Finn Partners – Inspired

We at Finn Partners are Inspired by many things: A photo, a song, a news story, our clients - and each other. This blog is an opportunity to tell our story and to share our challenges, successes and motivations with you.


Social Media Week in Review

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Everywhere I turn there is yet another article about Facebook this week. So why not compile them all in one place? Here is everything you ever wanted to know about Facebook this week (and some things you didn’t).

Lawsuits Pile Up Over Facebook IPO

Just days after the Facebook IPO, lawsuits are rolling in against the giant social media website. The class-action suits allege that Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other big Wall Street banks that distributed the shares withheld crucial information from smaller investors that they shared with big institutional clients.

Facebook Tells Brands the Percentage of Fans Who See Their Posts

Earlier this year Facebook revealed that the average post on a brand page only reaches 16% of fans. Now you can test Facebook’s math because this week they introduced a new feature for select users that shows the percentage of brand page fans that saw as well as liked recent posts.

Brands Can Turn Their Facebook Timeline Into a Movie

If you are a manager of a Facebook Page, you can now easily create a movie using photos, videos, and status updates from your brands’ Timeline. Users can also customize the movie by picking from a selection of music, replacing visual elements and adding status updates or messages throughout the video.

Facebook and TBS Announce Branded Comedy Partnership

The “Very Funny” cable channel, TSB is partnering with Facebook to add more branded comedy entertainment options for advertisers. According to Facebook, the TBS partnership will help brands distribute and promote content across multiple platforms, while engaging with Facebook’s 901 million active users.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Social Network

And just for fun…. incase you haven’t had enough Facebook news this week, here are 10 little-known Facebook facts.


Social Media Week in Review


Facebook has the third largest IPO behind Visa and Enel. (Photo courtesy of

Welcome to another Friday social media recap! Before you run off to strategize your investment in the Facebook IPO, take a look at what’s going on in the world of social media.

The Year of Facebook (and Social Media) 

With a $16 billion IPO, Facebook is set to have the third largest IPO in history (only behind Visa and Enel). Not only does this establish the caliber of Mark Zuckerberg’s impact on the social media world, but also on the financial world. Facebook has fast-tracked, if not launched, a completely new take on the online social world and with the right acquisitions it will continue to dominate the social media space. If you’re wondering how the Facebook IPO will affect brands and brand pages, check out the full article.

Google+ Launches Spiffy New Updates to iPhone App

Have you tried out the latest version of the Google+ app for your iPhone? The update takes the app up a notch and features a visual experience unlike the previous version. Other tweaks on the app include configuration for a better app experience instead of making the desktop version compatible on the iPhone.

Twitter Allows Users to Control Privacy

Having a hard time trusting the information social media networks such as Twitter can get from you? Worry no more. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Twitter is participating in “Do Not Track”, an Internet privacy feature for Firefox users. DNT gives users the option to block third-party cookies, little nuggets of information used to track users’ online habits, activities, and even personal information.

Pinterest’s Going International

The two-year-old social bookmarking project is planning on expanding internationally with a $100 million round of investments. The startup is looking to expand into the French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish markets.


The 101 on Embargos vs. Exclusives

I’m Jeff Seedman, an associate partner in the San Francisco office, writing today on a topic that is sure to incite debate. The pressure on journalists to break news first is at an all-time high in today’s fast-paced world of online media. As such, we receive quite a few questions from clients regarding how best to implement and manage embargo and exclusive outreach strategies. It’s a worthy debate – one that the managers at Finn Partners often discuss.

First, it’s important to understand the differences between the two approaches. Exclusives represent an age-old strategy in which one select reporter receives an opportunity to break a particular news item. An embargo strategy differs in that multiple journalists are given access to information and spokespersons in advance of a press release being issued, with the understanding that they are all free to run their story at a predetermined time along with other outlets that were briefed on the news. This strategy is designed to ensure a level playing field, where no single outlet breaks the news first.

At Finn Partners, we often guide our clients toward embargo strategies except for rare exceptions:

  • We’ve pinpointed a reporter that covers a nuanced topic more in depth than any others, and the benefits of this reporter getting the story right outweigh the benefit of receiving widespread coverage
  • We need a breakthrough strategy with a particular outlet, typically because their audience aligns more than others with the story our client is telling
  • The journalist has made certain guarantees that would otherwise not be possible in an embargoed scenario, such as the article becoming a cover story in the print version of a prominent outlet
  • A news item may not be geared for widespread traction, but a specific journalist has agreed to run it only in the case that it is exclusive to their outlet

While there are exceptions to every rule, we typically recommend the embargo strategy. Journalists are given the same information as their competitors, and they are free to develop their own unique angle or spin on the news that can set them apart. The journalists we speak to day-in and day-out tell us they tend to like this approach.

