16 Oct Jennifer Cherry Foster Founder of Catalyst Media Factory
As a startup or small business owner, it’s easy to forget about telling your story. You’re often busy focusing on the product, the day to day operations, the team you’re building — and everything else on your plate. Media matters and there’s no one more passionate about public and media relations than Jennifer Cherry Foster.
Jennifer is new to Bamboo, but not new to the world of public relations. An experienced professional, she’s worked in executive roles leading public relations for big brands and local businesses. After cultivating strong local and national contacts, she’s putting her skills to work for the startup community.
Tell us about your company and your work in Detroit.
Catalyst Media Factory (CMF) helps small businesses in the retail, restaurant and professional service sectors increase visibility and awareness through editorial content. We do this by getting businesses featured or included in articles in newspapers, TV, radio and online. At the same time, we work to provide reliable and interesting sources to members of the news media. CMF also develops and implements social media campaigns to help small business owners reach their current and future customers. We work hard but don’t take ourselves too seriously. There are so many great things happening in Detroit right now. Especially with respect to startups and small businesses. Their stories are inspiring and they need to be told. We want to help them share those stories and succeed.
What is it that you love most about your work in PR?
Catalyst Media Factory focuses on two very specific aspects of PR—Media Relations and Social Media. They are cost-effective tools that drive name recognition and traffic for small business owners. The most rewarding part of this business is seeing a client light up while telling me that they had a huge sale as a result of a TV interview or that a customer is coming in to sign a contract after a conversation on Instagram. It’s about the relationships and results.
Why is PR important to small businesses and startups?
If we look specifically at media relations, there are a whole host of reasons why it is so important to startups.
A few tangible benefits of media relations can include:
- Enhanced reputation, including in your industry sector. If you’ve been written up or used as a resource by a media outlet, you “must be legit.”
- Increased top-of-mind target audience awareness, resulting in business when the client is ready to “buy” and in the right stage of the sales funnel.
- Improved SEO/web rankings. Your website only takes up a single slot on Page 1 of a Google search. There are about 8 slots that can be filled.
- The increased ability to secure business funding (Because you’re legit).
- Enhanced employee pride.
- Ready-made social media content.
- Additional media exposure. Yes! A reporter or producer may see your story and decide to take a different twist on it.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to any founder when thinking of public relations?
Hire someone you respect and from whom you’ll be willing to take counsel to represent you and always, always, always be prepared to be completely open with that person.
Do you see opportunity in Detroit right now?
The opportunity in Detroit is through the roof! The best minds are gravitating to Detroit (and Bamboo Detroit). And all those great minds coming together AND working together. . .well. . .it’s just AWESOME.