When it comes to crafting strategic partnerships, one of the strongest relationships you and your business will have is with your public relations executive. For businesses starting out especially it's critical to have a PR pro by your side to get you and your company the best possible coverage and train you for when you have to talk to the media. This is where Lisa Elia comes in. Based out of Los Angeles, Lisa is the CEO and founder of Expert Media Training and Lisa Elia Public Relations and today she gave me the scoop on what she does, why listening matters the most to both the customer and the client, and what stilettos are the best to wear up on stage!
Hillary Gadsby: Tell me a little bit about what you do in public relations.
Lisa Elia: I'm a PR expert, media trainer, speaker and champion of the entrepreneur. I prep clients for interviews that I have secured with major media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, Redbook, InStyle and hundreds of others. I have also positioned clients for book deals, endorsement deals, positions as contributing editors to magazines and even their own TV shows.
HG: What has been an unexpected business lesson you picked up along the way?
LE: The most unexpected business lesson I learned came from a part-time job I had when I was 22. I wanted to earn extra money so I took a job doing customer service work for a high-end car dealership. My job was to call customers and ask how they felt about their recent experience with the service department. The happy people were easy, of course. What surprised me was that even the unhappiest people changed their attitude after I listened and acknowledged their feelings and opinions and tried to solve their problems, when I could. Within just one month of my work at the dealership, their customer satisfaction increased markedly. What I took away from that is to always listen and really try to understand where people are coming from and try to rectify a situation if you can. Even if you can’t resolve a problem, just the fact that you have tried and cared can change everything in the eyes of a customer, client or colleague.
HG: To date, what has been your biggest shoe splurge?
LE: A pair of silver Stuart Weitzman strappy stilettos. I bought them to wear to the Emmy Awards Governors Ball, which my client was producing. I still love them!
HG: Fill in the blank: my favorite shoes are a pair of _____ because ________.
LE: Tori Burch stilettos that I bought to wear at an event I was hosting. I love them because they’re chic and surprisingly comfortable, which is very important when you’re on stage!
HG: Got any insider tips you can offer women in business, whether it's in public relations or any other industry?
LE: 1) Start your day by feeding your heart and mind. Feed your heart with love, whether you keep a gratitude journal, practice affirmations or kiss your husband, partner or cat. Feed your mind with stimulating information that opens it to possibilities. I enjoy listening to inspiring business telesummits while I get dressed and do my hair and make-up.
2) Organize tasks. Use a great system to organize information, documents and tasks to manage your business. I use MyIntervals to assign tasks to each of my staff members and to share documents internally, as well as to assign myself tasks for the future. Getting those things out of your head and into a system is crucial and helps you avoid having a 10-page “to do” list.
3) Exercise! Even if you only have time for a 20-minute workout, daily exercise will help you manage stress, think more clearly and avoid health problems that can take you out of the game. Exercise can also help you stay in shape and feel more confident, and confidence is queen when you’re making new business presentations, meeting with potential investors, speaking on a stage or doing just about anything.