Of course there are risks involved. If a journalist breaks the embargo (and we go to great lengths to ensure they don’t), then it becomes open season in a sense, and other journalists are typically free to run their version of the story immediately. While it’s very rare that this happens, we manage it swiftly and with certainty.

In respect to exclusives and embargoes being used in tandem, that’s typically a recipe for disaster. For instance, giving one outlet an exclusive time that’s even 20 minutes ahead of the embargo time other outlets receive will often lead to a flurry of negative emails from upset journalists, the loss of trust between the agency/client and their “go to” media contacts, and, perhaps most damaging, a flurry of negative comments across social channels that will be detrimental to the business and openly scrutinized by the public. If a client insists on mixing the strategies, it’s extremely important to be transparent with all the reporters involved, letting them decide whether or not they still want to run their story.

When in doubt, embargo strategies rarely fail. More times than not, receiving mass traction is the goal, and embargoes help clients achieve the success they are looking for. Considering the media world is so fast paced that news is often considered old the minute it crosses the wire, embargo strategies become critical to achieving PR success.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share any stories below.


Social Media Week in Review

Zuckerberg in his go-to hoodie. (Photo courtesy of

As the world counts down to the Facebook IPO, what’s hot in social media this week besides Mark Zuckerburg’s hoodie?

A Little Help from My Friends – That’s right – search is getting even more social. Microsoft Bing announced this week that Bing will help you search with the help of your Facebook friends.  According to InformationWeek, this move competes with Google’s Search Plus Your World search integration.

Saturday Morning Cartoons Pins – When should you pin, and when to wait?  If you’re pinning during business hours, you’ve got it all wrong. Statistics from, everyone’s favorite metrics tool, proves the best time to pin is Saturday morning. What are you doing tomorrow morning? Well, I guess I’m going to pin on behalf of my clients after my morning workout! (You should follow them.)

Tweet Tweet – Twitter users’ reactions to hot news this week has been bigger news than Twitter’s own news. You might not have heard about a faster mobile version or a new “discover” button, but you probably saw the outrage over the controversial TIME magazine cover, Obama’s support of gay marriage or the season finale of NBC’s “The Voice.” (And if you’re wondering, according to, the best time to tweet is between 1 and 3 p.m. Eastern on Monday.)


Celebrating at the Sabre Awards

The PR stars were out in force at the annual Sabre Awards, held at Cipriani 42nd Street last evening. Paul Holmes and his team did a great job keeping the program moving (who knew Snoop Dogg made great awards dinner music?). For the team from Finn Partners that joined in the revelry, our highlight was certainly seeing Peter and Richard accept the award for Best New Agency of the Year. Congratulations to all the award winners and finalists.

Our video spotlight.

Table 30 celebrates the win.

Amy Terpeluk, Helen Ames and Mark Singer await the next course.

David Hahn, Gail Moaney and Michelle Horn enjoy the atmosphere.

Table 31 even color-coordinated their outfits for the evening!

On stage! Paul Holmes congratulates Peter Finn.


HR in PR: The Finn Partners Way

Finn Partners Human Resources Director Allison Manus

Finn Partners values and supports risk-taking and loyalty.  I’ve never been one to follow the rules, and I never want to look back on my career saying, “I wish I had done this” or “I should have been that.”  That’s not a problem we have here.

But retaining talent and developing careers needs to start with the people themselves and our managers.  From the day our junior associates step in the door, they are given responsibilities that will challenge them. Finn Partners celebrates individuality and collaboration.  Whether your specialty is social media or publicity, each and every interest and skill is recognized and utilized.  It is remarkable to see how so many different skill-sets can join forces on assignments, creating richer results.

To promote this culture from the ground-up, I am very happy to announce the official launch of our new FINNstitute program. Led by our Partner in Training program, FINNstitute is designed to prepare our entry-level colleagues for the challenges they face on a daily basis. Read more on our FINNstitute page.

Our future is bright, as is evidenced by our recent Best New Agency Win, and I am confident that the people I work with every day will continue to make brilliant work.  When I joined Finn Partners, Founding Partner Peter Finn told me he wanted the company to be the “Best Place to Work” in the industry. This is no easy task, but we already have what it takes to get there – our team.  I look forward to working with this outstanding group of people to pursue this goal in the coming months.


