Crenshaw Adtech Clients Win Big at Annual Adweek Readers’ Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards

We are excited to announce two of our clients have been recognized by Adweek at the annual Readers’ Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards, which recognizes the top advertising and marketing technology providers and leaders across 35 categories.

Kerel Cooper, CMO of LiveIntent, and his Minority Report podcast co-host Erik A. Requidan, were named Diversity Advocates of the Year. The Minority Report Podcast offers insights that are often overlooked in the adtech space. Lotame was named Best Data Management Platform (DMP). Congrats to both!

PR Tips For Announcing A SPAC Transaction

Anyone who has been watching the tech PR space has noticed a huge rise in companies going public through Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). For those who aren’t familiar, these are “blank check” investment firms that acquire a company with the goal of bringing them to the public market. It’s not a traditional IPO, but the end goal is the same. Companies like Taboola, Group Nine Media, and Buzzfeed have all either gone, or declared their intention to go, public via SPAC. And, just recently, we here at Crenshaw Communications helped our client Innovid make the announcement of its intention to merge with ION to go public in this way. 

It’s huge news for any company that makes this decision, and the coverage needs to match the excitement! While many elements are the same as a traditional IPO, there are some key differences to consider for SPAC announcements. Here are some tips for PR professionals to plan and successfully execute an announcement around the intent to go public via SPAC. 

There is no quiet period with a SPAC

One of the benefits of choosing the SPAC route is that companies don’t have to follow the dreaded PR quiet period once they file. This means PR can make a big splash on the day the intention is announced and continue to push out news in subsequent months to maintain the momentum in the market. It’s a good idea to plan several announcements after the big SPAC splash to keep media excited about the company- anything from partnerships and new hires to data or product news works well here. This is the time to pour it on.

Start pitching early

Big news is breaking every day, which means reporters are always swamped. To make sure they have enough time to cover the announcement, PR should start pitching at least 72 hours before the release goes out. The goal should be to line up several interviews ahead of the release so the official announcement day starts with top-tier stories that have the executive team feeling good and lay the foundation for more stories.

But be careful with embargo pitching

If you’re pitching your SPAC announcement globally, it’s important to understand that no one can break the embargo. If they do, coverage could be compromised, especially in the U.S. where press are sensitive about embargo times. If that means not pitching certain markets until the day of the announcement, it may be necessary to get the most mileage out of the news. Like many media strategy calculations, it’s something of a tradeoff.

You won’t get every outlet to cover

Some media will only cover a SPAC if they get the exclusive on the announcement– and that’s okay. If one of those publications is high-priority, an exclusive strategy can work to ensure they cover the news. Expectations should be set ahead of time to make sure there are no disappointed stakeholders on the day of the announcement. 

Media training is a must

Even for a CEO who is extremely comfortable with the media, we recommend a refresher session to go over the approved messaging and prepare for any tricky questions. Anything said can now impact stock price, so every spokesperson must be buttoned up, able to articulate the value proposition of the company, and navigate hard lines of questioning to ensure the best outcome. The good news is that, after a series of investor conversations, media prep might actually be easier. Obviously, if you’re going to media outlets outside the business/financial sector, you will want you avoid jargon, acronyms, and other financial-speak to make the story relevant to a broader audience.

Leave time for lawyers to review

It’s wise to have communications material drafted and circulating as soon as possible to avoid delays on media outreach due to legal review. This is a new process for many people, and they don’t realize how much time it can take. (HINT: It takes a long time) Build in extra time for the back-and-forth. 

You need to explain what SPAC is and how it works to media

It’s not as straightforward as you think. Many reporters still don’t understand how SPAC works, and what the advantages are for a company to go public that way. Executive spokespeople should be prepared to walk through the explanation in layman’s terms, pausing often to make sure the audience understands the company’s strategy, the advantages of the SPAC, and the quality of the partners and the backstory.  

If your company is considering going public through a SPAC, we’d be happy to discuss the process and the role of PR and media relations. We’ve also supported the traditional IPO route and can offer objective advice on the pros and cons of each.

