- “If you’re not out there getting in the media, getting on podcasts, getting quoted in the Star, somebody else in your industry is.”
- “If you don’t know the art of the pitch and you don’t understand what you’re doing you can burn more bridges than you can build.”
- “Whatever it is you do, you have expertise, you have knowledge that the mainstream doesn’t have.”
- “Every success builds on every other success.”
- “There are so many different forums now, there’s a billion different ways to find your comfort zone.”
- “Civility in the workplace can help you retain customers and employees. It literally has a financial impact of 30% on companies.”
- “The way we treat each other really matters.”
- “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde.
Meet Tracy Lamourie
Our guest is Tracy Lamourie, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Lamourie Media.
Tracy is an industry thought leader, international award-winning publicist, and she is a frequent guest on many TV and radio shows, and internationally recognized podcasts. In 2017, her work helped free an innocent man from death row.
She has been quoted in multiple international publications on human rights issues, public relations, leadership, entrepreneurship, and empowerment, and she is a regular contributor to Medium and Prosperi Press.
She was nominated for the 2020 Universal Women’s Network Woman of Inspiration Award, the 2020 RBC Women of Influence Award, and the 2020 Tallberg/Eliasson Global Leadership Prize.
Smart Man, Smarter Woman References
We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.
The 30% Solution, by Lew Bayer
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Steve Loates (00:00):
Welcome, everyone, to another episode of our podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Thank you very much for giving us a listen today. I am Steve Loates.
Juliet Aurora (00:15):
And I am Juliet Aurora.
Steve Loates (00:17):
We are your co-hosts. As always, before we get started, let’s hear a few words from my awesome co-host, that smarter woman herself, Juliet. How are you doing today, Juliet? You look fabulous.
Juliet Aurora (00:33):
Thank you, Steve. That’s so kind. I am excellent, thank you. The weather has been kind of all over the place. I was trudging through snow this morning, and then it was the polar vortex of wind this afternoon, so who knows what’s going on? I keep thinking I need to get us on a beach in Mexico, Mayan Riviera, Costa Rica. That’s where we need to be running our business. I think that we need to focus on that a little bit harder.
Steve Loates (01:03):
Well, as you know, you’ll hear no complaints from me, and I don’t want to hear any more talk of polar vortexes either, please. I don’t mind a little bit of snow, a little bit of cold. We do live in Canada. It is winter, but polar vortex? I’m not even sure what it is, but it just doesn’t sound good.
Juliet Aurora (01:23):
It sounds cold.
Steve Loates (01:25):
Yes, it does. It sounds very cold. Anyway, let’s get to our show, and bring in our very special guest who joins us today. Actually, probably if I stuck my head out the window and yell, she could probably hear me. That’s how far away she is from where we are. Tracy Lamourie is from Hamilton, Ontario. Welcome, Tracy, and thank you very much for joining us today.
Tracy Lamourie (01:51):
Hello, hello. Thank you so much for having me on.
Steve Loates (01:53):
Our pleasure. Why don’t we start out, as per usual, with, if you could perhaps tell us a little bit, share your own entrepreneurial journey, and talk a little bit about maybe what you do now and how you help people?
Tracy Lamourie (02:09):
Sure. I’ll start with the last part, and then go back real quick to give it context, and I’ll try to do it in the quick version. If you read my bio, I’m an “international award winning publicist.” I work across industries, literally across countries, help with all the people that you think a publicist works with, which is people in TV, authors, public speakers, people in music, filmmakers, all that stuff. It’s about half of my client base.
Tracy Lamourie (02:34):
The other half of my client base, which is what my book GET REPPED – Build Your Brand With Effective Public and Media Relations is about, is about people like the listeners, people like you, people like me, entrepreneurs, experts in various fields who either have a message and they don’t know how to get it out to media, and that’s a mystery to them, or they haven’t realized yet that they have every right, possibility, and ease of getting into media as the people they see on television, in their industry. The only difference between them and you is that they told the media about what they’re doing, essentially.
Tracy Lamourie (03:06):
I break down all that for people in consulting, in speaking, but I also do the real work that brought me to the international award winning publicist. I write the press releases. I think of the strategies. I reach out to media. I work until 2:00 in the morning making sure every reporter that I can think of has my client’s messaging.
