“New Media and DIY PR” with Jennifer McGinley

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. 

Jennifer:  Yes. I would say Linkedin, Jennifer McGinley, my website is jlmstrategiccommunications.com, my Twitter is @jenlmcginley16, and my Instagram is @jlmstrategiccommunication

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. 

The Big Mistake You’re Making in Your Podcast Guest Pitches

Now that I have a podcast, I’ve received some pretty lackluster requests to be a guest. What makes them so lackluster? Well, what makes any marketing lackluster? This innate drive to talk about ourselves. That’s not what podcast hosts want to hear from you. They want to know why their audience would be interested in you. So that’s what you need to focus on in your podcast guest pitches. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today we’re going to talk about the big mistake you’re making in your podcast guest pitches. You’re thinking, “Wait! This is a podcast, but we’re talking about guesting on podcasts?” Yes, that’s what’s happening today. 

Not only do I have The Defiant Business Podcast, but I also make it a point to be a guest on other podcasts. This is a part of my marketing and relationship-building strategy. 

Guesting is actually something I did before I started this podcast, and my guest pitches have gotten way better as a result. This is very similar to what happened once I started hiring freelancers, contractors, and working with agencies; my proposals and pitches got much better. 

You’re Focusing Exclusively on Yourself

Part of it is learning through experience, but there’s a very common mistake we make in our proposals. 

When we want something from someone, we have to show what’s in it for them. Just based off of that sentence, I think you know where this is going. 

The reason I decided to make this into an episode is because plenty of pitches I’ve gotten, ever since The Defiant Business Podcast was born, suck. They’re just not interesting, and the last thing I want is to have an uninteresting guest on my podcast. 

What Can You Offer to the Host and Their Audience?

The pitches are very “Me! Me! Me! All about myself!” But your pitches should really focus on what you have to offer to the host. 

Even more importantly, their audience. What do you have to offer to their audience? That’s what they care about. How well-received is your story and personality going to be? Always frame it that way. No matter what. 

When you’re talking about your accolades, awards, experience, and credentials, you should always frame it as why those things matter to the host’s audience. 

Important note: this may change based on the podcast you’re pitching to. 

Get Yourself a Media Kit

You should get a media kit. It’s a wonderful thing to send, but try to keep it to 1 or 2 pages. Nobody wants to read a book about you, unless you’re super interesting. In that case, your book should be on Amazon. It should not be your media kit. 

In your media kit, you’d normally include: 

  • A short bio, some of the industries and topics that you know really well. 
  • Some information about your current audience. 
  • The podcast or media placements you’ve already had, if you’ve got them. That’s something you want to update, so I’d make it a running digital file that you can update regularly. You also want like clickable links, so a pdf would be great. 

Why Are You Interesting?

A lot of work goes into podcast creation, as any podcast host will tell you. It takes a lot. Even The Defiant Business Podcast with its 10-minute episodes is a lot of work, partly because it’s an everyday podcast. I kind of brought that on myself, and it’s still a lot of work. 

Even if it wasn’t every day, it would be a lot of work. It takes enough work to create it, but then you’ve got to promote and distribute it. 

I’m saying this to tell you: make your pitch worth reading. Make it valuable. 

I’ve gotten pitches just stating, “Hey, so I just want to inquire about being a guest on your next podcast episode.” Is it even worth my time responding to you? This first message was boring. That’s why I haven’t responded, so make it interesting. 

Why are you interesting? That should be within your first pitch. 

If You’re a Beginner…

If you’re new, there are lots of things you can offer. 

Let’s say you’re new and you’re trying to guest on podcasts.

Select the Right Podcasts

First things first, you should probably look at new-ish podcasts, or podcasts where you’re uniquely situated to offer the maximum value to an audience. 

This means you need to do some research, understand who that audience is, and what they’re looking for. Why do they listen to that podcast and how do you add value? 

Create New Content

You could also offer to create a unique piece of content. This is something that even experienced podcast guests do. 

Create something they can put on their landing page for the podcast episode. 

If you have any other unique services that make distribution a little bit easier or fancier, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with offering that either. 

Make Good on Your Promise of Interest

When you market that particular podcast episode, you’re marketing yourself. It’s not like you’re giving away a ton of work for free. In essence, you’re asking to borrow the podcast host’s audience. 

You’re asking to borrow their credibility. We’ve talked about building your credibility. One of the ways to do that is by borrowing the credibility of others, but when you do, you need to fulfill that promise. 

Read more about how to build your company’s credibility in this blog post.

In your pitch, you should allude to how you’re fulfilling the promise of interest. What’s your proof? For example, how do I know that you’ll be an excellent guest on The Defiant Business Podcast? 

Why Should You Be This Season’s Rock Star?

In terms of guesting on The Defiant Business Podcast, we have one guest per season. So our standards are very high. 

If you’re a guest on The Defiant Business Podcast, you’ll be the only guest we promote that entire season. My goal is to treat you like a rock star. 

Our Season 2 Guest, Jennifer McGinley!

I love our season 2 guest, Jennifer McGinley. Her interview is broken into 5 different segments that we’re featuring throughout the entire season. We’ve created social media assets around it, shared her points, created a blog posts about it and everything. 

Her name is out there! And she’s the only one person. I’m not promoting anybody else right now because she’s my only guest. 

We go through the effort of treating our guests like rock stars, which means that you have to show us you are a rock star. You need to defy the status quo, which is my company’s name. That’s where The Defiant Business Podcast comes from. 

So if you want to pitch to me, show me why your business is defiant and show me why my audience would care. Tell us that you know why you should be the rock star that we promote the entire season. 

Do Not Copy and Paste; Send Unique Podcast Guest Pitches

That’s basically it. I told you what to do right there. Still, every podcast is different, so don’t copy and paste everything. 

Do your research. Find out what that podcast host wants for their audience, what the audience wants from their podcast host, and do your best to showcase that in your podcast guest pitch. 

Be as interesting possible, and you’re way more likely to get a response. 

