Growing your professional profile using PR

Social media has spilled into the PR scene over the past decade, and many marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners have turned their focus to growing their online profiles. The benefits of a large social media following are great, and it’s important to remember that PR and social media go hand-in-hand when it comes to expanding your audience and boosting your credibility. 

Go beyond social media and embrace earned media (a.k.a. PR) to build your profile as an expert or thought leader. Not only is article development great for your writing skills, but it also helps draw business, build your profile and make you a media-go-to for your industry’s trends. 

Journalists are always looking for expert sources and interviewees to add value and credibility to their articles, television segments or radio broadcasts. Most are happy to connect with business owners, providing a symbiotic relationship between the two. And if done right, they’ll come back to you for information time and time again. 

Follow these four simple tips to help you get started on growing your profile as a media expert in your field: 

Clearly define your field of expertise:

Take the time to understand the specific value you can offer the media—focus on how your expertise can help a journalist tell a compelling story. Take a look at the work you do, your credentials and find your industry niche—it might be your unique perspective or a series of tips you can provide. Once you’ve done that, you take the next step of determining which media outlets and journalists will benefit from your expertise. 

Identify the outlets and journalists where your expertise will fit: 

Finding the right spot for your message can be the most challenging step in building your profile. To start, read news specific to your industry, from mass media (e.g., online and physical outlets that cover a range of topics) or specific industry verticals (e.g., media that reports on one topic or industry). Identify the journalists who write about your industry and start reaching out to them with a simple introduction about who you are, what you know, and let them know you’re available to help them with any stories they might have. 

Brainstorm (and write) your own opinion pieces: 

Freelance journalists aren’t magicians, they’re simply curious people exploring and writing about a topic that is of interest to them and pitching them to editors—to become a thought leader or industry expert, you have to do the same. With the large number of outlets looking for original content, why not start submitting your own articles? Use your clear expertise to become a thought leader or industry expert by writing articles that address the issues your industry faces and possible outcomes. Then pitch them as complete articles, along with your industry-specific credentials, to outlets and editors looking for original submissions. 

Be available: 
Journalists and editors work to very tight deadlines, so if you want to be their go-to source for industry information you need to be available. So, drop the ego, don’t push back on requests and be honest with them if you know you can’t make a certain time or answer their query fully (and if that’s the case, explain why and try to point them in the direction of someone who can). Sometimes they’re able to be accommodating, sometimes they’re not, but it’s very important not to burn bridges or mark yourself as unreliable. 

Remember, your job in building your credibility via PR is to help journalists tell compelling stories, so do your best to do just that. If you define your expertise, identify the right outlets and contacts, work on your own content and are accommodating, you’ll be well on your way to PR success. 

There’s No Such Thing As Overnight Fame

Journalists get so many stories in their inbox. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame…and they want their friendly neighbourhood journalist to give it to them.

After all, a story in the media is the ultimate in third party credibility. You’ve got serious street cred when your story appears in a well-known newspaper or magazine, or you are interviewed on a radio program.

And as much as people bag the media … when you are in business, and looking for free publicity, a journalist is your new BFF.

With these new-fangled dooba hickies called the internet and social media, stories are there for the taking. Look at how many Tweets are used as the basis of a story.

If you are working with a public relations agency, know they are not miracle workers… a modern day magician who could wield control over the media and make them do what they’re told.

PR can make you famous overnight….quite often for all the wrong reasons. But do not expect the media to fall at your feet after ONE media release.

Building credibility and a brand is not going to happen overnight. It will happen … but not overnight.

Like ANYTHING in life and business … true success, real sticky results TAKES TIME!  You have to have a plan (a good marketing plan as your foundations is a great start), patience, a mindset that understands delayed gratification and the value that comes from building relationships and a robust content plan.

Think about when you met your partner. Like most couples, there was an immediate attraction. You liked each other.  Thought the other person had something to offer that would bring benefit to your life. So you dated. Got to know each other. Spent time with each other. Then you took it further.

Getting free publicity, building a brand, becoming famous is so not different to starting a romantic relationship or friendship. It takes time to build something of value.

A house does not go up overnight – it starts with foundations and then each layer is added until a number of weeks/months down the track, you have a solid structure.  Even then, it is still not done; fittings are added, carpet, lights, air con … and then the furniture comes in. Have I said it takes time?

You may get a win or two in the media to start with but expecting astronomical results straight off the bat is unrealistic.

If you truly want your marketing and PR to work – STICK WITH IT.  If you engage a marketing or PR professional to help you, understand they are not a miracle worker, they do not own the media, they cannot guarantee the media will take your story (stop asking, there are no guarantees in life) and they will work to a strategy that will bring results over time.