Tracy Lamourie (03:25):
But the way I got here, which normally would be a four year trajectory in university, is the norm, or people come to it from working in media for years. I had a little bit of media. I did some radio and all that, but basically in my life I was in marketing, just in sales, entry-level pretty much in my 20s, but I was always a writer, and I had a radio show before that. I was used to caring about activist things and thinking I had a voice, that I could change the world, and somehow I managed to. Along the process, I ended up learning how to write press releases. It took me about 15 years to realize I had skills that I could actually monetize, and ultimately build a crazy life that I love, that other people look at. When it’s not COVID, it’s VIP parties, and 3:00 in the morning working. But also VIP parties and travel, and all that stuff.
Tracy Lamourie (04:14):
It all started because I tried to help somebody. I didn’t know how to do it, and I didn’t have a voice. I didn’t have a radio show anymore, but it was the early days of the internet. I had the power of learning how to figure out how to make a website, and then what was I going to do with it? Figure out how to write a press release. It happened to be a guy who was innocent on death row, and nobody was listening but my husband and I over in Pennsylvania. For some reason, I went the hard, young activist again. For some reason, my husband and I got involved, and we felt like, what can we do? We just made it public, started letting the world know.
Tracy Lamourie (04:47):
A couple of years later, a law firm got involved that was looking for a case of factual, actual innocence, and they wouldn’t have heard about him without that noise we’d made. They got involved. It took several years, a lot of years. Meanwhile, for the whole 20 years, we were still doing this, what we now look at as a pro bono campaign, but ultimately, we were just activists helping day to day. We were still in touch.
Tracy Lamourie (05:06):
He was freed in 2017. The world knows he’s innocent. He’s about to get all kinds of money. Rolling Stone has done features. Hamilton Spectator did a feature called Two Bleeding Hearts and a Dead Man Walking, but the article was a great article. The headline was funny, but the Spec almost won. They were up for a national newspaper award for that article, two or three. They were in the running for it.
Tracy Lamourie (05:31):
Bringing it back to the business story, because not everybody has a crazy trajectory, to the business side, about two years before he was released, the context of that, whenever it was, 15 years after I started that I suddenly had the aha moment. Wait a minute, hold on. This is actually something. Isn’t that called a publicist? We’d gotten on CNN, MSNBC, us, not just about that case, which it was impossible to get attention in those days when someone was still in prison, but we had no legal experience, no real media experience. I got through the power, by press releases, us on CNN, MSNBC, he and me, Court TV, ABC. Fifth Estate did a 45 minute documentary about our work, me and my husband.
Tracy Lamourie (06:14):
Suddenly, I had this wow moment. All the time, we’re still telemarketers, or my husband’s doing whatever with just an entry level job. Suddenly I had this aha moment, where I was like, you know what? I don’t know why I didn’t have it before, or why had it then, but everybody should have it. You all don’t have this kind of story, but you all have something you love, a hobby, something you put a lot of passion or time into, that you never maybe thought could actually be monetized and paid, doing a job you love. Crazy. Hard to tell that story in a really short version, but I think this is my quickest yet.
Steve Loates (06:46):
You did an awesome job. That was great, and congratulations on your success. I was looking forward to having you on the podcast because I have to admit, I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. I started and built several businesses, and spent lots of money on advertising, lots of money on marketing, and never even thought about a publicist or a public relations person to help me, because I always had the thought they were just too expensive. A PR person, that’s what a corporation has, right? If it’s a huge business, they have a PR department, but here I am as a small-
Tracy Lamourie (07:36):
You’re not going to hire an individual in your company. You’re not going to have an inside, in-house PR, right? Exactly.
Steve Loates (07:45):
I don’t think I’m alone.
Tracy Lamourie (07:46):
No, it’s super common, 80%, 90% of entrepreneurs. Even further, you’re ahead of most entrepreneurs to even be thinking in that regard. A lot of times I speak to entrepreneurs, and they’re like, “Huh?” They literally say, “PR? Isn’t that for sports stars?” It’s like, no, no. Especially now, when you hear the word thought leadership, if you’re not out there getting in the media, getting on podcasts, getting quoted in the Star, somebody else in your industry is. There’s two things. There’s a press release, which you’ve heard of, and probably never thought of doing, which is your media advisory, your press release, where you’re telling the media what you’re doing, or you’re putting out your thoughts on something topical that’s happening, and different ways to insert yourself.
