PR was for high profile personalities only. I didn’t think it was a business tool that would benefit an entrepreneur like me. Listen in as Kristen Hinman gives us the scoop on what PR can do for your business and why you need it!
-What is PR really?
-Why being in business isn’t enough for the PR world
-The reason why everyone needs PR
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Awesome. So why don’t you jump in and tell us for those who are not lucky enough to know you yet, give me a little bit of your backstory and what got you into PR and uh, or got you here. And what really is PR?
Yeah, that’s a lot of questions in one, but I’ll tackle them all. Um, yeah, I started my, I launched my agency in March of 2016 and it was coming from a background of doing really high level publicity for clients, meaning we wouldn’t pay, you know, if you’re not familiar with what with what PR or publicity is, it’s not advertising, but we’d actually appear in segments of TV show. And so I had the great fortune of getting to work with some amazing like Media Legends, Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz, all of these, you know, just huge personalities. And what would happen is my clients would get on this shows. As you can imagine, if you’re on a show like good morning America or the today show or the New York times, you get the, you get a ton of exposure. Both types of platforms reach millions of people every single day. And we’re part of a story, not an advertisement. So my clients would experience these huge spike in people knowing about them and calling them and messaging them and then it would die. So I thought that they would become really dependent on this exposure that I talked about. Kind of like you said in your very lovely intro, is that they thought that once I’m on a show like this, I’ve made it, I’ve arrived. I mean, I know that you see it a lot and people you work with, it’s sort of.
this idea of when, when we’re in business or we’re doing something, we’re, we’re, we’re put out there. It’s enough. And the truth is it’s not enough. It’s not enough to simply be in business. And so what I did, um, you know, when I launched my agency as I, I knew that there was a better way to really keep that exposure of going and have it being leveraged for my clients. And so, you know, what I like to say is I kind of combined the best of both worlds is taking that massive type of exposure and it doesn’t necessarily need to be the today show. I mean sometimes PR’s can PR or publicity can be things like referrals, word of mouth, people talking about you. All of that is kind of good word publicity, but really taking that kind of celebrity that I think every brand and business owner has and leveraging it into new opportunities, telling their story and really unlocking some of those unique aspects of their positioning.
Yeah, and you know what? That’s an amazing story. Thanks for sharing your background with us. And of course it’s impressive. And what I want to say though, I think the biggest thing that I learned from you when we started working together is, you know, we all sit there and to our listeners who are listening right now, you think, well, please, I’m not, I’m not going to get to be on those shows. And I know for myself when I wrote my book, I thought, okay, please, please, please just get this book done. And I was so excited, was done. I thought that was the mountain I had to climb that of course, sadly that was the easy part is now getting the message out. And so what I thought a PR strategy or training was was for someone that had arrived that you know, would get on those TV shows. So I didn’t see that as something that was going to be in my toolkit. And I think that’s a, that’s a huge misunderstanding. Would you, would you agree?
I would agree. And I, I totally agree. It’s something that we work through a lot is the fact that just because the book is done, you know, you feel this huge sense of accomplishment but no one knows about it. And so you’re right, you don’t necessarily need some big grand strategy because let’s it, not everyone’s gonna get on the today show or good morning America. I mean a lot of people have those types of hits. They’re called hits and publicity as like the Holy grail. But really you need to leverage kind of what what we worked on is really just leveraging the assets that you already had and just putting a basic strategy in place and starting to go after it. And it’s snowball. I mean, I’m sure you’ve shared and you can talk first hand about how this is just snowballed and it’s not an, it doesn’t come from like you don’t do the today show first and then fill in all the rest. You actually fill in all the rest and you earn the momentum and gain the momentum to go into doing bigger things, bigger opportunities, book deals, new books, new courses, whatever, you know, whatever works for you. And your business.
Yeah. And I think for me the awakening was understanding that PR, you know, again, we are so brainwashed to seeing that with celebrities and see it on TV and you know, their PR agents said this or whatever. But PR is, you know, making you known in your world. So you definitely can, you should have a PR strategy like, you know, no matter how small your business is. What would be, you know, uh, some of the biggest misunderstandings if you’ve touched on a couple, but for some of the entrepreneur or smaller business, give us like one or two things that are constantly misunderstood. Where are we going wrong with PR?
