Public relations isn’t all red carpets and hob-knobbing at fancy lunches; it is also the strategically placed interview and the prestigious award. Recognition by third-parties enforces your brand and increases trustworthiness among business partners, potential customers and investors, and it even catches the green eye of competitors.
Meet the Press
One client of ours who is a master at the interview is Rick Pleczko, President and CEO of symplr. He’s a double threat in his industry of healthcare technology; he can speak the technology speak, AND he can translate it for us mere mortals. He’s equally at ease with hi-tech publications and high-level business pubs. In his role as CEO, successful communication is imperative. He moves from speaking to potential investors to CEOs of multi-million-dollar healthcare organizations to the marketing assistant down the hall fluidly and without missing a beat. It’s no surprise then that Rick is a master marketer who knows his customer and finds a way to relate to him/her.
Tip: Be Open
Recently, Rick spoke to Crain’s Houston for a unique feature titled “If I knew then…” where business leaders share an obstacle they faced and the lessons learned from it. Rick is transparent when it comes to his journey and shared a story from the late 1990’s when everyone wanted to go public. His company was switching gears from services to software and needed funding. While they readied their product, they went public.
Things didn’t turn out quite the way they hoped and they ended up not meeting their first quarter revenue goal. Investors were screaming…life was not good. BUT Rick learned valuable lessons he puts into practice today as he runs another successful software company that is both developing Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and acquiring companies to grow their product portfolio. Lessons learned: “Don’t do things that are obviously wrong, measure twice and cut once, and earn the right to say no.”
Who doesn’t want to shorten their learning curve by hearing about the mistakes of others? Be willing to share tips or stories about when things didn’t go according to plan to encourage and teach others.
Tip: Awards = Confidence in You, Your Company and Product
EY (formerly Ernst & Young) recently recognized Rick’s success as a Houston-area entrepreneur and awarded him the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Technology category. He’d been nominated for several years by others in the industry who recognized Rick’s contributions to the Houston technology landscape. This year, was THE year and Rick won, deservingly.
Awards also up the ante for your product or service saying to the world “I’m an award-winner! I’m good stuff!” We research relevant awards and even submit on your behalf.
Media Interviews May Not Come Natural
Working with Rick for close to 15 years, he’s the person you can put in front of any reporter even on the fly and be assured everything’s going to be alright. He’s THAT good. Not everyone is comfortable being interviewed or has the years of media experience that Rick has, but that’s what we’re here for, too. We can media train your spokesperson or prepare for a specific interview, in addition to creating a media relations program to find and meet those reporters who can help get your company noticed.
Tip: Don’t be afraid of the awkward silence.
Reporters have been known to let conversation lag creating an uncomfortable silence in hopes that their subject will fill it with juicy information instead of letting the quiet be. Don’t fall for it! Answer the question, stay on message, and if you wait out the silence, the reporter will move onto the next question.
Public relations is the behind-the-scenes work that goes into securing that interview that is seen by that right person at the right time…If your company could benefit from our PR expertise, give us call.