SHOW NOTES & TRANSCRIPT:
QUOTE FROM THE SHOW: [25:41] “I’m gonna say this, I’m going to say probably 99 percent of businesses missed their pr opportunity because they just don’t have the time. They’ll get to it later and then the time passes and that news becomes old news. It’s like, oh shoot, I should’ve put press release out on that.”
MATTHEW BIRD is the CEO and Founder of 1-800-PublicRelations, Inc. (“1800pr”) a leading full-service communication marketing firm with a heavy emphasis on performance-driven public relations, content marketing and sustainable partnerships.
Matthew Bird is an accredited expert in corporate strategy, communications, public relations, social-impact marketing and advocate for United Nations SDGs. Over Matthew Bird’s 18-year career he has led the corporate and brand communication strategy for more than 1,000 companies and organizations including the United Nations, NASDAQ, NYSE, Microsoft, AFLAC, SAP, NYSE, PR Newswire, PR Newswire, BNY Mellon, BetterInvesting, Reality Mogel, Orbitz, Yahoo, Disney, Samsung, Estee Lauder, Starwood, Toyota, Ford and others.
In 2016 Mr. Bird was appointed as Acting-Director of the United Nations SDG Media Zone to support global communications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – reaching more than 30 million people in 30 countries. During this period, Mr. Bird also led 1-800-PublicRelations “1800pr” to the top of the communications agency industry by generating more than 8,000 media hits through client PR and media campaigns driving a record 15 billion views worldwide.
On Dec 1st 2015 Matthew Bird was ranked 3rd in the world – “Top 10 Most Influential Media and Communication Executives of 2015” by United Nations & PBVLIC
Prior to 1-800-PublicRelations, Mr. Bird was the EVP of BBDO Worldwide and the CEO of MUNCmedia, a financial communications network that is best known for its multi-national partnerships with NASDAQ OMX, Where Mr. Bird (MUNCmedia) powered their intelligent global featured news distribution and newswire analytics systems. The financial retail investor-targeting network operated across 1,400 news publications, TV and Radio networks reaching more than 110 million investors and consumers worldwide. The content distribution, analytical reporting, and investor targeting technology developed by Matthew Bird has been widely adopted by all wire services and communication networks today.
On July 21st, 2009, Matthew Bird rang the NASDAQ Stock Exchange closing bell. Mr. Bird has been featured on CNBC, CBS, Clear Channel, iHeart Radio, American Express, cSpan, Forbes, Fox News and Mr. Bird is an active contributor to the Huffington Post, and has lectured frequently at MIT Sloan Business School.
Get In Touch With Matt:
Intro/Outro: 00:00 Welcome to the Winning with Shopify podcast, the podcast that will teach you to take your shopify store and turn it into an automated sales machine with the latest marketing emails, sales and social media advice, strategies, and tips from experts without the fluff. Your host, Caroline Balinska, the founder of justaskparker.com, the only small marketing task agency for shopify owners with over 10 years experience in marketing, manufacturing, design, and ecommerce. She shares her knowledge and interviews the experts to help you in your journey to success. Now, here’s your host, Caroline Balinska.
Caroline: 00:39 Hi everyone. It’s caroline here. I just wanted to add this very quick note because since recording this episode, I have spoken with Matt who is the guest on today’s episode and he’ll actually be on the influences summit that we have coming up. So if you haven’t signed up for the social media influences summit, make sure you sign up for that because that is going to be an absolute gem. It’s got over 15 speakers all speaking about different aspects of working with social media influences from the aspect of being a shopify store and so you being a shopify store owner, I promise you that this is going to be the information that you can’t live without. We have got 15 plus different speakers, including Matt Bird, he’ll be talking about pr and we’ll have other guests talking about being a brand, what it’s like being a shopify store or not, and working with influencers.
Caroline: 01:34 I’ve also got some amazing influencers coming on to talk about different aspects of being, an influencer and having a working relationship with those influences and I also have app owners that we’ll be discussing different apps, different tools that you can use as a shopify merchant that will help you with your social media influencer campaigns. Whether it be a tool to get you started or one to get you analytics. There is so much great information in this summit, so make sure you sign up. Head over to shopify influencer marketing summit.com, or if it’s easier to go over to just ask pocket.com and there’ll be a link in the footer saying summit, just click there and it will take you through or also on every podcast episode on justaskparker.com. There is actually a sign up form directly there, so don’t miss out. Sign up. It’s a hundred percent free to join us on the summit and you get three days worth of content given to you and it’s going to be amazing.
