In this episode of the Dear BAMf podcast, we speak with Erin Simpson, Director of Marketing at Brick Lane PR & Strategic Communications, where she supports startups with PR and communication efforts. Erin has more than ten years of communications and public relations experience and previously led the communications team at Lyft in San Francisco. After introducing the concept of ridesharing to the public as the first comms hire, Erin acted as the primary company spokesperson and led messaging, strategy, and media relations for the brand. In this episode, Erin answers some tough marketing and PR questions from our listeners including this question about how to know when to bring on a PR agency:
I would love tips on helping startups figure out the point at which it is truly worthwhile for them to engage an agency on an ongoing basis versus a project announcement based.
Listen now to hear how Erin advises this writer to move forward.
Erin's first priority is her own PR firm, Brick Lane PR & Strategic Communications. She expands on the firm's purpose and the power of in-house experience saying, "We are a boutique agency working with startups. I joked that my first real agency job is my own agency, which I started after about 10 years in-house. I come at everything I think from that in-house bias and having worked with a lot of agencies in my career."
Erin's in-house bias is a source of pride for her. Erin continually encourages companies to empower themselves from within, suggesting that founders, "Hold off on hiring an agency because you really can do some of these basic things internally yourselves first." Erin has been able to create new business models to help companies and founders accomplish in-house PR. "In the last 12 months we've built that out and we ran a beta with a small number of companies, and we're gearing up to launch it in the next few months. So that's a separate program and piece of our business called PR for Founders."
Erin's favorite way to tell a story is by combining newsworthy events. "We get in and see what other pieces we have to work with to wrap into this newsworthy moment and then figure out how to maximize it."
Erin uses these 2 questions to suss out startups debating whether or not to use an agency. She asks, "Do you have a very specific business goal you're trying to achieve with your comms efforts?" This question helps Erin see if a startup understands why they are bringing on an agency and to assure it is not because of hollow initiatives. The next question Erin asks is, "Do you actually have a specific moment in time coming up that is news-driven and that would lend itself to doing a quick burst of activity." Erin suggests doing this for fund announcements, company launches, and other major newsworthy announcements.
We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers) according to us, but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.
Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous.
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