Here are a few thoughts to manage your expectations around using marketing and PR:

  1. Create a plan and stick to it.  When the going gets tough, go back to your plan, reassess and revise but keep moving forward. Test and measure your results; what doesn’t work, drop, what does, keep doing it. But one month, two months, even three months is not enough time to judge results.
  2. There is such thing as an overnight success or luck.  Read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and Outliers, he has some great insights into this. It takes time to become ‘well known’. Ask anyone who is an overnight success how long it took them to achieve their goals – it took hard work, patience and persistence.
  3. There is no magic stick. PR is not going to save your business, it is not going to suddenly have millions knocking your door down for your product and service.  Marketing and PR is all about relationships – building them with your prospective customers (be helpful) and with journalists (be helpful and available – you may not always get a story run but keep in touch)
  4. Foundations are vital. All good things start with solid foundations – systems and processes in place, marketing plan locked in, etc – and then you are ready to start building up and out.
  5. Success is an inside job. You can have all the above in place but if your mindset is off, all the success in the world means nothing. If you do not understand or accept the trials and tribulations of being in business, you’ll be easily discouraged, give up too soon and blame others. Invest in personal development, read books, get a mentor, go to workshops and seminars, and build resilience. Be in it for the long haul because if you do, then you will see great results.

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Pop Quiz, Monday with John Pilmer

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
John Pilmer

What is your job role?
I am the founder and CEO of PilmerPR BLLC.

Tell us about your company?
After working on internal marketing teams for a few major corporations, I started PilmerPR almost 20 years ago as a way to bring Fortune 500 marketing ideas to midsized entrepreneurial endeavors. Over the years we’ve helped both large and small businesses build momentum and further brand their business both locally and nationally.

One of the best things about PilmerPR is that our headquarters or office space doesn’t limit us – we employ people across the US and work with companies on multiple continents. This is not only good for business – it’s good for the environment and good for our employees, too, many of whom are working parents able to raise a family and further their career at the same time.

What do you love most about your job?
The global reach of our business means that there is a new challenge to solve every single day. Bringing talented people together to come up with creative solutions and help business owners achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Of course, my family is a huge motivator in everything I do (I’ve got cute grandkids to spoil!), but I think the real motivation in continuing as a business owner is the change I can effect on my clients, my employees, and the world. PilmerPR is a Benefit LLC, which means we can focus a portion of our time and profits on furthering causes that are important to us. PilmerPR stands for clean air, green business practices and strengthening community engagement, among other things. We encourage clients to find similar outlets they are passionate about and commit resources to those things. This is not only a good business practice; it’s great for the world we live in.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My coworkers bring different and varied talents to the table – I try to encourage them to be open with all of their ideas. I’m so often inspired by their unique viewpoints and expanded thinking. Working together, we are pretty successful in solving problems for our clients.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our team is completely remote and spans three time zones, which means our opportunities to come together face-to-face are extremely rare. That said, we manage to connect through a team call at least once a week. Before we begin work, we generally have a “movie critic” discussion about what everyone watched over the weekend. It’s always a fun exercise and helps us build that relationship across the miles.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Building a business is tough. Being my own boss is a great reward, but it also comes with pressure to over-deliver to our clients and keep the bottom line in the black. At the end of the day, I have to make the final decisions that keep us moving forward, and in the right direction.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I was the team lead over the largest trade show ever created by a large tech company when they were a dominant force in networking computers. The six-month-long process resulted in many lessons – but one that I took away was that excellence should always be expected, whether your budget is in the millions or much tighter. With a good product and the right preparation, good results can happen for anyone.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Millennial public relations and marketing newcomers are all digital natives. They come with a view shared by up-and-coming clients in the marketplace, making them invaluable to the workforce. Become an expert in new media, especially social media and how target audiences get and share information. Creating and extending that dialogue among key audiences will make you invaluable to all kind of industries, not just public relations.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

http://pilmerpr.com/contact_pilmerpr/
https://twitter.com/PilmerPR
https://www.facebook.com/pilmerpr/

Secret Power of Interacting on Social Media

There’s always lots of Facebook posts flying around asking people to support those in small business.

Instead of spending your money with the big multinationals, redirect some of your spend to the little guys.

A glorious sentiment. Helping someone build their dream. Helping someone grow their business to the point where they are earning a profit and can employ others.

Why do we struggle with that?

We have no problem walking into Woolworths to spend $200 on stuff in boxes but when our friend asks us to buy their skin care or other useful product, we are reticent to part with our hard-earned cash.

You see it all the time for those in network marketing – they offer similar if not better products than the big well known chains. Yet their friends run for cover when asked to buy from them.

There is a scientific reason for this (but when Googled this phenomena, there was nothing). The same mindset on Facebook.

For those in small business, the holy grail on Facebook is to get likes and people engaging with our posts. Achieving organic reach is the ultimate but many of us find this hard without spending a few bucks on advertising. Even then, there is no guarantee of post cut through.

