Growth Strategies for Independent Practitioners

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A presentation by PRSA Independent Practitioner Alliance members for the 2011 PRSA International Conference in Orlando, Fla.

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  • Growth Strategies for Independent Practitioners

    1. 1. “Growth Strategiesfor Independent Practitioners”Presented by PRSA’s Independent Practitioners Alliance October 16, 2011 PRSA International Conference Jennifer Heinly, MBA Kelly Jackson Davis, APR Natalie Ghidotti, APR
    2. 2. Section Membership• Membership is open to any PRSA member• 230+ members across the country• Designed to meet the needs of practitioners working independently or in virtual teams• $60 annual dues
    3. 3. Membership BenefitsNetworking • IPA E-Group on PRSA MemberNet • Linked In and Facebook Groups • Section event at PRSA International ConferenceWebsite: www.ipa.prsa.org • Blog • Member Directory • Section News and Announcements • Resources and InformationProfessional Development • 90-minute teleseminars • Half-Day Virtual Conference • Master Class at PRSA International ConferenceVendor Discount Program
    4. 4. Vendor DiscountsDigiClips • Broadcast, Print and Online News Monitoring ServicesPressKit 24/7 • Discounts on online press kit technology, expert databases and online contact managementCritical Mention • Real-time, web-based television search and monitoring serviceeNR Services • Discounts on tools for media monitoring and measurement, media outreach and strategic planning
    5. 5. Section Executive CommitteeChair: Program Co-Chairs:Jennifer Heinly Kelly J. Davis, APRFoothill Ranch, CA Columbia, SCChair-Elect: Katie Coates-Ageson, APRNatalie Ghidotti, APR Huntington Beach, CALittle Rock, AK Sponsorship Co-Chairs:Secretary/Treasurer: Sara Platte, APRAnn Videan, APR Honolulu, HIMesa, AZ Carina BustamanteImmediate Past Chair: Mexico City, MexicoJamie MeredithSavannah, GA Communications Co-Chairs: Barbara Nash, APRMembership Chair: Madison, ALKristie K. Aylett, APROcean Springs, MS Karen Yarbrough Huntsville, AL
    6. 6. Jennifer Heinly, MBAVirtual Agency Model
    7. 7. • Founded in Denver in 1989 as a sole proprietorship.• Evolved today to a virtual firm with partners and subcontractors. Still a sole proprietor.• Why this business model works for me.
    8. 8. Kelly Jackson Davis, APR Boutique Firm Model
    9. 9. Evolution of Our BusinessModel• Started as sole practitioner in 2004• Virtual Agency Model • Team of other creative professionals • Member of PRConsultants Group• Acquisition of another PR firm• Growth to Boutique Agency
    10. 10. Things to ConsiderBUSINESS SIDE CLIENT SIDE• Letter of Intent • Will clients move to new agency?• Due diligence • How will you inform them?• Accounting • How will you transfer files, knowledge,• Legal plans, etc?• Tax implications • Client maintenance and retention• Contract • Billing, fee structures and client contracts• Physical location• Employees of the acquired company
    11. 11. Pros & ConsPROS CONS• Allows firm to grow • Location challenges (mail, etc.)• Increase visibility • Take on the identity of the acquired firm• Combine the strengths of both firms • Differences in work styles, personalities• Enables addition of employees to • Employee issues service more/larger accounts
    12. 12. Natalie Ghidotti, APRAgency Partnership Model
    13. 13. + = SUCCESS
    14. 14. Agency Strategic Partnership• GC provides all PR services to ERI (and GC uses ERI for design work)• Separate businesses, separate employees• Base Pay + Profit Share + Overhead Arrangement (supplies, office space, etc.)• Separate clients, though all ERI clients come under the ERI agency umbrella• In essence, ERI is GC’s largest client• PRConsultants Group membership adds a level of expertise to the partnership
    15. 15. What to Look for in anAgency Partnership• Similar values and work ethics• Growing agency, yet not so big that there’s already an established PR department• Creative minds• Leadership opportunity where you guide the PR arm• A willingness to be true partners – as business grows, must address the business arrangement to ensure fairness for all partners
    16. 16. Pros & ConsPROS CONS • Mixed identities (GC and ERI names, email• Stable accounts/ongoing business for addresses and business cards) the independent • Insurance issues (employees with and• Pulling together the best in the biz to without) create a successful team approach • Risk of partnership falling through• Can go for larger accounts that an • Harder to groom your own clients because independent can’t typically do of the workload of the agency• Creative like minds to bounce ideas off and stay fresh• Design/media services always available for your clients from people you trust
    17. 17. Jennifer Heinly, MBA IPA Chair 2011 J&J Consulting Foothill Ranch, CA www.jandjconsulting.netjennifer@jandjconsulting.net @jenniferheinly
    18. 18. Kelly Jackson Davis, APR IPA Program Co-Chair 2011Davis Public Relations & Marketing Columbia, S.C. www.davispublicrelations.com kelly@davispublicrelations.com @davispr
    19. 19. Natalie Ghidotti, APR IPA Chair-Elect 2011 Ghidotti Communications Little Rock, Ark. www.ghidotticommunications.comnatalie@ghidotticommunications.com @ghidotti

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