1. What is your business?
I run a small, virtual public relations agency called T&Co. Public Relations (www.TandCo.me). Being virtual means we don’t have a traditional office. The team is made up of PR consultants who all work remotely. We handpick each team member to create the right PR team for each of our clients. We do media relations, analyst relations, social media and more, primarily for technology, telecom and business-to-business companies. Current clients include Toshiba’s Telecom Division and D-Link, and we also work with start-ups. T&Co. was founded in 1993.
2. Why did you launch this business?
After many years working at traditional PR agencies, including a division of BBDO, I decided I wanted to be the person who determined what PR advice to give clients, whether or not it contributed to our bottom line. I also wanted to be able to hand-select teams for my clients so they had the right mix of experience, expertise, talent and personality. Synergy with the client is one of the biggest contributors to success.
3. What gives you your greatest pleasure in your business?
My greatest pleasure is when we help a client score a big win, such as when our media coverage gives them the visibility they seek, or when an analyst relationship we’ve helped them build enables them to land a big customer.
4. Where have you run into challenges in your business?
The biggest challenge for me is always difficult people. Not everyone is a team player. By having a handpicked team, we eliminate the issue of difficult people on our team, but there can be difficult people everywhere else at the client’s, within the media, analysts, and our client’s customers. We work hard to overcome the barriers erected by difficult people to create a win-win. Often times, they are just worried because they had a bad experience, so it’s a case of building trust. When we make them look good, we win them over.
5. What is a key resource that has helped you and might also help other business owners?
One of the best (and free!) PR resources that anyone can use is Help A Reporter Out www.helpareporter.com This service provides emails that list media queries to which anyone can respond and land media coverage.