What were the results of the project?
In 2009, Pinkston secured a Huffington Post column for the CEO, through which they placed 25 op-eds. In 2010, they pitched other outlets for op-eds and letters to the editor, securing 43 op-eds. In 2011, Pinkston secured a weekly Forbes op-ed column, for which Pinkston then helped greatly with the drafting, editing, placement and promotion via social media. In addition, Pinkston reviewed and suggested other topics that the CEO could write about for other news outlet editorial pages, including the Washington Times, The Huffington Post, Roll Call, Daily Caller, LinkedIn, Forbes, American Spectator, Fox News, The Hill, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, and Investor's Business Daily. Pinkston placed for the CEO more than 130 op-eds in 2012, and more than 160 in 2013 – stunning results by any measure.
For speaking engagements, Pinkston Group pitched and placed the CEO at about one conference per week, around the world for the years from 2012-14. Outstanding results. On a weekly basis, Pinkston Group pitched the CEO to high-level media,(mostly broadcast, on issues of the day.
When working with them, was there anything unique or special about them?
The Pinkston Group is one of most results-oriented agencies I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They are true professionals who only promise what they can deliver – and they consistently deliver results. The metrics above tell the story better than anything I can write. I spent 18 years working for PR [public relations] agencies before I came in-house at CEA, and I never saw results like the ones Pinkston achieved.
Pinkston provides high-level counsel. You see their senior people at every meeting and talk to them on the phone every day. While they employ very competent junior staff, they understand that they client wants to rely on senior counselors. They also have real relationships with reporters and editors. They are known entities at many media outlets, and they enjoy a great reputation. As a client, you can feel good walking into a studio for an interview with the Pinkston Team by your side.
Looking back on the project, is there any area that they could improve?
I think they learned a lot about speaking engagements through our assignment. They may not have been the best-suited team for that assignment at the outset, so we had some ups and downs in the beginning with multiple Pinkston Group personnel trying to achieve results on this action item. In the end, however, they figured it out and achieved results beyond our expectations.
What advice would you give to a future client of theirs?
Get to know the people at the Pinkston Group. Bring them in as counselors and partners – do not treat them as a vendor that you keep at arms' length. The more they know about your business, they more creative and results oriented they will be.