Unleash the power of PR for your small business with Candice Meisels

Candice Meisels

Dec 09, 2021

The function of PR is a little bit different compared to marketing, but super easy to initiate if you want to organically grow your business! In this episode, Brendan Hill absorbs helpful tips and tricks from Candice Meisels, founder and chief publicist manager of CANDICE PR.

Imagine your business on some print coverage. Here’s some of CANDICE PR’s work to inspire you!

After working in marketing and PR for the video game and entertainment industries in the UK and Europe, Meisels founded CANDICE PR. After eight years, this agency continues to assist with PR and digital strategies for B2C and B2B clients across Australia and New Zealand

With her deep experience with PR and for journalism, Candice has a plethora of knowledge that can help your business increase its brand awareness and obtain media coverage. 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The power of your story and your ‘why’
  • How your expertise can get you media opportunities
  • The beginning steps of applying PR to your growth strategy
  • How to pitch you or your business effectively to agencies
  • Where public relations fit in the marketing mix
  • The power of public relations

Notable quotes:

  • “Your story and your why is your most powerful asset when it comes to your brand, your marketing and your PR”
  • “Sit down and write down your story in your voice and in first person. Around 600-800 words and pitch that story to media outlets because your story is what makes you different”
  • “You really need to think about what media your target audience consumes. Then target those outlets”
  • “Go on Google. Most of the journalists are there. You can go straight for the editor… I always say reach for the top. Go for the highest and they can always forward you onto another contact.”

Resources mentioned:

Book recommendations:

What business would you build on Mars?

I would bring earth water to Mars. Water would be a problem there! It’s scarce to find and it’s riddled with dust and salt. I would bottle earth water and promote to martians. I’d have to find out what language they speak and get a press release written and translated. I’ll find out what news outlets there are on Mars as well as lots of sampling opportunities if they’ve got stores – in-store promotions.

Reach Candice here:

Online coverage. Inspiration and work by CANDICE PR.

Transcript (or download the pdf here)

[00:00:00] Daren: If you deepen the marketing and business world, you might see headlines – breaking news – that PR AKA public relations is on the decline. You also might think that PR is expensive and even unnecessary. What if I were to tell you that PR is still alive and still important. Also, it can be affordable for your small business startup, a scale up while giving amazing returns on the investment.

Find out how that’s all true on this episode of Forward Thinking. Hey everyone, I’m Daren Lake, the audio content manager here at Metigy. Welcome to Forward Thinking, a podcast by Metigy. In this series, we speak with inspirational business owners, brands, and marketing experts to learn from their experiences on the frontline and uncover what it takes to build a world.

Business, Candice Meisels is a PR consultant and strategist. She’s unleashing the power of PR for your business. She’s an author finalist of the 2018 young entrepreneur awards in Sydney, and she aims to help businesses who can’t afford PR. As we all know, PR can create brand awareness and recognition for free small business.

It can also boost your profile as a leading expert while increasing your sales. A few things you’ll learn in this episode: How your business story and ‘why’ is the most powerful thing you can start with, how being an industry expert can get you media opportunities, the beginning steps of applying PR to your growth strategy, how to pitch your business effectively to agencies, where public relations fit in the marketing matrix and so much more. So let’s get into the conversation with Candice and Metigy’s employee number four, content leader, Brendan Hill.

[00:01:43] Brendan: So I know you’ve got a pretty extensive background, obviously NPR, and it’s an area that a lot of small, medium businessed struggle with. So maybe just start off by hearing a bit about your background in PR and how you got to. 

[00:01:56] Candice: I’m originally from South Africa, which you can probably hear from the accent.

I started working and studied marketing, and I started working in marketing actually for a video games company, which had global brands, such as Activision, Ubisoft, anti soft in South Africa. I started working in marketing there, but there was no PR department. And one day my boss came to me and he was like, Candice, we need someone to head off the PR departments and this is going to be your new position.

So I was literally thrown into it, but it was the best decision. I absolutely loved it. And it really changed my career path. And I started working in PR for all those brands locally. I used to do press trips to Europe and to the U S and the UK, which then got me to move to the UK and I actually got a job as a PR strategist for Disney in Hammersmith in London. 

So I’ve worked with the big global brands have seen how much budget is behind a marketing and PR budgets. And it got me thinking when I moved to Australia nine years ago I was doing a bit of freelance work for agencies and I started thinking how to small to medium-sized businesses actually afford public relations. How do they afford to get in to the media? And that’s why I started the business. 

