How to create a buzz for your new startup business – Expert panel provides insider tips

The following story first appeared on

image of PRSUMMITLA Panel

(L-R) Jonathan Handle, THR, Shaun Saunders, PRSUMMIT, Mekahlo Medina, NBCLA, Matt Skallerud, Pink Banana Media and George McQuade, MAYO Communications at PRSUMMITLA, Culver City, CA.

Starting a small business, especially a PR business can be challenging, but then when you want to brand it or tell the world social media is no longer an option. About 50 mostly PR pros, entrepreneurs and multimedia marketers huddled at “PR Chat SummitLA held at the NextSpace in Culver City, CA over the weekend (Nov. 12, 2011) to get the “best practices” in startups and social media.
This writer moderated the Social Media workshop entitled, “How to Marshal & Inform Bloggers, Editors and Content  Producers in the Most Effective Way!” The panelists were: Mekahlo Medina, NBCLA NBC Universal; Jonathan Handel (The Hollywood Reporter) and Matt Skallerud (Pink Banana Media).

“You need to know the tools of the business,” Keynote Speaker Serena Ehrlich, Attention USA, who spoke on “The Future of Social Media for PR People.” You need to raise awareness of a product through messaging, engage brand fans on all relevant platforms, drive it through digital components and amplify campaigns through advertising,” Ehrlich suggested several tools and techniques, offering several outside or third party applications to do the trick. “A lot of people when starting a small business should remember to include the legal and PR side of things,” said Darren Darnborough, founder and strategic director, stucknetwork.
 Stucknetwork has one of the worlds largest databases of promo staff in the industry, filling staff campaigns and finding new business easier for staffing agencies by encouraging brands, PR companies and ad agencies to post tenders for campaigns. Established in the UK since 2002, Stuck For Staff has now launched in the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “Don’t look at how much PR costs as much as the bigger picture,” Darnborough told the group. If you get an article in the newspaper and it’s posted Online and goes viral there’s your ROI.”
According to a new study shows half of all adults are signing onto to the social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin. “Social media is simply the technology that allows people to share with their friends,” said Serena Ehrlich. “When we are happy with something, we ‘Like it’ or share through a status update on Facebook, we tweet out, we instagram a photo, right?” So who owns social media? “The truth is, social media should be a fundamental part of each division of the company that interfaces with clients, customers, analysts and business partners,” she said. “Never post anything on Facebook unless you have an image or video to go with it, no one will open it or read it.”
Ehrlich contends that to be successful in your startup, PR and small business you need to go across a wide range of functions. She said, it “Involves engagement via messaging (frequently referred to as earned outreach), advertising and production (paid) and the company’s own customer service, website and existing vehicles (owned).
Ehrlich admits it’s not easy, and that social media can take from 60 to 100 hours per month. “This is an art form. And this should not be taken lightly. But messaging campaigns can only take a brand so far,” explained Ehrlich.
Tiffany Bradshaw was the first moderator of “How to start your own business” She said, “You need to speak your customers language.”
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Continue reading on Starting a business, social media and influencing the news cycle in real time – Los Angeles Business Investment |

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