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4 Ways To Prepare Your Business For Holiday Sales

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The holidays are upon us and it’s time for you to level up in your business and your profits.

We absolutely love this time of year, good food, family time and of course SALES, SALES AND MORE SALES. During November, December is when the big guys make the bulk of their income. Just think about where you shop when Black Friday comes around (our faves are Target, Bath and Body Works, just to name a few).

This holiday season as a small business owner, you can rake in the holiday cash as well, it’s all about the product, strategy  and marketing you put into it.

Here’s 4 Ways To Get Your Business Ready For The Holidays:

  1. Decide what you are going to sell- Take a look at your inventory. What does your audience need most? What have been some of your best selling products and/or services? What have repeat customers purchased from you? Have you created anticipation and demand for a new product? These are the questions that you must as yourself to help you figure out what you’re going to sell. This is MAJOR, people. You don’t want to create a product that isn’t going to increase/move your bottom line. So you must take time out to properly assess before you launch your sale.

  2. Create A Strategy- Now that you’ve figured out what you’re going to be selling, it’s time to create a strategy. What social media channels are the most engaging for your business? What platforms can your audience be found on? This is where you need to focus your energy and efforts as far as creating the strategy. For example, if you audience is on Instagram, then you know you need to go Live on Instagram at least 2 times a week to help promote your sale. You also need to create content that is going to capture their attention. So your blog posts, IG posts, and emails to your list  etc need to focus on your new product and services. Remember, content is KING.

3. Build A Buzz- Get people talking about your product BEFORE the sale. This can look different depending on what you are selling. Maybe you need to connect with bloggers to give them a sneak peek of your upcoming collection. Or maybe you need to send out your books to influencers for review. No matter the industry, the important thing is that you get the word out about your upcoming sale at least 3 weeks in advance, this way it is fresh on the minds of your target audience.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Collaborate- Last but not least, you simply cannot be afraid to collaborate with your competition. This gives you an opportunity to cross promote, gain new potential customers and ultimately set yourself up to make a bigger profit. Think about doing a webinar or IG challenge talking about the do’s and don’ts of your industry. Or maybe you can do a giveaway or contest. Make it fun, exciting and promote each others sale. Who knows, you may even find a new business bestie in the process!

4 Ways To Connect With Journalists

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Public relations is all about building and maintaining relationships. At the end of the day, editors, writers and reporters are (or at least they should be),  every PR girls best friend. In order to get your clients featured in a magazine, podcast or on television, you must identify the appropiate angle/segment and the right editor.


One of the biggest reasons you may not be receiving a response on your media pitch is because you are not talking to the right person. As I have said before, we are now in a digital age. That means that information is available to us with the click of a button. Researching and compiling a media list of potential outlets that may be interested in your clients story gets you one step closer to being featured.


Here are 4 ways you can connect with journalists:

  1. Email Introduction- Pay attention to your PR friends and their social media. See what bloggers and editors are covering their clients. Ask them to send an email introduction with you and the prospective person. Never be afraid to use your resources.

   2. Get Engaged- Follow them on social media. Take note of what they tweet about, take note of the stories that they share on Instagram. Don’t try to pitch them right away, but engage in conversation. Figure out what you have in common. Remember, the goal is to build a RELATIONSHIP.


3. Set A Date- Once you have established a semi-rapport, reach out to them directly. Invite them to your client’s upcoming event- not to cover/pitch, but to simply attend. This will give them a taste of what it’s like to attend an event coordinated by your firm/business. Or simply invite them to their favorite restaurant (on you of course) for a quick chat. Once the date is set, don’t forget to bring them a small token of appreciate for their time including but not limited to a journal, a book written by their favorite author, gift card, etc. You don’t have to break the bank on this but you definitely need to ensure that you value their time and willingness to join you.


4. Meet & Greet- Is their blog/publication having an event? If so, this is your time to show up and show out! Put on your best dress for the occasion and get ready to make an impression. Attending industry events are always great ways for you to expand your network, press rolodex and meet prospective clients. Face to face interaction gives them the opportunity to see that you are more than a name behind a computer screen and will give a human touch to your work.

Did you enjoy these tips? Comment down below and tell us some of your favorite ways to connect with journalists.