AdTech Pubs Every PR Pro Should Be Reading

As many PR agency teams know, our work can be highly specialized, particularly in B2B public relations. Specific sectors like ad tech, for example, offer a relatively small number of relevant trade publications compared to consumer categories. That’s why it’s especially important for PR people not only to understand the tech, but to follow the key media in the industry very closely. From programmatic advertising to first- and third-party data, there are many hot topics and only so many gatekeepers for the stories we want to tell. 

Thankfully, almost all outlets that cover the business of advertising cover the ad tech sector, and many have dedicated sections for it. Here are some of the websites and publications that ad tech PR people should be scanning every day.

Adweek

As one of the leading sources of news in the industry, AdWeek is the perfect target for breaking news. From major deals and mergers to revenue reports, there’s no shortage of ad tech coverage on the site. And yes, there’s even a video series titled “How S#it Works.” 

AdAge

AdAge, the other ad industry publication of long standing, also covers ad tech news, but it also has opinion pieces. So, if you want a more personal approach to your ad tech news, this is the way to go. Or, if you want to keep tabs on the latest campaigns and creative, check out the Hot Spots column. 

AdExchanger

AdExchanger calls itself “the leading voice in ad tech,” and it’s easy to see why. There’s plenty of content on the site directly from ad executives and representatives of major companies, whether it’s interviews or guest columns. One highlight is AdExchanger Talks, a podcast that features key figures in the ad tech world. 

Digiday

In what other publication will you find a section called “WTF Ad Tech?” or “WTF Programmatic?” It’s an interesting way to explain topics, and it’s certainly unique. But if you want your ad tech news in a more straightforward way, then they have you covered for that, too, with “The Programmatic Marketer”.

The Drum

The Drum covers plenty of different facets of ad tech, from data and privacy to the future of television, even eSports. It has long since expanded beyond its UK roots but retains a certain scrappiness in its editorial tone.  The Drum also features subcategories on different brands so it’s easier to track the news on major companies, from Apple to Amazon. There’s also the Drum Awards that recognize the top performers in the advertising world, including in the ad tech space. What better way to see which companies in the industry are the most recognized?

MediaPost

MediaPost actually has several sub-publications so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. There’s MediaDailyNews, Digital News Daily, MAD (not the satire magazine!), and much more. There are also plenty of newsletters to sign up for and events year-round. That means it’s possible to get ad tech news delivered directly into your inbox, and have a chance to interact with the biggest names in the industry at conferences.

ClickZ

The first thing to check out on ClickZ is Tech Talks, where executives from different companies go in-depth about what they do and the services they offer. It’s quite different from how reporters talk about companies, so it’s a fresh angle. Articles are categorized under interesting topics, such as “Actionable Analysis,” “Analyzing Customer Data,” and “Digital Leaders,” to name a few.

eMarketer

eMarketer not only has ad tech news, but it also offers plenty of data and reports that dive deeply into the industry weeds – in a good way. Note that it’s part of “Insider Intelligence” that requires a fee, but what doesn’t are the podcasts, especially “Behind the Numbers” and “The Ad Platform.” The latter in particular focuses heavily on ad tech, statistics, and where the industry is going in the future.

Campaign

Campaign is an international brand with multiple specialized sites for countries and regions, so it’s a great tool for keeping tabs on news taking place outside the US. There are opinion pieces where readers can take in many different viewpoints. Campaign takes pride in delving into industry trends and strategies. In its own words: “We help you navigate what’s happening now while preparing you for what’s next.”

Marketing Land

As the name suggests, Marketing Land has a heavier focus on marketing tech (martech), but it’s still a valuable resource for news. In fact, it supplies plenty of resources for those new to the industry, with helpful guides that explain key terms for those who are unfamiliar. 

Let’s End The Year With Gratitude, PR Style

As we head into the final months of the year and get ready for 2020, public relations pros are looking back on the year and taking stock of what means most to us in our work lives. Here’s what the Crenshaw team was most thankful for in 2019.