Tracy Lamourie (08:28):
Then there’s the opposite of that, the whole world, which 90% of entrepreneurs don’t know. Just like there’s these pod match services that introduce podcasters to influential guests and everything, there are services that publicists have, and even some that entrepreneurs can sign onto, but the problem is, if you don’t know the art of the pitch and you don’t understand what you’re doing, you can burn more bridges than you can build. You’ve got to be very careful before you go and use those resources, which are available, to really understand the pitch, because your pool of reporters and everybody’s limited. You don’t want to be throwing crap at them, where they’re going to close the door and not open your next email, so that’s super important.
Tracy Lamourie (09:03):
But before you get into that, the other side of the press release is what I call the opposite of a press release, which is reporters are already going to be doing stories. They’ve been assigned stories, but guess what? They’re not experts in every single thing in the world. They have a story due Tuesday. They’re not going to go out and call every real estate agent, for example, on the block. Every day, I see quotes on oprah.com, Reader’s Digest. These are all things I’ve gotten clients into using this service. The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, doing an article on whatever with a deadline at 2:00, looking for somebody who can speak to blah. Some of them are generic things like entrepreneurs, how to ref 2020, what are some things you’re doing for 2021? Open call to entrepreneurs to be featured in The New York Times. One moment like that, and those are free. You can’t buy your way into any of those. You have to be chosen. That’s why the difference between editorial and advertorial, another impossible thing for so many entrepreneurs to get their head around.
Tracy Lamourie (10:06):
So yeah, what I challenge people, because you’re right about the price point. Quite often, if you go with a PR, you don’t know what you’re talking about and you go to a big PR house, what they’re going to do is they’re going to put a senior person like me to talk to you. Then they’re going to have a team of five juniors, $20 an hour, right out of universities, that are actually doing the work. You think you’re getting some big … You are. You’re paying more because you have that team, but what I have, I make it smaller. I only take on a limited number of clients, but it’s a two person team, me and my partner. I do all the writing. I do the press releases. I do the [inaudible 00:10:43] with media. I’m the one that you get when you hire me. I make it affordable, because I do a lot of the speaking.
Tracy Lamourie (10:51):
I’ve understood now that entrepreneurs don’t understand what I’m selling. Unless they say come to me, because they’ve seen my work already, and they see their other friend has all of a sudden hired me, and a month later, he’s got two newspaper articles, been quoted here, he’s on TV. They’re like, “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, how’d you do that?” Then they want it, and then they understand.
Tracy Lamourie (11:11):
But if I just say, “Hey, I’m going to get you in the news,” nobody believes it, because they don’t see themselves as that person. They don’t see, they don’t understand that process, so I started a thing where instead of being $3,000 a month, three months minimum, which is my corporate price for super [inaudible 00:11:26]. If I have to sit in a boardroom with 10 people, and have all these meetings where 15 people are deciding what the message is, yeah, my price is going up really high because it’s annoying, it’s harder, and the messaging is muddled. I’ve got to figure all of these personalities before we even get to the public messaging.
Tracy Lamourie (11:44):
I like to work with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, creatives, people with messages, and non-profits and stuff. But if you’re an entrepreneur and you come to me, I’m not going to say $3,000 a month, three months minimum. I know you’re not going to take $10,000 out of your pocket with something you don’t understand, even if you have it, and a lot of us don’t. But even if you do, you’re not going to just throw that out. It’s a lot of money to just bet on.
Tracy Lamourie (12:07):
So I started doing, if you’ve heard me on the podcast and you don’t believe that this could be you, because I know what you’re thinking, I do for under $1,000. I have one price point of $599, and one at $1,000. The $599 is way less than you would get anywhere, but it’s superior PR still. What we do is a couple of things you’re getting. We’re not doing full service for that, obviously. We’re saying, “This is what you can expect. You’re going to get an article in this. I’m going to pitch. You’re going to get a full pitch that you can keep later, whether you decide to hire me again next month, or you decide to just do it yourself maybe. Now, you’re going to understand after a month with me how you place yourself, what that means with pitch, where we can send you, and then you have that. You can just do that on your own later when you see opportunities.”
Tracy Lamourie (12:52):
Then for the $1,000 a month, and there are also deals if you sign on for three months, both of these go cheaper, for the $1,000 a month, then you’re talking the full service PR, the stuff my Hollywood clients get, at a lower price, period, the exact same service. It’s just a sliding scale, which is Zoom calls, strategy calls, talks, multiple press releases, media advisory specific to you. You want to talk to Talk Radio? Okay, what messages are good for Talk Radio? We’ll reach out nationally to every Talk Radio, and see if we can get you a spot. Chances are we’ll get one. Once we get one, we’ll get another.
