PR Strategy Plan

Episode 1025: PR Strategy Plan, with Leslie Perino

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PR Strategy PlanLearn tactics for successful communication campaigns and improve your business by exploring our guide on PR strategy plan.

PR strategy plan is our topic for today’s episode of Onward Nation — Leslie and the talented EW Bullock team work collaboratively with their clients to develop strategic, integrated marketing and PR strategies, lead research studies, build annual marketing budgets, plan effective and efficient media buys, develop and implement creative campaigns, and measure the effectiveness of marketing and public relations campaigns.

Leslie has more than 25 years of experience leading successful communication campaigns. Her natural sense of curiosity fuels her drive to fully understand each client’s business and challenges. She believes that a greater understanding of her client’s businesses leads to more innovative and successful campaigns.

We will highlight the 5 PR channels you already have available to you right now and how to use them effectively. We’ll also break down why distribution lists matter — and — how to spot a bad list.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about PR strategy plan

  • How Leslie’s career began with a love of magazines and a passion for advertising, and how that evolved into an understanding of PR strategy plan for business
  • Why there are five key PR channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your own personal website
  • What steps you can take to leverage your website to become a powerful PR channel, and why utilizing the blog feature is key to generating traffic
  • Why recognizing the areas in which you are an expertise and sharing content with your audience relating to your expertise can help you get noticed
  • Why it takes time to see the results of your PR efforts, and why a powerful news hook is crucial for extracting value from your PR strategies
  • Why your PR strategies should be centered around getting to the point and starting a conversation with your audience
  • How to identify the things you can share that are worthy of being newsworthy, and why knowing the audience you’re trying to reach is important
  • Leslie shares how she and her team help their clients, using some of their zoo clients as examples
  • How to turn your big wins into helpful content that can lead the way for other business owners, and why the third party endorsement is the Holy Grail of PR
  • Why public relations is a marathon, not a sprint, and why it takes practice and patience to see your PR strategy plan take off

Additional Resources:


PR Strategy Plan: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner CEO of Predictive ROI And your host for Onward Nation, where I interviewed today’s top business owners. So we can learn their recipe for success, how they built and how they scaled their business. So Onward, over the last several weeks, either here in Onward episodes or in our weekly Q and A sessions and we’ve been doing some deep dives also within our ASM specialized trainings, we’ve been talking a lot about how to grow an audience. Well, that said one of the strategies we have never covered in depth, but we’re going to today during this episode is how to use PR to grow your audience in a strategic, incredible way. 


So let me make that more specific onward. We’re going to highlight the five PR channels that you already have available to you right now, and how to use them effectively. We’re also going to break down why distribution lists matter, which on the surface might seem obvious. Well, of course, distribution lists matter in how to spot a bad list how you should seek out the holy grail what is the holy grail of PR, and how to collect as many of them as you can. And then how to evaluate and measure success in a whole lot more well to share her expertise and to help us sort through all of those priorities. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Leslie’s Introduction


I invited Leslie Perino to join us as our guest expert. Leslie serves as the chief operating officer for EEW Bullock an advertising and public relations agency based in Pensacola, Florida. So if you’ve ever wondered Onward if PR could be a good strategy for you and how best to leverage all of the benefits, the conversation with Leslie is going to be super, super helpful. So without further ado, welcome to Onward Nation, my friend, welcome to Onward Nation. 


Hello, Onward Nation. I am so happy to be here and excited to talk to you all about public relations today. 


I’m excited that we get to have this conversation with you and that we get to break down this really big meaty topic or strategy in PR and be able to do that with an expert such as yourself, but before we dive in with the litany of things that I want to throw your way, actually take us behind the curtain, Leslie, and tell us a little bit more about your path, your journey, and then we’ll dive in. 


