Mar 6, 2020
Melissa DiGianfilippo, Co-founder and President of Public Relations, Serendipit Consulting, Scottsdale, AZ
Melissa DiGianfilippo is Co-founder and President of Public Relations for Serendipit Consulting, a full-service marketing, PR, and creative agency.
In this interview she talks about the questions she asks to suss out what each client truly needs – as opposed to what they think they need: What’s the goal? Is it storytelling? Is it brand awareness? What’s unique about the brand? Does the company have sales goals? What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important? Once needs are established, what services does a client need? Media relations? Digital marketing? Zocial media? Content creation? Do they need everything?
Melissa believes that “all marketing tactics are moving in the direction of measurability.” Serendipit customizes its PR services: strategizing placement timing and geography. Melissa explains that they are “looking for a lift in traffic” at the time a TV segment airs and afterward. TV segments, difficult to track in themselves, are reposted and shared on social media. Trackable links help customers to understand the value of PR placement and the role of social amplification in strengthening placement impacts. Did the placement drive a direct increase in any of the tracked KPIs?
Melissa believes thought leadership and subject matter expertise are the most powerful kind of PR. If one thought leader in an organization is good, “more than one” can highlight a company’s diversity. Being featured on a consistent basis – in national broadcast or news or print, local markets, and industry-related publications – and talking about trends, forecasting, and your personal story may not produce immediate results. But this kind of exposure will, over time, drive influence for your brand, establish you as a credible thought leader, and boost KPI results.
Melissa credits Entrepreneur Organization with contributing to her company’s success. After 11 years in business, Serendipit has over $4 million in annual revenue, high profitability, 30 employees, and a culture she describes as “enviable.”
Melissa is candid about her company’s mistakes. A few years back, when the company decided it wanted to go to “the next level,” they hired an expensive “expert” to lead the charge. BIG MISTAKE. Nine months of BIG MISTAKE. Melissa says that owners need to know that they don’t need to hire a high-ticket “name” to pull an organization up. Employees have the capability, within themselves, to grow their skills and ramp up an organization. A structured commission program has proven to be win-win . . . for employees, for clients, for business partners, and for the agency.
Another mistake? Melissa and Co-founder, Alexis Krisay, love business development. Melissa warns that when agency owners sell to customers, they may tend to sell themselves and not their agencies. Which is what Melissa and Alexis did. Then, when the “unknown” Serendipit team started working these projects, clients were not happy. Weren’t Melissa and Alexis supposed to be leading the initiative? Today, Melissa and Alexis bring the teams in early during the sales process.
Melissa can be found on her company’s marketing-education-content-rich website at: www.serendipitconsulting.com, by following @serendipit on Instagram (or for Melissa’s longform stories, @melissadflip on Instagram), or on LinkedIn.