You see pages with thousands of people as likers; there is lots of ‘to’ going on but not a lot of ‘for’. No comments being made and hardly any likes.

There’s a few reasons for that:

  • The content sucks – boring and uninspiring
  • The content misses the mark – not understanding the target audience
  • Posting at the wrong time of day
  • Facebook has changed it algorithms AGAIN
  • People do not understand the power of interaction and supporting the business (person)

Let’s say you tick all the other boxes – your content is fresh and interesting, you understand your target audience, you know when to post, you are keeping up with Facebook’s changes, you have lots of people following you.

Maybe what is needed to educating the followers on how to be a good follower, a good supporter. Because most people are happy to sit back and soak up the info but stay quietly in the background.

No.  That does not work. If you took the time to follow a business or a person, get benefit from their content and enjoy their posts, TELL THEM. What does it really cost you to take a minute to write a post and share?

Social media, especially Facebook is about two-way conversation. No one really wants to feel like they are talking to an empty room. I know we are inundated with information and marketing at the rate of 5,000 messages a day but if you have no intention of engaging, do not join a business page for the sake of it.

When the business page you like (you liked it for a reason) ask a question to prompt discussion, engage, answer the question, ask for more info. Don’t be shy.

Give feedback – keep it nice – if you can’t say something nice, do not say anything at all). Give compliments, share posts and answer questions asked in business groups (if you have the expertise to give the answer)

Ask questions – instead of going to Google, ask the expert you have at your fingertips. There is no such thing as a silly question. Just like there is no such thing as perfection or the right time – just ask.

Share – if a business you are connected with is promoting a local workshop or event, has written a great post or an awesome offer – SHARE it with your networks. Don’t just click share, tag people into the post (to keep them on the business’s page) and write a personal message (it seems less like spam if you take the time to say why you think the post is great). Share it with your networks.

Remember the Law of Reciprocity – chances are you have a business and would like more people to share your awesomeness.  Here’s how it works – if someone does something nice for you, you will have an urge to do something nice in return. You may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than the original good deed. I call that a win win.

Being in small business can be a lonely place. It can be a hard slog.  There is so much you need to know and do to get ahead. It is no longer as simple as hanging your shingle out. You have to be an expert at everything. Why don’t we commit to making it easy on each other by supporting each other more? Using each other’s services. Helping to spread the word about each other’s business (the power of PR – third party credibility is priceless).

So next time your friend asks you to buy their {insert product}, say yes. The next time a business you support shares info about {insert event/product} on Facebook, share it.

Expert Round-Up: How do you get placements with media

The value that earned media brings to an organization is critical to getting the word out about your products and services. When you have a startup which is getting an angel investment or venture capital, then you must allocate some money towards growth. Having a well-designed and functioning product is not enough if you do not have any customers. This is why the function of public relations is essential in building value for your brand.

How do you get placements with media

Outreaching to the media is not rocket science but does require a bit of intelligence in dealing with people. You need to understand how to work with editors, journalists, and know the guidelines for the publication. You want to make sure that you are contacting someone on their preferred method of receiving pitches. For example, some journalists love receiving pitches from Twitter and others through email. Everyone is different, so learn about them on social media. Also, make sure that you pitch to a journalist who is covering your industry. You do not want to pitch a tech product to someone covering sports.

There are so many different tactics that you can use to get placements with media. We invited several professionals in the public relations industry to provide their thoughts on getting earned media. We want to thank our experts for participating in this discussion and encourage you to visit their website to learn more about them.

Expert: Shineade Andric

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

http://www.neuemedia.com.au/

As Head of Media Communications at Neue Media, I work with brands and companies of varying scale to better achieve their publicity goals. I would say the key ways to gain traction in this area are:

  • Familiarise yourself with the publications you want to appear in and get to know the journalists who are covering topics relevant to your business
  • Tailor your content and pivot your story accordingly, make it relevant for the individual journalist and publication
  • Customised/personalised pitches outperform generic press releases and blanket send outs every time

Expert: Judy Sahay

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.crowdmedia.com.au

We get asked this question at least three times a week. I am the founder and managing director of Crowd Media Group, a digital/PR agency.

Here are my top 3 tips.

  1. ride the wave – get media publicity based on current contentious issues. If there is an event or breaking news about a particular topic, use your brand/personal brand to comment.
  2. Have an opinion – you need to have an opinion on something if you want to be seen/heard. Most people play it “safe” and talk about the things that people want to hear. I think it’s important to shake it up a bit, stand out from the crowd.
  3. Understand the publication and the journalist well. It’s essential you know the audience/readership of the publications you’re after. Make sure you do your research and see how your story can be relevant to them.