Okay, well, I’m one of those rare people who knew what I wanted to do from the very beginning. I knew I wanted to be an advertising and public relations major before I ever started my college career. I didn’t know exactly what that was going to look like, but I figured it out very quickly. Once I got into school, what attracted me were magazines. I loved magazines and I just loved the design of them. I love the content. I love consuming them. And I thought I’d like to work for a magazine perhaps, but I also love where I live. I live in paradise here in Pensacola, Florida, and not a lot of magazine opportunities here. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: From Aspiring to Achieving in PR Strategies


So I thought, what can I do that is related to this where I can still be involved in this creative environment. And advertising was the answer and advertising agencies in particular. And so I, that’s where I focused my education and I got my first job in advertising while I was still in school. I went knocking on doors and I’ll show my age a little bit. That was, that was back in the day when people had runners. And I said I will answer your phones. I will be your runner. I will take out the trash. I just want a job in advertising. Please hire me. And so I did get hired at an agency and I learned very quickly that the real world is different than the academic world in the way things happen. 


And in a small market, it happens much faster than what they teach you in school. One of my favorite stories is on my first day on the job, this was an automotive-specific advertising agency. I had been in school learning does Coca-Cola builds their campaigns, all of the research, all of the planning, all of the strategy and you know, this long haul process. And my first day on the job, a television spot was written produced and on the six o’clock news, that does not happen that way anymore, but it did then. And I was the person at the back door of the TV station delivering the tape. So I got a, real education, very, and I just love this industry. 


And I love being able to solve problems, business problems for clients through communications, whether that be advertising or public relations. 


Love it. Okay. So let’s, and this is where we’re going to spend a lot of our time Onward Nation talking about the business problems and how PR if a challenge is, gosh, how do I leverage this strategy to grow my audience business problem, or issue or challenge. And that’s really what we’re going to shine a bright light on. So Leslie, when you and I were talking about how best to structure this conversation so that it can be super, super helpful for onward nation business owners. One of the things that you started with at the top of your list was, Hey, Stephen, you know what? There are five channels that your listeners can take advantage of right now, five channels that they likely already own, but maybe are not utilizing to the best of their ability or strategically the best that they could be. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Utilizing Key Channels for Audience Growth


Five channels of PR strategy plan:

So let’s talk about those five channels and then, and then maybe we’ll break each of those down with some advice around them, but first let’s go high level. What are the five channels? 


You know what? I bet everybody listening here today has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and their own website. These are all excellent platforms, and you should use every one of them to share your message and grow your audience. I know some of you out there have YouTube, and that’s another amazing channel. You should definitely use that if that’s in your quiver of things. 


PR Strategy plan — Okay? So this was a big, maybe mental shift for me or a paradigm shift for me, like when we were going through that and you suggested those five, I thought, well, yeah, I know lots of business owners that have those five, but then I thought, well, are those really PR channels? And so this is a bit of a transport, or it was a bit of a transformative moment for me. So take us through why you would consider those to be five PR channels and how best to utilize them for that benefit. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Maximizing Your Website as a PR Powerhouse


Well, one of the things about PR is you’re controlling your message. You know, you’re putting out the message that you want your audience to receive, and what better opportunity to get that out there than the channels you already own? You have control over those and you can control the cadence and you can control exactly what is said. You know, you talk about slicing and dicing content. You definitely want to slice and dice your PR content to fit those channels. Specifically, you don’t necessarily want to prep or put an entire press release on, in a Facebook post or in a LinkedIn post. You would customize it to that channel, but not using those. 


You’re just missing out on opportunities to speak to people who already want to engage with you. And you get that engagement measurement metric, too, because you get to see how many people shared it, liked it, and asked you questions. I mean, that’s fantastic. 


PR strategy plan: Okay. So, let’s think about the website for a second and then maybe we’ll dip into social media too. So if I’m listening right now and I’m thinking, okay, I totally get what she’s talking about with respect to cadence and what is said, and then the slicing and dicing totally understand that. So if I want to, if I want to try to leverage my website to be more of a PR channel, what are some of the things that I should do either content-wise site structure-wise? Like, does there need to be a certain section on, the website that currently isn’t like, how best can I take advantage of the property itself website? 


I would say you absolutely need to have a news feature on your website. And it’s super easy to achieve that because almost every website has a blog feature to it. And that’s all you need to use is the blog feature of your website. You know, you can create a second blog feature if you already have one and make this new one strictly news-related, and that’s where you want to put any press releases, any kind of information tidbits about where you were featured, and information on a new launch of something. That’s where all of your PR should lead back to your website and to that news page. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


[H3] PR Strategy Plan: Unlocking Website Potential


And you can give greater information there. So you can only include so much information on a press release. People don’t want to read that much, but you can link back to that news page and have more photos. You can have videos, you can have links to other materials that people can consume, and that’s how you get people engaged with your website and get them to take a deeper dive. So you don’t want them to spend time just on that one little news item on, on that news page. You want them to go, oh, well, this looks interesting. Let me find out what else they have to say about this. And they keep on going on your website. And again, all those beautiful metrics to back it up so that you can see what the behaviors are and see what people are interested in. 