I think one of the things that I see actually most traditional PR for four firms, Iran and entrepreneurs is this idea that simply because you’re doing something cool that you sort of, um, like you deserve or like feel entitled to some type of coverage or exposure or like people talking about you. And what I actually, you know, when you boil it down, it’s all about telling a story. It’s about telling your story in a way that’s gonna resonate with people. And so I’m really big on taking that aspect of telling a story cause that, that was one of the huge skill sets that I developed in my time in that PR world is this ability to really quickly distill down someone’s story and tell it in a way that’s going to be compelling both to the person I’m talking to in the media, but more importantly for their audience, the people who are gonna benefit from and listen to it and who’s going to hear it and resonate with it. So I think that the ability to tell a story and to communicate that to people that you’re trying to reach is a huge skillset that most people do wrong. Because what I see most people do for instance, is they will, they will. Um, and I see this a lot of social media, they’ll promote something like for instance, Hey, I have a new book. It’s so great. I spent all this time writing it. But that’s not a story that’s like you bragging about yourself.
Okay. But let me jump in
tell them he did this
but let me jump in. I do want to admit to this, let me jump in. I wrote a book win the hour win the day and people were telling me that it was really good and that it was a simple strategy. It was refreshing and easy and all that stuff. And I’m, I’m owning up cause I know you won’t throw me to the wolves. And I’m saying, okay, when I was talking to you, I’m like, well can I, when I’m doing a pitch to be on somebody else’s podcast, can I say, look, it’s a really good book. I know everyone says that, but I’m telling you it’s really good book. And as you said nicely to me, being in business is not enough. That’s nice. You wrote a book, who cares? And you know what? That was such a powerful learning for me. It’s like Oh my gosh, I worked, I sweated, I got this book, all the decisions making the cover. I mean it was like this huge monster that, you know, I understand why so many people have dreams about writing books and don’t write it. And yet there was no parade that came down the street when I finished the book and you kept telling me I need to give people our reason to care. Like, and I was like what? What? So I know he didn’t hand me out. But that that’s true. And I can see how people buy into that.
Yeah. And here’s the thing too, cause I want to relate it to people who are listening who maybe don’t even have the slightest clue what a PR strategy is. It comes down to just how you communicate your story.
Cause it’s a different tone when you say, Hey, I’ve written a book as opposed to like this book came out of one of the most, you know, darkest times of my life, which in your case is true, but here’s what I learned from it and here’s what I want you to take out of it. That’s a different tone than, Oh my God, I wrote a book and I think it’s the best thing ever. Trust me. This is gonna help you. No one relates to that on a like on a personal level, we want to, we want to connect and have conversations with people and I think we do that through stories. And the second thing I see is that when we go to start marketing that what most people do is they market that book and what we need, what you need to remember if you’re listening or watching or whatever it is, we market a position which means we, we, in order to stand out, we have to be able to differentiate ourselves and differentiate our position and what makes us different and why and how. And that comes from really understanding what your story is and being able to position it and tell it in a, in a way that resonates with people and gets them to be attracted to you. Really.
Yeah. And you know, we’ve had this conversation, so I’m so blessed to have this podcast here, but this came out of me doing so many podcasts as a guest on so many other podcasts and it just evolved to this. But what I heard constantly was people would tell me like, Oh my gosh, one guy said, listen, we get 100% of our guests from a PR agency, they’re vetted, they’re prepared, we, it’s all taken care of. We don’t deal with regular folks, but we are going to interview you because of your pitch. And you know, that’s such a big thing. And I get that all the time is how I present myself, my story and how I display myself and connect with them. And they tell me all the time and we’ve had some really amazing guests on this show already in my short little life, and they each explained to me like, you, you got me because of how you sort of cut through everything and reached me. And in that case it was a pitch for them to be on my show, but still at the end of the day it was PR. So I guess what I want the listeners to hear is you don’t have to have written a book. You don’t need to be a celebrity, whatever it is. What I’m now coming to understand is whatever it is you want, you need PR to kind of get where you want to be or to get what you want. Really wanting, meaning like I wanted to be interviewed, I want it to be on their show, that kind of thing.