Caroline: 02:40 So I’m really excited it will be held October 29th to 31st, but don’t worry if you miss those dates, there will be access to some of the free content still. So just head over, sign up and don’t miss out. And now let’s get into the show. Hi everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited today. I have got Matt Bird on the line with me and you know, normally I get on these calls and I think, okay, I’m going to ask them questions, but we have just had a really quick chat before we started recording and my mind is blown and I’m super excited to have matt here. I know that he has got so much to share and just from our little conversation, I think that this is going to be one of the best interviews I’ve ever done and I know that I said that a little bit.
Caroline: 03:25 This one definitely is, so Matt is the CEO and founder of 1800pr.com and the company actually is a leading full service communication marketing firm with a heavy emphasis on performance driven public relations, content marketing and sustainable partnerships. He has led to the corporate and brand communication strategy for more than 1000 companies and organizations, including the United Nations, Microsoft, Yahoo, Disney, Samsung, Estate Laude, Toyota, Ford and others. So I’m really excited to have him here. He’s got so much to share about ecommerce. It’s a large part of what he does in his business. So let’s welcome Matt, please introduce yourself. How are you today?
Matt: 04:09 I’m doing good. Thanks. Thanks for having me here at Carolina. And by the way, I’m a huge fan of your work and I think what you’re doing on the content side is terrific, is to you. I’m a huge fan.
Caroline: 04:18 Thank you so much. Thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it. So tell us a little bit more about 1800pr.com and what you do. I know that you do quite a lot of different things in your business.
Matt: 04:28 Yeah. So 1800public relations, that’s the full name, 1800PR for short, but one of your public relations. We’re an on demand al a carte PR marketing firm, we’re small and medium size businesses can go and access communication services without heavy a large retainers or a longterm contracts all on demand, all a card and you pay, as you know, our platform. It’s been in the works about four years and now we have over 400 clients. Um, our core business right now is from a practice side is sustainability working with United Nations in the EU parliament and a John Paul Dejoria, Arnold Schwarzenegger and major influencers, uh, helping a current large enterprise brands become more relevant and stays millennial driven world. So, we find creative ways to connect brands with social impact causes and so we’re pretty passionate about that. It’s working well for us.
Caroline: 05:23 Fantastic. So we were talking before we got on this recording and you have so many different things to share. So I’ve got quite a few questions I want to ask you, but before we go date, let’s just talk about what pr actually is and what it is these days compared to before and what it means to ecommerce stores
Matt: 05:42 public. It’s a great question. So public relations is a way for businesses and high profile individuals to communicate to the media in the public. So a PR specialists per se finds ways to communicate to target audiences directly or, or indirectly through media. That’d be like TV editorial, Web podcasts like this, and another means to create and maintain a positive image. Why is pr important to ECOMMERCE businesses? Well, pr drives visibility, which then drives website traffic, which then drive sales on a, on a more sophisticated level. It simply then positions the business owners as thought leaders to help them accelerate their business objectives.
Caroline: 06:24 Okay, so I have a question about that because I’ve got quite a few store owners who actually don’t want to be the front of their business. They might own a lingerie business and they’re a man and they don’t want to make it look like they’re creepy or I’ve got another client of mine, she’s a high profile lawyer and she doesn’t want to have any sort of other business associated too high. There’s all sorts of reasons why people don’t want to put themselves forward in the front of their business. Is it a. are they able to do pr without being the person that forward or can the business do pr?
Matt: 06:58 That’s a really good question and yes, so the answer that question is yes. The business itself in the most effective of pr strategies is work product of the business and that would get down to reviews, images, collateral, and promoting the content of the business itself. Um, it’s only important for a ceo to be visible with the business if that business owner has the desire to go raise more funds if they are attached to the business somehow, but the main one, the big one is raised raising more capital so you know, a business owner putting out a press announcement and putting their name in a quote in a press release or being, getting interviewed on let’s say Fox News or CNBC or a local publication. It’s important because it makes them look relevant. It makes them look like a thought leader within the industry and it helps them for the most part, do more strategic deal flow in a lot of times it’s economic driven. If that’s not a need, then the focus is purely on work product and the product itself. And that typically would be the strategy.
Caroline: 08:07 ECOMMERCE stores use pr in that room. Businesses.