Okay. So that’s awesome. All right. So let me give that back to you. So then if we’re using our news section and we’ll come back to like what we actually name it in just a second, but if we’re, if we’re using our news section as a way to include highlights and snippets and so forth, all the things that you just mentioned, but then because it’s on our website, we’re linking into other sections of our website that will tell deeper stories through other visuals like you mentioned photos, video, and that kind of thing. And then when you mentioned measurements, then I can go into Google Analytics and I can go into the behavior flow, and I can start to see how this story maybe took a group of audience further down into the site where they eventually left. 


I think if I’m understanding you correctly, I think that’s what you’re suggesting. 


Exactly. Yes. And you know, this all ties into SEO as well. The more deep content you have on your site, this new section of your site is ripe with SEO opportunities. and I’ll give you an example. I’m on the EDW Bullock site. Not only do we post our own news beds, but we post everything we create for our clients. And we get traffic for things that the clients haven’t done, a good job themselves on. And one particular example is there’s a hotel here that is, has been going under renovations for more than a year. And there’s no information out there about the hotel. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Your Source for Timely and Relevant Information


PR Strategy Plan: People are finding information about the hotel on the new section of my site, because we wrote a release about it a few years ago when they changed their name. So their people are hunting for this information and we’ve become a source for information on that topic. So that’s the whole thing you want to be found. You want to be found for the particular topic that you’re an expert in, and this is an avenue to make that happen. 


Okay. And so, correct me if I’m wrong here, I might have my wires crossed, but, but I think EDW Bullock, one of your niches is like travel tourism, economic development, that kind of, yeah. So that’s really then pretty helpful that you’re getting traffic on that type of topic because it relates pretty well with an area of expertise for the agency. Right, right, right. Yeah. That’s super smart. Yeah. Okay. So then what, I know this is going to sound super tactical in, in the weeds, but what, what, what do we call that section on, on the website? Is it literally just news or would you suggest some like news or something else? 


Or what would you suggest that we name it? 


News is simple and easy and it tells people that it’s current information that they might want to see. So I have no problem with the news. You can certainly call it anything that you would like. You might have a clever name that makes more sense for your business, but with PR, straight to the point, tell them what it is. 


That’s interesting. And you and I are of the same mind with that is, is that straight to the point, be clear, be concise instead of trying to be persuasive, like you were giving me some, some training the other day when you said listen when you’re going back and forth with the media that they, they want straight to the point they weren’t short. They weren’t concise. They want the facts as opposed to trying to persuade them to pick up the story. Did I, did I get that accurately from the other day? 


Yes. I mean, the persuasion part comes in the pitching. You got to do your press release and then you can pitch them or the other way around. But the press release is really factual. They want the facts. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Mastering Social Media for PR Success


So Onward Nation, we’re going to come back to that in a little bit to get Leslie’s advice on the press release and how best to structure it, including the news hook and all of that. And just, just a few minutes, but let let’s circle back to, okay. So we took a deep dive on the website, which was super helpful. So let’s think about then social media, you mentioned a couple of the platforms or channels. So, any advice or recommendations on how we can put our best foot forward through the PR lens when posting on social?


You just want to put your information out there. I mean, you have expertise whatever it is that you are an expert in, you have helpful information that you can share with your audience. And so just make, make it a habit to put that information out there, just keep at it and do it on a regular basis. And it can be something that you saw that is interesting. And you add a comment that makes that even more helpful, or it could be original content and thoughts that you’ve created that you want to share. 


Yeah. Because when we’re, when we’re not talking, when we’re not sharing and we’re not trying to be helpful with what is new, then we’re silent. Right. And so getting in a consistent cadence. Maybe this is too tough to offer a recommendation on because maybe every business and or industry is a little bit different, but do you tend to recommend a certain cadence, whether that’s weekly, whether that’s monthly, like what is typical, if there is a typical.