Expert: Nicole Ashby

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

http://high-profitmedia.com/

I’ve been interviewed by the media hundreds of times with my first business, FIFO Families. I’ve had no official media training yet quickly learned how to navigate the world of the media, how to pitch a great story, how to maintain relationships and what to do with the media interviews once you’ve got them.

I have many, many tips on how to successfully get placements with the media and here are a few:

  1. Know your story
  2. Where possible, have a great human angle within your story (pretty easy to do if you’re human)
  3. Know when the best time is to contact the media
  4. Always show gratitude for your interviews
  5. Keep feeding the media great stories
  6. Ensure you have a great hook to entice the press
  7. Know and learn how to write a well-crafted media release as it’s your best bet to media success if the media have no idea who you are

Expert: Marie O’Riordan, MPRCA MAM

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

https://prepaidfinancialservices.com/en/

Thought Leadership is what every business leader needs to aspire to. Press quotes form a valuable part of carefully nurturing and developing a highly credible thought leader profile. Universally, journalists are curious and intrigued to speak with experts who can predict what is going to happen next in their industry. What I term, Futurism and the crystal ball effect, are powerful catalysts for authoritative mentions. The broader the scope of the predictions, the better. Take Noel Moran, CEO of FinTech PFS. He left school at 17 with no qualifications. This month, he will be showcased at Davos 2019 in Switzerland by European CEO as the current European Entrepreneur of the Year.

Expert: Laurie Monteforte

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

strongountainmedia.com

Business owners should first take an honest look at what they want to pitch and make sure they have a newsworthy angle. That means they should focus on something that will be interesting to an outlet’s readers or viewers, not just to themselves.

I’m a big fan of personal outreach. Insincere, mass pitching can turn reporters off. Get to know your local reporters so you can reach out to them one-on-one when you have a good story.

Expert: Hannah O’Donnell

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

http://straightuppr.com.au/

  1. Know who you are contacting: pull together your wish list of media publications where you would like to appear, find the editors contact details and reach out and ask them if they would like to grab a tea (or coffee – whatever your drink of choice is). It’s important to get to know the media you want to work with and create rapport.
  2. Know the publication you are pitching to: it pays to buy and read a copy of the publication you want to appear in, or make sure you’ve checked out the TV show, website, and listened to the radio show or podcast you would like to be on. Then when you pitch your story, understand who the audience is that will be consuming your news (so who you are talking to) ensuring that it’s highly relevant for them and your pitch is targeted – no one wants to receive a generic pitch that’s been forwarded to the world.
  3. Don’t limit yourself to just traditional media: consider influencers on social media who would be relevant and able to share your message and news. If you have a product, then gift it to your top tier influencers who you would like to work with. Just make sure you reach out to them directly and find out first if it’s of interest before sending them a product. These people get a lot of goods, but the authentic influencers will only post if they feel like the product reflects their values and they are genuinely interested in it. Some will also request to be paid for a post – so keep this in mind and allow budget for this.

Expert: Amy Teutenberg

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

https://www.hotwireglobal.com/

With publishing houses closing their doors by the minute and mergers announced left right and centre – the Nine/Fairfax merger late last year being a prime example, it’s more important than ever that companies see media relations as a long term, strategic program – not something that can be switched off and on when budget allows.

Understanding the best ways to increase your media presence takes time, and one of the biggest reasons companies fail is because they assume it’s as simple as writing a release and clicking ‘send’ to a thousand journalists in BCC.

Think about it like this: how often do you respond positively to a cold caller salesperson? The answer is, almost never, and the same can be said for media relations.

Here are my top tips for gaining traction in the media:

  1. Relationships are everything. It’s true what they say – it’s not always what you know, but who you know. Make sure you develop a genuine relationship with journalists by continually providing them with quality, newsworthy, and timely content. This will ensure you become their go-to person for that particular area of expertise. Getting to know how they prefer to be pitched to (do they prefer email over phone pitches?) and understanding the topics, they’re personally passionate about will open up new lines of communication and make you stand out from the crowd. Also, taking them for coffee never goes astray. Putting a face to the name will likely increase the chances of them being willing to lend a hand to get a story across the line.
  2. Give them an article, not a paragraph. Journalists are increasingly time poor and are looking to PR professionals to present them with the bigger picture. This means it’s important to think of the broader story your news fits into. Rather than simply pitching news from a recent funding round, think about why this might be of interest to their reader. For example, what does it say about the broader industry you operate in? Can you pull in new research that backs up industry growth and proves the market appetite for your product or service?
  3. Be prepared to workshop. Don’t get stuck on one angle for your story. Instead, be prepared to workshop ideas with the journalist and be flexible. To set yourself up for success, always look into what the journalist has previously written about and use this as a starting point to pique their interest. Make sure you have multiple angles and sets of talking points ready (if pitching an interview), so you can easily pivot based on their feedback.
  4. Do your research. It’s not enough to know what your company wants to say or be known for in the media. To successfully pitch media, you need to know what your competitors are talking about. This will help you determine how you can talk about the same thing in a way that is more interesting, more topical or takes a stronger stance. This means workshopping the angles your business and spokespeople are experts in and crafting something unique before you start talking to media.
  5. Don’t act like a salesperson. Don’t pitch something for the sake of pitching it if you don’t believe it or think it will be of interest to simply tick a box. If you’re genuinely passionate about it, this will come through in your pitch. It will also mean you’re less likely to sound ‘scripted’ if pitching on the phone.