CHRIS HARIHAR, PARTNER
“I’m thankful for ad tech.”
I’m thankful for ad tech. Even with consolidation in the market, ad tech PR has been a key growth opportunity for our business. We’ve consistently grown our ad tech PR practice, and today we support a wide range of innovative vendors. Our client roster (Verizon Media, DoubleVerify, Lotame, LiveIntent, etc.), and outcomes delivered have help establish Crenshaw as one of the top B2B tech PR firms and best ad tech agency in the country. And if you look at any Lumascape, it’s clear we have room to grow. Some of the most notable ad tech PR opportunities include businesses that specialize in native, video, CTV, OOH, social, and search. (If you’re an ad tech company seeking PR, email me at chris@crenshawcomm.com.)

RON STEIN, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 
“I’m grateful for my co-workers.”
Having a team of great co-workers makes coming into the office each day more enjoyable. Crenshaw’s company culture puts its employees in a position to form bonds with each other on a personal level. This closeness makes it easier for team members to work together to achieve a seamless workflow and better productivity. Great co-workers are critical to the company’s continued success.

BINDI SAIKIA, SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
“I’m thankful for a work environment that embraces diverse cultures.” 
PR is a very dynamic industry and with work becoming more global, the opportunities are endless. Having worked in different places like India and New York, my experience has taught me a great deal, and I’ll be forever grateful. Bringing the lessons learned from a different country to a brand-new place is challenging, but when a workplace embraces those ideas, you know you’re in the right place. At Crenshaw, we’re looking to go above and beyond for our clients. Having team members with varied backgrounds bringing in different ideas helps us do that.

COLLEEN O’CONNOR, SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
“I’m happy about our open work environment” 
I’m thankful to work in a place with an open work environment. Working the way we do here helps me bounce ideas off my co-workers in a casual setting. In other offices I’ve worked at it was a more corporate setting with cubicles and there was little opportunity for sharing ideas. At Crenshaw, we’re all so comfortable with each other to shout out an idea or problem and have an open conversation. It also gives us a sense of community. Everyone is working towards the same goals (getting results for clients) and an open space allows for everyone to cheer each other on.

KATHARINE RIGGS, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 
“I appreciate clients who genuinely care about PR and who value our work.” 
At Crenshaw we’re fortunate to have some amazing clients who really care not only about their company and employees, but also care about us! Because they understand the importance of PR and have seen the impact it can have on their business, they truly value our work and show their appreciation. Working with clients like these makes for stronger communication, more collaboration and lasting relationships.

ILANA WEINBERGER, ACCOUNT COORDINATOR
“I’m thankful for a constantly changing news cycle
The constantly changing news cycle is one way that PR stays exciting. Waking up and reading the news for that day and seeing some stories screaming clients’ names keeps you on your toes.

MIKE STOLYAR, SENIOR ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR 
“I love a diverse client roster”
A benefit of working at an agency is the diverse list of clients across different industries. It gives you the chance to learn more about how various business sectors operate and to deepen your expertise in each one. There’s a lot of “real world” value on topics ranging from retail and hiring trends to cybersecurity and gaming in the scope of a single conversation – whether it’s at work or in a more casual setting.

RICHARD ETCHISON, CONFERENCES & AWARDS MANAGER
“I’m grateful for super-cool client executive thought leaders”
It’s always a challenge to win speaking engagements at big tech conferences for clients, but one thing that makes it easier is when the executive/founder has a strong point of view and isn’t shy about sharing it. Our client executives are the ‘real deal’ —  dynamic thinkers who have a passion to change the way things are, and can articulate a real vision for doing so. It’s great when a CEO or CMO is willing to speak out boldly about a hot topic. Executives like these truly put the “leader” in thought leadership!

VERONICA AMENTA, SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 
“I’m thankful for constantly learning new things and no dull moments.”
Working in public relations comes with many responsibilities. From problem solving and creative thinking, to developing strategies and writing bylined articles, PR keeps you engaged. We learn time management and how to adapt to tasks as they come up. At Crenshaw, we also get to stay on top of industry trends, which helps us be inventive with our pitches and programs. It’s rewarding when your hard work and attention to detail generates media placements that result in happy clients!