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Episode 8: Crafting Your Media Presence: Ronica Cleary on The Kerry Barrett Show

Ronica Cleary launched Cleary Strategies to provide public relations, media placements, & crisis management to leaders and corporations. Ronica will help you deliver your message, preserve your image, and build the skills needed to thrive in today’s media climate. Cleary Strategies’ clients can be seen in broadcasts, heard on podcasts & radio, and found in print. Past placements include ABC World News Tonight, Fox News, CNBC, Cheddar, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fox Business, Entrepreneur, GLAMOUR, countless local programs, and many, many more.

Prior to launching Cleary Strategies, Ronica had a successful career in television journalism where she reported on programming that aired in some of the most competitive media markets in America: New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Most recently she worked as a White House Correspondent for Fox 5 in Washington, DC, and hosted a Sunday morning political talk show, “Fox 5 On The Hill.”

Transcript

Kerry Barrett: Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Kerry Barrett Show. Joining us today is Ronika Cleary. She is the founder of Cleary Strategies, a media PR and publicity firm, or you know what? Why don’t I stop putting words in your mouth and allow you to introduce yourself to the audience, Ronica. How are you?

Ronica Cleary: I’m doing great. Kerry, thanks for having me on the show today. So Cleary Strategies, we’re a full service public relations agency. And in a nutshell, the primary service that we deliver to our clients is helping them get earned media attention and coverage across all media platforms, television, radio, print, digital, and podcast.

Kerry Barrett: So let me ask you this, and Ronica and I go pretty far back in terms of our business connection. We met as a matter of fact, on a webinar for the Miss America Foundation. You are a what your connection with that organization?

Ronica Cleary: Oh my gosh. So I’m a former title holder. I was Miss Philadelphia. We won’t say what year. But then the foundation is different from the organization. That’s the scholarship arm. And now I work with them and help them a bit from time to time and just stay connected in that way. But I’ve continued, the organization is built on the backs of a lot of volunteers.

So I’ve volunteered in many ways. And not to get derailed, we have an arm called Cleary Cares, where we do pro bono public relations support for organizations with worthy causes and limited budgets. And so we support the Miss Philadelphia organization with an earned media tour each year after the new winner is crowned.

Sometimes we’ll place Miss America and get her some media attention. So I stay pretty involved with them.

Kerry Barrett: And you’re fantastic. And I wanted to highlight the way that we met because we’ve known each other a while and we’ve done some work together. And I just think the world of you and I’m really excited for you to share what you know, with our audience.

So I want to start with some basics. We’re going to assume that, the idea of PR and publicity is understood at a high level, but I think people here earn media and paid media.

And sometimes in the business world, we think of that automatically as like social media, digital ads versus organic. Can you talk about what you mean when you say earned media and maybe are there parameters like this makes something earned versus, paid or advertising?

Ronica Cleary: Sometimes when I say earned media, I think, does anyone know what I’m talking about? So it’s a great question. So there are some parameters that in a nutshell, we are not talking about social media. Though sometimes there might be opportunities we secure for our clients, perhaps on an Instagram live or something like that.

Maybe an interview. But traditionally speaking, when we’re talking about earned media, we’re talking about media outlets that might cover news, interview experts, thought leaders, founders, and you think of like when you turn on the TV and you watch the news, that would be an earned media opportunity versus a paid media opportunity would be the commercial between the segments on the news.

And so that same principle goes across all platforms, like the radio as well. Digital or print features or op-eds. Those would be all earned media placements where you get coverage in the news that you didn’t pay for. You earned it for your expertise, your knowledge, your newsworthiness, if you will.

And that’s, like I said, different from paid media. You just pay for the ad you want to be in the center of the New York Times, above the fold and there’s a spot for an advertisement, you would pay for that.

Kerry Barrett: You bring up such a good point because there are so many, for example, podcasts, et cetera, out there that are pay to play. And, I don’t know what sort of honest questioning you’re going to get from a host who you’ve paid to ask, nice questions and lobby some softballs about how great you are.

When you’re talking about earned media it is not pay to play. You are positioning your clients in front of these media outlets as an expert on whatever it may be, whether it is, and I’m going to, politics or health care or gardening or cooking or whatever it is, whatever their area of expertise is, you’re positioning them in that way and then hopefully with your skill and knowledge and leveraging your connections, they get picked up as a subject matter expert to demonstrate something, showcase something, add a little bit of analysis to a current event, et cetera. Is that, do I have it?