Expert: Bill McCue

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.mccuenicationspr.com

I get placements with the media by doing my homework and knowing which reporters are specifically writing about industries and topics that are a match with my clients’ news and expertise.

Expert: Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow PRSA

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.cimincpr.com

My team and I work hard to maintain good relationships with reporters, editors, and producers, checking in with them frequently to find out what they’re working on and how we can help them, even if the news and sources they need are not our clients. By always being available and helpful, especially on last-minute stories when they’re in a bind, the media remembers and are more open to client pitches. If we don’t already have a relationship with the editor, reporter or producer, we research the types of stories they cover and how they cover them so that we can deliver what works best for them, and then make sure we provide the story in a package that gives them the least amount of work possible.

Expert: Gail Fitzer

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

awakenpr.com

By writing news releases and pitches like news stories as only a former journalist could. And through persistent media outreach and smart media strategy.

Expert: Stu Campbell-Carran

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.mashpr.agency

It’s a combination of having well-written compelling content that generates a reaction and working with editorial teams in partnership to secure placements that resonate with their audiences.

Expert: Courtney Lukitsch

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.gothampr.com

Self-generated as we are a leading global Marketing PR firm with high profile Clients

Expert: Todd Barrish

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.indicatemedia.com

There is a trick to the trade of media relations. We find the most effective way to secure media, is to understand the media outlet and reporter you are targeting truly. You can’t fake it. Understanding the publications focus and editorial mission as well as the reporter’s style and coverage area will allow you to craft a pitch that is strategic, well thought out and in-line with what they may be looking for.

Expert: John McLeod

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

http://jeaassociates.com/

I have built up a considerable network with the media during the last twelve years advising companies for Public Relations.

Expert: Sabrina Ram

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

http://www.blulotuspr.com/

To get placements with the media, you must ensure there is something newsworthy that you are trying to share and then tailor it to the outlet you are trying to get coverage in. If you are launching a new product, you should be able to answer how it changes the industry you are in, how it benefits consumers differently than products already out in the market, and how this story appeals to a specific media outlet and their audience. If you can’t answer these questions, it’s in your best interest to hold the story until you can flesh it out and make it more appealing.

Expert: Lisa Hagendorf

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

www.centerpiecepr.com

Generating media coverage for my clients, nearly all of which are tech startups, is achieved in three main ways: (1) Pitching breaking news, such as product launches, conference appearances, senior-level hires, and office expansions; (2) Newsjacking current events and strategically tying in my client’s offerings to demonstrate their timely relevance; (3) Securing bylined content opportunities, positioning them as industry thought leaders and enabling them to share their unique points of view.

Expert: Sarah Storelli

Please, make sure to visit their website to learn more about their work: 

https://developer.ibm.com/

I secure stories based on relationships – not transactions – I build with reporters and by truly understanding their areas of not only interest but passion.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Annette Densham

When someone says ‘I don’t have a story.’ Then we pull out of them enough to write four blogs a month and articles to pitch to the media.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Annette Densham

Annette Densham
Photo credit: Annette Densham

What is your job role?
Public relations specialist

Tell us about your company?
Publicity Genie is the story whisperers. We pull from small businesses their great stories to share with the media and beyond. Public relations is an incredible way to connect and build relationships … and we are the conduit for that.

What do you love most about your job?
When someone says ‘I don’t have a story.’ Then we pull out of them enough to write four blogs a month and articles to pitch to the media.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
That I have the ability to find, write and share stories. I’m always looking for great ops for my clients, and that’s fun.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work with Becca McGregor who’s our PR manager. She’s gutsy, talented and tenacious. I love how she sees stories.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We work in different continents, but we talk through messenger… We have fun by getting publicity wins.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Client expectations expecting media wins all the time. It’s our job to educate them that PR is more than the mainstream media and it’s all about relationships. Good PR can take time.

Also, the current state of the media. So much news is now trivial and inane.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
With any PR campaign, be consistent, resistant and persistent. Always follow up … more than once. We had a media win recently where we pitched the story seven times, and on the 8th time, we got a yes.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Look at PR as a holistic beast … incorporate a range of mediums and platforms. A good PR person understands social media, SEO, video, and the media.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.publicitygenie.com
www.facebook.com/PublicityGenie

Pop Quiz, Monday with Linda Reed-Enever

My lesson is that no matter how “great” the opportunity is if it is not right it is NOT right, and that makes it more than ok to walk away. (Something better is coming)

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Linda Reed-Enever

Linda Reed-Enever
Photo credit: Linda Reed-Enever

What is your job role?
PR and Marketing Strategist, founder of Business Business Business, Media Connections and Thoughtspot PR.

