What's New?

  • Sweat Equity Podcast: How to Optimize Altruistic Hustle w/ Susan Lindner

  • Get Published: Pitching Your Content to Industry Publications

  • Emerging Media Recognized as a Leading Public Relations Agency and Marketing Firm

Still Talking Features? 5 Steps to Getting Your Startup Story Straight

Tamar Yaniv, Co-Founder and CEO of Preen.me, recently guest blogged for us, sharing her amazing insight on storytelling for startups:

I recently spent a morning at one of the top accelerators here in Tel Aviv, doing a lightning round of storytelling with 12 startups. “Give me your 60-second pitch. Go!”.

After 60 seconds X 12, this is where I was at:

  • About one-third gave a pretty good, to the point pitch.
  • Another third needed a lot of help but I understood what they do.
  • The last third I mostly looked at blankly, not even able to grasp at a single straw to guess what they do.

The reason I was embarrassingly blank is that the fine entrepreneurs in the last third spent 60 seconds shooting a bunch of features at me. And for the life of me I could not configure those features in my brain to create any kind of narrative that would bring them all together and explain what the company does.

Now I know you’re in the trenches. I know you spend all day working on the product, staring at analytics, relentlessly working out bugs. I know you barely see sunlight. And that’s why you may not be able to see the forest for the trees.

Or in other words, you can’t see the benefits for the features.

So as someone who knows nothing about your startup, let me be painfully but necessarily blunt: no one cares about your features. They care about the benefits. About how it makes their life better, how it makes them happier. It’s about them, not about you. Your potential investors/customers/partners are accosted left, right and center, all day, every day, with people and products vying for their attention. You literally have a handful of seconds to convey why they should care about yours. And they will care because of the benefits, not the features.

Getting your story straight is the difference between –

“We organize all your files so you can access them better” to

“We streamline your life so you can spend more time on what’s really important”.

Get it? We haven’t said anything about features, or about how, but we have made your motivation to check us out crystal clear. We make your life easier. We give you more time with your family. We give you more time to surf. We give you more time to learn a new language, to learn how to make pasta – whatever. We’ve given you a proposition in which you get to fill in the blank with whatever is significant to you. That’s how we take a benefit and allow the audience to personalize it, so that it resonates with them and with what makes them tick.

If you’ve convinced your audience of the benefits, (the “why you want this”), you will be able to delve into your beloved features (explaining the “how we do it).

Let’s use an example of Fictional Baby Startup to see how we get there. This was them before: “We have created an algorithm to give you a better way to buy baby products.”

This was them after: “When you’re about to have your first child there are so many areas of anxiety and stress, and finding the right baby products is only one of them. It shouldn’t be. We help you pinpoint exactly what you need, and get it to you in no time flat. So you can focus on the joy of your new addition (and getting some sleep).” Can you hear the sound of relief that help is on the way?

This is how you get there:

1. List the top 3 features of your product and the corresponding benefits of each. Each feature should have a clear benefit associated with it, which is where your customer value will come from. (If you can’t find the benefit to a feature you may want to rethink the feature) Example:

Feature: Find exactly what you want |  Benefit: Satisfaction
Feature: Find it fast | Benefit: Saves time

2. Put it together in a way that is personal, that your audience can identify with. Example: “When you’re about to have your first child there are so many areas of anxiety and stress.” You’ve now transported them to the emotional place you’d like them to be in. In this case, it’s a place of stress, worry and indecision. They need help. Luckily, you’re here.

3. Add social proof and benchmarks. Example: “Companies like X and Y use us”, “We are the fastest/most efficient/etc”.Both of these allow your audience to “anchor”, in two different ways. Social proof, such as a well-known company or an X number of people using your product, gives your audience a sense of security: “If they’re using it, it must be OK”. A benchmark, such as number of users compared to a competitor, allows them to get a quick understanding of the landscape. Both social proof and benchmarks provide context within which the audience can quickly assess your product.

 4. Is it generic? Example: Do all your competitors save their customers time? If you’ve ended up with something that is similar to what everyone else in the market is saying, go back and find where you have a competitive advantage. This is where your value statement and subsequently your story should stem from. If the basis isn’t crystal clear, the story won’t be either.

If you’re having trouble finding that edge, ask your customers why they love your product and how they are using it. You might be surprised.

 5. Rinse and repeat. Think you’re done? I have news for you. You’re never done. The story of your startup is a living breathing, entity.

To work, your story needs to be consistent over time and across mediums. But you also need to recognize when it needs tweaks and adjustments (or a revolution). Because, as you well know by now, in startup land the only constant is change.

