PR Wars Podcast: Publicity on a budget

We have to be realistic about our budgets. When you work with a small business, every dollar needs to get results. Our guest today on the PR Wars podcast is Carmena Ayo-Davies, author of the book “Publicity on a Budget.”

A.I. generated show transcript: “We want the truth.” “We want the truth.” “We want the truth.” “I have news for everybody. Get over it.”

Announcer
It’s time. Welcome to PR Wars coming at you live from Atlanta, Georgia. Now, here is your host… Chris Shigas.

Chris Shigas
Hello everyone and welcome to PR Wars. I’m Chris Shigas. Budgets. A great plan for a giant corporation may not be a good plan for an upstart entrepreneur. We have to be realistic about our budgets. And when you work with a small business, an entrepreneur, or even a celebrity, anyone where a marketing budget is coming straight out of their pocket. I mean, like from a personal bank account. Every dollar has to work and you need immediate results. Our guest today on PR Wars has been driving results for entrepreneurs for decades. She launches new products, creates events, she’s even a publicist to athletes, musicians and influencers. She’s the owner of 3BG marketing solutions and the author of a new book called “Publicity on a Budget, Carmena Ayo-Davies. Carmena, so good to see you and welcome to PR Wars.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Thanks. Thank you for having me, Chris.

Chris Shigas
Absolutely, I am so excited to get this book “Publicity on a Budget.” There are so many people who want to engage in PR, on some level you have these giant corporate programs, but you have a lot of small businesses that want to make an impact. And as we look at what’s going on, in our communities today, these small businesses need this more than ever, right?

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Yes, they are.

Chris Shigas
So so so what inspired you to write this book “Publicity on a Budget?”

Carmena Ayo-Davies
COVID did because it was where you know, people open their business during these times, especially small business and pushing entrepreneurship, I’m big on entrepreneurship, and pushing that it’s like, you know, people started reaching out to me, because they were desperate and wanting to know how they can work with our company and how we can help them, you know, get exposure. And when I gave my price, they couldn’t afford it. But they loved everything that I can do and everything they seen me do, you know, in the market, but they could not afford it. And you know, I want to give back. And I want to be able to share the knowledge I’ve had an experience working with especially small businesses, and working in entertainment to help them get the exposure that they’re needed, and to help them implement these different tactics and how to reach out to people and etc. To get this exposure that

Chris Shigas
is much needed. That’s wonderful, because there is a need in the community. So when you get approached all the time, people see you as a marketing expert. Yes. And they go, please help me I don’t have a big budget. And sometimes what could be a great plan for a big company might not be the best plan for a small business because they just don’t have the resources. So how do you approach that when you’re dealing with minimal resources? How do you approach saying I can help you?

Carmena Ayo-Davies
How do I approach say, I can help you now the trends and the tides have changed, you know, before you and i think you know, our our industry is changing before your whole thing could be driven by just being on a TV show, or and then your sales will go to the roof we all remember like the Oprah effect and being on these different things that helped. But as you know, everyone wants to be on those shows and etc. And it makes it harder and you may not get the same effects kind of from your, your smaller market Morning Show. You wouldn’t get that same type of effect, but people be like, oh, I’ll check it out. So but it’s minimal. It’s very small. You know, with PR and marketing, you know, people have to see you hear about you at least like 100 times for them for it to like actually stick right now with social media. I always tell people okay, when you come to me, you can’t just do PR now you have to come with to me with the entire marketing budget. For us to do the social media marketing, that, you know, all the PR does, I think is just fanning the flame. It just made like, Oh, I remember seeing, Oh, I remember hearing, oh, that’s the girl you’re going I’m saying so it kind of marries each other. So you kind of just can’t completely rely on just public relations and getting a write up or getting in on television anymore, you have to have these things that support it, because, unfortunately, not a lot. It’s so many distractions. Now, not a lot of people are reading like they used to not a lot of people are watching television like they used to, people are always on their phone. So I always tell you, especially on a smallest scale, hey, maybe you should do your targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram, everybody’s on Facebook and Instagram, do targeted ads, find who your demo is, and actually get an ad manager, we work with the ad manager on our team. That’s really incredible. Like we had a small business, they invested about three grand, it was a shoe company and on the ad manager and get an ads and they got back 14,000 in that week. For small business, that’s great. That’s, you know, they made their money back and son. So I always say to you having these targeted ads. And I’m not saying to anyone, you just going it’s a certain way, you have to set the ads up, it’s a certain look alike audience you have to create with the email addresses that you collect. So things like that collecting email addresses, having your your constant contact, or MailChimp sending out like email marketing things before you remember, we send direct mail stuff into people’s mailboxes, not people, I barely check my mail, because everything comes I get everything on paper left, I’m green majority of the time. So it’s best to target people online and via emails, or we know they all go to these blog sites and etc, having ads that you know, that they will see on the black side actually don’t video than creating content.

