Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest, Kris Ruby, who is the CEO of Ruby Media Group® , an award-winning public relations and media relations agency in Westchester County, New York. Kris Ruby has more than 13 years of experience in the Public Relations industry. She is a sought-after media relations strategist, personal branding specialist, content creator and public relations consultant.
Kris Ruby is also a national television commentator and political pundit and she has appeared on national TV programs over 150 times covering big tech bias, politics and social media. She is a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media, tech trends and crisis communications and frequently speaks on FOX News and other TV networks.
She is also the host of The Kris Ruby Podcast Show, a show focusing on the politics of big tech and the social media industry. Kris is focused on PR for SEO and leveraging content marketing strategies to help clients get the most out of their media coverage.
Welcome to the podcast, Kris.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here with you.
No problem. It’s definitely a pleasure to talk to you. And today we’re going to kind of take a different spin that we probably have never really covered this particular topic on the podcast before. But it’s something that’s a subject that I think e-commerce, business owners, digital media, people involved in digital media or digital marketing don’t really want to think about a lot of times, especially when you’re building a brand you’re thinking about, just go, go, go, go.
Build, build, sell, sell, sell, drive as much traffic your customers. But one area that a lot of times business owners don’t think about is their legacy. What happens after they pass on, what happens with their actual brand and how do you put some things in place initially at the outset, you birthing your brand, how do you put some things in place so that your e-commerce brand goes on and your digital footprint is a lasting one?
So we’re going to kind of dive into that. Before we get into that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and really how you specifically got into what you’re doing today.
Sure. So my company is Ruby Media Group. I started my agency when I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications. I started out primarily doing social media because there was a need in the Westchester County market for those services. But now we’ve transitioned to offering three core areas. It is our belief that in order to really dominate search results, any pillar of that strategy needs three core areas content marketing, public relations, or at least digital PR and search engine optimization.
So we offer all three of those things together as a holistic digital marketing approach. I think one of the challenges that I see is that people offer these services in a siloed approach. And from my experience, someone really needs all three. You can’t have one without the other two, right? It’s like a stool that you need all three legs in order for that stool to work. So our mission is really to help people see why they need all three things.
We talk a lot about Google’s quality rater guidelines, EAT expertise authority and trust and what that means. And I’m of the opinion and belief that one of the best ways to build authority and expertise is through digital public relations. So that will help your content marketing strategy. It will help you get found on Google in the search results on page one, and it will also naturally lead to better rankings through organic links.
Great. Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. And these days, of course, as we all know, social media is, of course, bigger than ever with the whole shift to so many more businesses being online due to the this whole covid-19 pandemic that many businesses have had to kind of get on the ball, so to speak, where they shuffle their feet for so long they can no longer do that. So we want to kind of start with this, as I alluded at the beginning.
One area with regards to an e-commerce business in e-commerce brand, when they’re getting out there, everyone is really excited. Any time you’re launching a brand and you’ve got products or service offering, you’re looking to sell that online. You know, you’re excited. You’re thinking about all of the different channels that you can get out and reach your customers on, whether that’s if you’re a direct consumer brand, your everything is online via your website. You’re thinking about reaching people across social media.
You’re thinking about optimizing your website. So you’re initially getting a plan together to really put content out there, put messaging out there to reach people. But a lot of times you don’t really think about, OK, what happens if I’ve created a brand? I’ve created all of this content in this information that is in your eyes, of course, as a brand, XYZ is very useful to people. What do you need to really kind of have in place so that once you pass on, unfortunately, something happens to you prematurely.
You can no longer have the vision for the brand. What are some things that you think a brand should think about initially before putting their messaging out there and then kind of before kind of creating their team?
Really, I think covid-19 in this pandemic has unfortunately brought a lot of this to the surface and made us think about these things that we never had to think about before. And now it’s one thing to think about a crisis communications plan. It’s another thing to also be thinking about your own, your last will and testament in addition to that crisis communications plan. That’s interesting from a public relations perspective, we subscribe to different journalist queries every day. And one of the queries that I have seen repeatedly over the past few weeks is what happens if your doctor dies?
