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Cristina Gordon

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>> Hi, everyone, I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. This is truly an honor. I'm so passionate about public relations and it's often a very taboo subject, people don't quite know what it is or how it's gonna help their business, so it's something I'm really passionate about explaining and educating people on. And to be in a room filled with such passionate people, I mean, you can't get better than that. So I'm gonna go through some steps on how to make your business public relations efficient. So here is my branding, something that was really, really important to me. I'm going to go over the six steps to public relations for your business. Identify your brand. Now when you identify your brand, it's often, I mean, it's the very first step in your business. You went through your schooling, your education, and now you have to think, "What am I going to do next?" You want to explain what your philosophy is as a Health Coach, how does it differ. That's what's going to make you stand out in the space. What is the story that you want to tell? Public relations experts were storytellers but so are you, and we get our stories from you directly, and so that's why it's so important to really know what that story is that you want to put on the forefront because that's what's going to make a difference in your business. What's unique about your positioning in the wellness space? Take a look around you, you have so many like-minded people in just this space alone, let alone in the world. So you want to pick out that part that's really unique to you. What kind of branding embodies your personality and focus? Now when you close your eyes, do you picture a color theme? Do you picture your logo? Even just some simple ideas, is it going to be a symbol? Is it going to be a series of shapes? What is your branding, and what does it mean to you? And from that you want to build a brand package. Now what is the first thing that people ask when they meet you? Oftentimes, especially if you're networking, they ask for your business card. That is such a great and important reflection of your business because it's something that they're going to take away with them, put in their pocket, and it has to be something that they want to pull back out, right? So business cards is vital. Now I put up on the screen some of my business cards that you can see my branding and as well as a kind of little background to what you just saw before which is my website landing page. Now it really are... They are the two key components to your branding and to showing your identity as a brand. For me, I identify with bees because oftentimes people don't always know this, but bees need communication to live, and I consider myself someone that needs communication to live because talking is very, very important to me. I was that student that got disruptive in class, so I figured this was my route to go, telling people a story, constantly talking, networking, connecting, engaging with others. So what is your brand, and how do you identify yourself? The better that you know that, whether it's you going out and doing your own public relations or hiring a public relations professional, the easier it's going to be for everyone. Public relations is so important and such a great service for brands and more and more people are really seeing the value in it. And I know Bill Gates did say that if he was down to his last dollar, he would spend it on public relations. So to that I say, "Bill, if you're watching, you can give me a ring." The next step is plan, plan, plan. I am a serial planner, as I'm sure many of you are. In our professions you really need to be a planner, and what is the first thing that you say to your clients? Plan. You want to plan your meals, plan your fitness, plan around when you're going away, how is wellness going to fit into their lives. So if you're telling them to plan, I'm telling you to plan. Plan for your brand and your strategy. When I sit down with a client, the first thing I ask is, "Okay, let's map this out. I want to hear about everything." After they've identified the brand, I say, "Let's start with a list of long and short-term goals. Anything, let's just put it all down on paper, we'll get talking and that's when the ideas will start flowing." You want to map out short term, where do you see yourself next month, in a few months? And then long term, I'm talking 5, 10, 15 years down the line where do you see your business? Reach for the stars. I say, "Come on, tell me." I shake them, "Please tell me anything that you want to be, any goal that you want to achieve, no goal is too big, I want to know everything. Do you want to write a book? Do you see yourself being the next Oprah? Do you want to have your own TV show?" Share all of that and put it down on paper because that's going to bring you to your next step which is making a year-long strategy. Strategy is such a big part of public relations, as I'm sure you know, it's a big part of health and wellness as well, building a strategy for yourself. Now my best piece of advice would be to map it out month to month, so look at the year ahead. For example, next month is April. Now what are your goals for April, May, and so on? And build that into a year-long strategy. It breaks it down, it doesn't make it seem so intimidating because you don't want to intimidate yourself when you think of those