New Client Announcement! Notegraphy Appoints Emerging Media as Agency of Record

Notegraphy, the only social posting app designed to help end-users, brands, agencies, celebrities and events to dramatically improve follower engagement, tapped Emerging Media as its Agency of Record. Emerging Media, an award-winning PR, marketing, branding and social media agency, will handle Notegraphy’s strategic messaging, media, marketing and public relations efforts for the company.

Notegraphy was born in HerraizSoto&Co, the top creative digital shop in Spain, and hatched in its incubator by the collection of creative geniuses behind Ommwriter. With more than 500,000 users worldwide, agencies, brands, celebrities and event producers use it every day to dramatically increase engagement with their communities, beautifully and effortlessly.

“We’re so thrilled to have Emerging Media on the Notegraphy team; they truly understand our vision for reaching the enterprise market,” said Notegraphy co-Founder and CEO Marzban Cooper. “I am confident in Emerging Media’s abilities to expand our presence in the US with our target markets.

Emerging Media builds its communications strategies around its Connect4 program that harnesses the power of branding, PR, marketing and social media to propel brands to the next level of market leadership. By creating a custom roadmap for success for each client, Emerging Media dives into the competitive landscape, building authentic relationships with key influencers. The agency will direct all of Notegraphy’s PR and thought leadership efforts, as well as manage speaking opportunities, conferences and awards.

“Notegraphy is a visionary in their space and we’re honored to be working with them,” said Founder and CEO of Emerging Media, Susan Lindner. “Emerging Media and Notegraphy have a shared interest in differentiating brand through the power of social media.”

See full press release here.

GSEA featured in Inc.com – 5 Ways Business Competitions Fuel Young Entrepreneurs

We asked student entrepreneurs to share their experiences in business competitions, and why they feel competing can be valuable. Each student is a Global Finalist for the EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (EO GSEA), a global competition run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

1. Unite Entrepreneurs

“Business competitions are vital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I have met dozens of entrepreneurs from all over, and interacted with peers from Taiwan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. The melting pot of ideas is the lifeblood of an entrepreneur who wishes to avoid stagnation. This aspect is precisely what I have experienced as I’ve interacted with experienced business owners and investors. They can provide invaluable support or guidance. As entrepreneurship is truly a lonely journey, it is our peers who understand the rigors the most.”

Kevin Ng
Founder and CEO, Hyron Infotech Pte Ltd

2. Inspire Others

“Business competitions have become very important to me, as I have always perceived them to be dynamic platforms that present extraordinary opportunities for business owners to present the very best of their companies to the world. Of course, this opens doors to gaining positive exposure, and gives a unique edge for innovatively collaborating with fellow business owners. During presentations, current entrepreneurs exhibit their strongest points in front of a broad audience, and it can encourage prospective counterparts to finally take that initiative and realize that the world is at their fingertips!”

Mohammed Fawaz
Managing Director, Global Tutor

3. Discover Personal Motivation

“As an athlete and entrepreneur, I relate skills I’ve learned through sports into my business career, including leadership and team-building. The competitiveness of sports has motivated me to compete in the business world. As such, business competitions are a great way to bring together great companies and grow the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Even by simply attending business competitions, you are able to make new connections and see how other entrepreneurs operate their own companies. I have been a finalist in several entrepreneurial programs and competitions. They always push me to become a better entrepreneur, and motivate other young businesspeople to achieve their goals.”

Alex Maclean
Founder and CEO, East Coast Lifestyle

4. View Alternate Perspectives

“I started my first formal business in Zimbabwe when I was 17 years old. From the onset, I found it was critical to acquire knowledge from diverse sources and advisers. As I crossed the local and international boundaries, I realized that there can be many different perspectives about your business from others in various fields. To that end, business competitions are essential because they provide an opportunity for one to be exposed to a variety of judges who have these varying backgrounds and knowledge. You don’t need to win because the feedback you receive is priceless.”

Samuelle Dimairho
Managing Director, Aura Group (Pvt) Ltd

5. Recruit Talent

“This is similar to networking, where you’d like to meet as many people as possible. From pitching my business, I have met people who have ended up working for me, joined my team, or who helped me grow my business. At these competitions, there are other talented entrepreneurs, so if you can meet a lot of them and hear what they do, maybe you can see how you would fit together. I have worked with so many people from these competitions, and I would not have known of their services prior to the pitch.”

Daniel Goldberg
COO, Diamond MMA

Read original article here.

Tell Your Company’s Story Using The Power of PR

Susan spent some time with the folks at BE Furniture, and gave them some insights into the wonderful world of PR. Check it out!

SusanLindner-1200x1200

WHO IS SUSAN LINDNER AND THE KEY TAKEAWAYS IN THIS EPISODE?