Ronica Cleary: That’s correct. And you can really think of it like this. I’ll go to the pay to play question about podcasts in a second. But you can think of it like this, if a reporter is doing a story on a legal case, even if the reporter has years of institutional knowledge related to the law, maybe their beat is covering law and, big cases, they can’t cite themselves, right?

They need to cite an expert. They need to go to a third party expert source to fill that story. And we help connect the reporter with those expert sources. And that’s really the, our slogan and tagline, Don’t Miss The Moment. 

The idea is when there’s a moment or opportunity for your expertise to be relevant in the news, anything from being a lawyer to, like you said, gardening, cooking at home, organizing, whatever it may be.

Don’t think it just has to be these like kind of more… nevermind. I’m not going to say what I was going to say, but my point is it could be anything like that. And we said, we’re not, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss that moment. We’re going to make sure you get connected with the reporters who are talking about that story, who need your expertise, and we’re going to make it happen.

Because the new cycle is very quick and it does help to have somebody navigate that for you. It’s not impossible. There are people who facilitate their own media, but I like to say, as you’re growing your business, you want to focus on your business, not your own media. Let us do that. That’s what our business is.

And in terms of pay to play, the unfortunate thing is that sometimes you don’t know when a podcast is play to play. It’s not always presented as such. And even on TV, there might be a small note, this segment was sponsored by X or Y. I think podcasts might not be held to the same standards, so they fly under the radar a little bit and they can be quite pricey, but there are plenty of podcasts that you can join that are not pay to play where your expertise will be valued. 

And the thing about podcasts, that’s really interesting. Sometimes people say I want to just be on TV. There’s so many more viewers. A TV viewer is more of a broad consumer, right?

They’re interested in topics, whatever the news of the day is. And there’s still a lot of great value in that. But the value in a podcast, sure, it has a, maybe a smaller listening audience, but that listening audience really chose to specifically hear that topic and listen to you. So it’s a more loyal, dedicated, focused audience on your specific subject.

So we try to give our clients a wide variety of types of exposure across platforms. But I will say Kerry with our mutual background in TV, our differentiating factor as an agency is that we’re really good at getting our clients on television. That does create a lot of splash. It is really the, sexy and exciting and people love it.

And that’s the thing that we do exceptionally well, but of course we wouldn’t serve our clients fully if we didn’t help them navigate across all types of media platforms. 

Kerry Barrett: And just to be clear, this is not a pay to play podcast. I’m like thinking I should probably mention it.

 invited Veronica to be a part of this. You mentioned, that there are some people who facilitate their own media. And I will just say, yes, there are but as a former journalist, a broadcast journalist, I can’t even tell you how many pitches hit my inbox and I’m not even a producer every day.

That’s just, control all shift, delete in 1 big chunk because they haven’t positioned themselves correctly, or the subject line isn’t right, or they’ve hit at a very bad time. And I don’t have time to look at. There’s a million mistakes that people who aren’t sure how to work this. Make on a regular that get very frustrating very very quickly. And they end up defeat the whole goal. 

And so I want to underscore what you said. I do think that’s incredibly important. And you mentioned the TV element as well. And you’re right. It is a broad audience, but there is a an expertise or credibility that comes along with that. So even if it’s not, perhaps and correct me if I’m wrong, the viewer who is watching that in the very moment and decides, oh, my gosh, I have to you know, go to this website and order this product or get a consult or whatever the case may be.

There is a credibility that goes along with being able to say as seen on this, that, or the other thing, because you know that person or that product or that service has been vetted by probably a team of producers and reporters and programming directors, etc. And then of course is the content that can be used after that to, market and sell.

But generally speaking, what are your clients goals when they’re approaching you and they’re looking for, a potential like PR campaign and is it visibility? Is it ultimately sales? Like what are the things people are looking for and what should they be considering?

Ronica Cleary: So we have two types of clients, right? We have some clients that are ongoing. They’ve been with us for literally for years and they are looking for ongoing credibility. Increased credibility, increased visibility. Of course, sales is part of it, but it’s an ongoing part of their marketing strategy, if you will.

