Do you want to get better at public relations? Perhaps grab some media opportunities? In this episode, Krystal Covington shares some great PR tips for small businesses.
About Krystal Covington
Krystal Covington helps businesses by developing strategic marketing and PR plans to reach new audiences. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband.
We got to know Krystal through Christopher Fous, from Woobamboo, a recent podcast guest. Krystal made it all happen and as we learn – incredibly – that was Christopher’s first podcast – if you are still to listen to it, do, he is inspirational. We were so impressed with Krystal, we wanted her to join us as a guest too.
Krystal is a Networking Guru too
Krystal is an off the charts introvert! She never believed she would do networking because of it. She has those moments when she asks herself “am I really doing this?”.
Krystal founded Women of Denver. Women teach workshops and present different programmes for other members. Krystal rarely does the speaking, but she does greet everyone when they arrive. She battles her natural shyness to talk to strangers. Every week.
The big issue Krystal has had with traditional networking is that she doesn’t have a place there. She would walk in, without anything to say, except ‘hey, what do you do?’. Running her own group, she has natural authority, and members want to talk to her naturally because she founded the group. That makes it easier for Krystal to start a conversation. It gives her talking points.
Are you extrovert or introvert?
It’s a fun site and the shock truth about Graham is that he is seen by them as:
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ’crack-pot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.”
- Mind = 76% Extraverted
- Energy = 67% Intuitive
- Nature = 57% Thinking
- Tactics = 53% Prospecting
- Identity = 71% Assertive
Both Kevin and Krystal are INT-J – an ARCHITECT – imaginative and strategic thinkers, with a plan for everything!
Women of Denver
Krystal lives in the city of Denver. It’s 70 degrees in November!
Krystal founded Women of Denver to create professional women friends. She was too awkward at other’s event – prompted by her husband, she created a ‘deep topic’ group – all about limiting beliefs. That was comfortable for Krystal.
There were 5 people at the first event. The most Krystal ever had with the close-knit groups was 10.
Now Women in Denver has 1,000 members! A core group of 200 or so that consistently meet. That really is a success. They were featured in their local business journal. Krystal’s image was next to Donald Trump’s on the journal. Krystal’s was smaller, but hey.
Ted Talks, a step into Public Relations
On her Ted Talk, she couldn’t even see the crowd. She it for yourself…
Krystal shared a story in the Ted Talk, about how her body reacted to being in a stressful situation, like networking. She found herself breaking out in “stinky stress sweat”!
The sweat would pour down!
Krystal fell into public relations. Someone challenged her to get local TV coverage for an event. She was working for a small 200 employee company. Someone said, we have this party tomorrow and as the marketer, I would have thought you’d have the TV people covering the event! Krystal, said, oh, but I didn’t think that was an expectation. Her colleague said, yes, but it doesn’t look like you have that capability!
Red rag, right?
So, Krystal looked up Google search “how do you get news to come out?” and it said just tell the news about your event!
She filled in the contact form on the TV news website. We’re having an event and she listed a couple of important people (City Council Members) who were coming. By sheer accident, THEY CAME. It was a company event!
Krystal told us that was the first time she was on a microphone. A baptism of fire.
How relevant is public relations is to the small business?
It makes David look like Goliath. She wanted the same for herself when she founded Women in Denver. She has created a bigger reputation. Its cost effective, because someone-else is talking about you. When you advertise, it is you talking about yourself.
What should business owners be doing to generate that kind of PR?
It’s easier than you think.
Krystal recommends DIY. Just tell people. There are always openings. The 24-hour news-cycle helps you. Radio, podcast, TV.
What questions does Krystal ask?
- The brand. What does it look like? The visuals. When you present as a speaker. What are you talking about. Is it valuable in the news? Is your brand credible and polished. You might be newsworthy, but their online brand may not be credible appearance.
- Look for credibility for all your media.
- What do you have to say?
- What do you have that is THOUGHT LEADERSHIP.
There are lots of local TED events. Some Cities have 5 or 6. (There are lots of UK TED talks. See https://www.ted.com/tedx/events?autocomplete_filter=United+Kingdom&year=2018)
They select people who offer something that is noteworthy. An idea worth sharing. It also has to fit within the theme of that particular event.
Krystal took part in a TEDx for Women. Her subject was about negotiating for pay.
Preparation. She took every speaking opportunity she could, in order to be ready. She got in front of bigger and bigger groups. More like a speech, rather than a talk.
Media training. This is really important. You can practice talking points, but the camera becomes highly distracting.
- Know the messages you want to get out.
- 3 MAIN points. 3 things to catch your audience’s attention
- Makes you an interesting person.
- Never give people MORE than 3 things to remember.
- Not 5 bullet points, just 3.
- Memorise different STORIES per talking point.
- Krystal, had political training to help people she believes in to make it into office.
Storytelling. Krystal tells stories now. Fit in the 3 main points.
Krystal is a public relations expert.
Should I have a public relations expert or DIY?
DIY first. Build your relationships with influencers. The relationships belong to you, not them. She recommends getting your public relations firm train YOUR assistant.
Create a basic awareness of creating a pitch and how to find the right influencers.
Say hello to people in the media. Build a relationship. Make friends in the media.
How to find media people?
- Go to a newspaper, magazine, podcast, go to contact page and reach out if you have something to share. Let them know it is coming.Sometimes you get the publicity, but you may not notice it because you don’t have the tracking software and tools of a PR firm.
- Instagram. Find people who list their name as JOURNALIST or PODCASTER. Follow them. Click on notifications. GIVE SMART COMMENTARY. Share your ideas. Build up a friendship. One day they might reach out to you.
What happens when the media calls you?
They’ll search and call through a search. It can be stressful. They are in a hurry. Can you talk about this topic, NOW?
These kinds of things can happen. Practice and get opportunities to talk about your expertise.
The topic can be unique. Will you spar with the journalist? Get someone to argue with you prior to the interview.
The Next 100 Days?
From a public relations point of view?
- Do a brand review. Bring in other opinions? Is it strong and credible? Make the adjustments.
- Make getting in touch with media people one of your WEEKLY habits. Build those connections without expectations. Give first.
Krystal says PR is NOT marketing. It’s not an advertisement. Usually, it takes time and a long time. Not an instant effect. Over time people will see you more.
Eventually, it can lead to growth.
Be authoritative. Get the feedback. If you are a chapter ahead of peers. How can PR help you become a credible figure?
- Think of yourself as a thought leader.
- What would a thought leader share?
- How can I help people be successful without expectation of personal gain?
- Don’t just try sell someone on buying from you.
It’s a shift in attitude from selling to opinion.
- Know what is going on in the media right now.
Krystal always says try to portray the BEST VERSION of yourself!
- Best version is bubbly and smiling! (at high school, people thought her socially aloof, the introvert thing again! She was just getting stuff done in her head. She wasn’t unfriendly)
- Krystal looks people in the eyes.
- Try to be aware of what someone might need in the moment.
- Try to offer value wherever she goes.
- Be a bright spot in someone’s day?
What really motivates Krystal?
- She likes to help people.
- It gives her a sense of purpose.
- Likes to help people making a bigger impact in what they do.
How do you contact Krystal Covington?