Prowly #PRChat with Jennifer Berson, Founder of Jeneration PR

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We call it Prowly #PRChat because it’s like having a quick conversation with a friend or colleague – the kind where you learn something useful to file away for later!

Being in the same room as Jennifer Berson, founder of Jeneration PR & Jeneration Academy, would definitely be a great chance to become an even better PR pro. She’s a former lawyer turned PR leader for beauty, lifestyle and children’s brands. Her specialty is boosting online visibility and she has lots of experience gaining coverage for her clients in an impressive list of publications. 

Now you can hear her tips on “Working Through a Reputation Crisis” anywhere, anytime by watching her PR Episodes session anywhere, anytime!

We reached out to Jennifer to get her take on these questions & here’s what she had to say.

What is a commonly held belief in PR that you passionately disagree with? 

A commonly held belief is that the broader your areas of expertise are, the more opportunity you have. This actually could not be further from the truth! In reality, the more niched down you are, the more in-demand you’ll be, and you can also charge a higher retainer when you are a specialist. Niching down and gaining a deep expertise in your space is actually the way to grow your business strategically and become a sought-after PR Pro who can charge premium retainers! 

What’s something you or your team have recently achieved that you’re really proud of?

We were recently awarded the Inc. Magazine Best in Business Award in Advertising and Marketing. This was actually given to us for Profitable PR Pros, our online educational hub for PR professionals, which includes coaching, training and resources that we have developed. We’re extremely proud of this honor and recognition because it is truly based on the success of the members of our programs. We have connected with members all over the world who are using our programs and mentorship to create businesses that allow them to also have work/life integration. It is incredibly rewarding, and the side of my business I am most proud of!

What is the most gratifying part of your job?

With Profitable PR Pros, it’s so awesome to be able to support women all over the world, making an impact in their professional lives and helping them to build their careers around the kind of personal life they want to have. We’ve created this proven model for learning the “ins and outs” of PR, as well as to run a buttoned-up, successful and profitable PR agency. To see people actually implement our training and achieve success — especially mothers who are doing so while also being present for their children — is the most gratifying aspect of my business.

What’s one successful PR tactic you are using at the moment? 

In order to foster our relationships with editors and journalists, we’re inviting them to Zoom coffee (sending them Starbucks gift cards or La Colombe canned iced lattes in advance). These are just quick, 15 minute “getting to know you” calls, but the approach is to always lead with offering to help them and adding value. Asking “What are you working on right now where I could be of support to you?” That simple question will help you strengthen your relationships with journalists and grow your media contact network.

What skills do you think PRs need to be successful long-term?

A few skills that are important in a person to be successful in the long-run as a PR Pro:

  • Creative: A successful comms pro is a creative thinker and strategic storyteller, able to look at a client and see multiple ways to talk about them and position them in the marketplace. They’re able to see how to easily set their clients apart from the competition. 
  • Strategic: Someone who can see those creative approaches and understand the nuances between pitch angles for different publications. They know how to match the story to the right outlet and the right editor at the publication.
  • Organized: Someone that’s organized and is able to keep track of a lot of different things at different stages and know where things are in order to follow up and stay on top of open pitches. 
  • Passionate: A successful PR Pro is persistent and passionate, and can convince someone based on their excitement/enthusiasm/creativity/story.

Do you think storytelling is necessary for PR?

Yes, of course! Now more than ever storytelling is an essential element to be successful in PR. It’s really important that you align your idea and have a compelling hook or angle, and you also need your pitch ideas to be timely, relevant and topical so that you have the best chance of landing features for your clients. 

You can have the best idea ever, but if it’s not timely you’re going to miss out on that chance because the opportunity has passed, and if it’s not relevant to the publication you’re pitching, why would they even  care? Storytelling is a foundational, critical skill to successfully position your clients when pitching the media.

Listen to the discussion where Tonya McKenzie and Jen Berson will share their tips on building a bulletproof brand and working through a reputation crisis.