So you say, what’s my budget to market? I don’t want to do maybe paid ads on social, or maybe they do that as well. I want to have my promotion of my product or my expertise come through earned media opportunities. I want my clients and potential clients to say, wow, this person is constantly a go to source for their expertise.

I’m going to continue to buy from them, or maybe their potential clients will see that and then secure the placement or, secure the service, if you will. 

So then the other style of client might say, look, I just wrote a book, can you help me do a media tour for six months to promote my book and to help increase sales and visibility.

Some people will come to us again, that idea of a three to six month period. We try to do six month retainers, but from time to time we’ll do a three month if it really makes sense. And they’ll say, look I want to be a professional speaker. I have a couple of speaking gigs. But I really think my speaking sizzle Reel would be elevated if I could incorporate TV placements into it as well as speaking placements.

And we’ll work with them with the goal of getting those placements to then create the sizzle Reel for them, which we do as well because we have a video editor who works with us because I come from TV. So we know video and editing and all of that stuff. 

So It runs the gamut. Oh. And then of course, there’s product, we represent clients who have products and with products, it’s a completely different ballgame.

We manage and incorporate affiliate marketing where you have to be on an affiliate to get digital placements. I don’t think that’s your typical listener, but if anybody is listening, that does have a product and is curious about it, they can reach out to me. it’s just such a unique space.

I don’t want to derail and go into that, but I’d say for the experts, thought leaders, authors, the idea is this is either my ongoing marketing budget, I just want to be in the media all the time, or I want to do a six months let’s hit it out of the park. Let’s promote my book. Let’s build my sizzle Reel, whatever that may be. And that’s the focus. So that’s how we work.

Kerry Barrett: What are some of the things that you find people who may be interested or who are thinking it? And I’m going to say with a very broad brush. Sometimes for people, the idea of media placement is I can’t do that. I’m not ready for that. I can’t on TV on The Today Show or on my local station or whatever it is.

There’s a lot of fear that sort of derails them or there is perhaps thinking small that sort of keeps them in that box and not understanding how this could work for them. If somebody approaches you and says, I’m interested, but I have all of this, I’m not sure. I’m not sure I’m the right person.

I’m not sure I can do it. What are the things people need to be prepared for and thinking about as they’re approaching a potential, media campaign?

Ronica Cleary: So I think the biggest factor that would stop you from being a good candidate for being on TV. There’s a couple things, but the thing I was thinking of in response to your question is just being in your head. If you really pay attention to some of the guests on TV and they run the gamut in terms of skill set, you should trust me or your PR agency to let you know if there is something that is really concerning, because think about it when we pitch our clients, right?

We put our reputation on the line. We want reporters and producers and bookers to open our emails and to trust that, okay, this is a Cleary Strategies client. They’ve been vetted, right? So that’s my job. So if I meet you and talk to you, even if maybe we want to clean some things up or send you to a media coach or something, we will let you know.

And nine times out of 10, it’s not merely the concern that you have. Usually that’s just in your head. But what I would say also, you want to have the expertise. You want to have the credibility. You want to have done something interesting. I often say to people, you shouldn’t hire me before you’ve got like your business going, or before you really understand what it is that you offer.

Sometimes people say, okay, open a business. I need a publicist. Maybe you come to us in six months or a year when you’ve got a little runway under your belt and you’ve established something that you’re really good at, or you can talk about. We can help massage that and we can help direct you to areas that we feel are newsworthy and interesting.

That’s why sometimes maybe if you’re starting your business, a conversation would be a good idea because we can help point you in a direction of something to consider that would be interesting for a news outlet. But I don’t know if that answers your question.

Kerry Barrett: No, it does. And it’s interesting because as you said, runway, you probably can’t see this, I wrote it down. Cause great minds think alike. And I was thinking, as you are thinking about your marketing and your sales goals and your visibility and audience growth goals, and they are six months down the road, or there are 12 months down the road or whatever it is, whatever your timeframe is. What are those elements that you should be curating as part of that runway? Is it content? Is it article? 

Articles that you’re posting on LinkedIn or videos that you’re putting? What is the runway that you are using to build that, authority that’s already out there for people who may be interested in placement.