Tell us about your company?
I am also often known as the PR and Marketing Go-To Girl. I love what I do, and that is helping YOU tell your story.

I get to do that in many ways.

As founder of Business Business Business, I help business owners connect and share their story online via our online community and resources.

As the founder Media Connections, my team and I help you connect with the media and share your story with our journalists and media outlets.

And through Thoughtspot PR I get to work with business owners as a coach and consultant, helping them plan, create and share their message.

I love what I do. I know everyone says that but in my case it is true. PR and Marketing is a career that found me because it was what I was meant to do.

They say an entrepreneur is a person who solves a problem and that’s been the driving force behind Business Business Business, Media Connections and ThoughtSpot PR. Each has a focus on connecting business to the tools and resources they require to make their mark. I’ve always enjoyed working with people, networking and uncovering unique opportunities to stand out in the business world.

I’m one of those people who wake in the night with bright ideas and who ponders issues until they’re resolved.

In all three of my business ideas, connections and telling stories are key!

What do you love most about your job?
The amazing businesses I get to meet and often seeing projects and products before they hit the market is exciting. Then the next buzz is seeing it all work and clients winning with PR and Marketing!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
As if as it may sound I love what I do and my brain naturally is driven to create and market, so getting up for work and helping small business do big things is easy!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The “know” me, and they also get my pace. BUT most of all the compliment me and my skills, making what I do possible, and that is what you want in a team.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
For us it part of our day we laugh we joke. Nothing big just enjoying what we do!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Running a Facebook Group balance can be hard, but most often we get it right.

PR and Marketing is an ever-changing field so keeping up with changes can be a challenge especially when they all come at ones. But it is part of the pace of the world too which I love!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Lessons are in every day, but one of my most recent ones was one I had forgotten.

It is OK to say no to a client if the fit does not feel right. We took on a project where the fit was not right, and the work was forced and in a creative field that is not good.

My lesson is that no matter how “great” the opportunity is if it is not right it is NOT right, and that makes it more than ok to walk away. (Something better is coming)

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be YOU!

PR and Marketing is a field where being YOU is what will make you stand out and succeed. Sure you can watch what others are doing but don’t focus on it.

Your clients will come to you for who you are and what you do, the others are not your fish!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
https://lindareedenever.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/lindareedenever/
http://youtube.com/lindareedeneverau
https://instagram.com/lindareedenever

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ryan Chipperfield

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ryan Chipperfield

Ryan Chipperfield
Photo credit: @grantbaileyphoto

What is your job role?
Managing Director

Tell us about your company?
Blue Chip Talent is a Talent Management business which provides its services to some of the most exceptional Athletic and Influencer Talent in Australia. We are of the view that we want to capitalise on our Talent’s time in the sun and help them grow for a successful life journey, not just a short stint. We assist brands in finding their perfect ambassadors and get them the returns on investment they desire for their campaigns.

What do you love most about your job?
Watching the professional development of our team, both internal and external. We select Talent that has a desire to be better, and we work with them to satisfy those desires, whether it be financially and smart investing, growing a business with them, working on the mental sides of their profession or just simply networking with industry – we take great pride in developing the team to their true potential. Plus getting to watch a lot of sport and going to some kick-ass events is pretty fun too!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am motivated a lot by knowing that every single dollar we can earn our professionals is one less dollar they have to worry about and eases the burdens on them. An athlete and an influencer have so much to think about every day so removing the money barriers and just making life a little easier is motivating.

I am highly motivated too by our growth and reaching as many people as we can within our business, whilst still maintaining a positive impact on those we connect with.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I have always hired for my weaknesses or where I think we could benefit from some extra drive in the business. We have recruited a PR expert, a written word specialist for our outbound communications with brands, an analytics expert who helps us with our numbers that fuel growth and have a great support team in our financials to make sure we are kicking goals, after all, this work is in place.

As an MD I get to learn from our team as well while in turn passing on my years of business experience to allow our staff the same knowledge gains that will keep them inspired to come back to work and will enable us to retain them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are in a pretty unique job position where it is already fun. Our biggest challenge is making sure the fun parts translate commercially. Our last month had a Christmas Party, a major sporting event at Metricon Stadium and a blockbuster movie premiere red carpet event so it is easy to get carried away with all of the top line activities and it becomes essential to focus on what fuels the bottom line.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every talent business is going to experience arrivals and departures, and this comes from a myriad of reasons. Mostly it is about setting expectations and managing them along the way. We pride ourselves on having lots of little harder conversations along the talent’s journey rather than just saving it for the big blow ups that can occur. Everyone has desires to be their best and sometimes some barriers can upset this, so it is always important you and your team both internal and external share alignment and knows where the goalposts are.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Originally our business was not going to have an Influencer division. Yet six months in it became the heartbeat of what we are doing. Athlete deals take a LONG time to get done and are very difficult to secure by the time you work out conflicts, market reach, budgeting timelines, etc.

