Score A-List Public Relations on a Shoestring Budget

Find success with do-it-yourself marketing

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So, how do A-list celebrities and corporations secure that ultimate public relations campaign that has them on everyone’s lips?

First, let’s talk about what public relations entails: fostering public goodwill and creating a favorable opinion for a product, person, or thing. Basically, it attracts consumer attention to a product and is generally a well planned campaign. Public relations is not about creating a one-shot hype campaign, planning a special event, and hosting a party for the media. That’s called publicity.

Lisa Price of the popular and multimillion-selling natural haircare company Carol’s Daughter certainly secures A-list PR now, however, that was not always the case. So what did she do?

She created both short-term and long-term plans, hired top-notch professionals — strategic marketing and brand expert Steve Stoute, along with celebrity endorsers including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Mary J. Blige — to promote her brand and business.

Most burgeoning stars and business owners hire a publicist, which can range from $2,500 to $10,000 a month. It is possible to do it yourself, and as the PR expert, I’m going to show you how.

These strategies will not only get you started; they will empower you to win and standout from the competition:

1. Define your message: Take the time to write and research what you want to convey, identify your target audience, your strengths, niche, and specify what you are offering that is different from your competition. It’s not always about being the best — it’s about being consistent and giving the same experience each time.

2. Create a logo: A logo also called the identity is the heart of your company and brand. The identity becomes the face for your brand and it must reflect the essence of what your company represents. While you might think that you can create a logo yourself, consider that a company can spend millions of dollars to develop just one logo. I suggest using a professional. Visit graphic design organization sites such as AIGA and Graphic Artists Guild.

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  • Wendy

    Thanks again for such an informative article. I am currently working my brand on a shoestring budget and will implement your invaluable tips.

    • Wendy, thanks for always commenting and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your energy.

  • Valerie

    Thank you so much we are launching serveral eccentric art projects and were wondering how to do this on a budget. Appreciate your time and expertise! Want to order you e-book, as well. After ordering the ebook I will contact you.

    • Wonderful! Make certain you inform/alert the media via a press release 8-10 weeks before the launch.

  • Jocelyn

    I just started my own PR firm and I am looking for clients. If you have a moment check out Brown Sugar Entertainment, LLC group on Facebook. I would love to help those just starting out.

  • Thanks for sharing your expertise! Somehow, when you present the steps to scoring A-List Publicity, it doesn’t seem quite as intimidating. It seems attainable. Thanks again, Karen!

  • Karen,finding your email in my in box makes my week! I look forward to reading the information you impart. As well as,implementing your recommendations. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Excellent Strategies Karen!

    To increase my brand I have done the following: contributed natural beauty articles to sites like the Coil Review, written a book “Reflections of Radiant Beauty”, Styled natural hair for the BET Honors my Red Carpet event, presented workshops on transitioning at the Baltimore Natural Hair Care expo, developed a … See Morecertification course online, and most recently became a sponsor for Miss Black Maryland for the Miss Black USA pageant 2010. I actually have only written press releases for about two of these things. My Facebook fan page, e-list and Twitter get updated but could be doing more. There is a need for competent, dedicated boutique PR firms! Oh and how could I forget I attended Karen’s event in NYC that resulted in great testimonials, magazine and blog features from Sisterhood Agenda and Get Em Girls Guide 🙂 Karen I will dig into your book – want my caviar!

  • This is rocking Karen. YOU bring it. When you going to get YOUR own magazine on PR. Can I write for you! 🙂 Love you. GREAT tips – read and heed everyone! This is TRUTH she writes! Good job!

    Pam Perry

  • Hello, My name is Kemi Shotomide I recently graduated from college with a degree in Public Relations. During my college career I would often get feedback that the field of Public Relations was not one dominated by African Americans. That information left me a little down and a little discouraged while venturing into the corporate world. After analyzing the words of Terrie Williams and your blog I have become newly inspired to set out an accomplish my primary goals, and that is to become a sucessful black women in Public Relations.

    Thank-you so much for the knowledge and trail blazing tactics that will pave the way for many after you.

  • Thanks for the plug, Karen.

    Our site is indeed a very effective and affordable tool!

    Dante Lee
    founder of

  • Great post!

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