Q&A with Katrina Dene, Intern Turned PR Pro

What do you do at Bateman Group?

I’m a senior associate at Bateman Group supporting enterprise, mobile and security accounts.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I love most about my job is that every day is different, and every day is an opportunity to learn. I truly believe that each of my clients is disrupting their respective industries and appreciate the opportunity to work with people who are truly innovative (although I know that word is grossly over-used in this industry). That’s what excites me about coming to work every day. I also love working with everyone here at the agency. The people at Bateman are amazing, and together we are unstoppable!

How did you first get into PR?

I was giving a speech right after graduating from high school, and someone came up to me after and offered me a job. Like any 18 year old kid, I jumped at the chance to be a marketing intern for one of the largest app publishers in the world (at the time looking to launch in America). When the summer was over, I left for the University of Oregon to pursue my intended sports journalism degree. Six months later, my boss emailed me about being a marketing intern again for his new company. However, I had since decided to take a PR class out of curiosity and found that PR was a perfect balance between marketing and journalism. So my boss convinced Bateman Group to let me tag around for a summer, and I never left.

What 5 adjectives would you use to describe Bateman’s company culture?

Smart, goofy, diverse, driven, strategic.

Pick two celebrities to be your parents.

I would pick Jessica Alba to be my mom because she is beautiful and an amazing role model. For my dad, I would choose Jimmy Fallon because I can always use a good laugh.

What kitchen utensil would you be and why?

I would be a spork because while it may look a little odd, the spork is the scrappiest of utensils.

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be and why?

I would be Hermione Granger, because she is smart and ambitious, and uses her powers for good.

What song best describes your work ethic?

“Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey!

What is the last book you read?

Mindy Kaling’s book, “Is everyone hanging out without me?”

 

Bateman Group’s Client Spotlight 7.25.2014

Facebook’s Q2 earnings wasn’t the only heel-clicking news dominating headlines this week. Following Zuckerberg’s conference call, Greats Brand — dubbed the Warby Parker of men’s footwear — reported the company has sold over $100,000 in shoes, projecting a $1.6 million million run rate for the year, according to TechCrunch.

So what else was happening in the world of technology? Bateman clients had a few stories of their own to share this week. In summary, Ping Identity had three product releases this week, securing coverage from Forbes and InfoWorld, while EchoUser was featured in UX Magazine and Netskope was recognized in CRN’s “25 Coolest Emerging Vendors For 2014.”

Fruit Ninja and other familiar game brands are bubbling up again on the mobile download charts,” VentureBeat – Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat published his piece on App Annie’s June 2014 Games Index. He focused on the fact that a number of recognizable games and sequels, such as Angry Birds Epic and Bubble Witch Saga 2, are moving up the iOS and Android ranks.

Ping Identity Ups The Identity Game — Heralds The ‘Post Password’ Era,” Forbes – At its annual Cloud Identity Summit, Ping Identity unveiled a raft of new features aimed to deliver what it calls the “Post Password” era. Ben Kepes of Forbes published a feature on the announcement, which included PingID, Federated Access Management and PingOne Summer.

Is there Room for Sexy in Enterprise Design?,” UX Magazine – Mick McGee, CEO and co-founder of EchoUser, shines light on designing for enterprise customers with their emotions in mind in this contributed piece.

The voice renaissance: Why Amazon and Apple are returning to the roots of mobile,” VentureBeat – This guest post by Invoca President Eric Holmen describes how tech giants– specifically Amazon and Apple– are enabling the resurgence of voice communication with features like the Fire Phone’s Firefly and continuity features in OS X Yosemite.

The 25 Coolest Emerging Vendors For 2014,” CRN – This slideshow post by Rick Whiting features CEO of Netskope, Sanjay Beri as part of CRN’s 25 coolest emerging vendors. The post looks into hot IT startups making an impact in technology and leveraging the value of good channel partnerships.

How to successfully combine marketing and IT,” iMedia Connection – In this byline, Sitecore’s VP of North American Marketing, James Smith, shares best practices for marketers to increase influence within organizations and earn a standing place in business-critical decision-making processes. He explores the current relationship between marketing and IT departments, and how the two can powerfully work together to enhance digital marketing programs.

