E160: Mike Shields

From Vanity to Validity: Evaluating the Impact of Digital PR and Storytelling in eCommerce

mike shields black and white headshot for the podcast page

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Podcast Overview

Digital PR is often seen as a solely brand building and crisis management tactic. But, that’s not the full story. 

Digital PR is great for brand building, thought leadership and sales. Done correctly, you can really scale this channel so it becomes a consistent revenue driver for your brand. 

It’s all about creating compelling stories that engage your audience. This keeps your readers, journalists, customers and you happy. 

And that’s why you need to listen to Mike Shields on the eCom@One Podcast. 

eCom@One Presents:

Mike Shields 

In this episode, Mike Shields joins Carrianne Dukes on the eCom@One Podcast, where they dive deep into the world of measuring the impact of Digital PR campaigns and the power of storytelling. 

Mike is the Head of Digital PR here at eComOne. With a wealth of experience working on PR campaigns for leading eCommerce and B2B brands inhouse and on the agency side, it was a no-brainer to get him on the podcast to share his insights, trends and knowledge from years of real world experience in the trenches. 

He shares valuable insights on the essential metrics to track, such as domain authority and audience engagement, as well as the importance of looking beyond vanity measurements. They discuss the role of AI in content creation and why human understanding is still crucial in crafting unique and relevant stories.

He also reveals strategies for making an impact in the crowded PR landscape, including newsjacking and the power of big campaigns.

You don’t want to miss this podcast if you want to build your brand and generate results with this digital marketing strategy. 

Topics Covered

2:22 – Using numbers and sales figures is important in marketing. Telling stories can enhance other services and provide value in PR

4:14 – Having creative PR professionals around is valuable for identifying relevant, timely and interesting stories, and utilising unique data points for effective digital PR

9:21 – Podcasts are growing in popularity with billions of listeners. Finding a unique perspective is key for relevance and success in the crowded market

12:54 – Consistency is key for podcasts to retain listeners. Use old episodes to fill gaps and maintain regularity. Treat podcasting as a separate department within your business

16:59 – PR is competitive. Remain persistent, find balance and don’t be discouraged

22:23 – Despite the potential of AI in content creation, its lack of understanding and context makes it necessary to use it cautiously alongside human expertise 

25:12 – There are various measurement tools to show website metrics, including domain authority and organic audience. Access to the client’s back end allows tracking of organic traffic and impact

27:43 – Learn from the past, focus on the present, and take the necessary actions for a better future

Carrianne Dukes [00:00:04]:

Hello, and welcome to episode 160 of the eCom@One podcast. Today's guest is Mike Shields, Head of Digital PR here at our agency, eComOne. In this podcast, He talks all things digital PR, talking about how you can get heard in a journalist's busy inbox, How to get your brand recognition and tell a story that people actually want to hear. So, right, let's get straight into the episode, and I introduce you to Mike Shields. Hello, Mike, and welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Mike Shields [00:00:42]:

I'm great. And I'm ready to talk all things digital PR with you.

Carrianne Dukes [00:00:45]:

I'm really excited. And thank you so much for joining me. So how did you get into digital PR?

Mike Shields [00:00:52]:

I guess, from being a journalist back in the day, I sort of, enjoyed English very much, back in the day. So, Yeah. Just like that, ability to write stories and things was awesome and it appealed. So getting into PR was quite a an easy sort of jump for me to make. Journalism's completely different. It's the other side of the sort of fence as it were. But, like, getting to know clients and sort of getting to know what makes them tick and what's Appealing about them is kind of why I got into it.

Carrianne Dukes [00:01:18]:

No. That's amazing. That's a great story. But how did you find the shift From traditional PR to digital PR, because you were originally from, like, a traditional agency, weren't you?

Mike Shields [00:01:29]:

Yeah. In the past, I've kind of learned very Traditional news writing, they call it, kind of, techniques and, ways to kinda make an impact from a reputational point of view. But I think the Shift to digital. I think everyone's kind of had to make it. So there are still traditional PR professionals out there that do a great job. But to be noticed, and particularly for ecommerce, I think it's really important to, engage in what makes, what people are reading, Basically, what people are interested in and, like, almost identifying that before you even go out with the story. You know? A news story is only as good as the people that are gonna read it. And, you know, you could have the best story in the world in your opinion, but if no one's interested, then why why bother in the 1st place?

