Something you should know about us if this is going to be a thing

You’ve hired Gale Strategies for marketing and public relations. We seem like nice people. We seem to like you. And it’s time we come clean about something.

We have a little bit of a book problem on the side. We’re high functioning book addicts. So, when we’re excited, we really do think your business is very interesting. We’re not just saying it. But we’re also busy fitting it into a framework of ideas that we’re always studiously gathering, working with, incorporating into what we do and building on. That’s part of the Gale Strategies way – the client’s story, the audience’s story, and the larger context that matters to both.

Not everyone at Gale Strategies is into books as much as some. But then some of us don’t stop reading mostly non-fiction books. The secret is audio books. You can fit them in anywhere. If you see us with our headphones on, there’s probably an audio book playing. Our families have spoken to us about appropriate times to be listening to books, and inappropriate times.

One of the upsides/downsides is during update calls, in agendas and sometimes in other documents you might find a bibliography of sorts. So given we’ve been asked more than a few times, here’s an initial list of five books we recommend and the logic –

The Challenger Customer

  • Why – Arguably the best book on solution selling and very aligned with how we do our work
  • The takeaway – The best sales come from confronting customers with insights that require them to rethink a part of their business
  • What to read with it – The Built Trap matches up with this well

Seven Powers

  • Why – One of the most precise books on the finite number of moats that businesses use to win their category, and in fact come to define it through their model
  • The takeaway – One of the most interesting competitive powers is counter positioning, where your competition cannot adopt your business model, because it would cannibalize or threaten too much of their existing business model
  • What to read with it – Definitely pick up Only The Paranoid Survive to get more of the Intel story tha Helmer leans in to

The Innovation Stack

  • Why – How to find a market others aren’t serving and then build an unbeatable business by layers and layers of systematized problem solving
  • The takeaway – Moats are often made up of many, many small but intractable problems that are solved in an interrelated manner that are hard to reverse engineer by competitors.
  • What to read with it – You may want to read The Innovator’s Dilemma first

Only The Paranoid Survive

  • Why – Leaders of large existing businesses can rarely pivot massively from one business to the next. Andy Grove did that, and he explains how
  • The takeaway – Listen to middle management and frontline employees, they can see the future before you do… even if they’re not sure of the exact dimensions
  • What to read with it – Read The Innovator’s Dilemma for more detail on this

The Innovator’s Dilemma

  • Why – It’s a classic
  • The takeaway – Disruption typically comes from the part of the market nobody wants to serve… often because it’s not seen as profitable
  • What to read with it – Next pick up The Innovation Stack to see more detail on this process in action

Want more? We’ve got more. Wow, do we have a lot more… Just ask!


Gale Strategies Launches First Principles Marketing Platform

Gale Strategies Addresses Demand for Results-Driven B2B Technology Marketing

Read the official release here.

Today Gale Strategies announced the launch of its first principles marketing platform. Building on their already widely successful marketing and public relations process – connecting businesses with the audiences that drive their growth – Gale Strategies’ new capabilities take marketing performance to a new level.

“We pursue a first principles approach, which is to say we don’t just do things for our clients because it’s considered marketing,” said Gale Strategies co-founder Chris Gale. “We narrow down to a process focused on actually bringing in deals, investments or credible category leadership. We cut away the nonsense and exercise healthy skepticism in selecting, testing and proving the right package and sequence of tactics, and overall strategy for our clients.”

Gale Strategies was launched to dispense with B2B technology public relations and marketing that could not show its value and relied on vague measures of success. The new platform includes:

  • Publication relations
  • Social marketing
  • Branding
  • SEO
  • SalesOps

Gale Strategies’ offering is rooted in bringing in specific opportunities in a highly targeted manner that aligns with clients’ sales pipelines, investor relations and deal flow. The team was built from the ground up to deliver a scalable, seamless, tech-driven marketing platform. Gale Strategies delivers high touch service with intuitive processes, connecting audiences with businesses through intelligent, efficient production.

The firm’s clients include leading private equity, enterprise technology and tech startup teams. Gale Strategies intentionally diversifies the industry verticals they serve to focus on intersections where technology is transforming longstanding, complex, high stakes work.

