Meet the Team: Molly – Technology PR Expert

molly-borchers-headshot

To help our audience learn who is behind the content on this blog, we’ve been releasing a series of Q&A’s from our team. In this month’s edition, you will learn all about one of our Sr. Communications Strategists and in-house energy and technology PR expert, Molly Borchers.

Molly leads the energy and technology practice at (W)right On Communications. She has nearly a decade of communications experience cultivated on both coasts and in the Midwest. In addition to securing coverage for clients in a range of high-profile media outlets – from the Wall Street Journal to Mashable to Wired – Molly has been featured in PR Daily and Forbes and is a Huffington Post blogger

She began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and later became a communications director at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to joining (W)right On, she worked for an O’Dwyer Top 25 communications agency and as a freelance writer and publicist. In 2014, she was named as one of San Diego’s top 25 emerging leaders in their 20’s by  San Diego Business Journal

Molly earned a B.A. in Communication at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. In her free time she serves on the marketing committee of Girls on the Run San Diego. Molly is also a certified yoga instructor. When she’s not working, volunteering, or taking/teaching yoga, you can find her riding her bike along the boardwalk, running, wine tasting or indulging in her (not so) guilty pleasure – pizza. Stay connected with her on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current job?

I would be a rock star (my biggest pipe dream) or a world-famous yoga instructor. Namaste.

What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?

Silly.pizza

Fill in the blank. “If you really knew me, you’d know ____”

That pizza is my favorite food. I even started a hashtag called #teampizza!

What super power would you like to have?

Can I pick two? I’d love to be able to fly and also become invisible. That way I could be an undetectable fly on the wall in some of the world’s most interesting conversations.

What would a “perfect” day look like to you?

My perfect day would be in Paris. I would wake up naturally without the help of an alarm clock. After a British-style tea service and healthy breakfast, I’d take a yoga class and meditate. Then, I’d ogle fresh vegetables and fruit at the farmer’s market with friends and my boyfriend. Lunch would be at a sidewalk cafe where I could people (and dog) watch. In the afternoon, I’d stroll some more, maybe sampling macaroons and perusing book shops along the way. In the evening, I’d make a candle-lit dinner and see some live music. I’d finish the night with an old French movie, chocolate and a glass (or three) of red wine. A girl can dream, right?

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

Set core values for yourself. Some of mine are:

  • ​Always be improving
  • Don’t play small
  • Operate from a place of authenticity. Be who you want to be
  • Do well by doing good
  • Be straightforward. No one likes bulls**t
  • Trust your instincts
  • Do things that scare you
  • Experiences are better than things

eiffel towerBest vacation you’ve had?

Last year, my boyfriend and I went to London and Paris. We stayed in a teeny apartment and lived like locals while soaking up history, culture, cocktails and delicious food. It was wildly indulgent.

This year, we’ve booked a trip to Tokyo and Seoul to experience a different part of the world and ingest our weight in Ramen and Kimchi.

What’s your most embarrassing moment at work?

I was once in the middle of a presentation and totally lost my ability to think or speak. It was almost like my brain shut off completely and I couldn’t recover. It was mortifying but I learned two things:

  • ​Preparation is everything
  • Team work is really powerful. My colleagues saved that presentation for me

In situations like these, I also realized that it’s important to acknowledge that we’re human, learn from the situation and move on.

Favorite quote?

I’ll be honest. I’m not a big quote person. But I like Eleanor Roosevelt’s line, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would be cast as you?

Scarlett Johansson, Amy Poehler or Jennifer Lawrence.

wineWhat’s your drink of choice?

Wine! I like my reds big, bold and from the new world. I like to taste the terroir in my whites, so they have to be old world.

If you were stuck on an island and could only choose 5 CDs, what would they be?

  • Eric Clapton, MTV Unplugged</li
  • Fleetwood Mac, Rumors
  • Metric, Synthetica
  • Beyonce, Beyonce
  • Heartless Bastards, Arrow

Fill in the blank. “People would be surprised if they knew____”

That I was a classically trained singer for 10 years and I am secretly an introvert.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Lateness. I think it’s important to value other peoples’ time by being punctual. If I tell you I am going to be 5 minutes late to a meeting, it means I’ll probably be 5 minutes early.

What TV show/movie is your guilty pleasure?

The Real Housewives franchise. Atlanta and New Jersey are my favorite seasons. I also watch Vanderpump Rules. Don’t tell anyone.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

My gigantic water bottle. I try to drink a gallon of water a day.

Favorite line from a movie?

