I’m leaving SHIFT Communications.
Background: Figuring out Public Relations
In late 2012, I joined SHIFT Communications with a burning question. I had mastered the basics of digital marketing, of the middle of the funnel. I was a proficient email marketer, web marketer, and social media marketer. But I had a challenge. I didn’t understand the top of the funnel. I wasn’t strong in 2012 at digital advertising, and I had no exposure to the art and science of public relations. Frankly, I thought PR was BS.
So I sought out Todd Defren and SHIFT Communications to broaden my horizons, to deepen my knowledge of this industry that companies pay millions of dollars for. Todd and I agreed that I would introduce digital marketing and analytics to PR, and I would learn the PR industry to complete my understanding of the top of the funnel.
Over more than half a decade, we’ve done just that. SHIFT Communications became the first PR firm to earn certification as a Google Analytics™ Certified Partner, years before anyone else. SHIFT Communications became known for high-impact PR and measurement capabilities that are second to none. I’ve personally learned that with the right people, PR isn’t BS at all, but a vital corporate function. Ask any company that’s had a PR disaster how much it matters.
During my time at SHIFT, I noticed something, especially among the largest clients. Companies were sitting on treasure troves of data, data that was locked away in digital filing cabinets and digital desk drawers, never to be used. Dark data. Everything from marketing analytics to ERP data to customer experience to product development – companies generate enormous amounts of data that goes unused. In the right hands, they could unlock that data and create tremendous business impact; in some cases, even save lives.
What’s Next for Me: Co-Founding Trust Insights
That’s why, after five years and change at SHIFT, it’s time for me to move on. I am forever grateful to the team at SHIFT Communications and especially to Todd Defren, Jim Joyal, Amy Lyons, and Paula Finestone for taking a chance on a new idea in 2012 and helping grow the agency to be so successful, it was acquired four years later. I still believe that SHIFT is the foremost data-driven PR firm, especially with my marketing technology colleagues at the helm.
I’m leaving SHIFT Communications and the world of PR to co-found a new company, Trust Insights, whose mission will be to light up dark data. We’ll be using predictive algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to help businesses make better decisions, faster, to transform companies, and ultimately, to make the world a better place.
For example, suppose you ran the operations for a major retail store. Using predictive algorithms, wouldn’t it be great to predict just how much staffing you’ll need at a given set of stores based on what your customers are likely to do?
Trust Insights will help you build that prediction.
Suppose you needed to understand the customer experience, the customer journey of high net worth individuals as a financial institution. Wouldn’t it be great to digest and understand everything these future customers are saying to align your products and services with what’s on their minds?
Trust Insights will help you develop that understanding.
Suppose you managed employee relations within a large, distributed corporation. Wouldn’t it be great to connect what employees say inside with the performance of the company to find what the real issues are that diminish productivity?
Trust Insights will help you connect your data sources and find insights.
Would you like to save time and resources in managing your data? Would you like to make more money with your data?
See you there.
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Also published on Medium.