How To Identify Your Why + Develop Press Angles

In order to create and execute an effective PR campaign, you must understand the fundamentals i.e. how to identify your why, develop key messages a media pitch, etc.

Creating the ultimate PR plan requires you to think outside of the box, be creative and focus on the important aspects of your brand. Before you can begin to craft a media pitch or develop your media list. You must first identify your why in business.

Think about why a media outlet would be interested in featuring you? What do you have going on that's relevant? Why would they be interested in your story?

So, you want to focus on what inspired you to start and your target audience.  Think about why you are attracting the target audience that you have and you what it is you have to offer them. Identifying your why gives a clear angle of exactly what you are going to pitch to  various media outlets and how you are going to pitch it to them.


Think about what problem you help your core audience solve? Why do they need you?  Even if you feel like you haven’t had that much success in business,YOU ARE STILL NEEDED!

People need your products and services and creating your PR plan will help bring visibility to your business (which equals more awareness and potential customers).

For example, let’s say you're just starting out with your lip-gloss company and you have started it because your daughter had an allergic reaction to some lip balm she purchased from the drugstore. That’s your why and apart of your brand story! So when you develop your media pitch, one press angle you could use is: 9 Year Old Starts Lip Gloss Company After Suffering Allergic Reaction.


And from there, you can expand your angles depending on the publications that you are pitching. But remember, it all starts with identifying your why and researching what messages resonate with your audience.


How To Develop Your Press Plan

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So as a business owner, it’s your goal to increase, revenue, impact and brand awareness, right? Well how do you expect to do that if know one knows you exist?

One of the best ways to market and go your brand is to: GET IN THE PRESS. Before you get all excited about the outlets that you want to get featured in, you MUST develop your press plan! It is your road map to S. media success.

Here are a few tips below to help DIY + activate a PR Campaign:

  1. Think about your objective- What is the overall goal you want to accomplish? Are you starting a PR campaign to garner sales for a book launch? Do you want to invite influencers to your event? Once you determine your objective, that will help you figure out who you need to target and what outlets are a fit for your campaign.

  2. Figure out your strategy- What methods are you going to use in order to fufill your objective? Are you going to pitch to the local press and bloggers only? Do you need to connect with social media influencers and print journalists? Write out 3-5 strategies that will help you accomplish your goals. These strategies could include: developing a press release, creating a media list, researching the top 10 people within your industry and their methods, etc.

  3. Describe the people that you want to reach during your campaign- Who is in your target audience? What age are they, where do they like to hang out? Why are they a fit for your product/service? These are all questions that you must think about prior to beginning outreach. You have to be CRYSTAL CLEAR on who your core audience is for this particular campaign. Depending on what you are offering, your target audience will be different for outlets and influencers. Ex: a female owned beauty app has at least 3 target audience: tech, beauty and women owned companies.

  4. Who can help you share your story?- Write out the targeted outlets that are a fit for your brand. Identify the top 20-35 outlets and create a media list with contact information, including email addresses, phone numbers and the office address.  We will share more on this next week

3 Things You Need To Secure Press Coverage

Getting your brand featured in magazines, online publications, etc can help to increase brand awareness, enhance credibility and position you to become a thought leader in your industry.

But before you can begin outreach, there are a few things you must take into consideration that can drastically help you increase your chances of securing top tier press.

Here are 3 things you need to get press coverage:

1.) A Solid Media Pitch- Your media pitch must be creative, interesting to the editor/writer you are reaching out to and relevant! When creating your pitch, you have to keep the person you are pitching to in mind. What have they already covered? What types of stories to they like to write about? Be sure to let them know that you have read their work, give a compliment. Remember, it's all about relationship building!


2.) An Updated Media List- As you are preparing to pitch, it is crucial that you create AND update your media list. Although you can purchase a list from resources like Cision, Melt Water, and Easy Media List, if you are just starting out, they can be quite expensive and can be a tad outdated. To save coin and the hassle of not having the correct info, create your list on an Excel sheet, use Twitter, Instagram and sites like Rocket Reach to get journalists info. Once your list is created, keep it handy so that you can note who you contacted, the date and their response. This will help you as you are following up with various outlets and contacts.

3.) A Visual Platform- Editors and reporters alike are going to research you. You need to have a working website, be consistent in your social media and last but certainly not least: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS. While everyone has to start from somewhere, you CANNOT afford to slack on your photos. They must be 300dpi as this is standard for print. Your photography must showcase your brand story and be in alignment with your brand colors.

