Best of 2020 and the one thing for 2021

Best of 2020 Social PR Secrets and the One Thing for 2021

2020 was quite the year for the Social PR Secrets Podcast! We shared 93 new episodes with you and interviewed the best of the best of the PR, Communications, and Digital Marketing world. From SEO and crisis management to small business marketing and CMO, Lisa and her guests covered everything that matters in the digital marketing industry – including self-care, mental health and wellness, and productivity.

But more importantly, we discussed how to adapt to an ever-changing digital world and how to navigate the COVID-19 crisis and social justice movements as online marketing professionals. We gave you tips on working from home and underscored the importance of caring for your mental health.

We asked the guests from the top 10 Social PR Secrets episodes of 2020 to share ONE thing they want to accomplish in 2021. Listen (or re-listen) to the episodes and share!

Sarah Collins

1. Sarah Collins on Self-Care and Social Distancing for PR

How can professionals make the most out of quarantine? How should businesses adapt their PR strategy in the face of coronavirus? Why are detoxes so important right now? From the importance of exercising to how to best help your clients, Sarah Collins shared what the first few months of the pandemic taught her, both as a new mom and a social media and PR professional.

“Give yourself grace. There’s going to be times where you’re not going to have the exact outcome you want, accept it and move on, with grace.” – Sarah Collins

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?


What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you?  

Understand the customer with immersion. Spend a day walking in their shoes to uncover their pain points. Visit the places they frequent. Get to know their devices and tools. This will uncover empathy.

Andrew Seeley

2. Andrew Seeley: Take Your Small Business to the Next Level 

How can small businesses thrive during COVID-19? Why are PR and digital marketing indispensable even when your business is small? In this episode, Andrew Seeley, the Small Business Champion, shared his insights on developing small businesses through strategic marketing any small business can master.

“When small businesses do well the country and the world seem right.” – Andrew Seeley

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

Truly disconnect from the day to day deliverables in the company and wholly focus on company strategic direction and development. I am about 80% out of the day to day work and that 20% has been stubborn. I truly believe that a CEO’s role must be the development of the company and working on it and not in it. That’s my ONE goal. There are many other tactical goals in regards to moving the company forward, but that ONE goal should make all the others much easier to attain.

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you? 

Authenticity, being real, speak to your most active audience. Don’t worry about having everyone like you. Focus on having your target audience LOVE you! People can tell if they are being pandered to or being managed (especially in today’s world). It’s refreshing and eye-catching when you connect with people in a real honest way.

Rhonda Britten

3. Rhonda Britten on Fearless Living and Public Relations

During this interview, Rhonda Britten shared how she developed her own exercises to process her pain, ultimately leading her to her dream career. She discussed her journey to becoming a life coach and how public relations affected her career.

“We are just moving our fears around, when in fact we really want to build a relationship with fear because that is how we will actually change how our brains work” – Rhonda Britten

Rand Fishkin

4. Rand Fishkin on All Things Digital 

In the 100th episode, Lisa Buyer interviewed Rand Fishkin, best-selling author, award-winning author of Lost and Founder, and co-founder of Spark Toro. He also happens to tweet about 30x a week on the topics of marketing, tech, and startups.

“Build companies that are great, not big.” – Rand Fishkin

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

Help more marketers understand why it’s so important to gain a deep understanding of their audiences (and stop just guessing or assuming they already know).

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you? 

Cold outreach is really hard, and it usually has terrible results. But if you have a few interactions/conversations on public social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) first, and then reach out, suddenly almost everyone responds.

Fabiana Melendez

5. Fabiana Meléndez on Diversity, Digital, and Expectations

How to implement diversity marketing? What is holistic account management? How can you manage your clients’ expectations? Fabiana Meléndez has the answers. A successful publicist, she considers herself as part of the new school of PR, martinis included. Listen to one of the best episodes of 2020 to learn more about her unique insights on the ever-changing industry.

“Why would a client listen to your counsel if you’re not implementing it within your agency?” – Fabiana Meléndez

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

I want to continue to build more relationships with the media in 2021. Last year was a great year for building relationships, especially due to COVID, but this year I want to ramp up the connections I make beyond just bonding over the pandemic.

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you? 

For clients that sell goods and use Shopify, having access to the metrics in order to gauge which earned media hits generated direct sales is always helpful. Not all PR hits will equate to sales, and it is important to stress that with clients — we are building their credibility over time, but offering an avenue that explores quantitative PR metrics can be helpful in showcasing the value of PR.