Carrianne Dukes [00:02:09]:

Yeah. No. I completely agree that. I See that across the industry that people really see to struggle to see the value in digital PR, and really sort of make it really tangible as well. So how do you overcome that challenge?

Mike Shields [00:02:22]:

I think, people often want to see the the numbers, don't they? They want to see the sales figures. They want to see the business on their website, Etcetera. So what I always say is, like, it's really good when used in tandem with other services. I've I've sort of talked about this in all the presentations I've done lately. So it's basically, why don't you make your, stories that are always, like, going on within those services, whether it's pay per click, whether it's SEO, Or email marketing even into stories that you can kind of use again and again and sort of have theirs, like, ammunition almost to sort of make it work. And in terms of value, it's always been a really hard thing to prove for PR. PR is almost like the, the stepchild in in the sort of marketing mix sometimes because, You know, you can tell a great story, and you can get those results. You can get the, coverage and everything.

Mike Shields [00:03:11]:

But how do you prove the worth? What how does that translate to sales? So essentially, what you need to think of is, does it marry up with the SEO? Does it marry up with what people are searching for in the 1st place? So if you can come up with a story that answers those questions or can kind of increase that search volume for someone, then why wouldn't you? And I think just having that intrinsic kind of link back to a client's website through digital campaigns and digital storytelling. It's really important because that's where you actually see the difference in the SEO, and And you can kinda trace it back through that. So I'd say always pair it with what else what what other sort of techniques that you're using at the same time, and don't just rely on coverage and things like that because I think it can be sort of a trick that a trap that it can be a trap that people fall into.

Carrianne Dukes [00:03:58]:

Yeah. No. I get that. But for someone like me that we have something that we want to put out, but we struggle to actually put it into a story because we see, like, the facts and obviously the sort of base around that. What advice would you give to that?

Mike Shields [00:04:14]:

I think just having creative people around you, such as PR professionals, is always really valuable because, you know, you can I think we've got the ability to Identify a story and what will actually fly and what won't, and we're so very good at that kind of there's there's rules within journalism that we sort of apply to PR, like, you know, is it relevant? Is it sort of timely? Will it make a difference to people? Will they be interested in it in the 1st place? And just being current with it, I think, because a lot of people might think they have a great story on their hands. And then when you actually identify, it's like, well, actually, that's way too commercial. That's just gonna be stating a a commercial fact People, they don't care about that. They want to know the whys, the wherefores, how things have been come up with, something within your data. That's that's another thing that's huge within digital PR at the moment has been for a few years accessing data points that no one else has access to or finding data out there that's, like, relevant to a lot of people And it is just freely available that you can bend to your story?

Carrianne Dukes [00:05:11]:

Yeah. I saw a story once, which was a gaming brand, And they basically created, like, this what a gamer would look like in, like, 2 years. Yeah. And, obviously, they use data and research, what they had, to create a viral campaign, and I thought that was really smart. So yeah.

Mike Shields [00:05:29]:

Yeah. And it's it's kinda creating that wow factor and, like, the Sort of the reason why people would want to engage with it. And, you know, if you've got an engaging and and, like, really shareable piece of content like that, it's gonna go far, isn't it?

Carrianne Dukes [00:05:43]:

Yeah. I think it was, like, 3 years old as well. And I feel like it came out recently as well that a gamer actually took off their headset, And they actually had, yeah, got the line across their head.

Mike Shields [00:05:55]:

It's unfortunate, isn't it? Yeah.

Carrianne Dukes [00:05:58]:

Yeah. That's great. So what are some of the strategies that ecommerce companies can do to really land a story and get heard in the journalist's inbox.

Mike Shields [00:06:09]:

Okay. So I guess quite a few techniques you can use to, tell a story and and sort of get those links back can and sort of make it make that impact, really. So we do, a lot of different strategies here at Ecom One. It's it's very much Based on, each client's kind of needs and and kind of the nature of their business, but there's several different ways. So, for 1, we use something called newsjacking, which is like Tail coating on news stories that are occurring or that you know that are going to occur. So, finding, like, comments that you can kind of apply directly to things that are breaking. Like, for example, Wilcos recently went into administration. We started losing our one in Lincoln, which is really a shame.

Mike Shields [00:06:48]:

It's, also one of those flagship stores, like, Yeah. I'll meet you outside of Wilco's. It's it's like a central point.

Carrianne Dukes [00:06:53]:

And the Picamix. You can't Oh, yeah. A Wilco Picamix half price from the school holidays.