If you’re struggling or challenged with your PR strategies or want to really make the most out of it, then this episode is for you. Today, we’re going to have a chat with Emerging Media co-founder, Susan Lindner.

In this interview you’ll get to know:

  • How Susan started Emerging Media
  • What she thinks about culture
  • Why she things entrepreneurs are born out of adversity
  • How she transitioned from public health and anthropology to becoming an entrepreneur
  • Why she loves working with the underdogs

THE QUESTIONS

[3:58] What was the culture like as you had to navigate from the emerging world, from your philanthropic background to the corporate America?
Answer: Yeah, it’s been a very interesting transition working in non-profit organizations, big organizations like Memorial Sloan Kettering or Mount Sinai Hospital and then going to work in non-international non-profit organizations. Just looking at the organizational structure of those types of places, they begin with very solid tracks of how work gets done, information gets processed and how creativity bubbles up to the surface. For me, I enjoy working in those places because you need those structures in order to advance for it in healthcare and medicine. Going off the off the rails like a creative entrepreneur is not always the best way to deliverhealthcare certainly.

[7:25] When you look at the culture of this company, you walk in the door; can you share with our listeners some of the things that you see really positive, some of the things you say, “I don’t think so.” Some of the things you say, “We can make that better by just a couple of tweaks.?
Answer: Yeah, in many cases. It’s recognizing that dynamic and the rough I think and there’s glimmer out there from the physical manifestation. Often times when you walk in the room, you asked yourself whether or not this is a culture that allows creativity to shine through. You can walk by someone’s desk and see whether or not they’ve decorated it. Maybe whether a birthday was celebrated or a particular event in an employee’s life like their recent wedding and maybe there’s little pictures around or maybe co-workers have given gifts or maybe there’s a giant mirror on the wall that someone decided to paint or even just spray paint on the wall.” 

[13:32] What tips do you have for the entrepreneurs who are listening that says if there’s a couple things you need to do, here’s what they are. What would that be Susan??
Answer: So a couple of things they need to do in order to be successful is, first and foremost, they need to understand that while they’re busy disrupting, they need slowly, they need a couple of things. One, they need oxygen. They need brand awareness. They need for people to know that they exist while they’re toiling away into security. We helped them with the map using the media of foil for that. So we feel it’s really important that they’re recognized by the world and how they seek to change it. So that’s step one. 

Hear the full podcast here.

Advantages Wins Prestigious Awards for Digitial & Print Production

AVA LogoLast week, Emerging Media announced Advantages‘ Silver win at the 2015 Suppliers Achievement Award Competition sponsored by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), and also its Platinum win at the 2015 AVA Digital Awards competition evaluated by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals’ (AMCP) judges.

Winners of PPAI Suppliers Achievement Award are honored for their superiority in craftsmanship, engineering, ingenuity, creativity, graphic arts, and service. A panel of industry professionals along with independent print, marketing and advertising experts selected the 2015 winners. Advantages took home the Silver Award for its work with Amplify Learning, a New York-based division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Amplify creates products that are leading the way in data-driven instruction and breaking new ground in mobile learning, while setting the standard for next-generation digital curriculum and assessment. Advantages developed a set of three box kits to house an interactive learning program on Tom Sawyer, Edgar Allan Poe, and Frederick Douglass in alignment with Common Core Curriculum requirements across the country.

AVA Digital’s Platinum Award winners are recognized for their excellence in quality, creativity, and resourcefulness. Advantages received the highest recognition for its work on the website redesign of Emerging Media, an award-winning branding, PR, marketing and social media agency for innovative and disruptive companies. There were approximately 2,500 entries from the United States and 17 other countries in the 2015 AVA Digital Awards competition.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the Advantages team,” said Fran Biderman-Gross, CEO of Advantages. “Winning these two prestigious awards within weeks of each other is amazing, and we are honored to be recognized by such respected organizations. Our work with Emerging Media and Amplify is just a taste of what’s to come for us in 2015.”

See full press release here.

Want to learn more about Advantages?

The Huffington Post Women in Business Q&A: Susan Lindner, Founder, Emerging Media

We couldn’t be more proud to share this Huffington Post Women in Business Q&A column featuring our CEO and Founder, Susan Lindner and written by the talented Laura Dunn! Meryl and JLo are pretty excited about it too…

Susan Lindner founded the award-winning Lotus Public Relations in 2002 in the midst of the first burst tech bubble, growing it into one of the top 20 fastest growing PR firms in NY by 2005. In 2009, recognizing the powerful advent of social media, Lotus became Emerging Media – a full service BRAND, PR, MKTG and SOCIAL agency dedicated to helping disruptive companies reach their maximum potential.

