J. Barry Mandel got his start in PR from a very different angle then most people in publicity. As a small business owner he was seeking a way to get his business into the local news and his very first press release he submitted cost less then $2, but earned him a amazing 5-figure return.
After personally experiencing the life changing impact being in the news could have on ones life he set out to automate the press release process which he has been doing with his team since 2007.
He sees himself as a champion of the small business owner who often lacks the resources, so let’s see what he had to say during his Pro Business Insights Interview.
PBI: What’s your official business name and when did you get started?
J. MANDEL: AcuPublicity got its start in 2007.
PBI: Why did you decide to go down the road of self-employment?
J. MANDEL: This project evolved out of my own previous self-employment situation.
PBI: How did you actually get started? Did you start full-time, part-time or build up to it while working a full-time job to tide you over?
J. MANDEL: Media Publicity Generator was started part-time. After experiencing almost a full years worth of brand new clients in my brick n’ morter business I realized that there had to be an easier way to write press releases instead of spending 3 weeks diligently reading everything I could find my hands on to get instant success. Eventually I read an article about someone who started a software company with just an idea and $25 and turned that initial investment into $50,000. So then I realized that developing software was the way to automate the press release creation process. Since then our software has been greatly expanded beyond just writing press releases and it now edits releases and distributes out to 3 different submission sources including our exclusive PR-Ind network of industry based PR submission sites and a 3,000+ site newsfeed.
PBI: How have things developed since business day one? Have you diversified, or have your services remained the same?
J. MANDEL: Since the internet changes everyday we change with it as it develops. In addition to our easy to use online PR software we now offer white labeling for people who want to own their own publicity software and keep up to 100% of the profits without any of the development time, costs, hassles, or need to provide customer support. Most recently we have offered a complete PR service business package for people who want to start their own PR service in the $11 billion dollar per year publicity industry. And we will be offering access to a premium newsfeed so users can get
PBI: What area of your business would you like to see improve within the next 6 months and why?
J. MANDEL: I would like to keep on seeing the visibility of our software and other products keep on increasing. As more and more people find out about it and more and more affiliates promote it we keep seeing an increase in users who are hungry for help to promote their businesses.
We’d also like to see an increase in our white labeling side of the business as well.
PBI: How are you improving on that area?
J. MANDEL: We have an entire publicity and marketing plan developed which is really taking shape and people world-wide are finding out our software and products. With more and more affiliates signing up world-wide to promote our software we are seeing people visiting our website from areas we never would’ve expected.
PBI: What’s your best tip for someone considering starting a business in your industry?
J. MANDEL: Do your research and know how much money and time you have to invest in software development. Because software development is prone to pitfalls, make sure that you have the time to wait for your software to be both developed and thoroughly tested. The worst thing you can do is start selling something that is rife with problems that have not been ironed out yet. Usually once a customer wants a refund you’ll never get them back again so make sure to do things right the first time and you’ll lower your refund rate significantly.
PBI: What’s the most popular misconception that prospective clients have about your industry and what’s the correct answer?
J. MANDEL: Typically most business owners or website owners have no idea what they can get publicity for. Often times they think that publicity is only for huge breakthrough story’s that capture the worlds attention. What they don’t often times realize is that “the news needs news” and the public deserves to know about their events that take place. A business event can be as simple as even just having a single satisfied customer who probably feels that way due to a series of events that were done right.
PBI: Who is your ideal client?
J. MANDEL: Our ideal client is any small business owner who wants to get publicity for their business and wants the public to know about their products and/or services. Our typical client probably can’t can’t afford to hire a pricey publicist on a regular basis. Because our online software provides UNLIMITED access to our users, hiring a publicist on an hourly basis never needs to take place.
PBI: If you had a chance to say one thing to a brand new client, before they met you in person, what would it be?
J. MANDEL: If your calendar is not over filled with daily appointments then start putting the power of the press to work for you now. PR helps to earn you incredible long-term notoriety and credibility by being represented by 3rd party trusted news sources. Because the public en masse tends to greatly trust the news, investing in getting publicity often times yields significantly better returns then marketing or advertising ever could. If you have never benefited from being featured in your local newspaper or on your local radio station then you should strongly consider the life changing effects that PR could have on your business.
Thank you for a very informative interview J. Mandel. AcuPublicity can be found at www.MediaPublicityGenerator.