Tracy Lamourie (13:24):
Podcasts I’m really recommending now. I was just seeing them as an alternative to media, because I’m a media person, but the more I do them … I’ve been hired by a couple of podcasters now, and I’m realizing just because we’re all entrepreneurs, and they’re understanding, I’m realizing it’s huge networking. Podcasts in general now are the new networking. Not just in little ways, but they’re really targeted networking and marketing. I’m not a marketing expert. PR is the opposite. It’s the close cousin of marketing, earned media as opposed to …
Tracy Lamourie (13:55):
But clearly, if you’re into marketing and advertising, still it’s about visibility in the public eye. If you can ever get an ad that everyone knows you’ve paid for, for 30 seconds, which costs so much money, say, CFRB in Toronto, or like I do for my clients I get you a 45 minute. Not all my clients; it depends. It has to be a good pitch, it has to fit, but very regularly I’ve gotten clients interviewed on things on CFRB and other stations like it. You get a massive audience, not for 30 seconds, “Come and buy my product,” but for 30 minutes, 40 minutes where the host that they trust and listen to every night is talking to you in detail, laughing. “Oh, yeah, that product sounds great.” Not necessarily product; it’s about you as an expert. If you get away from selling your product, I sell you, and then you sell your product or whatever, but you’re there to talk about your expertise.
Juliet Aurora (14:48):
Okay. Let’s take a step back for our entrepreneurs who are in our audience, that don’t necessarily understand the difference between PR and advertising and marketing. You touched on a couple of points, but maybe [crosstalk 00:15:04]-
Tracy Lamourie (15:03):
Juliet Aurora (15:04):
… a little bit. From an advertising and marketing standpoint, you’re basically putting the messaging out of what you sell and who you are. It’s all outbound. Does that mean that PR is inbound?
Tracy Lamourie (15:22):
No. The difference basically is thinking about the editorial versus the advertorial. Advertorial is when you’re controlling the message 100%. You are paying for what’s going on. What’s going in the paper is what you’ve submitted to the ad department, the words that you wrote. What we do, we’re writing a little article, basically, about you, a little media advisory, a press release, trying to interest the media to come and interview you, or sometimes we’re writing a story about you that we’re submitting as a royalty free article, that they may just submit, that’s a nice little article about you. But primarily the job of a press release is to convince that newsroom, that editor, that reporter, that journalist, TV producer that what you have to say is going to be of interest to their audience, so they should have you on to interview you.
Tracy Lamourie (16:10):
We have to get away from entrepreneurs thinking I have a product. You’re not there to sell your product. It’s never going to get on the news. It’s about you as the expert. Even if you’re a lawn care provider, you think, gee, why would they interview me on the news? Well, whatever it is you do, you have expertise. You have knowledge that the mainstream doesn’t have. There are media opportunities in the general media, to teach us all some aspect of something we don’t have. A news thing comes up, and the lawn care guy has an understanding of something about it because of his expertise. That could be a topical release. Bob’s Lawn Care knows this about this, and that’s an opportunity to insert yourself into a different story. You’re not the story; you’re just referred, you’re quoted, you’re referenced as a trusted source.
Tracy Lamourie (16:55):
That third party credibility, they call it social credibility these days. It’s just what it has always been. The reason advertising is used, that as seen on TV in the days when people were more naive, is because how to attach that cache as though you were being interviewed, even though you were just buying the spot.
Tracy Lamourie (17:14):
PR is the opposite of that. It’s earned media, meaning you can’t buy it. You can pay a publicist to strategically write the words, be compelling, and place you and convince that reporter, and find the opportunities that you will be fit into. But once you pay a publicist, none of those opportunities that we’re presenting to you are paid opportunities. You can’t buy your way into that New York Times article. You can’t buy your way into the [inaudible 00:17:38]. The fact that you’re in there elevates you as the expert. If you have 10 as quoted in, very quickly, no matter what my client does …
Tracy Lamourie (17:48):
We’re not talking about the media people right now. I have clients that are luxury real estate agents, a woman who owns some health clinics, a psychologist, the SEO marketing guy, and neuro marketing guy, all these people, they have no media. It’s my job to find and build that media. I can sometimes find them.