[00:03:18] Brendan: It’s  obviously hard to compete with the resources of, at Disney for our small medium business listeners. So I guess what, what are some of the tactics and tools that we can give these people that are listening to try and get more PR for their business?

[00:03:32] Candice: Your story and your, why is your most powerful asset when it comes to your brand, your marketing and your PR, and so use your story. Start by sitting down and write down your story in your voice in first person around about 600 to 800 words and pitch that story to media outlets, because your story is what makes you different.

It’s why you get up everyday and do what you do, especially for startups and small to medium enterprises. So use that story and use your expertise to get yourself into the media. Another thing that you can do is if you are an expert in a specific field, is you can write expert articles or offer yourself for interviews to different media outlets to try and get media that way.

[00:04:20] Brendan: What’s the best way to, I guess, approach these publications and the website that takes.

[00:04:26] Candice: If you’re not doing the public relationships yourself, the best way is to think of your target audience, or if you’ve got a few different primary, secondary, and tertiary target audiences, you need to go back and you need to think what media do they consume?

What TV shows are they watching? What time of day? What magazines are they reading? If they reading print magazines, what newspapers do they purchase? Are they mainly online? Current media, consumers? Which sites are they reading? Are they reading news.com.au? Or are they more Fairfax SMH readers?

So you read that. I think of what media, your target audience consumes, and then you contact those outlets. I recommend starting off slowly, so possibly even contacting, just go on Google and you’ll see most of the journalists’ details are on there, or you can go straight for the editor of a specific section, depending on what industry you’re in.

I always say reach for the top, go for the highest person, and they can always forward you onto another contact. 

[00:05:29] Brendan: I’m guessing that these editors and journalists, they get flooded with requests every day. What are a couple of tips where, you know, we can stand out and get their attention. 

[00:05:39] Candice: Keep it short. The biggest mistake that I always see is that they make it too long.

Waffle, it becomes an essay, the ad too many attachments. Literally keep it to your pitch to a paragraph. If you’re doing an email pitch, phone pitches or so you’ve got 30 seconds to get their attention. So really practice your pitch and even record yourself speaking. Just before you actually pick up the phone and phone.

That person other things that you can do with pitching is your headline and your subject line of your email needs to be catchy. So think of a headline in a newspaper article on online article and keep it short, sweet and exciting 

[00:06:18] Brendan: I’ve heard people recently, you know, say PR is on the decline, you know, with the rise of social media, I mean, can you tell us a story of the power of PR like in the last couple of years?

[00:06:30] Candice: PR is not on the decline. It’s definitely changing and evolving. Years ago probably even before I started working in PR the main way of sending a press release was via PR services that wires, which are still out there, but it’s really rare to get coverage, especially in Australia from a PR top of a wire or new service.

It’s all about pitching now. The press release is definitely still relevant and many journalists still requested because a covers your why, when what, and how, and it’s a one to one and a half pager with all the facts. Kind of like a fact sheet of your whole why and your product and service for the journalist.

What I always explained to small to medium-sized businesses is if you look at your marketing strategy as a whole, you have your target market and your marketing mix, which is your product price place, promotion. Social media falls under promotion. PR falls under promotion advertising falls under promotion. Direct marketing in-store promotions, all your promotion elements fall under that fourth P so PR is very important.

In addition to your, to your whole marketing strategy, PR is a component of the promotion element. And in terms of PR power, the reason that is so powerful is it can literally create brand awareness for small brands. I’ve seen clients’ sales and profiles increase from being on TV, from being on radio, from doing a thorough campaign, you really can increase your who people know who you are, what your brand is and who you are.

So it increases brand awareness and organically your SEO and your social media. 

[00:08:10] Brendan: Going back to Disney. So now you’ve worked there for a couple of years, Disney related question for you. So if you were given a Latin’s three wishes for your business, in terms of PR what would every business wish for?

[00:08:25] Candice: In terms of PR wishes, I wish that people understand PR. So I’m very passionate about educating people on what PR is because people think PR is advertising or they think it’s a buzzword. So, try to put myself out there to speak and educate small business owners about PR second, we should be to create some kind of membership subscription site for micro business owners.

So everyone from your mom at home, who’s got her own business to people. who’ve got business as a hobby. So create teaching them and enabling them to do their own PR. And then the third one would be giving back. So I’m using my PR skills to give back to charities and really just as a philanthropic cause. 

[00:09:08] Brendan: What’s in your current business, black box at the moment. Like what problems are you currently trying to solve? 

