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November 15, 2022

Data is a great way to help you be able to take risks and see whether or not it worked: Jessica from Egnyte

From aspiring to be a reporter in childhood to protecting companies from big bad reporters, Jessica joined PR and comms. She has for a hockey team, for a celebrity PR firm, did fashion PR, and then got into companies and is currently leading PR and Communications for Egnyte. Here is her Story: Transcript (auto-generated) Sahid at 10:49 […]

Data is a great way to help you be able to take risks and see whether or not it worked: Jessica from Egnyte

From aspiring to be a reporter in childhood to protecting companies from big bad reporters, Jessica joined PR and comms. She has for a hockey team, for a celebrity PR firm, did fashion PR, and then got into companies and is currently leading PR and Communications for Egnyte.

Here is her Story:

Transcript (auto-generated)

Sahid at 10:49 AM

0:00one thing that I think we really need from a PR perspective is everyone I think kind of understands PRS at the top of the funnel, but what we really need to figure out is how do you actually connect, say a specific interview to someone who came in and then ultimately purchased something from your company.

0:28I initially had interest actually in being a reporter before I got into communications and public relations.

0:34as a kid I used to watch the Today show pretty religiously and at the time they had an anchor whose name was jane pauley and I thought she was just fabulous, she was smart, she was classy and she just seemed like she knew everything very worldly and I absolutely loved her, I thought that she was great.

0:54And so I decided I wanted to be a reporter and throughout kind of my childhood into college, I did a lot of reporting and a lot of you know kind of reporting jobs in school if there was a school newspaper and then once I got into college I kind of fell into a pR internship and I discovered you know that that it was sort of protecting I guess companies from big bad reporters and that resonated with me.

1:20And so I decided that I wanted to get into Pr and so I started out with a couple of pr agencies in new york.

1:27I worked for a hockey team for a bit, I worked for a celebrity pR firm for a bit, I did fashion pr and then I got into companies and so I had several jobs of increasing responsibility and technology, aerospace and defense, consumer goods, biotech construction but always in different roles within marketing or communications.

1:49And currently I work for ignite where I am the vice president of global communications for a company that has created a world class secure collaboration governance and security software platform.

2:06I think when thinking about like data specifically there’s lots of different ways that you can define it.

2:12But if I was thinking about like a data set that was my first interaction.

2:16It was probably when I went back to get my Masters degree in integrated marketing Communications at Northwestern.

2:23And we had a number of classes that dealt with data and how do you analyze data in order to better target customers and consumers.

2:31And and one of them was a project that we did with General Mills their digital agency at the time which I think was called done humvee and also with a supermarket in the United Kingdom which was called Tesco.

2:44And basically these three groups were just sort of learning how to leverage customer data to determine who and when should be getting coupons.

2:53And so our task was to analyze the information from General Mills determine who was purchasing what types of cereal and then what days they were doing it when in the month they were doing it and then figure out when would be best and most advantageous to send a coupon to maybe courage people to then go and make the purchase.

3:13So we used a database software which was called SP SS and we spent hours analyzing this data to help the organization.

3:22So that was probably my first experience with really large quantities of data and learning, learning how to leverage customer insights in order to help companies be more financially successful.

3:40I think the thing about communications, I think there’s always challenges in terms of being able to demonstrate how communications and public relations really affect the bottom line of a company and executives always want to know the value of what we’re doing.

3:56So it’s necessary to use data every day.

3:58, so so data for me, you know, really allows me to justify requests for new resources for my team to allow them to be more successful to sort of prove that what campaigns were doing are really working.

4:12it helps us understand where we stand in terms of our brand in comparison to our competitors.

4:18just lots of things like that.

4:19I mean I use data every day.

4:21So I think the most important data point for me as a comms person is probably reputational awareness and that is actually for a lot of communicators.

4:37It’s a pie in the sky kind of data point that they love to have, but it’s expensive to get it.

4:43But I think, you know, taking the time and getting that sort of data point on where you stand compared to competitors, where you stand in customers minds and reporters mine in analysts minds, you know, that can really really help you set the set the stage for having a very compelling campaign and proving that it is making a difference in terms of perception for your company.

