Approximately six weeks ago the first Raleigh Media Leaders event was held at The Busy Bee. Over 150 professionals from marketing, advertising, media and technology gathered for an evening of interaction and stimulating conversation. The event was unique in that there was a grand prize for the evening, a drawing for “Lunch with The Leaders,” a lunch with three area media leaders with three media leaders attendees.
I was fortunate enough to be the host for the lunch held at The Pit BBQ. The Leaders that volunteer their time for the event were:
- Andy Beal (@andybeal), Online Reputation Management Consultant, Founder of Trackur.com & MarketingPilgrim.com
- Patty Briguglio (@pattybriguglio), President, MMI Public Relations and guest contributor to Fox Business News
- Barrett Joyner, Development Director of The Healing Place of Wake County NC and former President of SAS North America
Joining our leaders were three very special business people. Karen Albritton, president of Capstrat was the first winner and a media leader in her own right. The other winners included Charlotte Goodman-Smith and Christine Fawley of Pleasure Mechanics and Richard Knott, a freelance graphic designer.
After introductions we began a great marketing discussion around how to market your business especially when you are new to a market. Charlotte, Christine and Richard are all new to the Triangle area and own their own businesses. They face challenges in getting their name out and breaking into marketing and media channels.
One great strategy that Patty recommended was to work with non-profit associations and attend networking events like Media Leaders as well as Ad Club, Triangle AMA and AIGA. Barrett offered great advice to keep reminding associations of the important contacts they have and how to get introductions. By offering your services to help the association you can get great network connections. Patty also suggested that when attending professional association meetings ask people if they hire freelancers.
Patty also told them to make sure you tell your story because, “if you don’t then others will tell it for you.” I could not agree with her more. Being in control of your message is vital to marketing your business. Patty reviewed the process that her firm does when meeting with new clients, the first step is to find out everything about them. What is their story? What are their goals? Then, develop a strategy and supporting PR program to deliver.
The discussion then centered around media and PR. Patty noted that reporters write about trends and if your business has a story relating to a current trend then you may have the ability to get their attention. Another tool that Andy mentioned was Help A Reporter Out where reporters ask for sources for stories they are currently researching. HARO allows you to find a possible media placement by offering expert advice, thus creating exposure and awareness for your brand.
This lead into a discussion around personal branding and the use of social media. Andy gave a great tip on whether you should start by blogging. He stated that sometimes it’s better to find a blog in your subject matter area and offer to write a guest post. Many times these blogs already have a larger following that what you would be able to build in the near term and will drive more visitors to your web site or online presence. Another tip Patty offered was to enter award competitions and benefit from the publicity generated by the award and related events.
Andy also spoke about becoming an industry expert and getting quoted in newspapers, magazines and website articles. He noted that small articles can sometimes lead to larger ones so many times he offers his opinion to bridal or travel publications since someone is reading that publication that may work at Inc. or Fortune magazine and then contact him for another story. Barrett states that research is important to stories so play a part in it and offer your expertise to reporters.
Lunch with The Leaders did not disappoint to say the least. Not only did Patty, Andy and Barrett offer great advice to Charlotte, Christine, Richard and Karen but everyone had the opportunity to make another business connection. I feel that our leaders learned about our event winners as well, asking about how they started their businesses, their backgrounds and what brought them to the area. The BBQ was not bad either! Thanks to The Pit (@ThePittBBQ) for sponsoring the lunch and providing a great atmosphere.
Again my thanks to the other Media Leaders team members for creating the event that lead to this lunch: Phil Buckley (@1918), Morgan Siem (@morgansiem @mediatwo_social), Dan London (@danlondon) and Sarah Burris (@sarkatbur). What’s in store for the next Media Leaders event on April 6? Register now to attend!
I’ve included information about our Lunch with The Leader winners as well if you would like to learn more about them. And thanks again to our Leaders, Patty Brigulio, Barrett Joyner and Andy Beal.
Our Lunch With The Leaders attendees:
For more photos from the event, view the Flickr set.