This whole notion of like the person who is treating you well, what happens if they die and they haven’t had a chance to write notes about the case and what happens to your records? And so the fact that, like we as a society are faced with this question of the people who are taking care of us if we are losing those people. Right, that internally brings up all sorts of questions. So if we’re getting queries on what happens if the doctor dies, there’s there’s also this notion of, well, what happens if something happens to you?
And I don’t see queries on that. But that is something that we should talk about today. So I think it was over a year ago.
I spent a lot of money on App Sumo and one of the free things that they gave me as a plus user was something called Giving Docs. Now, I believe this was originally created for some charity purpose, but it pulled it up here and so I started creating my last will and testament. I am thirty four years old, so I did this I guess when I was thirty three, but I went back and revisited it this year during the pandemic.
And one of the most interesting components of this that I found is under you know they have where you divide your assets, it says gift specific gifts, remainder of a state named alternates, trusted people. Your last wishes. Well under where you add a gift it says this may be a website, digital photos, PayPal or Venmo funds cryptocurrency or other digital intellectual property. Digital assets do not include social media accounts and email accounts for IP protected by a business registration. Please see an attorney and then it goes on to describe the digital asset and the estimated value.
So, I mean, let’s just unpack that there. How many of us have really given thought to what the estimated value is of each of our digital assets? And if we haven’t, maybe we should be thinking about that. Right, because that’s actually something. If you want to put this here, you have to really understand what the value of that is with a dollar amount next to each thing that you are creating. So I think the challenges that we’re doing, everything in it, very sort of backwards way.
Can you imagine a social media or a content marketing strategy that was focused on creating legacy first rather than last? Can you imagine a content strategy that every day that you posted it was you’re really thinking about filling this out and what your legacy is going to be rather than what you’re selling today? Can you imagine how many more people you’d reach, how many more things you’d sell simply because you’re doing things with legacy focused first in that in mind, rather than how many widgets can I sell today?
Things would be a lot different. Yeah, I mean, there’s always been the whole kind of adage that content is king. Any time we’re talking about marketing, digital marketing that came around several years ago, you’ve got to put out as much content as you can. You’ve got to drive as much traffic to your site as you can. And a lot of times I think we’re at the business owners. Marketers have the tendency to just try to flood the Internet with just as much, unfortunately, garbage as possible just to try to drive those sales.
But like you said, if it was the other way around, if people were a little bit more mindful of what they’re putting out there and really wanted to make sure every single thing that puts out there was relevant and well thought out. And they’re thinking about a long lasting legacy. I think the whole landscape of the Internet would definitely be. A lot different, so I think what’s really interesting, as someone I’m very passionate about genealogy, just as a side note.
And so one of the things, if you ever spent time on twenty three or ancestry.com, you go through all of these records, you go through birth certificates, death certificates, census records, old yearbook photos.
But social media didn’t exist back in the day for all of these things. So there you are, limited in what you can find about people on those sites. We have such an opportunity today. Anyone who is alive right now, when you compare your digital legacy to the legacies that people have who came before us, there is no comparison because simply, I will tell you, I mean, what exists for other people is it is an accumulation of five records and the memories we have, whereas we look at us and people who are active on social media, we create our legacy through the digital footprint that we are involved with and we can steer that ship.
It’s a tremendous opportunity, but it’s also a responsibility and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When we look at our lives, we’ve become the compilation of the tweets that we’ve left of the disappearing clubhouse, audio chats we’ve had of the LinkedIn posts of the podcasts. So there’s different facets of that.
There is legacy around what you are contributing to your industry through something like podcast. There’s the legacy of photos that you put out with the content of pictures with your family. But then there’s also a third bucket, which is what snippets can you give people that are not in either of those buckets that can really change the world or change someone’s life.
And I think this is really the direction from a social media perspective that we need to be headed towards.
Yeah, that is so true. I’m going to kind of jump in, kind of pose another question to be kind of I guess you say the devil’s advocate, so to speak. I know a lot of listeners are probably like, yeah, it sounds great. We all definitely need to be mindful of what we’re putting out there, making sure that it’s well thought out. It’s not just put out there to try to drive traffic, drive sales. But aren’t most business owners or e-commerce business owners specifically?