I don’t think there is a typical, but if you can do it several times a week, I think that’s going to be helpful to you because it’ll get you in a rhythm. You know, you don’t have to make yourself say three times a week just, just try for several, whether several to you are two or three or five, just get out there and do it and get in the habit. You have to create that habit of doing those kinds of posts and putting it out there. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Crafting Effective Press Releases


Awesome. Okay. So then with the website piece, let’s link those two together. So it might, it might seem obvious, but this is why I want to make sure, because I think there’s maybe a hidden gem in here and that is okay if I’m going to make a LinkedIn post. Sure. I’m going to suggest that they go to our website, but it would not just take them to maybe the new section on the website, but it might be to one of the deeper sections that supports whatever that LinkedIn post is. Right. Don’t just take them to a generic section or the news page and hope that they figure it out, like make that tangible connection to where they can do a deeper dive. 




Right. Right. So say you saw an article on a particular topic and you thought, oh, we’ve, we’ve done something similar to that. And I have a case study. So you can say, great insights in this article, check out this case study where we did something similar and got great results. 


Yeah. That’s so smart. And then, like you were saying before with measurement of the Google analytics piece, then obviously we’re going to be able to see that that came from LinkedIn there are ways to structure those posts. Which posts were pulling more than others and you can see behavioral flow Onward Nation on the backend of that 


Make UTM codes for those links when you post so that you can truly see where they came from. For example, you can see that they came from that particular LinkedIn post you made. 


Super smart. I love it. Okay. So we’ve started to touch on this and whether there’s a recipe for it, whether whatever the right word is, if you were to say, Hey, Onward Nation, this is how I think you ought to structure a press release. What might be a couple of the big pieces that come to mind? 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Press Release Essentials


PR Strategy plan — Okay. One thing I want to share with your audience is that the press release is not dead. It just has to be done. Right. And it has to be used in the right context. And you have to remember that it is not meant to be a free advertisement for your product. You have to have a news hook. Now a news hook can be subjective. So there is that element to it. But think about it in the context of who is receiving this, is it really newsworthy if it’s not, it’s, it’s just going to get ignored and put to the wayside. It’s not uncommon for people to try PR and give up after they send out a few press releases because they don’t see any pickups. 


And you know, that is the biggest mistake is that they don’t have that news hook. And they also may not have a good list, but the content is really, really what is important and it has to be done well, and it has to be done properly. We probably all realize, and if you don’t newsrooms are shrinking, the staff is shrinking. They used to have hundreds of people in a newsroom. And now they’re down to like a dozen in a, in a small community. Like the one that I live in, literally hundreds to less than a dozen people. And so all of those press releases are coming in to maybe a person or two people. And they have to sort through all of those. 


And their inbox is overloaded. We all get all these messages every day. You know, they have their regular job messages, plus all these press releases coming at them. So you really have to do it right. To get noticed. You got to keep it simple, keep it straightforward to the point. You gotta have the who, what, when, where, and why, and avoid all of that fluff, avoid all of the fluff language. You just have to get right to the point. The point is you want to start a conversation with them. You want them to contact you for more information, but you don’t want to have to tell the whole story in the press release because they’re not going to use it that way. 


It’s intended to get their attention and to get them to contact you for more information.


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release 


PR Strategy Plan: Making Your Press Releases Stand Out


Okay. So that’s a big aha for me right there too, because when I’ve written press releases before, I’m sure, probably know the person on the other end was like, oh my gosh, where they tend to be really long and telling all the meat and potatoes and all of that. So it sounds like I was, I was an error in doing that I wasn’t thinking of it as a way to maybe I don’t want to say insight, create enough entry or enough of the, the news hook to be able to say, boy, I’m going to pick up the phone. I’m going to call that company. Or I’m going to call Stephen and learn a little bit more about that. So that was a miss on my part. It sounds like that’s, that’s really what the press release is supposed to do is, is to establish the news hook and then prompt a call for more information on that. 