Once you have these, you are ready to go out and secure amazing press coverage for your brand!




6 Steps To Garnering Press With A New Media Contact

I’ll never forget the moment when I got an email from an editor at Vibe Magazine telling me that I landed my client an interview!

I was sooo excited! I couldn’t believe it! I had just opened my firm a few weeks before and was nervous about pitching this client , (who I considered to be MAJOR at the time), because I didn’t have any media connections on the top tier national level.

And what’s a publicists with no media connections? Not a publicist at all, right?

The bottom line is this: We all have to start from somewhere! Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged because you don’t have established relationships with the media, YET!

Here are 6 Steps To Garnering Press With A New Media Contact

  1. Be Intentional-Research their most recent articles. Is what you want to pitch a fit? Does it seem like something they would be interested in covering? Follow them on social media. Make sure you know the publication that they currently write for and the beat that they are covering (If you don’t know what a beat is, I suggest you Google it, ASAP!).

  2. Check With Your PR Bestie- Before hitting send on that initial email/pitch, check with your PR bestie. Perhaps they already have a contact for that editor or outlet  and can send an introduction on your behalf. This is why collaborations and connecting with other publicists are key. You never know how you can help each other

  3. Introduce Yourself Via Email- If your bestie doesn’t know the contact personally, be the amazingly proactive publicist that you are and reach out directly via email. Let them know who you are, what you do and the clients you represent that you feel would be a fit for upcoming stories, etc. Ask them what they are currently working on, compliment them on the latest article.

  4. Send A Soft Pitch- Don’t bombard them with media kits, press releases, etc. Send a short and sweet email, no more than 5 sentences about your client and ask if they would like to receive more information.

  5. Follow Up- When pitching to the media, following up is key, especially when you are trying to build a relationship with a new contact. They may not respond the first time because they don’t recognize the email addy, are on deadline or uninterested in covering at the moment.

  6. Show Up And Show Out- When you finally get that email stating that they want to cover/set up an interview, be sure to thank them for their time, send over all materials, talking points, etc. Once the interview takes place, make sure you and your client are on time, polite and have a great energy. After sending everything over, thank them again and follow up for the press clipping/link

How To Land Your First 3 Clients

So you bought your domain, got a logo and business cards created, along with filed your LLC. You officially own a PR firm, now all you need is the clients! Landing your first client can be stressful, especially if you are running your business full time. Here’s how you can land your first 3 clients, get paid and start running the town with PR Campaigns, events, etc.

  1. Collaborate-  As you know, we strongly believe in collaborating with others to reach a win-win for all involved. Reach out to a graphic designer, brand manager and writer. Let them know that you own a PR firm and are actively seeking new clients. Be sure to have your Capabilities Deck packaged to perfection and send it over to them. Offer a referral fee for each client that they send your way, also offer to send them business as well.  You have just successfully created your first Strategic Partnership.See what we did there?

  2. Social Media Is Your BFF- I literally landed my first 2 clients based on a Twitter search! Use social media to your advantage. Post about your services, post previous press links that you’ve gotten for clients and search IG, Facebook and Twitter to see who needs a publicist. Send them a tweet, DM, etc and follow up with your pitch to set up a consultation. Make sure that your page is public, professional and positive. People need your help and are looking for an amazing publicist, go find them and secure the bag!

3. Expand Your Expertise- You need to get more visible in the marketplace. Submit a guest post on your favorite blog that will capture the attention of your ideal client. Secure an interview for yourself on a business podcast where you can give tips and tools on PR and Marketing. Put yourself in a position to create your own opportunities

4. Create A Client Wishlist- You have not because you ask not. Take time out and think about who you really want to serve and why. Then create your ideal client wishlist. Be sure to add their website, email, social media handles, etc. Check to see if they currently have representation and if not, begin to pitch your life a way! You should land your first client in the next 30 Days


5.Host An Event-People need to know that you exist and see what you’re made of. What better way to showcase your skills than to coordinate an event full of potential clients, influencers, media and more? Make this a FREE event. Research and partner with a venue that will allow you to utilize their space for low-to no cost.  Have a well known blogger host the event, invite potential clients, businesses that are apart of the industry you want to work in, etc. Make it a night to remember with networking, food, and a great panel.

