Anne Howard's PR Pointers
Here are some PR rules of the game you won't want to miss. Black Star Business Columnist, Phil Andrews interviews Anne Howard of RUSH PR.
Black Star Business Columnist, Phil Andrews goes one-on-one with Anne Howard of RUSH PR.
Anne Laszlo-Howard has been a strong ally and a great colleague to growing African American Public Relations and Communications companies. Her approach to life always has been one of intense persuasion, being thorough; refusing to simply scan over things, always willing to ask the hard questions. This has resulted in a career far from conventional, even for her chosen field in communications. Born in Montreal,Canada from parents escaping Stalin and the rise of communism, she left her hometown as a teenager to seek out adventure in the warmer climate of the Southern states. Once her studies in Communications completed, she settled in New York, splitting her time bi-coastally, between New York and San Francisco for about 16 years, but has now moved back to Montreal. Even though she now resides in Canada Anne’s clientele is 99% based in the States.
Anne is a regular contributor to Newsblaze, an online daily publication with over 3 million visitors a month. Ann writes everything from film reviews to business stories and has established a reputation as a kick-butt press agent and publicist, with clients in the entertainment industry and corporate America.
In 2005, Anne launched RUSHPRNEWS, a newswire and press release service company, offering distribution to newsrooms and web posting at a reasonable price. She is a wiz at web marketing and keeps up with the latest marketing and hi tech trends in order to ensure her clients maximum results. Anne’s belief is that the key to success is to establish strategic partnership and often to accept projects that others wouldn’t approach due to their unusual nature.
Black Star News Business Columnist Phil Andrews interviews PR Guru, Anne Laszlo-Howard
BSN: Anne, what advice would you give to a novice who is interested in breaking into the Public Relations field?
Anne: Read and write as much as you can. Work as an intern at a news outlet in order to better understand what reporters and news editors are looking for. With a background in journalism, you will be a tremendous asset to any public relations firm.
BSN: How and when did you decide to enter the area of Public Relations?
Anne: It came out of my interest in social activism. I saw that I could do good work by promoting events with a social and political agenda. I wanted to help promote these good causes. PR combines my love of the public and of writing.
BSN: Anne, are there any trade publications or websites to help someone who is just starting out in the area of Public Relations get off to a good start?
Anne: O’dwyer is a good place to check out and of course your local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America offers job searching tips
BSN: Anne, who are some of the clients that you have represented over the years?
Anne: Dunn and Bradstreet/United Nations Development Programs, Aids organizations, YWCA, The Clearing House for Criminal Justice, Tibet Human Rights Org, various members of the entertainment industry and film festivals, modern-day inventor Wayne Fromm and its latest invention the Quik Pod, Compaq computers, Kodak, Pfizer pharmaceutical and others in the pharmaceutical industry and a multitude of Internet start-ups based in Silicon Valley.
BSN: What do you most enjoy about your daily work?
Anne: Writing and booking interviews.
BSN: What are some of the publications that your work has been featured in?
Anne: The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, San Francisco, the Black Star News, the NJ Daily Record, CNN, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News across the country, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, CBC, cityTV
BSN: You currently own a newswire and press distribution service which circulates on the World Wide Web. Could you tell us a little about that venture?
Anne: Besides my services as a publicist and as a writer, I wanted to offer an affordable and efficient way for small businesses to reach media outlets and create for themselves a web presence, without the hassle of having to join and fill out a membership form as other services require. Ordering press release distribution with RushPRnews is rapid and straightforward. Each client who chooses the paid service gets its own web page, with proper meta tags, keywords and indexation in GOOGLE NEWS. I must add that my database was created by my extensive compilation of media outlets that I have acquired in my 20 years in the business.
BSN: Anne, what makes a good Publicist in your opinion?
Anne: Openness, willingness to do research, developing writing and people skills. And never to lie to the press! And if you have been misinformed by your client, to stand up for the truth. I do not believe in “spinning” the truth. Positioning a story to make it appropriate for a news media is spinning the truth. Reporters will not forgive you for cheating them either! Last year I found myself with two different clients in a compromising situation as I realized that they had lied to me about the nature of their project in order to obtain press coverage. It was horrible for me and I personally went back to the press and apologized for the misinformation that I had divulged. Very embarrassing. And it didn’t pay off for these clients to behave in this manner. I since dropped them as clients. So to recap what makes a good publicist is writing and people skills, and integrity.
BSN: Anne, I had the opportunity to read your bio and I was very impressed. You mentioned that you are quite a whiz at web marketing, what does web marketing entail?
Anne: Thank you for the kind words Phil. Basic html code helps. The ability to review a website not only from its design and navigation perspective but by reviewing its source and ensuring that the proper meta tags and keywords are entered and then manually submitting the website to a large number of search engines. Google and Yahoo are just two of hundreds of search engines out there. Extensive blogging, web posting and creating a live dialogue on the web with others who share similar interests or have an interest or need for whatever your company has to offer.
BSN: Anne, how important is developing relationships with other media personnel in your line of work?
Anne: It is crucial. I perceive my relationship with members of the press as a partnership with one goal in mind -- accurately informing and entertaining the public.
BSN: Some of our readers may be interested in your services, how can they get in contact with you?
Anne: They may contact me by visiting my websites at www.annehowardpublicist.com (for pr services) or www.rushprnews.com for press release distribution services.
The first inquire must be done by email.
BSN: During your studies in the area of communication what was the most important thing that you learned?
Anne: Do your research and analyze the impact a story may have on the public
BSN: How have strategic partnerships helped you in the area of Public Relations?
Anne: Strategic partnerships are vital in this competitive environment as they create entry points in areas where one may not otherwise have access to. For example a news outlet who is building a readership may be on the lookout for news items, I may provide them with news tips and in exchange, they may publish my stories.
BSN: Some of our readers are interested in viewing your newswire and press distribution service, could you give us the web site url?
BSN: Do you have any other web sites besides RushPRnews.com, if so please share them with us.
Anne: www.annehowardpublicist.com for my pr services. I also often publish articles of my own at www.Newsblaze.com. I mostly write about the entertainment industry and about human-rights issues.
BSN: Anne, what final tip would you give to those seeking longevity in the Public Relations Business?
Anne: Always be polite and for crying out loud, keep a sense of humor. Never let them see you sweat, even though you will be working under a great amount of pressure at most time.
This interview was brought to BSN by Phil Andrews, a Business Columnist for Black Star News and host of The Power Networking Series located at www.powernetworkingseries.com. The Power Networking Series is a referral-based business network online and offline which offers membership and presents monthly Power Networking Series Business Card Exchanges in the NYC metropolitan area. To be placed on our email list log on to www.powernetworkingseries.com and click on event link, scroll down to bottom of page and enter email address.
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