PerkettPR’s “Influencers Who Inspire” Series Continues with Jason Falls

This week’s “Influencer Who Inspires” is Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer.  We admire Jason for his honest approach to social media and we are avid readers of his very popular site, Social Media Explorer.  Jason, who resides in Louisville, KY,  is an author, keynote speaker and CEO of Social Media Explorer.  He continues to be a name that surfaces at or near the top of conversations and lists of thought leaders and top thinkers in the emerging world of social media marketing.


How would you describe what you do for a living?

I do one primary thing in about three different ways. SME Digital, my agency, helps companies develop digital and social marketing strategies, execute them and measure/optimize results to drive business (unit sales, revenue or costs). My information products add the other two components: Explore Events helps anyone who wants to attend a two-day, intensive digital marketing strategy event and The Conversation Report analyzes online conversations and reports insights around specific industries (or clients for custom reports) to help businesses make smarter decisions about their social marketing.  In a nutshell, – Agency – Events – Research – is what I do.


You recently tweeted to PR folks about how they approach you and that you are “one of them” – what prompted that and how do you handle being on both sides of the PR equation?

It was likely prompted by me being critical of public relations professionals, then having them attack me for it. Those that are easily put on the defensive about the PR craft tend to point fingers at me and infer that I don’t know PR, that I’m just a “social media consultant.” But I spent 20 years as a PR and journalism professional before social media marketing ever happened. So I was probably saying, “I am one. Thus, I’m qualified to point the finger a bit.” The way I handle it is by just trying to coach and teach and perhaps lead by example. ‘Lots of public relations professionals still assume that “spray and pray” and spamming people works best. I only hope to educate them that there might be a better way to approach outreach. Quality outreach is far better than quantity, and you can sleep at night knowing you’re not a spammer.


What’s next in PR now that social media is a given?

I think PR is the new journalism. With all the noise out there in the media world and declining numbers in usage and revenues in traditional mediums, public relations professionals (and current journalists who will become them) have the opportunity to become the media. Those that do so in compelling ways will have better public relations programs because they’ll become a direct conduit to their publics.


What’s the best social media campaign you’ve seen (besides your own) in 2012?

H&R Block’s Stache Act is by far the most compelling. To have a stoic, conservative brand like H&R Block get behind a silly tax incentive for mustached Americans and stage a Million Mustache March on Washington, etc., just gave the brand personality and showed that they could reach beyond the tried and true “Let us do your taxes” messaging, in order to reach a new audience.

That, and Charmin‘s Twitter account. Holy cripes, they’re funny.


How did you initially get your “feet wet” in social media?

I spent 8-10 years blogging and exploring social networks and forums for personal entertainment. My old humor blog actually gained a bit of traction when I moved it to MySpace in about 2003. I learned how to build an audience, promote my content and connect influencers to what I was doing. Then in 2006, I started from scratch with an arsenal of experience in the business segment rather than the one focused on telling dirty jokes and made up tales of drunken debauchery. Heh.


Can you tell us a bit about your book “No Bullshit Social Media” and why someone would want to purchase it?

Aside from the crafty title, the book’s real appeal is that it’s a blueprint for social media strategy. We walk you through the seven reasons (goals) your business might implement social media tactics and coach you through the process of developing a sound, strategic approach to using social that will drive measurable results.


As the Founder and CEO of Social Media Explorer, your approach with SME Digital involves Full Frontal ROI methodolgy, can you explain how this is unique to the industry?

The Full Frontal ROI methodology, which was developed by my partner, Nichole Kelly, essentially places social media marketing squarely in the crosshairs of business strategy. Everything we do is focused on real business metrics — unit sales, revenues and costs — rather than soft metrics. Sure, we can help you drive more fans and followers, but we know we’re ultimately judged on your bottom line and how social media and digital marketing contribute to it. So that’s what we focus on. It’s unique to the industry because most other social media agencies or digital marketing shops focus on the fluff metrics and Kumbaya of social media. We know it’s about business or it’s a hobby. And how many business owners out there consider what they spend time and money on to be a hobby?


What is next for you for the remainder of the year heading into 2013?

Two more Explore events (Orange County, Calif., this week; Portland (Ore.) in November), another The Conversation Report, this one on the restaurant industry, and continuing to help our clients kick ass. And I fully expect 2013 will be much of the same. That’s what we do.


Persuasive Picks for week of 10/22/12

In every industry there’s a bellwether that points to future trends. Do you know what it is for digital marketers? And more importantly, are you paying attention? Digital marketing industry insider Shelly Palmer speaks to iMediaConnection about the the changing technology landscape in How to predict the future of digital marketing.

Brand pages aren’t necessarily a new feature on LinkedIn, but recently the professional networking site revamped their brand pages in an effort to better connect the business to the customer and job hunters, with several new features reminiscent of what Facebook and Twitter are currently offering. Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation explains Why It’s Time for Your Business to Get a LinkedIn Brand Page on SocialMediaToday.

With the rise of social media, word-of-mouth marketing is becoming a more tangible form of consumer influence. And, brands are out there in strong force tapping the digital space for “influencers” of all kinds. It sounds intimidating, but Nick Cifuentes, Global Social Media Director for, offers some insightful guidance to Understanding Digital Influence and How to Engage – via ClickZ.