About Gale Strategies

Gale Strategies streamlines marketing and public relations on a single platform. The firm was founded in Darien, Connecticut in 2019 and operates nationwide and in Europe.


Why staying silent on controversy makes you the loudest of all

The leak of the Supreme Court opinion that will, barring any dramatic changes in the next two months, overturn Roe v. Wade was a jolt no matter what side of the aisle that you fall on. Yes, it was expected, but seeing it in writing made it suddenly, strikingly real.

Companies that fail to see and address the impact of this news may be doing a disservice to their employees and stakeholders.

Most of the generations in the workforce haven’t experienced a reality where abortion rights weren’t legally protected nationwide. For many people, this is a moment that will raise a multitude of questions that companies need to be thinking about. Ones like: do I make enough money to take care of my health? Do I feel safe and protected in my state? Do I feel like my company cares about my well-being? Do I feel supported to make the best decisions for my security? As discussions occur, this can also lead to fear or feelings of alienation for individuals that feel the culture is going against them one way or the other.

Some companies – Bumble, Amazon, and Salesforce, to name just a few – have already taken steps to address the effects of Roe likely being overturned. Yes, a number of factors may affect what actions, if any, a company might take in response to this SCOTUS leak. But it’s worth knowing that, in today’s world, choosing to remain silent is just as powerful, if not more, than choosing to speak up.

Many of today’s employees care about much more than their take-home pay. They care about company values, and evidence that their companies stand by those values. The Great Resignation has shown that people are willing to walk if they don’t feel satisfied at work – something that corporate beliefs and culture can dramatically impact.

Look at the Disney employees that walked out of work in response to the company’s “tepid” reaction to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill in March. Their protest, both physical and virtual, ultimately spurred the company to take further action.

Or turn to Ben & Jerry’s reaction to the murder of George Floyd, something they swiftly condemned and, in the years since, led to their ongoing advocacy for racial equity. They received massive public support for being one of the first companies to publicly confront the racism at-play.

Employees want to know that their companies care about their humanity. Responding to massive developments in the news that will absolutely affect their day-to-day lives, whether at work or otherwise, is paramount to growing and sustaining employee trust and commitment. And it needs to be genuine.

Yes, it can be a terrifying thing to begin to consider how to best speak about these divisive issues. But businesses truly are nothing without the people that support them every day. Companies owe it to their employees to respect and acknowledge that.

If you’ve made it this far and are wondering how in the world you even start to think about how to respond to any kind of controversial news, HBR has a great framework. Alternately, here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Audience: Who do you want to reach? Employees, investors, the public?
  • Channels: How can you reach that audience in the most authentic way possible?
  • Messaging: What are your values? How are your values in play in relation to the news you’re looking to address?
  • Timing: Is this a developing story? Will it require multiple moments of communication, or one?

The answers to these questions will change with every story, every audience, and every message you want to convey. At the end of the day, the most important thing is this: remember that your employees are people. They’re going to be looking for guidance and support when issues arise in the world that affect them and the people they love even if it doesn’t seem to affect their job at all.

That’s the catch. All of these things – SCOTUS leaks, foreign wars, day-to-day crises at home – are going to affect their job. It’ll impact their performance, their curiosity, their dedication. The best companies are the ones that will know that and react accordingly.


Recruiting Gen Z, from the perspective of a Gen Z’er

The past couple years have been nothing short of a dystopian novel.

We started the new decade off with forest fires in Australia, cases of Covid-19 popping up in China, a presidential impeachment, cases of Covid-19 appearing in the U.S., the tragic death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, and the UK’s exit from the EU – not to mention Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit from the UK.

And that was just in the month of January.

By the time 2021 rolled around, a good chunk of the workforce had a lot of time to sit at home and re-evaluate their lives. Many started seeking a change (and dyeing their hair or getting a tattoo wasn’t going to cut it this time), thus the beginning of “The Great Resignation.”

To this day, formerly established members of the workforce are resigning from their jobs at record rates, leaving many companies struggling to combat labor shortages.

