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September 19, 2023

When Product-Led Startups Should Start Doing PR and Crafting the Perfect Pitch With Renée Warren of We Wild Women

In this episode of Remotely Cultured, Jeanna welcomes Renée Warren, Founder of We Wild Women, to discuss how companies can benefit from PR.

Renée Warren is the Founder of We Wild Women, a PR company dedicated to helping women-led businesses elevate their authority and brand recognition. Renée started We Wild Women as a content marketing and PR agency in 2012, taking it from a bootstrap startup to a seven-figure, globally-recognized business. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, thought leader, and the author of Get Covered!: How to Craft, Pitch and Tell Your Startups Story to Get More Customers. Renée is also the host of Into the Wild, a podcast featuring curated interviews with women entrepreneurs sharing inspiring, actionable advice on how to launch and grow their dream business.

 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Why PR is the ultimate form of marketing
  • When you should start investing in PR for your startup 
  • The strategies you can use to maximize outreach beyond media links
  • How to leverage social media and content as part of your PR strategy
  • Preferred methods to measure PR success

In this episode…

Renée Warren, Founder of We Wild Women, advises that it’s never too soon to start thinking about PR for your company. After all, earned media is the most trusted form of marketing. But PR is more than speaking with journalists — it’s an avenue to gain recognition through speaking engagements, nominating your business for awards, hitting the podcast circuit, and other creative approaches to generate buzz.

You can also boost your authority in your niche by leveraging social media. By creating engaging, informative, and authentic content, you’re building credibility, trust, and ultimately, relationships — which is what PR is all about. 

Join Jeanna in this episode of Remotely Cultured, as she welcomes Renée, an expert in public relations, to discuss how companies can benefit from PR. Renée shares why PR is the mother of all marketing, the appropriate time to start branding and PR, and preferred methods for measuring PR success.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Transcript:

Jeanna: Hey everyone, welcome to Remotely Cultured. I'm your host Jeanna, calling in from Roatán, Honduras, where I run FPS and host this podcast. Today we have with us Renée Warren. Welcome, Renée. Where are you calling in from today?

Renée: Thanks Jeanna. The mountains of Kelowna, British Columbia.

Jeanna: Ah, Kelowna, British Columbia. I love it. We have not had a Canadian on the podcast yet. 

Renée: What?

Jeanna: Yeah, I know. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about the culture of Kelowna? What it's like to be there and live there and work there.

Renée: So Kelowna is interesting. Last year, it was actually Canada's fastest-growing city that had nothing to do with immigration. It was just people that were already living in Canada that were moving here, for many reasons. One is it is almost like a little hidden gem, not so hidden anymore. It is on a lake called Lake Okanagan, which goes for miles from one city to the next. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains. And if you're anything of an outdoor lover, they have some of the world's best downhill skiing, snowboarding, hiking trails, downhill, mountain biking, snow, biking, you name it. It's here, it exists. So the draw is for the lifestyle, but also that this is a growing entrepreneurial hub. There are a lot of tech startups that are out of here too. 

Jeanna: Oh great, okay!

Renée: People are coming here because they want to live here.

Jeanna: I love that. And where is that in relation to Vancouver and Whistler?

Renée: Yeah. So Vancouver is right on the ocean. We're about a four-and-a-half-hour drive inland. 

Jeanna: Okay, gotcha. And what should, if our listeners find themselves in Kelowna, British Columbia, what is a food from where you're at that everybody should try?

Renée: Well, the restaurants are pretty fabulous. I will say this, we have been placed on the map as of the last like four-ish, five years as a top wine district in the world. So all the top sommeliers know of Kelowna, or we call it Kelowna-fornia, Kelowna wine. We have over 300 vineyards, 200 wineries, and growing. 

Jeanna: Oh, love that. 

Renée: So the food, I can't say there's one thing but the food is amazing. I mean it's Canadian. So if there's a good poutine there's a good poutine.

Jeanna: Yeah. And you can't beat a wine country. I love wine country. I'll have to come and check it out.

Renée: It is insane, the wines here. We just did a tour of this O'Rourke Family Estate Winery, which when it's done being developed will be probably one of the largest wineries in North America.

Jeanna: Wow, really. Amazing. I have to look them up. Cool. Okay, and how long have you been working remote?

Renée: Since forever.

Jeanna: Forever? Forever means before 2020 when I talk to people.