Ronica Cleary: So I think it depends on the level of placement you’re looking for, right? If you want to be on a national program or a cable news network, they will ask us for a financial planner. Or somebody that’s in the financial services industry, what is their AUM? What are their assets under management?

And sometimes they will say to us, okay, we won’t accept a guest that has AUM under a certain dollar amount, right? They’re going to hold those potential guests to a very different standard, right? If you want to be featured on The Today Show, you better have a bestselling book, right? Or maybe a history of bestselling books.

Maybe this book is to be launched, but you’ve got a history of bestselling books. It doesn’t mean that they don’t ever take a guest without that level of prestige. But I would say think of those goals as maybe goals five years down the line. But in terms of navigating local news, if you are smart, you have an established business and expertise that’s relevant to the news, then no one’s going to say, oh you don’t have 5 million followers or something like that.

That’s not the level of criteria. They’re looking for, who do I need today to facilitate this conversation? Do you represent a brand with a unique founder story that’s really interesting? Do you give back? Do you have something, compelling or interesting? Because local news features local people, right?

And that’s again to your previous question about people getting in their head. Oh, I can’t do that. I’m not ready. No, you are perfectly acceptable and appropriate to be featured in those programs. I guess I’m just saying PR is an investment. So just, you shouldn’t be going broke to pay for your publicist, right?

You should have a business and in place and the wheels in motion that you can afford this investment in your marketing strategy. If it happens to be publicity, earned media, op-ed writing, whatever it is that you work with a publicist to accomplish. Cause it is a wide range.

We do pay digital marketing now. That’s like a new thing we’ve offered. But my point is, just make sure you’re established and ready to go. Get your ducks in a row first.

Kerry Barrett: Yeah. Anytime I’m putting anything out there, whether it is like a social post or a blog or I’m hosting a podcast. I always have a very specific idea of what I want my, call to action to be. And as I first started out, it was usually like, go to this place and have this free resource and it helps you with your email build.

Is that part of like, how do you determine, or how does somebody think about as they’re figuring out growing their list or, having a certain number of followers or a dollar amount in order to make themselves more a higher priority, guest, is maybe the right way to say it.

Probably not. Actually, I can’t think of the right words. But is there a certain thing that they should be focused on building if they have to pick 1, they’re doing everything themselves. What is that? 

Ronica Cleary: I think making money. Sometimes I talk to founders who, being profitable is not necessarily required because the path to profit, can be different depending on the business and how that business growth is like your plan for business growth, but it’s the idea.

Am I on the path to profitability? If I’m on the path to profitability, it’s a good time to think about investing in publicist because to your earlier question about what do people use this for? Sometimes people will say, I’m going to enter into several meetings where I’m going to attempt to do some fundraising.

And in those meetings, they love to show sizzle Reels of what we’ve done for them, or perhaps just the list of the logos where they’ve been featured to show those potential investors that they’ve earned media attention.

So it’s not necessarily like you have to be profitable. I just think you need to be on the path to profitability to make an investment like this.

Maybe you get on that path by having so many followers, by having so many subscribers, by having so many customers. It really depends on the business itself, but I think that is the key thing that I will go to in that first exploratory call with a potential client. If I get the feeling that they’re really not on the path to profitability, we could probably still put them on TV if we have the right angle or news peg. But I just say, you should wait to make this investment.

Kerry Barrett: Let me ask you, you mentioned investments and I’m going to take a derail because there are, there is such a huge range of costs associated with hiring a publicity firm or somebody who is in the PR field. I’ve seen we pay per placement. I’ve seen it’s a, $300 a month retainer. It’s a $15,000 a month retainer.

For the average small business owner, what should they be looking at in order to assess whether this is a good investment for them? And I know it depends on their goals, and I’m sure it depends on where they want their placement. This is such a big question, but are there certain parameters or certain filters that they should be running offers or investments through in order to determine whether it’s the right choice for them.

Ronica Cleary: Yeah, I don’t think a PR firm that’s charging you 300 a month is doing much for you. I also don’t know that you need a 15, 000 a month PR firm, and they do exist. A lot of the big agencies in New York are 10, to 15, 000. 

I think what you need to look at when you’re thinking about it, It would likely be anywhere from 2, 000 to 6, 000 a month, I’d say, on average for a mid sized agency depending on what you’re getting from them. It is deductible, right?

Kerry Barrett: Yeah. 

Ronica Cleary: It’s a line item on your expenses. I would say that you want to see the types of clients that they represent. You want to understand who you will be working with in the agency, because what I have seen and what does happen is people will come to us after they have paid 10 or 12, 000 for a big agency, and they get lost in the agency because they aren’t the biggest, best client of the agency or the biggest name client.

And the other thing, sometimes those big agencies, they have access to bigger name potential clients with that kind of budget. And I don’t want to say it is easy to place someone with a big name, but it is a completely different type of process and strategy. So you might see, oh, this big agency is placing these big name people on these big name shows.

If I could scrounge up the budget, I could get that too. At the end of the day, I think of publicists as connectors, right? We are strategic connectors. We don’t necessarily just call our friends and get favors ’cause if the pitch is not a good fit, it doesn’t matter who they are. 

 I joke, I’ve been to some, I’ve been to producers like weddings because we’re friends. That doesn’t mean my client’s getting on the show. If it’s not a fit for what they need, it doesn’t matter.

So think who is gonna be the best connector on my behalf and who has made connections with other clients like me, right? And so if every person on the roster is a big name and you’re like I’m going to just, they’ll take your money, right?

I’m going to just find the money and pay it. Maybe it’d be more strategic to find an agency that’s working with people who, oh, that person’s like me. They’re an expert in their field, but they’re not a household name, but somehow they’ve gotten them 15, 20 TV placements. They really know how to navigate the system and make those connections on behalf of people who can’t just open the door with their name, right?

Could you imagine like emailing a news station and saying, Lizzo’s in town this week. Do you want her on your morning show? I don’t want to say that’s not hard, but I think most morning shows would respond yes. But think about the agency that got the small brand founder on a morning show and they really know how to navigate that.

So money, that range, I think is fair that I gave for midsize agencies, but it’s also, let’s look at the client base. What have they done for them? Have they represented people at the stage of their career like I’m in? That means they’re going to be able to give the attention that is necessary and I’m not going to get lost in the shuffle.

Kerry Barrett: before I knew you, I’ve worked with some PR agencies and it’s great. They get, a hit there or hit there, but it’s not a great platform for me. And there, nothing really came of it. It’s nice to have the content to use, but it didn’t build my audience. It didn’t really go anywhere.

And I thought I was getting a deal, but you’re right. That’s not always the case, even if it’s $300, if it’s 3$300 it doesn’t do you anything. And it’s still a waste of $300. And I love the point that you made about Lizzo. It’s very easy to get swept up in the glitzy, like marquee names that an agency may be representing, but it’s really easy, especially as of this recording, to get Lizzo on a morning show.

Ronica Cleary: I don’t want to say there’s not skill or strategy behind having them, but it is just a different, it’s a different type of PR. It’s just a different thing. There are tons of different dimensions to what we do and how we do it. You want to find a publicist that understands how to book an author that doesn’t have a New York times bestselling book on 15 TV outlets, right?

Frankly, some of those big agencies might not know how to do that. It is a different skill. And so that’s what you want to think about. And when you’re thinking about interviewing agencies, I don’t know who could do this job for $300 a month, unless maybe they’re a solopreneur and they take a limited number of clients.

To me, that is just you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And then maybe you still spend $3,000 or whatever it is. And you say that sucks. I could have taken that and invested that in something else. 

Kerry Barrett: Yeah. I got a couple of blurbs on the AP Newswire that nobody picked up anywhere, which is great. AP Newswire, I’m on. But nevertheless, if it doesn’t get you where you want to go, it’s still wasted money and time. 

What are the biggest mistakes people making as they either think about or begin to launch a PR campaign the client themselves. Not the mistakes the agencies are making but like I see people do this or businesses do this all the time and instead they should be doing I don’t know this.

Ronica Cleary: That’s an interesting question because I guess if they’re doing it wrong, I wouldn’t know about it. I think when I think about taking on a campaign, let me answer the question from this perspective. When I take on a new campaign, unless this is the type of expertise or client who is evergreen, who we can have on our roster in place, 12 months a year, day in and day out. And I like to think we get better at that every day.