RelateIQ and Salesforce: It’s not just about data science,” VentureBeat – In this contributed piece, Clari CEO Andy Byrne reflects on Salesforce’s acquisition of RelateIQ and its implications for the future of CRM. Andy used the acquisition to insert his voice and establish thought leadership.

Ping Identity wants to replace sign-ons with smartphones,” InfoWorld – Serdar Yegulalp of InfoWorld published his piece on PingID, an app that allows end users to swipe their smartphone for authentication as a primary or second factor to access applications and services. The app is a step forward in bringing everyone into the post-password era and redefining next gen identity.

Make and Share Your Videos the Easy Way,” Kim Komando – America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando, reviewed the Animoto video maker. Highlighting its ease of use and functionality, Kim gives the scoop on how Animoto can be used personally and for business.

 

Native advertising is riding a monster mobile wave

Intel presented at the Native Advertising Summit in San Francisco this week.

Argue all you want about native advertising, but it’s the new reality of a mobile world.

Facebook’s second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday underscored the increasing relevance of mobile users for ad dollars. Mobile daily active users surged to a whopping 654 million, up 39% from a year ago. The social juggernaut scored mobile ad revenue of $1.7 billion in the quarter, or 62% of its ad sales in the period, up from 41% a year ago.

Most of those ads were likely native ones. On mobile, there’s really no other way to effectively advertise to us without putting it front and center in our Newsfeed, of course. Think of all those app install offers you see. Would you rather get interrupted with a hijacking interstitial ad that takes over your full screen? For advertisers, the mobile alternatives to native ads aren’t good.

Mobile advertising was top of mind at the Native Advertising Summit sponsored by Sharethrough this week in San Francisco. USA Today’s Chris Pirrone, general manager of its Sports Media Group, spoke of the challenges of advertising to audiences on mobile. “How do I get brands impact on mobile?” he said at the event. Native ads, he added, can help publishers make money without annoying readers with pop-ups

Like Facebook, traditional publishers are seeing huge growth from mobile audiences. Kelly Andresen, director of ad innovations and product strategy at The Washington Post, told those at the advertising summit that with native ads it’s all about “time spent” and figuring out “why your audiences are engaging with content.” The Post sees about 50 percent of its traffic from mobile, she said. “More clients are asking us to advise what’s the best way for us to tell our story to your audience,” she added.

Publishers sometimes have to shoot down companies seeking native advertising because they are a bad brand fit for their audience. “When you have very engaged readers … there is still a sense of ownership over everything we do,” said James Del, executive director at Gawker, at the event. Del said that if McDonald’s or Wal-Mart approached Gawker for a native campaign, for example, he really couldn’t tell their story “because it’s a lie.” By turning them down, “We are protecting our brand and them from getting blown up publicly,” he added.

People are exposed to an insane amount of ads, too, so advertisers struggle to be seen. We are confronted with some 3,000 ads daily, said Becky Brown, director of media for Intel. “The old ways of marketing don’t work anymore.”

Native ads don’t have to suck. Here’s why

 

Alex Honnold climbs El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico as captured in video sponsored by The North Face.

 

There’s no question that native advertising is the future. Publishers badly need revenue and companies (or “brands” as they’re called in ad industry parlance) are willing to pay to get their name out of banner ads and into articles alongside editorial. But does the paid-for content have to be a waste of time?

No! There will always be native ads that don’t get clicked on, and many others that will get hits but which are better left unread. (Actually, that’s the case with much of the web, but I digress.)

“Much of the native advertising isn’t good,” Tony Haile, chief executive of Chartbeat, acknowledged during a panel at the Native Advertising Summit yesterday put on by  Sharethrough in San Francisco. He should know — his company does real-time analytics for publishers and content creators. In fact, only one-third of people who click through a headline scroll when it’s a native ad, he said.

The industry knows it’s got a quality problem, and it’s trying to solve it. One way is to push the standards needle by measuring time spent on a webpage rather than just the old Web 2.0 metric of clicks or views. At Upworthy, dubbed the “soulful Buzzfeed” by Fast Company, sponsored posts do much better than regular editorial — triple the views, “attention minutes” and shares. Their main metric is time spent. In fact, they are outsourcing the source code so others can hop on that train.