You know, you can use links in the press release to get to all of the meat and potatoes you don’t have to put it all in the release itself. You can use links to photos. It’s perfectly okay to send them a photo or two photos and you know, your logo, but don’t send them a dozen photos. They’re just gonna they can’t handle that just one representative photo. So you’re not making them work for it to get something and then link to the other things. Again, anytime you have links, you have tracking capability. 


Yeah. I love it. And so all of the links then are theoretically pointing back to your website, or maybe there’s a product website or something like that or whatever, but okay. There’s so much meat and potatoes here. And this is a really, really great topic. So let’s think about the newsworthy from the perspective of imposter syndrome. So how, like what advice or guidance would you give to our listeners who are thinking? Yeah, but Leslie, is that really newsworthy in, in, in sort of thinking like, man, what, what do I really have to share that is worthy of being newsworthy? So, can you give some advice or perspective on that? 


It depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. So if you have something that’s a broad appeal, then you know, then you have to think about, okay, is this newsworthy to your local newspaper? You know, if it’s an event that the public can come and enjoy, then it’s newsworthy. If it is you’re a consultant and you added a new service to your business, that’s not broad appeal to your, to your local general audience. That might be an appeal to a trade publication or a trade association. So it’s dependent on the audience, the receiving audience, and also the media person that you’re trying to talk to. 


So if there is a media person that is covering your area of expertise and you have put out some new book or paper or tool on that area, well then that’s newsworthy to that media person, but to a broader audience, it wouldn’t be. So it’s all about who you’re speaking to. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: The Power of Helpful Content


So if we run that through, okay, let me try to follow your lead here. If we run that through the filter of this topic, is this thing, is this event book, whatever is that truly helpful to the audience? Not because I’m trying to get ink or trying to get featured in a magazine for my own gratification or trying to spark traffic to the website, but is what I’m putting out there. Is it truly helpful to those who might be consuming that eventually then there might be a nugget there to find a new sock? 


Am I tracking exactly? That’s where you find your news hook is how it’s helpful and you just have to be careful about not selling. You know, if it says you created a book and you don’t want it to be about selling your book, you want it to be providing a new toolset for your readers of that book. You know, you can learn the five things to the next level, your business, or something along those lines. So you’ve got to pull out the helpfulness and you know, to what you guys teach, you have to give away some of that great knowledge. You have to give away your expertise and be helpful. And then that’s going to draw people in the same, same as true for your audience as it is for the news media that you’re trying to reach. 


I think it’s so amazing. What, what, what you just said, it’s not about selling, it’s about helping not selling right. And how we can help the audience be better. Or in this case, how we can help whoever the reporter is, or whoever’s in that newsroom, how we can help them do their job in a more efficient way, instill in a good way. And then them being helpful to their audience, which is the audience that we’re trying to obviously reach. Right. Right. Okay. So then take us into, because this too was a big aha. When you and I were preparing for this conversation about the lists and we were talking about this actually in our prep discussion, but then even a few weeks before, or a few weeks ago, I should say, during one of our specialized trainings and you had talked about a good list and versus like a list that hasn’t been refreshed in a while. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Building a Solid PR Distribution List


Right. And then there’s a lot of wasted effort. So tell us about that. So that our listeners don’t make that mistake, like trusting somebody who actually doesn’t have a good list, 


Right? I mean, your list, your distribution lists, for PR, whether it’s a press release distribution list or a list of people you want to pitch to, it has to be rock solid. You have to find the people that are the most relevant to the target audience. And then you have to find ways to engage with them and become a trusted source. You know? So your message is going to resonate with certain audiences and you have to decide if the general public is people in a certain geographic area, is it people working in a specific profession or a trade, and then go find the media contacts that are relevant there? 


Okay. So let me give that back to you. So then let’s say that as a business owner here at Predictive, we have a niche in which we serve agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants. So then I know this is going to sound like a ludicrous example, but hopefully it will make the point that like, if we hired a PR firm who has expertise in petrochemicals, obviously ludicrous example, that probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for us to rely on their distribution list. Even if it is super fresh, because it’s not relevant to our niche, right? 


Assuming that they only do petrochemicals PR firms, generally they may have a specialty, but they may also have a broad array of services that they can offer. And that’s where our agency falls in because we have everything from tourism to utilities, to bridgesit’s a wide gamut. And then the software that we use as a PR firm has this living list. And so, the media contacts are constantly updated. And one example I can give you is we have a zoo or several zoos that are our clients and they’re in different states. 