Matt: 08:11 Okay, so how can ecommerce stores use PR in their own businesses via content? Today is a self directed search engine world. Consumers have become very savvy with searching things before they make purchases. So for example, does a company have been, have a good rating? Is there a positive press on the business or the owner for that matter? Uh, do I believe in the same things that the business does? Can I find a discount coupon? I mean, these are all things that people subconsciously think about before engaging anything online businesses via business or personal purchases. Does that make sense?
Caroline: 08:46 What sorts of businesses do you think works best when it comes to pr? Is there a type of business or an industry that you see working the best?
Matt: 08:54 You know, it’s a question, and to answer that, I would say, again, in today’s content driven world, it’s amazing because everything boils down to the curation of content and search engines in communities manifests himself based on keywords. So pr works well for any business if you believe that your business has market potential. Public pr today is crossed over with content marketing which has crossed over with social. It’s crossed over with editorial, the different layers of it create different layers of credibility. So when you put out a press release, for example, a press release, you can be a widget manufacturer will believe it or not. There are people out there looking to buy widgets, so what do you do? You go on and Google and you make a search and you pull up the top five widget manufacturers out there. Typically you’re going to make a decision based upon a couple of things, what we said before, ratings or you know, are there, is there a discount coupon and or the manufacturing process or the things that they have. So pr works for any type of business out there, so long as the company is generating content to that specific audience and they know who their audience is.
New Speaker: 10:05 That is a very good point and it’s one that I make all the time that people need to know. ECOMMERCE stores need to know who their audiences because if they don’t know, then nothing’s going to work for them. When it comes to marketing,
Matt: 10:16 I couldn’t agree more and it’s a, I think a lot of business owners get caught up in, do I have enough people looking at my website? I need more traffic. Well, the reality of it is, is that you’re going to generate as much traffic as you have content out there to drive that, to drive traffic back through that, through that third party content. So how big is your audience? Well, only that business owners should really knows that answer, how much of that market share they’re going to win is going to depend on how proactive they are in creating content and how proactive they are in marketing.
Caroline: 10:48 Yeah. Because if someone’s sitting there talking about, I don’t know, um, the latest game that everyone’s playing on the. We were discussing it before we got on the recording. The people that are playing these games on Youtube and showing them, doesn’t matter how much they try to get me to their website, they’re never going to get me that because at the end of the day I’m not interested in it. So it’s really about getting the right people, not just the number of people.
Matt: 11:12 Yeah, and at the right time. And you know what the interesting thing about today’s kind of content and instant iphone type worlds, everything is on demand. Everything is immediate. Everything is right now and buyers and we’ll talk about customers as buyers or consumers. They know exactly what they’re looking for in real time and the search engines know it too and that’s how contextual marketing plays a really important part. The content is being created on a per side for an ecommerce business needs to be crafted in a way to where when somebody is searching for something like a, a linen shirt, did they come up and they don’t just come up or do you want to tackle the keyword linen shirt through the entire United States? Or do you want to tackle linen shirt within New York City or in Skokie, Illinois, and you have a higher likelihood if you target locally and target your business.
Matt: 12:05 If you’re a local local commerce business, you customize your keywords. You customize your skews so that those, those searches, when people searching, it comes up on a local search versus it comes to the national search because then you’re not competing with the national retailers and national commerce platforms like macy’s and Walmart and and target and Amazon and craigslist. I mean those are really, really tough tough commerce platforms to our Seo Online, but you can do it locally. I think from a sector perspective, I mean it’s really kind of boils down to content that’s being created for local skews and then relying on the platforms like Google and craigslist and everything else. The users that are using that are typing keywords to dial up exactly what they need and then you just need to be present.
Caroline: 12:57 Yeah. It’s great advice because it’s so true. So many people come to me and they say, oh, okay, now I want to target the whole world straight away. And I’m like, well, let’s just do one section at a time because you’re trying to get your message out to everyone. Let’s just try to stick with, especially my clients that are in the UK. And then they’re saying, oh, but I want to do the UK and the US at the same time and I’m like, come on, just let’s just try to target one area at a time. Otherwise you’re just diluting your whole message across the world.
Matt: 13:24 You know what I’d say that is. That is such a great example of what a lot of business owners and everybody, how everybody feels about their businesses that they have got this vision and a dream in their head that they are going to dominate a market and they’re going to make money and be able to retire off of building their platform and if they do it well enough they will or they certainly had the capability of getting there. One of the big mistakes that are made along the way when it comes to commerce platforms, and I’m going to use it not even on the transactional level, on the lead generation level, and they give you a very specific example like mortgage companies, lawyers, a lot of refinance, a lot of mortgage companies out that are trying to target people looking to refinance their homes. The reality of it is the vast majority of them cannot handle national homeowners.