long-term goals, you want to say, "Okay, I want to have some successes along the way." And it's also a roadmap to figuring out if you're on the right track. So it's an extremely important part of your business and your plan. So same way you'd make a business plan this is how I strategize for public relations, I say, "Okay, well, we're already going to be planning for what's going to be in a magazine in September, in about May." So I put that on the month long strategy. So that keeps us on track, it gives us something to look at, and clients love it because they're able to see their progress. Of course, things change as you go. That's how this world works. We're all on a journey, but this road map is going to help you achieve your goals and it's going to be a tangible thing that you can look at and see if you're on the right track. So it's something that I find very important. Okay, identify and multiply your network. Now we all know how important networking is in this business in general, in the life that we live, it's so, so important to connect and engage with people. Public relations is such a networking-focused business. You represent your brand, so when you step out the door, you want to start networking. I suggest to make a large list of everybody you know. Think outside the box, not just the people that you know in the wellness space but people you know overall. You don't know, your dentist down the road could be just as important to your brand as the fitness coach next door. And it's funny because throughout my career I've always said if I don't know someone, I know someone that knows someone that can get us to your goal. And that's the way that you want to feel about your brand and that's what you want to look for in a publicist when you hire them or you do the PR work on your own. You really want to feel like, "You know what, I'm confident enough to know that I can connect with somebody that can connect me with somebody else." People get a little bit uncomfortable about networking sometimes, they don't want to feel like, "Oh, am I using this person? Are they going to feel like it's not genuine?" And to that I say it is genuine. This is an important part of socialization, we want to make sure that we are connecting with human beings because everybody wants to help, you'd be surprised, more times than not people want to help. And you want to help them. So make sure that you're reciprocating your actions back to them. When you ask for help and you extend yourself, somebody else might come to you asking for help, and that's what goes around, comes around and it's so important in the world of networking. You guys just gave each other massages, so I don't feel like anybody in this room is shy for networking, so I think we're good. But really, I want you to look around, this is your network, this is such an important network to be a part of. By the end of the day you should really make sure that you go out and you get business cards, you connect, you shake hands with the people in this room. People in this room, you go, you touch one person, guess what, you're not just touching just that one person, you're touching all the other people in their network because now they can introduce you to the next person that they know that expands, so it's really multiplying your network, your network is going to grow exponentially, so don't be shy. If you're a little bit more shy, what you can do is give yourself a little bit more of a structure. How are you going to check in with your network? I would say it's really great to check in on a monthly basis. Share the programs that you're working on. Ask for feedback, maybe it's for meal plans. Tell somebody to write a review for your blog. Ask for that help and they're going to give it, I can assure you, people want to help. So make it a point to check in monthly, ask them to spread the word, and then ask them how you can help spread the word with anything that they're working on. Okay, now here is the fun part. First, we have to get to know your brand, and then you have to be able to tell the story, and then you want to familiarize yourself with target media. Now I'm sure everyone in here has their favorite go-to media, whether it's the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Allure magazine. What are those publications that you're reading? And when you go into the computer, what websites are you going on to get your information? Have you ever asked yourself, "I wonder if I could ever be featured on this site." The answer is yes, there's nothing stopping you. I think the biggest and most important part is to really get to know the magazines, the local papers, the TV production companies, everywhere that you see your business being even if that's your dream, that's your biggest goal, get to know it and get really comfortable with it. I have clients that oftentimes will actually take the New York Post, or take a magazine, hand it to me with a Post-It and say, "Christina, this is where I want to be, this is where I want to be." And I love that because no one knows your brand better than you. Of course, public relations experts, they're here to be the guidance and to kind of tell you where you need to be, but oftentimes you know in your gut where you want to be, you've been reading these magazines, you've been watching these TV shows, you've been watching the Dr. Oz Show. You know, maybe one day you want to get on there. So I would say really familiarize yourself with that, watch the end of the show, watch the