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Relationships First

Episode 3: Social arbitrage and PR

October 18, 2018

In episode 3, Bill and Molly continue the conversation from Never Eat Alone about the importance of social arbitrage and PR as it relates to relationships.

Bill Risser: This is Bill Risser.

Molly McKinley: And Molly McKinley. And we're talking relationships.

Bill Risser: All kinds of relationships, from starting new ones, to nurturing existing ones over time.

Molly McKinley: And each week, we'll highlight something that inspires ...

Bill Risser: Or triggers us ...

Molly McKinley: To help get to the root of why relationships are key to our happiness and success.

Molly McKinley: Hello, welcome to episode three. Today, we are talking about social arbitrage and PR.

Bill Risser: We're still sticking with Never Eat Alone, right, by Keith Ferrazzi.

Molly McKinley: That's exactly right. So, these are two topics that are near and dear to my heart, and I can't wait to dig into this with you.

Bill Risser: Good. Let's go. Let's start with PR because at heart, come on, that's what you are, right? Come on.

Molly McKinley: It really is. Yeah.

Bill Risser: But let's talk about the public relations side of things.

Molly McKinley: Well, so it's so funny because my roots are in true PR. I used to work in a high-tech PR firm in San Francisco. It was a small placed called A & R Partners in Burlingame. Adobe was one of our clients and had worked on that account for years and years. I did absolutely adore that work. Today's PR has really morphed though into, and this really does guide my marketing, into using third party validation for pretty much every single marketing tact. And that really is what PR is about, it's about finding third parties to tell your stories, to validate and really it's social proof.

Bill Risser: Could that be a podcast?

Molly McKinley: Absolutely could be a podcast.

Bill Risser: Could that be how people connect? Maybe via podcast?

Molly McKinley: Well it's so funny though because I really feel like with the advent of influencer marketing and how really pretty much every marketing channel now is all about story telling and being a PR person at heart has really positioned me well to understand how that connected web works of people and connecting to other networks and connecting to distribution channels and the whole cray tangled web of distribution essentially is what it is.

Bill Risser: And just to back it up for a second for neophytes like me, back in the day what you did was it really was reaching out to media outlets of different kinds, right? Could be radio, whatever, right?

Molly McKinley: Oh yeah.

Bill Risser: And that's what you did to try to connect with people, try to get them to print the story you told or ...

Molly McKinley: That's it.

Bill Risser: Yeah, that was it. It was press releases and that sorta thing. And you still do them kind of a little bit but it's like a tiny fraction of what you-

Molly McKinley: As far as for SEO purposes or I call it the digital stake in the ground, right, a PR or press release. I just said PR or press release, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if PR stood for press release I'd be a very wealthy woman. PR actually means public relations.

Bill Risser: Right.

Molly McKinley: And not PR press release. But yeah, this is me dating myself and to correct you too, you said I was a millennial or a gen X before right?

Bill Risser: Oh my gosh. You know what, I know I erred on the right side. Thank you very much.

Molly McKinley: I know you did, yes, you gave me a couple of extra years. I'm like, I don't think I'm gen X. It was kind of funny. I think I'm older than that. But back in the day and I'm dating myself now, the aim was to get coverage or ink, is what we used to call it, and that's because those were the places that actually had audiences or distribution. But in today's world influencers have audiences and distribution. Lots of different types of people have very engaged audiences and influence and that really is ... So the days were, the media held all the power and it's really gone and any story teller who has an engaged audience is really ripe for collaboration.

Bill Risser: Is there good and bad to that side of that in your estimation?

Molly McKinley: Well it's so funny because when I had babies and took a couple of years off and when I came back Facebook had happened and it was like relearning everything all over again because the pros are that you have a lot more potential channels to story tell, the cons are that this whole idea of fake news and there isn't that journalistic integrity. There's just no filter of quality. Anybody with anything can publish. And I remember back in the Adobe days this idea that we, Andy Warhol had this notion of the citizen journalist and we had launched premier pro back in the day and ... Yeah I know, I'm totally dating myself.

