A Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champion? Wow, Thanks!

cp_2013_smb_influencer_champion[4]Over the last 20 years, I’ve been blessed to not only run my own small business, but to work with hundreds of other small business owners, managers and startup founders. I’m fanatical about helping entrepreneurs to reach their career goals by starting, running and growing successful small businesses. Sometimes they grow into very large businesses – and that’s fun, too! But the crux of my career has been focused on helping to establish and promote companies in the early stages of their lifecycles, and I really enjoy those challenges.

That’s why I was so happy to be honored last week when I was named a Small Business Influencer Top 100 Champion and Expert in the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards – produced by Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, serving over 6,000,000 small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, and SmallBizTechnology.com, a media company that produces online content and live events educating small and mid-sized companies on how to strategically use technology as a tool to grow their businesses. The awards honor those who are influential to small businesses in North America, through the products, services, knowledge, information or support they provide to the small business market.

I’m flattered to be in this list with some former clients (Brainshark, Constant Contact), companies I admire and use daily (Dropbox, American Express OPENForum, Evernote, Etsy, FedEx, Hootsuite, Hubspot, Plantronics, Vistaprint) and industry folks that I admire such as John Jantsch, Laurie McCabe, Dave Kerpen, Larry Kim and Aliza Sherman. Congratulations to all the other winners and honorable mentions, as well as the nominees. I fully support and cheerlead anyone who works in, and strives to help, small business. You can read about all the champions, here.

I simply wanted to say thank you to those who voted for me, the judges and most certainly my team at PerkettPR. They are not only a huge part of making our national clients successful through smart digital marketing and PR, but they are also an inspiration to me every day to keep my own small business innovative, fun and alive.

You can read additional details here, visit the award site or follow along on Twittter by searching #SMBInfluencer.

 

 

 

Summer Fun at IMS13 With PerkettPR – Get Your Schwag With Bite

ActualSharksIf you’re attending IMS in San Francisco today, please be sure to find our own Jennifer Hellickson, who will be giving away these cool shark bottle openers to the first 100 folks to connect with her. We’re having some fun at the show by combining our love of summer, Shark Week and our intent on delivering killer marketing. Find Jennifer at the show (hint: follow her or us on Twitter to help you do so) and you will also get directions on how to enter a chance to win our $100 gift card drawing, which will be announced on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST on Google+, so join us there, too.

If you’re not at IMS this week, take heart! We also thought it would be fun to share some shark trivia, so follow along today and tomorrow on Twitter or Facebook and test your shark knowledge. We’ll be randomly choosing five online folks to receive a complimentary bottle opener as well. (Hint, you could increase your chances by tweeting with @PerkettPR and #killermarketing in your tweets!)

Enjoy learning at IMS, San Francisco, and contact us if you need help taking a bigger bite out of the industry with #killermarketing strategies.

PerkettPR Turns 15 – Thank You!

ppr_15_anniversaryIt’s hard to believe that this month, PerkettPR has been in business for 15 years! I started the agency with a vision to deliver a unique and valuable experience for companies seeking a better marketing and PR partner. Although we started with a focus on VC-funded startups, we have expanded our expertise over those years to include servicing some great public companies as well – Fleetmatics, Constant Contact, WebEx, Time Warner Telecom, Juniper Networks and many more. We continue to work with startups that need creative, effective and amazing market launches – and to build crediblity, awareness and engagement for more established companies around the world in the tech, higher education, health care and consumer lifestyle industries.

Like any 15-year-old, we’ve got the energy and excitement to continue with unbridled enthusiasm and a belief that we’re unstoppable. Unlike most 15-year-olds, we know who we are, what we want to be and where we’re going. That’s not only a nice feeling, but a great place to be in order to deliver tremendous value to our clientele. We don’t need to be the biggest, but we do strive to be the best. We don’t need to be the most popular, but rather we’re grateful for the network we do have. (We take great care to support those who support us.) Our corporate vision is to be the most innovative, creative and effective communications partner that our clients have ever worked with.

Thank you to everyone who has believed in that vision – especially clients who have hired us repeatedly over the last decade and a half. To have folks move on to other companies and hire us over and over again is always the best testament to our ability to deliver ROI. I’d like to specifically thank people like Karen Leavitt, John Burnham, Donna Parent, Greg Shenk, Mark Pascarella, Mike Doyle and Jonathan Tang – clients who have not only hired us more than once, but recommended us to others. Thank you to so many industry friends like Jon Swartz, Michael Krigsman, Morris Porter, Stephen Hultquist, Ann Handley, Christen Rice Gentile, Marie Domingo, Mike Pratt, Stephen Dill, Jeremiah Owyang, Rick Faulk, John Jantsch, Joel Libava, Terry Frechette, Robert Scoble, Tyson Goodridge, Sarah Austin, Chris Selland, Aaron Strout, Karen DeWolfe, Dayna Verstegen, Diane Hessan, Kate Brodock, George Hulme, Russell Mix, Jennifer Leggio, Don Dodge, Ramon Ray, Mitch Wagner, Tory Johnson, Michael Arrington, Rachel Happe, Laura Lake and others who have worked with us in various ways over the years – whether writing with or about us, inspiring us through engagement, sharing their opinions on our clients or our campaigns, serving as pseudo mentors and advisors, or simply speaking up on our behalf during times when we could not. Your support – subtle or blatant – has helped us to continue to work with great people and companies, and to learn and grow in a myriad of ways.