Attention Spans Decreasing or Something Else?

We’ve all heard it before “the human attention span is only 8 seconds long.” That’s why you have to snag their interest with a great headline, blah, blah, blah. But what if it isn’t our attention spans? What if it’s something else, and it ties more directly to your content quality? 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Attention spans; are they going down or is it something else? You can probably judge by the title that I think it’s something else.

Less Than the Attention Span of a Goldfish

Humans went from having a 12-second attention span to an 8-second attention span. That’s less than a goldfish. 

We’ve been playing around with these numbers for a while. They first appeared in Microsoft Canada research, and everybody took it as a fact. But did you know that this number did not come from Microsoft’s actual research? 

It was cited in their research report, and the number actually came from an organization called Statistic Brain, who also cited some vague sources. I read a very interesting article by Simon Maybin, in which he went  through tracking down these sources. He couldn’t get a response from Statistic Brain. He couldn’t get a response from the sources that they cited. 

That’s not to say that somebody didn’t assess that human attention spans are 8 seconds, but it’s been a bit of a rough journey actually figuring out where that number came from. 

If It’s Not Attention Spans, Then What?

I think it’s something else. I think it’s the tolerance level that’s gone down. We have a low tolerance level for content that doesn’t serve us. 

Low Tolerance for the Subpar

With all of the options for content that are possible online, why would you waste any time on something that doesn’t serve you at all? On something that’s subpar, doesn’t make sense to you, or that’s low quality? Why would you do that when you know you could find better elsewhere? Why would you waste your time? 

I know we don’t. That’s what high bounce rates and low website traffic indicates. That’s why your website is ranked lower on search engines. It’s because your content isn’t where it needs to be. 

This comes from a variety of things. It comes from not investing properly in content as part of your marketing strategy, but it also comes from doing content just to do content. It doesn’t have a real purpose within your organization, and it’s just out there floating around. 

Binge-Watching as It Relates to Your Audience’s Attention Spans

Couldn’t you go watch a 2-hour movie right now if you wanted to? I’m sure that you’ve watched at least one within the last month. As a matter of fact, you might’ve watched the Avengers: Endgame movie, which was nearly 4 hours. So you can’t tell me that people can sit through things like that, and then tell me that attention spans are low. That just doesn’t make sense. 

Netflix Introduced Us to Binge-Watching

Netflix ushered in the era of binge-watching shows. Instead of waiting for it to come out week by week, I pick one season of a show and watch the entire thing. Netflix often releases shows that way; season by season, or even the entire thing all at once. 

We binge-watch them because they’re interesting. We don’t want to wait. There are people who will sit and watch several hours of TV over the course of 3 days. That’s not because their attention span is low. 

Is Your Content Binge-Worthy?

So you have to ask yourself; is your content binge-worthy? Is it even worth paying any attention to? Go look at it with an objective eye, and then try to answer that question honestly for yourself. 

Is your content binge-worthy? Is it worth reading when you compare it to your nearest competitors? When you look at their content, how does your content compare? Is it worthy of the attention that you want it to have?

People are not generally numb that we’d continue to read something that doesn’t do anything for us. So as a global society, with all of our options, we’ve developed a low tolerance for subpar content in any form. This could be text, videos, images, and any other sort of content that’s going to be more relevant in the future, like virtual and augmented reality. 

It’s going to include all of those things. They’re already here. It can’t be subpar. I always say it; quality over quantity. A stellar blog post will outperform 16 crappy blog posts over time. 

Reevaluate and Update Content

We have to reevaluate and look at content. Even right now, I’m rewriting and adding to a blog article that’s been on my site for several months, because I’ve learned new things. I’ve got more to add to it. My understanding of certain concepts has become more refined. 

This blog post gets traffic from search engines to my site, so I want to make it better. The data tells me that people are interested in this topic, and I know I can make it better. So now we’re going to move up. 

At the time, that was the best I could do. That was my level of “stellar”. Now, my level of “stellar” is up, and I have to fix it. 

Are you catering to your audience’s intolerance for subpar content? Are you delivering what they expect from you? It’s not their attention spans. It is the quality of your content.

“12 Months of Public Relations – Credibility and Relationships” with Jennifer McGinley

Public relations is all about relationships. After 12 months of working with a public relations professional, Jennifer McGinley, CEO of JLM Strategic Communications, says you should expect to see some real traction. At this point, she aims for higher profile opportunities. Learn how Jenn has uses her 25 years of relationship-building in PR to get the best opportunities for her clients in today’s episode. 

Here is the podcast episode:

Here is the transcript:

PR Involves a Ton of Relationship-Building

Ruth: It sounds like there’s a lot of relationship-building involved. So you probably come across people who are like, “Oh well, I could do that myself.” 

Even totally ignoring the fact that they could not do it as well as you could do it, and that it’s not worth their time to learn to do it. In theory, somebody could “do what you do.” But that relationship that you’ve spent all these years building with various media outlets is not something they can duplicate. 

Jennifer: It’s all about relationship-building. I know who to go to for whatever I need. The media that I am close to know, they can trust me. In a crisis, they know that I’m here to help them.

I’ve worked really hard, especially in Philadelphia and in the Baltimore area. If they called me, they know within 30 minutes to 1 hour, I’d have a response. I’d have an expert ready to be interviewed so that when the news truck pulls up, it is a seamless process.

My bosses have always said “Details, details, details.” It is all about efficiency. It’s about being organized and preparing experts ahead of time. When something happens, we are set to go.

I’ve worked in Columbine and 9/11. I’ve worked in crisis situations which I enjoy, even though it’s a horrible crisis. I’m good undertaking that kind of pressure because I know what needs to be done. The media really values efficiency, credibility, and loyalty as well. 

It’s Been 12 Months. What Should My PR Look Like?

Ruth: Okay, so one more tie-in to this scenario. We talked about what you do in the beginning. We talked about what you’re expecting to see at 6 months. So it’s been 12 months now. It’s been a year. What are we expecting to see now? 