Renée: So I ran a PR agency. And we did have an office with our employees in it. And then people — and then we started to give them leeway to in the summertime like, hey, it's Friday. You can work from wherever Fridays. That was our rule, as long as you tell us if we're going to be offline, or if you're just going to take the afternoon off. I don't care. We don't. We were a small company. We never tallied absences or how much time people took off. If they got the work done. They could start at 4 a.m. if they needed and be done at noon. And it kind of bled into us just not having an office anymore. And this was back in 2018? 2017? 2018.

Jeanna: Okay, so before the times on that for sure.

Renée: Oh, yeah, I've been fully remote since at least then. Yeah.

Jeanna: Cool. All right. I love that. Um, and to tell our listeners a little bit more about Renée. Renée Warren is an award-winning entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author and founder of We Wild Women, a platform that helps women-led businesses gain the media and PR exposure they deserve. She's also the host of the celebrated podcast, Into the Wild, a program that features curated interviews with women entrepreneurs and provides actionable advice to women who are launching or growing their own dream businesses. When she's not coaching or podcasting, you can find Renée spending time with her family, and in addition, she loves CrossFit, travel, and refining her drumming skills. I love that, so you are a new drummer or an old drummer?

Renée: I would like to say that I'm new. So I started when I was, oh this is gonna age me here, when I was 38 years old. And I've always wanted to do it and then just out of a whim I signed up for classes, and I realized for me it was the most beautiful form of meditation. So I did hour-long classes and I just learned a new musical instrument and today I have my electric drum set right next to my desk.

Jeanna: Amazing. That's so cool. I love that so much. I mean, it's never too late to pick up something new, right? I'm constantly trying to look for new hobbies or trying new classes or things that I might like now that I'm a little bit older. So I love that so much. Um, okay, so today we're gonna spend some time diving deep into the PR world, which I know you know a lot about, and talk a little bit about how some of our listeners who are entrepreneurs or leaders at product-led brands or their own companies can leverage PR at their own companies. And so I'd love to hear a little bit about your history of "We Wild Women", who your clients are, and the type of work that you do.

Renée: Yeah, so in 2012 when I was eight months pregnant with my first son, Max, I at the time, I had been working on some contract stuff with a friend of mine, Heather, and I was mostly doing social media, online ad kind of stuff and content marketing for tech startups out of the valley. And she was doing PR and that was her only focus. And we were collaborating on projects because I didn't know the PR landscape. And when I was, I remember this, eight months pregnant, we go out for lunch and I was like, "Hey, Heather, why don't we just go into business together?" Because it just made sense at this point. And she's like, "Well, you're almost gonna have a baby. And it's your first, so what does that look like for me?" I'm like, "Babies just sleep all day." Which is true because they don't sleep at night. I go, "We got this." So anyway, launched the business incorporated, and landed clients right away from South Africa to San Diego. 11 months later, welcomed my second son. So in the first year of business, I had two babies. They're Irish twins.

Jeanna: Oh my god. Wow. That's incredible.

Renée: Yeah. And we still grew the business to 12 employees. Over seven figures. But little did I know is that every year the stress had been compounding. So we worked. We worked with fun tech companies. And that was our focus and we had other clients too. It's the halo effect, right? You always attract some people that aren't your ideal customer. But you like them and you want to support them. Which led me to writing a book called Get Covered: How to Craft, Pitch and Tell Your Startup Story to Get More Customers. 

Jeanna: Yeah, cool. 

Renée: Which eventually going through due diligence I was so close to selling the company but at that point, I was so burnt out. I couldn't even go through the idea of working for somebody else on a two-year earn-out.

Jeanna: Yeah, I've been there.

Renée: I was like, I just am not doing this, shut her down, which is fine. My husband was in a great position at that time and just started doing a little coaching and started a program called Family Academy which helps entrepreneurial couples live a more integrated life. Wasn't in line with that. Then started something else, and finally came back to We Wild Women, which was mostly coaching female entrepreneurs. But in that time, I kept getting asked, "Renée, Renée, are you going to be doing PR again?" Like no, I don't I don't know if I can get back into the space. Well, it was until December 8 of just last year. So like six, seven months ago, the time of this recording. I was at a Tony Robbins event in Florida and he just cracked me open in terms of why I'm not pursuing the things that I want to be doing. Why am I avoiding the thing that I know I'm good at that I love. And so finally, I don't know if you've ever been to a Tony event. 