5:07But that said there are a lot of simple metrics to pr metrics that you can use, you know, you could do something like share a voice, there’s lots of different listening tools for social media that you can use lots of ones for pr how often someone in your executive team has interviewed, how often your messages get out there.

5:28So there’s ways to do it, but I do think having an annual awareness report with, you know, where you interview customers, government officials, reporters, community members, analysts, I think that can really be very powerful and help you set the tone for the entire year really.

5:51I mean there’s there are ways that you can do it yourself, but a lot of times you would do it with a, with a pr agency and what they will do is they will work with another, you know, kind of analysis firm and they will then find people who are willing to answer simple questions about like aided or unaided awareness.

6:11So they’ll say for instance with us, you know, do you use a software platform for collaboration and then they’ll, you know, people will say yes or no and then they move on to the next question.

6:24The next question would be, do you, what platform do you use?

6:28And then they might answer Dropbox, they might answer Ignite, they might answer google drive, that sort of thing.

6:35And then the next question would be okay, have you heard of Ignite?

6:39And then they’ll say, oh yes, I’ve heard of Ignite.

6:42And then you go into more questions about our reputation specifically.

6:45So that’s how you could do it.

6:47The another way that you can do it is by working with your sales team to identify some potential customers or with the marketing team to find potential customers to see where you are in terms of awareness.

6:58We have a customer success team here at Ignite that’s really great to work with and you know, to find out what customers are thinking of us.

7:05And then we also, you could do it with reporters, you know, just calling up a handful of reporters that, you know, to kind of gauge where you’re at in terms of reputational awareness.

7:15So that’s the sort of thing that I’m talking about, but it is time intensive and it can be expensive, but I find it’s really valuable in order to show where you are and then the impact of campaigns as a whole at the end of the year.

7:32I think new tools are coming out all the time.

7:35I mean there’s just tons of different things that you could use to measure things.

7:39But I think data regulations and requirements are something that’s very interesting for communications people to watch because I think, you know, there’s going to be more tools that will allow us to track user data track who’s at our website.

7:55People who fill out the forms and the regulations around that are something that could really impact our field.

8:03I also wish that in the future, one thing I think we really need from a pR perspective is everyone I think kind of understands PRS at the top of the funnel, but what we really need to figure out is how do you actually connect, say, a specific interview to someone who came in and then ultimately purchase something from your company.

8:25And there are ways that you can do that today.

8:28I mean you can track with S E O and you can figure out who came into your website and you know, you can use the right keywords and and you can see who’s actually on the website and then put them into your lead generation software.

8:46Like we use Marcato for instance, and so you can kind of track it that way.

8:49But I’m not sure that people unless you work hard at it.

8:53I don’t know that we’ve really uncovered the trick to proving that a PR article has ultimately hit your bottom line.

9:00And I think that’s something that that we would really like to see.

9:03But there are constantly new tools coming in.

9:05So I mentioned a few of them earlier reputation awareness is something that we track share a voice, the spokespeople and messaging to make sure that, that both are right spokespeople and our right messaging are going out into articles.

9:25the volume of mentions we get in the press and that’s just pr in terms of, you know, if you look at like social media impressions posts, messaging,, spokespeople, there’s things like that in analyst relations as well.

9:38So a lot of that kind of data points are important for us for our different audiences and all of it helps us really prepare for future campaigns.

9:52I think, you know, it goes back to what I said earlier in terms of the sale and how do you really connect your public relations efforts to a sale?

10:03I wish that’s the one metric that I wish.

10:05You know, you could just get onto some, you know, website and just click a few buttons and just have that pop up and say, oh, you made this amount of money in sales due to, you know, an article that you put out, that’s one that I wish that I had.

10:20Yeah, I think there’s a lot of different metrics that you can look at within your organization.

10:30You know, if you don’t have access to things like decision or a meltwater or a muck rack or a sprout for social, you should reach out to like your marketing team will have amazing metrics, you know, probably through their lead generation software, you should really connect with them.

10:49your website team, they’ll be able to help you determine which I p addresses people are coming from.

10:55And then if you look at sales or customer success teams, you know, most organizations have an NPS score, a net promoter score that they get from their current customers so that can help you as well.

