Positively impacting the public with their PR work is what Stef Jones and her FEED MEDIA company aims to do with their Clients, and have been doing so consistently for 17 years. Stef provides a great overview of the PR industry, including solid advice and tips for small business marketing.
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As PR has evolved, FEED has evolved alongside it. They started with traditional media, but now do content creation, writing by-line articles, and have found the right way to work with influencers.
The arrival of the Internet has made the PR industry more interesting by opening up new opportunities to generate interest in their Client’s products and services.
Stories are the currency. Sometimes a Client knows what they want to say, and sometimes FEED will help the Client understand what will work best with the audience. It’s not uncommon that the story they want to tell isn’t the story that’s going to work the best.
Once they have a story, Stef explains the importance of knowing the reporters at publications like the New York Times, what interests them, and what sorts of stores they like to write about them. Hear what’s involved in making that work over a year-long project!
“Influencers” is a commonly used word now, but the spectrum of what Influences are seems to be very wide. Stef talks about how they work with quality Influencers, and how that increased one of their Client’s followers by 150,000 and led to 80 enquiries from an Instagram “swipe-up”. Setting expectations with the Influencer upfront seems key.
Stef also provides practical tips for the small business owner considering working with an influencer to know how to find and assess them, and examples of what industries she has seen this work best in.
Is PR right for a small business? Where should PR fit into a small business’ priority list? Stef explains the difference between owned media, paid media, and earned media. Whereas paid media is more 1:1, earned media (PR) is about 1 to many, and therefore presents unique value.
Stef gives practical examples of how the right story about a small business can increase the interest in your business from different types of publications. Learn how slices of pie is the way to think about your business!
There are different ways to staff a PR agency. FEED MEDIA’s team work across many different Clients, and Stef sees it as a publisist’s job to be able to serve the right slice of pie to the right writer.
FEED MEDIA’s COO happens to be Derek, Stef’s husband. Derek was (literally) a rocket scientist before this, and Stef talks about lessons learnt in working together, including having roles that don’t overlap.
In terms of groups for motivation and learning, Stef actually doesn’t spend much time with industry-specific groups, but instead looks to innovators across all industries, (which is becoming a common theme from our S’Mores conversations).
Stef talks about how my wife (Sarah Lockwood of Love Monday) won the Denver Broncos website business way back in the day with astonishing persistence. Stef then turned that into a front cover story on the Denver Post, and how they positioned that.
As Stef’s final piece of advice for small business marketing (and for marketers in general), she discusses how there is incredible value in working ON her business, rather than working IN the business.