PR and Writing Expert Hope Katz Gibbs

Topics for entrepreneurs: 60-minute interactive talks
(These can be extended into 2-hour workshops)

PR Rules: The Playbook

The goal as a business owner is to excel in your area of expertise, but you also need to be savvy, strategic, and smart when it comes to getting the word out about the great work you do. In this 60-minute speech, we’ll teach you how to make the PR plays that score customers using the five tools and rules from our Inkandescent toolbox:

  • Be Savvy: Understand the PR Playing Field. Learn the difference between PR, marketing, advertising and sales.
  • Be Strategic: Map Out Your End Game. To help you be successful, we’ll identify the goals for what we have seen be the most successful PR, marketing, and advertising campaigns.
  • Be Wise: Understand The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure. In the land of PR, simplicity can often be complicated. In all of our years of working as entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurs, we have identified three attitudes that cause a business to go south—and not for the balmy winters. We call it The Trifecta of Business Failure. We can help you find ways to avoid these three deadly sins.
  • Be Money-Smart: Assess the ROI. No successful businessperson does anything without knowing how much it will cost—and what the likely return will be on the investment. We’ll help you map out the finances of engaging in a variety of PR and marketing campaigns, and help you understand how to best assess the return on your investment.
  • Be Big, Dream Big—Tell Your Story. And as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, the key to turning a big idea into a big business is to keep it simple. We’d like to add another point to that strategy: Make it fun.

The 7 Steps to PR Success
includes our handout, The 12 PR Rules of Thumb

Of the zillion PR firms in America, odds are good that no two will approach PR and marketing your business the same way. But, we all use the same tools in the PR toolbox. What will set your business apart from the pack is how you finesse your message, stay consistent, and find clever ways to maximize your visibility.

In this 60-minute speech, we’ll begin by sharing the 7 Steps to PR Success that you need to know before you get started (20 minutes):

1. Create a website that attracts customers and reporters
2. Write an e-newsletter that doesn’t get deleted
3. Write press releases that get you in the news, and articles that capture the attention of potential customers
4. Make your social media matter
5. Network well—how and where
6. When, and how, to write a book
7. Get on the speaker circuit

For the remainder of the time, we’ll invite the audience to share their websites, newsletters, marketing materials, and social media strategies with the group to discuss and analyze. [Internet connection is required for this portion of the talk.]

Overcoming the Trifecta of Small-Business Failure

Why do so many small businesses fail? Because as entrepreneurs the very characteristics and skills that make you want to start a business are most likely the ones that are causing you to stumble. Here’s what we’ve heard some of our former clients say:

1. I want do it all by myself. After all, that’s why I went into business for myself in the first place.
2. I know I need a little help, but it’s so expensive. Do you promise that your help will make my business a success?
3. If I do hire and trust you, I want you to deliver on your promises and turn my business around within 30 days.

You are laughing, right? Partly because this approach sounds like something your children might say—and partly because it’s exactly how you feel. So stop the madness, and turn the trifecta on its head. In this 60-minute speech, which includes audience participation, we’ll show you how you how to buck the trend and create your own Trifecta of Small-Business Success.

Media Savvy Workshop: How to Make the Press Want to Meet You

How can you get in front of reporters, and talk to them so they care about your story? This talk is a strategy session that will help you learn to think like a reporter, and get your company in the news. Here’s how:

• Dive deep: Know when you have a story worth telling, and when you don’t.
• Find the reporters who will care: Slow and steady wins the race.
• Build up to the big time: Create a long-range PR strategy.
• Talk the walk: How to write a press release that gets attention.
• Maximize your visibility: What to do with your press coverage once you get it.

We’ll also discuss whether getting in the news is the best use of your PR energy.

Embrace Your Inner Publicist: Five Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Small Business

Before the branding and website, before the press releases and media kit—and not long after the business plan is penned—it’s essential when launching a successful company to know, down deep, who you are, what you truly want from your company (besides making money), and what is going to get in the way of accomplishing your dreams. It’s not easy owning, running, and growing a business—especially in an era when the national and global economy are perpetually shifting. But it can be done.

In this 60-minute, interactive talk, we’ll discuss the things that scare you most. In addition to the discussion about overcoming fears to help you move forward, this presentation includes one interactive project.

Other speaking topics for entrepreneurs: 30-minute luncheon talks

Crisis Management 101: How to avoid a crisis before it happens—and what to do when you can’t
Why do small businesses, and big businesses, get themselves in such big trouble? That’s a rhetorical question, because the answers are as numerous as the problems themselves. So the key to avoid being the dramatic headline on the 6 o’clock news is to plan ahead, be prepared for the worst, and always always tell the truth. In this 30-minute talk, we’ll share case studies of the clients we have worked with who found themselves in the hot seat—and how they got themselves back on steady ground.

The Collaboration Crisis: Why partnering should be your friend, and how to make it work for you and your business
Why don’t more entrepreneurs band together? The psychology is fascinating, and relates to the first point in our talk, “The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure,” which is: “I do it all by myself.” In this 30-minute discussion, we’ll talk about why it’s essential to overcome this stumbling block, and how to find the perfect partners who will not only help grow your business, they’ll make your company—and life—more fun.

Popular and Pretty vs. Smart and Sexy: What side of you do you want to show the world?
In this brave new world of solopreneurship, it’s important to know who you are, what your goals are—and that your choice will be reflected in your imaging. In this playful, interactive talk, we’ll take a look at the difference between “popular and pretty” and “smart and sexy,” and help you position your firm to attract like-minded customers.

Living Life Creatively: What it takes to turn your passion into your life’s work, and how to make money doing what you love.
It’s easier than you think. You just need to put a plan around your vision, and work at it until it becomes reality. Using a handful of easy-to-apply tools, we’ll help you create the live you love.

Ending the Mommy Wars: Making your business work for your family, and yourself
You want to work, but you think your kids need you too much. And yet, every day, you wake up feeling like something is missing. Here are insights to help you turn your passion into reality, and determine the best next steps for living the life of your dreams.

Note: This 30-minute speech (which can be a 60-minute interactive engagement, or 2-hour workshop) will walk participants through the steps you can take to achieve business success so that you can stop fighting yourself—and be yourself.

• Know who you are, what you really want—and why
• Determine the difference between a hobby and a business—and decide which is best for you to pursue
• Think through what would work best for you and your family today—and make a plan to grow in the future

For more information, contact Hope Gibbs at, or 703 346-6975.