You don’t want to miss this episode! Jennifer McGinley, CEO of JLM Strategic Communications, comes back one last time to talk to us about new media in public relations and how small businesses and startups can DIY their public relations. We want to take this opportunity to thank Jenn for being our very first guest. She really went above and beyond and set the standard for The Defiant Business Podcast’s guests!
Here’s the podcast episode:
Here are the shownotes:
Ruth: So we’re talking about your 25 years of experience in the field, which is in and of itself impressive. But something I’ve come across is that people who have a copious amount of experience in a particular field can get stuck in the way that they learned how to do things or the way that they feel most comfortable.
Podcasting Will Be a Great Tool for Public Relations
But when you talk, I hear you talk about traditional media going on TV, print, but you’ve also mentioned podcasts, social media, and blogs. So I love that. You aren’t just incorporating new media, you’re embracing it. You’re blending it with all of your experience. I think that that is absolutely fantastic, and another unique thing that you bring to the table.
When you look at larger businesses, you can see that they tolerate social media, but they don’t take the time to understand its impact on the generations that they’re trying to sell to. That was also something that really stuck out for me just now.
Jennifer: Oh, thank you. I actually just went to a PR conference, which is our annual time when we spend an entire day together talking about what’s out there and what’s going on. Podcasting is hot. There are roughly 6000 new podcasts a day.
It’s crazy because once your podcast is out, the hits to a website are crazy. It’s completely blowing things out of the water in terms of credibility, awareness, and connections. You should be on Instagram or Linkedin and do 1-minute videos, whether you’re the CEO of a company or if you’re a nonprofit, that is raw, authentic, and live.
We’ve got a capital campaign coming up. We adore the people that have helped us along so far. Any CEO can get their phone out, do a little bit of prep, and podcast, do a quick video, get yourself out there.
That’s why I say it’s traditional PR with an edge. I need to stay relevant in my experience. I need to be urban-minded so that I can help my clients in the best way possible, and give them that increased awareness as much as I can.
Jenn Has Some Exciting New Projects!
Ruth: Okay. So now let’s talk about your personal, professional projects. I know you’re working on a lot of content too, and I just wanted to know if you have a project that you’re working on right now that you’re excited about? Can you tell me a little bit about it?
Jennifer: I think I’ve done 4-5 videos already, and I’ve got 4-5 more to go and it’s #courageoptional. This actually came about when my business coach had to retreat for 2 days. On the second day, Jodie Gonzales and two other colleagues told me, “Jennifer, why aren’t you doing more videos?” I tell my clients it’s so easy, but for me, it’s still awkward.
Doing Your Own PR and Marketing Can Be Tough
PR people are behind the scenes. I love to push everybody out in the limelight and help them with whatever they need. I actually have an acting background, so I need to put myself in a different space to be more confident.
My new goal, now that I’ve been an entrepreneur for a few years, is taking people through what public relations is, its value, what community outreach is, what media relations is, internal vs. external communication, etc. I have a whole list of what PR people do; content creation, corporate communications, crisis communications, executive communications, events, planning, marketing, fundraising, dealing with different constituents.
There’s so much education that needs to be done. This is the startup as far as educating the public on the value of public relations. I think us public relations experts as a whole need to do our due diligence. I think it will really help organizations and individuals in businesses if they see it, understand it, and respect its values.
DIY PR: Tips from an Expert
Ruth: Alright, so our last question is another hypothetical one. So I’m turning the tables now. If my business isn’t big enough to partner with an esteemed PR professional or firm like yourself, are there actions I can take to prepare for the hopefully eventual possibility?
Jennifer: Absolutely. There are so many people that I absolutely adore and value because they cannot afford a PR person. And they say, “When I can afford you, I will come back. But until then, I need to do it on my own.”
I can do 1-hour strategy calls to brainstorm, and just to give them the who, what, where, when, and why of getting started, which I’ve done for a lot of our new startups.
My first advice is to make sure your website is up to date. Make sure you have videos. Make sure you have a bio on a digital press kit so that if you’re in a particular field, you can have a drop-down list of statistics.
Make sure you have a proper headshot. I’ve gone on so many websites where I don’t actually know who the CEO of that organization is, even for some people that are very successful. I still think you want to know who’s running the show. I think a beautiful headshot and a nice bio really gives you an increased credibility level. You can do press if you’ve received any press in the past.
Moving forward, you need to have your, your mission, your values, your purpose, and your why really written out. Business coaches can help you do that, but PR consultants can as well.
You may need to get a free account on helpareporter.com. It’s for PR experts and media monitoring. This is a great opportunity for you to be on a deadline. These free emails come three times a day, usually between 5.00 – 7.00 AM, then between 2.00 3.00 PM, and then 7.00 – 8.00 PM.
I’m pretty much always aware of everything and I like to get everything done in 1-2 hours because I just think it increases the chances of being chosen.
It’s important to get out online, but get out in person. I know Ruthie, you’ve done a lot of that too. Getting out in the public, meeting people, shaking hands, face-to-face interaction is all about building solid, authentic relationships, building your credibility as a business owner, and an organization.
You want to be top-of-mind. I can’t say that enough. In fact, somebody tagged me as somebody they should connect with online, and I was the second name on that list. I was so honored. What this shows you is that the more you’re out there, being consistent and being yourself, people will start to recognize you. It’s like a spiderweb. You never know who you will meet. Clear, consistent content and communication builds a community.
You might not have the time to do your own PR, so you can hand it off. When you have a flood of PR needs, when you’re in reactive PR mode, you need someone just to handle it for you. I love doing that.
I love saying, “This is who’s interviewing you. This is what they’ve done in the past. This is what your interview will be about, and this is our goal for your interview.” That way, they go in with a bottle of water, a deep breath, and they know they’ll be fine. I love taking my client by the hand, when possible, and getting them to the seat of their interview.
Ruth: Well, this has been amazing. Just talking to you, I added some extra questions in there, and I feel like I could definitely add more questions. I know that I will be inviting you to be a guest again, but thank you so much for taking the time. I know that the series of episodes on public relations and all the amazing, special powers that you have is going to be really valuable to our audience. Even if they’re not able to work with you, if they’re picking a PR professional, or maybe they’re like me and they have you in their sights and they’re going to go back to all the things you just said. You have so much value, so thank you so much.
Jennifer: So everybody, don’t give up hope, keep following along, push out your content, and just be you.
Ruth: All right, so can you tell us your social media channels, your website. These things will all be in the show notes, but I just want to make sure you have an opportunity to say it for anybody listening.
Ruth: Okay. I’m following you in all the right places.
Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. I’m thrilled and honored to be here, to really help and serve others.