Matt: 14:14 Big Mistake the lot of these mortgage companies make is that they buy keywords like mortgage or refinance, but there are only licensed in the state of California. So what’s happening is that they’re bleeding out their budget through the whole country, getting all these leads because they’ve tackled this massive keyword which is mortgage, which google blasts out to everybody typing in the word mortgage. Whether you’re New York or Alabama or or in the in the UK. When the reality of it, the cure they should have bought was California mortgage company. Right? San Francisco refinance and look at the local aspects of that and realize that even though you want to be a leader in the industry, you need to be a leader in your addressable market and that has to do a scaling back. These big ambitions and dreams and tackling the market that you addressed them or you have now and then expand when you’re ready to expand.
Matt: 15:12 But be aware that this is where your platform and why you drive so much value to the people that you work with is it’s little things like this that keep business owners from making these costly early stage mistakes preventing them from going, I’m never going to do this again when the reality of it is, it’s a, it’s a process of failure and you want to fail as quickly as you can at your marketing and your pr and communication at first to figure out what works and there’s a cost to it and the best thing to do is you have somebody holding your hand along the way saying, hey, watch out for that road bump or that pothole because it will swallow your tire in your car is going to be out of commission completely. If you go down that road. It’s really important for them because that’s. There’s a lot of times those are marketing campaigns that they just can’t recover from. And it’s as simple as a keyword.
Caroline: 16:04 Yeah, and another good example would be doing your whole publicity around free shipping and because you’re doing free shipping in the UK for instance, but when you go into the US market, you’re charging $25 for shipping. It doesn’t stand a chance against all the other companies that I can get free shipping. So why not stick to the market where your able to give that extra benefit of free shipping rather than try to do the whole of the world and no one’s buying from the other countries anyway because they don’t buy your product. If they’re going to have to pay for shipping, if they can get it for no shipping from another company.
Matt: 16:38 I, I mean, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a, it’s, uh, be be an expert in your local market and when you, when you have the resources and you have the team to scale, then you start looking at outside markets. If you win business, you know, just because you’re good at creating content, you’re good at your marketing efforts and you, you’ve got a good reputation and people are markets find their way there. Great. Glad to augment your and cannibalize your core market with this aspiration to get into a bigger market. That’s a mistake a lot, a lot, a lot of commerce platforms, a lot of businesses make.
Caroline: 17:16 And so what are your favorite pr campaigns that you’ve been seeing with ecommerce stores? Have you seen anything interesting or something fun or something crazy?
Matt: 17:24 Yeah, so I’m going to say these are things that everybody deals with on a daily basis and it’s just, you know, over the years have worked with over thousand companies in our last couple. We had 4,000, 4,000 companies as clients. The big one, and this is the thing that everybody defaults to immediately with the business email marketing. So we all have this. You just kind of like when you think of email marketing, you’re like, oh, email marketing span and everything else will believe it or not, there’s a way to do email marketing. Where does it feel like spam where when somebody gets you there, your email, they actually appreciate it and they don’t unsubscribe to it and it’s the difference between soliciting and providing an alert notification on a special or something that may be of value. And I think a couple of retailers that do this really well would be um, I’ll give you a couple examples.
Matt: 18:17 Would eat banana republic or macy’s if you’re signing up for banana republic. We all know and nobody I, I, I’d be willing but they have the lowest rate in the world because every time I get an email for them it’s when they have their 30 percent off sale. Now I don’t unsubscribe because I know I shop at Banana Republic from time to time and, and I have bought off of those notifications. They come out once a quarter and I waited for them and I might not do it now, but I might do it tomorrow. If you’re a commerce platform you provide flowers would have made me. My recommendation is don’t inundate the market with just, you know, all of this thought leadership concepts that you may have. Even though that’s where a lot of the thought process is, is be very tactful on and mindful of when I sent out an email about my offer or about my commerce platform and what I’m off my commerce platform, is it, is it, is it going to resonate with the person the other side knowing that they weren’t expecting it coming in.
