Gadget Flow Podcast Episode 4 – Peter Salib Talks About the Future of PR
On this episode, Peter Salib from Notability Partners talks about entrepreneurship, doing business in New York City, the future of media, and everything in between.
- Peter Salib is the Lead Solutionist at Notability Partners where he helps companies capitalize and leverage the increase of attention and traffic to further grow their business.
- From early stage marketing and PR to early enterprise business development leads and partnerships, Notability Partners is an emerging tech consultancy for your brand.
Could you give us a little bit of background on what you do?
Peter: I am in the PR space. We work with a lot of really cool emerging tech clients in all sorts of different industries; from e-commerce to fashion-tech, ad-tech, nightlife, and some fin-tech. Even crypto and blockchain stuff. We’re really deeply invested in the event space and really network with all sorts of people and industries. We’re able to do all sorts of fun stuff with all the different people we work with.
What exactly do you do?
Peter: When there are companies launching new products they need exposure, they need credibility, they need to establish trust with everyone. Getting articles in Forbes and all these big publications and even niche publications is really helpful and pivotal for a lot of companies to attract that investor, to start that conversation, to have good sales material, a good resource to put in front of people that they want to approach for whatever reason; whether it’s a partnership, a client, an investor, or even an employee. A very talented employee loves to see good publicity.
What are some of the best practices for getting more press for your brand or product?
Peter: There’s definitely a handful of things that anyone can do without being a marketing guru and starting on their own, especially if you’re crowdfunding. There’s a lot of fun ways to get involved with stuff to add publicity and to kind of piggyback on already trending things. If there is a really popular emoji or meme that’s relevant to your company you piggyback off that. If you’re creating a product that’s featured in some type of movie as the main thing, like Limitless. If you were creating some sort of Limitless pill and that movie comes out you want to try to piggyback off that publicity. One thing that is really useful is an association. Find ways to associate yourself with something that’s already hot and ride that wave.
How do you prepare well to successfully launch a new product or brand?
Peter: Part of preparations is getting a good landscape of all the different opportunities available to you. The exploration phase is really crucial to that process and knowing all the different options and all the different ways you can market and sell. Work with different influencers and different brands to co-promote. I think all of those are really important to have. That way, when you launch your product and you’re ready to ship you have distribution channels in ten different places and you’re not just selling off your own website and Amazon. Reach out to subscription boxes if you think you’re a really good add-on or a good part of that box. Do all those sorts of things and get those distribution channels ready so that when you have something ready to ship it’s all set to go.
How do you connect with people like this?
Peter: That’s actually something that I’ve been working on and it really depends on the scale of the operation. If you’re reaching out to Stitch Fix if you’re in apparel and you want to reach out to Stitch Fix it’s a little bit harder to get through. There’s a whole process. There’s no real clear-cut form to fill out to submit anything. It’s highly curated stuff so, they don’t really want to take a lot of submissions because apparel is supersaturated. Imagine if they had a form out, anyone who makes a $4 T-shirt is going to try to get it in there. They have a huge gatekeeper thing going on. So, you have to realize what gate is set up for you and come up with creative ways on how to overcome them. I love LinkedIn. I use a lot of LinkedIn. I always try to get a warm introduction as much as possible. You do cold outreach and you reach out in multiple different platforms, social media, LinkedIn, directly on the website if possible, post on social media and ask if anyone can introduce you at all if you don’t know somebody that already has that for sure. If it’s a smaller operation it could be as simple as filling out the “contact us” form and that’s it. They’ll be interested and schedule something with you. I think it’s both ends and everywhere in between.
Is there a ratio or strategy to get as many people talking about your product?
Peter: It depends, we wouldn’t want to get everything in one month and then not have anything further to do in month two, three, four, five, and six. You want to space out your activity over a period of time so you build up a good cadence and good stability. Just like people have consistent social media posts, it looks really good when you have consistent publicity from big names, middle-sized names and small names. You have to take into account lead time. You might pitch a publication and they might be like “this is the perfect story but for next month’s issue”. So, you did all that work and it’s basically done but you’re not going to see it for another month. So, you still want something for this month. It’s a whole sort of lead time and balancing act to build a consistency and cadence around press and PR.
What do you think the current state of press and media is like compared to ten years ago?
Peter: Ten years ago I wasn’t really too much into PR as I am now. I was more on the consumer side of things and I can tell you sort of both angles. As a consumer, at that point, it was very interesting because that was around the time Flipboard was coming out and the news was really penetrating social media and I was a part of that whole transition as a consumer. I was onboard and then I quickly off boarded because I picked up real quick on how much fake news, just really low-quality content that was coming out. They’re just adding to information overload and it gets more difficult to cut through the noise. That was one of the reasons I wanted to get involved with PR. It was to be part of the solution in telling the real stories that can impact people and can impact companies and create real change. Now, what it’s like, it’s even more accelerated than it was back then. Now you have all this new technology and more people on Facebook just spreading the news. It’s not even the source of the news that’s spreading it. It’s people believing it and spreading it further. The distribution of the news and all that is quite interesting but, from a PR angle and marketing for companies angle I think it hasn’t changed too much. I think it still has a lot of value. It’s super useful for a lot of people and I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon but the landscape is definitely changing. I think it’s changing towards making sure that the quality stays as high as possible. Everyone is, I think, coming up with new ways to accomplish that.
