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PR secrets of Tesla, Slack, Uber, Facebook, Salesforce,...

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For years now, European media have reported breathlessly on every step of Silicon Valley tech giants like Uber, Tesla, Salesforce and Slack - and their founders Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick, Stewart Butterfield and Marc Benioff.

Why do they seem so endlessly fascinating to media - and what can we learn from them?

Whether you're the founder of a European scale up or a corporate communication manager trying to find new ways to increase the reputation of your executive team in your industry, this webinar is sure to inspire you with insights, strategies and tactics.

Published in: Marketing

PR secrets of Tesla, Slack, Uber, Facebook, Salesforce,...

  1. 1. #PR SECRETS OF TESLA, SLACK, UBER, FACEBOOK,...
  2. 2. ELON MUSK PAYPAL, TESLA, SPACEX, OPENAI
  3. 3. ELON MUSK – A MAN WITH VISION(S)
  4. 4. “So, in short, the master plan is: • Build sports car • Use that money to build an affordable car • Use that money to build an even more affordable car While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options. Don't tell anyone.” ELON MUSK, 02.08.2006
  5. 5. SPACE X
  6. 6. Because you need to be able to explain very clearly to media what your company wants to achieve and why. The answer: “we just want to make money” is generally not good enough (unless you launch a hedge fund). A vision allows you to talk about all the great things that you will do in the future, and allows you to explain how fast you are advancing towards that goal. A vision is also a lot more exciting than talking about features. WHY DO I NEED A VISION/MISSION AND VALUES?
  7. 7. All the better. The goal is not to create a cult around a person. The goal is to create a cult around a vision and a mission – the founders are merely the faces of that mission. Not the other way around. “BUT I DON’T LIKE PERSONALITY CULTS”
  8. 8. THE MISSION
  9. 9. OR DO YOU THINK IT’S A COINCIDENCE THAT “SLACK = KILL E-MAIL”?
  10. 10. THE HATCH- SCHULTZ MODEL: IT STARTS FROM THE VISION THE LINK BETWEEN VISION AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
  11. 11. Key takeaway: • Make your long term goals very clear to stakeholders • Make your vision more operational • Measure progress against the vision • Use the vision to measure stakeholder alignment • Is our vision known to employees & external world? • Do stakeholders align with it or not?
  12. 12. STEWART BUTTERFIELD SLACK #2
  13. 13. STEWART BUTTERFIELD
  14. 14. “The big lesson here: don't underestimate the power of traditional media when you launch. It must be your primary concern, starting months beforehand and continuing for weeks afterward. Pull the strings you have. Work closely with your PR firm to find your hook. It can be personalities on your team, impressive customers you already have in the bag, prestigious investors, etc. But don't leave it to two weeks beforehand and throw something together.” Source THE STORY
  15. 15. THE STORY
  16. 16. Often, your story will have one or more story elements in it. Actually, the more, the better: • Market opportunity • Conflict (taking the fight to the taxi industry) • Unusualness (rent out a room in your house) • Newness (hoverboards) • Human interest (bringing high speed internet to rural India) • Investors • Prominence (Ashton Kutcher invests in your startup) • Significance (you know how everybody hates to shop groceries? Well, HelloFresh) THE STORY
  17. 17. Every story element should be “charged”: • Founders • Human interest (a disabled veteran launches a prosthetics firm) • Proximity (3 local college friends start a company that’s doing well) • Human interest (Google employee #1 launches own startup) • Funding event • Significance (Magic Leap raises 700 million $...) • Unusualness (…while still in stealth mode!) • Technology • Timeliness (VR!) THE STORY
  18. 18. MARC BENIOFF, SALESFORCE TRAVIS KALANICK, UBER MIKE CANNON-BROOKES & SCOTT FARQUHAR, ATLASSIAN
  19. 19. “TWENTY SIEBEL EXECUTIVES POURED OUT (...) TO INVESTIGATE. A SIEBEL EXECUTIVE CALLED THE POLICE, WHO IMMEDIATELY ARRIVED TO PROTECT THE PROTESTERS!”