credits roll, see who the producers are on that, save their names. And then for magazines and newspapers and online articles, what you want to do is look at the editor's name, you might find that you're reading a lot of things by the same editor. A lot of editors nowadays, they bop around, they work for a few different publications, and you can get to know their style of writing. And that's going to be important because when you pitch an editor, you want to make sure to really appeal to their style of writing, you want to pitch them with a story that they want to share, you want to kind of do the work for them because, you know, sometimes writers can get a little lazy. So you want to make sure that you're really handing it to them and saying not just, "Hi, my name is so and so, this is what I do, I would love to be featured." You want to tell them a story, something that's going to excite them, you want the subject line of your email to be a headline in the news. Now that's what's going to grab their attention because that's what's going to make it stand out in their inbox. They're getting hundreds and hundreds of emails a day, what's going to make you stand out? With that, save these articles, save them, tag them, take screenshots of them, save any loose ends of newspapers, put them in your pocket, put them in a box, this is going to be something that's important because when you are ready for public relations and when you're ready to represent your brand, you can take these back out and say, "This is where I want to be." Have it kind of as a little mood board. So it's really, really important to familiarize yourself with target media. Get media trained, this is something that I would suggest for everybody in this room. It is an extremely important part of figuring out your brand. Media training, people sometimes think, "Oh, you know what, I don't want to go in front of the camera, so I don't actually think that I need it." So that I would say you're wrong, you definitely need it, and here's why. Even if you don't want to be on camera, media training and media training professionals, they're going to help you gather your elevator pitch so that you can tell your story in a really effective and efficient way. They're going to tell you how to capture an audience. And so media training goes beyond just being able to get in front of a camera and, you know, get on TV. It allows you to get up in front of a group of people, it allows you to meet one on one and be able to engage better and share your story more effectively. And with that lies the most important part of public relations. Because as I said, you're really a representative of your brand, the second that you walk out the door, it's important for you to remember that. Because as you close your door, you walk out, you walk into this world that we live in, and you're going to need to put your best foot forward. So media training, knowing your local media, knowing your target media, all of that is extremely helpful. And I'm sure a lot of you have known what public relations is somewhat, but maybe not exactly what a public relations expert does or what you can do to do public relations for your business before you're ready to hire a public relations expert. I say to every brand that I work with that everybody down to the sales associates are representatives of the brand. The same way that you're going to train your associates is the same way that you're going to get media trained. You want them to be ready because on a day that maybe you're not present, maybe a person from your team is, you want to feel comfortable that they can tell your story just as well as you. And that's why when I meet with the client, it's something that I really like to embody also. What is their story? I want to be an extension of your brand, I want to be somebody that you trust to tell your story because if you're anything like me, you like to make sure that people are doing it just as good as you. You like to kind of peek and say, "Am I making sure, are they doing it right? Okay, okay, good. I feel comfortable." So that's really important to me because I know how you feel, I get the same way with my brand. Identify your resources. So identifying your resources is so important because you have your internal resources, of course, you have your network, but look around, look at what Institute for Integrative Nutrition has given you. A community. I will tell you the second that I walked in and when I knew I was going to love IIN was when they said to me, you know, "What we really want to do with PR is make sure that we're bringing our alumni, our successful graduates to the forefront." They were like, "Cristina, I want you to tell their story." And so I was like, "Hmm, over 100,000 graduates, okay, I'm going to have to meet with every one of them then." And with that I like to think of representing IIN as representing so many people because it's really such a big community that I want to make sure to share all of your successes, and to me that's such... It really stuck out to me that they wanted to put you at the forefront. They wanted to make sure that you were who they were highlighting. And then, of course, wherever they could be thrown in there as the place that you graduated from, where you got your education, and when you got inspired, then that's you showing them appreciation. But what I really loved was that they really wanted their graduates, their students, their staff, their VTs on the forefront. And that's something that