• November 2014

What Do You Need to Know About PR?

Journalist, publicist, and entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs started her career as a reporter, writing for The Washington Post, USA Today, The Miami Herald, George Washington University magazine, The Costco Connection, and dozens of alumni, association, general interest, and education publications. Click here to view her published clips.

The award-winning reporter got into PR in 2001, and in 2008 incorporated The Inkandescent Group, LLC. With the mission of promoting, educating, and inspiring entrepreneurs, the firm’s flagship is Inkandescent Public Relations, a PR, marketing, web development, and design firm that helps businesses boost their visibility.

  • Be Inkandescent magazine: In January 2010, she launched www.BeInkandescent.com, the monthly business magazine by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.
  • Inkandescent Networking: In 2011, she launched www.InkandescentNetworking.com, which lists great networking events and promotes professionals in seven East Coast cities—from New York City to Miami.
  • Inkandescent Speakers: Promoting excellence in small business is the mission of The Inkandescent Group. In 2012 Gibbs launched the Inkandescent Speakers Bureau. Nearly two dozen experienced business owners, industry experts, futurists, and authors currently travel around the country inspiring, motivating, and transforming the lives of entrepreneurs throughout the United States.
  • The Inkandescent Radio Show: The Voice of Entrepreneurs Also in the fall of 2012, Gibbs created a radio network to amplify even more the stories of entrepreneurs. Currently, nine shows are featured on the network—including the “Inkandescent Entrepreneur Show,” “Finance Rules,” “The Truly Amazing Women Show,” “Authors Between the Covers,” “Art 101,” and “From Soup to Nuts.” Take a listen at www.InkandescentRadio.com.
  • “PR Rules: The Playbook”: In 2014, Gibbs and co-author Kathleen McCarthy launched their new book, a guidebook for entrepreneurs to help them supersize their small business using their trademarked 8 Steps to PR Success. Learn more at www.PRRulesPlaybook.com.

Praise for Hope Katz Gibbs

Gerry Sanz, Mentor and Workshop Coordinator, SCORE DC Chapter One
“Hope recently gave an entertaining and informative presentation to the DC SCORE Chapter. We’re a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses get started, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Hope helped educate our volunteer mentors by talking about her 8 Steps to PR Success, and how businesses can follow these steps to grow their businesses. We appreciate her time, her energy, her wisdom, and her important contributions to SCORE and the DC metro area small-business community.”

Jo Packham, the mastermind behind the magazine and book empire—Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, and Where Women Do Business
“Hope and I had not actually met when I invited her to participate on a series of Where Women Create Business panels at the International Quilt Market and Festival October 25-31, 2013, in Houston Texas. The Quilt Market and Festival is filled with thousands of teachers and exhibitors, as well as tens of thousands of buyers—all of whom are actively engaged, or soon to be engaged, in some form of ‘quilt business.’ Our panel discussions were: ‘The Success of Passion,’ ‘The Business of the Studio,’ and ‘Let People Know Who You Are.’ Hope’s segment of each of the panel discussions was particularly valuable to all attendees for several reasons:

  • First: Her expertise in the field of entrepreneurship is impressive.
  • Second: Her handouts were the most professional and comprehensive of all panel members.
  • Third: Her ability to adapt her working knowledge to a new category of entrepreneurs was seamless. It was a rare occasion for the quilters to have someone from outside of their close-knit industry group speak to them about how to run all aspects of their businesses more successfully.

“Hope was an excellent, informed speaker whose impact on her audience will be clearly evident.”

Heidi Kaisand, Hen & Chicks Studio, Conrad, IA
“While attending the International Quilt Market and Festivalin Houston, Texas, I selected to attend a class on branding. One member of the panel was Hope Katz Gibbs. Her message hit home with me because she told the audience of 100+ quilt shop owners that ‘Content is Queen.’ Her message continued on with the reminder to use every piece of content three times—on the blog, in a newsletter, on your website. As a former magazine editor and now a small-business owner, this message struck home. ‘Your website is your face to the world,’ said Gibbs. My new marketing goals now include offering more content on my website and using that content more thoroughly throughout my business. One thing that I really appreciated was that Gibbs was not from the quilting world! Her outlook was on business and marketing for any business. It’s my job to take that info and make it relevant for my company.”

Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft
“In a recent presentation by Hope Katz Gibbs, when she talked about the “8 Steps to PR Success,” she mentioned a few ideas that really hit home with me—especially the idea of turning your content into a multipurpose promotional tool. While this is a standard practice for me on the blog and social media, I never thought about crossing over with other areas of my business, especially press! It was a great reminder, and something I’ve started doing ever since hearing her speak. I’m really looking forward to reading her book, PR Rules: The Playbook.”

Lauryn Han, Special Project Coordinator, Northern Virginia Business Development Assistance Group, Inc.
“Hope’s presentation on PR to our entrepreneurship class brought a new dimension into participants’ individualized business development strategy, and she showed them how PR could play a key role in their early success. Her presentation was full of practical information about how to design your website to bring more leads and customers, and what elements of a typical website design are a waste of your time and money. We thank her for her generosity in sharing her experience and knowledge with our class.”

Evan Davies, Training & Job Development Specialist, Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless
“Hope’s mission is to educate, inspire, and promote entrepreneurs. I believe that Hope educates, inspires, and promotes everyone she comes to know. She has enthusiastically embraced our micro-entrepreneurship training program and offers invaluable insights to those actively pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams, as well as those who may simply imagine doing so. AACH looks forward to working with Hope in the future as we strive to make those dreams a reality.”