Mike Shields [00:06:58]:

People gonna go. So, but, you know, they they were, like, in the news for a few weeks while that was happening. So we work with an insolvency practitioner who sort of deals with people, like, deals with companies kind of failing. And they were able to actually, like, coattail on that and just sort of, like, make comments and and sort of be the expert Talk about that sort of thing, and ended up on, you know, national news stories and, you know, GB News and things like that, just from being there and being the Spur. And that's kind of one really good way of of landing, sort of coverage and and links back to websites. However, like, I think the best way to do it these days is a big campaign. That's like you can either, say, right. Okay.

Mike Shields [00:07:36]:

We're gonna come up with a concept like the the gamer, sort of stature in a few years' time. Or you can kinda look at data points that you might have, gather them together, present it as something that's, like, integral to your brand, like, reflects your brand Strategies or, like, your values or your knowledge, and make a story out of that and then have that sort of resource on your website so there is no Excuse for them not to link back to you. It's a laborious process, and it can be sort of it can take quite a while to sort of get together. But I think if you do it properly, it can make a real impact.

Carrianne Dukes [00:08:09]:

Now that sounds amazing. So with, you know, with Newsjacking, do you need to have the same sort of voice person for the company, or can you use Different so for example, like with b two b, if we were gonna do a lot of newsjacking, we'd typically use obviously the CEO, because he is quite a focal point and he's a good thought leader, or could you have other members of the team?

Mike Shields [00:08:29]:

Really, it it just needs someone to, be willing to have their name put to I think you can come up with almost like a consensus from various different people on a team. It doesn't have to, be that named person. You know? I think the CEO is obviously the The sort of, like, the person you want there for, you know, a personal branding perspective. But, if you've got, like, a technical person that can answer a lot of questions on your side as well, then make use of them. Even if they don't want their name used, you can say, well, actually, the CEO knows all about this, and, And he says this, that, and the other. And it can come out with some really pertinent points and make you seem like you know a little bit more than you do. You can seem even more like the expert in your field.

Carrianne Dukes [00:09:09]:

No. That's great. Thank you for that, Mike. So this this could be a bit of a risky question because we're currently on a podcast.

Mike Shields [00:09:15]:

Go for it.

Carrianne Dukes [00:09:16]:

Are you ready? So do you think podcasts are too saturated?

Mike Shields [00:09:21]:

I think so, but that is only a good thing, I think. Like, in in time, I think They're called was it 2018 or 2019? They're called the year of the podcast. And since then, it's only got bigger and bigger. There's, like, billions of people listen to them, on a weekly basis, like, a daily commute to me is like a podcast every I've got about 4 or 5 that I follow, and I'm sure we're all the same. We've all got different interests, And I think that's the key. It's finding, a unique standpoint and a unique way to talk about something, that kind of makes a podcast Relevant. And I think if you just go out there and do what almost like copy verbatim what someone else is doing or, you know, go out there and and create one that If it's only of interest to really you or a very, very small group of people, then you might have a bit trouble getting, noticed. But if you can find a niche Where either something hasn't been covered or hasn't been covered in a particular way, there's loads of space out there.

Mike Shields [00:10:16]:

You know, there's loads of listeners out there. I think it's, it's become a little bit over saturated with corporate ones. There there are a lot of companies with ones where, they have one almost for the sake of having 1. It's like, oh, we've got a podcast. It's like, well, is that actually is it gaining, garnering an audience, Or is it kind of just existing because you think it's the right thing that you need to have? And I'd question whether you need to do it if it's just Sorry. It's almost like a I'd say a PR exercise, or, like, for the sake of appearances.

Carrianne Dukes [00:10:47]:

Yeah. No. I completely agree with you. One thing that we love about this podcast is with our guests, we learn from it ourselves. So we see it as a huge value for our company as well as our audience. But, yeah, there is some great ones on there, but I always find the more authentic, real, relatable ones to be the ones that I continuously go back to. Absolutely. Yeah.

Carrianne Dukes [00:11:07]:

So you've got your own podcast as well, don't you Mike?

Mike Shields [00:11:09]:

Of course. Yeah. It's not everyone's taste, but it's, yeah. Yeah. The 9 Hertz podcast, playing heavy metal every week. Nine new releases every week. There's a little plug.

Carrianne Dukes [00:11:17]:

Mhmm. Nice. Can't beat a plug.