Jennifer: We’ve done 2 or 3 meeting campaigns by now. I’ve gotten some traction for them. I knew when I met them that they could be successful, depending on their backstory. 

I can start niching down and getting some of those higher-profile media placements. I’ve pitched the New York Times before, and the Wall Street Journal. I haven’t gotten anything yet, but I know how to pitch them, and I know what they’re looking for. 

Public Relations is About What You Bring to The Audience

You can do a trend piece, where it’s not just going to be about my clients. For example, I knew this organic farm in Baltimore and the woman who ran it. I did not work with her, but I knew she was going to be a superstar. Recently, there was an article on 5 female farmers, and it was in a Baltimore sign. It was a frenzy on amazing, rock-star women in organic farming in the Baltimore area.

That is such a great example of, “It’s not about me, it’s about our field and how we can educate others on the importance of what we do.” So a trend piece is great. 

You Need to Be Prepared to React to Breaking News

Breaking news is great. Offering a quote for something, and being there for the media in whatever way they need it, is always a win-win. For one client, I really want to pitch some podcasts. I also want to pitch Living Well because there’s a woman that specializes in the cultural aspect of food that can help.

I need to be aware of all the different types of media outlets and opportunities. A lot of it is my gut and a lot is timing. For some people, it’s hard to put a value on that and see that ROI. 

I used to be worried when I was in my twenties. I was like, “God, why do I feel like I’m procrastinating or I’m not organized?” But then I would call an outlet after the feeling was hitting me, and they would say, “I’m so glad you didn’t call an hour ago because we were under breaking news, but everything’s settled now. We can talk to you.” So it’s this weird gut feeling and gut that I have. A woman yesterday told me, “Yeah, I just go with my gut and my intuition on things.” And so do I! 

Knowing When to Call the Newsroom is Critical

We know not to call the newsroom at breaking news, we know to call 9:30 – 10:00, after they’ve gotten out of their team meeting about what stories they’re going to be covering for that day. 

For breaking news, if I have an expert, like for 9/11 or Columbine, hopefully, they already know that I’ve done my homework. I’ve already sent bios 6 months in advance. So if something happens, give me a call and I’m going to help you. 

The news organization knows I can provide an expert in the next 20 minutes. They can talk to you about PTSD, any behavioral health issues, or help parents talk to their children about what’s happened. 

Jenn is Always Thinking About PR and News!

My mind is literally thinking 24/7 about the news. I am a complete news junkie. I have a TV in my kitchen, I’m on my phone all the time, and I love Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. My brain has been like that since before I went to high school. It’s just something that I’ve always absolutely adored. 

So I love journalists, I love the media so much. I think as a PR expert, we need to build relationships. We need to respect where they’re coming from and help them as much as we can. 

The work I do is not advertising. This is called earned media. This is a gift. You can’t even put a price on it, although you can figure out the advertising dollars it would cost for a 60-minute TV segment or 3-minute live TV segment. 

The Value of Earned Media

Earned media, to me, has so much more value and a higher credibility level, that I always make sure my clients understand. We’re at their beck and call, not the other way around. When they need us, we jump and ask “How high?” 

I’ve had clients who were like, “No, that time is not convenient for me.” Obviously I didn’t do enough education on my part to explain that you can’t do that. 

At the end of last September, NBC called me and said, “Can I come to your house in an hour?” I said, “Absolutely.” I drove across town and I told my client where we would meet the reporter. It was a beautiful, amazing segment that ran at the 11 o’clock news right before Mental Health Month, which I couldn’t have orchestrated more perfectly. And then, on the first day of Mental Health Month, she had a live 7:15 AM segment on Fox. 

There’s a reason for my methodology. There’s a reason for my research and my time. And that’s the value I bring to the table.

Can You Believe These Marketing Gaffes?

Can you believe these marketing gaffes? Really, the most important thing is what we can learn from these marketing mistakes. How do big companies make these sorts of mistakes though? I can only think of 4 really good reasons, and I share them with you in this episode.

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today, we’re going to talk about some serious marketing gaffes, because there’s always a lesson to be learned from the missteps of others. If we don’t take the opportunity to go back and look at these mistakes, then how can we learn from them? 

This episode isn’t meant to throw shade at any one particular company, but to take the opportunity to look at what happened, what caused it, and how we can avoid those same mistakes. Nothing bad about that. No shade meant.

How Could These Marketing Mistakes Possibly Happen?!

There are a few companies that I picked in terms of what not to do, but before we get into these examples, I want to talk about some of the reasons that mistakes like these occur. 

As a consumer, when you see some of these mistakes, you may be thinking, “Oh my goodness, that company is so big! How did they make that mistake?! That’s ridiculous! They make way too much money to make these sorts of mistakes.” Or maybe, you’re thinking it’s NOT a mistake. That’s worse for the company’s brand perception.

There are a few key reasons why these mistakes might occur. 

1. Using a Cause They’re Completely Detached From

One of the reasons stems from the company trying to use or borrow a cause that they’ve never indicated any interest in. 

It doesn’t line up with their target audience or target customer demographics. They’re trying to borrow energy that’s not theirs, and it’s inauthentic. You can’t borrow energy that’s not yours to use. 

One of the best examples is when a cause or an issue comes around, a company will change its filter on Facebook or something. Some people find that really inauthentic, and there’s a good reason for that. 

2. Cultivating a Stifling and Unhealthy Company Culture

It could also be that while someone was brainstorming in the creativity meeting, nobody spoke up against it. This ties back to company culture. 

Some companies develop a culture which doesn’t encourage speaking up. There’s one person in charge of that particular team who uses a chokehold on everyone’s opinions. Only they have good opinions, and everyone else’s opinions suck. 

That’s not going to encourage anyone to speak up. 

3. Becoming Tone Deaf Due to the Lack of Diversity

Another reason might be that a company doesn’t have enough diversity in that department. Many of the examples I’m going to show you relate to diversity, in terms of different groups that they caused an uproar in. 