Matt: 19:18 So the one thing that people do look for is cost savings all the time. And so when email marketing campaigns, I love email marketing campaigns that are alert notifications on sales. I’m the second one is a macro reporting, we’ll call it news flow press releases on unaccompanied milestones. If I got an email or if I heard about a company that I’d never heard before but does has a great product, the first thing I do is I look them up and I’ll look up the ratings and I’ll look up the reviews and if I see a negative review, the one thing I want to know is did the company respond and address that negative review? That means more to me than anything else because somebody got a one star rating, let’s say in Yelp and that business owner does not take the time to go. I’m so sorry that that happened. What can I do to fix it? I want you to know and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That builds so much trust and credibility with me that that business owner realizes that mistakes happen and I’m here to fix them and I’m not running away from it and I’m not trying to shy away from my product. I’m trying to improve it. So staying up to date with your ratings and addressing your satisfied customers is probably the most credible thing an ecommerce platform can do.
Caroline: 20:37 Yeah. That’s so true. A lot of people say to me that they’re scared of their reviews because they’re scared people will leave a negative review, but like you said, a lot of the times it’s how it’s dealt with that you know, even sort of dealt with properly. That becomes the issue.
Matt: 20:52 Well, it’s like we’ve all heard i’m sorry, right? Oh, I’m sorry that happened. But there’s a big difference between, I’m the word, I’m sorry, in the big difference between, Hey, I’m sorry, we should have put more thought process into, um, the notification that this could take five to seven days, you know, even though you’ve booked it for three days and uh, we will give you a credit next time and you then change you, you change and fix the problem versus just ignoring it and hoping the next person doesn’t complain about it and acknowledging where the mistake is made and trying to fix it. It means the world to, to customers. It’s just this little thing and it’s all transparent today online. So getting back to that, we are a dial up contextual content driven world. Customers will find you if the content is out there and that they find negative content you need to address that negative content. The content that you do put out there, just make sure it’s productive content, right? Something that adds value to their day that informs them of something they didn’t know before and, but also being mindful of what it is that people want and expect from day to day.
Caroline: 22:04 So that’s actually a good point, I didn’t think about until just now talking about it, but I guess if you do have something really bad happened, you know, something gets delivered three days later than they expected. That’s nothing. But let’s say for instance, there was a real arrow with an item and I don’t know if blew up, for example, there was that huge thing recently that there’s been a lot of those, um, some sort of shaken drink thinking’s been blowing up in people’s faces and some people have actually died from it. So that’s really serious. But there’s always things like that that can happen with paper people’s items or you know, the pair of jeans without old damage the whole order. So that’s a really good time for someone to call and get paid hours. And if they are in that situation of, you know, in damage mode.
Matt: 22:46 Caroline….Yes, yes and no. So I am going to give you the antidote to that because, uh, I think everyone wants to hear what do you do in that situation? And we’ve all, we’ve all seen it so appear from if you were to talk to someone like me, it’s about strategy the way that, how do we go about fixing that problem in larger organizations, it’s a much more complex issue as an ecommerce platform. You own it. And I think if we were to look at a gold standard, we should look at Nordstrom’s as a commerce platform, as the gold standard. If you have a dissatisfied customer and you want to keep customers, you want to keep your credibility, you replace it and you have no questions asked, the customer’s always right and that that is a rule you can’t go wrong by. And if you truly believe that and you want customers to be happy, sometimes you may take a hit from time to time because the product, um, you made a mistake, he may be made a buying mistake.
Matt: 23:46 You made a, you made a tactical mistake, you made a guarantee error that you couldn’t fulfill that. Then you have to own up to it and fix it. And then you use that as an opportunity to make an announcement that you, that the company has changed its stance on how it does something or how that problem has been fixed and with a little bit of luck with news distribution, the way it goes out with news wires, it get picked up by the local media. So wherever it comes from, if you, if you live in Denver, Colorado, the local news reporter, we like, this is a great story from this little local business owner. Let’s feature how this business or solve this problem and you’ll believe it or not, more times than not, you’ll get picked up from your local press, by you fixing something that you could have easily ignored because you don’t know who they are. It’s, it’s an ecommerce drop, shipment type organization, business or whatnot. You can turn that mistake and opportunity.
Caroline: 24:41 Fantastic. So it all comes down to fixing the problem and not trying to hide away from it.
Matt: 24:46 You got it, you got it.
Caroline: 24:47 So what are some other angles? If there’s people listening, thinking, well, I didn’t have any angle to come up for pr. What are some good ankles for ecommerce stores?
Matt: 24:57 So, and listeners out there. So, you know, Caroline gave me some questions before we, uh, before we got on here and this was one of the questions and I have thought about this and it took me a little while to think about it because what are good angles? And so as such a good question. And I think in most small businesses, I don’t think there are angles. I think they just need to be present and I think you need to focus on their work product. So if you’re a pizza store or if you provide, you know, boxed food or fashion, the best pr strategy you have is focus in on your reviews. Be Proactive with your customers and make sure that you put out news monthly report on those milestones. It’s more businesses, and I’m gonna say this, I’m going to say probably 99 percent of businesses missed their pr opportunity because they just don’t have the time.