Uh, yeah, I’m being able to ask for it. I think that was a huge thing. Um, and I, what I want to really call out in what you said is that there’s so much noise out there and you have to like, this is gonna sound not really nice but not very nice, but people just don’t care and they don’t care about you and they all, all they care about are themselves. And sometimes what they care about in the sense of, in the sense of the media is how will this help the people I’m trying to help. And so there there’s a delicate balance of understanding, okay, what value can I provide to you and how can I communicate that in a pitch and a social media post and an email as opposed to what most people do. I think they make it about themselves, Hey, I spend all this time and I did this and don’t you want to buy this from me? And why? Like this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Why don’t you guys want to buy this? As opposed to being really clear on like, Hey, you have a problem. You need really great guests for your show who are articulate and have a great story and can help your audience and I can solve that problem. And here’s how, and that just cuts right through the noise. And then we added a couple of extra little things in there, which I’m really put it over the edge, but we kept it super simple. I mean you were sending two line emails and the first one you sent out you got booked because we follow like we really just distilled it down to your story. But more importantly we made it important to the person who would be receiving that message and we made it stand out.
Yeah. And we had that gentleman on the show and I think we may have talked about the show and that was Jeff Brown. And he only on read to lead only does authors and the largest percentage of them were New York S uh, sellers. And I mean, I didn’t even kind of understand that when I sent it to him, really, to be honest, I sent it to him, his exercise of learning to send a pitch. Like, I just thought if he opens it and denies me, I’m like, but he, he opened it. That’s all. That’s all I wanted. It was like Rocky. I just wanted to stay in the fight. He didn’t expect to get on this show and I couldn’t believe I got in the show and it was totally because of, of my pitch and that was all about PR. So it really is super amazing.
I think to staying with the boxing analogy is like most people think that, you know, you show up. Like in this case example, you’re using all of the training and preparation for the fight, so to speak, happened beforehand when you sent the pitch, you are, we were so ready. Like we actually, even though you didn’t feel it at the time, we had actually done all the training behind the scenes, um, so that you could then execute on it. Like on the fight essentially. And when you’re watching a boxing match, you’re actually watching all the training and preparation that those people put into it. And the fights kind of like the, the fun part and the icing on the cake, which in this case I think is a good metaphor.
Yeah. No and I totally see that cause I see that online. I know a lot of people that I work with now with other podcasters and they complain about that. Is it something you just give them this one line or say something about their show and, and here’s another thing, boy, a boy, this is an, I don’t, I don’t know if you consider this PR or not, but do your homework. Like people will tell me that somebody sent a pitch and they got their name wrong or the show name wrong or they didn’t make reference to the show. Like I always listened to their show and gave them some sort of compliment or said, here’s what I appreciate about what your journey, what you’re doing. But I did my homework, like I knew them. I’m not just, you know, you just, you just got to do the homework too.
Yeah. And that’s why you’ve been so successful is because you actually took the time to be in conversation with them and know what they stand for and actually consider would I be a right fit for their show? Could I help their audience as opposed to mass? Then you know what most companies do is mass send form emails out to the same thousand shows and hope that something sticks.
Yeah, absolutely. Now we talk here often about now your business, what could you do now? What’s the next thing now for your business and and what we want is we have experts like you sharing how we can get some tips from that, but we also want you to sort of pull back the curtains in your business and show us behind the scenes. Can you tell us learning points because everybody feels like, you know, when they hear somebody who’s got some level of expertise, it always seems bigger than what you have and you think, Oh, I’m not there yet, or whatever. So I like to hear some pain points or growth or what are you doing in your business that makes you human and makes you an entrepreneur? What is your next, I wish I could do that now kind of thing.
Yeah. You know, the biggest thing for me, um, has been to have a mentor and I didn’t realize it early on how important that would be. But having someone who’s already been where I’ve been and being able to, uh, not completely eliminate the mistakes but to show me where the roadblocks were and that has been instrumental in I, I think what I’ve been able to achieve in such a short amount of time, I also think that I’m really willing to be brutally honest and take responsibility for everything I do, and so what that means is that if I am, um, I’m willing to call myself out, like if I don’t do the work or if I haven’t, if I’ve been slacking somewhere and not from a place of making myself feel bad, but like, Oh, Hey, this is actually what’s going on. Because it’s only from a place of context of actually knowing what is and what is it that you can fill in the gap. And the, the last thing I see that actually I think most people do is they let this fear of perfectionism hold them back. And so I think, you know, I, I in fact, uh, it’s gonna sound contradictory to what I just said, but you and I work together and we were prepared because I kind of had this knowledge. You weren’t figuring it out yourself, but, uh, we didn’t, like we didn’t let that hold us back for any amount of time. I like to say to take messy action. Just start before you’re ready. Come up with at least a basic strategy and a period of time that you want to test something or try something and actually go after it methodically and do it and put yourself out there and start before you’re ready. Because that’s the only way you’ll know. I mean, you say this all the time, you don’t get a six pack by reading a book about it.
