and see what pops up. So if what's popping up is feature articles about you and in those top tier outlets like entrepreneur Forbes Inc and there's a lot of buzz around you, they'll be able to tell right away and they will sign to that checkmark. But if you don't pop it up and Google knows you're not going to get the checkmark.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Are there any social channels that don't offer this verification service?

Jay Feldman
So there's a lot of social channels that I don't work with for verification. Twitter, I don't work with, YouTube, I don't work with, LinkedIn, I don't work with. But for the most part, Twitter does offer verification. I know it's relatively easy to do it on Twitter. I just don't know anything about that world.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. You don't get into it.

Jay Feldman
It's not something I touch. TikTok is very easy to getverified on nowadays. I've gotten like three people verified in the last two weeks on TikTok. The requirements are much lower and the older platform gets, the harder it's going to be to get verified on that platform. For example, Instagram, very hard to get verified on Instagram. Facebook a little bit easier, TikTok very easily. So that's also important to know when you're looking to get that checkmark.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And is this verification for individuals as well as companies?

Jay Feldman
It's actually much easier to get verification as an individual because individuals tend to be at higher risk of impersonation. But for people coming to us and saying, can I get my company verified, the answer is yes, usually, but it's much harder and it's much harder to get top tier media coverage featuring companies. So and companies are a much lower risk of impersonation. So it's a much harder, longer process. And these companies better have a huge budget for it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, OK, got it. Cool. Well, I love it. So let's get into the ins and outs of PR. So how, how can it help business owners get to where they want to be. I think also can we talk about just what are some of the aspect things that you're doing in PR? You know, we've talked a little bit about getting featured in publications, but there's a whole lot of other things that I think people don't really think about with PR so, let's dig into some of that.

Jay Feldman
Sounds good and yeah, part of the reason we've been so successful is because we make this accessible to small businesses and people who traditionally never even thought about this as a component of marketing for their company, which is really what it is. It's a component of content marketing. But content on other platforms. It's third party validation and driving traffic through other people's media channels.

Jay Feldman
And, you know, whether it's on Forbes or your marketing blog, it's still PR. How can this help your business? And this applies to just about everybody kind of twofold. One of them being people want to work with people and companies who are in the media having that media coverage is that immediate stamp of authority, credibility, trust. People want to do business with people and businesses that have a buzz around what they're doing. So that's what the media is one and one way really good for.

Jay Feldman
So if you're a marketing agency or you're a marketing thought leader and you're in Forbes as one of the top marketers of 2021, chances are you'll not only be able to charge a lot more but use that across all of your social assets. Ideally, that drives a ton of traffic for a long time and right away. And the benefits are pretty much twofold. One, the authority. And two, the goal is to drive traffic through other people's media channels.

Jay Feldman
The traffic doesn't always work the way you expect it to because you don't know where people are leading, reading, and listening to. But the authority it's unreplaceable and it lasts forever. So I highly recommend for everybody in the space. And like you touched on different media platforms. Absolutely correct. There's online, there's TV, there's radio, there's podcast, it's all PR. And we help our clients across every single one of them, but mostly focused on online and podcast.

Jay Feldman
And there's never been a better opportunity to drive traffic and increase trust than on a podcast actually here. And you know what we're doing right now, building rapport with people, listening, and ideally driving them to want to work with us in the long run.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, well, you know, I love this medium video doing interviews. It's just one, it's great for relationship building, you meet all kinds of cool people and you never know where those relationships are going to go. But it's also evergreen content that is just out there. And you just never know when that somebody is going to come across. Over time I just look at it, you just keep building your arsenal of content that is going to drive traffic back to your site at some point.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But like you said, you know, you're building authority and credibility, which if you're selling your expertise as part of your business, it's critical. You have to have that. If you don't, people aren't going to do business with you. If they don't know, they can trust you.

Jay Feldman
Exactly, and everyone who's trying to be a thought leader, which is a massive exploding industry right now, all of the coaches and the experts absolutely need this. If they're not taking advantage of PR their business in some way, they're missing out and they're missing out on leads coming to their website. They're missing out on people coming to their social media and not trusting them, because how do you get somebody to trust you when you say you're an expert? The best is third party validation from the media.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So with PR, how do you guys track return on investment or I mean, because I could see how some of this may be a little bit difficult to track, but what do you guys do to help clients determine whether it's working well for them or not?