  20. 20. “We meticulously planned so that anyone looking for Siebel always found salesforce.com. Eventually, when anyone thought about Siebel, he or she also thought about salesforce.com. The reality was that we were still the gnat on the back of an elephant, but our unusual tactics were making that elephant dance.” Source BECOME PART OF THE INDUSTRY NARRATIVE BY PICKING A FIGHT
  21. 21. “MAKE SOMEONE COMPLAIN ABOUT YOU”
  22. 22. Inspiration: • Pick a fight – or better, pick a cause • You do not need to pick a fight with a company or a person. You can pick a fight with any kind of injustice, imbalance and ever minor inconveniences. • Salesforce: “No software!” • Make the CEO the face of the cause • Mark Benioff: “As the founder of this mission, it was my job to walk the talk. Many CEOs are leery of getting too personal and are wary of inventing a mythical persona.” • Find creative ways to bring that cause to life
  23. 23. BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE DOSAGE, THOUGH
  24. 24. “At first, it can seem like your reputation won’t suffer too much by picking a fight. The problem is, the second time, you are becoming a bore. The third time, you’re like the kid who’s always in trouble. No one will listen to you, and you now have the status “troublemaker”. People will kindly excuse themselves from writing about you – and from doing business with you or work for you.” Source CAREFUL, THOUGH!
  25. 25. MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK
  26. 26. F8: “ALMOST-YEARLY” STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE
  27. 27. JASON LEMKIN, EX-ECHOSIGN
  28. 28. Inspiration: • Don’t rely only on media (owned or earned) to align internal & external stakeholders • Create focused events to inform and engage stakeholders • Share your long term plans – the FB 10 year roadmap shows technology that doesn’t even exist yet • Often heard excuse: “We’re listed, we can’t do that.” • (Facebook and Tesla are also listed)
  29. 29. SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT JEFF WEINER, LINKEDIN
  30. 30. 05.02.2016 LINKEDIN LOSES 43,6 PERCENT MARKET CAP
  31. 31. COMPANY ALL HANDS MEETING ON SLIDESHARE
  32. 32. “YOU ARE THE SAME TEAM, EXECUTING THE SAME MISSION”
  33. 33. FORBES
  34. 34. SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT
  35. 35. “FIRST, WE WILL OBSESS OVER OUR CUSTOMERS.” SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT
  36. 36. GEEKWIRE, MASHABLE, BUSINESS INSIDER,…
  37. 37. Inspiration: • The strict distinction between internal and external communication is no longer useful • The fact that journalists still use this distinction can be exploited tactically • Sometimes it’s better not to send a press release – it’s more interesting if it’s an “internal” memo • Sometimes, you want to maximize message control and still go for big reach (eg in times of crisis, issues,…)
  38. 38. STEVE JOBS, APPLE
  39. 39. IPHONE 7
  40. 40. IPHONE 5E
  41. 41. APPLE CAR
  42. 42. APPLE WATCH
  43. 43. “Over the years Steve Jobs would become the grand master of product launches. Jobs found ways to ignite blasts of (press) publicity that were so powerful the frenzy would feed on itself, like a chain reaction. (...) It was a phenomenon that he would be able to replicate whenever there was a big product launch, from the Macintosh in 1984 to the iPad in 2010. Like a conjurer, he could pull the trick off over and over again, even after journalists had seen it happen.” Source
  44. 44. Inspiration: • Steve Jobs understood the power of exclusives • Jobs had his own intuitive sense of how to stoke the excitement, manipulate the competitive instincts of journalists, and trade exclusive access for lavish treatment. • Apple understands the power of leaks • By leaving out key information, you can generate 2x or more the amount of coverage for a piece of news • How to use: send out a generic press release about a key hire – then tip 1 journalist about the significance of the hire (eg a new product launch!). Works like a charm.
  45. 45. DHARMESH SHAH, HUBSPOT
  46. 46. BLOG