We get better at knowing how to place more people more often. But let’s just say, let me think of an example. Oh, we represent how do I say, we have represented and still do on and off a woman that is a small business expert.

The first time that we worked with her we had spoken, it was maybe July or something, right? And I said, I just don’t know if this topic is super hot right now. So I said, why don’t we, cause we were going to do a three month campaign. I said, why don’t we do a three month campaign? November, December, January, you’ve got small business Saturday.

You’ve got shopping for holiday gifts from small businesses. You’ve got the state of small business in the new year. You just had so many great topics that we did not have to search very far to make her relevant in the news cycle. So I would say the most important part of launching a campaign, if it’s going to be a short term campaign is timing, right? You’ve got to think about when are you most relevant in the news cycle based on your expertise.

Kerry Barrett: That makes sense. Are there preconceived notions that are incorrect that you see people who approach you? Hey, Ronica, I’m interested in starting a campaign and they have these preconceived notions that for the most part are not accurate.

Ronica Cleary: Right the calling your friends. Yeah. The calling your friends is just not the way it works. We know people and certainly I think the people we know help get our emails open, but I say this on every podcast I do. You cannot rely on your relationships to do your job. It does not equal public relations, right?

Because I have friends across all different types of media, all different types of beats. What am I going to call? How could I possibly represent a diverse roster of clients and then know enough friends to call on them and keep my clients busy month in and month out? No, I need to write great pitches. I need to know the right people to send them to because we are connectors.

We connect our amazing sources with reporters who need those sources and make it happen. 

When I started in public relations, I said oh, I feel like I’m being a nag, right? Am I just nag? Because I thought you just called your friends. And as soon as I stopped doing that and started rethinking about my work.

As a service and value add, not just to my clients, but to reporters and people in the news, it changed everything. It really did.

Kerry Barrett: I love that you mentioned that because you are 100% correct. It is so much more than calling friends. Coming from my experience, I can underscore that by saying there’s lots of people who approached me when I was working in the business on air about having an interview or a segment or whatever.

And out of however many hundreds of them that were, there were probably four or five that I actually, that were my friends that I actually pitched and maybe two of them that made it because as a PR expert running your agency, you can’t pitch anything that is less than pristine, otherwise you lose the credibility that you’ve worked so hard and the relationships that you’ve worked so hard to build by pitching bad stories or clients who aren’t ready or whatever the case may be.

So not just the relationships, but the expertise and the understanding of how and when and why and where they cannot be understated. 

Ronica Cleary: The nice thing about having friends in the business is that we both love this industry. We just work on other sides of it. And we share that joy and that passion. And sometimes it works, right? Sometimes we have a great fitting client.

But you really cannot rely on that to do your job, or you will just be very disappointed and not serve your clients in the way that they deserve to be served or serve the media. 

Kerry Barrett: Let me ask, I guess 1 final question. If people are thinking about the possibility of launching this and as of this air date in October, we do have a number of things that are coming up. What are their timely elements? You mentioned, Black Friday, small business, Saturday, et cetera, et cetera.

As of this air date, what are the elements that people may want to consider capitalizing on quickly if they’re looking to launch a camp PR campaign? 

Ronica Cleary: There’s a lot. And really that’s what we’ve become exceptional at because we need to find ways to keep our clients relevant at all times. The obvious ones, right? There’s like obvious ones you could think of. Okay. So it’s, you’ve got Halloween. 

So we could go anywhere from, we could say if you are a home expert, right holiday decorating, you could think about Halloween treats for if you are an allergy expert. How do you support your Children with food allergies at Halloween when so many candies have nuts that you have, the Teal Pumpkin project. Then you could think a business expert could talk about predictions for the holiday season that would start in October.

A lawyer could talk about I don’t know, getting through the holidays as a, while you’re going through divorce. I don’t know. There’s so many ways we could come up with things. We could do weddings at a cemetery for Halloween so many things.

Cause we try things and we send pitches every day. We also see when something doesn’t land and that creates the institutional knowledge that I have and my team has because, okay, maybe the weddings at the cemetery, maybe that’s too weird. I don’t know. 

Kerry Barrett: That could be great advice still around. 