Jay Feldman
Yep. And this is a challenge for everyone in the PR industry because it's not like in the marketing world where you're running a pay-per-click advertising rate and you said, OK, I'm putting 300 out, I'm getting four hundred. You got an ROI. PR is not quite like that. And we tell them straight from the beginning, it's not a PPC ad campaign. It's for somebody that's already successful, already generating revenue, and now wants to take their business to the next level, increase their conversions, charge more for their services and ideally create a traffic system through this organic marketing that you're doing across other platforms.

Jay Feldman
But, yes, it's very hard to track the direct ROI of PR. But, for example, we have these success stories. We have a client base in LA, runs an art gallery. We got a one feature article in the LA Times and sold out her entire art gallery overnight. It's not like that for everybody. You know, some people spend three to six months trucking, get pretty solid media coverage, but never see the direct return.

Jay Feldman
But six months later, they see, OK, wow, like people are starting to convert better. People are staying with me longer. My website traffic has not gone up so much, but people are staying there longer. And I wonder why. And that's kind of the unseen beauty of PR.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. You know, one of the things we talk about a lot from a marketing standpoint is online reviews. You've got to have them super important, but it's really hard to track how much your reviews are actually bringing new business. People just have to buy into it. It's like, yes, I get it. I have to have them. If you don't have them, you're losing business and you just don't even know it. And I think it's the same thing with PR.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you when people get into PR, you're really looking for people that have that mindset of I need to build my brand, I need to increase my authority and I see the value in PR and I'm OK with investing in that and not being able to directly track the ROI.

Jay Feldman
Exactly. PR is for people and businesses who are already bringing in enough and have an extra marketing budget. It is not for somebody who just started an e-commerce startup with no funding and it's like, OK, I'm going to give you two thousand dollars to run my PR campaign and I need to see my business grow and get increased my sales by this much. It does not work like that. PR is good for somebody who is coming to a certain level of success already.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. OK, do you think it can they also I mean, is it effective for them as leads are coming in just asking where people found out about them? Right. I mean, if they hey, how did you find out about me? And they're saying, oh yeah, I saw you were featured in Forbes. Well, OK, cool J did that for me, right.

Jay Feldman
Yeah. I ask all of our clients where they found us, we, my PR agency itself has been featured in all of the top tier outlets. Most of the time they don't find us there. They find us through our marketing. And most of the time in our marketing is all of our PR coverage. So you're running ads. You want to run ads with your PR. It'll increase the value of your ads. It'll increase the clicks will increase the trust and so chances are they're not going to find your article unless your article is ranking very highly on SEO or if that article goes out in a newsletter somewhere, which happens occasionally.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But when they come to your site and they're seeing you've been featured, that's building your instant credibility right there.

Jay Feldman
And not just on your site, your emails, on your social media, on your advertising, on your pay-per-click ad campaigns on everything. It's a marketing tool if you're trying to drive traffic and sales through PR. That's why we include podcasting and just about as many packages as we can, because if we're able to get our clients in front of other people's audiences where they can discuss their service and their expertise, then they'll drive traffic, then they'll drive clients. And in that podcast, the first thing that we're going to ask them to put in their bio is this is Jay Feldman, featured in Forbes Entrepreneur, Business Insider, et cetera, et cetera. Instant credibility builder.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, yeah. So once you can see that, it's so much easier to get booked on other podcasts as well, right?

Jay Feldman
Exactly. Bigger opportunities, speaking engagements. This is what people are looking for.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Right on. So that leads into the hook in the beginning of this, which is how do you how the heck do you get featured in publications like Forbes? I mean, I don't know a business owner that wouldn't want to be featured in a magazine like that.

Jay Feldman
Absolutely. And I just also did a 30-minute video on this. I'll try to keep it relatively short. There are two ways to get into top tier publications that are very closely monitoring their contributors to not take money for promoted content. So with that being in mind, to get into these top tier outlets, there are two ways, one of them being organically. You have a good story of a good founder's story. You're doing something unique. You're giving back to the community.

Jay Feldman
You ideally work with a publicist and put your story together into a pitch. In a press release, you build a relationship with somebody who writes for Forbes or you make friends with someone on the contributing staff, one of their Forbes council members, and ask them to look at your story and see if it's something they're interested in writing about. You have a good story. At a lot of times they'll be receptive to it and they'll do it right up for you.

