At its peak, I grew my tech firm to eight people; reached a couple million dollars in annual revenue; and rode the wave of Internet startup PR. Then the bottom fell out. At the end of the day, I was burned out and needed a break.
In 2004, I came up with the idea for my Food Fete media events, which fortunately have really caught on and continue to grow. I can honestly say I’ve never had a job that’s so much fun as producing these events. As you might guess, Food Fete has enabled me to build some solid relationships with a good number of the editors who have attended Food Fete over the past four years, plus I’ve come to know a lot of innovative food companies and good PR agencies along the way.
Reinvention: Phase II
I’ve now decided to put those relationships to work for food companies that make amazing products and who want to reach the press with their stories, but with my brand of PR. Here’s a link to the release http://pitch.pe/5073.
Today, I am launching a new food PR and communications consultancy called FoodSmart Communications. Some might say I’m nuts for launching a new firm in this shaky economy, but I already have a couple clients on board, with several prospects in the pipeline.
So, why start a new food consultancy, and why now? After looking at what’s going on in the food PR industry (and being on the receiving end of a lot of PR pitches because of this blog), I identified a need for what I believe is a smarter way of serving clients. For a couple of years, I’ve also been paying attention to all the PR and media chatter about unfocused, irrelevant PR pitches, which for some editors reached a tipping point, branding anything coming a PR firm as spam.
That’s why with FoodSmart, I decided to take risk and implement permission-based PR, meaning I will only send client information to food writers and bloggers who have opted-in to receive it. I suspect I’m not the only one doing this (and this approach won’t be right for everyone), but I do believe (and based on early feedback from food writers), it will be well-received by the media, not to mention creating a lot of value for clients.
At this writing, more than 160 food writers and bloggers have opt-ed in, which blows me away. Among them are nearly every major food, women’s and lifestlye magazine that covers food. There are still a few holes in the list, but it’s a matter of time before it’s where I want it to be.
To learn more, visit my “beta” blogsite at www.foodsmartpr.com. It’s still a work in progress, as I imagine the entire agency will be as I roll out this new way of reaching out to the media.
If you’re a food company and want to talk about how I might help you, drop me a line at 713-862-2771 or hello (at) foodsmartpr (dot) com. If you’re food writer and want to opt-in, click here for the online form.