  47. 47. BUILD AN ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR YOUR STAKEHOLDERS INBOUND.ORG: 159,823 MEMBERS (!)
  48. 48. STAY ACCESSIBLE IN TIMES OF ISSUE MANAGEMENT (IN “NEAR TIME”)
  49. 49. Inspiration: • CEOs and founders are leaders, but can be wizards too • In depth, technical knowledge about a subject inspires confidence about vision and leadership • Online communities are difficult to build, but once they exist and thrive, they are like market places – hard to disrupt • If you solve the chicken and egg problem of supply and demand in a community, it’s very hard to take that community elsewhere
  50. 50. HILLEL FULD, Z-CAST (TEL AVIV! NOT SILICON VALLEY)
  51. 51. CONSISTENCY BRAND PROMISE
  52. 52. CONSISTENCY BRAND PROMISE
  53. 53. CONSISTENCY BRAND PROMISE
  54. 54. I have spent years on Twitter and other platforms generating and sharing tons of content. Content of my own, content of others, and just general thoughts on a variety of topics. I have dedicated endless time and resources to building meaningful, not opportunistic, relationships with journalists of all kinds. Friends, colleagues, not “journalists”. Hillel Fuld
  55. 55. “Emailed tens of people telling them about the upcoming launch. Each email was personal and real. NOT a template or a copy paste job! Do things that don’t scale!” Hillel Fuld
  56. 56. “I had already pitched The Next Web and I even did a ZCast the night before with the great Martin Bryant but then, because ZCast was on Product Hunt, another writer named Kirsty, who didn’t even know about the launch in advance, found it on Product Hunt and was going to write about it. When I asked Martin why they were about to publish it hours before the embargo, he rightfully answered “How can you have an embargo if the product is already on Product Hunt?” To be fair, Headline Media told me NOT to hunt the product before the time, and I didn’t listen.”
  57. 57. When Hillel launched his startup, it was covered in just about every tech publication on the planet and got the #4 most upvotes on Product Hunt ever. Forbes called it “a perfect launch” (here). Insights from Hillel here. PERSONAL BRANDING & NETWORKING
  58. 58. Inspiration: • “Slow PR”: build relationships over the course of the years • It’s better to have meaningful connections with 10 influencers than superficial contact with 1000s of semi-influencers • Use social media to stay in touch with people you know, instead of “collecting” new followers • The best way to do social media marketing is to have coffee with people!
  59. 59. VIRALITY OF INFORMATION IN A NETWORK: Q(I)XQ(R)=V QUALITY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP (R) QUALITY OF YOUR INFORMATION (I)
  60. 60. “MAKE FRIENDS. BE INTERESTING.”
  61. 61. RANDY KOMISAR, KLEINER PERKINS
  62. 62. REMEMBER THE NETWORK WE TALKED ABOUT? IT ALWAYS WINS
  63. 63. The world: • Givers • “other-focused, paying more attention to what other people need from them”, “a relatively rare breed” • Takers • “tend to be self-focused, evaluating what other people can offer them.” • Matchers • “operate on the principle of fairness: when they help others, they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity.”
  64. 64. “GIVERS ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL. BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKS.” ADAM GRANT, “GIVE AND TAKE”
  65. 65. Givers are successful because matchers want them to be successful -- and remember, most people are matchers. Givers tend to receive a lot of favors from matchers, often without even realizing it, says Grant: “Karmic moments can often be traced to the fact that matchers are on a mission to make them happen. (...) they’ll go out of their way to reward givers who act generously toward others.” More on giving vs. taking: here
  66. 66. “IT’S EASIER TO WIN IF EVERYBODY WANTS YOU TO WIN” RANDY KOMISAR, VC, KLEINER PERKINS
  67. 67. PING ME HERE: RAF WEVERBERGH CO-FOUNDER FINN TWITTER: @RAFWEVERBERGH, @FINNBE, @KRIS10VERMOESEN SKYPE: RAFWEVERBERGH SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG: HTTP://FINNPR.COM QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? FEEDBACK?

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