Jay Feldman
But again, this is it's usually very non-promotional unless you have a really unique, unique story. It's not going to be a feature article. It'll usually be like a mention or a quote. But that's the best way to get in. Sometimes it takes some creativity in terms of formulating your story and finding the right person who wants to write about it. But that is the best way to work with a publicist and try and attack it organically. A lot of publishers have good relationships with people at these, specifically Forbes.

Jay Feldman
There's an outlet that we work with every week. I would say half of our clients end up in Forbes if they're with us for three months, some with feature articles. So the relationship going into it helps a lot. Now there are also agencies and we offer this as well, who spend a lot of time making relationships with contributors that are willing to do promotional content under the table. And this is kind of the unspoken world of PR.

Jay Feldman
They'll take five thousand dollars and they'll do a promotional write-up and publish it as an organic piece, a general interest piece. Typically this ranges from five to ten thousand dollars. It can take up to three months to contributors and journalists at these outlets can't do this every day back to back or all of their content is going to get ripped down. They're going to get taken out. So the availability is very low and the turnaround time is very high and the price is very high.

Jay Feldman
So my suggestion and the good practice is always to figure out a way to do it organically and there's always a way to do it organically. Everybody can make a good story or spin their current story in a way that is newsworthy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Do they need to have press mentions in, you know, third second-tier type publications before being able to get into something like Forbes? Or does it matter?

Jay Feldman
No. I do think it helps when people have a good backbone of organic coverage because it says that this is the story people are interested in and this is the story that I'm going to spin and pitch to Forbes. If you try and pitch them, if just for your first try on pitching a story, you're probably not going to get in. It's much easier to get into smaller outlets, but no, there's no requirement for you to already be notable or to have coverage before. In fact, I'm sure a lot of these contributors and journalists want to be the first one documenting this awesome story. But typically, Forbes is not going to be the first place you end up.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So the bottom line is they need somebody like you J.

Jay Feldman
If this is your goal, you need to work with professional people and this is very hard to yourself, especially with that those existing relationships. Yes. And I haven't been in this world for so long, but the publicity team that I work with all has 10 to 20 years of experience per publicist and especially over the pandemic. It's been horrible for so many companies who have been abandoning their on-staff PR. And we've been so fortunate enough to pick up some really great talent. And each of them brings to us years and years of personal connections. That really helps a lot.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So it's like most things in business, it's all about the the relationships that you have and, you know, and leveraging those relationships.

Jay Feldman
Yes, specifically in PR.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. OK, cool. Any, any last-minute words of advice about PR before we wrap things up.

Jay Feldman
Yeah, so if you're listening and maybe you are in that start-up phase and are starting package of two thousand dollars a month is still scary without knowing the ROI, there are options just to do instant get that instant form of credibility. It's not going to be an organic. You're not going to work with a publicist.

Jay Feldman
But perceived value is still value when people are landing on your page. And this is just like reviews. I do think it's an important stamp for every company nowadays to have to retain and people are looking for it now. So I, I really can't stress this enough as a trustbuster, as a credibility booster. But if you're in a place where your business is doing well and you really want to take it to the next level, increase your prices, drive more conversions, I do recommend working with a publicist, even if it's for one month. I think the benefit that you get from it and from learning how the space works is going to be so powerful for you and your business.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Love it, where can people learn more about you if they want to take advantage of it? And if you need PR guys, talk to J a few times. Trust him. He's going to do great work for you.

Jay Feldman
Thank you so much for saying that. My website is otterpr.com, like the animal. And the best place to get in contact with me directly is my personal Instagram. That's @drjayfeldman. Believe me, you have it there on the screen. Thank you. And if you can share it in the show notes, do I respond to all of my days? Just let me know that you saw me on the show and I'd be happy to book a personal call with you as well. Awesome. Jay, I really appreciate you taking the time. I learned something. I know I know everybody that listens to this or watches it will as well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
For those of you that have tuned in. Thank you for doing so again. I'm Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you want to gain clarity on where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return. Hop on over to our website - rialtomarketing.com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O marketing.com. Click on the get a free consult button. I guarantee you will get a ton of value from the call and walk away knowing what those next steps should be. So thank you again for tuning in. Remember, marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. Till next time, take care.


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About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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