Author Archive

Get PR Inquiries in Your Email Inbox

Posted by at 28 January, 2010, 6:00 pm

As mompreneurs we are ever so busy that doing something proactive in marketing can seem like a lot of work.  Especially when it is something you are new at (like getting PR), it can be intimidating to even start.  If you haven’t heard of HARO (Help a Reporter Out) or Journalist Source (for Canadian companies) yet, you’re in for a treat.

Both are free services where you sign up and several times a day an email is sent out with 10 – 20 reporters looking for experts or “journalist sources” to interview and quote for their story.  By signing up, you can have hot PR inquiries delivered to your mailbox and it makes it easier for you proactively contact reporters and get PR for your company.

It’s a great way to learn what types of stories are being written about, magazines that may be reaching your target market that you didn’t know about, and make personal connections with reporters who may write about you and your company.

So you don’t get overwhelmed, I suggest creating a mailbox filter where these emails automatically get filed.  That way you can look at them at your leisure, during the time you have blocked out for marketing and getting buzz for your business.


Serial Entrepreneur, PR, Marketing and Lifestyle Strategist

PR in Your Pajamas

If you’ve had experience and/or success with either HARO or Journalist Source, I’d love to hear about it.  Let me know on:




Category : PR Mom

Build Your Own Mom Media List

Posted by at 19 November, 2009, 11:51 pm

One of the key components for getting PR is a Media List. After all, once you have your press release or story that you want to send to a reporter, how are you going to contact them?

Mom getting PR
A media list is simply a list of reporters, their contact information and the name of the magazine, newspaper or website that they write for. PR agencies and consultants can often charge upwards of a $1000 to create a media list for you.

Here’s how to build your own list in just 30 minutes a week or less.

• What do YOU read? List your favorite papers, magazines, websites and even TV and radio shows that may be interested in featuring your company.

• What do your customers read? If you can find just one website they are reading, chances are that website will have sponsors, partners or a resources page where you can find other media that your customers may be browsing. And so on, and so on.

• Who accepts submissions for new products? Most likely it will be a new products editor, news editor or in smaller publications, the editor-in-chief.

• Read the magazine and note if there is a columnist or reporter that is most likely to cover you for a feature story or interview.

If you do this every week, by the end of the year you will have built up 52 solid contacts that may be writing about your company.

Elena Verlee
PR in Your Pajamas: Practical Publicity for Mom Entrepreneurs

Category : PR Mom | Public Relations

4 Ways to Get Raving Fans

Posted by at 9 September, 2009, 2:47 pm

A customer testimonial is key in a PR program because it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools out there.

Customers raving about your company gives you third-party credibility – which is so important for small businesses. Potential buyers are more likely to believe a customer talking about their experience than a slickly written brochure or ad. A testimonial tells other people that they can trust your business and that you offer a quality product or service.

So how do you get them?

1. Make it easy for them to say Yes

Most people hate writing so non-urgent tasks will get put on the bottom of their list. You’ll have to make it so simple, they have to say yes. See if anyone has emails to you with something nice to say and ask if you can use it.

2. Ask them a few questions by email or phone, such as:

• What did you like about our product or service?

• How can we make it even better?

• Would you recommend our company to others?

3. Offer a freebie

If they’re already fans of your company, they’d love more of your stuff! Offer a few customers a freebie (pick some you’ve already interacted positively with) to answer the questions listed above.

4. Ask your friends and supporters

If your business just got off the ground or haven’t made any sales yet, let several of your friends try your product or service for free. If they honestly like it, ask them if they’ll write a testimonial you can use in your marketing. To be really useful, pick those that are in your target market.

I know it may be hard to ask, but in my experience, most people are incredibly helpful and more than willing to give testimonials to help you succeed in getting PR for your company. Of course, always make sure you ask permission to use someone’s testimonial in your marketing materials!


