Fireside ChatEarlier this year, I exchanged some tweets with today’s Fireside Chat guest.

Tyler Brown, the former director of digital strategy at the Republican National Committee, started our friendship by complimenting Inside PR.

He said he appreciates how Joe Thornley, Martin Waxman, and I talk about the evolution of public relations.

Like us, he believes the digital department does more harm than good.

That it should be dissolved and its responsibilities should be spread among the organization.

He believes in integrated communications and in measurement—and that what we do should achieve business objectives.

He also, once upon a time, reported to Sean Spicer so I was keen to get his perspective on the former White House press secretary.

Today, he is senior vice president at Mercury, a digital marketing firm in Washington, D.C. 

The Fireside Chat: An Inside PR Co-Op with Tyler Brown

While Joe, Martin, and I rarely have guests on Inside PR, that is how we found Tyler.

So we thought it’d be fun and interesting to try a dual podcast and Fireside Chat.

For this month’s Fireside Chat, you get the three of us co-hosts and Tyler.

We started with the following questions as our framework, and we got deeper into public affairs, building a digital department from scratch, and more.

  1. Let us just get this out of the way. You worked with Sean Spicer for many years. Please tell us he’s a really good guy who got stuck in a really crappy situation.
  2. OK, now that that’s out of the way. Let’s talk digital marketing. You were part of the team that built the digital marketing program for the RNC, from the ground up. That’s impressive because it’s so much larger than anything most of us will ever do. How did you take it from concept to actuality?
  3. What are the top three lessons you learned about digital marketing while at the RNC?
  4. Speed round.

We did record this before Spicer resigned his White House job, which is why you’ll see him referred to as the current press secretary.

My Favorite Parts of the Conversation

I took a full page of notes while we talked with Tyler.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the conversation:

  • When you work for an organization as large as the RNC, you assume they’re on the forefront. But Tyler’s team always assumed everyone else was ahead of them.
  • What a digital department looks like for any organization.
  • The questions we should ask internally to be able to integrate it across the organization.
  • His balloon analogy to a digital department.
  • How to convince clients to make this culture shift.
  • Why he loves Slack.
  • Who the social media pacesetters in D.C. are.
  • How to have social media success.
  • How spooky it is to see your former boss made fun of on SNL.

Enjoy the conversation…and let us know what you think!

(If you can’t view the video below, click here and you’ll be magically transported to YouTube to watch it.)

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich