Let’s Talk PR with Keema & Dana
Let’s Talk PR is a monthly segment on This Needs to be Said Radio. I am very excited to be able to share the interviews with the readers of Urban Tymes Magazine. This month I spoke with Dana Sidberry, founder of Motivation Marketing Firm. Dana and her team specialize in Entertainment, Beauty and Business Marketing and Public Relations.
This is not just an interview, this is a conversation with my PR sister. Dana was one of the first PR professionals that I met via social media when I was starting out a little over four years ago. We have formed an amazing relationship and I have had the pleasure of working with her on multiple projects with our clients.
This month we’re talking marketing and how to make sure that you are taking the right steps to create awareness for your brand.
Keema: We’re, of course, both publicists and I know that a large part of your business is marketing and promotions. When me we, I remember you telling me that you had transitioned from party promotions into small business marketing. How did you make that transition and what elements helped you transition successfully into small business?
Dana: Honestly, I was tired. When you do party promotions and nightlife it wears you down. I would still do parties but I would do networking events … basically a different type of party. When I was in that nightlife world, I was the mother to a young son and a wife. I knew that I couldn’t continue to get home 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning and deal with that male dominated industry. I knew that I needed to make a change and I did.
I’ve always loved working with small businesses. I come from a family of entrepreneurs so the change came natural to me. I kept a lot of those contacts and a lot of those people that I worked with to build my business and that’s how it works.
K: I definitely can attest to that because you are everywhere and knows everybody!
This comes up quite frequently when people talk about marketing, branding and traditional PR. PR and Marketing go hand in hand but they are not traditional. What do you think are the key differences in the two?
D: I think the difference between marketing and PR is that … PR is the actual story. It’s the background information that people want to know. I’m one that I love to know why people do what they do and what made them take the steps that they’ve taken. That’s what people want to know. That’s where you get into the interviews, the radio stuff … media days as we call them.
The marketing side is what piques the interest to take the step to learn more about it.
PR piques the interest. Marketing is what drives the interest and then comes the sale. A lot of people think that marketing is what creates the sale … marketing is actually what causes the person to think about the purchase.
K: So just to clarify … PR is wanting people to like you. Marketing is getting people to like.
I know that you do a great job of providing all of those elements to your clients – PR, Marketing and even social media … what are some things that you do to determine the needs of your clients?
D: I just talk to them. I love to hear people’s story – where they come from, what made them start they business and what drives them .. all of that takes account into where you are going. We have a conversation and I learn more about what they do – every business is different – I take all of those elements and create the strategy or the plan to present the client.
K: For the business owner, when you’re reaching out to a publicist, you want to be able to make a connection with whoever is going to be representing your brand.
So, Dana, for someone seeking you or I, what are some things that you think are key that a business owner should look for when they are looking to have some handle their PR, Marketing or social media?
D: The business owner that is seeking representation needs to be honest with themselves, first and foremost. Everybody that is in business or does business doesn’t really do business. You have to be honest with yourself and know where you are in business. There is more to business than just getting your license, logo, website – it’s a lot more where branding is concerned. You have to know what products you are going to offer and your target office. After you figure out all of that then you figure out your marketing. A lot of times people want to go from logo and website to getting a sale and that’s not how it goes. If you don’t market your business or start the public relations part of it then no one will know who you are or that you exist therefore they can’t purchase anything from you … you haven’t done your due diligence if you will.
K: This question always come up quite frequently. Not asking what you charge, but for someone such as yourself who has all of the elements – public relations, marketing and social media – how much do you think someone should budget to be able to have these services and be able to execute their vision they way that they want it to be seen.
D: You need to start with at least $1000 and go up. Really and honestly, $1000 is not even enough. When you do your research, and find out what the firms are charging and the industry standard. You’ll learn that it’s more upwards $12-1500 just for consultations walking in the door.
When you connect with someone such as myself or Keema, you will get more of a customized plan and more one on one help with a smaller firm. And that’s what you want for your business someone who is going to be more hands on and someone that’s going to take time with your business. When you hire a larger firm you’re going to be a number.
K: That is true. And if you’ve been following the conversations that number has been consistent. Just as a publicist knows their worth, as a business owner you should know what you’re worth, what your brands is worth and how much it is going to take to execute your vision. It’s just a big circle of understanding what you need and having the right people to be apart of your team.
Shifting the conversation a little, when I am doing a consultation, I always ask if they are involved with a nonprofit or are looking to do things in the community. How do emphasis this to your client to help them maximize their visibility and credibility with involvement in the community?
D: That is another conversation that we have. And to be honest, I do have clients that don’t see the value in it. They really don’t understand why you do the things that you do as far as the community goes. I explain the community relations portion of it – why it’s good to give back, how it pulls on your heart strings and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and not to mention a lot of people to see that you as a business owner are not just taking – they want to see that you have a heart and care for the people that you serve or service. I emphasize the importance of giving back and things coming full circle. I don’t usually talk business and religion but I will say “too whom much is given much is required”
K: Some people think social media isn’t important. Some people think social media is the only thing. What do you think is the most common mistake that you’ve seen that can impact a brand or business when it comes to handling their social media?
D: The most common mistake people mistake when it comes to social media and their business is that social media will make them rich, will pack their event or make them all kinds of sales. Social media is only a portion of the mix that marketing has. It’s a tool that should be used in your marketing strategy but it’s not the only thing that should be used. It’s not the end all be all and that’s what people forget.
K: There are so many different platforms. You have to know what to post. When to post. Where to post. Times of day. Days of the week. People don’t do enough research on understanding how social media can impact you as a business either positively or negatively.
Also, from a business standpoint, you need to understands which platforms work best for your industry
As we bring this to a close, what advice would you give someone interested in entering into our wonderful industry.
D: I would advise you to build your brand your first. 1. People want to know that you know what you’re talking about 2. People want to know you and 3. They want to know that you have the contacts to get things done. A lot of the things that we get done are because of the contacts that we have… that is the name of our game … relationships. If you don’t have those relations or contacts then it’s going to be hard and you’re not going to be able to get your clients from point A to point B if you don’t have those relationships in place. You will have to build them – and sometimes it takes time to build a reputable relationship, not just on your part but on their part as well.
Build your brand. Build your business. Build your contacts.
[Potential clients] want to know that people know you and they want to trust you to build their brand as well.
Connect with Dana
FB: Motivation Marketing Firm
Keema Bouyer is the founder of The Queen’s English PR (www.queensenglishpr.com ). The Charlotte, NC based agency specializes in branding and public relations for Beauty and Lifestyle Brands and Non-Profit Organizations. Let’s Talk PR airs every 2nd Wednesday at 230pm EST on This Needs to Be Said (www.blogtalkradio.com/thisneedstobesaid).
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