With more than 15 years experience in public relations, Susan has worked with innovative Fortune 500 brands (BP, National City Bank, Xerox), dynamic tech companies (Akamai, XMPIE, Equitrac, PokerStars), more than 40 international startups, and has helped 10 companies to get acquired in the last 10 years. The Holmes Report, Bulldog Reporter, PR News, Golden Bridge Awards, Top PR Agencies and the Stevie Awards have recognized her and her team at Emerging Media among the top ranked agencies, year after year.

Susan’s passion for helping innovators to communicate and connect began prior to her work in corporate communications, stemming from her background as an anthropologist and epidemiologist. Susan studied and worked in Central America, Southeast Asia and throughout NYC, developing and implementing disruptive programs to support social development, microfinance, entrepreneurship, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Susan speaks four languages and is an active board member of Tricycle Magazine and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and a volunteer teacher at the Workshop in Business Opportunities, helping minority, women and immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
As a cultural anthropologist by training, that lens has allowed me to see different viewpoints without a lot of judgment. I’m fundamentally very curious about people and their purpose, and then weighing those viewpoints out. So for me, being a good leader is being a good listener, considering lots of unique perspectives and creating a solid strategy from there. That approach, whether it’s meeting with health workers in northern Thailand to work on AIDS campaigns or collaborating with startups on their launch campaigns, it’s about listening to people.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Emerging Media?
Working as an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control taught me how to be a disciplined leader, and instill within me the need for everyday creativity that sometimes government service does not often allow you to have. So, the rigor and objectivity in working in science was incredibly helpful to working with journalists who demand those same principles. What’s great about PR is ability to build a full story around the data in a way that moves people to respond and act.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Emerging Media?
The highlight of growing Emerging Media is watching my team’s hard work in building incredible campaigns turn into real business results for clients. Observing a young startup going from zero to hero, and participating fully with the executives and teams of those companies to make it happen, is the most gratifying experience for me.

The challenge of running Emerging Media is always staying one step ahead of our clients’ needs. That means always anticipating their needs, even before they can express them. For example, we might see a client doing phenomenally well in the press, but with a less than robust social media presence. To me, that feels like we’re losing opportunities. It’s my job find a way to help them grow, and relentlessly get better at everything they do. We’re here to help them validate their way of disrupting their industry. That’s a 24/7 job.

What advice can you offer to women who want to start their own business?
My advice is to forget fear. Just be very clear about three things: your purpose, your vision, and your personal mission is for your own life as well as for your clients. Also, be 100% sure of your core values and be willing to send the people who do not live up to those standards on their way.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I don’t. I love what I do, and I do it all the time. But, I will designate screen-free times when I am with my family so that they have my undivided attention. In 2015, I’m going to try to get more balance in, but it’s a struggle.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
The biggest issue for women in the workplace is looking from micro to macro. It is women inserting their incredible ideas, getting heard, and leveraging their success for promotion and that must be driven by the woman herself.

From an organizational standpoint, it is a willingness to give women the flexibility they need to be successful. So whether that is flex time, maternity time, or working from home, organizations must to respond to the needs of women in order to grow and be successful because without them, they will not remain competitive.

McKinsey & Co. did some incredible research on the impact of diversity on corporate performance in the US and Europe, and found that diverse executive boards produce greater success for customers and shareholders alike. We’re talking 53% higher return on equity and 14% higher EBIT margins. We know that including women, and giving them the reigns makes business sense. Owning our rightful and earned place is personal and institutional initiative that should be a priority for smart women and smart companies everywhere.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
One of my greatest joys is mentoring young employees at Emerging Media and watching them grow. I look to other entrepreneurs to help me watch out for pitfalls in my own entrepreneurial journey. I think it’s critical to have people support you and challenge you, but most of all, to hold you accountable to obtain your long-term goals. I’m lucky that my team does that for me as I hope to do it for them.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I admire Marissa Mayer at Yahoo! because I think she is the one person capable of bringing that company back to its former glory, and beyond. She has increased mobile advertising revenues from $125M million when she started to a projected $1.2 billion this year, and is set to surpass Twitter in mobile ad share in 2015, behind Google and Facebook. Few could have seen that coming, or done it in the last 5 years.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, who helped expand the global vision for Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg could not have achieved on his own. And lastly, I admire Oprah because she taught women that they could be who they are while being incredibly successful, and that true success is purpose driven success.

What do you want Emerging Media to accomplish in the next year?
Our big hairy, audacious goal is to be the number one agency for disruptive companies. So whether that’s in 2015, or that’s a longer-term goal, that is always our goal. We want Emerging Media to be the best place to work for people who share that vision as much as for the companies that we serve. Most importantly, I want us all to enjoy the ride.

Read the full article here.