Iliyana's Blog

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is the Success Programs Manager for the Netherlands at Cisco where she drives programmatic efforts for product adoption. In her previous roles at HubSpot, she led major cross-functional change for the global Partner Program with her detail-oriented approach to project management and advised hundreds of agencies on how to transform their businesses with inbound and digital. During that time, she earned the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification by the PMI. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or traveling the world.

Recent Posts

Why There's Never Been a Better Time for Inbound PR

[fa icon="calendar'] 02-Apr-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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Do you feel like everything around you is about COVID-19?

I turn on the news, it's non-stop COVID-19. 

I check my Facebook feed, it's all COVID-19. 

My LinkedIn, same story. My Twitter, likewise. Google, also. 

COVID-19, COVID-19, COVID-19...

But what's worse is that COVID-19 has overtaken my inbox - I've received dozens or more emails from companies, including a bunch of irrelevant and dry press releases on how they're tackling the crisis. 

It's a huge crisis, I won't deny it. But the more it's being talked about, the more people are getting tired of it - I've discussed this with quite a few colleagues and friends and they all agree. 

Especially, when businesses are not properly planning their messages and who they reach with them.

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How to Run an Effective Project Kick-off Meeting [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Mar-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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We've so far covered quite a few topics around project management - the differences between projects and operations as well as those between projects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement.  

A very, very key thing for any project, is its kick-off or the meeting that gets the project team together to get the project started. 

Most kick-off meetings are actually not always effective. Often, that's due to lack of proper preparation or because they're not taken seriously and performed super fast. 

Your kick-off meeting should be long. It's probably the longest meeting you'll run during the entire project. It could even be a whole day or two if your project's length is a year or more. 

But how do you run an effective and productive kick-off meeting?

As a PMI member, I have access to ProjectManagement.com and recently watched a great webinar on that topic so I want to share with you the key learnings. Here we go:

How to Run an Effective Project Kick-off Meeting

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My Top 5 Working from Home Tips

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Mar-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business

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With the coronavirus having dramatically shaken our world (although I have my thoughts about this whole thing), many companies are encouraging or even requiring their employees whenever possible to work from home. 

I've been fortunate enough to have worked for two companies where working from home is a normal part of the company culture (and that my job permits for me to work at home). In fact, I work from home most of time now.

But there are a lot of businesses and whole countries even that don't have that basis - working from home has never been the norm, managers distrust team members as they don't have direct, eye control or individuals even struggle to concentrate at home. 

The above issues happen because of lack of experience but if you as a company and as an individual give it a go, I promise you that you'll find working from home a wonderful experience. It makes people more productive and happier due to better work-life balance or as I prefer to call it, work-life integration. 

But truly making this work, requires some planning and thoughtful organisation. 

Here are my top tips about working from home as an individual that I've developed over the last five years.

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Customer Experience and the Cisco Racetrack

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Mar-2020 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Experience

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Would you say customer experience (CX) is one of the key corporate buzzwords in the last few years? 

I'd definitely say so. Alongside digital transformation, it's probably the biggest concern for a lot of companies. 

Why is that? 

Well, because the customer really has become king.

Consumers have never been so empowered as they are before - they have the internet at their fingertips, they make buying decisions on their own through their research and with the help of peer recommendations, they are vocal and complain when the product or service doesn't meet their requirements, reaching hundreds, thousands or millions of people so companies very much depend on the positive experience of consumers to drive sustainable growth.

Businesses have started building their own teams to deal with customer experience - customer success, for example, has never been as important as it is now. 

But what is customer experience and what is customer success? 

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The 10-Step Roadmap to Influencer Marketing [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 25-Feb-2020 08:15:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Social Media, Public Relations

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I've been covering a lot about influencer marketing over the last few months.

In my latest post about it, I shared how I used to work with influencers

I think everyone has their own formula and every brand have their own process or strive to develop their own process but there are some basic, important steps that must always be considered and need to be part of any influencer marketing campaign.

With that in mind, I was quite happy when I stumbled upon a good infographic that explains the roadmap or 10 key steps to run an influencer marketing initiative. 

Before I show it to you, I want to emphasise that the very key thing (and because of that the first step in the roadmap) is to define your goals - what are you trying to achieve, what does influencer marketing mean to your business and how do you expect it to help you with your overall business goals? 

These are some fundamental questions you need to have answered if you are hoping to get budget for influencer marketing. As we all know, every money spending decision must be justified.

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