Link To Guest Website:

Title: “The Most Important Messaging Tactics For Business Owners This Summer”
Guest: Jim Farrell – PRFirst!
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript
Jeffrey (0s):
Well, hello everybody in Radio Entrepreneurs land, and I want to welcome you back. My name is Jeffrey Davis, host of Radio Entrepreneurs, and also CEO and founder of Mage LLC, a management consulting firm here in the Boston area. And we continue to stream stories of entrepreneurship and business in this evolving economy. And with that in mind, I’m glad to welcome back Jim Ferrell, president of PR first, welcome back, Jim Farrell,

Jim (29s):
Thank you, Jeffrey. It’s great to move back and I’m always, always a pleasure to be. It could be a guest here and

Jeffrey (35s):
You know, Jim, there’s a lot. Thank you, Jim. And I there’s a lot going on in the economy and you know, it seems here at least in the Northeast that we are full fledged, trying to get back to work. Traffic jams are back. People are trying to promote their businesses. What’s is there anything different about how people are addressing PR specifically within marketing?

Jim (56s):
Well, one difference is that people have relied more and pay a lot more attention to their communications, their internal communications, as well as their communications to if you will, stakeholders and other people that they’ve seen and felt the need to tell their story in more channels than they previously did. Typically for us, a PR engagement is often get us, get us publicity in the news media, pick the right outlets for us, tell our story out there. And we still do a lot of that. And that’s certainly very, very important. It’s really the main function, but there’s also been a real push for people in assessing, how do we communicate?

Jim (1m 39s):
How do we tell people what’s different? How do we tell them about what we’re doing and how do we let them know what we’re doing in the community? And just basically letting them know that it’s, it’s safe to come back because as you’ve seen, I’m sure there’s been a lot of differences in terms of companies as to which ones are open. Some of the big companies are still closed. So I think one, one awareness that the businesses have is making certain that they communicate exactly what’s going on because we’re in a kind of a fluid environment where things seem to change week to week, as far as what’s open, what’s not open. How are people doing things?

Jeffrey (2m 17s):
Well, again, you said what I’ve experienced. There seems to be some degree of anxiety from employees about what are the rules, what are the conditions, how are things changing? And I think what you’re talking about is internal PR internal communications, and just sort of assuming it for leaders or just putting together some, you know, sort of HR press release. You’re saying isn’t the way to go. Is that correct?

Jim (2m 44s):
It, yeah, it is correct. I don’t think it’s enough. I mean, it’s certainly it’s better than doing nothing, but I think for a lot of employers and I certainly include myself as a small business owner, all the anxieties that business owners have felt over this last year, year and a half it’s, it’s very wise to remember it. Not only do you feel that, but everybody who works at your company feels it. And not only that, but people who do business with you may feel it as well. So it’s important. I think to be empathetic, it’s important to be encouraging and uplifting, but it’s also important to communicate really, really clearly. And specifically, this is what we plan to do. And for a lot of company owners, a lot of CEOs that often involves seeking input from, from their, their employees and even their customers, what can we do better for you?

Jim (3m 35s):
How does it, how does this work? There are, there are some people in some companies I think, tend to allow remote working anyway, based on a number of issues, whether it’s childcare or, or whatever else. But I think you’ll see more. I think you’ll continue to see more remote, more of a hybrid model. And, and yeah. So coming back to what you said, it’s important to include everybody in that discussion and to be really, really careful and clear about how you communicate it.

Jeffrey (4m 2s):
Two groups that I tend to take up a lot of the population, both baby boomers and millennials definitely have clear opinions about wanting to work more consistent with their choice of lifestyle and that, that their, their voice is louder than it was. Let’s say two years ago. There’s no doubt about it. And I think employers need to take that into account yes, slowly

Jim (4m 27s):
And particularly, you know, belonging to one of those groups. And I let you guess which one but belonging, but I think millennials in particular are having with the market the way it is. And with people looking for, for, for, for, for a work and bill workers, millennials probably will have an even stronger voice in, in if you will dictating or at least influencing the terms of their employment. But what I think a lot of us discovered Jeffrey was that before COVID descended upon us, the idea of remote working was one of these outlier ideas. People would go home and they’d work on, it might work on vacation. Or if there was someone who was recovering from illness or, or there was some other issue, remote working was the exception and not the norm.

Jim (5m 12s):
And it seems like that this flipped the script on it. And now remote working is a very, very much part of what people are used to. And I believe that you’re going to see it as a, certainly a hybrid. You’ll see a continuing, I think, well, it is a future. So that’s going to be a challenge for internal PRS actually, as well as external in terms of just communicating, not only the what, but the why, which I think that’s important. People want to know what are business leaders thinking? Why are they doing what they’re doing? And are they keeping, you know, is it safety? Is it convenience? What, what are the motivating factors in those decisions? Right.