Niraj Shah

6. Niraj Shah From Sudden Stroke to Meditation Business

In this episode, Lisa Buyer sat down with Niraj Shah, co-founder of Mind: Unlocked, an online meditation, and mental performance movement. The platform is science-led and focuses on a practical approach to help busy people feel less stressed, sleep better, and get more done. Niraj’s story is remarkable. The survivor of a stroke at only thirty, he turned his life around to focus on his health and wellbeing. When he started meditating, he knew he had found the key to recovery and decided to share it with the world, and Social PR Secrets listeners!

“I don’t want to be seen as one of these people using mental health just to make a buck.” – Niraj Shah

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

As a productivity junkie, it has to be to waste less time when in production mode and to make sure every moment outside of ‘productive work’ is spent as fully at that moment as possible!

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you?  

Not sure if this is strictly digital marketing, but I stay logged out of all social media apps when I am not using them to create or consume. Having to manually log in makes my time there more deliberate, and frees up a lot of time for more useful things!

Jessica Rafaeil

7. Jessica Rafaeil: PR Myths Can Sabotage Your Success

What are the biggest myths about Public Relations? Why are they so far from reality? What is PR exactly? How do I make my PR firm’s job easier? In one of the most helpful episodes of Social PR Secrets ever, Jessica Rafaeil and Lisa Buyer answered all your questions about the true nature of PR. From understanding what PR professionals actually do to how press releases work, Jessica and Lisa covered it all!

“Any good PR agency is going to put the truth out there.” – Jessica Rafaeil

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

I want to nail a BIG piece in a major top-tier publication!

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you? has been a cool tool that I have used for presentations. It has a couple of different templates and features that allow you to create slide decks that have a bit more oomph than Google Slides or Powerpoint has to offer.

Tony Wright

8. Tony Wright: Reputation Management During Covid-19 

After 9/11, Tony Wright was on the frontlines of crisis management for American Airlines. During COVID-19, he helped businesses adapt their digital communications to the pandemic. Tony Wright is one of the most respected experts in reputation management of the digital era so make sure to listen to this interview!

“The littlest slip up on social media can turn into a PR or reputation management nightmare.” – Tony Wright

Julie Hood

9. Julie Hood: 6 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Online Course

In 2021, online courses will be indispensable to any successful PR strategy. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! In this episode, Julie Hood from Course Creators HQ shares the six steps to start your own online course, plus plenty of tips!

“Online courses have the power to make changes in the world” – Julie Hood

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

I want to help 100 course creators get their course up and running using my 24 Hour Course Creator program!

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you?  

I really love MissingLettr – it automatically creates a year’s worth of social media posts for me in about 10 minutes. I’ve partnered with them and will give you a 14-day free trial.

Juergen Berkessel

10. Juergen Berkessel’s Tips for SEO and Podcasts

In June, Lisa Buyer sat down with Juergen Berkessel, the Co-founder and creative director of PolyMash Design. Juergen is an expert on all things podcasting, digital strategy, and content marketing solutions. Tune in to hear their discussion on search engine optimization and podcasting.

“30% of the people out there search the internet, 20% find podcasts through recommendations from friends, 16% find it through social media posts” – Juergen Berkessel

What is the ONE thing you want to accomplish in 2021?

To better connect with and serve our existing audience, fans, and followers — instead of focusing merely on audience growth.

What’s a fave digital marketing tool, tip, or secret you can share that is working for you?

Currently experimenting with a new podcast interview format: One-to-many asynchronous interviews. The idea is to reach out to multiple parties with specific questions about a central topic. Resulting in an opinion “Round-Up”. The app involved collects audio responses in a DropBox folder — allowing the host to construct an episode from the responses and include their own opinions. While this lacks the intimacy of a “proper” interview, it does allow including many people in the same episode. The audio quality is good since it’s recorded locally. And the logistics are easier than scheduling multiple interviewees since it accommodates time zone differences. It is also a good format for brands due to more control over structure and content. I’ll be publishing tools, details, and examples on our blog, so sign up if interested at

Sarah Evans

11. Sarah Evans: Digital PR Innovation

In this episode, Lisa Buyer talks with Sarah Evans, one of the first PR professionals to have understood the importance of social media. Self-described as practical and tactical, Sarah knows all about the industry and understands its complexities and ever-changing trends. Sarah has always made it a point to share her knowledge, whether on her social media or with the media.

“The best way to build influence is by building it for others first.” – Sarah Evans

Jabez LeBret

12. Pitching Journalists the Jabez Lebret Way

What’s the best way to get a journalist to cover your news? How do you become a writing contributor at an esteemed publication? Why isn’t ROI a complete enough measurement? In this episode, journalist and former agency owner Jabez LeBret shared his insider secrets on how to best reach journalists.

“Target journalists you admire once you feel worthy enough to be covered by them.” – Jabez LeBret

Thank you so much for spending 2020 with us. We hope Social PR Secrets brought you as much joy and growth as it brought us. Here’s to a healthy and Social PR-filled 2021!