This week I sat down with Drew Porcello and Trisha McGuire of Pivot PR, a local PR company with a fresh approach to helping businesses. Drew and Trisha are doing much more for the Charlotte media community than writing press releases.
A little background
Drew comes from sales, Trisha comes from traditional PR and marketing.
Trisha’s first job out of college was with a big PR firm in Washington, DC. In Charlotte, she tried banking, real estate and marketing but found herself wanting to get back to her PR/communications roots.
She landed a job with a manufacturing firm, but after seven years was itching for a change.
Drew was in the PR wire services business for years but got frustrated with the old-school style. He decided to venture out on his own. (Fitting of a person who, as a young boy, used to take his father’s product – his dad worked for Keebler at the time – and sell the cookies at his school in an attempt to out-sell his father.)
Trisha and Drew had done business with each other in the past. As fate would have it, Drew started seeing Trisha around town as he contemplated his own business. He had to have her as a partner.
Here are 3 things I learned from hearing Drew and Trisha’s story:
(1) Don’t be afraid to take career risks
Trisha and Drew didn’t know each other well and never worked together at the same company. Trisha admits the unknown was scary to her. The tipping point: Drew’s persuasiveness. She thought: If he could convince a very risk-averse person like her, then he could get them clients and make it work.
For Drew, he realized he had it in him to be his own boss.
“I spent the last eight years calling on marketing and PR professionals. I thought to myself, ‘I have the database, I’ve got the contacts, I’ve got the experience; I can do this myself.’”
Their advice for other would-be entrepreneurs: Be smart, ask for help and use your support system.
(2) Do something different
What makes Pivot PR different is that in a sea of media, they recognize a new-school way of doing things.
A great example is the Charlotte Media Exchange, which connects Charlotte journalists and communication professionals to local experts. For example, say a journalist needed to interview an interior designer. The reporter can log onto the exchange and post his need. An interior designer expert can then connect with the journalist right then and there.
It’s all about connecting Charlotteans to Charlotteans.
(3) Know who you are
Drew emphasized understanding who you are and where you are going.
“You can’t market yourself, create a corporate video, pull together a targeted media pitch, develop strategic partnerships or even put out a standard press release, if you don’t know who the heck you are”.