Category: Outside the Suit

Budgeting for 2020? Don’t Forget About PR

Kailynn Bowling, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President shares the PR strategies to invest in this year on Forbes blog.

From ad creative to salaries, businesses are planning expenses for the year so they can stay profitable. However, many businesses fall into the trap of overextending resources to paid ad strategies and overlook public relations (PR). Instead of pumping more resources into paid ads, budget with PR in mind first. She explains that paid ads aren’t everything. In 2018, paid ad spending was over $10 billion, and retailers spent a whopping $23.5 billion. Although businesses are spending a ton of money and wishing for good traffic and high returns in this arena, PR actually has more success.

“According to a 2014 Nielsen study, PR is 88% more effective than paid ads when it comes to customer persuasion.”

Consumers typically trust earned media more than general advertising. They find paid ads to be way too self-promotional and product-focused as well as displaying a lack of ingenuity. Word of mouth, customer testimonials and editorial media can have a greater impact on your followers than paid ads. Although they should remain in your strategy, there needs to be a combination of your brand’s own awareness and outside sources talking about your brand. One bonus of budgeting for both: PR isn’t nearly as money-hungry as Facebook ads, in fact, you can implement some strategies for free!

2020 is the year to invest in PR and earned media is the best way to engage with new customers en masse. It’s about building real interest in your products and amplifying it with the right tactics. When you dedicate your budget to the right PR strategies, you can build trust with new customers that a paid ad cannot beat.

Read Kailynn Bowling’s full Forbes blog for the right PR strategies that build genuine interest in your brand.

Bad Press: From a PR viewpoint, It’s Not All Bad

ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, shares what businesses can do in case of bad press on the Business Woman Media Blog.

“Bad press … is there such a thing? For your clients, the answer is a resounding yes. It’s the two words that trigger their nightmares. The PR world, on the other hand, looks at bad press from a different perspective. PR is all about brand recognition. When a company is first starting out, any sort of press involving the company’s name is good, even if there is a slight controversy around it. However, when there is a well-established brand that is struck with controversy, they may see sales suffer.

In what instances can bad press actually be good for your brand? It depends upon the PR focus. Take a scandal involving the owner for example. It could promote more awareness of the brand. Everyone loves a good story and controversy piques a consumer’s interest to learn more.

In other situations, bad press can negatively impact your business, especially when it has to do with the quality of the product. Since PR is based around reputation, if something is leaked that is unfavorable toward the company or product, this could lead to problems in sales. For example if there’s defective merchandise or goods and services that cause people harm, the company could see lower profits.”

She explains that bad press can happen to any business no matter how well it’s doing or the precautions it’s taking. In the PR world, not all bad press is a bad thing either. PR is all about brand recognition. When a company is first starting out, any sort of press involving the company’s name is good, even if there is a slight controversy around it.

Read Kristen Wessel’s full Business Woman Media blog for tips on how to handle the bad press that does affect your bottom line.



5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, discusses on Forbes blog how New Year’s resolutions are fun to make, but they’re hard to put into practice, especially in business.

“No matter what promises you made this year, it can be hard to make sure these resolutions become more than just wishful thinking. Instead of becoming a statistic, there are five tips you can follow to hold yourself accountable and take your business to the next level in 2020.”

Read Kristen Wessel’s full Forbes blog for five tips that make your business resolution stick.




Shaping San Diego 2020

ChicExecs Brand Story

Kailynn Bowling and Nikki Carlson, co-founders and co-presidents of ChicExecs Marketing Agency, were featured in San Diego Magazine‘s coverage of local entrepreneurs bringing business and innovation to life.

Shaping public relations, they discuss how ChicExecs creates a new relationship between retail placement, digital media and PR bringing all three under one roof. The end result is an overall brand exposure strategy to drive sales in online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Read the full article in San Diego Magazine.

Is your brand looking for a new strategy to increase exposure? Contact our services today.

Five Ways to Streamline the Relationship Between Sales and Marketing

ChicExecs Senior Director of Strategic Accounts Lydia Vargo shares how businesses can eliminate silos around their marketing and sales departments to boost their revenue with better strategy and communication on Forbes blog.

Although it makes sense that improving their processes can equate to huge revenue gains, it’s easier said than done. They’re different disciplines, and because of that, businesses often situate sales and marketing in separate departments. It can be hard to realign sales and marketing if you haven’t been doing it from the start, but it is possible. Lydia gives her five steps to start forging a seamless relationship between marketing and sales.

Read Lydia Vargo’s full Forbes blog for business relationship tips that streamline your sales and marketing departments.


5 Business Tips for 2020 Growth

Nikki Carlson, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President, shares business tips for the new year that stick on Forbes blog.

Not all resolutions are created equal. Let’s not forget the oft-cited statistic that 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Follow these tips to create resolutions that will stick beyond February 1.

