Self serving news: PR 88% more effective than content marketing



Nielsen survey shows that PR crushes content marketing. We already knew that. Leave content to the professionals and hire PR pros to influence the story. Our start up clients tell us all the time that nothing lifts sales more than good PR.

Posted by Paul Owen on April 11th, 2014 :: Filed under Uncategorized

2014 Client Coverage

At Owen Media, we’re fortunate to work with some of the most influential technology companies in the world. Our media relations efforts focus on developing and telling stories that resonate with editors from print and Web-based outlets, across to television broadcast producers.

Over the past six months we’ve secured client placements in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, CNN Money, Forbes and many more.

The results speak for themselves. Here is a sample list of recent articles we’ve secured for our clients:

Posted by Paul Owen on April 9th, 2014 :: Filed under Uncategorized

What not to say

Tom Perkins (Kleiner Perkins) puts foot in mouth, swallows.

How hard could it be to do a press interview? Financial success is no guarantee of sanity. As smart as you think you are, you’re probably not. Double check your talking points with a third party before sitting in front of the camera. In this case, however, no amount of coaching can fix it. Perkins, you deserve all the vitriol you are presently receiving.


Posted by Paul Owen on January 28th, 2014 :: Filed under Uncategorized

2013 Client Coverage

Below is a list of coverage, going back to spring 2013. We secured placements in top-tier outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, TechCrunch, CNN Money, Pando Daily and many more, including television broadcast outlets KING 5 and KIRO 7 Nightly News:

Posted by Paul Owen on January 12th, 2014 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Who pays for your content?

Quality will out. There was a great NPR Weekend Edition story about the decline of quality journalism. I hope I’m vindicated in my prediction that consumers will choose to pay for quality. NYT posted a profit last year and looks on track to do the same in 2013.

I think Bezos bet on the Post because there are more than 160 million iPads, and double that many Android tablets. Once YouTube fatigue sets in, people will pay for great content delivered conveniently, creatively to their devices. Will this transform Google into “The Little Nickel”? Not sure, but eventually the revenue returns to the creative talent, not the aggregators.

More to come.

Posted by Paul Owen on November 18th, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Social = faster, smaller, smarter?


NYT profiled Gary Vaynerchuck, wine shill turned social media mogul. Is it intelligence or hucksterism? Maybe more of the latter, but I appreciated a new concept introduced in the piece: Micro content producers made up of former journalists and comedy writers. I think many of us understood this, but have never put it into words.

Nilla Wafer put 100% of their marketing budget into social last year and saw a 9% rise in sales. Long term I think social becomes its own respected art form, a wildly different tool to the same end: Brand loyalty.

Posted by Paul Owen on November 5th, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Your first million at 23: Skill or luck?

I saw Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, speak last night at Town Hall. He shared his wit and wisdom but my filter throughout the talk was that you received a life altering exit at age 23 (a year after graduating from Virginia) and everything you’ve done since then is tied to that lucky break. While I liked the wit, the wisdom seemed like it was still in development.

Posted by Paul Owen on October 15th, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Publishing epicenter moves to Seattle.

Is Seattle the new center of publishing? See Emily Parkhurst’s recent piece. I remember when Michael Kinsley came to Slate from The New Yorker, the publishing establishment in New York started to pay attention. Soon thereafter Gary Trudeau presented Mike Doonsbury as a Microsoft employee. If the epicenter is finally shifting, I wonder if news coverage and publishing will include a Seattle filter? That might mean more references to coffee, recycling and (God forbid) bicycling to work.

Posted by Paul Owen on August 21st, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Cray, Owen Media and predicting the future

Cray hired Owen Media in March to deliver messaging and media relations for enterprise IT and top tier press. We’ve been doing HPC PR since 1997 and have attended nearly every Supercomputing conference since then. In fact we launched the Cray X1 supercomputer in 2002.

What’s different this time? Simulation has taken off as the application du jour for government agencies and enterprise customers. Simulation requires capability computing, thousands of compute cores working together on a single problem, ideal for Cray’s fastest systems. Supercomputer sales increased more than 30% in 2012, thanks in part to demand for simulation, according to IDC. Simulation lets scientists extrapolate outcomes in great detail. Climate change, complex financial models and big data are market drivers, among others, for simulation

Meteorology is one of the most common supercomputer tasks (weather forecasting was carried out on the Eniac computer in 1955). It’s also becoming much more accurate to forecast the impact of climate change given the speed and fidelity of the latest supercomputers. Supercomputers let traders respond to market opportunities faster. Supercomputers also let companies capitalize on big data. The world produced 1.8 zettabytes of data in 2011 and the amount is growing by 40% per year.

But this week the focus is on weather modeling. Tornado season started. The 2013 hurricane season will also start soon. Cray systems can be used to pinpoint where storms will strike and how they will interact with built environment. We need all of the insight we can get. We also need to respond quickly. To that end, Owen Media donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma and encourage you to do the same. That’s the fastest route to a brighter future.

Posted by Paul Owen on May 21st, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized

The Amanda Knox story

So you think you have a crisis? Your data center failed and your customers are furious? Amanda Knox’s alibis failed and she faced the prospect of a life sentence staring at Perugia through iron bars.

America’s favorite foreign exchange student hired Seattle’s top crisis PR guy, Dave Marriott. Some people, including the New York Times, think it was Marriott who turned things around for Knox, at least in the court of public opinion. Dave is the go-to guy when the shit really hits the fan. Alaska Flight 261, Washington apple growers’ Alar scare, 60 Minutes story about union busting at Nordstrom, etc. I worked with Dave for three years at DDB Needham and developed crisis plans with him. Here is a short hand version:

  1. Identify everything that could go wrong and the impact it would have on customers, employees, investors, other stakeholders.
  2. Prioritize the list based on likelihood the event will happen. Impact it will have.
  3. Premeditate the top 20 most difficult questions that will be asked and the responses to them for each scenario.
  4. Identify authorized spokespeople now, before you need them. Get mobile numbers. Ditto for the crisis response team. Who is authorized to reach out to press? To respond to inquiries?
  5. Identify the top 10-15 editors/producers now. Get mobile numbers and email addresses lined up. One of the best things I learned from Dave is that the first one out of the gate spins the story. If something breaks, crashes, dies or otherwise fails, it’s far better that you reach out to the press and tell them what happened than for them to hear it from your outraged customers.
  6. Practice. Mock Q&A, on camera if possible.

That’s too brief. If you want to learn from Seattle’s grand old man of crisis PR, join me May 14 at the PRSA breakfast where Dave explains how he helped Amanda Knox.


Posted by Paul Owen on May 9th, 2013 :: Filed under Uncategorized