Martha was critical to Mint.com's success. But let's back up.
Before I met Martha, my experience with PR was essentially that you hire a person or firm to broadcast your product, feature, message, angle, story, etc., to the right journalists. You were paying for placement of your story in the media. Our PR at Apple was to shape and spin the story, coordinate the release of information and the influence it had. Our marketing team, not PR, ran the show — strategy, message, even the ordering of product features on a box.
What Martha brought to Mint was a focus on that second component — product and messaging strategy, paired with the channels to release it on, timing in doing so, and coordination of product development to meet the message. Working with her reshaped my expectations for PR to consider "getting people to know about and use your product" is an essential part of a user journey. How and where they hear about it influences what they will expect when they use it, who they will tell about it, and how much leniency they'll grant your product in the early days.
I left our collaboration on Mint knowing that not only was Martha the best PR i'd ever worked with or seen in action, but also she had reshaped my understanding for how PR (on a product that meets user need) can be an integral part of ongoing product growth. In 2017 with a business of my own now, when it came time for us to reach out to PR, she was the only person we even reached out to — why would we? :)
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Martha is responsible for a big portion of Mint.com's success. In the two years from launch in Sep 2007 to acquisition 2009, she helped me book and prep for over 500 interviews.
I traveled with Martha to New York, DC and elsewhere a dozen times, where she took responsibility for the Mint pitch nearly as much as I did.
Martha is one of the few PR people who is actually smart: she understands what makes your business unique, knows how to simplify it into a better pitch than you do, and can communicate your message even when you're not around.
I worked with Martha extensively at Intuit after the Mint acquisition, again when I started and sold Fountain.com, and will basically use her as my PR person for life. I can't speak highly enough.
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Simply, Martha Shaughnessy is one of the finest PR practitioners I have ever met. I've had a front row seat in watching her blossom from a savvy Account Manager into one of the industry's most respected VP's, and she's absolutely invaluable to her firm. Martha's truly an asset to her clients, and I would recommend her hands down. She's fantastic.Original recommendation
In my role at PR Newswire, I am in daily contact with some of the leading minds in the public relations industry. I'm not telling a secret when I state that Martha ranks among the top of them. From her insightful understanding of the media she works with, to the business acumen that drives her client relationships, Martha's PR fundamentals are peerless. This foundation allows Martha's technological savvy to drive creative campaigns for her clients that create incremental engagement above a brand's organic growth curve. Whether through traditional or emerging media channels, Martha's work delivers unparalleled engagement and impact for her clients - even on the ones that we don't work together on. As a former PR manager, I cannot offer any higher praise for a public relations professional.Original recommendation
I owe my success in PR to Martha. When I joined Martha’s team, at the start of my career, she taught me the discipline and enthusiasm required to deliver excellent results -- both for the company and for clients. Not only is she a PR expert that understands the basics of running a successful campaign, Martha always thinks outside of the box and finds innovative ways to communicate her clients’ messages. Our clients valued Martha’s PR expertise and I witnessed their adoration for her skill in bringing results. While working for Martha, not only did I learn PR savvy, but I also watched in awe as she impressed her clients, bosses and colleagues each day with her extreme enthusiasm for tackling challenges. She would be my number one pick to launch my company or help me strategize.Original recommendation