Love, A PR Girl: Ronnika Ann- IGNPR

What inspired you to start your agency? When did you decide that the PR industry was for you?

I started my first business in 2011. It's a non-profit ran in Biloxi, Ms; however everyone knows me from iGN PR & Co. What inspired me to start iGN PR was my passion to work in the PR industry. I received my undergraduate degree in Mass Communications and my Master's in Business, so running a PR firm gives me best of both worlds. Being an entrepreneur is a great idea, it’s a wonderful thought. But you never know how it really is until you do it. I have days where I think “Okay, is this for me or is it not for me?” And then I remember why I started. But the quality of your work goes into that. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you’re paying people under the table. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you aren’t paying people. So my inspiration came from me wanting to be that "right" Entrepreneur who will give people opportunities to grow their own dream. Whether they are employee or client of iGN PR, everyone is treated like an Entrepreneur.  


Give us a glimpse of your day to day life as a publicist?

Every day is different in PR land. My days start early! At around 6 am. I start off with prayer, meditation and a good work out. A health mind a spirit is important when you work in a field like mine. Around 8:00 my work day begins. I am answering emails, meeting with clients and of course: pitching, pitching, pitching. Throughout the day or at night my duties include: escorting clients to their appearances, conducting interviews or managing events. I handle each client personally, unless I am called to be two places at once. As the owner of iGN PR & Co, often times, I have speaking engagements and appearances of my own. Oh and I can't forget that somewhere in the day I find time to spend quality time with my dog, Alpha and finance' Carlton McFall.



What is some of the best advice you have been given?

I didn't get a lot of advice when I started off; which is a sad thing. This is one of the reason why I strive to be a great mentor. But if I could go back in time,

I would tell my younger self to slow down and enjoy the process. Growing companies for other people are fun, so it should be fun to grow my own, right? I did not notice that when I was a young Entrepreneur. I tell my clients and team daily, You are your first client and first priority. If you cannot handle you own business how can you serve a customer or handle a client? Many people rush into entrepreneurship without fully appreciating what they can offer to the world. Entrepreneurship is not only about being your own boss but it’s about creating a healthy, loving life for yourself and for others. To do this you must love, focus and appreciate you. When you love yourself you tend to prioritize yourself. When you appreciate where you are in your journey, you tend to not settle for less. When you remain focus on your goals, you tend to knock them out of the park. So do not forget the reason you became your own boss. If you are unorganized, struggling to keep a steady revenue flow and you’re stressed out; then you might as well go back to having a corporate job because you will not have the loving and healthy life that you admire. Instead you will live by direct deposit to direct deposit.



Name your top 3 PR campaigns to date?

I brag about having amazing clients all the time. A lot of my work feels like fun but I believe it's because I work inside of my passion. My best work up to date would be the launch of MomPremier Eye Institute Practice out of Desoto, Texas. iGN created the brand from top to bottom. Also MC Lyte's WEALTH Experience 2017 in Miami Florida. Lastly the current work I'm doing with Mimi Faust from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.



Words every publicist should live by?

 I write original quotes daily, however right now my favorite quote is

"I do enough. I give enough. I have enough. I AM ENOUGH!" by Jason Wrobel. This is a small and simple quote but I say it daily and it has been so impactful to my daily meditation rituals.

Dear aspiring Entrepreneurs, please understand that everyone started from the bottom. Do not compare your current to someone else's because everyone's journey is different. Yes, we do have overnight successes, but that does not happen every day. So don't wait for a hand out. Use your abilities to create a plan to make your dream happen! You will appreciate life so much more, knowing you built your own opportunities. - RA


Love, A PR Girl: Brittni Brown- The Bee Agency

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When did you decide that the PR industry was for you?

I decided I wanted to tackle the PR industry when I was Eastern Michigan University. I was Co-founder of a Fashion Week held at my university where we needed to spread the word to not only our campus, but to the heavy hitters in fashion based all over Michigan. It was my job to convey the message and handle crafting while introducing our event to our target.

After repeated sold out shows, I knew this was the space for me.


What inspired you to start your agency?