you often don't find. So make sure that you're engaging with the IIN community. You have marketing managers, you have social media at your fingertips, reach out, see if they're willing to help you build your brand in other ways through their channels. IIN has a very strong presence. It's one of the largest health schools. So you really want to utilize that, and don't feel funny about it. If you could be featured on their social media pages, if you could do a takeover, if you can do a post, if you can ask from me, "Can I get in touch with Cristina? I really want to share my story." Then do it, I'm telling you. It's going to be well worth it and it's a resource that they want you to have. Social media, okay, we can't escape it, it's here to stay, I know for sure. I would really suggest if you're not so comfortable with it, start to train. Go to seminars, classes, there's even things that you can... You can go on YouTube and you could figure out how to maximize social media for your business. There's people now that build businesses solely off of social media. You've seen it, I'm sure all of you are familiar, I'm sure some of you in here have built your business up with social media. So learn all the different platforms and how that can help your business. PR has been changing over the course of a couple of years with print magazines a little bit on the decline, digital has been really, really impactful, and editorials have been stronger than ever. Even stronger than advertising. That's why a lot of companies are looking now for public relations experts as opposed to allocating their budget towards those print advertisements. Print advertisements is great, it's a different area of focus, it's going to get you different kind of exposure, but editorial tells a story, and people connect with a story same way that you connect with your clients and their story. It's how you help them get in shape, feel better. You really tap into them and you see what you can do for them by getting to know their story so you want to do the same thing with your public. So social media is gonna be a great way to do that because it's how my job has changed. I now look at a brand and think about how are we going to get this brand, of course, still in traditional print media because it still is there, and you don't want to completely disregard it, but how are we also going to put it into the digital space. And I know it could be a little bit scary and hard to adjust at times, but you have to be adaptable. Social media is a big place to tell stories. So for example, Instagram, it's going to be a portfolio of sorts so follow me at CBPR. And that portfolio will tell your story. Especially in wellness, how many beautiful photos can you show that are going to represent your brand. How can you put your branding up there? How can you capture an audience? It's going to be like a photo book and then, of course, there's Facebook where you can connect with your network, you can keep expanding, you could put posts about what you have going on, you could post, say you have a blog, you could put your blog post on there and link to it. And then, of course, there's Twitter which is great especially if you have a blog or if you have a website that you want to share updates on, you could link right to it on Twitter. You can also engage really quickly with your audience on Twitter and captivate a lot of people that way. And then, of course, there is the Internet, I mean, I know that we can look around and everywhere we go someone is googling something. I know my husband if I ask, I think he's the smartest person in the world, and then I look and he's googling things. So the Internet is such a big resource. You want to not be scared of it, you want to look to it because a lot of times what I'll do is a little bit of Internet stalking to editors, I'll say, "Oh, they wrote this story." If I don't know them directly, I go on Google, I see what else they wrote, I figure out who they are as a writer, what's going to catch their attention because when you pitch them you want to be effective, you don't want to waste their time because I'm telling you, I've seen their inboxes, it's long. And there's going to be that one person that really catches their eye, so get to know them and you could do that through the Internet, you can even find their contact information on the Internet. And so it's such a big resource for you and you want to utilize it. And then I would say kind of think outside the box. Another resource of yours is, of course, other wellness brands that you can collaborate with. One of my favorite public relations techniques is brand collaborations. I've worked with a beauty brand, and I've collaborated that beauty brand with a fitness brand and the amount of press it got for that brand was amazing because it was thinking outside the box. We've already captured the beauty audience, how do we capture a new audience? By integrating ourselves into a completely different audience. So you really want to think outside the box and a big resource to you is gyms in your local area, health food stores, where are you going to find your potential next clients, and that's where you want to be. The biggest thing I say when it comes to PR is you got to give some to get a lot. And if it's a brand, say you have a product, you have to be willing to put some gratis product into your PR strategy, but what comes out of it I promise you is way greater. If it's a service that you offer, you have to be willing especially