Every line from Mean Girls. “Stop trying to make Fetch happen!”

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?

The Borch.

What’s the best/worst gift you have ever received?

I don’t think I can comment on the worst gift question! I don’t want to offend anyone. 🙂 It’s also tough to pick a favorite gift, but last year when Chance Shay got me a Chipotle gift card during Secret Santa, I was psyched.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am newly certified to teach yoga, so that’s a big part of my life. Since living in Southern California, I’ve adopted an active lifestyle: working out, going to the beach, hiking. I also love food and wine – so I enjoy both regularly.

Check out a couple blog posts written by Molly below:

Best Practices for Tech Startup PR

Measuring the ROI of Public Relations: Five Experts Weigh In

Best Practices for Tech Startup PR

tech startupBy Molly Borchers, Sr. Communications Strategist

Since the start of 2009, venture capital firms have deployed more than $31.5 billion across 3,308 deals into Silicon Valley-based tech startups. Here in San Diego, VCs invested more than $270 million in the first quarter of 2015 alone.

Startups are innovating at a fever pitch, but with so many new companies hitting the market, getting noticed can be a challenge. It’s hard to compete with the next Uber. There’s a lot of noise out there and attention spans are short. Also, journalists are increasingly being bombarded with pitches, making it hard to sort out the substance from the fluff.

That’s exactly why tech startups need good PR.megaphone

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or genius programmer) to know that positive media coverage can introduce your company to new customers. But it also enhances your credibility, making investors more confident in the promise of your product or service.

That’s why at (W)right On, we always advise tech startups to invest in PR before anything else. But many times, especially with new, early stage tech startups, there isn’t an outlined budget for marketing. Or, the startup founders are too busy to dedicate the time and resources toward a successful PR program.

You don’t have to be as grandiose as Steve Jobs and captivate the world at MacWorld to get media coverage, but a successful launch or program does require creativity. Here are a few best practices that we’ve learned over the years for getting PR for your startup:

A splashy launch is worth its weight in gold:launch

Your product is out of beta, the bugs are worked out, and you’ve nailed your messaging, value proposition and competitive differentiation. Now it’s time to let the world know you exist! The old adage, “if you build it, they will come” no longer applies. No offense to Kevin Costner and “Field of Dreams,” but it just doesn’t work that way anymore.

We recommend that tech startups hire a PR firm to develop a killer launch strategy to get in the media and in front of customers. Yes, it is an investment, but it’s one that will pay for itself if done correctly.

Depending on the startup and their customers, we’ve done everything from influencer targeting, giveaways, press conferences (in-person and digital), launch parties, desksides (one-on-one meetings with journalists) and more.

It takes creativity to get noticed:

Say you’ve already launched. Maybe the company has been around for a year or more. Things are going well, but you could stand to get more buzz. The most important thing we tell our clients is that an old product won’t continue to get press unless the company does something creative to earn it. Tech journalists tend to cover:

  • Company launches
  • New products/product launches
  • Data/trends/statistics
  • Helpful infographics
  • Important partnerships
  • Case studies
  • News coming from top companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.

If you don’t have any “news,” case studies or product launches in the queue, then you’re going to need to get creative to get attention. Often for clients who have this dilemma, we’ll develop a thought leadership campaign where we’ll draft a series of topical articles and shop them to various magazines and blogs in the target market. Or, we’ll design an infographic, develop a creative stunt or commission a survey to earn media attention.

Form relationships with media contacts:

Your PR firm has scored you a media interview. At first you think, “awesome, this is going to be great!” Then, the next thought might be, “oh sh*t, I hope I don’t screw this up.”

First, we always encourage that our tech startup spokespeople get media training if they’re not already experienced in that area. This gives said spokespeople the confidence to know they are not going to look like a complete wanker to the journalist.

Next, remember that every media interview is an opportunity to form a relationship with someone new. You’re not simply adding that journalist to your Rolodex, but potentially meeting someone who could become an advocate for your company. When you form genuine relationships with the media, they will often look to you as a source for stories (yay, more press!) and perhaps they’ll be more benevolent (within the limits of their job) if crisis strikes.

So keep in touch with the journalist. Comment on their articles. Follow and RT them on Twitter. Send them articles you think they might want to read, or email feedback about the things they write themselves. Be open and transparent (not defensive) during the interview process. Take them out to lunch or drinks with your PR rep on a quarterly basis to learn more about what they’re working on.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but we’ve seen firsthand how good PR can help tech startups standout from the competition, get in front of new customers and impress investors.

Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!