Sean J. Coleman, JD, Regional Director, Webster University
“Hope Katz Gibbs is a powerful voice for all people, both men and women, on the value of inclusiveness in building relationships in today’s modern business world. She teaches inclusiveness, but more importantly she practices it. We hope to bring her back to Webster for many more speaking engagements.”

Gybrilla Blakes, PhD, Bolling Air Force Base
“In our lively panel discussion on ‘The Woman Manager,’ Hope Gibbs’ insight on what is paramount for women in today’s global workforce was instrumental in the success of our panel, and was well-received by the audience of Webster University’s graduate students. We’ll look forward to bringing her back again for future speaking events.”

Click here for more testimonials about Inkandescent PR.

PR Rules: Hope Katz Gibbs’ Speaking Topics

Topics for entrepreneurs: 60-minute interactive talks
(These can also be done as 30-minute lunch-and-learns, or extended into 2-hour interactive workshops)

The 8 Steps to PR Success

Of the zillion PR firms in America, odds are good that no two will approach PR and marketing your business the same way. But, we all use the same tools in the PR toolbox. What will set your business apart from the pack is how you finesse your message, stay consistent, and find clever ways to maximize your visibility.

In this 60-minute speech, Gibbs begins by sharing the 8 Steps to PR Success that you need to know before you get started (20 minutes):

1. Create a stunning website.
2. Develop an explosive PR campaign.
3. Make a splash in the news.
4. Write a column in a magazine or host a radio show.
5. Network!
6. Join a Speakers Bureau.
7. Write a book.
8. Pay it forward.


Website Madness: How to Create a Stunning Site, Without Losing Your Mind—or Emptying Your Wallet

The first rule of PR success is to create a stunning website. But how? In this talk, the audience will learn the tricks of the web development business so that—whether you do it yourself or hire a professional—you’ll be able to create a strategy and timeline that will help you master the process.

Tips include:

1. Why your website is your little black dress / your Brooks Brothers suit.
2. What it’s not, and why music and flash aren’t your friends in this venue.
3. How to think logically through the structure of the site.
4. Why Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is a great guide.
5. Why, when it comes to websites, change is the key.

Gibbs will also invite the audience to share their websites, newsletters, marketing materials, and social media strategies with the group for a discussion and analysis.

Note: Internet connection is required for this portion of the talk. It also Includes Gibbs’ handout, 12 Inkandescent Tips for PR Success.


The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure—and How to Turn It on Its Head

Why do so many small businesses fail? Because the very characteristics and skills that make entrepreneurs want to start a business are most likely the ones that cause them to stumble. Here’s what Gibbs has heard some of her former clients say:

1. I want do it all by myself. After all, that’s why I went into business for myself in the first place.
2. I know I need a little help, but it’s so expensive. Do you promise that your help will make my business a success?
3. If I do hire and trust you, I want you to turn my business around within 30 days.

You are laughing, right? Partly because this approach sounds like something your children might say—and partly because it’s exactly how you feel. So stop the madness, and turn the trifecta on its head. In this 60-minute speech, which includes audience participation, she’ll show you how to buck the trend and create your own Trifecta of Small-Business Success.


Be Media Savvy: How to Make the Press Want to Meet You

How can you get in front of reporters, and talk to them so they care about your story? This talk is a strategy session that will help you learn to think like a reporter, and get your company in the news. Here’s how:

• Dive deep: Know when you have a story worth telling, and when you don’t.
• Find the reporters who will care: Slow and steady wins the race.
• Build up to the big time: Create a long-range PR strategy.
• Walk the talk: How to write a press release that gets attention.
• Maximize your visibility: What to do with your press coverage once you get it.

She’ll also discuss whether getting in the news is the best use of your PR energy.


Crisis Management 101: How to Avoid a Crisis Before It Happens—and What to Do When You Can’t

Why do small businesses, and big businesses, get themselves in such big trouble? That’s a rhetorical question, because the answers are as numerous as the problems themselves. So the key to avoid being the dramatic headline on the 6 o’clock news is to plan ahead, be prepared for the worst, and always, always tell the truth. In this 30-minute talk, Gibbs will share case studies of the clients we have worked with who found themselves in the hot seat—and how they got themselves back on steady ground.


PR Rules: The Playbook

Are you ready to start spreading the news? That’s the goal of a great PR and marketing campaign. But that can be tough as a business owner—especially if your area of expertise isn’t PR and marketing. Still, you need to get the word out about the great work you do. In this 60-minute speech, Gibbs will teach you how to make the PR plays that score customers using the five tools and rules from our Inkandescent toolbox:

  • Be Savvy: Understand the PR Playing Field. Learn the difference between PR, marketing, advertising, and sales.
  • Be Strategic: Map Out Your End Game. To help you be successful, Gibbs will identify the goals for what she have seen be the most successful PR, marketing, and advertising campaigns.
  • Be Wise: Understand The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure. In the land of PR, simplicity can often be complicated. In all of her years of working as an entrepreneur, with entrepreneurs, she has identified three attitudes that cause a business to go south—and not for the balmy winters. She calls it The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure, and she will help you find ways to avoid these three deadly sins.
  • Be Money-Smart: Assess the ROI. No successful businessperson does anything without knowing how much it will cost—and what the likely return will be on the investment. She’ll help you map out the finances of engaging in a variety of PR and marketing campaigns, and help you understand how to best assess the return on your investment.
  • Be Big, Dream Big—Tell Your Story. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, the key to turning a big idea into a big business is to keep it simple. Gibbs adds another point to that strategy: Make it fun.

For more information, contact Inkandescent Speakers Bureau founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com, or 703 346-6975.

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