Small Business Success Q&A #13: Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations

I was introduced to Mark Auerbach a couple of years after I moved from Boston to the Pioneer Valley. We got together for coffee one afternoon and I was delighted to have a chance to talk shop with someone else who does public relations work. In Boston, I had known dozens of freelance PR consultants, so it had come as a shock to land in a place where such freelancers are few and far between. It was nice to know there was someone else handy who understood the challenges of our field. You don’t have to be in PR, however, to benefit from Mark’s advice below, particularly his comments about integrity.

Name: Mark G. Auerbach
Company: Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
Location: Longmeadow, MA
Year founded: 1987
No. of employees: me
Website: under reconstruction. I’m on LinkedIn (Mark G. Auerbach) and Facebook (Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations)
Twitter name: MGAuerbach
Blog: Random Notes from a P.R. Guy: http://mgauerbach.blogspot.com/
Business description: Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, (MGAPR), has provided strategic planning and hands-on campaign management for a variety of marketing, advertising, public relations, special events and development projects since 1987. Working alongside the best designers, marketing experts and public relations and development professionals, we’ve provided services to for-profit and non-profit organizations. We are committed to providing our clients with top quality counsel, utilizing the best resources available to meet our clients’ needs and budgets.
What have been the keys to your business success? The quality of our work; our abilities to work within budgets and deadlines; our networking abilities, and our choice of projects and clients. I’ve always built the business on the concept of working with arts, travel, media, and specialty retail clients. I don’t take on work outside of the mix. I don’t take on projects that will smother our existing client base.
Best business advice you’ve ever been given? 1) “Know your product/service inside out. Know your market. Know how to build a two-way bridge between both.” 2) Never forget to say please and thank you.
Worst business advice you’ve ever been given? “Don’t worry whether you believe in the client’s product or service–look at it as income.”
What was the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do as a business owner? Drop a client that I’d been with for many years, because the work was holding my company back from long-term growth opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone just starting a business? Integrity and ethics go a long way in business. Don’t sacrifice yours to take on something that doesn’t feel right for you.
Favorite all-time business book? Danny Newman’s Subscribe Now, an audience development book written to boost theatre marketing in the 1970s. Methodology has changed over the years, but the sage and simple advice continues to play out.
Favorite business book read in the past year: The Gentleman Press Agent: Fifty Years in the Theatrical Trenches with Merle Debuskey by Robert Simonson. More biography than “how to.” The art of the press agent is history in today’s media mix, but Debuskey was a master publicist for Joe Papp’s Public Theatre from the 1940s to the 1990s.
Favorite online source(s) for business information/advice: For public relations and marketing: Mashable.com, MediaBistro.com, eventmarketer.com.

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