What’s Your Public Relations Strategy in 2022?

As we head into the New Year, our team is evaluating our business goals for the year ahead. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you may be in the same spot. I recently chatted with a small business owner who told me they had tried a variety of marketing strategies in the past year, all of which were expensive and unsuccessful in generating leads and sales. Their goal for the new year was to try a new aspect of marketing – public relations.

Obviously, this coincided with our business goals – to continue to grow our businesses, but also, to help other small businesses share their story with the world. As you start to think about what you want to accomplish in 2022, and what risks you’re willing to take, I ask that you take a moment to think about public relations.

If you haven’t thought about public relations in the past, 2022 might be the year to do so. If you’ve had a public relations strategy the past few years, it might be time to evaluate it and reassess. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself about your PR strategy when planning for 2022.

  1. What are your company goals and objectives? How does that align with your PR strategy? Ultimately, public relations should support the overall goals of your company.
  2. What is the ultimate goal of public relations for your business? What do you consider a win? Being able to identify short and long-term goals are key in determining where to put your focus.
  3. Who is your target audience and what type of relationship do you have with them? Who do you want to reach with your expertise or news? 
  4. Do you have your company’s “story” or “messaging” identified, written out, refined and concise? If you aren’t clear about what you do, or what your story is, how will a reporter?
  5. What are you the expert on? Thought leadership should be a huge component of your PR plan. Thought leaders are regularly sought out by reporters and quoted in top tier media outlets.

If you’re in the process of thinking about public relations, marketing, or are re-evaluating your PR plan for 2022, please reach out to us. Brusoe Communications offers free initial consulting to business owners and we’d be happy to guide you through the planning process.

Cristy Brusoe Named A 2021 Business of Pride Honoree

We were thrilled to announce that our founder, Cristy Brusoe, has been announced as a Tampa Bay Business Journal 2021 Business of Pride Honoree.

Business of Pride highlights individuals and companies across Tampa Bay for their work in helping to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the workplace.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and the Founder of Brusoe Communications, Cristy is being honored for her leadership in the community and her support for national and local LGBTQ+ and ally organizations. Cristy has also volunteered countless hours to LGBTQ+ causes and initiatives. 

Over the past few years, Cristy has partnered several LGBTQ+ organizations such as: Twin Cities Pride, one of the largest LGBTQ+ festivals in the US, SouthWest Florida Pride, and Pasco Pride, to help share their stories with the world. 

We are so proud to see our Founder honored among a prestigious list of nominees and look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the community. Congratulations to everyone who was honored. You can see the full list and read more here.

What to Look For In An Entrepreneurship Coach

I was nearly six years into my business, when I started noticing an interesting, new trend in my work. Through LinkedIn, mutual contacts, and even word-of-mouth, I had been asked several times by a variety of people, for an hour of my time, to talk through their business plans. While I had never considered myself an expert or any sort of business coach, it was after several of these meetings that I realized how beneficial these conversations were for both the business owner and myself. The market was dictating this new venture for me, in an area of expertise, I didn’t even realize I had accumulated over the years.

But, the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. Several years ago, I was asked to create a PR Entrepreneurship course for the University of Florida. I obviously had some knowledge, mainly from my own lessons learned over the years, to share with others. I had simply never thought to leverage it into coaching.

There are thousands of business coaches in the US, 17,500 to be exact. And while this is a step of starting a business that many overlook, or think they don’t need, including myself at one point, it’s an experience you’ll wish you had taken part in.

But, even if you are interested in talking with an entrepreneurship/business coach, how do you decide on one that’ll actually be an asset to you and your business?

My first suggestion would be to find a coach who specializes in your field (if there is one available). For example, while I do coaching for those within the field of communications and in general, my work experience is focused in public relations, media relations, and consulting/freelancing. Finding a coach in general is great, but identifying one that has experience in your field, or area of business, will be much more beneficial to you.

Along with that, identify a coach who has credibility in what they are saying. For example, do you know someone else they’ve worked with? Are they a thought leader or published author in their space? Do they have reviews or case studies? Sometimes the best mentors are hidden gems, but the right coaches should utilize their voice and have some sort of reputation, especially in my industry.

Don’t spend thousands of dollars on coaching. You can always find people to network with in your field, who will have a conversation with you. Hiring a coach or mentor is only necessary when you are seeking specific guidance, or if you’re looking for someone with expert-knowledge in your field to bounce ideas off of. Think of it as paying them for their expert knowledge, and in the long run, it might end up saving you more money then you spent.