You don’t get nice toned arms by reading about push-up.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Being in business, you have to be an action.
Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll tell you, that was something that I, and they’ve heard that on the show as well. I got called out by the mighty and the profound Jim Edwards and I was talking about, you know, I had this big argument for a long time. It’s not that I’m trying to be perfect, I just always wanted to show up and be prepared and be respectful. So I always felt like I had to get it right, but you’re never ever, ever going to get it right by yourself. And now I kind of compared to like let’s say ask somebody out to go out on a date and then you write this whole agenda down, like we’re gonna go here and do this and do that. And we have this whole beautiful evening on paper. But until you get out and you find that that person doesn’t like Chinese food and it snows so you can’t take that road to get there. Like, you may still have a wonderful date, but the plan all change when you got participants in it. Right. So I have since learned that too and, and it was really interesting, I don’t know if you remember, but when we first, I first started sending out a couple of my first pitches at the time I’d had allergic reaction and my all underneath my eyes were cracking and sore and it hurt when I blink and my eyelids repealing. And I was like, I didn’t want to sound vain and say, well I can’t send up these videos. And then I even tried one time I showed it to you. I’m like, okay, is this good? I tried to do to outside and I put on sunglasses, you’re like, people can’t see in your eyes, take the sunglasses off. And I was like, okay, well that’s hideous. So I looked like when those people like on Star Trek where they start to age around the eyes to show time has passed. And I thought, well, this just sounds ridiculous if I come up with, Oh, I can’t, I can’t send this out now because I’m not what, like I don’t look good enough. So I did, I sent them out and I got pitches and, and hopefully they thought I was better than the video when I showed up. But it is, there’s always a reason. I, there’s always a reason why you think it’s not the time always. I mean, that must be the basis of everything you do.
Yeah. I think, I mean, just being willing to put myself out there and honestly fail at a lot of things. Um, and keep making mistakes. I, I remember when I first first started my business, you know, I was, I was going after some of these clients that I had worked with in the PR industry and I had, like, I was just saying, I have all these great credentials and experience, but I really felt like I was moving into something new. And so what I would doing is I was, I was essentially undercutting my services to basically nothing and like, Hey, give me a chance. And it’s the wrong, you know what I realized quickly because I couldn’t sustain it. And everyone I think hits this point where it’s like you either keep going or you turn around and go back. And I would at that point where either I had to keep going or I could choose the turn around and go back and get a job and I was like, no, this is gonna work. And so you have to sort of figure out what works for you because there’s a fine line too, right? I’m just trying everything and getting distracted by everything. But instead of like being very focused on like, okay, this makes the most sense for where I am right now. It’s what I can do. It’s what I feel comfortable. And um, although it made it feel uncomfortable as a bad word because you’ll never be comfortable enough to get going. But just being willing to go and being, well, okay, this is what I know, this is where I want to go, this is where I hope to go. Let’s see where I actually end up. And it’s that constant buildup of momentum of like taking action. And doing it again and again and learning and getting better and building on everything that that happened that creates success in any business.
You know what, and thank you for sharing that with me. Cause I remember that way back sort of and we were business buddies and you would be downplaying your PR experience and all of a sudden I seen this picture of you and Barbara Walters. I’m like, why is that not everywhere? And you’re like, Oh well yeah and there you were on the, you know the doctor show and I was like, Oh my gosh. So what was really interesting to me, and this, you know, shows one of the areas I still struggle with and we’ve talked about this is being vulnerable and you know, that’s still a push and pull for me. But for you it was like, you know, it’s really great to hear somebody who has such training in PR still. In the beginning you had to navigate your story a little bit and get confident with your PR, which then lets us all know, well no wonder I struggled with my story and my PR. If a PR person still being human first says, okay, I don’t want to put that out there all the time in case people think I’m more, I don’t know what bragging or whatever. So it’s really great to hear that even, you know, a PR person is human and has to look at their PR.