That measurement can change the dynamics of the business model for native ads, but we still have to figure out what kind of content is making people read full posts and not just the headline. Upworthy’s secret sauce is emotion. That and a healthy dose of data worked for one of the most memorable and successful native ad campaigns to date — the article and infographic from Netflix about women in prisons that published in The New York Times to coincide with the release of the new season of Orange is the New Black. The headline was “Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work” and one of the pull out quotes was: “When you incarcerate a woman you incarcerate her whole family.” Who could resist that?!

“Time spent with this article, on many days, rivaled some of the top articles on the New York Times from an editorial standpoint,” Kristine Segrist, client lead and digital product development manager at MEC, the agency Netflix worked with on the New York Times ad, said during the Native Advertising Summit. “We can buy page views… but you can’t buy time spent.”

Meaningful content

Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg talked about the movement toward “meaningful” content and away from click bait in his keynote at the event. To underline that point he announced the launch of Meaningfulcontent.org, a project aimed at promoting quality content that is under-appreciated through the Sharethrough native ad exchange. What’s meaningful? The criteria is: connection with the subject matter, original thought, advancing an idea, and depth of engagement. And it has to be good content that isn’t getting the eyeballs it deserves.

To be clear, this is not branded content being promoted, but non-branded content (video, articles, etc.) that will be given $1 million worth of promotion and distribution to all the web publishers Sharethrough works with. “On average, every post is getting an extra 10,000 to 20,000 people exposed to it,” Greenberg said.

This effort won’t directly impact the quality of native ads, but it raises the bar for the quality of posts that are getting pushed through the native ad exchange and vying for reader attention. It’s also really interesting because it’s one of the first efforts I’ve heard of where the industry put non-paid content in ad space that could be sold. Like a public service but with the result being content people really want to see, which is usually the furthest thing from what people think of as an ad. What a novel concept!

The three to five pieces of content promoted each week will be chosen by Greenberg, Sharethrough President Patrick Keane, and an advisory board made up of Chartbeat’s Haile; James Buckhouse, head of product innovation and growth at Twitter; Jay Lauf, president and publisher of Quartz; and Evan Hansen, senior editor at Medium.

Medium is attempting to solve the quality problem by providing a platform on which brands and non-brands alike can publish quality content that’s in good company. More than 1,000 posts are published on Medium each day, including from influencers like Elon Musk, David Carr and Anthony Bourdain. The site offers writers good tools and design, and algorithms that push higher signal-to-noise items to the top of the pile, whereas quantity is rewarded more consistently than quality on other sites, according to Hansen, former editor-in-chief of Wired.com.

He didn’t say whether or how many brands are using Medium, but it clearly is a beautiful site with intriguing posts written by respectable journalists and writers like Quinn Norton. And there are no ads, at least in the traditional notion of an ad. Interestingly, the average time spent to read each post is listed along with the author and date at the top. This is what “magazines” will look like in the future.

Inspire me

But back to native ads. We can shift the metrics but how do we get brands to really push the creative and distribute stuff that makes readers laugh, cry, change their lives, make a difference in the world — oh, and share it?

I think the answer is that it comes from the gut. If it’s really just tying a concept back to your product, that’s marketing. But if it resonates with peoples’ emotions and dreams, then it’s more than just content. You know authenticity when you see it.

One company that hits the right chord is The North Face. Tim Malone, head of content at the company, showed a video at the Native Advertising Summit that literally had people in the audience holding their breath. It was a video of a free solo climber 1,500 up on the vertical face of a mountain in Mexico called El Sendero Luminoso. The smile on the climber’s face as he held onto the rock with just his fingers and toes was heartwarming.

“We want to create something to inspire people to do more,” Malone said. “We want to create things that are meaningful to us and not add noise to the conversation.”

That’s a good challenge for all advertisers — create something that moves you emotionally, and the public will follow.

 

Q&A with ADRIAN RICHARDSON, Tech Connoisseur

 

Adrian Richardson, Account Director

Adrian Richardson joined Bateman Group last June with an extensive background in PR and several years of experience working in technology communications in particular. His expertise, coupled with his dry sense of humor, make him a valuable and unique addition to the Bateman team.

What do you do at Bateman Group and what is your favorite part of your job?

I am a director at Bateman Group. My favorite part of my job is being able to put people in a position to win and succeed. I enjoy watching people realize their true potential.

Why PR?