11:07Just really being able to have at least some data points that you get that maybe you don’t even have to pay for other people will.

11:13that’s a really great idea is to look into, you know, some of the other things that the company might already be measuring and how you as a communicator can connect into those.

11:27I mean I’ve had a lot of campaigns that I’ve really enjoyed being a part of, I think maybe there’s kind of two campaigns maybe that I would talk about.

11:36because as you know, I’ve worked in a lot of different industries but getting more into health care has been sort of more of a recent thing.

11:45And I think, you know, my last company, I was part of a human health company and one of our charters was to really articulate the importance of health across a variety of spectrums and we had clinical trials for instance, that we did to help with the Covid vaccinations.

12:04So we were part of that group.

12:06And we did this campaign for the holidays as part of our Public Health Charter, which was before the vaccinations came out, but it was around Covid and we did it around the holidays.

12:17So I guess the vaccinations came out probably in like february March or april.

12:22And we did it the previous october and november.

12:25And this campaign basically took information that the CDC had already provided but helped to articulate it in a little bit of a fun way.

12:35creating posters, sort of talking about, you know, whether or not when you’re trick or treating do you want, you know, do we want people to come to our house?

12:43And so you could put up this poster.

12:44That was very cute.

12:45That said, you know, hey, we’re, you know, we love ghouls and goblins, but you know, this year we’re gonna be keeping ourselves in our house and being safe.

12:54So here’s some candy outside for you.

12:56And we had a lot of press coverage around that.

12:58There was another campaign around thanksgiving here in the United States.

13:02So some really cool coverage that came out of that.

13:06And we ended up having quite a number of people come to our website to download the poster.

13:12And so I think, you know, keeping track of the people, the number of impressions we made via the articles that came out and the number of downloads that we had, we had something like over three million people who had seen something about the company that I worked for.

13:26And so that was kind of very refreshing and and the fact that people were actually using it was very exciting because you feel like you’re giving back to the public then and helping them in a time of crisis.

13:36So that was an exciting campaign I worked for and now since I worked at Ignite, you know, one of the things that we do, we have a campaign for some biotech startups that we have been working with and we’re allowing them to use our platform for free to make sure that they can manage their clinical trials.

13:54And so we’re doing an exciting campaign there with some external partners like the boston Globe and their stat group and we’re using data that we got back from marketing for the initial launch.

14:05That will help us build out the broader, more public campaign.

14:08So I’m pretty excited about that one and what we’ll get to see for the rest of the year coming in from the data for that.

14:20Well, I think, you know, it’s hard to tell the future and where we’re going to go in terms of the economy and it’s easy for companies to cut the pr department in times of concern maybe from a financial perspective a lot because we don’t necessarily do the best job in terms of professions and demonstrating through data the importance of our, of our groups.

14:47but I think, you know, these are the times when you really want to invest in your brand because so many organizations will be cutting back and if you invest in public relations, you’ll get your awareness of more people will know about you.

15:00You’ll be doing it at a time when your competitors aren’t and you know, ultimately that can only benefit you as an organization.

15:08So I’m really blessed.

15:09I work for a company that really believes in marketing and branding and communications.

15:15And so I’m excited to see what we will end up doing.

15:18So I’m only six months in.

15:20So I think we have a lot more runway and that we’re going to end up doing some really great stuff as an organization.

15:26I think it is an incredibly powerful weapon that you can use to really demonstrate the value of your company to people why they should be, using your product.

15:36And I think that it just gets even more important when you get into, you know, crunch times I guess when, when consumers or, or clients have to decide are we going to select your organization?

15:51Are we going to select another one?

15:53And you know, I think pR is one of the important pieces that can really give you an extra edge against your competition for sure.

16:07You know, if I was starting out in PR today, I would probably say, don’t be afraid to take risks.

16:15You know, that’s that’s the main thing.

16:18Everything is a learning experience and data is a great way to help you be able to take risks and see whether or not it worked quickly and then allowing you to adjust to a different course if you need to keep staying on the same course.

16:32So that’s what I’d probably say, be creative, be a risk taker.

16:36But definitely, you know, since we’re talking about data, always kind of look at the data and see what you can do.

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