Kind of especially if they’re doing digital marketing, aren’t we all kind of still at the mercy of the Googles of the world that are ultimately ranking this information? And unfortunately, we don’t know what their algorithm is. We have some, of course, ideas of what we need to do to perform and to rank better on Google. But a lot of times I think business owners are like, I’m just doing whatever I can to maintain my rankings, to get traffic.
And if it has to be if I have to put out just content, that’s just going to drive traffic, that may not necessarily be something that is, you know, necessarily that proud of first person.
They shouldn’t put it out. That’s content. But I think I’m of the belief that that content clutter does not make the Internet a better place.
It does not help the Internet in any way. And when we look at a culture of sort of conscious capitalism, conscious consumerism, I write extensively about brand activism and social activism on social media. What does that look like? And every brand right now has to really sort of revise and relook at what their mission is, what their purpose is, because the brands that are doing brand marketing, they are taking that in to their purpose and their marketing is led by that.
Everything that they put out leads back to that. So I think people can very easily spot the difference of brands that are doing that with a strategy. Right. And then versus a brand that just wants to sell you a product.
That is very true. I think what it is, is that when businesses launch a particular brand, there’s a million things you got to do. As you and I know and all of our listeners know, it’s tough to run a brand. It’s tough to run an e-commerce brand and get sales. And so a lot of times business owners are kind of under the gun, so to speak. And so they’re trying to do whatever they can to survive. But it really goes down to a lot of people don’t think about this.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, what it is comes down to the energy, the information that you put out in this world and even in this digital world is going to what comes back to you is going to be a reflection of that. So like you said, if you clutter the Internet with filth. Yeah, I mean, OK, you may get some quick wins initially. You may get sales, you may get a bump in sales.
But at the end of the day, where is that all going to lead you? You know, at the end of the day, are you going to be successful, I guess is the question.
I think people spend so much time in the e-commerce space on making graphics on their Facebook ad campaign, on getting the e-commerce store set up for primed for sales. In some ways they can be successful. But if they want to take it to the next level and build a brand beyond themselves, they need to. Focus on building a community and how do you do that, you tap into what that community is interested in? I mean, you look at something, for example, like a thriving market, in my opinion, thrive market.
It doesn’t just that they don’t just sell products. They understand who their community is. They sell products to that community. I happen to be part of that community because I’m interested in wellness. So that’s interesting to me. But there are tons of other places that will sell the same exact supplements that I would never buy from, because I don’t it doesn’t I don’t feel part of something.
And so for me to spend money, I need to feel like I’m spending money at like minded places with like minded people, and I think that that is something you don’t have to be a huge brand like that to do.
What I’m talking about doing. If we talk about, for example, another local doctor and they want to put up a supplement store, it’s not going to be enough for me to just want to buy their supplements. I want to understand why they’re even selling supplements to begin with. What is their mission? Why am I buying from it? Who is this person? And there’s a thousand other people selling the same things online. So what makes them different?
Price alone, I don’t believe is simply enough anymore value. People make buying decisions based on emotion. One of the ways that you hook them into that emotion is to understand what they are emotional about, what gets them, what matters to them and their family and their life.
Yeah, that is so true. And I’m so glad you mentioned that. And I’m glad everyone listening can hear that, because what you just mentioned, I’ve talked about this before on different podcast and different people have come up to talk about what is the brand’s mission. And it’s your you know, you mentioned it. You don’t just buy anything you want to see what is the brand connected to? What is their mission? Are they socially conscious? Are they environmentally conscious?
What are they doing at the end of the day? And you’re definitely not the only one that thinks that. And I think business owners really these days have to be cognizant of that fact, because people these days, especially if you’re a millennial, I think we see that more so in the millennial generation that they want to know what’s going on. They want to know behind the scenes who the brand is. And I’m even like that myself, because, like you said, there’s a ton of brands online you can buy from just, you know, so many sources to buy anything that you want a particular product.
But a lot of times what I do, because I see sites all the time and I just want to know what’s the differentiating factor between Brand A and brand B.. And so a lot of times I’m headed to the company page there about Page because I’m curious of that owner. Who is this person that put this who developed this brand? Is it just a conglomeration of a company who’s behind it and what are they doing and how do they what’s their story?