There are so many other people – family, friends and of course, current and former employees, even industry “frenemies” – who I am eternally grateful to for helping us reach this 15th year. I have learned from each of you – both good and hard lessons – and I am grateful for such a strong network of intelligent people to learn from every day. I am also very blessed to have such a great group of employees – many of whom have stayed with PerkettPR for more than half of its life! And anyone one who knows the typical retention rate of an agency, knows why that’s such an amazing attribute.

Speaking of our employees, a few of them thought it would be funny to celebrate 15 years by sharing awkward teenage photos of us at that age. Click here to Like us on Facebook and see them – and to find out “What we know now that we wish we had known then.”

Here’s to another 15! Thank you!

Happy Earth Day! How PerkettPR Contributes to Improving Our Environment

PerkettPR is proud of our long-standing contribution to improving the environment. As a virtual company, we reduce our agency’s carbon footprint – less gas, less real estate, lower electric bills, less emissions, etc. In addition, we work diligently to create a positive work environment, including the opportunity for all employees to telecommute, offering successful careers balanced with happy home and personal lives. Being able to work a full day and still fit in time for dinner with the family, or an outdoor run before dark, provides PerkettPR employees with greater opportunity to fulfill both career and personal aspirations. We’re proud of our positive culture from both an eco-friendly standpoint and a happy, satisfied staff who share our passion for innovation in the workplace.

We thought it would be interesting to share some new statistics on telecommuting. Did you know that the estimated average commute for workers is 25.3 minutes? And, according to Telework Research, if the 41 million Americans with telework-compatible jobs worked from home just one day, U.S. savings would total $772 million including:

  • $494 million in commuter costs
  • $185 million from 2.3 million barrels of oil saved
  • $93 million from 775 fewer traffic accidents

And that’s not all. If everyone who could work at home did just one day, the environment would be spared 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas—the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year!

We created this Earth Day infographic to showcase our efforts in reducing our carbon footprint – and as an example of how just one small business can work to reduce environmental emissions by offering telecommuting options.

Please feel free to leave a comment about your business and how you also strive to help the environment. Happy Earth Day!

Happy Employee Appreciation Day to PerkettPR – An Amazing Staff

The first Friday in March marks Employee Appreciation Day and I wanted to be sure to send a small token of appreciation out to my amazing staff. In the PR agency business, it’s not unusual to see a revolving door of employees and I have to say that I am very lucky to never have had this problem. I have a talented staff that is smart, energetic, creative and amazingly loyal to PerkettPR. I’m not quite sure – you’d have to ask them – why I’m lucky enough to have such a good retention rate, but I do know that we just celebrated milestones of 4, 7, and even 10 years with several employees (out of 14 in business to-date).

I always wanted to build an agency that was less political than a typical PR environment, and so we’ve always been pretty choosy about who we hire. We want folks who have entrepreneurial attitudes, but who aren’t going to stick around for just a few years and then take off. We ask employees to leave their egos at the door and put clients and teammates first. We require collaborative work, especially as a virtual environment, and we can’t offer anyone a corner office to show off to their friends and family. And yet, we have a staff that sticks by one another, challenges each other to work better and smarter every day, and that clients continually come back to because not only do the PerkettPR-ers turn out amazing results, but they are fun to work with. I can attest to that. We have such a good camaraderie that it often surprises people. After one six-month long RFP process, in which we were unanimously chosen over 14 other agencies, I was told that one of the reasons we were hired was because “Your team had such an amazing spirit of collaboration that we’ve rarely seen with any agency – let alone a virtual team.” That’s right – you’d never know we’re not in the same “office” every day. We are true teammates and it shows in our results.

I appreciate my staff more than I can ever express – you can’t always get along with everyone but I have to say I’ve been very lucky to have had truly great relationships with 99% of the folks who have worked here. Even in tough times when we’ve had to let people go, they’ve remained friends and professional colleagues and that means the world to me – it shows me that we really do work with those of great character and exceptional spirit.

Hiring folks with such commendable attributes translates to a team that has worked together for years, can ramp up quickly for clients and that many clients have had the luck to work with over their careers, even while moving from company to company over a span of a decade+. It feels great to be able to say, “Yes he/she is still here and we can get them on your account” when a former client comes back to hire us again.

So thank you, PPR team, for being not only amazing PR professionals, but just damn great people to know. I am blessed. And truly grateful.