Chris Shigas
So I guess it’s so important when you have a limited budget, that all these pieces are kind of working together. So that makes sense that you’d want to see it holistically. Because if you had these different parts moving, then you’re not really making your dollars work for you. I also like what you’re saying, when you look at marketing is creating touch points with the consumer and, and maybe the consumer says, You know what, I don’t know where I saw it or read it. But I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this company. Right? Yeah. Now you’re really building a reputation management, right? And the brand. Yeah, that’s great. As you look at some of the things, I mean, obviously, there’s this idea, hey, I really want to be the show or I want an article in The New York Times. But even if you get the New York Times, which is a great hit, but not everybody reads the new york times every day, right? Or even the ones that read it, they might not even see that story. So So there comes also a time of having to leverage those hits that you do get, right. Yeah, tell me a little bit about that.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
I always say to people, I’m like, Okay, if you do, like, you know, the People Magazine, and the Vogue’s and etc, when we come to entertainment. Yes, that’s great that you have it, but what I tell my clients, all that does is it co signed you. That’s it, it just makes it No, like makes people know, okay, it’s the New York Times or Vogue or people is doing an article, someone that like a magazine or outlet that is respectable is doing something on you. It’s basically now when people Google you and they see that comes up, it just gives you like that stamp of like, Oh, this is actually a good business, you know, it gives them it makes them more confident in working with you or going to check check it makes them feel more comfortable, you know, in working with you. So I always say that PR piece just gives you that official cosign, but nowadays people like buying into people, they like buying into a situation and they like to see so they were rather you know, see you’re whether it’s clothing, it’s a product or whatever it is. don’t like to see it on a Kylie Jenner or Chris. What’s that called? Kim Kardashian, whatever her name. Before you know over New York Times, you know, like me, you tell me, my book is, you know, in the New York Times bestseller, oh my god, this

Chris Shigas
credibility

Carmena Ayo-Davies
was holding my book going into a private to chat, and that’s it, you know why? Because when these girls like, like your things, it flies off the, you know, off the shelves, like, you know, and then you start getting these caught like following so these kids don’t care about like, you know, the New York Times,

Chris Shigas
yeah. Now you deal with a lot of celebrities, athletes, musicians, influencers? What do I need to know as a business owner or even at maybe as a PR person who wants to get more into publicity?

Carmena Ayo-Davies
What do I need to know about working with these types of people, they want to be seen, and they want to be seen on social media, all these people want to be popular, they want to be, you know, I’m not saying all of them majority of that. So it’s about like, raising their status. You know, you have to think what type of athlete you’re dealing with, when you’re dealing with football player, unless you’re, you are a quarterback, or the star running back or whatever, you rally, you know, people don’t really know. Yeah, so some of these guys, you know, these kids, you know, whether they’re from the hood, or you know, middle class or whatever family, you know, this is you’re making money that you’ve never made before, they want to shine, you know, so you kind of have to speak their language they want to go to like, so it’s like more. So like, when I think when you’re starting a PR company, you have to have a whole, like concierge side as well, where you’re getting them to the tables at the best restaurants and you’re getting them the, you know, to go right,

Chris Shigas
giving them that kind of service, you’re giving

Carmena Ayo-Davies
them that type of service. So, you know, because they’ll click to say, oh, you’re not doing anything for me, like, dude, I just got you in Sports Illustrated, like, you know, like, Yeah, that’s great, but they want to be seen, and how they want to be seen. It’s the social effect. Mm hmm.