Jeanna: I haven't. 

Renée: You're there 16 hours, it's a long day and it's like two o'clock in the morning on day three and you're just like tired hungry, just want to go home. And I was like this is it I'm I'm going to do PR again, I don't know what it's going to look like but this this is my calling. Get back to our Airbnb and did a quick email check. And as luck would have it, I had two emails in my inbox waiting for me saying, "Hey Renée, I want to hire you to do PR." Obviously, this is what I got to do. So then I got back into it. And now I work mostly with female-led businesses, they could be tech, they could not be tech, to help them increase their authority and their brand recognition. 

Jeanna: I love that. That's so beautiful. I have gone through similar phases in my career and my entrepreneurial life and kind of dug deep into a lot of Gabby Bernstein stuff, that kind of was my first tiptoe into following kind of your calling or the universe or figuring out what makes you happy what your fears are that you're not approaching and so I love that the backstory to your business as well. So why do you think that it's so important for businesses and brands or entrepreneurs to be doing PR? What is special about that channel because we all know there's a million channels, there's SEO and content, and a lot of ways to kind of spend your money, right?

Renée: Yeah, well, you can just spend it with us. You know? Well, I genuinely believe that PR is the mother of all marketing. Everything fits underneath it. And why is that? Because it's ultimately about relationship building. So, me coming on your show is a form of PR and now we're developing a relationship and hopefully, the way this will go is if someone comes to me and then they need what you have, then I will recommend you and vice versa. But with PR, the reality is it is the most trusted form of marketing because it's earned media. So the way that it's kind of perceived is that oh if a publication is going to write about them, or the person's going to be on a podcast then they have to be somebody notable doing something great, which is genuinely the truth. But also that it doesn't have to cost you anything. It costs your time. So with advertising, you have to not only spend a budget but if you want to do it well, you got to hire an expert. Right? It's the same with SEO and content. Sure you can do those things by yourself. PR at the end of the day is one of the easier forms because it's just about relationship building and networking and just doing that constantly. Yes, there's formulas yes, there's a cadence to things and I teach all that and I do all that for clients. But really, anybody in any business can do it. And there's no excuses. People come to me, "Hey, Renée, I'm just starting. So when do I do this?" A lot of people kind of put it off. I always say start today. And I don't mean go and start pitching Forbes and Inc., Entrepreneur, no. Start creating the system, and start understanding your ideal customer. Where do they hang out online? What books do they read? What podcasts do they listen to? Start finding those podcast hosts, start finding the journalist, creating your media list, following with them, engaging them, understanding that if that's what your customers are listening to, reading, whatnot, you got to figure out creative ways to get in front of them using those channels.

Jeanna: Yeah, makes sense. And, you know, I think that there is an old-school definition of PR, right? We work with a lot of brands at FPS and a lot of founders, they think of PR as the media stuff like the Forbes and the Entrepreneur, and how are we going to get those logos on our homepage? But what you just talked about with podcasting is a wider definition of PR, so can you just give our listeners what you, all the things that you consider to be PR, and what they should be looking at outside of just articles on big tier one websites?

Renée: And those are great. If you're in SEO, you understand that space very well, to be linked back from a top-performing website is huge. It's like all the Google juice you need. But PR is also applying for awards, nominating yourself or somebody in your team or somebody from your team nominating you. It's also signing up to be a speaker at different events. People who go on stage and they crush their talk get so much business but there's a whole formula that goes into creating the brand that you are to be the person who applies to be a speaker. Sometimes you pay, sometimes you don't. It is also a podcast roadshow. So it could mean hey, you know I'm launching something in the next six months and I want to get on as many relevant podcasts as possible to talk about XYZ. It could be like anything from launching, you're raising around. If you're a tech startup, that's important, right? Why is that important? It doesn't necessarily get you customers, but it builds the credibility. Investors love seeing the companies they've invested in online mentioned in TechCrunch. So there's the authority piece. There's a credibility piece. A lot of the times, you'll go to a website and you'll see the as seen in Women's Day or TechCrunch and it's like, oh, okay, so all of a sudden now whether you know it or not subconsciously or consciously, this brand becomes relevant to you because it seems credible because other publications that are notable had mentioned it to you. And so that's the importance of it, and it just kind of snowballs from there. And the cool thing about PR is there's, you know, a handful of ways of doing it, one is like you have an announcement or you have a launch or something notable coming up and there's a timing for this like on this day this thing is happening, so you have to build up towards it. Then there's the other form of PR, where it's like how do we just constantly stay in front of our customers all the time. So it's like the maintenance type of PR. Both are very important. Some require more thought than others, but anybody can do it. It's just a matter of figuring out your customers, where they hang out, crafting those pitches, getting in front of the right decision makers for you to constantly you know, get a buzz around your brand.

