Hype Busters: Real Talk on Strategic Communications with Chris and April

Cover art of the Hype Busters podcast with an inkblot on a white background.

Real talk? Strategic communications rules the world, and business is just living in it. Let communications experts April Margulies and Christopher Tomkins be your go-to guides to all things public relations and digital marketing, respectively. What do startup founders need to know about online marketing? What if you’re a PR pro looking to maximize your media results? And how the heck do you manage an agency? Every two weeks, they’re here to cut through the B.S. and show you what’s really happening behind the scenes, and behind your screens. Tune in to join this dynamic duo as they bust through the hype to deliver the final word on the hottest developments in the brand arena right now and take a deep dive into the news and trends shaking up the industry.

April Margulies
Christopher Tompkins

04 - Post-Pandemic Pivots for Branding and Business (Feat. Justin Knapp)

October 15, 2021

This week, your hype-busting hosts welcome Justin Knapp, founder of Space Together. Justin is here to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur, lessons learned in business and how his innovative platform is helping communities rent out their unused commercial space to other local groups. Chris and April also share their best advice for the transforming world of agency work post-pandemic, like managing Zoom fatigue, handling internal communications issues and what brands should consider in their public-facing campaigns. They also share the latest trends impacting marketing and PR as 2022 approaches, spar over the industry push for brands to join Tik Tok, and discuss whether Instagram’s Facebook banner ads were a cash or trash move for reviving interest in the platform. Our hosts close things out with an assessment of the state of agency work in a remote world, and how business owners and teams can strike the right balance in their work lives.

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03 - Best Bets for Branding in the Startup Game (Feat. Tom Briggs)

October 1, 2021

This week, your favorite dynamic duo welcomes guest Tom Briggs. Tom is the founder of epigraph research & branding consultancy, and he’s here to dive into all things branding, including the dos and don’ts of working in the tech startup space. Chris and April also share some recent news from the communications circuit, including actress Ellie Kemper’s recent crisis response, and allegations that Subway’s tuna sandwiches might contain fishy DNA. Our hosts also spar over whether the viral Fox News “singing babysitter” is front page worthy, and dig into the impact of the resignation economy. Finally, Chris and April make the call on whether Sprite’s hip-hop QR code campaign was a cash move or a trash strategy for the brand, and discuss the recent trend of leveraging micro-level Tik Tok influencers for product promotion

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02 - Know Your Brand: Tips to Consider Before Your Campaign Kickoff

September 17, 2021

The Hype Busters are back! This week, hosts Chris and April are tackling some must-know tips for companies to consider before starting a new campaign. They’re chatting about launch timing, PR prep work and solidifying your brand identity. Chris and April also deliver a double dose of “Cash or Trash?” as they make the final call on whether Tiffany & Co. was wise to introduce yellow to its iconic color palette, and assess the strategy behind Australia's “pet-ernity” policy. Our hosts touch on authentic brand activism during Pride month, and shine the “Startup Spotlight” on Immersion Neuroscience, a personal neuroscience app and rising star in the biotech space. In a brand-new segment, “Just the Tip,” they also offer their advice for managing client expectations in terms of marketing and PR timelines.

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01 - Meet the Hype Busters: Behind the Screens with April & Chris

September 3, 2021

Welcome to Hype Busters! Get to know your hosts Christopher Tompkins and April Margulies in our first-ever episode of the show, as they deliver a much-needed dose of “real talk” on the latest news and trends in strategic communications. This week, they’re welcoming guest Raúl González Acuña, a self-described serial entrepreneur and the CEO & founder of RGA Engineering International, to discuss his experience as a founder and his work in Venezuela to provide clean drinking water for local communities. Chris and April also assess the wisdom of Tesla’s PR-free communications approach, and make the call on whether Kim Kardashian’s latest editing fail was a Cash or Trash.

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