1. Be realistic.

Many people fail to achieve their resolutions because they’re too harsh or unrealistic. Do you really think it’s fair to say you’ll achieve 3X revenue this year? Or speak at 100 industry conferences?


2. Break it up.

If a goal like “Speak at 10 industry conferences” seems huge, that’s because it is. It’s a big goal, but it isn’t impossible. If you’ve set a big resolution and aren’t sure how to make it happen, break up your resolution into micro-goals.


3. Quantify everything.

There’s nothing wrong with a goal like “Be a better manager.” But how do you know you’re a better manager? What does that even mean? You have no idea unless you define the goal and add numbers to it.


4. Check in regularly.

We have to approach business resolutions with awareness. You can’t declare a resolution and forget about it after January 1 — that’s wishful thinking, not an actual resolution.


5. Build accountability.

Say what you will about peer pressure, but it does wonders for keeping us on the straight and narrow. Tell your employees, another manager or a mentor about your business resolution. When you tell someone what you’re doing, they’re going to check in on you. That accountability will light a fire beneath you so you continue working on your resolution, even when you feel like throwing in the towel.


Read Nikki Carlson’s full Forbes blog for business tips that will stick.

10 Brand Storytelling Questions to Ask

While you may have an amazing brand to share … what may be even better than your brand is your story 

As a journalist turned publicist, I know both sides of the industry. The first question I always as my clients is, “Where did you get the idea to create … ,” or “What made you want to develop this?” Typically, their answers are fascinating. Whether we are discussing a nail polish, a pillow or even a pair of pajamas … the story behind the brand is intriguing. And that’s what we can sell to the media. 

Enter Brand Storytelling, the human side of your business, where you tell stories instead of just listing facts

The delivery of your story is so important to growing your brand. What you have to say about your brand or product has the ability to get people to listen closer, read a little bit longer or change the tv station and close a magazine. If you can include the interesting details behind your brand you will draw consumers into your story. 

Think you don’t have a story? Wrong … you absolutely do: everyone does! I remember a call with one of my first clients who had trouble answering my question. She couldn’t recall an “ah-ha” moment that lead to her brand’s creation. She said, “I don’t know … I don’t really think we have a story. We just wanted to make something people would find useful.”

“That’s your story!” I exclaimed.

She replied, “What?”

“That is your story! You wanted to help people … something tells me you’ve probably always enjoyed helping others.”

“Well yes, I started volunteering for different organizations at a very young age … ” and she went on to share so many stories. Together, we crafted her story and found out that her desire to help others ultimately led to the launch of her company. 

So, if you’re having trouble finding and sharing your story here are my brand storytelling tips for finding your story and connecting the dots to your brand. You can ask yourself 10 questions. 

10 Brand Storytelling Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Why did you develop your product or brand? 
  2. What problem does it solve? 
  3. Why did you want to solve that problem? 
  4. Who do you want to help with your product or brand?
  5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
  6. Who helped you create your product or brand? 
  7. What inspires you? 
  8. What keeps you going when the days are tough?
  9. What projects are you working on next?
  10. What was your “ah-ha” moment that lead you to create your product or brand? 

Answer those and I bet you’ll surprise yourself with just how interesting you are! Remember, the story behind your brand is just as important as your brand and we can’t wait to share your story!

Look to ChicExecs for expert PR, social media, influencer, retail management, and digital marketing tips to take your brand storytelling to the next level. Contact us today and let us show you how.


Capitalizing on the Holidays with Influencer Marketing

Kailynn Bowling, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President, shares how influencer marketing can be the answer to holiday marketing overwhelm.

But with everyone vying for their piece of the pie, that means you face more competition than usual, spending more budget dollars on impressions that may or may not move the needle. What’s a brand to do? “In my experience as the cofounder of a PR and retail strategy firm, I’ve found that influencer marketing can be the answer to holiday marketing overwhelm. Influencer marketing builds a great rapport with your audience, overcomes the annoying problems of competition and significantly boosts your reach.”

Read “Capitalizing On The Holidays With Influencer Campaigns” and follow her four steps to design a holiday influencer marketing campaign that’s both effective and profitable in the new year.

Why People Skills Are Essential In PR and How to Improve Them

According to ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media Kristen Wessel, you can be the best public relations (PR) expert in the world, but if you lack people skills, you’ll never be truly successful.

“In PR, you have to understand human behavior and emotions, both in terms of your clients and the people you pitch to,” she explains.

Learn why PR pros need people skills and three methods to improve them.

Read her full Forbes article here.

Fostering Loyalty In the New Generation of Employees

ChicExecs Senior Director of Strategic Accounts Lydia Vargo shares how today’s work environment doesn’t always foster loyalty, especially with younger generations. She explains that fortunately, there are steps you can take as a leader to increase employee longevity.

“Contrary to popular belief, loyalty is not just an employee problem — it’s a trait empowered by every employer. If you want a fleet of advocates in your company, then create a workspace where loyalty can thrive.”

Read her full Forbes article here.