By Peg Corwin
Meet Tricia Parker, owner of Tricia Parker Communications and Featured Business Owner at SCORE Chicago this week. Learn how she started and what tips she has for your success.
What is your company’s elevator pitch?
Tricia Parker Communications helps our clients identify unique media opportunities. Our motto is “Telling Your Story, Making a Difference.” We offer customized media relations, strategic communications and writing coaching and editing services.
How did you decide to start your business?
I first got the idea for a Chicago PR business while working as a T.V. reporter at an ABC affiliate. I noticed there were lots of good stories not getting told, and I wondered how I could someday fill that gap. I wanted to not only identify the “voiceless,” but to empower them to tell their stories publicly.
Who are your clients, and give an example of how you served that person or business?
Our clients are typically individuals and businesses with an interesting or unusual story to share with the world. It was my joy, for example, to help a client called “The Gift of Wings” – a kite store in Milwaukee – secure a media placement in a North Shore magazine about how to help children fly a kite. We had developed a business relationship over several years, and it was a delight to garner “The Gift of Wings” the press coverage it so much deserved. TPC also assists individuals and businesses with various writing needs.
What is your most successful sales strategy? What works to bring you business?
My most successful strategy has been to listen very carefully to clients’ needs, and to engage with the media only when my clients are ready. I build trust with both my clients and media representatives by not rushing things.
What works to bring you business?
Being actively involved in several civic organizations helps tremendously, as does being well-read and consistently thoughtful in all my written and spoken communications.
Who is your Mentor and how have they helped you in your business?
Ezzy Dabish has helped me very much by providing insights into how I could my make my Web site more user-friendly, as well as advice for how to engage in my first marketing campaign.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that might help others?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is strength in admitting your limits and seeking expertise from someone who knows a particular subject area better than you.
“Today, March 12, is actually a big day for my little firm. I signed my first international author, a business leadership expert in Dubai.
“Business has been very good—I’m inching toward having edited fifty books since I started book editing nearly two years ago now. I have a number of publisher clients as well as individual clients, now across the globe.
“Also, I’m planning on offering literary agenting services this coming year. I’m working right now with the John Marshall law school to draft a contract for that. There are only a handful of agents in Chicago, so I’m hoping to be a solid competitor in that space. So, all in all—good things for the business.”
“What is your website for further info?
Our business mentors can help you, too!
Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.