PR for Moms Teleclasses

5 Reasons to Coach With Me

Category : Growing Your Biz | Public Relations

Free Call on How to Do PR for Mompreneurs

Posted by at 29 July, 2009, 3:58 pm

I held a teleclass with another mom yesterday, and boy was that fun. There’s nothing like connecting live, with other mom entrepreneurs and working through marketing challenges together.

So since I get so much out of it, I’m going to be selfish here and host another class and you’re invited! ;-) The best part is, it’s free! Will you join me?

And as owner of an international PR firm for 10 years now, working with big name corporate clients, I do know this stuff!

Getting PR can help drive traffic to your website and generate big-time sales. After selling my own e-commerce company – all because of PR – my new found passion is to help other mompreneurs and smaller businesses get the publicity that your great companies deserve.

Register for this free call here:
How to Do Your Own PR

This class is for you if you’re a mompreneur who wants to save money by doing your own PR and just need a little help getting started.

Even if you already have my PR in Your Pajamas ebook, I guarantee you’ll get something valuable from this call.

Here is that link again:
How to Do Your Own PR

See you on the call!

PR in Your Pajamas – Practical Publicity for Mom Entrepreneurs

Category : Public Relations

PR Headlines That Get You Noticed

Posted by at 14 July, 2009, 10:34 am

I always start with the headline first when writing media pitches or press releases. Doing so helps keep me focused on the main point I want to get across and also, an interesting headline will mean the difference between a journalist opening your email and/or reading the rest of your story pitch.

Remember that reporters are busy and receive hundreds of emails, voice messages and requests for their time. Here are four headline ideas for pitching a reporter on your business that will get you noticed:

1. News Headline – remember that this has to be timely and news-worthy. Examples are when you first launched a new product, awards for your company, or company milestones.

  • Babyclothing company launches spring clothing line only in the color green
  • You awarded World Mompreneur of the Year Award

2. How to Headline – this type of headline gives a promise that you are going to teach something. You can use a basic a structure such as “How to (Do something) That (will give you this benefit).

  • How to Get Your Kids to Sleep Through the Night in 7 days
  • How to Start A Mom Entrepreneur Business That Earns Six Figures in the First Year And Still Maintain Your Sanity

3. Question Headline – for this to work, it must be a question that the reporter’s audience (and therefore your target market) would really like to see answered.

  • Do employers really know what moms are looking for in the workplace? (this could be the result of a survey, which can be an effective PR tactic especially for start up businesses in a crowded marketplace)
  • What are the Top 5 Business Models for a Mompreneur Business

The last example combines a question and my favorite type of headline…

4. List Headline – who doesn’t love a top 10 list? This type of headline lists a number of ways where you make a specific promise of what to expect if they read on and communicates information in bite-sized chunks.

  • The 10 Must-Do “Date-Nights” for Families
  • 8 Lessons from a Life Coach

So take a few minutes now (yes, now!) and brainstorm the types of headlines above that you can tailor to your business. Send a pitch today, and let me know if you get a media hit!

Elena Verlee
PR in Your Pajamas - Do-it-yourself Publicity for Mom Entrepreneurs

Category : Press Releases | Public Relations

Where to post a press release for free

Posted by at 15 June, 2009, 12:12 pm

One of the questions I get asked most often from entrepreneurs doing their own PR is “Where can I post a press release for free?”

If you have the time and are so inclined, check out 60+ sites to post a free press release.

As mompreneurs our time is valuable so from the feedback I gathered, three good sites to post on are: (this one looks like they will charge you $24.95 but all new registrations get a $25 credit so really, it’s free)

I’d love to know if any of you have used these sites, or others and have feedback to share.

Elena Verlee
Practical Publicity for the Time-Strapped Mom Entrepreneur

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Category : Press Releases | Public Relations

The Difference Between PR and Advertising

Posted by at 26 May, 2009, 5:48 pm

When I talk to mompreneurs about marketing, most remark that if they had more cash, they would buy more advertising to promote their business.

