Expert Interviews: Sonnay Lee, Lee PR Boutique
“Gain Interest in Your Company with a Well-written Pitch and Media Kit ”
Tell us a little about Lee PR Boutique and your specialty:
Lee PR Boutique is my third child; it is the next step in building my company up while also helping so many others get theirs started. My specialty is helping startup companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs, get organized, attain exposure, gain confidence, and build an online presence so they can stand out against competitors and bring in new business.
What’s unique about your services and why is it considered to be a boutique?
My company used to be called S.O.A.T Consulting which stood for "Sonnay of all trades" because I have a diverse skillset. My first degree is in paralegal studies, my second degree (in progress) will be in communications and business. I have been working with different types of small businesses (From medical to beauty to contractors) for years so I have learned a lot about different industries and how small businesses are run. My services are unique because you may be coming to me for help with obtaining your LLC and PR but after a strategy session, you will leave with more confidence in yourself and a better perspective on how to organize your processes for maximum efficiency, and get your business up and running. I don’t just offer services, I offer motivational strategy sessions to help you uncover your true potential while navigating a new venture. In the business world, a boutique company is a small business that focuses on a particular niche. I used the term "boutique" in my business name to represent that I have a niche type of client that I work with and to tie in my love for shopping and fashion. When you are looking to start a business, it is a good idea to find a need that people have and come up with a way to fulfill it. I constantly see ads, e-books, and other service offerings for business owners who are already in business, but what about all of the people that would love to start a business and don’t know exactly where to start? My niche type of clients is a start-up, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
Can you share the different types of PRs that exist?
PR is the management of relationships, and because there are so many different types of business relationships, there are many types of PR. A few of the most common are; media relations, community relations, social responsibility, employee relations, crisis management & internal communication. Media relations is the management of the relationship between a company and different media outlets and publications. This type of PR helps people get featured on the news, magazines, blogs, etc. Community relations is where you are building a relationship with the community local to your business, this includes other businesses as well as consumers. This can be achieved through volunteering, charity, donations, and event attendance. Social responsibility is the management of a company’s ethics and making sure they are sensitive to social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues. Crisis management is pretty self-explanatory, people make mistakes and sometimes things come out about a company or its employees that could hurt their reputation, it is important to come up with a way to turn it around and not lose trust from all of the people your company has built a positive relationship with thus far. Employee relations and internal communication are types of PR that involve relationship management within the company, happy employees lead to a better run company so it is extremely important to make sure that these relationships are managed well.
I can appreciate the ‘above and beyond approach’ you have for your clients, but explain exactly what the functions (or examples) of a PR’s role look like.
The functions of a PR specialist can vary depending on the type of relationship you are working on building, but the main step in building any relationship (outside of your company) is reaching out, and gaining interest in your company with a well-written pitch and media kit. A media kit is a well-organized informational document detailing the history and nature of your business or organization. The kit should include bios of major players within the company, your mission statement, and showcase what makes you unique. It is an overview of your company’s goals, successes, and visions so that others can make an informed decision on whether or not their ideals align with yours, and building a relationship would be beneficial to everyone. The pitch is a compelling storyline on the relevance and newsworthiness of whatever you are pitching i.e. your client, their business, or an upcoming event they want to be featured. Some of the daily functions of a PR specialist would be; drafting pitches, creating media kits, emails to journalists, bloggers, influencers, etc., planning your involvement with community activities, facilitating speaking engagements, and much more!
Explain how the functions relate to your services and what you specifically offer.
I am a PR Strategist & Business Consultant so I offer PR & business services. The type of PR that I offer for my new clients is media relations; so I create pitches and media kits and connect my clients with publications and outlets that would be most beneficial for them to work with. I also offer other types of PR services but for current clients only. I have to protect the image of my company as well so I like to vet my clients before deciding to help them with other areas of public relations that would require me to be more involved and show face, such as community outreach, events marketing, and brand management. I also assist people with the beginning stages of setting up a business i.e. obtaining their LLC, setup of a website and social platforms, and much more. I am currently working on a section on my website called "the one-stop-shop" for the DIY'ers that feel they can do it themselves if they just had the tools. The One Stop Shop is going to offer templates for things such as operating agreements, marketing plans, and forms and instructions for obtaining your LLC.
How important are public relations for a business? Is it more fitting for large companies such as major corporations?
This is a great question, I like to say that PR is EVERYTHING you do! because in business, it truly is. Public relations are a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between a company and the general public. The "general public" is basically everybody; your clients, your employees, other businesses that you work with or source from, etc. It is very important to make sure that all of these relationships are managed properly and remain positive to be seen as a company that people want to do business with. Word of mouth is one of the most trusted and organic referral types, regardless of the size of the business it is important to build a network of other businesses and consumers who trust you and would recommend you to others. This is best achieved by sharing your story and engaging with the community through a well-planned PR strategy.
Do you feel Covid-19 has had any type of impact on your business? How so?
Yes, COVID-19 definitely changed things for me. I had to take on a larger role than I was initially supposed to with one of my clients in an effort to keep his business running and keep the checks coming. I wasn't able to take on many new clients due to the fact that I was so engulfed in helping him stay afloat. The positive side is that I had a lot of time to think about what direction I wanted to take my business in moving forward and I decided to do a revamp. I changed my business name from S.O.A.T Consulting to Lee PR Boutique and re-did my website and niched down on my services. Another plus is that there are a lot of people looking to open their own businesses after seeing how their companies let them go without a second thought during a crisis. I am hoping to be able to connect with all of the budding entrepreneurs that COVID has bloomed.
How should people get in touch with your services?
Is there anything else you’ll like to share with the readers?
Never be afraid to bet on yourself and take a chance. If you think you have a great idea for a business, build a team, and get started!
Thank you Sonnay for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us about the value of PR services I’m sure many people can relate to many of the points we’ve touched on today.
No, thank you, it’s been a pleasure! I hope that I was able to convey the importance of a PR Plan for your business and educate people on the public relations field.
Please contact Sonnay at Lee PR Boutique for her services.
Continue to watch out for more interviews, tips, and advice from amazing experts like Sonnay Lee, stay tuned! Also, Sonnay Lee will be one of our presenters during our bi-monthly conference on December 9, 2020 at 10am EST/US, called "The Primary Functions of a Business" lookout for the details on our calendar: www.gracie-events.com/event
Sonnay, it’s been a pleasure!
Until next time,
Check out the video chat between Sonnay and Gracie:
To learn more about Lee PR Boutique services visit www.leeprboutique.com