Tracy Lamourie (18:08):
One client hired me. She’s 26 years old and zero media. I was able to find a perfect Good Housekeeping, a print magazine, Good Housekeeping. They were doing an article that fit her perfectly. I convinced the reporter to interviewer her. When I did, she wowed them. She first off the gate, she’s in a 150 year old print magazine, Good Housekeeping. From there, for the next year, she’s got tons of other media from that, because all we have to do now, if she wants any interview on that topic, is, “As featured in this article in Good Housekeeping.” Everyone’s like, “Oh, clearly she’s an expert now.” She’s the same expert she was the day before she was featured in Good Housekeeping, but now, 50 other people with her exact expertise will be out of the running. They’re going to interview her because she was featured in that, and they can say that in the [inaudible 00:18:56].
Tracy Lamourie (18:56):
Every success builds on every other success, to the point where now 90% of the time, or not 90%. Now, I’m surprised. If I want to be in an interview, because I know how to target it, I know who my audience is, I know what they’re looking for, 99% … Because I’m good at the pitch as well as my qualifications now, if I want to be on something, I set up my thing and they’re like, “Yeah, for sure. Looks legit. When are we going to have her on?” I have 50 other people who said that before. They can listen to those. They can go and hear those segments, so it all just builds. It starts when you get out. You start putting yourself out there, like everything.
Steve Loates (19:33):
Juliet Aurora (19:34):
I love the comparison. I think it’s a lot clear, where it’s paid media versus earned media. I think that’s a great comparison of the two. A lot of what you’re trying to elevate is the brand, so that they become a trusted expert in whatever industry the entrepreneur is in. You’re not trying to sell the widget that they produce or provide, but have them identify as being the expert on that widget in that industry, so that people will actually get to know who they are when they’re looking for that widget, that-
Tracy Lamourie (20:15):[crosstalk 00:20:15] provider. They’ll be like, “Oh, that guy.” Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Juliet Aurora (20:18):
Tracy Lamourie (20:20):
It’s true. That’s why people will say, “Well, what would be the ROI in marketing?” It’s not the same mindset as marketing. “Can I give you a percentage?” No, you can’t give your publicist a percentage, unless you want to give me a percentage of your whole company, because you don’t know what’s going to … My job is to make it so big and get you everywhere, that you can’t even know.
Tracy Lamourie (20:40):
I did work for a completely unknown little 13 year old. I just left her a message when she sang, and I said, “I’ve got to get this to some media friends.” Last June, I got her in global, CBC, CTV, all that stuff. Well, just a week ago, that was six months ago, you never know who’s going to see it and what’s going to build for them. We’ve done all kinds of other work since then, but from that very first media appearance, a week ago we got a call from the Ontario Black History Council, which is the mayor … For their February event, the mayor is going to be there, the chief of police … This is nothing that all of the illustrious people go to.
Tracy Lamourie (21:15):
They said, “We saw her, a little singer, a 13 year old singer, on global news,” which was six months ago. “We thought it’d be great to have her on our stage with that message, and we’d also like to pay you.” So now she’s a paid professional from that. Not only has her message expanded, which has been all the last six months, she’s got a million other opportunities. But even just from that one first media, that little one minute news clip, people that have the power to put her on an illustrious stage, not just a stage, but in front of people that who knows what’s going to happen when she sings in front of them? This is going to be virtual this year, of course, but 800 people that are all of the people that do all the events. Inevitably, more is going to develop that we can’t even imagine from that one.
Tracy Lamourie (21:58):
That’s literally because she had a publicist who sent one email, and the reporter was like, “That sounds like a good story.” It went on TV, but it can be literally that quick. I’ve got a million stories like that, and these are just regular people who had no media presence, but that’s how media finds you.
Steve Loates (22:15):
Juliet Aurora (22:15):
Steve Loates (22:18):
I was thinking, your job must be a lot more challenging now than it was even just a few years ago, because there are now so many places where people get their news, get their content. How do you-
Tracy Lamourie (22:40):
Fabricate all that?
Steve Loates (22:40):
Yeah. How do you manage that? How do you even determine where you should be trying to get these people, when there’s so many options?