Ronica Cleary: Oh, could you imagine inviting like a local news reporter? You could do so many creative things, but again, sometimes we think something is a great idea and it doesn’t land that kind of continues to shape, how we build all of our pitches over time and makes us better and better at it. 

But I think those are some very general good ideas. And then for example, if you’re a doctor or medical professional, you’re getting into flu season, right? So I’ve just given you examples of pitch topics across five different industries and we could go on. 

Kerry Barrett: Yeah. I love that you mentioned there is institutional knowledge because it is important to underscore that it’s never a guarantee and the new cycle changes constantly. So something that, may have been booked and ready to go, changes because there’s been, some huge development in the news broadly. 

And so it is important. It is important for people to be aware that they may sign up for a three month campaign, but there is no guarantee. I see what you’re saying. There’s some relevance or there is some benefit every now and then to having a shorter term campaign.

If there’s something that’s very specific, but people shouldn’t think of PR as an absolute guarantee, even if something is booked. And I always like to remind people this and tell me if you agree if you have if somebody calls you and says we want you on the show or doing an interview tomorrow, you have to make it happen.

You have to have that. It’s not a Oh, I can’t do it. I can’t do it tomorrow. I’ve got a whatever. They’re never going to call you back again, or there’s a high, there’s a high likelihood that you won’t get a call back. So be prepared to be flexible when you go into a campaign like this correct?

Ronica Cleary: You should prioritize it. It is really that important. Especially, if you’re doing it over years, right? We have clients that have been on our roster for three years. They take vacations and sometimes they’re not available, right? But if you say, okay, I’m going to invest this for a six month campaign, you need to think of this as your top priority.

You need to answer the reporter queries. You need to be available and flexible. It’s really shortsighted not to. Just reporters don’t really care if you’re busy.

Kerry Barrett: Yeah. 

Ronica Cleary: And they have so many people who want to be featured. We’re just fighting for a spot. And that’s the other thing about am I good enough to a reporter?

There’s probably a dozen people who they feel could fill this request, right? They’re all in the same range. No one is that great or that horrible.

You’re all experts or lawyers or doctors or whatever. So to the reporter, oh, you’re not free onto the next one, onto the next one, onto the next one.

I’m not doing the story tomorrow. This is the day I got to do it. Somebody is going to be good enough. So get that in your mindset and know, you got to do it.

Kerry Barrett: Early on I had a client My TV connections. I had a client who’s in the financial space and she got an offer to appear on local TV in a major market. And she turned it down because she was busy and I’m like, they’re never going to call again. this is a one time deal and they didn’t.

So just to underscore what you’re saying. All right. One last question before we wrap this up. What do you think is important for people to know that we haven’t talked about? Are there elements that you want to make sure you have a chance to share with people or knowledge or anything that we haven’t talked about that is important for people to know?

Ronica Cleary: I think that earned media and media opportunities should not be scary. I really think people can be terrified and it’s fun. This is TV, it’s not that serious, right? And I know that’s hard to understand when you haven’t been inside of a newsroom or inside of the role as of a reporter or producer.

But don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t let it keep you up at night. Engage in this in a way that’s exciting and fun. And promote yourself in the way that you most likely deserve to be promoted. Hire an expert, get yourself out there, show it off to all your friends. You’re on the news.

I just think that sometimes people psych themselves out and it becomes something that is a chore. It’s really fun. And I think that’s the key to success. And that’s the key to long term success, because if it just becomes something that’s just awful, then buy some Facebook ads, right? Don’t do this if this is not something that’s going to make you excited, every day.

Kerry Barrett: I love it. Ronica, as always, you shared some amazing knowledge with us. Thank you for your time, your generosity. 

If people are interested in learning more about you, connecting with you and finding out about launching a PR campaign, where should they go to schedule some time, learn more about you, et cetera.

Ronica Cleary: Clearystrategies.com. Cleary auto corrects to Clearly. So make sure you get it right. It’s C L E A R Y Cleary Strategies. And you can also just find me on all social media platforms. I’m @RonicaCleary. And then there’s Cleary Strategies accounts on them as well. That are all spelled differently for some reason. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Thank you, Carrie. I love this. Thank you for having me. 

You are amazing 

Kerry Barrett: Thank you so much.

Ronica Cleary: Take care now. Bye. Bye.

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