Jeanna: Yeah. So the benefits for PR obviously, you've mentioned some of them now. It's the credibility, it's the buzz, it's being in front of your customers. Is there anything else that you could call out as specific benefits brands would get from PR?

Renée: Yeah, it's notoriety, right? So right now, I mean, to start a business now compared to 10 years ago, 20 years ago, is so easy. And the barrier to entry is like, the fees are so nominal compared to what they used to be. I can go bang out, register in a corporation now, open up a bank account and within two weeks I can be up and running. No problem.

Jeanna: Yep, right.

Renée: So now that anybody can start a business and this is such a beautiful place that we're in, especially for the economy is now you have to outshine, outperform other people. The reality is now there are more people vying for that attention. And so when you look at the traditional form of PR coupled with social media and content marketing, which I call the PR engine, is pretty much the only way you can stay top of mind for consumers today.

Jeanna: Okay, let's dig a little bit deeper there because you just mentioned that social media and content you look at them as being potential PR channels. We also know that they can be growth channels, right? So how do you look at those two channels, specifically content, social as a PR channel? What can, how can people be leveraging those channels for PR?


Renée: Yeah, so there's two ways of doing the social. You can use it to actually get a lot of following and engaged followers and sell there. It works for me, it works for a lot of my clients. I will say this, especially if you're a smaller company, actually any size company, is when you're pitching your company, journalists are gonna go to your most engaged social feed. So say on your website, you're like, follow us on Instagram, and you have two posts and two followers. It doesn't say much about your brand. And so you have to build up that relevancy using social media because they want to see that people are engaging or talking about you. And if you're just starting your account, that's fine. Just make sure you have really great content and you're consistent with it. Because whatever social media channels you're sharing, whether it's on the footer of your the signature of your email, or if it's on your website, you better be populating that content. Don't throw everything up there. TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, if you're only using one of them, take the other ones down. Because there's nothing like going to someone's Twitter account and their last tweet was from 2017. 

Jeanna: Right, yeah. 

Renée: So social's a great way and especially a great way to connect with other journalists, to find other opportunities. I use it to sell. Like, I hate the word sell just seems like there's like, I don't know, I just I hate the word sell. But I use it to figure out if there's any way I can provide value to the people that are following me. And if they happen to, love it.
 
Jeanna: Right and be authentic. And you seem very authentic. Your brand is very authentic. So I think that's a big piece to it too, right? Like, how do you bring your authentic brand, your authentic self to your channels and your PR and what you're sharing so that that comes across when you're trying to sell, because I think that that's better selling right? 

Renée: Yeah, there's selling, there's PR, there's such a gray area with how all of these things connect. I was actually recording a solo episode yesterday for my show, where I'm like, I'm so surprised at how brands that have brick-and-mortar misuse social media. They don't have to be sharing all this incredible content all the time. If I ran a dental office, a spa, a nail salon, or a boutique clothing store in a community, I would go on Instagram and I would find all of the people that are my ideal customers in some sense. And whenever there's a down moment I would train my staff to do the same and if they're tagging the locations, so for us Kelowna BC. I tag Kelowna a lot. There's only ever been one local business that has reached out to me one-on-one to say their name is Care Dental. They're are dentist company here that has a cool way of approaching the industry. They said, "Hey, Renée, welcome to Kelowna. If you happen to need a dentist while you're here, let me know." We decided to move here. Sure enough, we needed a dentist. Sure enough, my kids needed stuff like braces, like thousands of dollars worth of business. Because Ally reached out and said, "If you ever need a dentist..." Now imagine a fashion person said, "Hey Renee, if you ever need something for an event or a party you're going to, I'd love to offer you like a free little like, fashion consultation or stylish thing when you come in and we'll book a time." Absolutely I would do that. But nobody does it and that is a form of PR because yes, it's selling but it's also relationship building and it takes two seconds to figure that out.