Look nationally at potential coaches. We are living in a time where nearly all of our interactions are virtual. You can find the best “fit” for a coach by opening your search to all over the US.

Although many who are new to entrepreneurship are actively seeking coaching, remember that you don’t have to be a brand new entrepreneur to hire an entrepreneurship/business coach. I would say about half of the people I’ve worked with are several years into their business. They simply wanted to take an hour of “gut check” time and get advice from someone who’s an expert in entrepreneurship and who has seen a variety of ways small businesses have been run (what works/what doesn’t).

“When looking for the right coach for you, make sure you identify one who is an entrepreneur themselves.”

And lastly, when looking for the right coach for you, make sure you identify one who is an entrepreneur themselves. And by that I mean, who isn’t ONLY a business coach. True entrepreneurs are constantly hustling. There’s never going to come a time in business where they feel settled or done with work, and if they do, they probably don’t have a true entrepreneurial spirit.Others may disagree, but I would recommend choosing a coach who is working just as hard as you are to see through their own businesses success. They are living it, while also coaching it.

What’s Your Story?

Oftentimes with clients, the first step in the public relations process is to identify what exactly their “story” is. Everyone has a story. But, for many, just like we as people don’t often like “talking about ourselves,” we also don’t like “talking about our professional selves.” Or, if that’s not the case, maybe we don’t know what our story actually is.

In my ten years of working in the PR industry, I’ve had countless people tell me that the news is fake, or that stories aren’t reality. And just like any profession, there are certainly cases of unethical public relations practices. However, don’t let the word “story” fool you. I’ve learned that in most cases, the story/stories are already there and it’s our job to unearth them.

So how do we do that? Where do you start? How do we know if you even have a story to tell? And if you do, how do we develop it?

While there is no “defined” process to this, here are the tips and tricks I’ve come across in my processes to identify client stories. 

  1. Origin– Your business, idea, process, etc… had to have started somewhere? Let’s start with a date, a year, or a timeline. Write down significant moments throughout the course of your organization and document when they happened. Some of the most interesting stories themselves can be “founder’s stories.” 
  2. Motivation – Ask yourself “why?” Why did you undertake this venture? Was there a void in the market? Did you have an experience that led you to want to start a business? Why did this organization begin? What was your purpose?
  3. Actions – Go back to your timeline and look at the moments you noted throughout time. Fill in the details between each moment as to how you got from one moment to the next. Go back to question two and ask how you were able to start the organization, how you created your first product/service, and how you gained experience.
  4. Defining Characteristics – Think through what it is about who you are, what you do, or what your product/service is that makes you different, unique, or stand out from anyone else in the world. If you don’t know the answer off the top of your head, write down a few traits that you or your business do exceptionally well. Research if there are others out there who do what you do, and what you potentially do differently or more effectively. 
  5. Connect the Dots – The final step is connecting all of the scraps of information you’ve mentally noted or written down. You should start to see “your story” coming to light. We’ve developed your back story (the where and when), the motivation for starting an organization (the why), the actions that got you to critical places in time (the how), and the defining characteristics that set you apart (the newsworthiness). 

As you can see, identifying your story may be a process, but it isn’t hard. You simply have to commit to digging into these various elements to figure out that you absolutely have a story to tell the world. And once you see what that story is, the next step is learning how to tell it.

Stay tuned for our next blog post: “How to Tell Your Story.”

Vine Park Brewery

Vine Park is the only brewery in the Midwest where you can brew your own beer and make your own wine on our equipment with our help. Vine Park has been the Fun Place to Brew Your Own Beer & Make Your Own Wines since 1995!

Vine Park retained Brusoe Communications to craft a message, promote seasonal events, and obtain media opportunities for the owner to speak on the history of the brewery and what makes it unique.

Placements Include: WCCO, Growler, BizJournals, Star Tribune, City Pages, Eater Minneapolis.


Sealed Mindset

Sealed Mindset is a Navy SEAL-inspired defense training system that offers a variety of tools, training, and inspiration to grow confidence in your self-defense skills. From the real world experience of special operations warriors, translated and taught in a revolutionary way to the Citizen Defender, Sealed Mindset Training is a one of a kind method to total personal security.

The goals of the PR program were to increase class participations through media relations efforts and calendar submissions. Events such as Date Night, Kids Camp, Evasive Driving, etc… were promoted to local and national media.

Placements: USA Today, Star Tribune, MN Monthly, WCCO, BizJournals, KMSP.