And that’s what I think a lot of people want to know, and that’s our personal branding ties into all of this.
Right. In terms of the founder and making sure that the the founder’s personal brand ties into the corporate brand and doesn’t hurt it.
Unfortunately, we see a lot of times that it can actually hurt the brand if the founder’s personal brand is vehemently opposed to the mission that they put out on the corporate site, well, then that’s going to be a huge issue.
Yeah, definitely. And that really also definitely ties back into the whole legacy piece. So you mentioned it. When you’re creating a brand, if you’ve created a platform prior to you even launching your brand, if you’ve created this particular platform, you know, and you’ve connected with the community around that particular whatever it is, a service or product, if you’ve connected prior to you launching, you really know what their needs are before you even start. And I think that’s really where it begins, because it’s otherwise you can put something up overnight, throw things out there and throw a product out there.
And you just kind of like throwing darts in the dark. Basically, you kind of just guessing. You don’t necessarily know what the real needs are. You’re taking a guess. Maybe you’re trying to leverage off of another brand and what they’re doing. But it’s not authentic and it makes a difference if you look at some of the world’s largest brands.
Right. Let’s say Coca-Cola or some of these sort of legacy brands. Look, if we look at what they do from a CSR corporate social responsibility perspective, they they’re never really talking about the product they sell. They’re talking about how they make you feel or some other larger issue around that. Right.
So that’s what I’m when we talk about legacy, that’s what I’m encouraging people to think about.
For example, like if you are a company where you are now totally a virtual workforce and a remote office. So what’s interesting is that my company has been that way for years. You know, we used to have a big footprint in Wall Street, an office and two different offices and Wall Street now I don’t it’s our station working from home now before the pandemic, that was something like you didn’t really want to say. Right, because everyone’s like, oh, you know, it sounded better to have my big Wall Street office, but actually it’s probably better for the environment to do exactly what I have been doing.
And now I just feel for you to be able to share that. And I hope everyone else does, too, because it became the invoked thing to do. I oh, people say, you know, when you have less people sort of commuting, it is better for the footprint of the world. So even something as simple as that, which you think may not be special, it could be special and it could encourage another local business to do the same thing that you’re doing.
So I think when we sort of look at what larger brands are doing and some people get a little bit intimidated by that to say, oh, well, what I’m doing isn’t enough, but it is. You don’t know until you try, for example, your invoicing process, is that all digital? Are you paperless? What are you doing in terms of eco friendly environment and sustainability initiatives?
All of those things should be on your site somewhere because people will literally decide, do I want to buy from this person or not? Do my values align with them or not? And so when we go back into the overall conversation of legacy and how does legacy tie into this as a CEO today, you have a tremendous responsibility to be thinking about these things and have it baked into the culture of your company and the decisions that you make on a daily basis.
Definitely, because if you don’t, then when you do pass on, if you don’t have that clear foundation nine times out of ten, you’re going to say you’re going to lose a large set of your customer base. A lot of people, if you don’t have kind of a clear message or clear vision for what you intended to wear the brand you want the brand to go, then it’s hard to say where it’s going to go after that. One thing I wanted to bring up also is there’s a great example, because I’m always as we get ready to close things out, what I always like to do is look at examples of this people, well-known examples and a well-known example that we all know is Apple.
When Steve Jobs passed on. Now with them, of course, that’s the biggest example that you can think of as far as a particular brand that has a very prominent figure in place and what happens with their legacy as it passed on. One thing I want to bring up and the reason I brought up the Steve Jobs example is he was fully injected into Apple. His DNA basically is an Apple. I’m going to MacBook here. His DNA is probably a part of this.
Everything that he was thinking of, what he want, the vision of the company and their products to be is injected into that. You know, they didn’t hide any of that. The thing that I’m wondering, though, is because you inject and all you have all of this legacy behind the founder injected into the brain and it’s out on the Internet when that person passes on it, it have somewhat of a negative effect in the fact that because you’re so embedded into that particular brand that when you pass on, is your customer base going to think, wow, now that he’s gone?
