Business Recommendations From Black PR Agency Owners

National Black Business Month has come to an end. The month highlighted economic empowerment and resilience within the Black community and recognizes those with an entrepreneurial spirit. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Black-owned businesses have grown in recent years, but those businesses accounted for only 3% of all U.S. firms that were classifiable by the race and ethnicity of their owners in 2020.

For National Black Business Month, I asked several Black public relations (PR) agency owners to share their recommendations for PR success. Their recommendations can be used all year-long. Here’s what they had to say:

“In our business efforts, one factor which sometimes gets overlooked is the value positive publicity can bring. When managed effectively, PR can be a revenue-producing tool. A strong brand is key to attracting and maintaining customers, so business owners should be thoughtful about ensuring they establish and maintain a strong brand to help gain client trust and industry regard. My primary advice is to hire a professional with trade-specific experience to craft a plan to provide publicity opportunities for executives and their businesses, with initiatives such as: acting as a subject matter expert for media; managing a blog; publishing bylined articles; speaking at events; hosting a podcast; and maintaining a positive social media presence regarding industry issues. All of these tools help keep your name and industry positioning at the forefront. PR should be considered one of the essential tools of running any business.” – Treva J. Marshall, President of TJM Communications, who founded her agency more than 20 years ago.

“In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, understanding the significance of effective communication cannot be overstated. As a Black entrepreneur, your journey towards success involves not only creating a remarkable product or service but also building a strong relationship with your audience. Take the time to deeply understand your audience. Who are they? What are their needs, desires, and pain points? What do they value most? People don’t just buy products or services; they buy into stories. Your brand story should encapsulate your journey, vision, and the impact you wish to make.” – Tonya Veasey, CEO of Open Channels Group (OCGPR), an agency that helps companies and organizations open doors to new opportunities for impact.

“Avoid rushing into tactics before establishing a well-rounded plan. A successful public relations strategy relies on a strong foundation of both a compelling message and a true understanding of who supports your business. Your message should not only convey what you do but why your business is a solution for your intended audience. And when it comes to that audience, go beyond the basic information. Dig deeper to understand their pain points. That clarity will make your communication efforts that much more powerful.” – Wendy J. Roundtree, APR, Founder, Lead Strategist of Jarel Communications, an agency that works to tell stories that promote their impact in the community.

According to Black Enterprise, the history of Black entrepreneurship can be traced back to the late 1700s — when Black people opened small businesses such as barbershops and tobacco stores. Entrepreneurship has a rich history and continues to be a powerful influence in the Black community and the economy. With these PR recommendations, Black entrepreneurs can continue to thrive not only during Black Business Month, but every month of the year.

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