[00:09:16] Candice: I’m looking into membership and subscription sites services. I do currently have a program called the PR Circle where. Business owners who want to learn how to handle their own PR.

They sign up and I teach them in small bites because no one wants to be overwhelmed with so much information when you can’t decipher it. So I teach them how to handle their own PR. So in my black box, I’m looking at scaling and growing the membership sites. So it’s something that I’m still trying to get my head 

[00:09:47] Brendan: Besides your amazing tool that you’re working on, what can small and medium businesses do to, I guess, educate themselves around PR and how it can help their 

[00:09:59] Candice: business turning up for master classes in PR and get unlined scouring for videos. There’s a lot of free content out there. There’s also, I’ve got a book out that’s called The Power of PR and it’s specifically explains what PR is for small businesses and startups. That books available on Amazon and Booktopia any of the leading bookstores.

That book is really a short read. It’s concise. So people don’t have time to read heavy manual. Textbook top books. So you can educate yourself that way. There’s lots of ways of educating yourself about the power of PR. 

[00:10:33] Brendan: Besides your book, which we’ll have in the show notes at the end of the episode, I mean, what other sort of business books have helped you the most with PR? 

[00:10:42] Candice: Not PR related, actually. This one, I read a book which was given to me about one of the networking groups for women that I belonged to called The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. And it was really interesting. I think differently about how you speak to your clients and it’s all about creating moments in your clients in the life cycle with your company.

And I really recommend that book for any business.

[00:11:06] Brendan: Yeah Chip and Dan Heath, Made to stick and decisive as well, but I’m going to have to definitely. 

[00:11:14] Candice: Power of moments is great. Yeah. 

[00:11:17] Brendan: So Candice, obviously a lot of our small business listeners, they’re on tight budgets. What’s a purchase in the last sort of 12 months of a hundred dollars or less that has really helped with your business.

[00:11:28] Candice: Joining membership, networking sites generally they aren’t that expensive to join. So I’ve joined one recently that has some great business content that I would never have had access to. I think it is a monthly fee of about $79. And now that tip for small business owners is to sign up to source bottle that they are charging now, but it’s something like $6 and that’s a way of getting to see what the media wants and being able to apply to the call-out.

So that’s another great tip for definitely under a hundred dollars per annum. 

[00:11:58] Brendan: That’s awesome. Very cost-effective as well. Thanks for all the amazing information so far, Candice. I know it’s definitely going to help our listeners big time. The final question that I had, it’s a bit of a fun one, a bit of a different one.

So you’re on the first flight to Mars with Elon Musk and the first settlers bought the space X star ship rocket. What business do you start when you land on Mars and how would you promote it to the new martians? 

[00:12:25] Candice: I would bring earth water to Mars because water is such a problem there. So first of all, it’s scarce to find, and it’s riddled with dust and salt.

So I would bottle earth water, and to promote to the martians, I’d have to find out what language they speak and get a press release written and translated and then obviously find out what kind of media outlets that are on Mars. As well as lots of sampling opportunities. If they’ve got in store promotions, they’d have to taste the difference and that the water’s not salty and dusty.

[00:13:02] Brendan: Any names for this martian water? Earth water! S straight to the point I like it. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge from your years of PR and where can people find you if they want to dig deeper on some of the stuff that you talked about today? 

[00:13:16] Candice: So my website’s Candicepr.com and I’m also on social media and my surname’s a bit tricky to spell, but it’s Candice and then ME I S E L S, Meisels.

[00:13:25] Brendan: It’s also a man we’ll have all that information in the show notes as well, along with all the other resources from today that we mentioned, and you can find these at Metigy.com/podcast, and you can also listen to other episodes from other marketing and business experts and join our community of forward thinking marketers.

So Candice once again, just wanted to thank you for coming in and being featured on the Metigy marketing podcast. 

[00:13:49] Candice: Thank you for having me. It’s been great. 

[00:13:52] Daren: From Metigy. You’ve just listened to Forward-Thinking. Again, I’m Daren and Metigy hopes we helped you find more insights and tips into your business to find out more about metadata and get a listener.

Three month free trial. Visit us at Metigy.com/podcast. While you’re there, go and check out some more episodes. If you liked what you heard, please share a link to another business owner or marketer who you think could get something from this. Also, to help us out. It would be great if you left a five-star review on your favorite podcast app. Last, never miss another episode by following or subscribing to us on your favorite podcast player to see you on the next episode.

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