One of the reasons many businesses do not create and publish online content to serve their communities is the assumption it has already been done. Business2Community contributor Jeff Korhan writes that this assumption ignores the fact that most problems are chronic and original perspectives are the only way to slowly break them down to develop sustainable solutions, and provides 3 Ways Content Marketing Makes Every Business Better.

Persuasive Picks for week of 4/9/12

Relatively few brands have used Tumblr in their marketing initiatives, and only a handful have done it particularly well. Michael Estrin explains that despite its lack of traction with brands, Tumblr has a solid following with agency folks, especially creatives in Why digital marketers can’t ignore Tumblr via iMediaConnection.

Peter Himler recounts on The Flack some highlights from a recent panel of senior new graphics decisionmakers – from CNNMoney, Huffington Post, Mashable and The Associated Press – who discussed the ins and outs of the increasingly important communications paradigm of information graphics in The Rise of Infographics.

Social Media isn’t Magic – It’s about Staying Human on the Internet posts Isra Garcia on SocialMediaToday. He writes about building a process that’s aligned with business strategy and is a means of expression that makes possible for customers, communities and brands to connect and establish relationships – that is to say “staying human”.

MarketingProfs‘ Patrick Dorsey provides lessons on building successful social customer relationship management practices and explains why Social CRM offers a new way of doing business in Social Media Is Not Social CRM, but It Can Be With These Five Steps.

PerkettPR’s Interview Series “Persuasive Women” – Digital Mom, Audrey McClelland

We are thrilled to continue our series of “Persuasive Women” interviews with top female influencers.  We recently caught up with Audrey McClelland of to ask her some questions about digital motherhood and her new book “The Digital Mom Handbook.”

Audrey is a busy mom of four young boys and a founder of the very popular website – a hip, online destination for moms, featuring daily fashion news for moms and kids, fabulous giveaways, smart family advice and the latest celebrity news.  Audrey also serves as the Beauty & Style Editor on Lifetime Moms and Fashion Editor on Blissfully Domestic. Audrey was named as one of “The Power Pack” Moms in Nielson’s Online 2009 Power Moms list.  Her “Mom Fashion Report” airs on The Pulse Network on Wednesdays at 1PM.  She’s also a contributor to the ever-popular Momversation.  She is a vlogger for Johnson & Johnson’s “Real Moms” Health Channel, one of Hanes’ Social Media Comfort Crew members, was a member of the Walmart Moms Social Media program, and she holds a position on Hasbro’s Playskool Panel. She’s also the spokesperson for  Audrey also partners with Vera Sweeney on another endeavor, Getting Gorgeous Events.


You have made a career out of blogging and tweeting and you often refer to yourself as a “Digital Mom.” What exactly is your definition of a “Digital Mom”?

I define being a Digital Mom as a mom who is working /living/playing in the digital space. I have made my living from blogging, tweeting, shooting YouTube videos… the realm has always been digital. I feel that with the emergence of all of these social media tools – more and more moms are going to be calling themselves Digital Moms. Our life as a mom is digitalized.

In your new book “The Digital Mom Handbook,” you offer tips and advice to other aspiring work at home moms.  If people take just one thing away from this book, what do you hope it is?

I would hope the one take-away would be that the more you put into your blog/Twitter/Facebook/YouTube, the more you’re going to get out of it. I’m not saying you need to be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… but I really feel the best kept secret is consistency. The more you put out there, the more you do… the better chances you have to grow and grow.

Have you ever had a “bad mommy moment” where you found yourself struggling with work and family life balance? How did you push through it?

OMG… all the time! LOL… just ask my husband!

I don’t know if there is anything as the perfect balance. My kids are too young to understand that what I do is for them.  They don’t understand deadlines or projects or business trips. So I’m consistently trying my best to conduct this balancing act of mom, wife, businesswoman, daughter, sister, etc. I do have one rule… when it’s dinnertime, everything is shut off.

If you could take your family on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would love to take my family to Hawaii! All of the boys – and even my parents and in-laws – so that my husband Matt and I could have a couple of nights out!

How do you disconnect from your work?

It’s funny… I’ve been trying to get better at this. I love reality TV… I’m not kidding, my life stops for Bravo! The Housewives are my girls. I love Rachel Zoe. She’s a fashion goddess in my home. I love disconnecting with a really great movie and/or a really great book.

What is your favorite tech gadget and why?

My iPhone. I know that it’s not the most creative answer, but my iPhone is my saving grace. My life is in that phone – emails, calendar, videos, photos, Twitter, Facebook, everything!

Was it tough making the move from New York City to Providence? What do you miss about NYC? What do you not miss?

Yes and no…

Yes, because I truly love – love – love the City. I know I’m one of those people that could have lived in NYC forever and never minded that at all. I miss the hustle and bustle. I miss that someone’s always up and something’s always going on.

But… I didn’t want to raise our family there. I knew I wanted to raise them in a small neighborhood, in a house with a driveway and backyard. I felt that was the best thing to do for them. And I don’t regret the decision one bit.

(Although, I do get to be in NYC almost every week, so it does balance out.)