Mike Shields [00:11:20]:

Yeah. But, obviously, See, we try and be niche as well. You know? We we're covering a certain aspect of music that not everyone is into, but the people that are into it really wanna hear it. So it's It's great and it's growing over time. It it shows it can be done even on, like, a small level.

Carrianne Dukes [00:11:33]:

No. That's that's great to hear. So to anyone that's listening to this and thinking, okay, a podcast, We've got a great topic that we could talk about. We could really grow an audience and help the audience and add value to them. What advice would you give them in regards to starting, To growing and to getting the team on board as well.

Mike Shields [00:11:51]:

I'd say just start. Like, even if you've got, like, only, like, You know, the very start of an idea to begin with, I think there's, there's a lot of value in just having a go, and you don't have to publish everything that you record. You know, have a go. See if it's actually something that you can do. Microphones and and, you know, setups are quite sort of simple. Obviously, we've got the the camera set up and everything like that. That's something you can develop and, like, work into. But initially, all you need is maybe 2 people and a microphone.

Mike Shields [00:12:20]:

You can do it remotely. You You can do it audio only. You don't have to film it at all. I mean, obviously, filming helps. You can spread it across social media a lot easier that way. But, really, it's just, a lot of Experimentation to begin with, and, like, learning as you do it because you're not gonna get better until you, like, get sort of used to it. One thing I always say is to actually have if you're gonna start a podcast from scratch, have, like, 5 or 10 episodes just recorded, like, before you even publish the first one. Because I think, regularity and consistency is really key here.

Mike Shields [00:12:54]:

Because if you have, a listener that sort of tunes in for episode 8 and you haven't recorded episode 9 and you've not got, you know, 3 weeks, you haven't done anything, They might just switch off and they might just drop off as a listener and it's not very good. You know, maybe use old episodes to fill in if you're not gonna Produced on a weekly basis, like, okay. We've got a flashback episode this week, you know, all the podcast guests, things like that. So it's just having that regularity and and, like, Almost treating it like, another aspect, another sort of, department almost within your business is is really valuable.

Carrianne Dukes [00:13:28]:

Yeah. It's like any sort of marketing, isn't it? It's like consistency that helps you grow and helps your audience know that, yeah, you will be here next week And then tune in again and then obviously build on that sort of audience you already have. Yeah. Because there's nothing worse than, like you say, you're Eager for the next episode. It's like Netflix, isn't it? That's why they put everything all in one go because we're, like, binge watching everything.

Mike Shields [00:13:50]:

We're too impatient. I won't have to say

Carrianne Dukes [00:13:51]:

that. Yesterday.

Mike Shields [00:13:54]:

I'd say really as well, like, be consistent with the format as well. So don't just sort of go into something thinking, right, we'll we'll just talk for Half an hour. We'll just talk for an hour. Have questions. Have, a specific thing that you do every time. Like, we always ask people, Favorite book? What's your favorite business book or whatever? You know, we have a set sort of standard for my podcast. There's, like, loads out there that they'll have the same structure every time so people know what to expect. If they're sort of they suddenly turn on and it's like, oh, it's a live one this time And it's completely different.

Mike Shields [00:14:28]:

They might just think, well, I'm not I'm not interested. Clearly run up ideas. Like, what what's going on here? And so maybe sort of, like, Do little intros if you're gonna do that sort of thing, but keep it as, sort of regular and as as normal normal inverted comms as possible.

Carrianne Dukes [00:14:43]:

Yeah. I should've said disclaimer there. Mike's gonna get what's his book recommendation later. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Shields [00:14:48]:

Yeah. Rather think about that.

Carrianne Dukes [00:14:49]:

But, yeah, that is what we've literally got in every single, Like, a 159 podcasts. So, yeah, it's been very good actually. A lot of people actually say, yeah, we read that book and enjoyed it because it's It is appropriate. It's books are great.

Mike Shields [00:15:03]:

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Richard Hill [00:15:56]:

Let's head straight back To the

Carrianne Dukes [00:15:58]:

episode. So what are some of the sort of common mistakes that you see in your industry?

Mike Shields [00:16:05]:

I think in digital PR, it's, it's a really, common fallacy that, using data is always a good thing. I think sometimes there's almost a lot of campaigns that come out and you're like, is that actually interesting? Is that actually Reliable. I think, the standards in data need to maybe be looked at. So, you know, if you're looking at a certain sample size, is that really big enough? Are journalists gonna make, that connection? Are they gonna say, well, actually, that's enough people that you've surveyed or that's enough people that you've looked into or enough data points that you've gathered together be a valuable story. I think these days, journalists are very, very hungry for stories, but they can spot a really good one, like, a mile off. And I think one thing that that leads to is rejection. Okay. And I think a lot of people, kind of give up at the first hurdle sometimes.