Jeanna: So this is my problem. I think with the way that how social media has evolved because I started my career in social back in 2007 when Twitter and some of those companies were still just launching. And it was really focused on relationship building at that point. And now as a founder of an agency and company, a lot of people we interview and try to get in. I found that we've gotten to this point where social media is a schedule and forget it and it's like post the five posts you want to put all at the same time out on the channels and then log off. When I was a social media manager, I grinded. Like I was doing outreach, I was creating lists of people to follow and so we've kind of lost that side of social media that you said is super important. It's the whole reason you should be a brand on social media is to build relationships with your potential customers and try to seek out where your customers are online. It's not creating a blog post and putting it out on five different platforms hoping someone finds it, right?

Renée: Yeah, absolutely not. You know, I say it's, it's used to create those relationships. Like whenever somebody follows me, for the most part, if I remember to do this, because sometimes I get an influx of followers. And I see oh, she or he's a really cool person. They're doing really cool stuff could be a father and mother, whatever, and especially if they're my ideal customer. I'll say hey, Jeanna, thanks for the follow, curious, like, why are you following me? Those are like content, and then I will follow by a voice note because you can't not listen to a voice note.

Jeanna: Right. What channel are you doing this on?

Renée: Instagram.

Jeanna: Instagram! Okay, cool. 

Renée: Yeah, I'll be like hey, I see you're in Honduras. That is awesome. Tell me about the remote culture out there. You know, how are you connecting with other female entrepreneurs? Because you're like, oh, geez, she's paying attention to where I am or what I'm doing this girl cares. And then hey, if it happens to fit that what I'm selling is what you need. That's great. Maybe the timing's off but I guarantee you we'll build that relationship and if one of your buddies is like, hey, I'm looking for somebody in PR, can you recommend somebody? They'd be like, yes, this cool girl Renée. You got to check her out. Because you're building that relationship and it doesn't take much. Let me tell you if you can do that five times a day, five days a week. You'll get business like that.

Jeanna: Right. So do you run your business Instagram personally, instead of having someone manage it for you?

Renée: So my personal Instagram? Yeah, that's me. All me. I even get people that are like, is this really you, Renée? And that's when I have to send the voice note to confirm absolutely it's me. Business account is run through my executive assistant Morgan. She does all that. She's amazing. Yeah, because I used to be the set-it-and-forget-it. And now we're actually putting more intention behind it because we've created a system for this.

Jeanna: Yeah. Nice. Okay. And I know you know, we've talked a lot about PR channels and how you're getting your brand out there and talking about your brand and really to me, PR is a brand awareness channel, right? It is like a brand channel. It's like where you need to be very clear about who and what your brand is and get that message out. Would you agree with that? 

Renée: 100% Yeah. 

Jeanna: So what I come across and I'd love for you to talk a little bit about this is we work with a lot of product-led brands, they're startups, they're tech brands, they're high growth right, we're a growth marketing agency. And generally what I find is that they're only focused on growth, and they're not focused on a lot of the branding channels. We do have certain clients where we've, you know, are more full service for them and we go into the brand channels, we've done some of that work, but what would you say or how would you speak to companies that aren't thinking about the branding or the PR side as early as they shouldn't be? And when should you be starting that? I think I know your answer, but I want you to go ahead.

Renée: I don't know it might surprise you. To answer this question, you'll have to read the book Ready, Fire, Aim.

Jeanna: Ready, Fire, Aim. Okay.

Renée: Yeah, because he argues that in the first your first million dollars of revenue, generically speaking for industries, is you should just be focusing on sales. That should be the number one focus. However, as you get those growth spurts in sales, shame on you not to start thinking about branding, because there's going to come a point.

Jeanna: Did you say 1 million in sales?

Renée: Yeah, I think that's, I think how, I don't know, they have like different categories like zero to 1 million, 1 million to five, five to 10. But it's true. And for me, I think the way that I understood that is, especially for smaller companies, it could be people that are working on their startup, they have, you know, a handful of lines of code, and they have something that works. Focus on the sales. If you don't have the budget for a brand, don't do that. You need to get the customers because you have to prove to your customers or to potential investors that your product works and you have people that want it. But you also have to start thinking about what that is, what is the brand? What's the brand identity? What's your ethos? Who are your customers? So important. 