Social Media Week in Review

Facebook is facing the largest IPO in Internet history. (Photo courtesy of

It’s no secret. This week, Facebook takes the cake, as details of its upcoming IPO steal headlines. However, there was more that happened in the social world…Facebook just overshadows it by…a lot.

Take a look at the below and get up to speed!


Personal Customer Service

According to a new report from American Express, consumers who have resolved a customer service issue via social media at least once in the last year are willing to buy “significantly more” from a company than those who routed complaints through the more traditional phone or email channels.

It’s reported that experts attribute the finding to the fact that consumers may feel loyalty toward a company when they receive positive customer service. It’s easier for a company to grow good feelings over social media, than through email/phone.

Leon Widrich with says that Twitter can create a more personalized experience, because companies incorporate names and individual photos of the company reps, making the experience seem “more approachable and human.”

All the more reason to encourage positive, speedy and personal social relationships with your clients’ fanbase. It really has a positive impact!

Twitter Improving Personalized Experience

On Tuesday, Twitter announced that they are beginning to roll out a new version of its Discover tab, making it even more personalized for the users. The company has improved its personalized algorithms to better understand users and display stories that are relevant to people in real time.

Things you find on the Discover tab will be driven by the data Twitter finds from the people users follow. For me, I follow about 1,000 (I exaggerate) tech journalists, so this Discover tab, may actually give me even more targeted tech news than my traditional feed gives me.  I can’t believe that could even be possible!



On Thursday, it was reported that Facebook set its shares at $28 to $35 each for its upcoming IPO. That translates to be around a $95 billion value. Facebook’s IPO is expected in a couple weeks and would be the biggest IPO for an Internet company in history. It goes unsaid, but this will be the most anticipated stock debut for Silicon Valley in several years and is expected to set records for funds raised and valuation for an Internet company. As of now, Google currently holds the largest IPO.

This will definitely be an exciting month ahead for tech and Wall St.

Organ Donor Awareness

This week, Facebook unveiled an organ donor option for Timeline. This is another recent move Facebook has made to be more socially conscious. The company recently rolled out an anti-bullying initiative and a referral system for friends expressing suicidal thoughts.

The organ donor option was designed to help more than 114,000 people in the U.S. and millions more around the worlds that are waiting for a life-saving heart, kidney or liver transplant. Designating yourself as an organ donor is fairly simple. You go to Timeline, click on “Life Event” and then “Health & Wellness.”

Mashable reports that a driving force for this feature was Mark Zuckerberg’s friendship with Steve Jobs, whose life was extended following a liver transplant.


Signed, FPRockStar2012

Nielsen reported a release last Friday that shows that women are more likely to engage with social media than men. In addition, women are eight percent more likely than the average online adult to build or update a personal blog. Women are also 18 percent more likely than the average American to follow a brand on social sites.

Is it just me, or is this completely obvious? I don’t intend to be stereotypical, but come on; women are known for being more social. Therefore, the more social gender will obviously be more social online. At least this report gives solid results for that conclusion, perhaps encouraging us to potentially aim our online content more toward women, in some cases…


The Best Walk in SF

San Francisco is known for many things, but within Finn Partners we’re known for our spectacular conference room view. We have a postcard-perfect overlook of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island, anchored by San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building. It’s actually one of the first things that won me over when I interviewed three years ago.

A view from Finn Partners San Francisco office.

A view from Finn Partners San Francisco office.

Some of my best times at the company have been spent walking to and from the Ferry Building with colleagues. The walk is just a few blocks, and crosses through the heart of the Financial District, past tourists at the cable car turnaround, through the craft vendors in Justin Herman Plaza (plus the seasonal zip line/ice rink) and down to the Embarcadero.

Walking to the Ferry Building is a ritual, and I’ve enjoyed many chilly mornings walking to the Blue Bottle cart with members of our storied bullpen, catching up on roommate dramas and hilariously embarrassing work stories. I’ve bonded with clients en route to salon dinners and had heartfelt discussions with my managers about career and life goals. I’ve initiated junior staff into our office Happy Hour tradition by helping them select the finest meats and cheeses from the Ferry Building kiosks (a serious moment for new team members—our office knows cheese and Charcuterie).

The walk to the Ferry Building has also given me many a quick dose of inspiration (San Francisco-style) whenever I’ve needed it, and most importantly, the opportunity make a connection with my colleagues beyond email and client work. At the end of the day, these relationships are the most valuable thing I’ve gained at Finn Partners, and they keep me coming back to work each day.