Chris Shigas
Absolutely. You know, and it’s almost like as, as a celebrity publicist, you have that concierge level, but I remember, you know, making sure Oh, do they have water at the for the interview, and then, you know, how they look over a carpet and you’re trying to take care of all these little details? Yeah. At the same time, you’re thinking about the publicity and the hits that are going to come from this publicity. And, and then you’re thinking, sometimes you have to be part therapist, right? Like, you have to get them to the event. That’s, it’s not as easy. I mean, sometimes, you know, working in the corporate world. Now, if I have a CEO scheduled for a media interview, they show up, right, like

Carmena Ayo-Davies
they’ve been partying all night. m&d 30% chance, it all goes by like that upbringing, or sometimes they’re like the breadwinner of the entire family. It’s like, I always say they’ve been the man their whole life, because they start these journeys since like, freakin elementary school. So they’ve always been like the golden tickets, so they don’t care about anything. Like all they care about is that job that they do. So hey, he meant I had an athlete not gonna say any names. Yeah, I got him a show on me and my partner pitched him to EA and attainder him an actual show on EA. We were ready to go with production and everything and gave us I think was a six to eight episode show. Based on this athlete’s life, we’re going to be in Miami, then we’re going to be filming it. And all of a sudden, he changed the schedule. And I’m like, haha, all right. We were supposed to start filming in August, they changed it to November. And they said, Oh, we’ll be okay. We just have to push back filming. I’m like, Look, I’m gonna rock out with whatever you guys want to do. But that’s not a good idea. I’m like, these boys get distracted very easily. And this is based out of him dating and a social life. And I don’t think that like, Who knows if he’s still gonna be single in November. He’s excited. Now. Let’s do it. Yeah, Chris didn’t listen to me. It was like, No, no, no, we’ll be okay. Come November, he stopped answering his phone. Hmm. Mind you. We had a whole production team setup. This is for a television show. This kid did not care. Like people’s jobs on the line. You know, we pitched the show didn’t care. He said, Well, I have a girlfriend now. So what’s gonna happen? Like, is she gonna be on the show? Because I can’t be on a show talking about I’m single. When I’m in love. This is like literally, what Two months later he’s talking. And then I’m like, well, that’s not what we pick. We didn’t pick you having a girlfriend or it’s Being about your family life, we pitch you being this successful bachelor leave living in Miami offseason working out and just living the life like flashy that doesn’t go, he didn’t care and my contact ended up losing his job.

Chris Shigas
And that shows, especially for public relations professionals, it shows you when when you’re dealing with a corporate brand, versus when a person is the brand. Yes. Right. And all of the things that go with that the emotions, and you brought back to me when when I was doing celebrity public relations and, and a time where I actually had the unusual opportunity to have to say no to Oprah. And I don’t know if anybody’s ever said no, bro, no Oprah before but I had to. And it was one of those things of working with the show. You’re dealing because you’re not just dealing with a brain, you’re dealing with a person. And you have to say, Hey, we need good communication here. And I need to know what’s going on. Because I can’t have surprises on this end. Because we’re dealing with a human being right? Yeah, I can see where on your side, you’re dealing with a client, and they have personal preferences and issues and life goes on. And then on the other side, you have a show that’s trying to do a product and an image and a brand and marrying those two can be tough.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Yes, very tough.

