Hello! What’s your background and what services you or your agency provide?
My very first PR accomplishment was many years ago when I was a marketer for a multi-family housing developer. We were hosting a party with an unveiling of a campaign we did that awarded a newly renovated home to a Detroit hero, who happened to be a local police officer that had just had her salary cut due to the city’s financial challenges.
My boss had said he didn’t want me seeking PR and wanted to lay low, but the executive team coaxed me to go after it anyway and not lose this enormous opportunity.
With no real PR experience, I simply visited the local news websites and submitted the story in a paragraph via their online forms. On the event day, I was stunned to see camera crews in the building interviewing our special guests and the winners of the new home.
After that I realized getting great stories told is fun, and not hard at all, so anytime the opportunity arose I was happy to share information and news with the press.
It became more of a hobby than a professional until I took on my first “official” role as PR Director for a publicly-traded grocery chain. As a full-time publicist, I learned how great I really was at landing opportunities and really enjoyed seeing my stories get airtime or write-ups in magazines.
Today, I’m working with startups to position their business and executive teams as thought-leaders and help them generate leads through speaking engagements, podcast interviews, articles, brand events, and other tactics.
I also take on projects to help larger corporations and publicly traded companies navigate internal and external communications when they’re going through massive transitions such as major reorganization, moving offices, changing ownership, mergers/acquisitions, or simply to increase employee engagement.
My firm is called Go Lead, LLC and I have a team that includes writers, researchers, and Agile business strategy consultants ready to help companies navigate the waters of business development, marketing, and financial success through great leadership.
Is there anything special about doing PR in Denver?
I work with companies globally, so my local clients are the minority. When I do work with clients in Denver, I love it because we’re such a little-big-city. People use that term here a lot because although we’re a major city with a high population it seems we’re also a close-knit community of people who are really connected. I can’t go to an event without seeing someone I know, or someone with a close tie to a friend.
This connectedness makes it easy to build new media relationships by simply being friendly and inviting them into my network to support their goals as well.
What’s your typical work week like?
I try to be as efficient as possible, so my weeks are generally broken into segments where I work in sprints to get things done for my clients. My goal is never to have a month where my client doesn’t get some sort of result from working with me. There should never be an empty report going out.
I generally have 1 day per week where I leave the office to go meet with people. In the past, I’d have meetings all throughout the week, but I found it became really inefficient with traffic constraints. If I’m on the road so much it’s hard to actually take time to work on client projects.
How have you attracted new clients and grown your business?
At this point, I’ve been featured in a number of podcasts, articles, and even in a TEDx Talk. People find me through those means and usually have a good idea of who I am and why they want to work with me before calling.
I also generate leads through social media when I share client wins on occasion or simply put out a post reminding people what I do for companies. That usually results in several meetings.
What are your favorite PR tools that you cannot live without?
I spend most of my time on Google searching for outlets but also love to use Anewstip to find individual influencers to connect with and Apple’s podcast directory for looking up relevant shows.
Have you found anything particularly helpful in getting a placement on a top tier outlet?
The most helpful element is really having a relevant story. Some people want press just for existing, but if they’re doing something unique, sharing valuable insights, and making an impact there are lots of opportunities to share that valuable news with the world.
I also try to be super knowledgeable on both my client’s values and the values of the outlet or contributor I’m talking with prioritize. If there’s a match, the opportunity is great on both sides.
What’s a client story that you’re most proud of?
I took on a unique event last summer where the owner was really wanting both super-targeted outreach to try and sell more tickets via her PR efforts along with traditional media to help establish brand credibility and earn those quality badges for her website.
We had a really tight 2-month timeframe but got lots of great opportunities, especially in traditional media where we landed features on local television (CBS), the major city newspaper, and some popular local magazines as well. It definitely looked big from the publicity we earned.
What’s your advice for PR pros who are just starting out or entrepreneurs doing PR on their own?
The hardest part of what we do is getting those people who have paid for PR in the past and the agency they worked with got them zero results. I meet business owners who are terrified of investing in PR again, but really believe if they had the right coverage it would help their brand-building efforts.
In today’s challenging media environment people don’t trust ads as they once did and don’t want to hear from the vendor how great they are. PR is a great way to break through the distrust of sponsored content to earn real mentions and features in the content they already read that doesn’t feel they’re being sold to.
On the outset PR seems expensive, but when you actually look at the long-term benefits of increased SEO, brand visibility, and content that tells your story from the voice of a trusted advisor it’s the best advertising you can buy.
Tell us more about Women Of Denver. Why did you start this project? Is it focused on networking between PR professionals in Denver?
Women of Denver is a diverse network attracting professionals from many backgrounds. The city is growing with lots of people moving from other states to relocate for work and lifestyle changes, so our organization caters to those looking to build a quality network for business and friendship.
I started this membership when I was new to the area and looking to connect, but it’s grown tremendously since those modest beginnings. I have received a great deal of press surrounding my accomplishments with the group, which has helped my PR career grow as well.
Where can we learn more about your work or life as a PR pr
I regularly share insights via posts on LinkedIn and Facebook. I accept connections on Facebook and both connections and followers on LinkedIn as long as a note is left stating where they “met” me.