Her Social Network
Interview with Lisa Elia
Posted by Nicole Moulton on July 8, 2012 at 11:00pm
When it comes to creating and maintaining the image of a company, organization, or individual public relations is the key component in making this happen for these entities. In order to be successful at public relations, one must have a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of each of their client’s many audiences, while using one of the most powerful tools of PR, publicity. To do this job and to do it well, is truly a gift that many of us wish we had, and have at the top of the “must hire list” when owning a business. Our hopes as business owners in searching for a PR firm is to find someone who is sincere, hardworking, passionate, driven, and savvy, like Lisa Elia Public Relations.
Lisa Elia is the founder and CEO of Lisa Elia Public Relations and has worked in the PR field for over 20 years. Lisa has secured placements for clients with media outlets that include CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR and in magazines like Time, Newsweek, Body & Soul, O, The Oprah Magazine and many others. She helps her clients with strategy, messaging, media training and getting their message out into the world via the media and other sources. She helps people understand what they can do to start getting press now and how to make the media love them and their products/services/talents. What makes Lisa Elia’s approach to PR unique is that beyond expertise you have a woman who cares on a personal level for both her client and their products, a combination that is often times a lost form.
Lisa Elia truly is an inspiration both professionally and personally. She is a woman who cares about helping people and it shows in every aspect of her life. She is compassionate, hardworking, intelligent, business savvy, and dedicated to excellence in everything that she does. It is an honor for me to introduce to Her Social Network, Lisa Elia, the CEO and owner of Lisa Elia Public Relations, HER member, and HER Social Network’s Inspirational Woman of the Week!
Q: What were you doing professionally prior to Lisa Elia Public Relations
Lisa: Public relations has been a part of almost every job I’ve had. One of my first jobs out of college was working for a photography studio that specialized in architectural photography, so I did a little bit of everything—new business development, getting the studio’s work into magazines, and creating systems to run the business more efficiently.
Q: What inspired you to go into PR?
Lisa: As a freshman in college I took some journalism classes and communication classes and discovered the field of public relations. I loved that it combined psychology, strategy, research and writing. I declared communication with a public relations focus as my major and have been in the field ever since.
Q: How do you find your clients? What types of clients do you represent?
Lisa: Most of our clients find us through referrals from other professionals and other PR firms who don’t handle the types of clients we handle, as well as through social media and our web site. I also have attracted many clients after speaking engagements. Many of my clients are women entrepreneurs—both service providers and product creators.
Q: How does PR impact someone’s business?
Lisa: Public relations encompasses how you relate to ALL of your publics, including your staff, your vendors, your clients, and really anyone you come into contact with. So, becoming aware of how your communication affects each of those publics, which will then affect the atmosphere at your place of business and how you’re perceived by your staff, potential referral sources and clients, all of which will influence the level of success you are able to achieve.
Lisa: Publicity, which is one aspect of PR, can attract clients and opportunities, such as endorsement deals, book deals or TV show deals. It can also elevate public perception of your company, your product or yourself.
Q: How does Lisa Elia Public Relations reinvent PR? How do you make it personal?
Lisa: We really get to know our clients and learn about the life they want to create for themselves and the inspiration for what they do. Understanding our client’s mission and passion helps us to shape everything, from their press kit to their media training experience, around what’s best for them, and ensures that we’re going to promote them in a way that will lead them toward their achieving their goals and living the life they want to live.
Q: What has been your greatest success story at Lisa Elia?
Lisa: It’s difficult to choose just one, but I’ll provide a recent example. We began working with Casey’s Cupcakes a few months ago. In that short period of time, we’ve booked interviews for Casey on NBC, CBS, PBS and numerous other media outlets, and we’re in the process of having their website re-done so that it matches the beautiful brand that exists in the Casey’s store. Pulling everything together with strategy, media training and a focus on maintaining the brand and messaging in every media interview, press release and public appearance, and seeing it come together so beautifully is very gratifying. I love this example because these things came about because of the fabulous team of publicists at my firm—it has been a group effort.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges and greatest triumphs in starting your own business?
Lisa: I started my first business when I was 27 years old, and at the time I didn’t know how important it is to truly understand the numbers in your business, such as the cost of all overhead and expenses, and to plan for growth based on those numbers. There was no Internet then and there were not as many educational resources as there are now for entrepreneurs, so people can go online and learn a lot very quickly now and save themselves years of figuring it out for themselves.
The greatest triumphs have come from the successes we create for our clients–helping them to increase revenue, get book deals or business deals, overcome a fear of public speaking or to find their voice in the world—and from developing skills as a leader who finds talented employees and helps them to develop into outstanding professionals in our field. I love when our clients call or email me to tell me how wonderful my team members are to work with.
Q: You work with many women owned businesses and owned one, what is one thing that you have learned from this?
Lisa: It’s very important to discuss a client’s goals for their personal lives and how they like to operate in the world, even though our job is primarily focused on helping them to build their business. This open discussion helps us understand the client more deeply and play to her strengths and to offer advice and assistance that will help her to handle areas of her business where she may not feel confident.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give any woman in business?
Lisa: Mastery, organization and delegation are the three keys to success. To feel confident in what you’re doing, you want to master it, so continue learning all that you can about your field. Create systems (or find someone to help you do this) so that your business can function well and you feel like you’re on top of things. This will help you feel comfortable growing your business and possibly selling it. Delegate any task that doesn’t require your expertise or your personal input, as soon as you’re able to: this is how you will be able to grow your business and focus most of your energy on the things you love to do.
Q: How do you balance life personally and professionally?
Lisa: This is always a challenge. Creating a vision for the life I want to lead and reviewing my goals on a daily basis helps me to stay focused and to make decisions about which opportunities to say yes to and which to turn down. Daily exercise really helps because I sit at my computer a lot, so I need to move and stay healthy. I use my exercise time to listen to teleseminars and recorded books or to watch a favorite TV show, which makes the time pass quickly and keeps me going.
Q: What quote inspires you?
Lisa: “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
It’s easy to see why Lisa Elia is so successful personally and professionally! She is focused, driven, and compassionate. She really has a desire to help individuals get their products and services out there so they can impact society in a positive manner and be successful. In addition to her full service PR firm, Lisa Elia has also created ways for start-up/smaller businesses and individuals to learn how to do their own PR, by producing a woman of influence program, publicity quick start PR program, as well as offering personal coaching sessions and media training. Lisa Elia makes it possible for people to turn their dreams into successful realities. When asked if there was a thought she would want to leave us with, her response was:
“If you’re feeling afraid to get yourself out into world or to become more public, think about the people who need your message, your wisdom, or your product. They’re waiting for you. They can’t wait for you to lose 10 pounds or until you’ve got everything perfectly in place. Start the process. Take action. Action can overcome anxiety.” Lisa Elia
Thank you Lisa for sharing your story, your passion, and your wisdom with Her Social Network and inspiring us to get ourselves out there and to not be afraid!