Chris Shigas
Now you wonder one thing that surprised me Kareena. While I was doing the celebrity stuff, I realized I started getting some TMZ photographers on my phone, and realize that they don’t just hang out at Jimmy choos waiting for celebrities. The celebrities call them to come out and filmed their client walking by right. That’s not just happenstance. That kind of tickled me.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Like, Hey, I’m throwing to see that. And then you name drop, who’s gonna be there you think you’re gonna get and sometimes be like, man, like, Hey, listen, pence in New York City. As far as I remember, it was for a Range Rover, it’s going to be like, so so so yeah, sure, just make sure I’ll be there. Just make sure I have passes to like, you know, the Claire or whatever. And that’s it, my job is done. And they’re gonna take their picture, and it’s gonna get on the blog.

Chris Shigas
So going back to the book, when someone is reading your book, What’s your goal? What are you hoping they really get out of it that they can take and use in their daily work? In

Carmena Ayo-Davies
my book, I want to target upcoming publicists, like someone that’s new, like, maybe you could be the person, like I said, where it’s hard for you to find a job. And you kind of just want to freelance and reach out to people on your own. And now you don’t know how to get these contacts. Because these databases that we use are expensive, they sure are about that, like those databases can run you like, you know, 5000 or more a year, um, the cheapest you could probably get is 2500. And that’s considered

Chris Shigas
anyone I pay 15,000 for my MEDIA list.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Exactly. You know, and so here is these databases. So now you’re competing against someone like yourself, where every, all the contacts are right there, all we have to do is live on and be like, Okay, let me see who’s there at you know, no one Oh, and get a contact where you if you’re a new upcoming person, or you’re this new business that you don’t, you know, you don’t have the money to pay the publicist, but you don’t have the database, I kind of teach you how to, like, do it, like intern style, how to get the, the contacts, like, on the hustle and on the grind. And now with social media, it’s like it’s easier. And, you know, it’s more easier to get some of these people that work at these magazines, because all you have to do is follow the magazine and see who the magazine follow. So I tell you, all these things are great to get these contacts, you know, so

Chris Shigas
yeah, great. So let’s just say you have a limited budget, you’re you’re following some of the steps in your book, and I get really interested, I think my market will react well to an influencer. If I’m engaging an influencer? What can I expect in return? I mean, what if I’m not giving you six figures? What’s a reasonable expectation level of what I can do with an influencer? or How can I even leverage maybe even if I just was able to get it, like you said, a photograph of somebody carrying your book, right? But like, what, how do I turn that

Carmena Ayo-Davies
you can do more with influences right now. So I think people have to get in, you know, I’m not gonna keep saying their names. I’m just gonna use them as hard. Get source, you know, to use a Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, some of the times that asking for a million dollars a post, right? Trust me I know this because I have priced them. I think the least I’m Kylie came before all the craziness was like 351 time. So we know for our small business, even the mid size into your life saw one post, like

Chris Shigas
I know a lot of celebrities, I mean, a minimum of $100,000 to come to a party, right? Exactly. Yeah,

Carmena Ayo-Davies
I’ll walk through. But now I’m liking the space of the micro influencer. So you don’t have to go that big. I have a girl Her name is Mia Ray. She’s in Detroit, she probably has about like 65,000 followers, right. And her budget is nowhere near 100,000 or whatever to post, right? You can probably get me to post for like 1500. And you can probably you know, a post. And for someone like her, I like her because she has a die hard call. She’s created this business. She actually has a business herself. And she she’s a single mom, she has two kids. And they saw her when she was in our apartment. They saw her when she was broken. I think her boyfriend had left her and she started her life over and she was very transparent. So these people support her now she’s like, making a million dollars or more, you know, doing her business. So these people have supported her and went through this journey with her and some sharing the same stories. So like a Mia, if I get say, Chris, you say to me, hey, Carmen, Carmina, I have this product is for women, do you have any micro influence you can use? That’s the first person I’m going to tell? Because guess what, when she puts it on her page, it’s probably gonna miss out loud.

