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What I Learned from the Hendo Hoverboard: Sometimes, it’s OK to say “No, Thanks”

People working in PR agencies will tell you that one of the greatest things about this line of work is that you get to learn something new pretty much every day. When Sterling took on Arx Pax as a new client in early October, I did a lot of learning. Specifically, I learned how to master the delicate balancing act of sifting through dozens of media inquiries to find the right outlets for our clients’ limited media time. Media interest in a client is always exciting and PR people are programmed to act as conduits between their clients and the media. That said, I have learned that as there is a time for media engagement, there is also a time for keeping quiet and passing on opportunities (cue The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!”). Knowing when to tell the difference – aye, there’s the rub.

Managing the tsunami of media interest we generated when we launched Arx Pax’s Hendo hoverboard taught me that this decision-making process demands risk-taking, knowing my client’s big picture goals and putting their objectives first. (more…)

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What People Can Learn from Thanksgiving

thankfulforfamily

For marketing professionals, it’s easy to take the “superficial” route for every holiday-themed blog post and make a listicle of social media blunders or share heartwarming stories of brands who give back to their customers. But, as I look out the window feeling gratitude for the rain that has finally come to drought-ridden California, I choose the road less taken. The end-of-the-year holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year (yes, even more than summertime!). And it’s not the holiday sales that have me excited; I’m talking about having a bit of time to reflect, give thanks, and create better relationships and stronger communities.

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Lisa Hawes

6 Family-Focused Blogger Events for Your 2015 Marketing Calendar

Senior account executive Pouneh Lechner attended Blogger Bash in New York City this year with our client NETGEAR.

Senior account executive Pouneh Lechner attended Blogger Bash in New York City this year with our client NETGEAR.

Sadly, I’m not a mommy so until a couple of years ago, I hadn’t read many so-called “mommy blogs.” While aware that traditional corporate branding is under siege by word-of-mouth marketing, my attention used to gravitate toward B2B influencers and mainstream media. However, a year ago, Sterling began working with the WiFi Family sales team within NETGEAR that promotes mobile WiFi hotspots designed for AT&T service. Our top target for hands-on product reviews: mommy bloggers! I had to get up to speed quickly on the personalities and the events.

“Mommy blogger” is too narrow a definition to encompass the broad variety of people who review products on personal blogs, and it has a condescending ring. Yes, many are indeed parents and grandparents who blog as a hobby, but many are also sophisticated entrepreneurs who offer vendor sponsorship opportunities through an extensive network of partners. As my colleague noted in her post last month, you’ll meet ex-Fortune 500 executives turned fashion bloggers, stay-at-home moms turned tech evangelists, and spouses or siblings that use their blogging activities to promote a family business.

For all the gnashing of teeth of how technology and social media are ruining “true” social relationships, face-to-face events — conventions, really — are increasingly popular in the blogging world. Bloggers and brands want to connect with each other for sponsorships, advertisements, giveaways, and product reviews, and nothing beats an in-person meeting to boost trust on both sides. Moreover, these events provide bloggers who may be stay-at-home workers an opportunity to network with their peers and share lessons learned about growing their social businesses.

Through our work with NETGEAR WiFi Family, we’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of events scattered across the US. Below is a snapshot description of a half-dozen of these events:

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Admin
Admin

Blogging is a Business

Blog for MoneyAs you may know, I love networking events. I have had the opportunity to attend numerous blogging events to network on behalf of clients as well as create mutually beneficial business relationships with bloggers.

Most recently I attended the Type-A Parent conference in Atlanta and one thing became very clear to me: blogging is a business. Bloggers are CEOs of their own companies and if you want to create a quality relationship with bloggers, you must approach them as business people.

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Sarah K

It’s our 25th Birthday!

Hard to believe, but Sterling is officially 25 years old. Since 1989, we’ve transformed from a boutique three-person PR firm into a full-service integrated marketing agency with offices in both the Northwest and Silicon Valley. Once a year, we take some time to get together as a company, sharing best practices, brainstorming new ideas and taking stock of where we are on our journey. There’s no way to fit 25 years into one day, but this year we sure did our best to fit it into three!

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Six Tips to Take You From College To Your First Job

Billy Madison in class

As a college senior, it’s easy to feel like the big fish in a little pond. While the underclassmen around you are fretting about dorm assignments and campus life, seniors get to worry about finishing up all the requirements to earn that sheepskin, preparing for the postgrad world with relevant internships and clubs, and finding creative ways to compete for those entry-level jobs. To help ease the transition, we came up with a few tips and tricks to help college seniors prepare for the “real world.” (more…)

Sarah K

Brevity is the Key to Successful Communication

Dug from Up says "squirrel"

In this day and age, capturing and holding someone’s attention is a tough business.

We have hundreds of things demanding our attention at any given moment: emails, texts, snapchats, a coworker’s birthday, a significant other wondering what’s for dinner – you get the picture. (If you spaced out during that long list, you’re not alone. I actually checked Reddit about four times while writing it).

A funny thing happens when you exercise brevity: people don’t mind listening to you. Well thought-out, brief communication shows that you respect and value others’ time.

CEOs and journalists have particularly harried schedules, so capturing and holding their interest is no small feat. Here are six tips to help you do just that:

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Pouneh

Tips When Attending a Blogger Conference

Sterling had the pleasure of attending two blogger conferences this month, Type-A Bootcamp and BloggerBash. We were there supporting our client NETGEAR WiFi Family, promoting their mobile hotspots for AT&T.

Blogger conferences are as fun as they sound. There’s lots of swag, great networking, and a fantastic opportunity for vendors to have face-to-face time with bloggers that may want to write about their product.

Here are some tips for maximizing your time at a blogger conference:

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Admin
Admin

Want the Perfect Story? Work with Freelancers

The journalistic community and the PR community have always experienced a fractious relationship. A while back, I blogged about how there is a 4:1 PR person to journalist ratio and shared tips to insert yourself in a news cycle by proactive pitching or drafting contributed content. While pitching purposefully and crafting your own content are effective ways to get published in certain outlets, making friends with freelancers is a great way to turn a pitch from “concept to story” in short order.

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