There may not be someone on that to say “Hey, that’s actually not a good idea. Let me explain why.” Then, it could be that there’s not enough diversity, or somebody’s got a chokehold on all the opinions. 

4. Not Doing Enough Research

The last one usually just boils down to the company not doing enough research. This is not an excuse. 

It can start at the lowest level. Somebody has a good idea and they present it to the upper echelons of a marketing department. No one in that entire chain checks. Boom! It’s bad. 

Kendall Jenner and the Pepsi Ad

First one up, you guys knew this was coming: Kendall Jenner and the Pepsi Ad

Why were people so mad? 

No matter what side of the conversation you’re on, Pepsi offered a story that had an over-simplistic solution to the situation. 

Basically, it’s Kendall Jenner with a Pepsi. She goes down, and resolves the entire issue by giving a Pepsi to a police officer, who’s standing there with a protester. 

This ties back to shootings in which black people have been killed by police officers. Pepsi wanted to appear as a unifying product, but they made it seem like that type of situation was just an easy thing to fix. It wasn’t. 

It’s institutional, and it’s deep. I think both sides can agree this stems from deeper issues. A can of Pepsi’s not going to fix it. 

Someone who disagreed with this ad idea could have easily raised their hands in the creativity meeting and said, “This is a terrible idea, especially for Kendall Jenner to be the one to pass off the Pepsi. In terms of deep issues, most people don’t take her seriously. It’s just a fact.” 

DiGiorno’s Tasteless #WhyIStayed Tweet

Another one is DiGiorno’s #WhyIStayed campaign. DiGiorno wanted their followers to use #WhyIStayed to talk about why they stayed with the brand. 

Unfortunately, it appears that the DiGiorno marketing team didn’t do enough research to find out that #WhyIStayed is a Hashtag that domestic abuse survivors typically use to talk about why they stayed in a toxic relationship. 

People ask that question, “If your spouse is doing that, why do you stay?” Well, that’s the responding hashtag. 

They could have easily popped that into Twitter and realized the truth, before assuming that any idea you have for a hashtag is original. 

Ford’s Offensive Car Ad

A really bad one was Ford using bound and gagged women to show how much space their new hatchback had. This never used ad was created in 2013. It received a surge of disparagement around the time that Harvey Weinstein was big in the news and the #MeToo movement was taking off.  

When people saw this ad, they were obviously appalled. Why didn’t somebody tell them that that was a terrible idea? I don’t know. 

We know Ford wasn’t trying to advocate for violence against women, but it came out anyway. It’s offensive. It hurts people. Ford is perceived as being too large a company to make these sorts of mistakes. Ford actually didn’t use the ad, but it came out anyway.

Dove’s Racially Insensitive Ad

Dove had a short ad, in which a black woman turns into a white woman. The ad was deemed racist and everyone was outraged. 

However, Dove’s response was that they were just trying to convey that their product is for everyone. Diversity. Anybody can use this product. It’s great for anyone’s skin. 

Unfortunately, the ad heralded back to the advertising gimmick of cleaning a black person into whiteness. This is something that we’ve seen with marketing companies from the 1900s, all the way into the last years. 

The soap was so great, it could clean a black person into a white person! Obviously that’s incredibly racist and very offensive. 

Dove’s intention and how they were perceived were obviously very different things. Again, you just have to wonder why someone didn’t say that this was a terrible idea. 

The Takeaway of All These Marketing Mistakes

What we’ve learned from these marketing missteps is that companies need to:

  • Introduce some of their marketing concepts to focus groups before they release them
  • Encourage people on the marketing team to speak up
  • Make an effort to get a diversified group of people to offer opinions, skills, knowledge, and personal life experiences

As companies try to touch upon more and more issues that matter to us, it would be better for them to take perspectives that appeal to us as consumers into consideration. They also have to consider how they may turn us off, which is something you should always focus on in your marketing, especially with popular culture and current events. 

Are you engaging in any bad marketing practices? Take a look at our Bad Marketing article and video and find out!

Marketing Deception – Bad Marketers Vs. The Rebellion

How are marketers deceiving consumers these days? In fact, according to this research paper, there are 6 different types of marketing deception, or stealth marketing. How stealthy is your marketing? Have you engaged in any of these types of marketing deception types? We have to make sure our marketing is ethical and honest. Great business is about building great relationships. Great relationships are built on honesty. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

I’m actually in school right now. We had been assigned a course project, in which we had to read a paper that used the movie “Keeping Up with the Joneses” to illustrate the different types of marketing deception. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. 

Marketing Deception vs the Rebellion

What Is the Marketing Rebellion?

When I say rebellion, I’m actually referring to Mark Schaefer’s The Marketing Rebellion, a business book I highly recommend. 

The author talks about how we are in what he considers the third marketing rebellion. This is reflected in all types of marketing that are most likely to succeed, which is partly why content marketing is so important today. 

People want to make up their own minds and they want others to just be honest. That’s why marketing deception is a terrible response to the marketing rebellion. 

What Is Marketing Deception?

Marketing deception, aka stealth marketing, is when marketers disguise marketing communications with the intent to influence the consumer. 

I’d like to note the word influence. This is dishonest. You’re trying to get people to do something they may not have done if they knew that your intent was to get them to spend money. 

The Importance of Disclosing Affiliate Links

This is also why we have to disclose things like affiliate links. That’s where the influencer marketing dishonesty comes from. It’s easier to identify macro-influencers than micro-influencers. 

Sometimes, you’ll see that everything they put on their Instagram, they’re trying to sell you. It’s obvious that it’s a big sale, so more companies are connecting with micro-influencers. These are people have smaller, but more engaged communities. That’s typically why they work better than macro-influencers. 

However, it may be harder for a consumer to suss out that this person is an influencer and they were paid for this post. This is why now influencers have to make it clear when they’re paid. 

The 6 Types of Marketing Deception

According to this research paper on ScienceDirect.com, there are 6 types of stealth marketing or marketing deception.