Jeanna: So important. 

Renée: And at the same time, you're like, what's the long-term PR strategy in all of this? Branding is huge. And I know that a lot of coaches and important people will say, well don't do the branding right away and I agree, like don't on day one. You got to write your first line of code. But beyond that, it is something you have to think about. Doesn't have to be polished or perfect, that's for sure.

Jeanna: Right. That's great advice. I've never heard that before sell first up to 1 million, Ready, Fire, Aim, good book to read and then get going on your brand. Love it. Cool, um, what are some types of KPIs once you get started in this branding, and you do these different types of PR work? What are some of the KPIs you should be tracking to measure if it's working or not?

Renée: Yeah, I mean, there's a long-standing battle on whether or not PR is measurable. I actually wrote a really good article on Prowly, which I'll send you the link so you can throw that in show notes. I think it's relevant. 

Jeanna: Please do, I would love that. 

Renée: But really, it's about — because, I mean, I can think of a handful of stories where it's like, we got a lot of great media coverage and it didn't actually turn into any sales whatsoever. Traffic that turns into sales is one thing. Then you have to look at the long term SEO play. If your content and articles started getting ranked, that's huge, too. So a strategy that used to work for content marketing and why this has been so important part of the PR engine was that back in like 2016, 2017, and I know this still works today, is we would collaborate with companies that already had bigger followings, like Neil Patel, Column Five, we would actually say, hey, Neil, I'd love to write this article, this downloadable guide, and we'll do all the writing all the design, you just help us promote it and then we'll share the list. Perfect. We'd do that. What would happen is that now those links are going to our website. So now our little PR agency website, we had a great blog. It had a lot of traffic because of this. 

Jeanna: Yeah, genius. 

Renée: So we started getting notable. But the PR component in that is I'm still pitching the idea to somebody else. And we do this over and over again. If you actually go to Neil Patel's website and you Google my name, my content still keeps coming up under PR and this was like, I don't even know, 2015? Could be earlier than that, 2014? So remind me what was the question again? I feel like I got off track there. 

Jeanna: No, you're fine! KPIs. 

Renée: KPIs. Traffic is huge, obviously, where you can relate a mention or a podcast or something to traffic to sales is important. Unlike ads, where it's like, hey, your cost per click was this and your cost per email was like a buck 50 — you can't really do that with PR. You can do it based on you know, if your social following is growing because of some of the social stuff that you're doing that's relevant, PR-worthy. I'll send you that link. And then people can read it because it's pretty detailed about measurement.

Jeanna: Cool, love it. Awesome. Okay, and let's say that you are a brand we talk a lot about, you've said a little bit about how you don't have to hire you know, an expensive expert or an agency to get started in this. Let's talk a little bit about the DIY approach to getting PR off the ground. I know that you have like some specific tactics that you talk about at your company and that you share and so can you share a little bit of those with some of our listeners today?

Renée: Yeah, so my, I have two programs. One is your typical retainer-based model. And the other one, which is my favorite, is called the authority booster intensive. And to break it down simply is I create the strategy. So I, in detail, answer all the questions you just asked me to create your ultimate PR strategy so that you can integrate it within your team and internally, your team is executing on this. And it's the process that works for finding wholesalers if you're in a product space, the same process for business development. It's a formula that works for so many different parts of the business. But really when it comes to the do-it-yourself method is going back to what I said earlier, really defining your ideal customer. Where are they hanging out online, in person? What are the publications, podcasts, events, speaking opportunities that you should be doing in order to get in front of them? Crafting the pitch, then reaching out to either the podcast hosts or the contacts, media contacts. Following up, so podcast, typically the cadence is pitch, follow up two weeks later, then four weeks later, and then it's probably not going to work after four weeks, but who knows, maybe it's a, not a now-thing. But also in the pitch, indicating how you're going to provide value to the podcast, host, and the audience. 

Jeanna: Okay. 

Renée: And so the way that I, the simplest way for this to be effective is you have to put in at least, I call it like the 90-day rule. The method needs to be firing for 90 days in order for it to be effective because after two weeks people are like I give up. I only got one yes and I've pitched 20 people. This isn't working. Well no. You got to pitch, you got to tweak your pitch. Maybe it's too long. Maybe the subject line sucks. Maybe it was not the right person. So 90 days and typically how we set it up is I suggest you pitch 10 contacts on a Tuesday. And then you spend an hour or so finding new podcasts or new media opportunities. Then on Wednesday is your follow-up day. So whomever you pitch two weeks ago, now you're following up on the Wednesday. You just keep that cadence and that flow. You'll start seeing things happen. It doesn't require a lot.

