Life is too short to be upset by the little things, you never know what someone is going through until you’re in their shoes.
Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.
Today we are talking about how you can grow your PR career by highlighting parts of a conversation I had over at Authority Magazine with Breanna Suden.
Breanna Suden is President and Founder of Suden PR. Her clients have appeared on national talk shows including The Kelly Clarkson Show, Good Morning America, TODAY Show, and also featured in major outlets including CNN, Fox Business, The Daily Mail, and Forbes, among others.
Breanna has also worked at some of the top global public relations agencies throughout her career including Weber Shandwick, Edelman, and Golin. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and holds a dual degree in Communications and Psychology.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I was never one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and I certainly had no idea what I wanted to major in college. It wasn’t until I took my first public relations class where I felt everything click into place and knew it was my calling.
A month after graduation I accepted an internship at one of the top global agencies, Weber Shandwick, and completely fell in love with the industry. I learned how to draft pitches and press releases, build up my now, coveted contacts within the media, and deal with my fair share of crises.
Since my time there, I’ve worked at two more top global agencies — Edelman and Golin — across a variety of industries on multi-million-dollar accounts, have met countless celebrities, and traveled the country. The PR industry continues to amaze me and I’m looking forward to where it’ll continue to take me.
Which three character traits do you think have been most instrumental to your success thus far?
The three character traits I believe were and currently are the most instrumental to my success are the ability to take risks, strong ambition, and a lot of patience.
The Ability To Take Risks
Starting your own business is a huge risk, and I founded SUDEN PR amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which, everyone thought I was crazy for doing. But I knew the risks that went into starting a business, and with everyone stuck inside their homes, I figured, what better time than now?
So, I listed out the major risks associated with opening a public relations agency during that time. First and foremost, is that a lot of brands had cut back on their PR budgets and some agencies were struggling as a result. I was able to use that to my advantage as I had time on my side.
I took my time setting up the agency’s website, social handles and reaching out to my network to see who was looking for PR, and by that time, companies were bringing back their budgets and hiring/rehiring agencies. I was able to win a handful of clients within the first months of operating due to the industry bouncing back.
I’ve always been very passionate about the public relations industry, my clients, and my career as a whole, it’s something I’ve worked my entire life for. And that was no different when deciding to open SUDEN PR.
While it was an easy choice to decide to open my own agency, I knew that my strong ambition would be key in my success. I’ve always been determined to be the best professional I can be, always pushing myself to do better and to take my work to the next level. This ambition comes through strongly when securing coverage for clients, and I can say that was a huge part of the success of client Guy Stanley Philoche when he wanted to share his story last year.
Philoche is a successful artist based in New York City and when the pandemic hit in March of 2020, he was receiving countless calls from friends and fellow artists who were worried about being able to support their families with the city shut down. So, he put a call to action on his social media offering to purchase as much art as possible, and has since purchased from over 300 artists across the globe.
Philoche came to SUDEN PR wanting to share this amazing story and we immediately went to work. If one pitch wasn’t getting a response, we drafted another. We conducted countless research into the right contacts to outreach and made endless phone calls. To-date, we’ve received feature stories in Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, Observer, and more, with special appearances on Good Morning America, Kelly Clarkson Show, Tamron Hall, and FOX 5.
A Lot Of Patience
While public relations is such a fast-paced industry, it’s important to have a lot of patience. Meaning, securing media interest takes time, and just because you have interest doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover or write the article immediately.
We’ve secured stories that have gone live within one hour and stories that have gone live within months, it completely depends on the story, the news cycle, and the journalist. With that in mind, not only do we practice patience, but we make sure that my clients are aware of the timeline of when the story will post so expectations are set and they aren’t constantly asking when the story will be up or why it may be taking longer than expected.
Wonderful. Let’s now jump into the main part of our interview. What 3 media strategies are typically most effective in generating more business for a national brand?
For a national brand, I would recommend national media outreach to relevant outlets and journalists within the industry, national campaigns, and awards.
For any brand, national or local, national media is an important part of the PR process as national media have a huge reach and following. Whether it’s a product launch, partnership announcement, or general news story, it’s always important to stay on the radar for national media outlets and journalists.
One of our more recent clients, Cube Art Fair, also known as the world’s largest public art fair came to us to support their newest edition in New York City having previously shown in Miami and Brussels. While this is a no-brainer pitch for local New York City media, we knew this art fair had legs to be covered within national media as well, especially the national art media. So, we put together a PR plan that encompassed both, tailoring the pitch to each journalist to ensure it was relevant to what they cover. The result? Amazing local coverage from local outlets including Time Out New York and an astounding response from national outlets such as The Art Newspaper, HYPEBEAST, Architectural Digest, and more.
Tying into national media outreach comes with campaign launches. These national multi-million dollar brands have plenty of competitors, and they need to stand out from the crowd. Brand campaigns are unique and fun ways to get your company’s story and message in front of an audience, with the goal of increasing brand awareness and improving brand equity in the mind of the consumer. Yes, creating a viral campaign can be great, but it’s important to include the product you’re trying to sell or the message you want to convey.
SUDEN PR helped Pink House Alchemy launch their Bee’s Knees Cocktail Kit in tandem with Mother’s Day, securing four different features in Forbes, Patch and other outlets, resulting in a surge in sales for the cocktail kit. The articles were shared on Pink House Alchemy’s social media page to further drive awareness, resulting in their most successful cocktail kit this year!
As I suggested for local businesses, awards are just as important for national brands and recognize them for their work over the years. Whether it be for a philanthropic effort, a successful advertising or PR campaign, or even the success of a new product launch, awards help increase credibility, improves brand awareness, and allows the promotion of your business to new customers.
One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
While there are so many causes and so many initiatives I believe in, something I can always get behind is kindness and being kind to one another. Life is too short to be upset by the little things, you never know what someone is going through until you’re in their shoes.
If everyone just gave one person a compliment or a smile a day, I truly believe it will catch on. And who knows; that one compliment or smile may make someone’s entire day.
Thank you for sharing so many insights with us!