Bill Risser: No, that's cool.

Molly McKinley: We were like, now streaming from your desktop, imagine what this will mean. All of these individual citizen journalists is real and it has definitely come to pass.

Bill Risser: I feel like I'm questioning you but this is really up your alley way more than mine so I'm gonna ask you another question.

Molly McKinley: No, like this. This is actually a better spot to be in right?

Bill Risser: Yeah. How do you identify ... You're with First and you have a very specific space that you're occupying and how do you identify people or organizations or whatever you're looking for that fit that model that you're looking for to distribute or help spread your word, how do you do that?

Molly McKinley: Well first you're looking for like mindedness right? So when it comes to the media or blog posts or a true legitimate channel, not just an individual's Facebook reach or social reach or social clout, if you will, what you're looking for is really isn't necessarily the person in terms of shared value but how engaged is that person with the people that they reach because it really is about finding value and shared value together and finding audiences that are gonna care about what you have to say. And the more targeted and the more honed in that is the more likely you will have success.

Molly McKinley: And that is actually connecting it back to our book that we're talking about, Never Eat Alone, that was one of the things that was right on and I know this to be true from the old PR days, is this notion of getting really really hyper focused and targeted and that is the reason why the email blasts and the drip campaigns and the canned content and all of those things really fall short because you don't really know if you're delivering something that someone's gonna care about. But 20 years ago I realized really early that I had much better success and results if I sat down and crafted an article and really put a journalistic hat on and said okay, this is the kind of things that they're gonna be interested in, these people would be great resources and sort of wrote the story in my mind and then pitched to a journalist who I sort of understood their voice and what they cared about and the coverage was always so much better than if I just wrote a press release and just shot it out to 50 journalists who covered the space. It's in the extra mile, right?

Bill Risser: Yeah.

Molly McKinley: It's really different today than it was 20 something years ago.

Bill Risser: We know the major channels in this space you and I both work in right?

Molly McKinley: Yeah.

Bill Risser: It's Inman, it's Ris Media, it's other online real estate specific channels. That makes sense. Do you find synergy and opportunities with other companies, with other ... I imagine there are coaching and consulting companies that can help. Talk about some of the internal stuff in our space, I'm curious.

Molly McKinley: Yeah, 100%. So I love that first of all, and one thing the industry may not realize is because of the trade shows, the vendors, we get pretty close, we spend a lot of time waiting for the realtors to come and visit our booths and in the meantime we get to know each other personally and in those conversations what happens is, you know like, so what are you working on and what are you trying to do and what are you solving? And a lot of really great stuff happens behind the scenes. And for me, those moments where we're like okay, we're amazing content partners, let's leverage each other's resources so that we can either chare content of collaborate. Actually I'm just getting ready to release an ebook for ... The Official Guide to Relationship Marketing for First. And in this book we have just friends that we have built relationships with over time in the industry in this waiting for down time at the booth for example. And it's turned into a beautiful piece of content where we all are sort of adding a little piece of the pie and created a book which is very exciting. So yeah, it's just ... The criteria is always, how can we each tell a different part of the story that makes sense, that isn't pulling from each other but adding to. And that really is the criteria I think for collaboration.

Bill Risser: We're gonna talk about social arbitrage as well on this episode right?

Molly McKinley: Yes.

Bill Risser: Lets kind of switch gears and head that way a little bit. The examples that Keith gives are amazing in the book Never Eat Alone. He talks about the opportunity for example, of someone saying they were gonna be relocating to Los Angeles and they might need help looking for a place. And instead of just saying oh, I know somebody, I'll get you in touch, I'll send you an email, he takes his phone out, he makes a call to the person right away, gets the person on the phone and really bridges that relationship in such a way that he's helping not only the person who needs the property but the person who's gonna help find the property and really just ... It's just a classic example of how you can take all of these connections you've built up over time and turn them into this generous way of showing you can help with nothing, no expectation for anything in return, it's critical, right?