Jeffrey (5m 50s):
And, you know, just to flip the coin on the other side, you know, I’m hearing a lot, a lot of companies now discussing things that they haven’t discussed before, should we be going to trade shows? Should we be traveling to do sales again? Are we doing zoom sales? How we using marketing since marketing has changed since we’re not all zooming anymore. So again, even external marketing and communications is changing. It

Jim (6m 15s):
Really is. And I’ve heard a lot of back and forth on trade shows, but I think that a number of companies who previously did these trade shows have found that zoom will, it’s a S it’s a good substitute. It’s not perfect. It doesn’t do everything, but I think it’s going to be a long, a long road back before you see trade shows, we come up a regular part of the marketing cycle again.

Jeffrey (6m 40s):
Well, you know, just yesterday I was looking at with a client, we were looking, we were reviewing a trade show and we looked at the layout of the floor plan and the majority of booths aren’t sold, and that’s not what we would have seen before. And so again, is it worth it to say, to buy a booth and go out there? So if you’re not spending the money on trade shows, how are you reaching your particular target? PR seems to be the logical outlet, outlet and cheaper.

Jim (7m 8s):
It certainly has always been, it’s always been available for people who understand it and understand how to utilize it. I’ve I believe in all my years in the industry than it is probably the least utilized of all the marketing tools that are out there, because people tend to think let’s do digital marketing. Let’s do Facebook let’s even for the really traditional companies do print or, or electronic media, but getting the news media to buy into a story that you have and to tell it like it’s their own. And to tell it in a news fashion is a incredibly powerful option in terms of trade shows. We used to with when, when our clients would go to trade shows would do an outreach to the media, would cover it and try and set up appointments for them to come by and talk to our clients at these shows.

Jim (7m 58s):
And I think now, even with the virtual, that, that, that still is a possibility. And I think for a lot of us, we try to still get that same kind of result on zoom. So I think in terms of investing in a trade show, there are a lot of components to consider one yet what’s the foot traffic like, but to other media opportunities, are there buying opportunities and is there a virtual component that would make it work? I think the trade show industry has got a lot of, a lot of soul searching gear to figure out how to really stay profitable and stay viable. But, you know, I’ve talked to a few of our clients who used to do them aren’t and they’re basically trying to find other ways to get the message out through associations and through virtual meetings and the like, right.

Jeffrey (8m 41s):
And hasn’t this made the press more important than ever before. If they’re not going to trade shows, are aren’t people reading more online than they were ever before? I think so.

Jim (8m 53s):
And I think online is the key I, as you well know, almost every media outlet, even the print versions do have an online component. It does make it more important to really get in there and compete for a compete for some space. And what’s probably the most important out of everything that a person might do who wanted to avail himself or herself of, of media. Certainly the regular ongoing announcements are important, but this is this more than any other time is the time to try and get in front of those outlets with some kind of thought leadership piece, something that showcases the individual, the company’s expertise, 10 tips you should look for in selecting ACPA or something along those lines.

Jim (9m 37s):
So the thought leadership piece is really the way through the media that businesses can help distinguish themselves set themselves apart from everybody else, if I’m right. And I, if I’m, I don’t know if there’s time, but I I’d like to just make one quick suggestion

2 (9m 53s):
For, for

Jim (9m 54s):
Businesses who do secure placements that are always, you know, want to get more mileage out of them. The best, one of the best ways to do it is to take the links that they secure for a placement and to push it up on their LinkedIn and on their Facebook and on the other social media platforms. It’s just a simple thank you to XYZ magazine for covering our story about and posting it up there on their site so that it will get all of their viewers. All of their audience will see it. It just helps the story travel further and further and further. And we see a lot of people doing those kinds of steps that did it before as well.

Jeffrey (10m 28s):
I think that’s a good suggestion and remind everybody, we are speaking with Jim federal of PR first, Jim, if somebody is looking for you some assistance and counsel on how to address the market or even internal marketing, how would they find you? I’ll give

Jim (10m 44s):
You two ways. If I could. The first is my email, which is J Farrell, J F a R R E L Our website is and you can always reach us that way. And my direct number is 6 1 7 4 2 9 7 9 9 0.

Jeffrey (11m 5s):
Great, Jim, thanks for being on the show today. We know you’re going to be back. You’re one of the supporters of radio entrepreneurs, and we appreciate that relationship. It’s a great

Jim (11m 13s):
Program. Thanks so much for having me and you guys do a lot of great work. We’re proud to be part of it.

Jeffrey (11m 18s):
Thank you very much. Remind everybody. This is Radio Entrepreneurs.

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