Mike Shields [00:16:59]:

PR is an intensely competitive, department to sort of manage. So, when you're sort of putting out your stories, you've got to think that For every journalist out there, there's probably 3 or 4 PR professionals trying to land a story. So you're you've got to be consistent and and actually, like, not give up when You get like a a no or a no reply. But it's having that balance between, knowing when to stop and knowing when to, like, give it one more go to see if you can get that little bit of coverage. So I'd say it's it's just having that weird balance, and I think a lot of people either give up way too easily or, they steamroller ahead and do too much. So I think, you need to kind of find your calm within PR and sort of, take a step back and a breath just before you start another campaign or whatever. And don't be discouraged. I think that's another thing.

Mike Shields [00:17:47]:

You can kind of put out a campaign, have no coverage whatsoever. God, this is hard like a we're we're not gonna get anything ever. Is it, Yeah. You can just throw throw your toys out the problem and think, I'm done with it. It's it's not working. You know? It's like, well, how does it work this time, but you just pick yourself up and start again. It's very tough. You gotta have thick skin, I think, sometimes.

Carrianne Dukes [00:18:06]:

It sounds that way. Do you think that's, a personal mindset thing, or is that is that something you've developed over the years?

Mike Shields [00:18:13]:

It's something you definitely have to develop. I think when you first start with it, you you kind of like, well, we've clearly failed. It was a rubbish story. It was it was just awful. Like, no. Maybe not. Maybe it's just a bad week. Maybe, like, other news was trumping it at the time.

Mike Shields [00:18:26]:

Maybe, you know, the angle wasn't quite right, but reworking something can really help. I've had campaigns that just haven't landed at at all. That does happen. Like, any PR professional will tell you that. But, like, taking another look and go, actually, if we change the viewpoint here, if We changed the narrative. Could we get something out of it? It has worked in the past. So it's just having that kind of confidence to To that, no. This is a good story.

Mike Shields [00:18:49]:

We can get something out of this

Carrianne Dukes [00:18:51]:

eventually. Yeah. That tenacious sort of attitude of just keep on trying Yep. And then hopefully something comes from it. Have you found that's happened sort of with a client? Sort of the clients you've worked on in the past?

Mike Shields [00:19:01]:

It has in the past, And, you kind of have to rely on your clients being patient and, trusting you to sort of, like, go through the process, but it's also being canny enough To know, when to actually, like, give up on a story or whether to, like, try again quickly, and it's how fast you can move, I guess, In that sort of situation. So no 2 days are ever the same in PR, and no 2 campaigns are ever the same. I think that's that's true for the whole industry, really.

Carrianne Dukes [00:19:30]:

Think that's why it's so fun, though, isn't it? It's like endless opportunity and endless direction.

Mike Shields [00:19:35]:

It's several jobs in one because, you know, you you're being creative. You're being like a a you know, Someone who's trying to convince someone of something, then you then you are like a a marketer when you're trying to sort of get, like, all the data back and everything. It's, Yeah. It's complex, but it's it's loads of fun. Like we say, it's it's loads of

Carrianne Dukes [00:19:51]:

fun. Is it something that you're gonna do forever and ever, do you reckon?

Mike Shields [00:19:55]:

Wow. That's a big question, isn't it? Yeah. I guess as long as there are stories to tell, then I'm interested. Yeah. Definitely.

Carrianne Dukes [00:20:02]:

Yeah. Do you use any sort of, AI or anything to help shape your campaigns.

Mike Shields [00:20:08]:

It's actually come up really, really recently. So we're doing a campaign at the moment where I had Several, sort of tranches of data, and they were brilliant, bits of data. I was like, this is fantastic. How can I make this make sense? I had, Like, 1 set of data here, 1 here, 1 in the middle, and I was just like, right. I know there is a story within all this. Like, how can I do it? So I, Obviously, ChatGpc has been huge. It's, it's really good for, planning out factual things. So if you want something that's, like, relying on the law, lying on, like, mathematics or stats or anything.

