Home Blog Tools|Trends Crystal Knows: The new PR stealth weapon of choice

Crystal Knows: The new PR stealth weapon of choice


MIMA Summit is always a great event here in Minneapolis. In fact, it’s one of the top-tier events in the Upper Midwest. One reason: We get grade-A speakers like Amy Webb. Amy was our closing keynote this year, and one nugget she dropped on everyone in attendance was the emergence of a new tool named “Crystal Knows.”

PR friends: This tool will change your life.

Let’s take a quick overview.

Crystal Knows Arik

Crystal Knows is, for all intents and purposes, a tool designed to help us communicate more effectively with our professional colleagues and partners.

And it’s damn scary how it does it.

Easiest way to show you is to walk you through an example. Let’s pick on my friend and former MIMA board friend, Nick Lipetzky. The tool gives you the opportunity to search by the basics–name, company and location. And, it can usually find who you’re looking for.

Crystal Knows Search

In this case, Nick’s profile pops right up.

Lipetzky Crystal Knows 1

Lipetzky Crystal Knows 1

It begins by giving me a few quick facts about Nick’s personality–and, I have to say, most of them are usually spot-on. Creepy, right?

Here’s where it really gets scary. Crystal Knows then gives you tips on how to *speak* to Nick.

Lipetzky Crystal Knows 2

Again, after getting to know Nick over the last year-plus, I think these are pretty accurate (he is “jokey”, and he does react favorably to philosophical discussions, in particular).

It goes on to give you tips on how to best email Nick.

Lipetzky Crystal Knows 3

Want more? Some ideas on how best to work with Nick.

Lipetzky Crystal Knows 4

It even goes as far as to SHOW you how to write an email to Nick. And, there’s a handy little tool that gives you the opportunity to write your own email to Nick–and then it CRITIQUES it and offers SUGGESTIONS!


Lipetzky Crystal Knows 6

Those are the basic pieces of functionality. Scary from a privacy standpoint–no question. But, also useful as hell from a PR standpoint.

The best part? The tool integrates with tools you’re already using–so you don’t necessarily have to visit CrystalKnows.com every day.

LinkedIn, for example. Which makes sense since that’s where most of us are researching professional people we meet with for interviews, coffees and at trade shows.

And, the tool fits right into people’s LI profiles. Seamlessly. Take a peek at my friend Jamie Plesser’s LI profile.

Plesser Crystal Knows 1

Then, Crystal Knows adds a “View Personality” button right under Jamie’s profile information.

Plesser Crystal Knows 2

One click on that, and you get this.

Plesser Crystal Knows 3

Super helpful, right? And again, VERY accurate. I’ve known Jamie for a couple years now. He is an energetic achiever. He does respond better to shorter emails. And, he does like exploring new ideas.

Crystal Knows also integrates with Gmail–another place that makes complete sense, right? Get an email from a client you don’t know that well? Crystal Knows can give you all sorts of information about how to best compose that return email.

In Gmail, here’s what you might see (this was an email from my friend, Susan Beatty).

Beatty Crystal Knows 1

One click on the “View Personality” button and you get this.

Beatty Crystal Knows 2

Again, eerily accurate.

So, we’ve established that Crystal Knows is probably the scariest and freakiest tool you’ve seen on the web this year, right?

But, we’ve also established the fact that this tool can be IMMENSELY helpful–in certain situations–from a PR perspective.

What scenarios am I talking about? The following come to mind:

Coffee meet-ups

Meeting a new colleague for the first time over coffee? Sure, you might research them on LinkedIn, and maybe a bit on Twitter (if they have an account). But, Crystal Knows can give you the kind of information that can make that first coffee go a bit more smoothly.


Not even sure I have to explain the advantages here, do I?

Media/Influencer outreach

Again, you’re researching these people on the web–through their stories (media), Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn. But again, Crystal Knows is going to give you more intimate information than those other platforms. Information you can use to your advantage to help you craft that perfect pitch.

Oh, and about that new boss

Sure, it’s going to take a bit to get to know your new boss (or client). But, with Crystal Knows now, you can get up to speed a heckuva lot faster. Nothing compares to good, old-fashioned face-to-face communication, but man, if I can get a jump-start on what my new boss’ personality is like through Crystal Knows, that certainly helps.


So, to sum up: Crystal Knows. New personality research/communications tool. Freaky as hell. Also: Useful for PR.



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