I had the pleasure of interviewing Alison Maloni is a media expert, President and CEO of Alison May Public Relations and public speaker. She is a former news reporter, who has worked throughout the Northeast at television stations in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Alison uses her expertise in journalism to educate her clients in media training and crisis communications. She has garnered coverage for her clients in media outlets such as NBC News, Fox News, MNSBC, Huffington Post, Aol.Com and The Washington Post.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I was a journalist in NY, MA and RI at local television stations. I loved being able to tell stories about people, businesses and events throughout New England. I always said that everyone has a story. I made a decision to leave the business for a more “normal” life. After spending time working for marketing firms, I woke up one day and decided to start my own business. I never would have thought in a million years that I would own a company.
Why did you found your company?
I’m always up for a challenge and I wanted to create something that I could be proud of. When you work for someone else, you certainly take pride in your work, but when you work for yourself it is a different feeling. It’s a feeling of pride times ten!
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I am a small firm so I have to compete with major agencies. In order to stand out I have to do what everyone else is not doing. PR is telling stories and that is my passion. So I decided to take my journalism skills and put them to good use. I started interviewing influential people and telling their stories.
I launched my own online show called The Hustle. I wanted to show the world that there are people out there making a difference. From a retired Navy Seal who nearly died to a former prosecutor who suffered public humiliation and managed to shine through all of that.
I also began video blogs that offer free public relations, marketing and social media advice. Again, I had to do what the big agencies were not doing. People ask how I get clients. I have never advertised and I don’t go to networking events. I get clients by putting my Hustle Show and video blogs out there.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
I have had my mentor since I was 9 years old. Brenda Garton, a former journalist took me under her wing when I was in 4th grade and told her that I wanted to be a journalist. Throughout my school time she guided me as to what I should do. I interned at her television station and ended up working there besides her. What an honor to work with your mentor!
Years later and different careers for each of us, she still guides me through my career and family life. She inspires, challenges and pushes me to be out in the public’s eye. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have started The Hustle Show. I owe so much to her. I encourage everyone to find a mentor and eventually to be one.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I would love for The Hustle to be picked up by a national media outlet. There are so many stories to be told. I will continue to work with clients to share their story and perhaps my story will be told too. I have a few book ideas in mind, so stay tuned for that!
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?
Put yourself out there- Kyle Reyes of The Silent Partner Marketing once told me that the best way I can standout from the competition is to put myself out there. By that, he meant for me to be real and authentic through video blogs and my writing. People want to do business with those who they can relate to and trust. He told me that if I’m going to be a business owner and cut through the noise, I must produce content. My blogs, video blogs and The Hustle are what separate me from the back. I am also an open book. I’ve written about the struggles of being a working mom to my divorce. I have no problem sharing my life with the world.
Never stop learning- So many times we think that learning happens in the classroom. That’s so far from the truth. The internet allows us to learn from anywhere at anytime. A friend and business owner told me that I should constantly be learning. She recommended that I start my morning reading at least one article relevant to my industry, owning a business or ways to improve my body and soul. I try to do that every morning and it’s a great way to start off the day. Every piece of knowledge helps.
Just ask- Back in my reporting days I had to knock on doors, ask random people on the streets for interviews and talk to strangers all day long. If they said no, I had to figure out a way to convince them to talk to me. I never had a fear of asking people questions. But when I changed careers I became apprehensive about asking for things, such as asking for the business or asking for advice. Ross Vierra of Axis Global Enterprises encouraged me to ask for everything. What’s the worst they can say? No, right?! So I began to reach out to people and ask for interviews, ask for referrals and ask for advice. And guess what, they didn’t say no.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
Boss Bitch by Nicole Laplin is my favorite book. As a female business leader, I think many of us feel intimidated in the workforce and we are afraid to be assertive. Nicole talks about how to embrace the boss-of-you mentality by seizing the power that comes from believing in yourself and expanding your personal skillset. She gave tips on how to be the boss of my own business. One of the things that she mentions is how many times women say they are sorry. We need to stop apologizing and focus on killing it in the workplace and owning it.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Ainsley Earnhardt, Anchor of Fox & Friends. I have been fortunate enough to meet Ainsley on set with some of my clients, but I would love to sit down with her for a few minutes. Ainsley is very inspirational to me. She is an amazing journalist, a woman of faith and a working mom. Being a mother in the news business is extremely hard, especially working early morning hours, and she does it so well.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook: Alison May Public Relations
Instagram: Alison May PR
Linkedin: Alison May Public Relations
Youtube: Alison May Public Relations
Originally published at medium.com