Mike Shields [00:20:44]:

Surprisingly good for that. Obviously, we wouldn't use it to write a press release verbatim because it just This is a human element. It won't have the sort of corporate values that you wanna sort of expound, like, within all that. However, it came up with the best way to present this data I've ever seen, and it kind of came up with the methodology of how it came to that, conclusion as well.

Carrianne Dukes [00:21:05]:

That's really smart.

Mike Shields [00:21:06]:

So we were able to, you know, take this this almost like an unwieldy bunch of numbers and stats and make it make sense and and and almost, like, rank it. So, Yeah. I'm hoping that campaign flies. No. It's no. It's done all that sort of number crunching in the 1st place.

Carrianne Dukes [00:21:22]:

I bet it will. So has it saved you a lot of time then, I'm guessing?

Mike Shields [00:21:25]:

Yeah. That definitely did. I think, you know, when when it comes to kind of, logically kind of putting very complex data together, it's, Yeah. It's like a godsend. It's it's absolutely amazing. In terms of, creating context, we also look after content here at Ecom at One. We sort of, we we sort of lump PR and content together because it just makes sense. It's just like we are the arbiters of of our clients' kind of messaging, so why not kind of all deal with it altogether? And for content, it's great for planning.

Mike Shields [00:21:54]:

It's great for, like, okay. How can I come up with a Brilliant intro for this, though? You know, everyone gets writer's block. If you're writing tons and tons, you get it even worse. It's a really good, like, it's another crutch to lean on. If if you really need it, it's there. But, yeah, I wouldn't advocate using it for absolutely everything.

Carrianne Dukes [00:22:12]:

Yeah. Do you obviously, there's a lot of worry out there of it, like, stealing people's jobs. I personally don't think it ever will. You can never replace humans. But, yeah, what are your opinions on that?

Mike Shields [00:22:23]:

Yeah. I I think I agree. So, I mean, obviously, when it came up, you're like, this is this is gonna, like, destroy, like, a whole Industry of people, but then you realize, actually, it is missing that essential kind of soul. And I think It is getting better. We do use several different AI, sort of programs to, create content, and it's really sort of, exciting to see what it can do. But I think Because each client that we work with is is unique and has unique products and unique sort of, like, selling points, it's never gonna understand that as much as we do, and the context, I think, is what's missing from it. So it's taking it with a pinch of salt, and it's having that kind of knowledge to know, okay. Don't just use this verbatim because it's gonna It's gonna come back at you.

Mike Shields [00:23:03]:

We don't know whether Google or any of the search engines are gonna kind of come back and say, well, actually, we're not gonna accept AI written content anymore. So we'd have to, like, rethink on a 6pence and think, right. Okay. What do we do now? Do we have to write all that stuff again, or can we get Gonna look into it and and find it all again. So I think the argument that it's gonna take people's jobs is probably Probably redundant to use a a sort of suitable phrase, and it'll be really interesting to see where it goes in the future.

Carrianne Dukes [00:23:34]:

I think, yeah, across the board with marketing, though, it's becoming more human. And humans are wanting to relate to humans and see the humans behind the brand, isn't it? That whole brand

Mike Shields [00:23:44]:

personality piece. Authenticity.

Carrianne Dukes [00:23:45]:

Yeah. Exactly. So if you've put in robotic Repeated content out there. It's it's never gonna stand the test of time. So that's why humans need to work with it. So obviously, it saves time. It obviously can Get so much data so quickly. But, obviously, humans need to have that sort of extra bit of sparkle to the content to help it grow and help Their customers sort of relate to them and actually buy from them.

Carrianne Dukes [00:24:10]:

So, yeah, I completely agree. So, obviously, you do all these amazing campaigns. Some fly, some don't. And, obviously, we've obviously suggested that some people don't necessarily see the value straight away. But how could you determine the success of a campaign? Say, obviously, a PR has put that out there. It's Got links, or is it to do with the brand

Mike Shields [00:24:35]:

recognition? Yeah. I think it's all of those things really. So, I think in the past, there's been almost, a real difficulty tracking what PR can do. They used to be I mean, we could go back to, like, you know, the nineties. That sounds so long ago now when you say the nineties. The 18 nineties printing press. No. You know, they they used to measure it literally by column inches.

Mike Shields [00:24:57]:

It's like if you if you got column inches in a in, like, real estate in a newspaper or a magazine, that was how you measured and and reported back to your clients, which is mad when you think about it now, like, literally really measuring it

Carrianne Dukes [00:25:08]:

hard. Could you imagine that? But, like, also, I've got you 2 columns that Yeah.