I wanted to be in control of my own creative genius with no restriction. I learned my own passions while working on my passion and with that, my mind and ability to creatively pitch and publicize a brand is something that I knew without a doubt I wanted to do, but under my own name.

Give us a glimpse of your day to day life as a publicist?

I wake up at 7am and check my phone for any missed calls or notifications.

I checked my calendar and plan out my day, while drafting my to-do list, grab breakfast and head out! Depending on the day  may have meeting with clients, client presentations, client photoshoots, etc. that I have to be present at so it depends on the day and the client project.

I may head to Panera or Starbucks to go on a work block for 3-5 hours to knock out emails, follow up and consultation scheduling.

I hold my consultation during week nights so I may have 1-2 that week to tackle.

I get home around 6p/7pm if I don’t have an event to attend. I get home make dinner, or grab food and get home to watch the news or Scandal :) while getting work done.

Before I go to bed, I’m reviewing my week and planning for the next day with a new to-do list.

I’m in the bed by 11pm ( That’s the goal)

What is some of the best advice you have been given?

You can’t accomplish 100% if your body is at 50%

…That sleep when you die stuff is for the birds; self-care is key.

Name your top 3 PR campaigns to date?

  • The Lip Bar Unveiling of its “ Lip Bar Truck”

  • Detroit VS Everybody PR Push + Eminem collaboration for “Detroit VS Everybody “ feat. Big Sean, Dej Loaf, & Royce da 5’9 & Detroit VS Everybody product / website campaigns

  • The Powerful Women’s  “Power Table”

Words every publicist should live by?

  • Relationships are key

  • Stay ready so you as well as your clients don’t have to get ready

  • Consistency

PR GIRLS DO IT BETTER GUIDE: 4 TIPS TO NAVIGATING NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

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It's almost that time of the year that EVERY Fashion Guru Lives for: #NYFW! Every Fashion Publicist, Stylist and Designer runs around like a chicken with it's head cut off, stressing over last minute RSVPs and proper seating charts. Now, although I have represented fashion designers and stylists in the past handling their media relations needs, I didn't get the privilege of attending New York Fashion Week until February 2015. The experience was beyond memorable! Here are my 4 tips for navigating through NYC during Fashion Week:



1. Be Intentional!- I didn't  have a client attending any of the Fashion Week shows. I was headed to NYC for 2 reasons: It was my first time EVER in the Big Apple and I wanted to connect with some of my favorite editors that have been supporting PR Mentality and the various accounts that I service.  It allowed me a little bit of room to breathe with no pressure of client expectations, demands and the hustle and bustle. Now, if you do have clients attending shows and various events, you definitely need to be attentive to their needs, ensure everything is together in regards to their wardrobe, itinerary, etc

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2. Set Up A Deskside With Your Editor BFF - As I said, my intention was to connect with various editors. So I called ahead  and sent emails to schedule a time that worked for me to go in the office. Desksides are a great way for you to get face to face interaction with your favorite editors, continue to build a rapport,  and let them know about your clients endeavors in case they have a new story or piece that they are working on pertaining to that industry. Lucky for me, I was able to set up a nice meet and greet with one of my fave's Marianne Mychaskiw, Assistant Beauty Editor of Instyle.com

3. On Event Day, You Must Slay- Now just because I didn't HAVE to attend any events doesn't mean I was going to miss out on all the fun! I mean what PR girl would! So of course I attended the Tech Style event with my PR sisters Priya Williams,(www.prettimonee.com) and Keshia Jones of Brace'. Now, with NYC being one of the world's greatest fashion capital's, you must show up and show out! Black is the new Black and my all Black apparel worked rather nice for the weather and photo opps. Now, disclaimer about the weather LOL! This Midwest girl turned Southern Belle by way of ATL was NOT prepared for that NYC Cold at all!! And I vowed to never return to NYC in the winter again!

4. It's All About The Press- What kind of publicist would I be if I didn't book press for Fashion Week! Remember, I said I didn't have clients to ATTEND Fashion Week, I never said I didn't have clients working during Fashion Week LOL.  My CBS This Morning segment for the beautiful Madisin Rian, model extraordinaire aired during the first few days of Fashion Week. As a publicist, you absolutely need to book press while you're at NYC Fashion Week or any fashion week/ major event for that matter. It's all about the contacts, contracts and memories you create! Remember, PR Girls Do It Better!



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