We provide both with media exposure that sets them apart from their competitors by making them recognized as authorities in their fields.
The point of publicity is to get that exposure through appearances on radio and TV, and/or by being covered editorially in newspapers and magazines, online and offline. We coach our entrepreneurs and professionals to provide useful, relevant and entertaining information – rather than trying to sell their company, service or product – during interviews. People will pay attention if you’re providing valuable content; you’ll get respect that no amount of advertising can buy. You’ll also get the implied third-party endorsement of the media. When journalists and show hosts come to you for information, it’s because they recognize you as an expert. That gives you priceless credibility.
As a longtime female CEO, I’m particularly sensitive to the challenges women face as they launch and expand their companies. I also find women communicate differently – more intimately — with one another than they do with men and the world in general. That’s why I have a network of female business associates across the country, and I often have business and professional women call me for advice. We share many values, which helps in understanding one another and the problems we each face.
That’s also why our company takes a very individualized approach with each client. We take into account his or her strengths, and needs and goals; gender is just one factor that may differentiate an entrepreneur or professional. We’ve found a cookie-cutter approach is not only extremely dissatisfying for our clients, it won’t yield the best results for their campaigns.
I think it’s particularly helpful that we do not work on retainer. Our pay-for-performance model is one I love – obviously! It allows people to budget for their PR and be guaranteed results.
What advice would you give to conference attendees?
Get ready now: Set goals for what you want to take away from the conference, and study the agenda so you can decide which workshops and speakers can best help you achieve those goals.
I love these events because they’re great for developing relationships, which is so enjoyable. Are there speakers you’d like to meet and get to know? Other attendees? Make a list. You might even send them an email in advance, introducing yourself and letting them know you’ll be looking for them.
What’s your favourite business tool?
That’s easy! The PR Insider — my twice-a-week newsletter with marketing tips for entrepreneurs, professionals, authors, and anyone else interested in promoting something. It’s a great way to help others, and it has been wonderful for building long-lasting relationships. Readers often email me with comments or to share their own stories after they receive the latest edition, and I respond to every one, so we really get to know one another. I have subscribers who’ve been reading my PR Insider for years.
Describe in one word what keeps you going during stressful times and why?
I know that genuine caring solves every problem, especially when it involves people. When I can transcend the minutiae of whatever the issue is, I’m able to see things more clearly. From that viewpoint I can choose to address the issue with love and compassion. That decision relieves my stress and creates harmony instead.
What do you hope conference attendees will take away from hearing you speak at our conference?
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned from decades in business – one of the lessons I wish I could have shared with 21-year-old Marsha Friedman when she bought her first coffeehouse – is to set your goals big. Shoot high, because you can do what you dream.
I’ve always admired Muhammad Ali. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” So true!
Marsha Friedman is CEO and founder of EMSI Public Relations, a national agency that has been providing publicity services for 23 years. She has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, professionals and authors gain exposure and credibility through appearances on radio and TV shows across the country, editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines, and on social media. Marsha is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, “Celebritize Yourself: The Three-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business.” Some prominent clients have included Michael Uslan, executive producer of “The Dark Knight Rises” and author of the memoir, “The Boy Who Loved Batman;” Irwin Yablans, executive producer and creator of the “Halloween” film series and author of memoir, “The Man Who Created Halloween”; Motown’s Temptations; Jim Hoffa, Jr., and Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor. But her greatest pride is in successfully promoting non-celebrities using her “celebritize” method. Her clients routinely appear on national TV, from CBS to CNN; national talk radio shows; and in publications from the New York Times to the Washington Post. She is sought after by journalists writing about public relations issues, and is a popular speaker at regional and national conferences.
She has been happily for 40 years and is a mother of four and grandmother of three.