And, you know, I thought this myself and I know a lot of people thought this myself. Now that Steve Jobs is gone, what’s going to happen with the Apple products? At the end of the day, we kind of all knew that Steve Jobs gave the go ahead the final go ahead on anything they put out. So it’s like now that he’s gone. All right, what’s going to happen now?
So I think that’s the true test of an ultimate leader. Right. So I think that someone who cannot lead beyond themselves, that what they have created lives and dies with them and doesn’t continue.
If you are truly a leader, you have empowered people the entire time to keep going with or without you. And that is the ultimate litmus test of someone who is leader. Now, listen, not everyone is a good leader. Some people that it’s not for everyone and managing also isn’t for everyone.
However, if you want to build a brand that is something greater or greater than yourself or more powerful than yourself, you it’s you empower people every day with big decisions. You let them know that they are ultimately responsible for passing the torch forward beyond you.
And I think the way that you do that is really getting people on board with your mission. So what you people don’t stay because you tell them to do a task and they feel great about that task. They stay because of how you made them feel when they did that task. And ultimately, that is the difference of a value based organization, empathy based organization. And they also stay because they align with those values. And as we’ve seen over the past year, people will quickly leave if they feel like their values are directly opposed to the values of the C suite.
So all of these things have become much more important and have been brought to the focus as we live in a polarized time.
The point, yeah, that is so it does ultimately come down to the leadership. And if you put things in place where you empower people below you to just continue on it, that’s really what it comes down to, where you express that, you know, ahead of ahead of time. You don’t wait until, you know, you’re on your deathbed or things like that where it’s almost too late. But you empower people prior to that.
And I would also say, you know, even just now, when you said below you, I would say these leaders, what they do is they will never tell anyone they’re below them. They say they’re at their level or above them, and that’s what they tell them, even though factually what you’re saying is correct, they lead in a way that they make people believe that they are all at the same level. And that is what fundamentally gets them to keep going and to keep working with or without that person.
Very true. It’s been an interesting topic because I haven’t really gone in this direction before, but I think it’s very timely that we talk about this today because oftentimes on this podcast, we’re talking about everything that you can do to create your brand’s image, drive traffic, drive sales. And it’s always in a kind of rush, rush, rush to get to that next level, to increase revenues, decrease your profits. And I think we’re at this day and age that we have to think beyond that.
We have to think about the lasting legacy and really empowering people and really being conscious of doing that in the long term. So, yeah, I think it’s been a great conversation and yeah, what I always like to do. My final question to kind of shift gears here and kind of lighten it up just a little bit and also saw our listeners can get to know you just a little bit better if you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact that you think about yourself, that you think our audience may or may not be surprised to know about you.
I can speak backwards, which people are always surprised to hear.
Oh, wow. OK, I can say anything backwards. It’s just really cool.
OK, that is interesting. So give us an example. Oh God. Really. I’m pretty satisfied here.
Let’s see. Give me a sentence. Give me a sentence to say OK. How are you today?
Yadot uoy era woh. Well wow. Yeah. Yeah that’s definitely a different one. I think you top my list of fun facts I think with that one. Wow!
How did you learn that skill with you know my he has never learned it was just maybe it was like a mechanism that I did growing up I guess. And then yeah, I just do it naturally. Sometimes when I’m thinking about things, I just I can’t stop doing it and I’ll do everything.
So very, very interesting. Yeah. I’m thinking like, how can you put that? Because that’s a very unique skill. I’m trying to figure out how you can put that to use. I don’t know. I have to think about that a bit. Back to you. But yeah. Thank you for sharing that, Kris. I appreciate it. And lastly, of course, before we let you go, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you and pick your brain about anything, digital marketing, e-commerce, PR, you name it, lasting legacy, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Sure. So you can reach out to me on my website is Ruby Media Group Dotcom or Kris Ruby dot com. And on Twitter, I am sparkling Ruby Instagram. I’m at Kris Ruby and I’ll also share some helpful links. One article maybe about brand activism for our discussion here and people may enjoy that. I also have a media relations guide and two free ebooks you can download.
Okay, great. Thank you for sharing that, Kris. I appreciate it. I definitely encourage everyone to check you out and get in touch with you as well. And of course, thanks again for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing broadcast. Thanks for having me.
Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast.
CEO of Ruby Media Group