The Wild Ride of Entrepreneurship

Today’s guest post is by Kristin Golliher, CEO & Founder, WildRock Public Relations & Marketing,®  a boutique public relations and marketing firm specializing in giving businesses one-on-one attention to get the boost they need to outshine competition.

One of the biggest challenges for me was wanting to have a career, but not at the expense of my family. While in the corporate world, the constant balancing act of working and motherhood left me unsatisfied and feeling as if I had shortchanged someone along the way. Additionally, there was no sympathy for the, “I’ve been up all night” or “I need to pump…RIGHT NOW,” because lets face it, I was in an environment with mostly men. That said, I still loved my job. So, why on earth would I leave an amazing, well-paid executive career at a global, growing brand to venture out on my own?

Owning my own business had always been a dream, but after doing a LifePlan with the Paterson Center the path to entrepreneurship was clear, and frankly couldn’t be ignored. This incredible, and completely emotionally draining, two-day process helped me “map out” my life. Taking into account my educational, family and career background, I was able to truly understand who I am as a person, how I’m wired and my core values.

Following my LifePlan, I started building the framework for my business and daydreaming about owning a PR & marketing firm, but I didn’t seriously pursue it until I became a mom. As any mom knows, kids are one of the biggest motivators on earth! Once my first daughter was sleeping through the night, what better way to use my “extra” time than to start a business!

Almost two years to the date of my LifePlan, WildRock opened its doors.

The past year has been absolutely amazing and we just celebrated our one-year anniversary in March. For me, the biggest reward is bringing concepts and ideas to life. At WildRock, we call these “whitestorms” (a combination between a whiteboard session and brainstorm). At these whitestorms, we can create strategies for brands, new business ideas for our company and work together to develop creative campaigns, promotions and outreach efforts.

Working with a variety of clients, from startup to seasoned, I believe that every business has the opportunity to leverage public relations at some level, even if they don’t have the budget to hire and internal resource or outsource to a firm. PR is extremely beneficial and cost-effective, creating increased awareness, increased trust and increased loyalty. Here are some tips:

  • Be cohesive & have a plan: Getting everyone on the same page when it comes to PR, both for small and large companies, is essential. Make sure that you communicate your strategies internally just as much as you do externally, that way if someone calls into your customer service department they are answering questions the same way your social media team is doing on Facebook. Make sure your brand is ready for attention before engaging in PR activities.
  • Silence is not golden: Communicate, communicate, communicate. In the digital age that we’re in, it’s essential to remain transparent and to respond quickly. Never give a “no comment” answer. You run the risk of others putting words in your mouth, which is never a good thing.
  • Be a storyteller: Share newsworthy company happenings, new products and innovation at your business by telling a good story. Tie it into an industry trend, offer unique content and target niche markets by offering custom, relevant pieces to these groups. What do they care about and what’s in it for them? Good gage for newsworthiness: is it timely, relevant and important?
  • Get social: You can’t ignore social channels, it’s just good business. It gives you a direct line to your customers and allows for that relationship-building piece, which folks are looking for these days. People want to be part of the conversation! In addition to channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest, blogs are an excellent way to establish expertise in your particular field. No matter which channels you pursue, set up a schedule and plan for continually engaging on these. It’s not a dip your toe in the water implementation, it’s a full-fledge swim.

Founder & CEO of WildRock Public Relations & Marketing, Kristin Golliher is a highly motivated self-starter. From start up to global, she has a proven track record of strategically building public relations, strategy, social media, events, marketing promotions and award programs to build brands. Kristin brings fresh ideas, creativity and industry expertise to help businesses realize success.

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