Matt: 25:49 They’ll get to it later and then the time passes and that news becomes old news. It’s like, oh shoot, I should’ve put press release out on that. So things that you’re typically a small business or a commerce platforms will work product and I mean that their day to day productivity should be their PR strategy and that would be you hire a new employee, you have a new, a new line, you got to review the post, the review on your blog and you recycled that review. You use what you do day to day, the things that you’re good at as your PR strategy because people want to end today’s millennial driven world. People want to do business with businesses that are authentic and the only way that you’re authentic is your work and what you stand for and by putting out your work as your communication strategy, this is what I believe in and this is how we work in.
Matt: 26:42 This is what we do. Other people will be attracted to to that because they believe the same thing. Apple became the biggest corporation in the world with only six percent market share. And you want to talk about a PR strategy. This is really interesting. So Microsoft owned 95 percent Linux own roughly five percent than apple, which was nearly bankrupt. Jobs. Steve jobs came back, overhauled everything came out with the iphone, the IPAD, the Ipod, and we all remember those commercials that Microsoft’s got it. And, and the apple. The apple would be like, what’s wrong windows? Oh, I’m sick. I got a virus. Oh, I don’t get viruses. Have jeannine seven for that. Maybe I can get you some medicine. No, no, there’s no. There’s nothing that can solve this problem. And so forth. And at the end of those commercials it was really unexpected because you expect to hear a sales pitch.
Matt: 27:41 You’d expect to hear a price. You expect your promotion. Apple never did that, never told you that. Buy An apple. What they would say is we believe in computers that don’t get viruses. We believe in and presented unprecedented processing power. We believe in style. If you believe in the same thing, apple, and what was amazing is, is that six percent of the market believes in the same thing that they did, and then they pay. Those people paid five times more for a MAC computer and an iphone and all of those devices. Then they could get on a windows device because they wanted to identify and they wanted quality versus quantity. They wanted to be one of the belief system. You know, Simon Senec a, he’s a big famous motivational speaker out there. He talks about being authentic and one of my favorite sayings that he says is, you know, you’re looking at a look at apple.
Matt: 28:33 You’ve never seen a dirty Mac before, right? You’ve seen dirty pcs, never seen a dirty Mac. You’ve never seen somebody cover up that apple symbol with a sticker, right? You’ve seen people cover up the windows. It’s ticker symbol on the back of a windows computer, but you’ve never seen a b. everybody kept cover up that apple because that’s who they are as who they identify with, and that has to do a lot with their communication strategy. The authentic. We believe in unprecedent computing, power, bleeding style. We know viruses. So you’re speaking to a specific audience and being authentic like, and again, not my words, like you know, a tattoo. You’ve seen people wear Harley Davidson Tattoos, right? They wear them proud. It means something, Harley Davidson, a c, procter and gamble, right? So, um, and these aren’t my words, but these are things that have resonated with me and I think about it during my own strategy meetings, what I do with brands and it rings so true. And so from a commerce business, when you’re looking at your angle, be authentic, be who you are as a commerce business and communicate what you believe in and communicate the small little things because people want to see, you know, David went right, we Goliath, we all know Goliath can hit harder, but we want to see this. We want to see the emerging growth businesses win. And that’s where innovation comes from. So the best advice that I could give is be authentic with your angles, which report on your work product.
Caroline: 30:05 Fantastic. Yeah, I think the way you were. Did that make me think about things a little bit differently as well. So really good advice. And you mentioned before about testimonials, the reviews. So taking that review and making something out of that. Can you let, because this is a big thing for ecommerce store owners that get cancer, what would you recommend that they do those?
Matt: 30:29 Well, that was early in my career. I started off in advertising and promotions. I had a. anybody who’s ever been in sales has gone through this process of trying to figure out your best angle to pitch or the sell. Right? And you talked a lot of people. You put out a lot of proposals and you do a lot of things and in this case people might search a commerce website. Um, when it comes to reviews, I’m going to give the same advice that someone gave me when it came to how I became better at what I do in business development, which is simply asked for the review and it’s a big thing. Hey Kate, do you want to take a. can I get a picture with you? If you see a celebrity and you asset celebrity for a Selfie? Sure. Why not? If you don’t ask, you’re not going to get it.