So we can find zoological publications. We’re also going to find media contacts in each of those geographic areas and all the relevant contexts. So whenever they have who doesn’t love a baby hippopotamus, they have a new baby hippopotamus at the zoo, and we can reach out and share that the baby hippopotamus is now available for viewing. Come see it, help us name it, all of those things. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: The Holy Grail of PR


Okay. Really cool example. And so like when, when you mentioned living list, so is, is that, so again, as our listeners are thinking, all right, maybe I do want to hire a PR firm to be able to do this for me. Is, is that, is that literally the question, like, tell me how you keep a living list or how often the list is updated. How do they do a little bit of due diligence on that to make sure that the partner that they choose actually has a living lab? 


I would just ask them how they are sourcing their media contacts, and how often is that source updated. Like I said, most PR firms like ours will be using a software platform that has that as part of their normal course of business. And you can find specialties within that software. It doesn’t matter what the industry is, whether it’s self-storage, zoos, or utilities; I can find the contacts relevant to those industries. 


Okay. that is super, super helpful. Okay. So this has been great, really loved the conversation around the five channels really loved the, the deep dive that you took us into regarding how to structure a press release. This has been super, super helpful, the conversation around the news hook and then the list. So also when we were preparing, you had mentioned, and I had not heard this term before you talked about the holy grail of PR and I’m like, Ooh, what’s that? It’s through the holy grail of PR. 


Sure. So ideally your PR efforts are going to result in stories that are published or featured in the media. And that is the holy grail of PR is the third-party endorsement. You know, it’s one thing to shout your own story from the hilltops, which is basically what I’m telling you to do on your own platforms, on your social platforms, on your website. But it’s next level when a reputable media source shares your story with their audience, this adds credibility and an implied endorsement of your message. And that’s reaching people that didn’t even know you existed before. So that’s just how great is that? So that third-party endorsement is just adding credibility to you. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Maximizing Exposure and Benefits


Okay. So then how — say that we’re blessed enough to receive that, right? We get a holy grail, we get, a third-party endorsement. How do we leverage that? And maybe that’s not the right word. You know, we’re big fans of talking about slicing and dicing content and all of that. So now we have this really cool third-party endorsement. How do we make the most of that exposure? I mean, it’s such a cool opportunity 


And you share it everywhere. You that’s, when you share it back again on all of those social networks and on your website and go, Hey, we got picked up in this magazine, or guess what I’m going to do. I’m going to tell everybody I’ve been featured on the Onward Nation podcast. You know, that’s what it is. 


Well, okay. Okay. So, so now that’s interesting, right? Because of what you just said there, that actually just reversed it for me thinking, well, wait a minute. That helps me too. So, is there a piece of this that then also helps the media that also gave you the third party endorsement? 


Totally, totally. Everybody loves the link. You know, everybody loves the link back to their story back to their website in that news media or no exception to that. And one thing I want to clarify is when I use the term featured in media, it does not have to mean traditional news outlets and magazines. What really matters is that the media outlet has an audience that will find your message interesting and helpful. And so just like I said, that could be a podcast like this one. It could be a feature on a, so you don’t think of that as like a news story, but if you got featured on someone’s website, that’s media coverage, and that’s great. If it reaches your audience, it’s amazing. 


You could be featured in a newsletter, anything, a trade publication, as long as it reaches your audience, it’s a win. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Navigating the Inc 5000 Journey and Its Impact


Okay. So help me with this piece because I suspect that some of our listeners might be feeling this same way too. I have such a low tolerance, and I know you’re not suggesting this. This is why I just want to maybe suss this out with your expertise is being the guide. I have such a low tolerance for self-aggrandizing stuff. So let me give you a scenario. So in 2022, we’re stepping into the Inc 5,000 vetting process. Never done it before. I’m a little bit scared to death, candidly, but I know that that would be a really cool thing, a really cool achievement for Predictive. And it, my guess is, is that would maybe fit into this. 


So, I guess my first question is this. And then, and then I have some other questions around this. So let’s say that Predictive makes that 5,000-list thing. Does this fit into the bucket of holy grail as you’re describing it? Yes. 


