I am a member of Entrepreneurs Network (EN), which is headed up by the entrepreneur James ‘Jimbo’ Sinclair who also runs the Partyman empire.
For the past year he has been creating and publicizing a daily Vlog called Backstage Business, which literally follows him every day, in all his meetings, presentations and talks, giving loads of tips and advice to other entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.
When I first saw him doing this, it was obvious to me that EN were working to raise James’s personal profile, to establish him as an expert in the field of business expertise and advice (in the same way that he is currently regarded in the leisure industry), and I knew I could help. I was so excited that they were putting such a big emphasis on profile building and positioning him as a seriously successful entrepreneur and mentor to other growing businesses. And it was great to see that they totally appreciated that this strategy was the best way to gain the trust and respect he needs in order to open doors for him, and the EN, to the influential people and organisations he wants to work with.
What they were doing was pure PR and I really wanted to work with them. My team and I at Marvellous PR have spent more years than I would like to own up to, building, and protecting personal and corporate brands like James’, and the chance to work with such a totally ‘PR-able’ (my new word) character as Jimbo was just so exciting.
Interestingly though, until he chatted to us, James was not so confident of his own ‘PR-ability’, as we found out when we had our first PR meeting together.
He asked me a question that really surprised me.
Did I honestly think he, and his portfolio of businesses had enough to get the media interested in them?
‘WHAT?’ I replied (well, screeched!). ‘Of course!’
Why would he even ask that?
‘You are SO PR-able James.’
Let me explain why I was so surprised at his question. And what I meant by my new word.
James is as close to a shoe-in to media coverage as anything, or anyone we have worked with for a while. He is only just 30 years old and already running a £10m turnover business empire, with 300+ staff. An ambitious and very switched on entrepreneur on a mission to help others do the same. Clever, extrovert, funny and not shy about sharing his ideas and opinions.
In two words – SUPER PR-ABLE!
Meaning – there is loads happening in his various businesses that we can offer as stories to the media; he can provide interesting commentary, from his entrepreneurial angle, on events in the news; and his energy and good presentation skills will make him appealing to the broadcast media when we get an opportunity for him there.
Some people are boring. They are vanilla. They are beige. Which makes them unattractive to the media and therefore difficult to PR. Jimbo is anything but.
Not everyone is as PR-able, and sadly they feel PR is not for them. I have known many business owners – whose businesses may not be as interesting, or have so much going on, and who themselves may lack James’ charisma and colourfulness – give PR a go and then moan that ‘nothing happened’.
The problem was they had not found anything interesting enough to attract the journalists. Their worlds were not as obviously attractive to the media as Jimbo’s. All of us can only tell a story when there’s a story to tell. Who wants to read boring news?
If you want to get coverage, you must be interesting. But never fear. In our experience (and we have worked with 1000s of people over the years) every business will have something interesting and newsworthy in it somewhere. It just might take longer than with James’ world to dig it out.
If you keep digging, thinking out of the box, watching what news is going on in your niche, and asking yourself if this would be news to those outside your business, you will find the angles.