Jeanna: Are you just building like a pitch list in a spreadsheet and kind of backing your communication that way?

Renée: Yeah, there's a lot of expensive fancy tools out there. Prowly is one of them. Just Reach Out. And they're beautiful, and they do work. But we've only ever used Google Spreadsheets. And let me tell you why. For the for the authority booster intensive, I work predominantly in Google Suites because most people know how to do that. 

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Renée: But I also teach them how to use Notion if they want to use Notion or AirTable. This stuff can be implemented within whatever software you use. But I just used a software that most people know how to use and Google Suites is one of them. 

Jeanna: Right. Great. I love that. Yeah. We use Sheets at FPS and yeah, it's like it's everybody uses it. So that's exactly the way to go about it. And you know, me personally, I'm sure you get this too. And then people that, you know are the founders and owners of other companies experiences as well. We're inundated with sales emails, pitch emails, outreach emails. And so how if you're trying to send those emails to get new podcast guests or get your brand mentioned somewhere, how do you stand out in all of those emails that someone like a founder or leader or a speaker gets?

Renée: Yeah, subject line is huge. 

Jeanna: Okay. I love a good subject line.

Renée: This is the hardest part of a pitch. So I teach this all in my program too, but I use a free tool called CoSchedule's subject line analyzer.

Jeanna: I've used that for like, it's been around for so long. It's so great, right?

Renée: Yeah. And it's mostly for emails or blog posts, but I mean, yeah, it works great. So what we do is when we think about okay, put it this way, sneaky trick is when it comes to pitching media could be podcast too, is most of the time you won't receive a reply. They hardly ever just say no, if they're not interested, unless they find maybe you're annoying. But they might come back to that email. So what's important is that while you're making this like detailed, ideal customer list, you also need to think about your keyword list. So people are so confused. That's just SEO, Renée. No, because what happens is with journalists, is your story might not be relevant to them now because they're not writing about that thing. But maybe in a week or a month or next year, they're going to be assigned an article, and they will search their inbox for certain keywords.

Jeanna: That is so genius. Yeah, you're right. I've never thought about that.

Renée: Layer your keywords nicely into the email. You can even tie it into the subject line. Subject line needs to be short, sweet, and punchy. Your email needs to have one call to action. I can't tell you how many times you probably see this too of which I've been pitched, probably to be on my show, but I'll reply, I'm like, I'm sorry, Jeanna's great, but I actually don't know what you want from me right now. Do you want her to be on my show? Like, ask the question. So I always say hey, would you like me to connect you with Jeanna today to be a guest on your show? In bold, underlined. That's the ask.

Jeanna: Yeah, okay. Those are great tips.

Renée: Oh man, and every email you send out every single one needs to be custom-personalized, don't mass email anybody. It just looks ugly. It won't get open, it gets stuck in junk mail. So it needs to be short and sweet. Journalists receive hundreds if not 1000s of emails a day. Podcast hosts, the same. So how do you cut through the clutter? You got to be unique. So I was working with a client, Amber, we're still working together now, her book launched a month ago. And it took me the better part of a month and a half to fine-tune her pitch to the point where we finally got one that got opened. This was like, subject line, pitch. It was finally the one that was banging. It was short and sweet. It had like bullet points as to why she'd be a great guest for your show, her expertise, some questions you can ask as a host. And people are like absolutely, like send her over, make the intro whatever. We're like finally we get in, like when it finally starts hitting, you're like this it, this is the one because the first one is usually not gonna work. Second one, maybe.

Jeanna: Oh man, I love this. You're inspiring me. I'm gonna go back and look at our like pitch emails and be like, oh, what are we doing wrong? Like we could have been taking some of this own advice for our emails that we're sending out for podcast guests. Love it. Okay. Years ago I know that Haro was all the rage right? Like everybody was like, oh, it's such a cool tool. You can reach journalists, you should be monitoring it as a brand. But now that's kind of old news a little bit. Haro is something that people probably still should be using, but I'd love to hear from you, what is the new tool or the new way that people should be thinking about doing this type of PR in 2023?