You are getting endorsed by a widely recognized organization as an organization of excellence. You should share that wherever you can. 


Okay. So, so then that’s where a little bit of the self-aggrandizing kind of rises up for me where I don’t want it to feel likeyucky, like look at how amazing we are. So if we’re to spin that and sort of go behind the curtain and just describe what the process was like, almost making instructional, like what the process was like, how the growth of the businesses given us the ability to help more business owners so it’s not about Predictive, but it’s about like the process and all of that. What would be a helpful way to share that content? 


I think that’s brilliant because there are people who have been in your shoes before. They’re like, how do I get on that list? What’s involved? Can I even qualify? And you’re doing something helpful. At the same time you’re sharing, we made the list. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Beyond the Press Release


Okay. That’s interesting. And I liked the helpful angle because candidly, it feels like, it feels like mystic, dark, magic, voodoo, as far as like how to, how to like to go through the process. I’m like, what? Like, is there a form to fill out? Like, I don’t know. I mean, so now we’re on the waiting list for the 2022 to be open the process. But like, it’s not clear how to actually do it. 


I would be interested to know. 


Okay. So that’s the Holy Grail; this is the third-party endorsement. 


So, how often, and maybe that’s not the right way to phrase the question if one of our listeners wanted to, okay? I really want the third-party endorsements. Does that start with the press release? I guess the question is, in order to get to the third-party endorsement, does that always start with a press release, or does it start somehow differently? 


It can start in any number of ways. And you’re giving me a third-party endorsement today, by having me as your guest on this podcast, that didn’t start with a press release that started because we made a connection and we got to know each other and you saw that I brought some value, right? So it can be completely organic. That that was an example of it being organic. It could be pitching for my tourism clients, I look at editorial calendars for, let’s say magazines that have travel information and I go, oh, they’re going to be talking about the south next May. And so then I’d find out, okay, who are the editors of that magazine? And I reach out to them and go, Hey, Pensacola is a great destination for summer travel. 


I’d love to share some information with you on your story, on your travel story. You’re planning next May. Can we have a conversation so that it isn’t a press release? That was more of a pitch. 


Okay. So then let me, let me spin that back to you is see if I’m tracking with you with the showpiece. And I never even thought of this you’re talking about being here on Onward. So if I’m a business owner in a particular industry, like I’ve got a clearly defined niche, then it sounds like if I’m tracking with you, it’d be really smart for me to go out to all of the podcasts that might cover that industry per se, right in, and try to set some sort of news hook about how it can be helpful to that audience. And then a certain percentage of them might say yes. And then when they do, when those episodes air, I should treat that as like what you just said, like a holy grail, like a third-party endorsement. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Leveraging Podcast Interviews


I should really be slicing and dicing that content because that will hopefully increase my credibility, assuming that I shared something smart during those interviews. Right? 


Absolutely. Yes, yes. And honestly, those things are going to be an easier get then a news story. And, your news peg doesn’t have to be as strong. I think, to get on a podcast as it does to get a newspaper article or a magazine article or a feature on a television program are the biggies everybody wants to be on Good Morning America or be called in to be an expert on a newscast, but we don’t all have those opportunities, but there are opportunities for these. I don’t even want to call them smaller wins. They’re all big wins if they’re reaching the right people. 


Oh, that’s smart. Right there. It is. There is. When we think of the body of work for an expert business owner to be featured in the various media, is there like a stacking, so Hey, Mr. Ms. Business owner go be a great guest, share something smart on the podcasts that is covering your niche industry and that slice and dice the heck out of those holy grails, right? Those, those third-party endorsements. And then when you’re pitching a, the news hook to let’s, let’s say print magazine, newspaper, whatever that you cite, that body of work right. Where you share your smarts and then, and then they can go listen to that. Does that happen? 