It’s actually rare that moms or other entrepreneurs mention getting PR in terms of growing their business. However, both PR and advertising are important in the marketing of a business, depending on what stage your business is at.

PR builds awareness of your product or service, and advertising supports the brand when it gets known.

With PR you get:

• Free Placement
• A Journalistic Slant – a journalist can write what they want no matter how you position your story
• A story that usually runs only once or twice (exceptions are when a newswire picks up the story)
• Credibility because it’s viewed as a third-party endorsement
• No guarantees and it can be time-consuming

With Advertising you get:

• Paid Placement
• Complete creative control
• Visibility and ads will run as often as you’re willing to pay
• Media-savvy consumers know it’s an ad, and tend to be skeptical
• A guaranteed date the ad will run and it’s easy if you have money to spend

PR builds credibility, Advertising builds visibility.

Let me give you an example regarding PR and advertising. An editor at the New York Times wrote over a quarter page plus a photo for a client. That article garnered lots of inquiries from customers and distributors wanting to carry their product. Another side benefit was that other reporters became interested in writing about the company.

That’s what’s cool about PR. Because it’s written by a journalist, there’s instant credibility and other people become more interested. If my client had taken out an ad of that size, it would have cost them, oh about $25,000. That’s a lot of money for something most of us wouldn’t even notice. That’s a lot of money for most of us, period.

So, although PR may be time consuming with no guarantees, it can also be very powerful especially for small businesses and mompreneurs with limited promotion budgets. If you can’t afford a professional publicist, don’t be afraid to learn how to do PR yourself. It’s one of the most cost-effective and credible ways to build a business.

Elena Verlee
Practical Publicity for the Time-Strapped Mom Entrepreneur

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Category : Marketing | Public Relations

What is PR?

Posted by at 28 April, 2009, 7:45 pm

When I was in university, I was studying to be a journalist when one of my professors suggested I go into PR. He told me there would be more opportunities in the field, more flexibility, and I would still be applying a lot of the rules of journalism in my work. I looked into PR and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was the first time I had ever heard of the term, and now almost 20 years later I find myself explaining to almost everyone I meet, the definition of PR. There are many facets, but for a mompreneur business, I’ll keep it simple.

PR builds awareness and credibility for your company, product or service – which is critical for entrepreneurs and new startups. Company information is shared through the media (reporters and bloggers), in order to reach customers, potential employees, joint venture partners, investors and anyone else who needs to know about you. Usually the end result you are expecting is a story in the paper, magazine or blog which then drives people to your website or store to evaluate, and then eventually buy your product or service.

I hope that removes some of the aura of mystery around what PR is!

Elena Verlee
Practical Publicity for the Time-Strapped Mom Entrepreneur

Follow me on Twitter
Link with me on LinkedIn

Category : Public Relations

Hi, I’m PR Mom

Posted by at 21 April, 2009, 11:23 pm

Hi everyone!

I wanted to introduce myself as your PR Mom blogger. I’m Elena Verlee, a serial entrepreneur with three companies and 17 years of experience working in PR in North America, Europe and now Asia! I’ve had an international PR consultancy for over a decade working with start-ups as well as billion dollar technology companies. I also have a coaching company for entrepreneurs, and now a do-it-yourself PR company for small businesses.

A couple of years ago I sold my own mom (and pop)-preneur online business using only PR as a marketing tool and this made me realize how much small businesses can benefit from PR. It’s not just for the big boys!

Getting PR can bring publicity, credibility and clients to your business but moms think it’s either too expensive to hire a consultant (let alone an agency), too scary to do yourself, or just too confusing to be part of your marketing plan.

I’m here to show you it’s not the case! I’m looking forward to helping you jumpstart your PR and your business.

Elena Verlee
Serial entrepreneur with 2 kids, 3 businesses, living in 2 countries (and still sane)

Category : Blogger Introductions