Why small businesses?
Because I like the underdogs, the risk takers, the ones willing to change the status quo. Because I get to work directly with the decision maker, who typically makes decisions more quickly. But mostly because they appreciate the stories I secure for them.
What’s your approach?
Deep vs broad. I’d rather pick five outlets that reach your decision maker and go after them vs. 100 that sorta, kinda reach them.
What’s your billing structure?
I bill by the hour and I’ve worked on retainer. Let’s discuss your business objective and your budget and see what makes the most sense. I once bartered for a beer brewing kit, but while I made a tasty Nut Brown Ale, a Belgian Dubbel and a Saison, it unfortunately doesn’t keep the lights on.
What should I expect from the media?
Some stories hit right away. That’s usually an exception to the rule though. The more timely an announcement is, the better the chance it will be covered. More often than not, stories take about 45-60 days to hit after an initial pitch and follow up. To get on television news, your story has to affect a good number of people, be timely and/or it has to have a strong visual element, i.e. people making/doing something,
How do you work?
I still use the same techniques I learned the first day on the job – develop the right story at the right time for the right reporter at the right outlet. Lather, rinse, repeat. If it doesn’t work, go to another outlet and double back when we have a better story.
Why should I work with you?
- I treat your money like my own. I don’t like wasting it.
- I secure stories in places your customers go to get their information. If it’s not in those outlets, the story wasn’t worth the investment.
- If I don’t give up on stories. A reporter’s “no” usually means “not right now,” so it’s my job to come up with other angles or support points.
Why do you freelance?
I worked in big agencies and small boutiques and spent some time in corporate PR. I found each of my jobs got shorter – four years, three years, two years to the day, 18 months and then six months.
And then I took a Myer’s-Briggs test and, provided the results are accurate, I’m an ENFP. “ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves.”
That’s why I started freelancing.
What about social media?
I have experience boosting twitter, LinkedIn and facebook followers. I’ve written blogs for SEO. If you want to do it on your own though, I recommend picking up Content Rules by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Do I need a press release?
Depends. If you’re sending it to TV, I’d suggest a media alert. If it’s a new company announcement, I can get away with writing up a pitch and sending it. If you want to boost your SEO, then yes, a press release might be warranted.
Do you write?
Yep. I’ve written press releases, bylines, abstracts, case studies, blogs, etc. I wrote two bylines for PR Tactics I also have a haiku published in Frog Pond.
What’s the difference between PR and advertising?
Advertising is a paid medium. You get X amount of space on Y page in Z publication or website and you can control your message and image. It’s guaranteed.
Publicity isn’t a paid medium. It’s a combination of art and science. I try to get a reporter to cover your company, product or service. They may be interested. They may not. They may like your product. They may not. You can’t review a story before it’s published. It’s not guaranteed medium. But the return can be far greater because it can deliver more eyeballs at a fraction of the cost.