Renée: Okay, quick download, Haro, Help A Reporter Out — there's the equivalents called Source Bottle, essentially how these work is journalists or contacts can create their profile and they have a query because they're writing a story about XYZ. I still subscribe to it. And we have a quick little morning routine where we go through the queries. I will say if you're in the design space, if you're in the design space, if you're in the food industry, a chef, an OBGYN, a family therapist, there's a lot of queries for those right now. But there's not so much for tech companies, anyway. Um, Source Bottles is the equivalent but a more Australia, UK focus. 

Jeanna: Okay. 

Renée: If you haven't paid attention to the news, there's been a lot of layoffs at mass publications. National Geographic just announced they laid off their last staff writer. The publication is still in existence, but Meredith, Dot Dash, Insider, you name it. A lot of publications laid off their staff writers. So what does that mean? These brilliantly talented writers are now freelancers, they're harder to find. They are now starting Substacks and even that's getting old. So Substack do you know Substack? Which you can, essentially, they can charge like 80, 90 bucks a year, and you subscribe to their Substack and they write their queries in there. The problem now is that I have Substack, I'm subscribed to like, I don't know, 12 or 13 of them. And now, it's just like inundated emails, so Haro was great because it had like a summary digest of all the queries. Now I'm getting 13 emails a day from separate writers and it's like PR is increasingly becoming way more difficult. It's way more expensive. It's harder to find the opportunities. I want to say you gotta lean on your relationships more, but at the same time, these writers are bouncing around or taking on articles that's not necessarily their beat, and their beat is the content they typically write about. It is tough. I teach you kind of how, how to do it, how to how to approach it. 

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Renée: I will say to be successful with it is you always have to have your eyes and ears open to opportunities. Follow these people where they're most active online, you find a journalist that writes about your industry, she or he is active on Twitter, you follow them, you engage with them, follow them on Instagram, wherever they show up online. If they have a blog, you've subscribed to their content. You leave comments on their content, you like, you share their stuff. Right? So for me, it's hard because I work across several different industries. But for your listeners, they typically have one industry so you can kind of exhaust the list of people that write about your industry. That's the best way to go. Because Haro can be a little overwhelming. You get like three email digests a day, and sometimes you're just like, oh my god.

Jeanna: Yeah, it just becomes noise that you like mute them. I find myself doing that. But cool. All right. So you follow the journalist, follow publications or you follow Renée and We Wild Women to get some of these tips on how to do it. Okay, let's go through three final questions to wrap our podcasts up today. I would love for you to tell everybody what is your one #workfromanywhere item or tool that you could never live without?

Renée: Oh, I'm so not creative here. My laptop and my phone. I don't think that's unique. Nope, that is it.
 
Jeanna: Cool. Well, very essential. Do you have any remote productivity hacks you want to share with our listeners? Anything that you think keeps you focused as a remote worker?

Renée: Oh, gosh. Yeah. So we just finished doing two weeks in Croatia, first week was on a boat, second week was touring around. I have two boys. I have a husband. Last fall, we did three weeks in Spain and Portugal. We've done spring break in Cabo, of which work never stopped. But like how do you do this? Well, our kids are old enough to like feed themselves because they're 10 years old. But we always say morning is work. So like for me it's like from 5 a.m. until probably 11 is when I get the most work done. In those like — the travel time, not necessarily remote — but the traveling is, we don't do recordings. So I front-load all my podcasts or being a guest on someone else's show. So that I don't have to worry about that. I also make sure there's no meetings set up because what I do, I don't really have to have meetings. But you know, sales calls and those things, they come up, I just make sure that my, so I use Calendly to book to block out time, I just make sure that stuff's blocked out for when I'm, you know, on vacation or traveling. But really is just, if you have kids or a partner, whatever it is, you say these are the hours that I need to work so you have to respect that you can go and play and go on your iPad. You can serve yourself breakfast, just don't come and bug me, please.

Jeanna: Yeah, I love that. So you're creating boundaries with how you work when you travel to ensure that it works for you to explore but also get your work done. I love that. Cool. Final question. If someone wanted to learn about you, where should they go online?

Renée: They can find me at wewildwomen.com or on Instagram @Renee_Warren.

Jeanna: Cool. All right. Renée, thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast. It's been great to talk to you about all things PR. 

Renée: Yeah, well thanks for having me. 

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