Working with Journalists – How to Get Your First Pitch Read

By Michael Shepherd / June 22, 2018 /

By Michael Corbett So, you’ve created a great story – now it’s time to distribute it to your list of contacts and create an earned media campaign. But how big is this list? Will everyone on it want to see this piece from you? Do they even know you? It can be tricky at times but targeting the right…

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A PR Primer for Agency Rookies

By Michael Shepherd / October 8, 2017 /

Take it from an agency newbie: In order to be successful in this part of the PR world, you’re going to need more than the requisite writing and story telling skills upon which communicators rely. While these core competencies will serve you well, there are many others – many of which aren’t taught in the classroom…

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Two Themes On Which Every Good Headline Writer Leans

By Michael Shepherd / October 1, 2017 /

A good copy editor in the newspaper business is worth his or weight in gold. Among their many talents: Headline writing that captivates and draws us into the stories that follow. It’s no different in the marketing and PR arena, where so much is riding on our ability to engage. Great headlines do 80% of…

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woman developing new research strategy

Why Your Research May Be Deceiving You

By Michael Shepherd / July 5, 2016 /

The eyes don’t lie. Neither do the feet. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what your market wants, look at actions – not words. Madison Avenue employed an attitudinal research strategy for many years trying to better understand the thoughts and feelings of those using its brands. Marketers, armed by prevailing opinions…

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B2B Digital Marketing Misses

By Michael Shepherd / May 8, 2016 /

Well over a decade ago I attended a marketing communications workshop in San Francisco that promised to educate all practitioners in the room – old school and otherwise – about new digital tools and technologies. The narrative, as it is today, is how those advances were re-shaping the way we did business. It was a…

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How Your PR Skills Are Being Re-Packaged and Sold by Ad Pros

By Michael Shepherd / March 6, 2016 /

by Michael Shepherd, Managing Partner Your marketing people are probably wearing you out these days with their constant references to “content marketing,” whether it’s a social media post, website article or e-mailed coupon. The most vocal evangelists within the organization may even be re-branding themselves as content marketing specialists and going so far as to…

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A Brand Worthy of Admiration

By Michael Shepherd / February 23, 2016 /

Would you rather be rich or famous? How about most admired? There’s a bank that can make a compelling case for being all three. For the fifth consecutive year, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp has earned Fortune Magazine’s #1 Most Admired Company in its category (Superregional Banks). And before I go any further, let me answer the obvious…

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How Kleiner Perkins Can Prevail in the Court of Public Opinion

By Michael Shepherd / March 8, 2015 /

As the dirty laundry piles up in the San Francisco courtroom where blue chip VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers defends itself from a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by former junior partner Ellen Pao, it’s become clear that both sides are going to need some highly concentrated PR to clean up the…

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Anchor Away: A PR Prescription for NBC’s Brian Williams

By Michael Shepherd / February 19, 2015 /

One of the rules most parents instill in their children is to always tell the truth. Because nobody is perfect, however, most of us have tested this rule and discovered – painfully – what happens when it’s violated. Brian Williams, the now former managing editor for NBC News, apparently didn’t learn from such an experience. And…

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The Hole in Healthcare Marketing

By Michael Shepherd / December 9, 2014 /

Say what you will about the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and as we know, there’s no shortage of opinions on either side – there’s one thing on which almost everybody agrees: healthcare access and delivery will never be the same. The impact on marketing departments will be equally profound, which…

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