A Chat with PR Maven Reena Goodwin
Reena is a the founder of a PR powerhouse, FACTEUR PR, which is a boutique studio that offers a hybrid of public relations, social media, content marketing, and digital creative services for emerging and established lifestyle brands and businesses. Assisting businesses here in Cleveland with growing their brands through the tactics of public relations. Public Relations has always been that “title” that I knew was important but had no idea how to add PR based strategies to our marketing plan. After coming across Facteur PR and doing what all great entrepreneurs do - reading one blog article after another - I gained such a aha sense of PR and how I can implement certain tactics the Reena talked about in her blog into Auden & Company.
Today, I wanted to share with you Reena’s story and some tips!
Starting Your Business
How did you come with your business name, FACTEUR PR?
Coming up with a business name was not easy for me. After browsing through a French dictionary online almost three years ago, I came across the word "facteur," which translates to a postman/woman. I loved that the duality of the word, as in factor, and that it literally symbolized the responsibility of delivering news to people. And honestly, I struggled with whether or not to include or lose the PR in our title, but I ultimately decided to keep it. Phonetically, I liked the sound of "FACTEUR PR" and I wanted to make sure to not be mistaken for an advertising agency. While our services are a hybrid of media relations, social media, content marketing, communications design, and more, it's people that are the center of every one of our strategies and services. In our book, we approach all of the above as public relations, therefore FACTEUR PR we are. So, here's to many more good mail days to come!
What is the workday in the life of Reena?
I get up around 4:30-5 a.m., meditate, and then sit down with a coffee for a little email catch-up before getting in a quick workout. After getting dressed, I get my daughter up at 7:30 a.m. and take her to daycare before getting to our office in Ohio City. Depending on the day, most mornings start with a meeting with the team. We discuss client projects and plan for the day and rest of the week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our primary media outreach days. You’ll also find us busy with client meetings, marketing planning, developing websites, social media photo shoots, etc. While we usually wrap the day around 5 p.m. (unless we have a special event). this industry is one where you always have to be connected. When I get home from the day, I focus on spending time with my family, but closing in on bedtime I often spend a little time making sure all deadlines are being met and create my to-do list for the next day.
Tell the story of starting your business?
I’ve always worked in marketing and PR, mostly for nationally-recognized companies, but the idea of leading my own really started at a young age. My father is a business-owner and still is, so I grew up seeing his struggles and successes. In terms of what led me to take the leap, the birth of my daughter was the biggest inspiration. FACTEUR started as a side-hustle of mine, but when I became pregnant in 2016, I really started taking steps to make it a full-fledged business. I wanted a flexible schedule, yes. But also I craved more creative freedom, and working side-by-side with business owners I learned gives me that opportunity.
What does small business mean to you?
Small business owners are some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. It’s an incredible investment of time, resources, creativity, and of course, your heart.
What does it mean to be a girlboss?
Honestly, I have never and probably won’t ever call myself a boss of any kind. I really try to focus on being a creative leader for my team and a trusted resource for my clients, instead. Though I did read Sophia Amoruso’s book right after it came out and really enjoyed it. I admire her mostly for her failures and how she’s really pivoted in their wake. I think that’s being a great leader.
How do you balance your work life + family life?
This has often been a struggle for me, and honestly expanding the team has been the biggest benefit to balancing my work and family life. There will always be work to do in the morning, and I’ve come to realize that unless I delegate, I’ll never be able to catch my breath and show up the best I can be for my family and for my clients.
What tips do you have for small business owners who are looking to get national PR recognition?
If you can’t afford to hire a publicist, I would highly suggest spending a good amount of time crafting press materials such as a press kit or look book and perfecting your pitch. Also, read the news. Sending a pitch blindly to the “letters to the editor” email address at a magazine is likely going to get lost. Pick a few media outlets you’d dream of getting your brand into, and then find the exact person to pitch and reach out to them. If you have some resources to allocate to PR, definitely check out our forthcoming workshop, The DIY PR Project, at diy-pr.com.
What are two misconceptions about PR?
PR is free; it’s not. Even if you aren’t hiring a professional, you still need to consider things like photo shoots and the cost of spending your time doing PR. Also, I’ve come to realize a lot of folks expect “quick wins” when it comes to media placements. What many don’t realize is we often spend anywhere from three to nine months pursuing coverage. You must have patience!
What advice do you have for college student looking to get into the PR field?
Intern, intern, intern! Don’t forget, applying for an internship or a job is your first pitch. The company is reviewing how well you pitch yourself, and if you can’t do that effectively, the opportunity might pass over you. Take the time to be creative and really put forward all the ways you can shine in that role.
What is one tip you would give to a small business owner about social media?
Produce and share high quality content on your news feed and share your less polished content for Stories or Live video.
What’s your go to platform?
Instagram all the way.
How do you shine on Instagram?
As a brand, it’s important to be consistent and share high quality content. Take a human approach and make sure you are also engaging with your current and potential audiences.
What are your go to apps for social media management?
I personally like the Later app and Planoly.
Tips to creating a professional personal social media feed?
Use Planoly or Later to set up the look of your feed first. Then fill in the captions. Keep on brand by keeping the look and feel consistent as well as the tone and voice.
How do you balance your clientele?
We use a project management system called Asana to keep track of our client projects as well as to be able to communicate back and forth with them.