1. Marketer to Consumer Deception 

This is the premise of the entire movie “Keeping Up with the Joneses.” If you haven’t seen this movie before, it’s about a family who moves into a suburban neighborhood. 

The family is made up of a teenage son and daughter, a beautiful wife, and a very handsome husband. They move to this area with the intent of influencing people to make purchases without disclosing that they’re marketing. 

  • The girl is trying to get people to buy makeup and clothes.
  • The boy sells sports and electronics equipment. 
  • The husband markets high-end cigars and male luxuries.
  • The wife is the ring leader, sand she tries to get women to buy high-end luxuries, like clothing, kitchen equipment, etc. 

Our task for the project was to determine which type of marketing was the most harmful, which I later determined to be a marketer to consumer deception

The reason why is because as a marketer, I have a professional obligation to be ethical, honest. Nobody wants to feel like they got the rug pulled out from under them. No matter what type of marketing it is, the buck stops with the marketer who’s paying for/creating it. 

Sony’s Fake Fan Site

Want a real life example? Sony paid to create a fake fan site to generate buzz for one of their new products.

As a content marketer, I was outright offended because I create content. Yes, the content is meant to help generate sales, but it’s not framed in such a dishonest way like this. 

The content that I write goes up on company websites. We try to help prospective clients make a decision that will make them the most happy. If you get a sale from this, it’s because the prospect decided you were the best solution, and that’s what content is meant to do. 

It shouldn’t be done in a dishonest way, but in an informative, entertaining way. The customer chooses you because you are the best choice. 

2. Consumer to Marketer Deception

I feel like this one’s more of a defense mechanism. You might be thinking, “How does a consumer lie to a marketer?” 

Well, you go onto a website and they need you to give them your email address, so you enter in a throwaway email address that you don’t check. This is you deceiving the marketer. 

This happens when everybody’s trying to gate things all the time. In the research paper, they likened it to people going to the dealership without the intent of buying the car. You just want to drive it. 

3. Marketer to Marketer Deception 

Current partners may make poor decisions, and you swoop in to get some of their market share. This doesn’t happen directly to the consumer. 

4. Consumer to Consumer Deception  

Consumer to consumer deception typically involves collecting information or influencing others without informing them, similarly to the marketer to consumer deception. 

The Girls Intelligence Agency’s Involuntary Focus Groups 

Their example was the Girls Intelligence Agency, which employs 40,000 girls between the ages of 8-29 to gather information mainly through slumber parties. Basically, they’re holding focus groups with unwitting participants. Terrible.  

5. Marketer Self-Deception 

This is one of the biggest ones for our marketers. How are marketers deceiving themselves when it comes to their marketing, impact, and effectiveness?

How Tobacco Companies Started Failing 

You can see it in how tobacco companies failed to adapt. Once all the research studies started coming out, they just kept acting like business was normal. 

They put the warning labels on the packets, and thought that was good enough. They didn’t really do anything at all. 

6. Consumer Self-Deception 

As a consumer we allow ourselves to become convinced to buy things, but regret it later. 

When you do have a regret around something that you’ve purchased, you really have to consider whether that landing page was what caused you to buy, or were you serving some other ideal. Another ideal being something like, “My friend bought it, so I want it.” 

We oftentimes deceive ourselves in terms of what we need and how much we can afford. That was even one of the big cruxes of the movie. I don’t want to ruin it if you haven’t seen it. 

Ethical Marketing Only

We have to be on the lookout, guys! Ethical marketing only. You don’t want your customers to feel like you’re lying to them. That’s how you get a hater for life. They will hate you forever and tell everyone about it. 

All right, that’s been an episode of The Defiant Business Podcast. I’m your host Ruthie. Please leave us a comment or a review. Let us know what you liked about this episode. Give us some feedback. I live on feedback, so please talk to me. You don’t understand how important those things are to a successful and thriving podcast. I will see you next time! 

“How Do You Start Working with a PR Professional?” with Jennifer McGinley

How do you start working with a PR professional? We’re continuing on with Jennifer McGinley’s, CEO of JLM Strategic Communications, interview. In today’s episode, she tells us what to expect when you first start working with a PR professional. As you’ll hear from her, a lot of trust is involved. Jenn seems to thrive in that place where opportunity meets preparedness.

Here is the podcast episode:

Here is the transcript:

What is the 1st step to working with a PR Professional?

Jennifer: I start with a 15-minute call just to get to know eachother quickly. Then after that, I go into a 1-hour phone call. I love to just let somebody talk. I want their whole story, the good, the bad, the ugly. I want the who, what, why, when, and how of of their business. 

Hopefully, they’re in business for 3-5 years before I talk to them. I have worked with a lot of new entrepreneurs, but…. You would probably know the statistics on new businesses and what the failure rate is. (I do, it’s about 20% in the first year) Not to be negative, but I’ve worked with a couple entrepreneurs that I don’t even know where they are anymore. 

So I do that hour-long phone call, I delve deep, and I literally just keep my mouth shut and let them talk. I absorb the information, I take appropriate notes and then we just talk together about a strategy, a budget, and a plan. 

If they’re in the mental health space, I love to have a pseudo-editorial calendar set up. If it’s May Mental Health Month or October’s Mental Health Awareness Week, that’s a great way to set some deadlines, and bring in breaking news or something relevant. This is because it increases the media relations opportunities, but it’s also a community outreach opportunity. So there’s a lot of thinking and strategizing that goes into this. 

Not to get ahead of myself, but I do that strategy call, listen, and if they don’t have a bio written, I love to write bios. My bios are different. I really try telling a story that can be a separate piece. I’ve been told by another editor, “I love this bio because it makes me want to interview them and get to know them better.”

It was then that I knew that I was on the right path in terms of including quotes, their educational background, but also making it warm and intriguing. I think that’s what journalists want today, as well as anybody else that would interview them.

Ruth: That makes sense. From the client side of things, it sounds like they should be trusting you to do your job, but also being prepared to be that person who talks a lot so you can do all of that incredibly valuable listening. It sounds like there’s a lot of trust and communication involved.

