Our Member of the Month on business.com is Kailynn Bowling, the co-founder of ChicBlvd Inc. She sat down to discuss her expertise in creating an effective public relations strategy.
The business.com community is a place where business owners and professionals can come together to learn from each other. Those looking for advice can solicit it from their peers, while others are able to share their extensive expertise with those who need it.
It's that peer-to-peer give and take that makes the community such a valuable part of business.com. Overall, the site has more than 180,000 members from around the globe. The community is able to thrive like it does because of our members' eagerness to drive conversations, whether through asking questions, answering questions or contributing articles.
Each month we spotlight one of our community members for their contributions. This month we are recognizing Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicBlvd Inc., which founded and owns three divisions – the retail and branding firm ChicExecs, ChicBlvd Magazine, and Fashion Audio LLC.
Sharing PR advice
Bowling is an active member of the business.com community, in terms of both answering questions and contributing articles. Bowling has recently answered questions on a range of topics, including how to create some media buzz for a startup.
For instance, Bowling has advised the community members regarding multi-pronged approaches to marketing and public relations. She said it starts with creating a personal blog that includes tips and tricks within your expertise area.
"It's important to already build yourself as a thought leader in the industry so you can use those blogs to show the media and bloggers what unique insight you already have to offer," Bowling wrote. "The best part is that you have control of your blog so you can get as much content out there from the get-go. Make sure to amplify these blog posts on your LinkedIn and social media."
In addition to the time she spends answering community questions, Bowling has contributed several articles for business.com. Her most recent piece provides insight into how businesses can use past PR coverage to drive their current strategies.
"Past campaigns can reveal so much about your future strategy," Bowling wrote in the article. "Discover what efforts you should duplicate this year – and note any pitfalls to avoid."
Bowling advises business owners to review their analytics and social engagement from the previous year, make sure their target audience is still the same, read online reviews to learn what their customers are saying about them, and evaluate the media coverage they obtained to see if it is matching their brand mission, message and audience needs.
"Measure the impact of your PR every year," Bowling wrote. "This helps you not only improve your long-term campaigns but also make the most of your investment. Over time, you'll refine your PR strategy to bring in even more impressions, engagement and customer loyalty."
We recently spoke with Bowling about what brought her to the business.com community and why she enjoys being a part of it. In addition, we were able to learn more about her and her businesses.
- Name: Kailynn Bowling
- Business: ChicExecs, a public relations and retail strategy firm
- How long in business: 15 years
- Location: San Diego, California
- How long as a community member: 1 year
- Areas of expertise: marketing, public relations, social media and retail placement.
Q: What made you want to join the PR and branding industry?
A: When we started our own brand in our living room, we started looking for a PR company to get the word out. We couldn't find what we were looking for and decided to try our hand at our own unique way of pitching our brand. It worked.
We garnered more than 50 features in six months, and our brand took off. When people came to us asking for our recipe for success, we knew we needed to replicate what we did for our business to help others.
Q: You hold a number of different professional roles. How do you balance your time as a business executive?
A: My days are very structured, and I live by my calendar. Everything needs to be scheduled out, so I have a good overview of dividing my time evenly. I'm also a mom, so it's important for me to balance my career and personal life.
Some days I know I just need to take a breather to have quality family time and turn off anything work-related. Then I feel recharged and ready to take on the next day.
Q: What separates ChicExecs from other public relations and branding firms?
A: We are a retail-focused brand strategy firm. We combine PR, social media and influencers to build brand awareness and sell through on a retail level. We're different than a regular PR agency that will just generate PR features.
We understand how to use that PR to help monetize brands. We can take that feature and put it in a trade show booth, put it in a press book, and present that to buyers.
Q: Why did you join the business.com community?
A: I have a passion for helping other business owners with out-of-the-box ideas for growth. When we started our business 15 years ago, we had to Google many questions we had about business. With social media and websites like business.com, there is a central place that budding business owners can go to when they have questions.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the business.com community?
A: It's great to have one place to learn and relate with other business owners. We all truly want to make the world a better place with our inventions and business ideas, so it's great to hear from many different perspectives on how we can improve things further.
Q: How do you decide what to write about when contributing an article?
A: We get to see marketing trends early on while working with brands. I usually focus on trends and core values within our company.
I'm constantly reading from other sites, and it will spark thoughts on what my opinion would be on that subject matter. I love to offer my perspective from what I've learned in my own experiences.
Q: What makes you want to answer other community members' questions?
A: My expertise is in building brands, manufacturing and marketing. When I see questions related to those topics looking for out-of-the-box ideas, I love to chime in and help.
Q: What is the best professional advice you have ever received?
A: Work on the business, not in the business. As a business owner, we want to do it all, but it's not possible. Hire the right people that can do the job better than you can, so you can focus on building the business.
Q: What is the biggest professional mistake you have made, and how did you overcome it?
A: Hiring the wrong CEO who didn't understand emerging brands. We moved on from that experience but learned that a wrong hire can be detrimental to your business. You must identify the issues early on and correct the behaviors or move on from that hire.