Tracy Lamourie (22:55):
Yeah. That’s where the three, like I said … It was funny. I came up and I said to my husband the other day, because if you go look at my Instagram, I have daily successes, big ones, little ones, literally, boom, boom, boom, 10 a day, boom, boom, boom. I was just thinking about it as I was chilling out the other day. I looked at my husband and I said, “Half of those things, half of the magic that I do, literally magic that I create for people where they wake up and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, how’d you do that?’ You know what it really is? It’s obviously strategy, but it’s me staying up until 3:00 in the morning researching, finding all these things, and then yeah, determining what.”
Tracy Lamourie (23:30):
That’s where it comes in about what their audience is, and how does it … Even if someone doesn’t have a big audience in this, is it something that can help place them? Is it something where they have free range, or write about something they haven’t maybe spoken about before? If they’re an expert … I had a consultant who’s an expert, and developed her 10 years as a journalist and a writer now in the emerging Canadian cannabis industry, the legal industry. She’s got a great name now, but that’s all she’s ever written about in the public eye. But she’s not just an expert in that; she’s also an expert in the gig economy, and she wants to start writing about the gig economy. She said to me, “What do I do? I have no … What do I just say, here’s all my other stuff on cannabis?” It could be anything. It could be an automotive design, if she did a career in automotive design. But now she wants to segue into that. How do you do that?
Tracy Lamourie (24:18):
I said, “Well, that’s where the strategy comes in.” You start thinking, where can I write an article, where if it’s well-written I can do a guest blog about this, even just based on my …? Then you find that one place. Then, like I said, even if you get the $500 and change thing from me now, I know because of my relationship with certain editors, and none of these are paid, that you can pay for, but because I know what they’re looking for, and they know that I’ve always given them good content, I know how to shape a story where it would be shocking if they didn’t accept it. If I give good content, I’m a regular contributor. I know, when I say shape a story, how to tell the story, what part of the story to tell. Is it a profile of this guy, or is it talking more about mindset or something, and we’re quoting this person? There’s a million different ways. Again, it’s harder and easier now because there is so many different platforms.
Steve Loates (25:16):
What do you do with an entrepreneur who has a great story to tell, has expertise, but just doesn’t present themselves well? There are just some people who, maybe because they’re not comfortable even just talking about what they do, how would you help them?
Tracy Lamourie (25:43):
This happens a lot, actually. I had a conversation this week with a new client. They loved it all, but really in the end, they have some anxiety. They talked about their personal issues, and what they do in general life. They were like, “I really want to be speaking out about this stuff. I think that’s something to say, but I don’t know.” They said, “I want to talk, but I don’t think I can.”
Tracy Lamourie (26:03):
I said, “Well, we don’t have to do podcasts then. You don’t have to do TV interviews.” Some people can’t write. If you think about writing, it’s going to send them into a tizzy, and they’re going to go nuts. Those people, we can do a phone call. I can ask you the questions and transcribe them, so now you’ve got a written … You never had to talk to the reporter, because 90%, the Reader’s Digests, the ones I mentioned there, they sent, “Hey, here’s what we’re looking for.”
Tracy Lamourie (26:25):
“Okay, I’ve got a client that fits that. Here’s the stuff.”
Tracy Lamourie (26:27):
“Sure. Here’s the questions.” Maybe one out of five times, maybe it’s a phone interview, but mostly it’s print. There’s a whole bunch of room for people to just share their expertise by writing. Where that’s not easy, someone like me or their friend could maybe transcribe it using Google, whatever, transcribe, and then go back and type it. There’s all kinds of ways like that, so think about that. Think about just speaking to yourself, and then writing it out and doing an article. Things like medium, which looks like the Huffington Post, and most people think it is, there it’s actually as easy as making a Facebook page. You literally go on, put your picture, and write whatever. If you can write a nice article, even if it’s just 500 words, similar to a blog, try to make it a little better, because then it might get shared. Then you start to develop your thought leadership. But even if you just have a little bit, it looks like an article, you start sharing that. You put that on your website, and it just starts building out.
Tracy Lamourie (27:21):
Like you said, there’s so many different forms now. There’s a billion different ways to find your comfort zone. If you’re a good talker, hit a podcast, see how you do. There’s some small ones that don’t have a lot of profile yet, and then there’s giant ones that are bigger than any TV show. There’s a huge range, and we all have the same power, because we’re all sitting here with the same screens, and the same internet connections. It’s just a matter of feeling the confidence in yourself to realize, like I always say, the only reason, the difference between you and the experts you see on TV in your field is that somebody told the media what those guys were doing.