in the beginning to give some of your time for free. It's important, it's how you're going to get your name out there. I know that a lot of times especially now when we're so stretched for time it's hard to give away some time for free, but it is the most important thing and I tell my clients that all the time. If we work together, I need to know that you can give some stuff away for free, whether it's time, product, anything of that nature you need to be able to give it away, just a little, and then boom, in the end, you'll see it pays you back tenfold. So go to your gyms, connect with those coaches, go to your health food store, ask them if you can do a class with their customers. How can you add value to their business? By giving them something for free. Because you never know, in a couple months from then they might have loved you so much, now they're paying you, and then the people that come to the store even if they're just shopping, picking up their organic produce, they look and say, "Oh, I need a Health Coach," or "I need that service." "Oh, can I get a card?" So you really want to make sure that you're connecting with the people around you and utilizing all of your resources, it's so important, PR is about connection. And then, of course, it's time to take action. You are your own publicist. Now I don't want to run myself out of business, but I know everybody in here can do it, you can do it from the second you step out the door, you can represent yourself, you can represent your brand and what you stand for. So put your best foot forward, you're a full time rep, you and everybody that works for you. Really, you have to spread the word and that's the first way. So when you're not quite ready to take that step into hiring a public relations expert, be your own publicist first, continue to connect. Now connecting is what I've spoken about this whole time, it's why I got into this business. I thought, "When I grow up I really want to talk for a living, so what can I do?" So, really, you want to be able to connect, share your story with other people. It's all about taking everything that I just went over, your brand, your story, your philosophy, and sharing it everywhere that you go. You better believe that when I walk into the coffee shop, "Oh, hi, I'm Cristina, I do PR." You got to do that, you have to, you can't feel funny about it because people are going to engage with you, people are going to say, "Oh, okay, I'll take your..." "Okay, here, here is my card." So make sure, always have a bunch of cards on you. And then leave a lasting impression. There's going to be people along the way that have helped you more than you even anticipate. I have been so fortunate through my journey to connect with the people that have brought me to my next step or my next client. It's about thanking them, engaging with them, and also leaving a lasting impression with your clients. Once somebody connects you with a potential client, you want to keep that client, so how do you do that? By forming that relationship that's gonna make sure that they don't ever want to let you go. Write them a thank you note after your first session. Say, "Hey, I can't wait to see you next time, it was so nice getting to know you." Something as simple as that. The power of a handwritten thank you note I tell you makes a difference, I know we're all on email and on social media and those things are so important and so vital, but that handwritten thank you note, that's going to leave a lasting impression. So you want to think about the things. I also like to consider myself a professional gift giver because I am always online looking for what the perfect gift for that client is or the perfect gift for that person that I want to connect with in my network but might be a little bit more out of my reach, what's going to grab their attention. So what do I do? I go to their social media, I see what they like, I look at the restaurants they're going to, can I get them a gift certificate? Yes, I am an Instagram stalker. It is my job after all. So you want to make sure that you leave a lasting impression by doing all of those things. Remember that PR doesn't have to be so taboo, it doesn't have to be so scary. PR, what it is in the simplest terms is you are connecting your brand to the public, you're building a relationship between your brand and the public in the simplest terms. We do that often through media, we do that through social media, and we do that through personal connections. So what I really urge you to do today and every day, but start with today because now you're here, and I'm going to be watching. Look around and ask yourself, "Okay, who do I really want to connect with before I leave?" Because if you don't, you're going to kick yourself and say, "Oh, I really should have gotten that person's card, I really should've. I wanted to introduce myself, but I didn't." Don't let that be what you walk away with. You want to walk away feeling really good about this because this is the resources that you have, you want to feel like you've gotten even more out of it than you anticipated. So you're going to do that by taking action and connecting. So I want to say thank you, everyone, for having me. [applause]

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Duration: 27 minutes and 11 seconds
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Sep 25, 2017

J2458 - Cristina Gordon March 17 Conference v1.0_1280 x 720 30fps 5000 kbps

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