Entrepreneurs may have the next billion-dollar idea, but if no one sees it or hears about, it doesn't matter how amazing the offering is. And while founders may try their hands at spreading the word through social-media channels, traditional publicity strategies and pitching to the press directly, often entrepreneurs have no idea what they are doing, resulting in their strategy backfiring. This is where the pros step in: The PR experts.
Not only can they help develop a communications strategy that fits a business's needs but also are chockfull of connections and have tools at their disposal to help achieve optimal results. But not every founder is ready for a publicity firm or still has questions on how to best utilize one. Fortunately, for us, we have Sabrina Horn of the PR firm Horn Group for our Ask the Expert column.
Horn was born into a family of entrepreneurs with her father earning 48 patents (one for Lycra) and her mother inventing book-binding glue. But instead of heading down the science route, Horn decided to jump into the world of communications. In 1991, the then 29-year-old launched her eponymous communications agency. The challenges she faced as she set up her business inspire the work she does today.
"I remember not having very many people to turn to, and more importantly, to trust," Horn says. "If I can help one entrepreneur find the right path to get one step further or to avoid making a misstep that could cost them their idea, I would feel that I helped them fulfill their quest.
And with years of experience under her belt, Horn can definitely provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the area of PR. Since Horn Group launched, the agency has expanded its offerings to include encompassing the digital world with a focus on social and interactive services. The business has helped companies both big and small succeed including Adobe, Dow Jones, McKinsey & Company, The New York Times, Yammer and Buddy Media (acquired by Salesforce), among others. (The agency also got a hat tip for being the top places to work in PR in 2014.) Horn also has served as a Board Member on the Council of PR Firms, Software Industry Information Association and makes the conference rounds speaking about technology and marketing.
For the month of September, we are thrilled to have Horn as our expert. She is eager to tackle your burning questions each week. Feel free to ask questions relating to PR, marketing, promotion, social media and general entrepreneur inquirers.
Submit your questions in the comments section below or tweet us, using the hashtag #ENTexpert. One topic will be selected by the editors of Entrepreneur and addressed by Horn in a weekly write up here.
Related: Are You Ready for a PR Firm?