Steve Loates (27:58):
Yeah. You must have built over the years a heck of a network, because again, they must rely on you to provide them with good quality, or they’re never going to come back to you.
Tracy Lamourie (28:20):
Absolutely. Yeah. I always say it’s never, ever happened, but literally never has someone paid me for a month or whatever period of time, and hasn’t had anything. They’re always happy. They’re always more amazed that this could happen, because again, people don’t really see themselves as the one that’s going to be … They’re always like, “Oh my God, oh my God,” and then they always renew. Or if they can’t for budgetary reasons, they come back later, and they recommend five friends to me. That’s just my business model. I’ve never had to place an ad. It’s always like that.
Tracy Lamourie (28:48):
Yeah, it’s interesting to see people develop that and to understand themselves as that expert. It’s fun, which is why I refuse to just do the corporate work. Also, it’s really annoying to try to do PR by, again, a group, by a boardroom. But also, I really do like it for the same reason I like to work with artists; people build their vision and their dreams, and you empower people. They can empower other people, and yeah, pretty neat.
Steve Loates (29:19):
Yeah. It’s pretty obvious you love what you do. What do you love about it, I guess? What is the favorite thing, if you had to say, here’s my favorite thing about I love what I do?
Tracy Lamourie (29:34):
Yeah. Other than the obvious, that I have a job I love, all the fun parts of it and all that stuff, really it comes down to two things. I love the fact … I’ll tell you why. There’s power to it, the power of being able to know how to use the media. I’m conscious of that, and I’ve used it a million times to help people who haven’t paid me for things. People know to call me when there’s an injustice, and something wrong. When people feel like they can’t do anything, they’re like, call Tracy, because she knows how to get people to listen. I love that, because I do. It’s not magic; it’s just that I have that skill because I’ve learned it, so I teach it to other people. That’s one thing that I really love.
Tracy Lamourie (30:12):
Secondly, I’m honored, literally this is no PR spin, because nothing I say is, but I’m literally honored every day, the people that come to me and trust me, the diverse … I say diverse in every way, meaning across industries and diverse in population. People come and trust me for their important messaging with their businesses, with their not-for-profits, with their music. I’m honestly surprised sometimes, like Rosa Parks’ cousin with her movie about Rosa, and book about Rosa Parks and her civil rights legacy. I’m honored to have been working with her for five years. I could make a million dollars, a billion dollars in my life, and nothing in my career is ever going to surpass sitting in Detroit in two rows of Rosa Parks’ family members, watching that documentary film. Then seeing my name thanked in the credits, and I’m with Rosa Parks’ family members.
Tracy Lamourie (31:02):
To be chosen and to be trusted with that kind of message to me is a huge, huge honor, that I can call that my job and make money from it. Now I’m honored to speak to people about it, and further elevate it by being on all these shows and sharing wisdom. I don’t know. I feel this has all happened for a reason, so I talk about it, whatever message people want to get from it.
Juliet Aurora (31:27):
It definitely comes across as to how passionate you are about what it is you do, which is great to see.
Steve Loates (31:32):
Tracy Lamourie (31:33):
Sorry I talk too fast, I talk too much. I try to condense it, but some of the stuff, like how do you tell that origin story in 30 seconds …
Steve Loates (31:42):
No, like I say, it’s great. That brings us to one of our favorite parts of the show, which is our Smart Man, Smarter Woman version of James Lipton’s Q&A from the actor’s studio. That’s where we ask each one of our guests the same six questions. If you’re ready, Tracy, we would like to get started with you.
Tracy Lamourie (32:07):
Steve Loates (32:08):
All right. Question one, what one word best defines an entrepreneur?
Tracy Lamourie (32:18):
Steve Loates (32:20):
Okay. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
Tracy Lamourie (32:28):
I always wanted growing up to be a writer or a journalist, so I somehow weirdly did that. I don’t know if I would still say that, but I also wanted to be a teacher. I don’t know. I guess writer? I guess journalist, maybe TV journalist, but an actual journalist where you’ve got to go into the scary zones? Yeah, that.
Steve Loates (32:50):
All right. What profession would you like never to attempt?
Tracy Lamourie (32:57):
Steve Loates (32:59):
Okay. What sound or noise do you love?