How do you see the shift from offline to the online press?
Peter: Digital is definitely dominating right now but there’s a lot of print still going on. I think the print magazine and print press, they have the same attributions that textbooks do; where, no matter how good we get an online education, I feel like everyone is still going to carry around books physically. As long as we keep writing online I think people are always going to want to flip through pages. It’s just a very natural thing ingrained in our brains, to flip pages. You see kids now, and I’m guilty of this, I swipe the magazine expecting the page to turn before. You just see kids flicking everything, expecting stuff to happen. I think we’re still in the generation where we like to flip pages. A lot of trade publications, a lot of very industry publications and such, they always have a print in addition to digital if they’re not just digital.
How, in today’s landscape, should brands respond to that shift?
Peter: Simply be nimble. You have to keep up with the ages. You have to be doing what’s new. There are musicians that understand that piracy is killing the game so they figured out “well maybe we should just give it out for free” and just take donations for it instead and they ended up making way more money than they did had they distributed through a record label. There are musicians distributing albums on the dark web, on onion websites, instead of the traditional route. I think you’ve always got to be creative and figure out how you best market yourself and tell your story because that pipeline is constantly changing. You need to be innovative. Startups should definitely always leverage print and online. A lot of the airlines do a lot of print because there’s a magazine in every seat pocket of every seat on every airplane. All of those Delta Sky Mags and SkyMall, that’s one magazine that invaluable to be placed in. I would always be chasing print. I would always be chasing online. The print is much more demographic centric and the demographics are much more important for the print than it is online. You have to make sure that that’s relevant to you.
What do you see for the future of PR?
Peter: I think a video is going to be huge for PR. I’m really excited to see what virtual reality does for PR because that’s going to add a whole new landscape to tell stories and interact with your community.
Do you think that’s pretty close in the horizon?
Peter: I was at CES two months ago and I got to try the new HTC VIVE Pro at their press conference and I did a racing simulation, where the seat moves and everything with hydraulics, and it was incredibly fun. I got lost. I lost track of time. It’s incredible. I think, as far as right now goes, it’s mostly for entertainment purposes. But once we really figure out what we can do with it and how to have really good conversations and community interaction in VR, I think that’s when we’ll really start to see more implementation in the PR world with VR.
Why is it better to live in New York when you’re a hustler?
Peter: I’m a Jersey boy. I ventured to New York multiple times a week for many years now for many reasons: nightlife, business life, all sorts of stuff. If you’ve ever been to Vegas you land in Vegas and you’re just automatically excited because you feel like anything can happen. You’ve just heard all these stories. You basically know that you can expect anything to happen. That’s sort of what New York has, that sort of vibe. It goes more than that because Las Vegas it feels like anything can happen to you. But, when you go to New York you feel like you can accomplish anything. I think that’s a very different vibe. Being in that environment gives people confidence and inspires people because they’re so much hustle around you. You just become part of that movement, part of that fire. You feed off of it and you feed it as well. That’s why the meetup environment and all the events and networking events are really big in this city. They have multiple thousand people meetups on rooftop bars that just take over. I think because it’s so densely populated and very hip and very fast paced, New York is super-fast paced. When you’re walking on the in the sideways each person on the sidewalk is an obstacle. You have to nudge them to get to where you’re going as fast as possible. That’s how New York is. If you can keep up, I think it’s really useful for a lot of people to be there. It makes a lot of sense. If Silicon Valley is not your spot, New York then probably is.
Do you have any last thoughts to help young entrepreneurs or anyone out there with their PR?
Peter: Just go out there, establish relationships, try to meet people in person. Try to get in person with these people. Try to go to events. The cold emailing, all that stuff works. It’s a numbers game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you get that face time interaction in and they put a face to the name and a name to the product and all of that, I think that’s extremely beneficial. When people get to pick it up and try and play with it, and touch it, and smell it, or eat it, whatever it is that you’re doing if you can let them try it and do it instead of just pitching them. I think that’s a big difference. I’m all about the personal interaction over the online, if possible, ten out of ten. If you’re going online it’s just grit. You just have to be networked, ask for intros, be relentless. Don’t be rude. Make sure it’s the right fit because you don’t want to burn any bridges, you don’t want to get blacklisted or anything like that. You don’t want to piss any people off. I would suggest going to events and getting to the press people that are covering the events there and trying to do in person stuff as much as possible in addition to all of the online outreach that you do. That’s assuming that you’re doing it on your own you are not working with someone else. That’s just if you’re bootstrapped and it’s a one-man show, a two-man show, and you guys are grinding.
Where can people find you?
Peter: Everyone can visit http://www.notabilitypartners.com/ and they can check out more information about me and my team. I have a great team that we work with. I want to give a shout out to Jordan and Brian. Feel free to check out the website. Read about what we do and how we all work together because we are a diverse group of people and it’s very interesting how you bring together the right people and an amazing system gets built.
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