Mike Shields [00:25:12]:

Or so however many inches this this Yeah. But now, you know, you've got, a, like, a slew of, kind of measurement tools to kinda show where things are. So we use, Several different kind of reporting, sort of methods. And that shows, like, domain authority, the la like the website that we've got a landed link on, the sort of audience, the estimated organic audience, things like that. So there are, like, measurements and they're, like, almost like vanity measurements out there. But also, You have got access to a client's back end of their website. There's ways you can, like, look at has there been a an increase in organic traffic? Is there kind of more people landing here for the search term that we included in that press release? It's up to, like, the SEO team. Really, it's it's a sad fact to to actually look To see if if if we've actually made an impact.

Mike Shields [00:26:02]:

But I think, if you've made a if you've Caught with a story, and you've actually made it land on a a sort of like a reputable website. I think the brand recognition and the messaging out there accounts for a lot Even if it might not reflect straightaway in sales or, you know, visitors to your website. And I think if you've got that resource on your website and something else and you You've got kind of a lot of internal linking on that as well. It'll keep people on-site, and it's all kind of it's helping all the other marketing mix to do their job as well.

Carrianne Dukes [00:26:34]:

I do believe that digital PR is sometimes, like, a forgotten part of the marketing mix that isn't utilized enough Because like you're saying, just then, obviously, the brand recognition, the links, the domain authority, it can be really powerful for a business. So no. I obviously, we've got just 1 disclosure question, you know, left. The big one. The one with that we've done on a Denying podcast episodes. So we'll see if you repeat what somebody else has said. I don't think we've had that yet. You know? Okay.

Carrianne Dukes [00:27:04]:

So we've never had the social book recommended twice, So this could be a first. Okay. So, Mike, what is your book recommendation?

Mike Shields [00:27:12]:

Well, this was actually one that Richard recommended I read, and it's The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I think it's Eckhart Tolle. And, yeah, it's basically the idea that It's no like, I'm very bad at, like, ruminating on things. I I, like, I rethink things and play them over my head, and I worry about the future. And I'm a worrier, basically. And it kinda basically calmed me down. It it sort of focuses on you can't change anything but the moment you're in. What's done is done.

Mike Shields [00:27:43]:

If you can learn from that and sort of apply it to what you do in the future, that's great. But there's no point kind of, Placing your mind in that kind of in that past that you can't change or in the future that you don't really have control of. In the end, it's all about, like, What you're actually looking at at the moment, and I think that's really valuable for work, but it's always, like, really valuable for life as well. You know, you can go, if if only I've done that. If only I've done that. Or, you know, or I'll never get here. Well, you won't thinking like that, will you? You've gotta kinda what can you do today to make that happen, or what can you do today to make whatever's Happened in the past. Better.

Carrianne Dukes [00:28:18]:

I think a lot of people will relate to that as well because a lot I speak to a lot of people that struggle With that, like, being in the present Mhmm. Like you say, it's absolutely critical, isn't it, to be in the present? Like, even this morning when I was driving in, I was stuck behind someone doing 30 miles per hour the whole way here. And I was like, I'm not gonna get stressed. Because if I'm late, I can't control it because I can't make them suddenly go faster. So and I wasn't, so it's fine. But there's no point in getting stress on things you can't control, but it's easier said than done.

Mike Shields [00:28:48]:

I think it's all all about, like, being aware of your thoughts as well. Like, if you're sort of getting if you're going into, like, cycles of thinking, it's like Almost like tapping yourself on the shoulder and going, why are you thinking about that? Yeah. You can't do anything about it. Calm down. Move on. Yeah. But have a nice day. Give yourself a nice day.

Mike Shields [00:29:05]:

Yeah. That's important to remember.

Carrianne Dukes [00:29:07]:

No. That's a great action to have. I fully agree with you there. But, no, that's it. That's all we've got time for today. So, yeah, massive thank you, Mike, for joining me on the eCom@One podcast. It's been great. Hopefully, our audience I've got loads of value from that and can go and we wanna see more digital campaigns out there, don't we? Digital PR.

Carrianne Dukes [00:29:27]:

So yeah. But no thank you, Mike, and thank you to everybody for listening.

Richard Hill [00:29:35]:

If you enjoyed this episode, hit the subscribe or follow button wherever you are listening to this podcast. You're always the first to know when a new episode is released. Have a fantastic day, and I'll see you on the next one.

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