Matt: 31:16 Very rarely will people go out of their way to write a positive review about something that they already expect to be good. So I think the statistic, and I’m going to give you an I could be, it could be awesome this only one out of 10 people will take the time to go out and write a positive review about their experience because that positive experiences, what they expect to begin with. So if you deliver exactly what they expect, they’re going to become a repeat client, but they’re not going to go out of their way to write a review unless this extraordinary or unless, uh, unless they’re asked and, and, and, and literally asset point could, would you do that for me? And if they say, well, I’m just really appreciate what you do that for me, yes, I’ll do that. And have those people. Maybe one third of those people might actually write the review, right?
Matt: 32:07 The flip side of that is eight out of 10 people will write a negative review if they have a bad experience on what they expected. So if a business isn’t proactive about requesting and asking for reviews, I’m just think about when you call your bank or if you call apple or you call any of the stores, the first thing they asked is, or even when you, if you booked it, if my favorites United Airlines before I transferred and I fly on united a lot before I transferred the united, would you like to go through our customer service review at the end of this call? Press one or press two constantly asked me if I would put a review out there and for it as for an ecommerce business, those reviews are priceless because people make determinations whether or not they’re going to buy from this business that has 50 reviews with a four star rating versus a business that has two reviews with a five star rating because we all know grandpa and grandma and uncle and my brother wrote those for reviews. Right? Exactly. So, uh, the summit up ask, ask for the review.
Caroline: 33:18 Fantastic. I’m glad that you’re saying it because it’s the same thing that I say and I think a lot of people think, oh yeah, but that part’s not that important. I’ll move onto the next part, but you’re just making it more clear to people that these are the things that matter without these areas that, that I called them the foundational parts of your ecommerce business. If you don’t have the foundation right, and nothing else is going to wake, you can go and spend $10,000 on pr and being on television and all of that. But if someone comes to your website and they don’t see good reviews and they only say, like I said, for views, and the likelihood of them buying is probably low. Anyway.
Matt: 33:55 Yeah. Let’s be specific on this. So a business owner is like, oh, I got a five star review. Um, and you’ve got 44 ratings. Somebody making a purchase. They’re thinking what’s going through their mind is, do I buy from this person or do I buy it from somebody else? And they’re going to look at the number of reviews and the number of ratings from their competitor. Our competitor has got 40 or 50. I mean, even look at what you do when you buy anything online. I mean, anything today online. And when you download apps, how many pauses reviews is that APP? You know, which, which microphone after I download, when you download the one that has the most reviews, right? This one is 10,000. So this must be the best.
Caroline: 34:35 Even if it’s free. Yeah, we still do that,
Matt: 34:38 right? Yeah. So, uh, yes, reviews are really important. And to go with that is, you know, instagram, social posts being proactive, you know, all those things on the content generation side go to supporting the digital footprint because make no mistake and ecommerce company is it digital organization and the only source of reference you have our digital reviews customer to go, Hey, what do you think about that next to you? Oh, I’ve had that. I had that apple computer for all right, I’ve had that device. You can’t ask somebody next to you the inside of retail store on an ecommerce platform. The only thing you have, the only benchmark, you have to read the reviews and look at the ratings.
Caroline: 35:27 So true. Adam, what do you see the opportunities in the future? How do you see it changing over the next couple of years and you know, this year and next year?
Matt: 35:37 Hmm. No, I, I think, I wonder, I think about that all the time. Uh, I think, um, the entire industry is thinking about that. Uh, so I’m being, I’m being authentic to myself. I, uh, I believe that, uh, businesses that do good while making money or we’re going to be the next wave of communication. So social impact, a socially minded organizations, and this is not charity I’m talking about. This is organizations that are doing using the resources to do good. And an example of this would be, let’s say you’re, um, you’re a fashion brand and you’ve got excess. You did an overrun. You can’t sell it. It’s just sitting in boxes. Take that extra inventory, find a social impacts, find some nonprofit initiative and use that opportunity to show the community, make an announcement that you’ll be donating that clothes, make get photographers down there while you’re handing this stuff out, post those on Instagram, but how you’ve been giving away that excess inventory and make an impact.
Matt: 36:48 Giving money doesn’t equal impact. Actually helping people physically helping people with your resources is making an impact and I believe that is going to be the future of communications. That’s the future of public relations. That is the most powerful kind of content that you’re going to find out there, which is a business owner going, I have all this pizza going out, going Pepperoni, that’s going to go bad. You know what? Maybe we should do a festival and just make pizzas for the entire community because otherwise it’s just going to go bad or something along those lines, but delivering somebody an actual something tangible, not just giving away for free, not just, you know, Oh, here it is to to salvation army, but the proactive in the distribution of that stuff because that is the communication. I believe that’s going to communicate communication strategy of the future which is social impacts.