Because every day is unlike the previous day. Every day is a surprise.

How did you end up in the PR industry?

I majored in psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara, which lead me to a lucrative career waiting tables right out of college. While waiting tables, I saw a Craigslist posting for an intern position at Edelman. During the interview, when asked for my definition of PR, I said, “PR is the marriage between art and science.” I heard that slogan in a Cadillac commercial just a few minutes before the interview. The manager interviewing me could tell my response was BS, but she went with it and took a chance on me. I began my career in PR and spent 4.5 years at Edelman, mostly working on startups.

Why did you choose Bateman and what are your impressions thus far?

I chose Bateman Group because of its genuinely novel approach to PR, the amount of talented people it has amassed over the years and overall core values. So far, I’ve been blown away by the quality of work my teams have been producing, and I’m looking to continue learning and helping people and clients grow.

If you had to live on an island for a month and could only pack three things, what would they be?

1. A really good bottle of scotch

2. A solar-powered generator

3. A satellite phone

What is your superpower?

I would say that my superpower is my shitty memory. I think it is a good thing because I am able to forget my failures and move on quickly.

If you had to give one sentence of advice to someone on their first day of their first PR job, what would it be?

Be bold.

If you’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?

Green because it is the color most associated with abstract thinking and creativity.

What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a giraffe because they are deceptively fast and have a graceful gallop.

 

Bateman Group Hiring at All Levels

Bateman Group is currently looking for exceptional PR and content strategy professionals at multiple levels, ranging from Account Associate to Account Director, to work out of our San Francisco and New York City offices.

If you are…

A big thinker with an equally big ability to execute, entrepreneurial, analytical, committed to client success, fearless, passionate about technology, down to earth, a team player, and playful.

Then please shout out.

Here are just a few of the things that make Bateman Group such a unique and rewarding place to work:

  • We never take on a boring client just for the revenue.
  • We are proud to maintain one of the highest employee retention rates in the industry – turnover is less than 5 percent.
  • We are a culture-led organization that invests in our people first.
  • We’re a down to earth team who know how to have fun at work and outside the office.
  • In 2014, the Bateman Group was  awarded the Boutique Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report.
  • And we offer some pretty amazing perks!

Check out our available positions below.

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

  • Minimum of eight years of agency or equivalent experience, including directing account teams and practice areas
  • In-depth knowledge of one or more of these client market sectors: B2B technology, consumer technology, IT security, mobile and/or advertising technology
  • Proven ability to develop, direct and execute highly strategic communications programs that blend PR, content marketing, social media and analytics
  • Exceptional content development skills, spanning writing and conceptual design of new media such as infographics, video, surveys, etc.
  • Extensive experience helping disruptive technology companies develop compelling messaging, storylines and thought leadership platforms
  • Reference-able relationships with top tier trade media and bloggers, vertical market media, national and local business media (enterprise media experience a priority)
  • Ability to travel to and from client/new business meetings as appropriate

ACCOUNT MANAGER

  • Minimum of six years of agency or equivalent experience, including managing account teams
  • In-depth knowledge of one or more of these client market sectors: B2B technology, consumer technology, IT security, mobile and/or advertising technology
  • Proven ability to develop, manage and execute highly strategic communications programs that blend PR, content marketing, social media and analytics
  • Exceptional content development skills, spanning writing and conceptual design of new media such as infographics, video, surveys, etc.
  • Reference-able relationships with trade media and bloggers, vertical market media, national and local business media (enterprise media experience a plus)
  • Ability to travel to and from client/new business meetings as appropriate

ASSOCIATE/SENIOR ASSOCIATE

  • Minimum of three to five years of agency or equivalent experience with proven track record of delivering high impact media results
  • Demonstrated knowledge of one or more of these client market sectors: enterprise technology, consumer technology, mobile and/or advertising technology
  • Experience executing strategic communications programs that blend PR, content marketing, social media and analytics
  • Exceptional content development skills, spanning writing and conceptual design of new media such as infographics, video, surveys, etc.
  • Strong understanding of trade media and bloggers, vertical market media, national and local business media (enterprise media experience a plus)
  • Ability to travel to and from client/new business meetings as appropriate

When it comes to customizing a dream job in PR, no other firm comes close to what we offer. If you’d value an opportunity to help us build something special, please contact us.