Gabrielle Bernstein Interview, Public Relations Advice and Tips
Gabrielle Bernstein was just one year out of college, when she co-founded the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, a non-profit professional organization that connects female entrepreneurs. WEN started a local mentor program for young women, WEN Mentors, and is best known for its signature Gift of Service Exchange events.
2) Reading your CV I see you have been involved with The Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, running your own public relations company, presenting a lecture called “Falling in Love with Your Future” and speaking on Satelilite Radio’s LIME station 114.
This is a very wide range of activities to be involved in. How do you manage to do them all? Do you have any tips / suggestions on managing your time effectively.
I have always believed in multiple profit centers. I choose to manage between three or four at a time. If one drops I am still juggling the other two while looking to replace the third. I have also created a lifestyle and career that incorporates all of my interests. It sounds like the things I do are disconnected though they are not at all. My work as a publicists aids all of the areas of my career. For example, I can be pitching a client like The Pump Energy Food to health and wellness media while simultaneously nurturing that editor relationship for a later pitch on my wellness lectures and books.
My work with young women as a self-help author and motivational speaker is a direct result of my path as a young entrepreneur who followed her passion and pursues a life filled with happiness. I have chosen to share my experiences with this audience to inspire them to follow their passions and rebuild their relationship with themselves. The work I share in my book and lectures is based on daily tools I incorporate into my own life.
The way that I manage to do it all is by loving what I am doing and incorporating my work into my life’s mission.
3) You are an expert in Public Relations – how did you become involved in this sector? Was it something you always wanted to do?
I graduated college with a BFA in theater and no idea what it meant to be a publicist. What I did know was that I loved people, selling and working out (spending most of my time in my gym clothes). With this information I created my first mission statement which was that I wanted to publicize things I believed and be my own boss (therefore wear my gym clothes to the office). Publicity seemed like a natural move for me because I had already seen successes early on when I promoted parties in nightclubs throughout Manhattan. Once I knew what I wanted to do I threw myself in the fire and figured out how to do it. I had great relationships with nightclubs from my experience as a promoter so I parlayed those connections into PR clients. I taught myself how to pitch to the media by collaborating with experts in the industry. The key component to being a great publicist is having strong relationships with the media. I used my people skills and love for sales to build my credibility as a publicist.
4) Why does a business need Public Relations? What public relations advice would you give a young entrepreneur starting up their first business, especially if their funds are limited?
All businesses are selling something and without publicity no one will know there is an available commodity.
The Public Relations advice I would give a young entrepreneur starting a business is to use the internet as much as possible. Blog, use facebook, myspace, linkeden etc. Things are different today with all of the opportunities online.
Another tool I would suggest is for entrepreneurs to understand their consumer’s media consumption habits. Read what they read, listen to what the listen to and watch what they watch. That way you will begin to understand how they want to be spoken to and how to pitch those outlets. Then make a wish list of the leading publications/tv/radio that you want to see your company featured in. The more you know about the outlet the easier it will be for you to position your business to them in an applicable way.
I do one on one coaching with entrepreneurs – I call this program How to Create your Own Publicity Machine. If someone cannot afford a fulltime PR firm and want to create a communications plan that they can manage I am available for coaching.
5) Tell me about the launch of www.herfuture.com a social networking site for girls to find mentors
I have always found that once I figure out what I want to do I MUST find someone who is doing it. When seeking a mentor I want to find people that have what I want and then I do what they do. It is not always easy for young women to find women that have what they want. If they are lucky enough to find that role model they then have to face the challenge of asking her to be a mentor.
I created HerFuture.com to eliminate all of those barriers. The mission for the site is to created connections and mentoring relationships with likeminded women. By utilizing the web this site will become a resource that can be accessed nationwide and most importantly allow a shy individual to reach out and ask for help.
6) If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what business related advice would you give yourself?
I like this question.
7) Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?
I believe it is in the blood. In my case there is no way in the world that I could work for someone else. When people say “wow you are brave working for yourself” my response is – “no you are!”… Like I said earlier – I had to be my own boss and work in my gym clothes. In fact I am in them right now as I write this! I had made it my mission to create a lifestyle rather than a career.
8) Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on? (You can name more than one)
My two mentors today are a man by the name of Joe Watson, author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and diversity pundit. Joe is the one of the biggest gifts I have ever received. He in fact was the impetus for me to write my book. My other mentor is the Bestselling author Karen Salmansohn. Karen is my example of a women in business who has what I want. Therefore I do what she does. She makes suggestions, I take them and the momentum continues.
I also chose to model myself after Marianne Williamson who too is a Bestselling author, spiritual leader and motivational speaker. Her lectures change millions of lives on a daily basis and I hope to achieve that one day.
Finally, my mother. I adore her and hope to carry all of her strength into my future.
9) What is the best advice you have ever been given?
To take things one day at a time and breathe.
10) What advice would you give to a Young Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
To write down their Desire Statement (mission) and take lots of little right actions. Starting a business can be overwhelming and if take things one day at a time and continue to take daily right actions towards your goals everything will work out.
I also will encourage them to be of service. The best way to learn is to do! If there is someone in the world that is doing what you want to do I suggest you find a way to help them. This is a mutually beneficial act of altruism.
11) How many hours do you work daily and what are your daily tasks for your sites?
Because my work is part of my lifestyle I am pretty much always working. This sounds grueling though it isn’t at all. I don’t believe that you have to be at your desk writing proposals and pitching the press to be “working”. I am working when I am walking on the street, at the gym or in the car. I am always fielding calls, writing emails and acting as a mouthpiece for my clients. Due to the fact that my newest business revolves around writing self-help books and lecturing on the topics, I also consider going to the gym, meditating and reading inspirational books as part of my daily work. The more I perfect my happiness tools the more I have to share with my audience.
Finally, (I know this has been said a thousand times, but it’s true!) if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
12) If the Internet had not existed – what do you think you would be doing?
The same thing. My work is about sharing a message. The internet is just another tool that allows me to do what I do on a larger scale. Without it I would still be doing what I currently do.
13) What do you like best about the Internet?
What I like best about the internet is that it allows more people to have a voice and share their message.
14) What do you like least about the Internet?
I don’t like the fact that it can take you away from the beauty of the world. Teenagers today can become consumed with the internet and forget to add more adventure, activity and nature into their lives.
15) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
I plan to be a bestselling author who shares her message throughout the world. I also plan to be a mother and create a beautiful family.