During this session of Living Room Airlines, we heard from professionals in Nashville. Rachel Gaylord and Jenna Lorenz, both from Belle Communications, shared their experiences putting a PR campaign together from start to finish. Belle Communications is an online, Columbus-based public relations firm that works with various clients across the food, retail, tech, and auto industries. Some of their clients include Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Fox in the Snow Cafe, Ricart Automotive, and many more.
Jenna and Rachel shared that no day is ever the same in the PR agency world. You have to manage a variety of tasks from pitching to reporters to meeting with clients to give updates on campaigns. Typically, a client comes to Belle with a specific goal or challenge in mind. From there, they have an exploratory meeting with the potential client to see if they will be a good fit for the agency. Then they get right to work, as Belle promises media results in the first 30 days of working with them.
Jenna and Rachel shared several campaigns that they have worked on, and provided insight on the role PR plays in business operations. For example, their campaign with Ricart Automotive was created to tell the story of the brand, as well as highlight their philanthropic contributions to the Columbus community. This campaign resulted in 116 media opportunities, and mentions in local media outlets like the Columbus Dispatch, as well as national media outlets like NPR.
Another campaign they highlighted was a launch campaign for Jeni’s new everything bagel ice cream flavor. This campaign garnered a massive internet and social media response. Rachel shared that part of the reason this campaign gained so much attention was because Jeni’s was willing to leverage all mentions—good and bad— of the new flavor. Ultimately, this campaign resulted in 92 media mentions, including on platforms such as Good Morning America and People Magazine.
Next we heard from Krista Bliumentalis, a product marketer for Built Technologies, a construction finance company. Krista highlighted three different paths you can take with a PR or marketing career. First, product marketers work to bring a product to the market. The goal of a product marketer is to drive sales, to do this you have to have an in-depth understanding of your customer base. Next, Krista talked about content marketing. A content marketer works to attract new customers and communicate the brand’s story. This can take a variety of forms, such as working on blogs, infographics, testimonials from customers, or social media. Lastly, Krista shared a little bit about the role of demand generation, or marketing managers. Their goal is to get customers to engage with the brand. They do this through media like email campaigns, social media, and direct mail. This type of role has a hand in the campaign from start to finish.
Krista also shared the biggest markets for communications professionals in Nashville right now: music and entertainment, healthcares, tech companies, and agencies. She provided examples for each of these categories, some of which include iHeartRadio, HCA Healthcare, Built Technologies, and Bohan Advertising. Finally, Krista shared some tips for job hunting and networking in Nashville. Reaching out to alumni, or just other professionals who have a career you are interested in, is a great way to make connections in new cities. Krista recommends using LinkedIn to set up job alerts, network, and research different companies to figure out which job might be the right fit for you.
Thank you to everyone who attended this session, and thank you to our professionals for sharing about their careers in PR and marketing and their experience in Nashville!