Anatomy of a Referral

I make a lot of referrals as part of my business. I made one last week that, in retrospect, has some instructive lessons in it. So I thought I’d dissect it here on the blog so we can see what goes into being “referrable.”

My long-time on-line connection Christine Perkett announced the launch of her new project, a measurement platform (targeted toward PR professionals) named SeeDepth.

Christine is one of the people I have followed for a long time on Twitter (and Facebook), so I know what she is all about. When I saw the announcement, I was intrigued enough to scan the site and gain at least a superficial understanding of what the new offering is all about. Measurement. Media. Provable results. Intriguing.


SeeDepth went into my mental filing cabinet, then I went about my business.

Serendipitously, that business, almost immediately, involved a long meeting with a PR/Communications firm. The topic of measuring results came up. Guess what happened?

So…why did that referral occur, so rapidly and with such confidence? Here is the anatomy of it:

  1. I trust Christine Perkett, the person.
  2. I trust Christine Perkett’s deep knowledge of the PR space, because I know her extensive background. If Christine has put this platform together, and it’s targeted for that particular domain, it has to be for a very good reason.
  3. The solution is in line with a broad trend/need in the industry – measurement. Intuitively, I sensed that this had to be worth investigation by any PR firm, even though I am not a PR practitioner.
  4. I was able, within a very brief span of time, to process and remember (at least at an awareness level) what the platform offered. “The easiest, most comprehensive way to measure and prove the value of all PR campaigns and their results.” Got it.
  5. The name SeeDepth is cute, meaningful, and memorable.

In other words: Trust + Clarity = Referral. Had an announcement for this platform been blasted into my inbox by some unknown spammer, I would never have given it a glance. But also, had the platform been named ADCEVNO (Algorithmic Determination of Communication Effectiveness by Virtual Non-Obfuscation), it would never have gotten through my jargon filter into short- (or long-) term memory.


It’s by Perkett. It’s aimed at PR. It’s punchy. Hence, a pass-along referral happens.

One of the goals of effective marketing is the “pass-along-ness” of our message. Can someone who is not even in your domain get the gist of your offering, and easily pass it along to others who need it? That’s our messaging challenge. SeeDepth passed the test.* How about your company?

*Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in SeeDepth, nor is any compensation involved or anticipated with reference to this blog post. In select cases, I do (as part of my “matchmaking” business) enter into referral fee arrangements with targeted suppliers of services. Title, taxes, dealer prep, and floor mats are extra. Your results may vary. Always consult your doctor before……OK, OK, I’ll stop now.


Does your business need clarity?


  1. Steve,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. But more importantly, thank you for dissecting why you would indeed give someone a referral. Too often these days, folks hand them out like mints – especially when networks like Linkedin encourage you to do so even when you don’t truly know someone’s work or reputation. I love your insights, and of course, am very grateful for the recommendations as well.

    All my best,

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