Trust is Huge When You Work with a Public Relations Professional

Jennifer: Yeah, trust is huge for me. Public relations is not a one-sided game. It’s a collaborative effort. I want to educate that person on what public relations truly is, and the value that I can bring them with connection, visibility, and credibility.

Credibility is huge. They need to have a really solid website. If they want to go on paid or unpaid speaking engagements, I need some video. I need them to have their bio done. I need talking points. I love to do a draft press release, because something can pop up quickly if there’s breaking news. 

One of the cases I’ve dealt with was the Ford-Kavanaugh situation. I talked with her for months ahead of time. I told her, “Listen, this whole Me Too thing is gonna blow, and we need to be prepared.” So we prepared a couple of months in advance. Mental Health Month was also coming along. 

The day that I called her, I said, “It’s D-Day. We’re good to go. Use your talking points for each interview.” To me, that was the perfect, dream situation because when I first met her, I already knew that this was going to happen. (No, Jenn isn’t saying #MeToo is great. She’s speaking strictly about how her preparedness and the opportunity lined up.)

She was such an amazing person. I knew that we would get along so well because she said, “You know what, do what you need to do. Just tell me where I need to be and when I need to be there, and I will do it.” So I just felt the creative juices flowing since the day I met her. 

That’s when you get up in the morning, and it doesn’t feel like work. It’s what I love to do and I love, I love when the synergy is there. That’s really important for me. 

How Does a PR Professional Go About Getting Media Coverage for a Business?

Ruth: Okay, so what’s involved in terms of how you would try to get media coverage for me and my business, now that we’re working together?

Jennifer: Like I said, I want the bio done. I want to get to know that person. I want to really figure out where they see themselves vs. my constructive criticism of them. I’ve had people call me going, “Oh, do you have a friend at the Today show?” And I kind of take a deep breath and explain that media relations isn’t everything in public relations. You really have to earn the right to get on that outlet, or get that podcast, etc. 

There’s a lot of planning. Honestly, the person needs to be a legitimate expert in their field with a lot of backing educationally. They need to have local media placements behind them. So, that’s why I love going local first. 

Jennifer McGinley, CEO, JLM Strategic Communications

Alumni Publications Can Be a Great Starting Point for Public Relations

Don’t forget about your alumni publications. If you went to a college and you have a new book out, or you’re trying to grow your business, tell your alumni. Whether it’s in your alumni publication, or in an alumni reunion, where you can have a table to sell your product, book,  t-shirts if you’re a nonprofit, or something like that. 

That is such a great way to get your name out, because think about it: there are a plethora of fields that those alumni are a part of. I like taking that shoestring budget or community outreach approach to PR. 

I think when you’re building a community in such an authentic, raw way that it’s going to give you a lot more attraction and mileage. Especially when compared to paid advertising, Facebook ads, or hustling in a scattered approach. 

I work with my client in a very realistic way. We’re kind of just filling in each-other’s gaps and have a really nice, flowing thought process. That’s really what I let you do.  Trust, communication, collaboration, strategy, and research are all key components. 

I like to use those first three months to get to know the client. I reassure them that if I text, email, or call them, it’s not going to be a waste of their time. I will only do that if I’m on a deadline or breaking leads. So that’s the respect that I have for that client and their time. 

It goes both ways. If I tell them that an opportunity came up. I have a 7.00 deadline, it’s 3.30 now. We need to get this in. My clients are like, “Absolutely, what do you need me to do? I’ll cut and paste, I’ll edit, I’ll get it in.” I love that because it’s fun. It’s on a deadline and we’re working together to help them with their organization.

That is great public relations, and it’s a great approach.


If your PR person doesn’t sound like Jenn, well….. I suggest you start working with a new PR professional ASAP! If you missed it, here’s Jenn’s first segment on The Defiant Business Podcast. Let us know what you think in the comments!

“What is Public Relations?” with Jennifer McGinley

Season 2 is special, and certainly a step up from Season 1. Why? Because we welcomed our first guest on the show. Not only that, she’s a seasoned PR professional who makes PR honest and trustworthy. I invited Jennifer McGinley, the CEO of JLM Strategic Communications, onto the Defiant Business Podcast to educate us on what public relations means to her. You’ll be hearing from Jenn 4 other times this season. She gave us so much great content, it was impossible to put into one episode!

Here is the podcast episode:

Here is the transcript:

Ruth: Hi Jenn. I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on The Defiant Business Podcast. This is a very special series since you are our first official guest. So, I just wanted to say thank  you. 

Jennifer: Thank you for having me. I value you so much for your experience and your intellect in this space. I’m really thrilled and honored to be here. Thank you. 

Ruth: Wow. You’re welcome! But our motto is that nobody has a lot of time, and so we’re not going to waste it. I’ll get right into our first question. 

I wanted to know a bit about your background and your business, as well as what you feel distinguishes you from others in your field. 

Jennifer: Three years ago, I started doing public relations on my own. I’ve been in the field for 25 years and I’ve done lots of jobs in-between. I’ve done a lot in healthcare for community hospitals or the behavioral health system. 

And after moving to Baltimore, I worked for the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. I would say the greatest amount of my public relations experience is higher education and healthcare. 

Now I started JLM Strategic Communications, which I’m so grateful and excited to be doing. I specialize in reputation management, community outreach, and media relations. My goal with all of my clients is increasing their connection, visibility, as well as credibility. I think that’s the summary of what I do. 

Do all of those things fall under public relations? 

Jennifer: They do. To really explain to others that are watching/listening what public relations is, it’s generally all about building solid relationships. 

I have a proper definition too. “A strategic communication process can build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.”

It really is about building awareness. It’s about serving others. That’s really hugely important to me. 

I’m not trying to just make my clients happy here. Of course that’s very important customer service-wise, but I always have to serve the community. I need to educate others. That organisation wants to educate others. I love having that type of perspective. 