Tracy Lamourie (33:06):
Oh, sound or noise? Do John Lennon songs count?
Steve Loates (33:12):
Tracy Lamourie (33:14):
Steve Loates (33:16):
Okay. What book would you recommend for entrepreneurs, if you could just recommend one?
Tracy Lamourie (33:26):
That’s a hard one to answer, because I have so many clients that actually [inaudible 00:33:29]. But I actually, truthfully, was going to say everybody should read this one. You’ll think, what? But one of my first books that I ever worked on, and I was like, what the heck? Why would they need that? I didn’t really believe it. It’s called The 30% Solution. It’s from my client, Lew Bayer. She’s a civility expert, which you’re like, what? But the book is about the 30% solution, how civility in the workplace can help you literally in the bottom line retain customers and retain your employees. It literally has a financial impact of up to 30% on companies. That’s hugely impactful, because the way we treat each other really matters. We’re seeing in the world right now we’re not even seeing or hearing each other. It’s crazy. We need to get back in our lives, in our businesses, everywhere else just taking deep breaths, being civil, which is different than just being nice. Yeah, I think that in this context and these days, that would be, I think, for all of us. It’s definitely a book for entrepreneurs.
Steve Loates (34:29):
Awesome. Finally, when your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?
Tracy Lamourie (34:38):
I want to move into, other than all the messaging that I’m proud of and all that stuff, I also want to move into now, which is a new thought for me, becoming a job creator, and learning how to … That’s a whole different thing. I had a weird thought the other day. It was just weird, that the 20 year old whatever activist was not business-minded, and probably thought business was evil. All of a sudden, when I was thinking about that, I was like, wait a minute, isn’t that an activist thing? If I can actually … I was like, wait a minute, what? Then I realized I grew up, but I came full circle, and I understand things differently now than I did at 20. Yeah, it is. Now I want to create. I want to create good jobs. I want to have good jobs that people are passionate about, and that they love like I love mine, because it wasn’t that hard. I didn’t go to school for this. It was hard. There’s skill. It is hard. It’s this hard skill set, but it’s ultimately not impossible. It’s personality you just have to develop.
Tracy Lamourie (35:37):
Also, people don’t have jobs right now. I don’t have any trouble getting contracts. I get them easily. The only problem is I’m limited by how many I can do. I can’t stop the train. I have this vision that I could have 100 contracts coming in, just to create, if I could get the right 20 people to do the work, just to create a whole bunch of jobs, a factory of workers that are getting good careers. I can bring them in, but I can’t without the people. I don’t even know how to start that process, so that will be a whole learning curve.
Steve Loates (36:09):
Oh, that’s great. For those in our audience that would like to connect with you, what is the easiest way for them to do that?
Tracy Lamourie (36:18):
You can reach me by email, if you have the spelling and all that, but Lamouriepr@gmail.com, on the web, lamouriemedia.com. I live on Facebook, Tracy Lamourie, Instagram, Tracy Lamourie PR Media, or that old telephone technology you guys might remember. You can also call me at (289) 788-5881.
Steve Loates (36:41):
Terrific. We’ll make sure we do have your contact information in the show notes, and that brings us to our words of wisdom. I came up with this one. I’ve heard it a few times before. I’m sure you guys have, but I thought it would be appropriate for today’s show. This is the quote that we’re going to go with today. “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” That’s Oscar Wilde, and I thought that was appropriate for today’s episode.
Tracy Lamourie (37:23):
Love me some Oscar Wilde. I love it. I put a flower on his grave at Père Lachaise in Paris when I was in my 20s.
Steve Loates (37:31):
Yeah. Anyway, in closing, thank you very much for joining us today, Tracy. It’s been great. Really enjoyed your story and learning more about PR. I must admit, I did have some ignorance around that area, and I feel like I’ve been enlightened, so thank you very much.
Tracy Lamourie (37:51):
If you want to try it for a month, you or any listeners, remember you’ve got to just tell me. I’ve heard a lot of podcasts. I challenge you to prove it, [inaudible 00:38:00].
Steve Loates (38:00):
Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you to my awesome co-host Juliet. Great job once again, but most importantly, thank you to you, our audience, for tuning in and giving us a listen again, and sharing your time. We hope you found some value. If you did, please subscribe. We would love that. We’re in all the regular places, iTunes, Spotify, or you can go to the website smartmansmarterwoman.com. Thank you. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.