Little did I know that the Influencer Marketing trend commercially helps us offset the cash burns required to fund the Athletes in the long periods between deals or when we first acquire them to get a deal underway.
We can do 2-3 Influencer arrangements in a week and keep our cash-flows healthy whilst working on the big picture outside of this at the same time.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Have the resources. I was in a fortunate position to have the capital to fuel our growth. To win over talent, you need a roster of other talents that they like and believe they are on par with so getting to your first five team members is critical to building the momentum. It will take breakfasts, lunches, and dinners so make sure you bring your wallet and make sure you care about what they are saying.

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.bluechiptalent.com.au
Instagram: @bluechiptalent.com.au

Pop Quiz, Monday with Augustin Kennady

Knowing that I have a voice and that my voice is heard not only by my colleagues but also by talented entrepreneurs and passionate people in eCommerce. That’s a tremendously rewarding feeling, and one I don’t take for granted.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Augustin Kennady

Augustin Kennady
Photo credit: Augustin Kennady

What is your job role?
Media Relations Director

Tell us about your company?
ShipMonk is a fulfillment company that operates at the intersection of logistics and technology. We work with small to medium-sized eCommerce companies with all their logistics and fulfillment needs!

What do you love most about your job?
As someone who heavily contemplated going into academia, there’s still a bit of a professorial spirit in me. As such, I like to share all the information I can about the present state of eCommerce with small businesses and founders.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that I have a voice and that my voice is heard not only by my colleagues but also by talented entrepreneurs and passionate people in eCommerce. That’s a tremendously rewarding feeling, and one I don’t take for granted.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I’m regularly inspired not just by their work ethic and intelligence, but by their grace. The workplace has evolved significantly from the days of “Mad Men” when anybody could be publicly excoriated at a moment’s notice. We all make mistakes in life, and fairly often we make them at work. Working with talented people who exhibit grace under pressure is highly inspirational, and it provides me with a model to which I can aspire.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Personally, I like to do a year-end parody rap video. It gets the team involved, and it (hopefully) makes people laugh.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Staying on top of current trends is one major challenge. The eCommerce environment is continually evolving, and if you doze off at the wheel for even a week, you’ll miss something new. The other primary challenge of working in PR and media relations is toeing the line of being helpful while also advocating for your company and brand.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Very early in my media relations tenure, I was curt with someone who was profoundly influential in our industry. It was a “big miss,” but it also taught me by far the most important thing: be nice to everybody. Absolutely everybody. That isn’t to say be a pushover, but it is to say be as accommodating as you possibly can, say yes whenever you can, and when you have to say no, say it politely and directly. That last part is so important that I want to reiterate: When you have to say no, and you will have to say no often, say it politely and directly.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
You’ll learn more from your competitors and your peers than you can ever imagine. Sites like Quora are teeming with knowledge, and you should take advantage of these free resources to expand your own horizons.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.shipmonk.com

This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR

Pop Quiz, Monday with Patrick Barrett, Editorial Director & Founder of Simpatico PR Ltd

 

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.


I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1. Can you please tell everyone your name?

Patrick Barrett, Editorial Director & Founder of Simpatico PR Ltd

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

Photo credit: Patrick Barrett

Simpatico PR is a new breed of business PR agency — it’s a big claim but globally we can’t see anybody who is rethinking what a business PR agency can be in the same way as the team at Simpatico.

We call our approach the Book of Ideas© an integrated ideation and planning tool that transforms a company’s business PR and content marketing.

It flows from the thought that PR and content marketing should be joined up and PR should play the lead role in joining owned, earned and eventually paid media together.

So, we’re a very journalistic PR agency — a bit like a features desk and media relations team mashed into one combined with an original client strategy, planning and content curation system.

It’s actually a very simple idea and it’s helped us deliver consistently great work.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

I was a journalist originally and I never intended to become an entrepreneur. I still don’t really see myself as one now. To be honest I feel uncomfortable with the idea of wanting to be an entrepreneur for the sake of it. The self-starting business people who impress me are those who have an original thought or concept that they truly believe will add value to the world and drive that through to fruition.

You’re told in endless articles that to be a great business creator or entrepreneur you must be remorselessly positive. This isn’t true. I’m prone to introspection and doubt but sometimes great ideas and decisiveness can flow from questioning what you’re doing and motivation from looking at rivals and realising you have something original to offer.

