In this episode of the Dear BAMf podcast, we speak with Gabrielle Ferree, Head of PR at OneTrust. Gabrielle is a seasoned PR and marketing professional with nearly 10 years of experience helping high-growth tech companies across industries tell their stories through traditional and social media, executive communications, and advocate marketing. Her favorite part of the job is empowering OneTrust's customers to be thought leaders and brand champions through powerful success stories. In this episode, Gabrielle answers some tough marketing and PR questions from our listeners, including this one about client scope creep:
When is it the job of the agency to flesh out the entire marketing plan for a startup that we work with? The long story is, my agency was brought on board to specifically secure trade and top tier media opportunities for a startup client of ours. At the latest quarterly meeting with the CEO, the CEO asked to see the marketing plan. The COO, whom we work with, pointed to us and pretty much blamed us for not having one. We were so shocked and said that we could, of course, develop an entire plan, but that was not the scope of work for our first 90 days together. Is there something else we could have done to handle this better, or to better understand the"when" to prevent this from happening again?
Listen now to hear how Gabrielle advises this writer to move forward.
There is purpose in a name as Gabrielle explains OneTrust: "We are a B2B technology company. We were first born out of privacy, but now offer a full suite of products that help customers differentiate on the idea of trust." Gabrielle paints the picture of OneTrust's steady growth saying, "We have 7,500 customers, including more than half of the Fortune 500 and 1,500 employees across 12 global offices."
Gabrielle explains how there is nothing better than being number one. "We thought we were growing fast, but getting number-one on the INC. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies this year proved to us all that this is a unique place." Alongside the fiscal accomplishment came major PR wins, as the CEO of OneTrust made the cover of INC. with a 6-page spread. Gabrielle jokingly announced her retirement as this has been a peak in her career.
Gabriel is a huge fan of customer stories. "My favorite way to tell stories now is to really have our customers be the one to tell our story." She breaks that down into actionable items showing the listener how to accomplish this by suggesting, "Give them an opportunity to speak on a panel or share their stories as a reference." Gabrielle reminds us to not just use customers for testimonials. Show them that you care by checking in. Gabrielle walks the walk by ending the question with this token, "Drink water, exercise, get good sleep, try and find those barriers between working and home because those lines are very blurring."
It's not uncommon for clients to go outside of PR scope. Gabrielle playfully says, "'Welcome to start-up life' is what I have to tell this listener. In start-ups, a quarter happens in a month and a month happens in a day. What I mean by that is, parties change and adjust all the time." Instead of going above and beyond, Gabrielle had this advice to give: "Make sure that if you're going outside the scope, you have it in writing with the CMO and make sure that you're going to get paid for it." She advises the listener to create a menu of services to cross sell and upsell to avoid any confusion, and address the expectation from the jump.
We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers) according to us, but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.
Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous.
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