Caroline: 37:42 I love that idea. I really do because I do hear that from a lot of people that they sat any business, they haven’t made any profit yet whatsoever, and they started talking about 10 percent of my profits going to go towards this charity and I’m always like I was brought up in the business world of don’t give away your money until you actually make enough money to give it away. And I think what you’re saying is exactly right. You got that lecture, the Stock Anyway, or you’ve got something that you can’t sell for whatever reason. Do something good with that.
Matt: 38:14 Yeah, and from an economic standpoint was solved this problem for all the listeners. If your idea is to give 10 percent of your profit to charity, why don’t you buy your own inventory and give away 10 percent of your shirts or whatever inventory you have, and then hand that out to people physically so that they actually get the actual end product and they get what they need. Because truthfully, at the end of the day, the biggest health that they can do is as a business to be relevant is to make sure that if you can’t give away your product, you certainly can’t sell it, so putting shirts on people’s back, giving people at the actual food and servicing them is not only the right thing to do, but it is a communication strategy within itself. Then let the rest of the world know what is it you believe in and that you’re making an impact and that kind of messaging goes much further than any, you know, interview on CNBC or any article in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times because that’s stuff that goes viral. Haley, my local company just gave out all these shirts and everything else, you know, and then you use it with instagram and it’s not to be opportunistic, it’s having an impact.
Speaker 4: 39:20 Right.
Caroline: 39:21 Well, I’ve just heard that from Matt directly that there is a strategy that’s going to be better than doing all of these other traditional pr things that we will talk about. So is definitely a strategy paper can use them. Most businesses, I don’t think of any ecommerce stores that can’t do something along those lines. That’s great advice. Really great strategy.
Speaker 4: 39:41 I think so. I think so.
Matt: 39:43 Wait, listen. It’s working really well for the United Nations and the sustainable development goals. Um, and that’s doing it on a global scale and there’s $550 million millennials that do nothing but buy from, from organizations that support the UN sdgs that should say something because they can identify with. There’s people that are in need. And the one thing that everybody knows for sure is that shirt is a shirt. Cash isn’t necessarily tangible because they hit, they can’t see it, they can’t touch it. They don’t know if it’s actually going to help people, but if you take your product or you take your influence of your goods and services and you distribute
Speaker 4: 40:20 those, that’s impact. Cash isn’t impact.
Caroline: 40:24 Fantastic. Yeah. I can talk a whole lot about that. I do a lot of charity work I have over the years, so I definitely agree with that. I said I’ve seen a lot of things out there. When you give her money over to a charity and I think giving them a new product, I think there’s a lot more for the community.
Caroline: 40:41 fantastic. Well Matt that has been amazing. You have given us so much advice. I know that there’ll be a lot of people out there that want to know more about how you could help them because you actually will sit down with the company and work on their strategy, their PR strategy, come up with a strategy for them and works with them and taking them through all those steps and do whatever they need to do in their business. So can you tell everyone how they can find you and what you can do to help them.
Matt: 41:07 Caroline, thank you for the great. The great words. Um, we have a whole team of people that are on demand, uh, here at one of your Pr. You can visit us at one eight zero, zero per.com. Feel free to give us a call or submit a request and someone will get back to you. We work with all kinds of businesses from a strategy to al a carte and on demand Pr, so we look forward to hearing from you. Obviously if you’re a shopify organization, Caroline has some great strategies and we wouldn’t be working with her and, and feel free we can plug and play with her as you go, so happy to help. Any way we can.
Caroline: 41:42 Fantastic. So anyone listening, if you head over to justaskparker.com/podcast, all of the show notes are there, so there’s links to your website there as well so you can find all the information there as well. So Matt, you have been absolutely wonderful. You have given some absolute gem pieces of advice, people who need help with their pr, so that has been fantastic. Thank you so much and I look forward to continuing our work relationship and you seeing how this grows and especially with the wells, how it’s changing and changing. I think that it’s very exciting times for us these days.
Matt: 42:20 I didn’t see you and thanks. Thanks you so much for the time and I look forward to the next one.
Caroline: 42:24 Wonderful. Thanks Matt. Thanks everyone for listening. Have a good day.
Matt: 42:27 Thanks Caroline. Thanks everybody.
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