It’s definitely true you should believe in what you’re doing and that you can succeed even though the journey to success is never quite what you expect.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

Having a vision is all very well, but the real challenges are consistency of delivery and a sharp focus on business fundamentals — income and investment planning, cost management and cashflow.

If you’re an SME owner, even if you have a finance director you should know week-to-week how much cash you have in the bank and how much will be coming in on a monthly basis. Try to spot cashflow flashpoints in advance and game whether a big investment will work in a variety of scenarios.

The biggest challenge in PR is investing in people. When to bring in people based on need and income; what skills, temperament and work values do you need? The trick is to remember exactly why you need an individual or team and what impact you want them to make in the business and with clients.

Remember your benchmarks — the people you’ve worked with that were brilliant and trust your gut — you will instinctively know in the first few seconds of an interview whether you’re sitting with someone amazing or just OK for the role.

5. What do you love most about your job?

Even though I run the business and continue to set our strategic direction I have always been determined to stay at the coal face. Developing ideas and editorial outcomes for clients and working across the team on different projects where I can make a difference, keeps me close to client needs, business sectors we cover and issues in the media.

I still love writing and interviewing people. Learning from amazing clients and helping them articulate their vision, product or service, why it matters and where that company or team is headed is the real joy of the job.

The business world is two decades into the biggest transition since the industrial revolution. Only this time it’s the de-industrial revolution driven by technology and data usage. It means many enterprise level companies and small ones too are having to shift from 20th century mass production and delivery to customisation, personalisation and contextual brand interactions and recognise that they are digital companies, even though they might manufacture stuff or sell accommodation.

Just look at retail, the media industry, automotive market, travel and leisure industries — each one is having to re-think and deliberately change. If you don’t tell your business story and remain relevant amidst all this change, your stakeholders will lose faith and more articulate competitors will take the lead.

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We don’t do presenteeism because our whole ethos is about quality of thought and output so we offer flexible working and a lot of time out. And we don’t do egos.

So, we talk, share stuff we find amusing or enjoy, socialise and go and experience things together — the current favourite is stand-up comedy. We’re based in London’s Soho Square and have the Soho Theatre just around the corner which has comedy running almost every night. Seeing the lighter side of work really helps make the agency a fun place to be and we take that with us to client meetings and other conversations.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

One won’t do it so here’s several. Outsource anything you’re not an expert in — e.g. don’t do the book keeping, payroll or admin, ever, even when you first start — that’s not what you’re for. Don’t get lost in the immediate challenges — keep your mind focussed on the long-term ambition. Understand what sort of work pattern fits you — just because other people work 60-hour weeks doesn’t mean you should. You may be a quality, not quantity person.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.simpaticopr.co.uk

Pop Quiz, Monday with Stephen Karaolis, CEO & Founder at SKPRNY

 

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1. Can you please tell everyone your name?

Stephen Karaolis, Founder of SKPR

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

SKPR is a communications agency focused on developing what we call indicators of authority for businesses. This means earning them press coverage, raising their social profiles and getting their key messages out into the world in creative ways.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

On a personal level, I wanted to have the freedom to take my work in different directions without having to go through the red tape of a structured organization. On an industry level, I felt that the PR agency model was somewhat broken and that I could do things a different way. Most current day PR agencies are very top heavy when it comes to salary distribution, but the majority of the workload tends to fall on junior staff. My goal is to run my agency a bit flatter in terms of staff structure, ultimately meaning that clients get a qualified team that’s able to accomplish more for less.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

The most challenging part of running a business is deciding where to focus your energy. There are so many different things that can be accomplished every day, but as a solo founder it’s impossible to get to everything. The trick is figuring out what to prioritize and what to save for later. Ultimately, I’ve learned that it’s best to focus on whatever you feel is most important and not worry too much about what you’re not doing.

5. What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about PR is the creativity that the job allows for. PR is very unstructured, there’s no right or wrong way to make any given client happy. It’s up to you to analyse trends and see what initiatives will drive the best results for the specific client. Given that there’s a tremendous amount of flexibility, it really allows me to get the creative juices flowing on a daily basis and come up with really cool ideas that I think will get press coverage or gain significant traction on social media.

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I’m big into creative breaks. Just the other day I found myself near Central Park in Manhattan for a meeting. Instead of going back to the office, I spent a couple of hours just walking around the park and relaxing. I’d rather take the time to step away for fun, breaks, etc. so that when I am in the office, I truly can focus on being very productive and getting a lot of work done in shorter amounts of time. When I’m at the office, it’s all business for me.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Don’t feel that you always have to be working. Much like my last response, I have to stress that time away is just as important as the time that you are plugged in. It’s often during time away from my laptop where I come up with the best ideas and the clearest visions for my business.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Visit our website: www.skprny.com

Follow us on Instagram: @skprny