Yeah. I think hardest to turn the mirror on ourselves, right? Like I, I feel like both of us are really good when we work with clients to say, Hey, let’s do this, this and this. And I think it’s because typically when we work with people, we’re usually working with people who are kind of like us, you know, they’re, they’re willing to try and put themselves out there. And so when, when we consult or coach or whatever or work with them in the agency, it’s, it’s a matter of degree. Like, Hey, actually kind of go this way, but when you turn it back on yourself, you’re in, you’re too in it. Like, you’re just, you know, you, you, you have to, as my skill set, and this has gotten better, but I have to be able to step back so that I can then look at my business like a client instead of me. And you know, all the preconceived notions I have. But I do, I think it’s, I think it’s important to own your story.
That is a really powerful tip. And that’s something I’ve tried to do all over time as well. You have to look at yourself in the business as a client and meaning I have to work on treat my company as a client, make sure that they get the same amount of time that my clients get. And I think we of course push that to the end of the day. And I talk about that and win the hour, win the day, and that is really, you know, interesting to me because we always have this reason why we’re the exception. Like I talk about that in my book where time management, and there’s all these studies about multitasking and how damaging was to productivity and everything like that. But I thought, no, no, I care so much about my business. Somehow my brain is different than all the brains that they studied in Harvard. Like I miss miracle. Right? Because they thought I was so committed to the business. And like you’re saying, well, yes, I’m all about PR and here’s what you need to do and why you need to do it. But I’m a different situation. Right? So we always have a reason why, you know, this is good for you, but I’m a different story.
Yeah. And I think, you know, I, I’m hoping someone can relate to this. At the time for me, I was really new to that transition. I had just lost my career. I didn’t like, I knew nothing about nothing about running a business or having my own agency other than kind of the experience I had had under the partner I had previously. But I really, you know, I, I knew where I wanted to go. I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. And there was, you know, some things I was working through internally about even kind of owning that story, which I know you can relate to on a much higher level, but it’s like, part of it is, is sort of that own, you know, embracing what you have and not from a, you know, Hey, this is literally where I am right now. Um, you guys can take it or leave it, but this, honestly, this is where I am. So as opposed to feeling like you have to hide it or change it or like be ashamed of it, as soon as I was willing to own it and step into it, everything changed in terms of owning my story.
Yeah. And I could see how that would happen. You thought it’s almost like we all have different sections of our life. You thought, Oh, I have this experience in my career. It’s PR, but somehow door closed and I’m a newbie as a entrepreneur. And so it, you know, even though they’re very [inaudible], that’s what [inaudible] it’s very transitional. Uh, and you can transfer those skills. You know, you get caught up in the newness of being entrepreneur and all of a sudden you forget what you, what you, what you bring to the game. Right. Well that, those are really good points. Well, Kristen, this has been all kinds of fun and we could talk to you for days. We probably have to have you back another time. So tell us, uh, ms PR, where could people find you? They want to reach out and get to know you and see what you’re doing. Where, where could they find you?
Yeah, the best place is Instagram. So my handle is Kristin underscore, Hinman, K, R, I. S T E N, H. I. N, M, a. N. um, and there’s something I said resonates with you. Please shoot me a DM and let’s chat. I love to just have conversations with people and connect. Um, you know, I think, I feel like we need to get back to social media being social and I think it’s moving that way. And so I’d love to, I’d love to just hear from you if you listen to the show.
Yes. And we’ll put that in the show notes as well for check for that. There are peop uh, everyone, so you can get, make sure if you miss the spelling there and we do talk about that. It’s come up repeatedly. And I know that’s something I struggled with. It’s the being social in social media. It’s not somewhere, you know, not that I was going out blasting people, but you know, forgetting that it, you, you come and you just open yourself to not presenting yourself as a professional but talking to someone just as a fellow business person said, trying to have all your ducks in a row, like something I had to overcome. So yeah,
and I have, I mean I have and I have several ways people can work with me, but honestly, I really don’t know if I can even help unless we talk first. And I’m very happy to point people in the right direction too if they have questions. So.
Well, I hope you got as much of this conversation as I did everyone. So I want to thank you again and Kristen for joining us today. Have lots of value bombs and uh, people, thanks again for listening to now your business and can’t wait to see you at the next episode. Thanks so much. This is Kris Ward. Have a awesome day.