In Episode 48, Alessandra Pollina shares what PR is, why we need to use it, and how to get started! If you have had PR on your to-do list for a long time, you are not alone! Knowing where to get started and what to focus on is one of the biggest hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. Connect with Alessandra below or in The Determined Mom Community!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pollinaPR
Alessandra Pollina grew up in a small town in Vermont before moving to Boston to attend Boston University’s College of Communication. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a focus on public relations, and a minor in anthropology. Throughout her college years, she held many internships in the PR field at some of the best agencies in Boston. This vast array of experiences became the foundation of her PR career and positioned her to launch her own company, Pollina PR + marketing, a full-service boutique PR and marketing agency, in 2012 at just 23 years old.
In addition to offering full-service PR, Alessandra also loves to work one on one with business owners to train them on the tactics, strategy, and implementation best-practices for carrying out their own PR and marketing, so that they are empowered to promote their businesses and build their brands. She offers individualized training, in-person workshops, and a self-paced online course all to this end. She gets particularly fired up by working with fellow female entrepreneurs and loves to take part in spreading their messages to the world. In 2016 she founded the Female Millennial Entrepreneurs Boston networking group which aims to bring like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners together for in-person connection and learning experiences. In 2019 she launched The Female Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast, a podcast by and for female millennial entrepreneurs, inspired by the group but with an international reach.
She lives in Boston with her husband and 4-year-old son.
A sit-down with Public Relations Expert: Allesandra Pollina
Welcome to The Determined Mom Show, the only marketing podcast dedicated to guiding moms CEOs into tranquility, wealth, and multiplying those precious moments. We discuss all aspects of working from home and Public Relations with our very special guest Allesandra Pollina. She is the owner of the Pollina PR firm and she has so much experience in PR and helping her clients to really get that exposure and all other aspects of marketing as her firm is a PR and Marketing agency.
How To Start Public Relations?
We will get into how she started working from home and her overall Public Relations journey as this will allow our readers to make notes, so they can start their own business. A lot of people are interested in “how to work from home” which Allesandra has expressed that she started working from home 7 years ago back in 2014 and she overall loves the flexibility that it offers.
She started doing PR for a small firm that built her experience and within a year of graduating college, she started her own PR business. She also had done a lot of internships and opportunities throughout college, along with years of experience working for big and small agencies. These experiences over time, allowed her to fully grasp the PR industry, along with networking in order to build a list of contacts for herself.
Allesandra finds that PR and most forms of marketing are very conducive to working from home, which makes it an easier transition to go from 9-5 to fully work from home or starting your own business. She recommends starting with 1 or 2 clients and then over time learning what it takes to grow your own business.
How to use PR to increase visibility for your brand?
Allesandra explains that her firm is a full-service PR and marketing agency, meaning they start from the beginning of their client’s journey and work towards getting that company’s story or brand into the media and news outlets. So PR can encompass and does encompass a lot of other components too. And a lot of them do overlap a lot with marketing. So the difference is that a PR firm like hers will offer services like, organize events and helping with cross-promotion relationships or social media collaborations for clients. They also do other forms of direct marketing, like helping with digital campaigns and email campaigns. Her PR firm makes her clients relatable to their target audience while being featured in the media.
Public Relations & Ecommerce
Direct Marketing has advanced over the years especially with email marketing and chatbots that allow a client to directly reach the audience on their immediate list. PR assists any type of business to reach their target audience that is not on their immediate list. PR tells a story of your brand so that your target audience can notice you. It’s important for businesses to work with the right firms so that their brand reaches a wider audience and to avoid the pitfalls of having an article promoting your business only on one site. It’s important for companies and small businesses to work with PR firms so that they can be in control of their brand’s story and have it shared with the world in the right light.
Who are your PR clients?
I posed these questions to Allesandra; Do you work with brick and mortar businesses? Or do you work with a lot of online businesses and is there a need for online businesses to do PR?
Her response: “Yeah. It’s a mix. I do work with a lot of brick and mortar businesses and also online businesses.”
What marketing advice do you have for businesses?
“I think the main thing to keep in mind is like a lot of people don’t necessarily start out their business with a marketing budget in mind, which is a huge mistake. I think in almost every case, especially with a lot of online businesses, you really can get started by yourself. You know, as long as you can get a couple of clients like you can have your business up and running and that might be fine. But if you do need to be reaching larger audiences or want to set yourself up as more of a key player in your space, then you do need to be planning to do marketing and some kind of PR.”
This is a list of things that businesses should be doing to increase their exposure to their target audience:
- Have a set marketing budget (PR, Blogs, Ads, etc) to increase brand visibility
- Networking with potential clients or other businesses to learn from them
- Join Social Groups for your industry on networks like Linkedin & Facebook groups
- Be involved in your local area, so your business can be seen for e.g. sponsoring a school or event
Overall, these things will help your business be seen more and can lead to it getting featured in the media. The main point to drive home is to be active in telling your company’s story, to reach a wider audience and it will increase your visibility.