Three PR Tips from Michigan Founder Jeffrey LambertBy Amanda Lewan on April 30th, 2014 /
At just 26 years old, Jeffrey Lambert started his company in the basement of his home growing Lambert, Edwards & Associates to a top-5 Midwest based public relations and investor relations agency. He now has over 100 clients based in 20 states and five countries. Their firm is headquartered in Grand Rapids with a location in Detroit.
The choice to start a company came more natural to Jeff then some who struggle with making the leap. Jeff says he knew he wanted to invest in himself, and create an opportunity where he could serve national clients.
“The best entrepreneurs are driven. They are driven in an industry they are passionate about,” said Lambert. “Coming out of college I liked to write and build relationships with people. It fit really well with public relations.”
Starting from the basement, he faced a few barriers to success that many entrepreneurs will face at one time or another. One of the biggest hurdles he described was perception – hiding the sound of the dog barking while taking calls from his basement or fighting off those who thought at 26 he was too young to lead an agency.
“Create a perception that you are larger, and credible,” said Lambert. “Be truthful but act larger when it’s partnering with other firms or freelancer to pursue larger clients. That’s what I had to do.”
Below Jeffrey Lambert offers three public relations tips for the entrepreneur getting starting in today’s world, a world where he says it’s a bit cooler to be a founder of a company in today.
Three PR Tips for Entrepreneurs
Get good at telling your story. They call it your elevator pitch, but Jeff always tells people to have 5 key messaging points. It’s important to define your message and how you represent yourself. When pitching to media, try using the word entrepreneur instead. There is a positive association with entrepreneur, and sometimes a negative association with “new business.”
PR begins at every interaction you have. Whenever you’re talking to a new customer remember that they will become an advocate for you. Jeff still works with one of his first clients, who finds pride and joy in sharing that he was a part of the firm’s growth and success. Because of this, Jeff says it’s important to always update clients on changes in the company. When your message or focus shifts, make sure existing stakeholders are informed. Look at who you work with and partner with, they’ll big your biggest fans for sharing your message.
Think from an external perspective. They call it news for a reason, don’t they? Jeff says it’s important to remember this simple rule: If it’s new and it relates to your business people will be interested in it. The real trick is figuring out who is interested and finding the best ways to reach this audience.
“Buyers of your product should read your story. Focus your public relations on who your customer is,” said Lambert. “How do people find out about me? What do my customers read? What do your prospects read?”
Jeff also believes growing Michigan entrepreneurship is very important for the future of our state. “We are in many ways great investors in the history and the nation. There’s a lot of innovation and opportunities. I’d like to see us really continue to ignite entrepreneurship in Michigan.”
Great advice for anyone getting started or growing a company in Michigan. Jeff himself is very much a supporter of entrepreneurs and leads a great example for us. Learn more about Lambert, Edwards & Associates online at lambert-edwards.com.
Photo via Lamber, Edwards & Associates.