Social #PR Tips and Tweets from ‘Pioneers of Digital’ by @melcarson


Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 10.19.28 PMKeep it simple and do what you love! Sometimes the simplest words of wisdom only make sense coming from the people we respect the most. When I read Mel Carson’s latest book Pioneers of Digital: Success Stories from Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media, it was like having a Starbucks latte with 20 of the digital industry’s most respected superstars.

Did you ever wonder how Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan got his SEO kick start or what advice Alex Bogusky might share about pitching a traditional brand like Burger King something completely “off the charts” opposite of traditional: the subservient chicken. When Carolyn Everson traded her high profile new position at Microsoft for a company she “likes” better (Facebook) I remember thinking to myself “I wonder how that happened?” Listening to Google’s Digital Evangelist Avinash Kaushik keynote several times at SES, I was always curious what his real story was and how he landed at Google.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions,” according to the Dalai Lama.

That being said, check out the action-oriented success secrets and top tweets from select ‘Pioneers of Digital’ featured in Carson’s book.

June Cohen
Hotwired and
Success Secrets
  • Don’t assume you know what your audience wants. What works for other media might not work online, so survey, test, learn, and optimize.

  • Stay curious and adopt early. Think about how new technologies can be adapted and stretched within your field to generate maximum engagement and return visits.

  • Build content that creates an emotional connection. Think about not only why your audience might take part, but why they might tell their friends too.


Vanessa Fox
Google and Nine By Blue
Success Secrets 
    • Spend time with colleagues and partners in different departments. Really try to understand what they do and how to speak their language. It’ll help when it comes to communicating ideas and having empathy with their thinking.
  • Understand how information you have could provide value to your business. What’s in it for you? What’s in it for them?

  • Learn to listen authentically, be as transparent as you can and respond effectively. At least if you don’t have all the answers, go back to your teams and discover them. You’ll build trust with your customers that way.


Danny Sullivan
Search Engine Land
Success Secrets
  • It’s important to love what you do. Thriving in a professional area of expertise is dependent on you actually enjoying being in that space.

  • To compete effectively, sometimes it’s the small things that help you positively differentiate. A more intuitive website or friendlier, more personable customer service agents. Simple, nice touches can work really well.
  • Don’t build your business in a bubble. Look at other sectors and see what’s working well. There may be lessons from the offline world that will translate successfully on the web.
Co-founder of Crispin Porter + Bogusky Alex Bogusky
Burger King’s Subservient Chicken
Success Secrets
    • If you’re making an online viral, don’t over-style a strong idea. Keep it simple, ‘keep it messy’.

    • Develop the idea with enough scope for people to explore and play with the format.

    • If you keep the idea simple you design output production difficulties – and unforeseen expenditure.

Avinash Kaushik
Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google
Success Secrets
      • A lack of data-driven marketing understanding and expertise is leaving businesses in the 20th century when it comes to realizing the opportunities the web provides.

      • Be passionate about what you do. Leave no rock unturned when looking for the numbers that could turn your business positively. Recruit other like minds to your cause and encourage culture change.

      • Try to give a little back. If you’re doing well from your ‘passion thing’, then there’s room for some mini-philanthropy.

Carolyn Everson
MTV Networks and Facebook
Success Secrets
        • Always look to extend your knowledge, absorb new challenges as an educational opportunity, look for gaps in your experience and be prepared to put yourself out to fill them.

        • As a leader, empower your teams to inspire others, encourage self-critical thinking, be entrepreneurial and be ready ‘to play a new game’.

        • Build up your own ‘brand’ and take on mentors who’ll be your brand’s ‘board of directors’.


          Buy Pioneers of Digital’ by Paul Springer and Mel Carson now!

          About the Authors

          Professor Paul Springer is Head of Research & Postgrad Development for the Faculty of Design Media & Management at Buckinghamshire New University in the UK & author of the bestselling advertising book – Ads To Icons.

          Mel Carson is the founder of  Delightful Communications and is a Social Media, Digital PR & Personal Branding Consultant.  Before that he was the Microsoft Digital Marketing Evangelist. Carson has been writing and speaking about online advertising and social media at conferences and seminars all over the world since 2000.


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