Five Minutes With: Meredith Fineman, CEO of Finepoint

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges for next 12-24 months?

My goal as CEO of FinePoint is to shift away from traditional public relations work into serving as a business and management consultant who uses PR tactics to empower and drive real impact for businesses’ bottom line. This has been a challenge, however, because changing the conversation about one’s own brand is a lot harder than starting it.

But over the next year or two, my goal with the company is to help build a personal branding product that scales across the country and helps people to understand what it means to being your own best PR agent and the tactics to generate success. 

As the leader of FinePoint with a successful track record in this area, I have a huge opportunity to educate my clients and show how talking about professional achievements can lead to business growth and success. In particular, I am excited to work with women who find self-promotion challenging and I’m eager to educate the marketplace on what it is I am doing and why it is desperately needed.

What are some unmet needs in PR technology landscape?

There are far too many PR monitoring tools that don’t weight or understand influence, but merely report on volume and sentiment of mentions. In today’s communication landscape, not all voices are equally influential. It matters who and how a brand is talked about. That part still takes a lot of human capital to be able to sift through the good, bad and other when it comes to brand monitoring, so I’d like to see that area of technology improve.

What keeps your clients up at night?

When I work with executive leadership, the things that keep them up at night are quandaries within their own companies. An entrepreneur worries about funding and sees PR and marketing as a means to an end for raising capital. A CEO of a larger company, however,  worries about how to be the best leader possible. Both of these scenarios require a strong personal brand, a plan and strategic communications to overcome the challenges that keep them from success. 

When I work with up and coming professionals, the main things they worry about is that the work they do isn’t worth talking about. Or that they are on the wrong path and have made the wrong choices. All of that is myth and undue pressure we put on ourselves and serve as detractors from our goals.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

I love LinkedIn as a professional alternative to Facebook and the ability for professional leverage. I also think as there is so much content now that everything loops back to one-on-one interactions, like the popularity of newsletters. People want personalized information, no matter how many channels and platforms they engage with.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

The hardest thing to educate clients about are the PR and marketing metrics outside of getting media coverage or social shares. PR practices offer so much more than immediate hits and often organizations aren’t ready for the publicity right away, but the strategic communications efforts help them grow and mature the vision and offering of the company.

Meredith Fineman is founder and CEO of FinePoint.

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