Chris Shigas
Wow, that’s interesting. So it’s not necessarily how big the number is. It’s how you can activate the followers and engage exactly engagement.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
So when somebody tells me, did you hear the story about this girl, like one of those youtubers or DME social media like sensation, she had all these followers, and I guess a company paid her and or something. They said she couldn’t even sell 20 shirts, right? Well, you don’t even know if the followers have all, you know, no, no, she’s been paid. Well, there’s the or you don’t know how high stupidity they’ve become where they’re not connecting. where, you know, some people people just love, they hate, they love to hate, you kind of were just like, want to talk crap about them. So they follow them. So you don’t know what the level of respect or engagement is with these followers. So you have to be careful when you see big numbers, it’s not necessarily a great thing, unless they’re like an entertainer or something legitly, you know, but for these little micro influencers, I have in recent, probably the past year or two, I’ve been seeing more movement with the micro influencers and small businesses being able to afford them and them seeing movements and actually getting things done with the micro influencers. So like Amelia, like every time I’m client, she put up a product for them. And she sold 50 of those products at $135 apiece. So that worked.

Chris Shigas
Yeah, there you go. You get an ROI.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Yes, you get in your ROI. So that worked. So someone like her, I would say that’s a good one. So now I’ve masked I wouldn’t say mastered but I’m in a great space with the micro influences where you know, where a lot of like, when Kevin Hart’s movies come out. There’s a marketing company out in LA. They do a lot of marketing for like influencers. That’s the new thing to post up like movies coming out. So I have a guy. His name is Marcus, he always calls on me. When he’s done like releases. It could be like a TV show. I did on p Valley for him. I helped him with that. When it came out for stars. It’s a new show that’s on stars. So he called my cat. I’m looking for some micro influencers doesn’t matter. 100,000 to 20,000, whatever. If they have good engagement, let me know this is my budget, can they post? So I do that, like when Kevin Hart had a couple of his movies come out. He did the same thing. 50 cents at his show on ABC. That came out he reached out to me saying hey, I’m looking for this, this this or whatever. We don’t want to spend more than this. Who do you think we can get and I submit like their pages. And he goes and his people check out their engagement and he’ll he’ll come back to me and say, Hey, I like this one and not that one. And we go from there.

Chris Shigas
So deep to wrap up. Do you have any kind of last words of advice for someone who’s that they’re they’re an entrepreneur. They’re trying to get going. They don’t don’t have a lot of money and they can’t really afford to make a big Miss, right? Do you have any kind of last words of advice of where their mindset needs to be?

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Don’t be discouraged. And you don’t necessarily even have to use, say popular influence as you start with people in your area. Start with someone that is known in your area that might have a little more following than the regular person in, you know, in your Charlotte, North Carolina, whatever, like, Hey, Chris Shigas is poppin in Charlotte, and he got it. I go to Chris. Hey, Chris. Like if I

Chris Shigas
I don’t know if I’ve ever been popping anywhere.

Unknown Speaker
No.

Unknown Speaker
I hear you

Carmena Ayo-Davies
ever been who’s never been approached to be a so called influencer? You say to Chris, you probably don’t even have to call Chris. You just say, Hey, Chris, I’ll send you some clothes for my boutique. Can you for a month, can you every week or whatever. Can you post once a week about my boutique and Christmas? Sure. You’re sending me clothes?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, sure.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
We’ll do it. So let’s start with where you are. Don’t start shooting for the stars right away. Not that anything is wrong with that. But you know, just think I’ll say don’t get discouraged. Use what you have. You’ll be so surprised to see the contacts you have in your own database. Just utilize those. Great

Chris Shigas
carmena thank you so much for being on PR Wars today.

Carmena Ayo-Davies
Thank you so much for having me, Chris.

Chris Shigas
You can listen to a new episode a PR Wars every Sunday night at 8pm. Be sure to say hi to Brad and me on PR Wars Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages and do me a favor. Before you put together your 2021 plan. Figure out who are the micro influencers in your industry, who’s talking about the issues relevant to your business. Make this part of your plan, expand that old media list, build new relationships with your key influencers. Now go get ’em.

PR Wars was selected as a Top PR Podcast You Must Follow in 2020 by Feedspot.

Leave a Reply