Jennifer McGinley, CEO, JLM Strategic Communications

Ruth: Well that definitely sounds like a differentiating factor for you, because I feel like oftentimes when people talk about public relations, you get the impression that they’ll just work with anyone and promote any cause or business. So I think that that is pretty significant. 

Jennifer has a rare outlook on the purpose of public relations

Jennifer: For me, it is. I think I was raised this way as well, with stellar or extremely high-end ethics, values, and honesty. I’m not going to take anybody on as a client, unless I do my due diligence and make sure that they’re rigid. 

I think the field of public relations does a disservice when they take on any organization, client, or individual person that’s not representing themselves in the best, most authentic way possible. 

Jennifer McGinley, CEO, JLM Strategic Communications

The differentiator for me is I only want people that truly want to serve others. I really want their community to be better-off, this world to be better-off. 

It might sound hokey, but I truly believe that it is my calling to do public relations to help others. I want to do it in a way that’s authentic, honest, and it’s not a rinse-and-repeat process. 

My public relations is completely customized. My clients aren’t exclusively physicians, dentists, lawyers, or authors. I take on people I vibe with, and there’s this instant connection. I meet them, I delve into their backstory, their mission, and their purpose. All of a sudden I know everything I can do for them, and it’s just this magnetic explosion of awesome. 

Ruth:  I don’t think that that sounds hokey at all. When you consider the transformation that media in all channels is going through, and some of the outlets that have just had their reputation shredded, what you’re talking about may be the beginnings of the PR response to the new consumer demand for honest media. 

Jenn on trusting her gut as an entrepreneur

Jennifer: I have made mistakes. I have wrongly judged people in a way that I thought I could trust them. 

I think the floodgates to the entrepreneurial space are open, and you have to learn that there’s appropriate boundaries. Looking into word of mouth is huge, but I also Google everybody before I talk to them. I delve deep into their online presence, and if my gut says red flag, I pay attention to it. 

In the beginning I was like, “I need to help people. I need to serve others, whatever needs to happen.” But I do have to be careful because my reputation is on the line as well. 

In fact, I had a conversation with another PR expert yesterday and she said, “If something’s off, go with your gut.” And whenever I don’t go with my gut, I make a huge mistake. 

I’ve definitely learned and I’m excited for the good, the bad, and the ugly of being an entrepreneur. I’m going far in this journey and as I go along, I’m just being smart about my decisions. That’s extremely important to me.

Jenn gave us so much great information in her interview. I can’t wait to share the rest of it with you throughout the season! What are your thoughts on public relations? Are you using it in your company’s marketing and communications strategy? Let us know in the comments.

Influencer Marketing Today

My assignment this week for my social media marketing class was to take a brief look at influencer marketing. The primary task is to share my perspectives on it. Being a professional in the content marketing space means that influencer marketing has been on my radar from day one.

Arguably, every company is trying to influence their audience into making a purchasing decision through their content. You see it when you look at the buyer’s journey. It’s in our buyer personas, as we explore reasons this semi-fictional person will buy something. Content marketers carefully weigh the placement and content of each call-to-action, in an effort to get the audience to BUY. So onto my assignment 🙂

What do you notice about this type of influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is taking the marketing and advertising world by storm. Kim Kardashian and her family are probably the influencers you know best. Whether you love them or hate them, you know them. That’s the point. I think that recently, in the last year or two, the focus has turned from mega influencers with large audiences to micro-influencers with strongly connected audiences. 

It’s pretty similar to how I advise my clients to create specific target audience personas when we’re building their content strategies. If you have to say “or” in your personas, you have to ask yourself if you need to create a separate persona. Saying “man” or “woman”, then you can probably keep that persona together. But if you’re saying CEO or CMO, then you might need to consider creating two different personas. 

The same could be said for the benefits of using micro-influencers, who have smaller but more connected and engaged audiences. 

What strategies are they [influencers] employing?

I think that the most successful influencers are often in B2C markets where the cost of a particular item may not be as much as the average B2B purchase. Their marketing strategies often seem to lean toward the entertaining, glib, and amusing. 

What role do these influencers play in marketing?

Influencer marketing certainly falls into the category of paid marketing. However, it is presented in a different format. A true influencer’s audience isn’t paid for, therefore the consumers in that audience are expecting to see the influencer’s content. Ad blindness doesn’t apply to a great influencer’s audience. 

So while a company pays the influencer, the influencer doesn’t pay their audience. So the effect their getting can be similar to what we see in friend-to-friend content sharing. 

How does the use of marketing perspective impact the relationship between the company and consumer?

Influencers represent an in between space between the company and the consumer. I know it, and you know it: consumers don’t trust branded company content. As a matter of fact, 66% of consumers trust user generated content (UGC) over company content. Your customers and clients expect you to say your products or services are awesome, don’t they? Of course they do. But what they trust almost anyone else more. 

That sounds drastic, but the value of Amazon reviews really demonstrates the truth of the statement. Whenever I purchase something online, I’m always looking for the reviews. I know I’m not alone too. Yes, I know that influencer content isn’t UGC. However, it has the advantage of looking and feeling like UGC.

When you think about it, all of us have the potential to be influencers, whether we monetize that or not. It’s about sharing helpful information that guides purchasing decisions with our audiences. 

Appealing to Event Sponsors

Interested in how to actually appeal to event sponsors? It begins with understanding what value you can provide to the sponsor, from marketing the event to the actual execution. What can you offer the sponsor in exchange for their financial or resource support? Turns out, you can offer plenty they would be interested in. 

This is the final episode for Season 1 of The Defiant Business Podcast, how crazy is that? We’re taking a one week break, but you’ll be so excited when we come back! We’re featuring Jennifer McGinley, CEO of JLM Strategic Communications. She has amazing experience, which led her to share amazing insights and advice!

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

And here’s the transcript:

I am so happy that you’ve decided to join me for the last episode of season 1. That’s right. This is episode 30. Each season has 30 episodes. 

