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

How I Used to Work with Influencers

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Jan-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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A few weeks ago, I shared how I started my career in PR and where it got me. (If you haven't read it, check it out and come back.)

In my early days, I used to do a lot of traditional media relations as in pitching journalists and national media. Shortly after that, came the influencers - the bloggers and the YouTubers. Instagram wasn't big at that time. 

I wouldn't say that the influencers changed the game on how to do proper media relations. Regardless whether you're pitching journalists or bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers, the principles are the same if you want to do it right.

But the very key principle is to treat them like human beings who have their own goals, needs, ways they like to communicate and make decisions. 

You need to be a bit like an anthropologist if you want to succeed when working with influencers. 

But let me tell you about a typical scenario that I used to encounter almost every week when I started working in PR and had to deal with influencers.

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The Best of 2019 on Iliyana's Blog

[fa icon="calendar'] 08-Jan-2020 17:00:24 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Blogging

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Happy New Year everyone!

We closed 2019 talking about the importance of setting personal and professional goals for 2020 and I want to start 2020 with an analysis of the best posts of 2019 and why. 

I do this every year and it helps me plan the content that I should be creating in the new year based on the popularity of past posts. 

At the end of the day, I write to share my knowledge with you but I also want to ensure that what I write is of value to you as my readers. 

So let's get started. 

Top 10 Blog Posts Written in 2019 Based on Traffic

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Why You Should Set Your Personal Goals Now to Start 2020 Right

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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Christmas is two days away and it's that time of the year when we tend to reflect on the past 12 months and think about the new year ahead. 

I'm currently in Peru, away from my normal day-to-day and off work which gives me the space to think about what I want to achieve and focus on in 2020. 

For every new year, I set goals. 

To give you some examples, my goal for 2018 was to publish my first book. My goal for 2019 was to find a new home.

I've achieved both of these. 

Success, to me, is a matter of goal-setting and planning of how you'll achieve those goals. 

But also on being realistic about what you can do and can't do - as you can see, I only set one key goal for the year. Do I want to do a million other things? Of course, but I prefer to stay focused on the one big thing that will make the biggest difference in my life. 

I recently watched a 10-minute TED talk which clearly explains why setting the right goals is the secret to success for companies. 

It's also about setting the right goals for the right reasons. 

But to do this, you must first answer the question why then the what and then the how.

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How I Started My Career in PR and Where it Got Me

[fa icon="calendar'] 17-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Personal Development, Career

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I started my career in PR. 

That was a conscious choice, I wanted to do PR. 

When I was at university doing a BA in International Business in Germany, you could say that I fell in love with Public Relations during a module in Marketing where I got exposed to PR for the first time. 

That was also the time when social media started to pick up and businesses were trying to figure who owns it and how to do it for their benefit. 

Authors and prominent PR pros like Brian Solis and David Meerman Scott got me more hooked and so I decided the follow PR as my career.

But a degree in International Business is not the typical path to get into PR, especially because you don't learn anything about press releases or working with the media. 

So I had to learn all that by myself. How? Through books and internships. 

I decided that if I wanted to get a job in PR immediately after I graduated, I had to gain practical experience. 

So after my first year at university, I found a small social media agency in a town in Germany close to where I was living at the time and interned there for three months for free. 

Was it easy - for the first time working in such a professional setting and without getting any money?

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The Difference Between Projects and Operations

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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Lots of people confuse projects and operations and oftentimes they consider operations to be an ongoing project. 

But there's no such thing as an ongoing project.

I've had to explain this multiple times and if you work in project management, you'll have to do this a lot too so that you can set expectations on where your work starts and ends. 

The handover between the project and operations needs to be clarified even before you start with your project so that it's clear who's going to take over and when. 

But let's take a look at the differences between projects and operations so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about. 

What's a Project?

I'm a certified Project Management Professional by the PMI and their PMBOK guide defines projects as "a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result."

Projects are: 

  • temporary - they have a definitive beginning and end
  • unique - they are a new undertaking, unexplored ground

Projects are characterised by:

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