Molly McKinley: Yes.

Bill Risser: Of everything we talk about here on the Relationship's First podcast. Talk about that in your world a little bit and ill share some stories from mine after that.

Molly McKinley: Well I absolutely loved that example in the book. What I liked about it was the idea of doing, right? I think that's a ... Most people think oh, I could help this person, but then they don't follow through and actually do. And there was another part of that that really stuck.

Molly McKinley: I think really soon after that example there was a notion of being a confidant, a counselor and a concierge and I thought those were ... That's the right way of thinking about that because ... Especially for real estate agents as it relates to social arbitrage because a confidant, they have so much access to people's personal lives and really are beholden to keeping a lot of this stuff close to the chest. I just had a conversation with a realtor this week about a family friend and this is not ... It's like okay, you need to keep this close to the chest but here's what this person is looking for. And what a service to be able to transition people in amazing times in their lives. But I thought that really that confidant, counselor and concierge, really played nicely into the idea that you just said, and that's just pick up your phone and just do it, just make the connection, order the ... Oh, I have a book that you would love. Order it, it's coming to your house. And don't think about it and just get more aggressive in terms of the actual doing.

Bill Risser: I’'ve done the book thing, right?

Molly McKinley: Yeah.

Bill Risser:Yeah, I've been sitting at someone's office, said oh, you gotta read this book, you know what, I'll have it delivered. I'll go sit in the car before I leave the office that I'm sitting at and I'll order it on Amazon, it takes two minutes and it's gonna be delivered to their place because I'm staring right at the address. It's just the easiest thing in the world to do right?

Bill Risser: What I've started doing lately is when I have conversations with the realtors and I realize that I know somebody who can help them, it is a warm introduction right on the spot. Now it might be by text, maybe I'm not gonna make a phone call, but I'm saying hey, I'm texting them right now, I'm copying you in on this group text, that way they know that I know and I wanna make sure you're really connected before I leave. Because my role really is, as I read that section, it's what I do, right? I talk to really smart people like you and other people in the industry. I'll throw up Brandon Wise, there's Lauren the writer, I throw her out there. And I pick up such great information that I can't wait when an opportunity arises. And you just never know where you're gonna be, what's gonna happen where someone's gonna have that question and you're like oh, do I have the answer? And here's who you gotta connect with. It's so cool to do that. It's such a fun feeling.

Molly McKinley: It really is. And again, being an active listener, which is what we talked about in our previous episodes, is really key to being able to know when those connections happen. But that is, I think the secret sauce, of the master connector, is just doing.

Bill Risser: Yeah, I love that. Really that's the takeaway for this episode and we're kinda up against the clock, we wanna really watch the time limit on our episodes, but doing, that's the takeaway from episode three, don't just think about it, don't just go oh, man I wish I'd a done that, don't be that person anymore. If you've got an opportunity now today with the technology that we all have in our pockets it's so simple to make that happen right now so just do it. Sorry Nike.

Molly McKinley: Yeah. And be targeted about it, right? Don't just blast things out, that one to one really really matters and not to forget that notion of the cura karma, when you're helping somebody out today you're actually planting seeds for goodness tomorrow.

Bill Risser: Love it. I love it.

Molly McKinley: I always have to bring the yoga back right?

Bill Risser: Yeah, no that's beautiful. Karma, we gotta keep using those words. Molly what are we gonna talk about on episode four. We like to kinda tease people with what's coming up next.

Molly McKinley: We sure do. So episode four is about a quote about tribe building and the importance of tribes. And it's kind of a ... People have strong feelings about the word tribe and so lets sort of dissect that and have a conversation about tribes and relationships.

Bill Risser: Awesome. Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you on episode four.

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