Can you believe that we’re already here? We’ve covered so many business topics and I’m really glad that so many of you have come along for the ride. 

Today we’re going to close this season with a talk about how to appeal to event sponsors. 

Why Would Another Business Sponsor My Event?

How did this topic come up? Well, I was exploring my options to hold a workshop with a friend, and she mentioned that I could seek sponsors for my event to help with the costs. Having an event can turn into something that’s quite expensive. 

I started thinking, “Why would another business pay for my event costs? That’s nice of them, but that’s not business.” It didn’t really make sense. 

So I thought about it and I know that M&T Bank sponsors a lot of business events here in Baltimore, which is close to where I am. I reached out to Rosa Scharf, a small business banker with M&T, because she’s given me such great information in the past. I figured she’d be able to answer this question for me. 

Talking to her gave me a lot of great insight. I asked her what she looks for when she’s looking at potentially sponsoring a small business/business event and what sponsors, in general, would look for. So, I just had to share it with you guys. 

As a side note, M&T Bank in Baltimore is a great example of being part of a community, instead of just in the community. That’s a concept we explored in our conscious consumerism article not to long ago. They sponsor a lot of business events, from educational conferences to pitch competitions.

I know the passion for small business success goes from Rosa to at least as high up as Eleni Monios, the business banking market manager for Baltimore and Delaware regions. And no, they didn’t pay me to say that. I just had a fan girl moment. It seems like organizations who really know their “why” are rarer and rarer these day.

Mutually Beneficial to Your Event and Your Event Sponsor

When you’re approaching sponsors, it’s about presenting your event in a light that shows the sponsor what’s in it for them, and why it’s beneficial for them to sponsor your event.

Access to a Shared Audience

 If you’re looking for event sponsors, besides your number of attendees, you should also consider if your audience is their audience. 

For example, for M&T small-business banking, they would potentially be interested if you have a business or entrepreneur audience. 

Of course, there are other factors as well. Let’s use another example. If your business was more Health & Wellness, then other Health & Wellness businesses could be interested in sponsoring your event. Why? Because your audience is at least a segment of their audience. 

Introduce Them to the Attendees 

Some of the things that you could offer to a sponsor include an opportunity to address the attendees at the beginning of the event. 

You can introduce them to the attendees, and they get some facetime there for their business. They can use any signage and printed materials, and maybe even hand out booklets. 

Thank Your Sponsors and Make Them Feel Included 

You want to make sure that you include your sponsor, and thank them in your opening address to your attendees. You want to thank the sponsors publicly. 

When you set up the event page on Eventbrite, Facebook, or wherever it is that you set it up, you want to include your sponsor there. 

These are all things you can mention to the sponsor. 

An Email List

Another thing that you could consider doing is giving them access to the list of attendees and their emails. However, if you’re a sponsor and you regularly sponsor events, don’t just get the email list and spam people. 

What you want to do is have something of value to include in your emails, something that people will be looking forward to receiving.

With the health & wellness example, perhaps one of the sponsors is a health & wellness food company. 

You’ve put together a fairly exclusive recipe book that you only send to the attendees of events that you sponsor. You will be providing this recipe book to them. What this does is vastly increases the likelihood that someone will open that email, read, and interact with your content.

And inside that content, there should definitely be a page about your business and about your company. 

Now they’ve opened the email and they’ve opened the ebook. They get an opportunity to learn a bit more about your business. They may never have heard of you before the event. 

Pointlessly Lost Marketing Opportunities

I’ve seen sponsors listed on events, but sometimes they aren’t thanked by the event organizer. You never even see them at the event, or maybe they’re not given an opportunity to speak to the attendees. 

All of those seem like lost opportunities to me. Besides, it makes the event way less beneficial for the sponsor. So if you want that sponsor to get any ROI from sponsoring your event, then you need to make sure that you give them the tools to do so. 

Choose Event Sponsors That Interest Your Audience

This is also why it’s important to pick sponsors that are pretty related to the topic of what you’re offering. If it’s not immediately evident why their business is related to what you’re offering at your event, then that’s a great opportunity to have them come up and speak. 

Let’s say I’m doing a business workshop, and a health & wellness company sponsored me. In the beginning, I say “I just wanted to say thank you to our sponsor X company. I want to invite them up to speak”

They’re going to speak for about 10-15 minutes, but one of their specialties is helping entrepreneurs handle stress or helping high-performance business people handle stress. Boom. Lights go off. 

Why they would be interested in sponsoring my event, not to mention anybody who comes to any of my workshops? 

If you relate to my content, you’re probably a high-performing individual who deals with a lot of stress, so now you’re obviously a lot more interested as well. I think that your sponsors can relate to your audience, so it’s not worthless to have them come up and talk. 

Concluding Season One 

So, this is the last episode of season 1. I’m just so excited for season 2! Like I said in a previous episode, Jennifer McGinley of JLM Strategic Communications, a wonderfully seasoned public realtions professional, will be joining us for season 2. She will be featured in multiple episodes because we had a long conversation. 

We’ll get an opportunity to dig deep and go through what she was able to explain to me about PR, and how she’s always approached the industry a bit differently than her colleagues. 

We even talk about steps that you can take as a small business to better position yourself for when you bring in enough money to hire a professional. 

If you don’t follow her yet, you should go find her on Linkedin and Twitter. You’re gonna want to follow her ahead of time because she’s always dropping great content. 

This is the sort of advice that anybody can use, and that’s why I invited her on the show. She’s our featured guest for season 2, and the first guest ever on The Defiant Business Podcast. I promise you, this is information that you’re not going to want to miss. 

We’re Taking a Week Off!

After today’s episode, we will be taking a week off. Over the course of the following week, you’ll be seeing social media posts from me sharing some of our most popular episodes and helping you catch up if you missed any. 

The week after that, we’ll be getting into season 2, and our first episode is going to feature Jennifer McGinley. 

This has been the final episode of the 1st season of The Defiant Business Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me, and I cannot wait to show you what we’ve got for season 2.