brandon andersenToday’s a big day. Not just because I can now say, “Christmas is next week,” (yay!) but because today’s #SocialPR Spotlight shines bright on one of the absolute smartest and nicest people ever: Brandon Andersen, Chief Strategist at Ceralytics.

A true analytics geek, Brandon and I also share a love of theater, Twitter  chats (he’s been a guest on #measurePR several times), and words. Ladies & gents – I give you Brandon Andersen.

Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?

I’m Brandon Andersen and I’m the Chief Strategist for Ceralytics

What does that mean? I oversee Sales, Marketing and Product Development (all of the fun stuff).

Ceralytics is a content intelligence platform that identifies and predicts the topics, themes and positioning that provides the most value to your audience, giving you the insights you need to develop content and campaigns that engage and convert. We officially launched in September of 2016 at Content Marketing World.

Why do you care about Social PR?

I hate spin. As our good friend Gini Dietrich says, “Spin sucks.” I worked for a very large PR software company that rhymes with “vision” for 9 years, and in that time, I talked to tons of clients.

What I found disturbing was that more than a handful simply loved the idea of spin and what it could do.

As social media started to blow up, it leveled the playing field between these spin doctors and the truth. PR was no longer the gate keeper to information about companies, and we got to see their sometimes ugly underbelly via social media.

It made companies shape up and be better members of society. It also gave the consumer a much larger voice – being able to go directly to a CEO with a problem in a very visible way.

That level of transparency is what I love. It forces companies to be human – something many forgot.

What’s your secret Social PR Superhero power?

I’m the definition of a data nerd. Excel makes me happy. I want to demonstrate real success to clients and help them formulate strategies based on objective, data-driven realities instead of subjective ideals.

I see measurement as the beginning of the strategic process instead of the end (even when people put it in a cycle graph, they still make it look like an “end”… grrrr….).

Starting with data gives you a basis in reality and gives you meaningful targets to hit in your campaigns. It also identifies the metrics you need to measure every step along the way.

My true Social PR Superhero power is being able to turn that data into actionable stories. I love bridging the gap between data and actions.

It’s what we build our software platform around – making data approachable and actionable.

How are you using the Social PR Virtuoso Master Course to grow your Social PR superpowers?

I love the measurement guides in the Master Course, but for me, the thing that really stood out was how to develop messaging.

Of course, it rang true to me because Shonali makes having proof points a key component of developing messaging and statements in Social PR programs.

Brandon Andersen Quote for Spotlight

What is one Social PR campaign you’re in love with? Why?

Disney’s lead up to the new Star Wars film “Rogue One” has been really well done, and I think they just capstoned it by turning Epcot’s Spaceship Earth into a death star.

I mean, seriously, how cool is that?!

They’ve totally revitalized a franchise that could have easily gotten tired (and let’s be honest, after the 6th film, I think a lot of us were tired of it).

What tip(s) would you give those starting on the road to Superhero-level Social PR?

Be authentic. Make your brand authentic. Measure first, then execute.

Get as close to your audience as you can and truly try to understand their pain points. Your messaging will be clearer and your results will be better.

Don’t take yourself too seriously and remember you’re always communicating with real people. Don’t get all corporate-y.

Who inspires you? Why?

There’s no way to just pick one person. I should say my daughter because she shows me I need to be patient and understand where people are coming from: ask a 2 year old why they’re upset and sometimes they really surprise you.

Ask a grown person the same thing and they may surprise you too.

But I’m also going to throw Elon Musk out there. That guy takes on the impossible every day, and the fact that he succeeds even some of the time is incredible.

It’s a constant reminder to set big goals and keep moving forward.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Thai food. Definitely, Thai food. If I need to name a single dish, Pad Thai.

Sounds yummy! You can learn more about and talk to Brandon via Twitter.