Luckily, this coincides with a new wave of employees joining the workforce: Generation Z. But, to successfully recruit and retain them, companies are going to have to make some systemic and mental shifts to meet them where they are.

Getting to Know Gen Z

If you’re anything like my Gen X father, odds are you’re totally perplexed when it comes to the mindset, habits, and lingo of my generation.

By way of introduction, here are some fast facts to break the ice:

  • Generation Z (also known as Gen Z or iGen) is generally said to include people born between 1997 and 2012
  • We’re the most diverse generation, with at least one in four identifying as Hispanic, 14% as black, 6% as Asian and 5% as some other race or two or more races
  • More than one in five (21%) of our members identify as LGBTQ+
  • We are the first generation that has never known a world without the internet
  • 55% of us use our smartphones for five or more hours a day
  • We have been called the most depressed generation, with just 45% of members reporting that their mental health is very good or excellent
  • We are experiencing the largest increases in student loan debt each year
  • It is said that we have an attention span of 8 seconds

And, by 2030, almost every entry-level role in the U.S. will be filled by a member of our generation –meaning that with older generations exiting the labor force, it’s becoming imperative for companies to focus their attention on hiring Gen Z employees.

How to Successfully Recruit a Gen Z’er

So, how can managers successfully recruit among a generation with an 8 second attention span? Truth is, we’re not that hard to please! So long as you understand what motivates us.

Here are three things to keep in mind when looking to hire a Gen Z’er:

A sense of community is vital

I can confidently say that the first thing I, and many of my peers, looked for in our first post-college company was a sense of community – a fun place that offered us the opportunity to be our true selves.

To convey this, it’s important for companies to utilize social media and include messaging that reflects our generational style:

  • Make posts sound casual and conversational
  • Use emojis and memes
  • Incorporate nods to pop culture
  • Include unique bios for your employees (fun facts are appreciated)
  • Highlight community events/employee accomplishments

Members of Generation Z are “digital natives;” we’ve been scrolling through social media since we were kids. If you want to get our attention, speak our language.

Mental health is a priority

Alongside a sense of community, a lot of us (including myself) were also looking for a place that recognized the importance of our mental wellbeing.

Living in a social media fish bowl, with increased political polarization, racial unrest, school shootings, and climate change to boot, it should come as no surprise that 91 percent of Gen Z members claim to have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom related to anxiety and depression.

Unlike other generations, however, we are more willing to talk about our problems and seek help. Our commitment to ending the stigma surrounding mental health leads us to search for employment that also shares this same value. Companies that put an emphasis on work-life balance, PTO, flexible hours, and mental health awareness are going to draw in Gen Z interest faster than those who don’t.

Feedback is important

Lastly, Gen Z’ers are said to be independent, self-directed, and driven. We’ve grown up our whole lives hearing that it is up to us to fix the mistakes of the generations before us. That’s a lot to live up to. As such, we are hyper conscientious about doing a good job and crave legitimate, meaningful feedback.

It’s important to note, however, that even though Gen Z grew up with texting and direct messages, we prefer to speak face-to-face in the workplace. Written communication can be difficult for us to interpret – even if we were practically born with a phone in our hands.

Face-to-face doesn’t necessarily mean we have to be in the same physical location though. I am someone who strongly appreciates feedback, and, working at an all-virtual company, I find that utilizing technology like Zoom, FaceTime, or Teams does the trick just fine (so long as I can see my manager’s face).

A Snapshot Summary

Gen Z wants to create change in all areas of life. We are community oriented, highly driven, technologically skilled, and massively stressed-out employees who are actively trying to not repeat the mistakes of the generations before us (no offense).

As the workforce continues to shift, companies looking to hire a member of Gen Z would do well to keep these characteristics in mind as they re-evaluate their recruitment and retention plans.


Search authority is the PR metric to track

Here’s the thing. If you’re going to hire a PR agency, you need to be asking them about the quality of the results that they can secure – and quality should be measured by your share-of-voice on a specific topic in the outlets that your prospects and clients are reading. We call that search authority. And, while it may sound like the most obvious of brand marketing tactics, it’s often overlooked in favor of more results – even if they aren’t painting a cohesive picture.

