An Interview with the Small Business Professor – Bruce Freeman
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After working with Bruce Freeman over the course of several years, I finally caught up with him for an interview to share his expertise as a journalist, entrepreneur and the author of the successful new book, “Birthing The Elephant.”
Bruce is nationally known as the Small Business Professor via his syndicated column for Scripps Howard News Service at www.smallbusinessprof.com. And he is the president and founder of ProLine Communications, where he provides professional PR services to high-tech companies.
In addition, Bruce is an adjunct professor of management and entrepreneurship at Seton Hall University, Kean University and Ramapo College where he “always makes it a point to help his students bridge the world of academic endeavors with the culture and realities of the work place.”
Here’s what Bruce had to say…
Tell us about your new book and why you wrote it.
I co-authored the book with Karin Abarbanel for several reasons. First, I have a passion for entrepreneurship. “Birthing the Elephant” is about women entrepreneurs, and women are starting businesses 2-3 times faster than men. I have two daughters and the word “entrepreneur” speaks to independence, and that is what they need to be to be successful.
What PR activities have given you the best results and why?
We have used many methods to promote the book. First, we have been very lucky to have a dynamite senior level publicist at Ten Speed Press, Kara Van de Water, who has placed us in all the major trades, newspapers and radio programs.
In addition, we retained Planned Television Arts (a division of Ruder Finn) to do two, drive-time radio campaigns. This proved very successful. I also contacted the alumni associations of the universities I graduated (undergrad and grad) as well as the communications office of the university I currently teach at.
We created a “Birthing the Elephant” e-mail news alert (and send it on a regular basis) to all the interviewees in the book and our personal contacts.
In addition, we created a “Birthing the Elephant” tour with the idea of fostering collaboration between zoos and women business groups (i.e. National Association of Women Business Owners – NAWBO). I kicked off the tour in Louisville, KY, and my co-author Karin Abarbanel, is going to Pittsburgh, PA in January.
What recommendations do you have for other entrepreneurs who want to promote their new business or book without spending a lot of money?
Speak about your book at local groups. Send a press release to all the schools you graduated from. Send press releases to all the local and regional editors in your area and all the publications in your area of expertise.
Call local radio and TV cable stations and ask to speak to the producer. You will be surprised how these few simple steps will parley into bigger media opportunities.
Thanks for the great advice Bruce!
Now, you can get Bruce’s book at www.birthingtheelephant.com. And if you’d like to get some PR tips on getting Bruce to write about your business, check back on Thursday. In the meantime, feel free to write to me with any of your PR and copywriting questions.