Absolutely. They, the reporters and editors they’re going to do their research. That’s part of their job is to make sure you’re legit. So you want to make sure that you want to make it easy for them to find proof that you are in fact, that subject matter expert. And that circles back to what I was saying about having the news feature on your website, because there’s the easy place they can go find all of that. They can go see that you were on this podcast that you were featured on this website that you served on this panel at a conference, or what did a webinar, whatever it might be. You got to make it easy for people to find you and show that body of work that says, Hey, this person’s an expert. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Navigating Media Ascension


Okay. So let me give that piece back to you. Cause that’s, that’s really, really interesting. And especially when you were talking about newsrooms and how they’ve gone from a hundred down to, let’s say a dozen, right? My sense is that not only are they getting this big inflow of stuff, right? When they’re doing research, they don’t have a whole lot of time. So the easier that we can make, make it for them to determine whether we have the expertise or not, then the faster we might get a yes or an invitation to my tracking. Yes, 




Nice. Okay. So, let’s say that podcasts are sort of our foundation. And then, if we’re a stack, the next block up, if you will, might be print, the next block up might be TV news. And I know that GMA might be like the ultimate holy grail, but, but like, is that sort of Ascension, is that true, or is it maybe different than that? 


I think it really just depends on your audience. I mean, if you were in a very niche trade, then broadcast journalism is probably not going to be your space, but podcasts and trade journals may be an excellent space for you. 


So instead of GMA, if somebody niche following your example, then it might be like you said, the trade journals might be that next step up. And then maybe, maybe the holy grail, the holiest of holy grails, maybe in this example might be, Hey, would you be the conference keynote? 


I was just at a tourism conference and there was a speaker on LGBTQ and I did not know this person. And if she was a breakout session speaker, she wasn’t even a keynote speaker, but I learned so much from that breakout session. And now we’re probably going to be bringing her to Pensacola to help grow that LGBTQ audience for Pensacola tourism. Soshe’s done her due diligence in building up her level of expertise as a consultant in that space and ultimately got invited to be a breakout session leader. And then she’ll probably be a keynote leader at some point a keynote speaker at some point because she’s building her way up. 


So smart, really, really smart, and love the fact that it sounds like she has approached her area of expertise combined also with the niche where she thinks that she can be super, super helpful. You were obviously there and now giving her additional opportunities inside that niche. 


Yeah. She had products to sell, but she was not selling them there. She was being helpful. 


Elevate your insights about the PR strategy plan by reading this blueprint: How To Build A Better Press Release


PR Strategy Plan: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Leslie


Love it. Yeah. It’s Onward Nation. It is all about helping and not selling. And when somebody is ready and you’ve been sharing generously, you’re smart, just like drew McLellan. I wrote in Solace Authority that the 10 truth of being an authority is that you’re there to be helpful. And then when somebody in your audience has a business issue, they say, oh boy, I have this question. I have this concern. Every time I turned around there, Leslie was helpful to me. And then Leslie gets the phone call, right? So this, this is so, so good, Leslie. So I know we covered a lot, but before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, any final advice, anything you think we might have missed? 


And then please do tell us the best way to connect with you. 


Okay. One final thought I want to leave you with is that public relations. It’s a long-haul commitment. You’re in this to build and improve your relations through your relationship with the media and to establish your position of authority. It’s an amazing tool to establish your position of authority, but it’s a marathon. It is not a sprint. So you cannot just do it, do one or two things, and expect great results. You have got to stick with it and you’ll get better and better as you do it. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, but you’ll get better. 


And then the best way to connect with you. 


You can connect with me through our website, You can email me at [email protected] or find me on LinkedIn, Leslie Perino, and in the show notes later. Hopefully, I’m not ever promising on your show notes. I’m going to provide a workbook for everyone on PR and how to structure that press release, so I’ll give you tips and a working document where you can format your press release. 


That sounds awesome. And so onward nation, we will include, as Leslie said, we will include the link to that in the show notes, as well as if you’re one of our email subscribers in our community, then we will also include that link when we share the episode. And so that might already be in your inbox as you’re listening to this and Leslie, this is just so amazing. So Onward, no matter how many times you go back and re-listen to the amazing insights that Leslie just shared with you, the key is you have to take it and apply it. She broke down so much and gave you the roadmap to follow in several key areas about how to use PR to grow your audience. 


But the key is you have to take action on what she so generously just shared with you and Leslie; we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. And I am grateful that you said yes to coming onto the show, to be our mentor and guide, and to help us grow our audience by using PR. Thank you so much, my friend. 


Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure. 


This episode is complete. So head to Onward Nation dot com for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation.

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