This approach shows up in the context of paradigm shifts, or good-old-fashioned debunking of conventional wisdom that we’ve seen happen over and over again across a bevy of industries. Uber saw individuals’ cars as resources and became more ubiquitous than taxis. Professional baseball, courtesy of Billy Beane, began to rely on players’ stats over physical appearances, a move that led to wins. Scion Capital bet against the housing market – despite major outrage from clients and significant premiums – and made billions. All of these successes came because someone saw what appeared to be a small bump in their industry’s road and leaned into it – ultimately changing how business is done. They’re students of paradigm shifts and alpha. And that education begins with learning about and seeing into one core idea better than anyone else.

Imagine that you’re the GP of a private equity firm focused on AI for healthcare. Yes, you likely have enough industry knowledge to comment on a host of topics: healthcare innovation, broad investment trends, the impact of the fluctuating economy on valuations and scalability, etc. While those are all important things that are worth addressing, you have to tie them to a common theme, one that will give you, and your company, a leg up in search results – and a consistent message across all published materials.

Identifying that topic or phrase can be a challenge. It requires you to boil down everything you do and everything your company stands for into a few words. Maybe, for the aforementioned PE example, you use “AI-driven healthcare investing” or “financing healthtech AI” or “AI-first health investing.” Yes, they’re wordy and often not phrases that roll off the tongue. But they’re phrases that allow you to build a following and to own a specific topic. They’re phrases that can be built into placed articles, and blog posts, and LinkedIn content, and even published interviews when thought leaders have been trained to use them effectively. Because of that, they become closely associated with your brand whenever anyone searches it.

Search authority is step one. Creating those results isn’t going to automatically bring in new business or initiate organic growth. Sales teams need to be armed with this language in the same way that the thought leaders who are writing the contributed articles and being interviewed are. It becomes a company-wide effort to integrate this search authority-driven phrase or topic into everyday conversations so that prospects and clients think of you as the company who knows everything about X. You’re the one to go to for work in that sector. You’re the one who relentlessly addresses and owns this space and has the content to prove it.

Curious to hear more about our approach to search authority and how we might be able to help you achieve it? Reach out to us here.


Why we hate sponsored impressions

I’m sure there’s a rule against writing LinkedIn articles in anger.

This article doesn’t follow that rule.

If members of your team, or your marketing partner are paying for sponsored LinkedIn posts, please ask them the following. Why are they sponsoring those posts specifically? And on what organic metrics are they basing their decisions?


When we start marketing engagements with clients, one of the very first things we do is examine what LinkedIn posts have garnered the most impressions, and the general trendline on impressions (are they going up, down, or around).

If clients have engaged in sponsored posts in the past, that clouds what we can see in terms of how their network is responding to what they’re sharing. We’re not against paid promotion of content or social media. But we like to know what we’re putting dollars behind before amplifying it.

Organic impressions, what folks saw and engaged with, because friends and colleagues reacted and shared gives us a clearer picture of what an audience is interested in from our client, why they like it, and from whom they like to get it.

Too often we’ll look back into a client’s LinkedIn history and see posts that seem to have done remarkably well and are exemplars of good content, only to see that we’re looking at sponsored impressions, and the organic impressions tell a different story.

If anything, this post is directed to the super smart folks at LinkedIn who have on one one hand, made it a lot more challenging for marketers to work on LinkedIn than other social platforms. But on the other, that has meant that people from our tribe have not watered down the content that’s shared by our manipulations. LinkedIn interactions are more authentic, which is excellent.

However, in part to allow for that authenticity perhaps, LinkedIn makes it difficult to more easily see how posts perform organically, you have to do extra work to see it. The least amount of clicking, checking and work only shows you that if you spend more money, you reach more people… but to what end?

That’s why we often ask our clients to stop sponsoring posts after we engage with them, so we can get a cleaner picture of what’s going on. And because we can’t endorse where the money should be spent until we get a validated signal of what the money should be spent on.