An Interview with Dana Kaye
Sylvia: Hi Dana Kaye. I am so thrilled to meet you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to interview with me. Please tell us about yourself and your business?
Dana: Hi Sylvia! It is a pleasure to meet you as well. I’m the owner of Kaye Publicity, a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment. Before launching the company just over 5 years ago, I worked as a freelance writer and book critic. I love telling people what to read, I just moved to the other side of the press kit to do it.
Sylvia: I am sure that was a smooth transition for you. What does success mean to you?
Dana: Ultimately, I feel that success is accomplishing a goal. My goal when I launched this company was to help authors expand their name recognition and grow their readership. My current goal is to adapt to the changing market and maintain my lead on the trends. Every time I discover a new marketing tool or come up with an idea to use social media more effectively, I feel successful.
Sylvia: That’s a great interpretation of success. As for the market, new trends are ever evolving, so I know it’s a challenge staying abreast. How do you create work-life balance?
Dana: The simplest way is having a separate office space. There is a surge of virtual companies and employees opting to work from home, and while some love the zero-commute, I actually see it as more intrusive. When you’re “at work,” you still have the distractions of home (laundry, dishes, etc.), and when you’re “at home” your office is on the other side of the door and it’s easy to ‘just-check-one-more-thing’. I enjoy having a clear distinction between work and home, and while I sometimes work long hours or check the occasional email after dinner, the two seldom converge.
Additionally, as a service provider, I believe it’s important to establish boundaries with the clients. Many service providers are tempted to always pick up their cell phones or respond to emails right away. My clients know that on nights and weekends, I’m not responding to them unless it’s an emergency. And whether or not it’s an emergency is my discretion, not theirs. You have to train clients how you want to be treated and not be afraid of losing them. If you’re good at your job, they’ll wait until Monday.
Sylvia: Yes, it is important to set boundaries. What steps are necessary for a woman entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Dana: I think the first step is deciding what that next level is. That doesn’t always mean growth, it can also mean tapping a new industry or improving on the current business model. Create a list of goals for the next 3-5 years, both large and small. Then reference it frequently and recognize when you take steps towards reaching those goals.
Sylvia: So true! Everyone’s next level is different. It is important to give back. In what way do you give back to your community?
Dana: I travel the country speaking about writing and publishing, and I always do one event a year pro bono. Knowledge is the first step towards success, while I can’t do it all for free, I believe in sharing knowledge whenever possible.
I also work with the Step Up Women’s Network, an organization that helps high school girls in under served communities prepare for college. I mentor students on a monthly basis and currently have a summer intern from the Step Up program.
Sylvia: What a rewarding program for high school girls. I commend you for your passion in supporting our youth.. our future! What challenges and opportunities do you see in the present economic environment?
Dana: The biggest challenge is that people are operating from a place of fear. There are those who lost their jobs, their retirement plans, their homes. People are holding onto their money and are more hesitant to take risks. For new businesses or those in need of investors, this creates a difficult economic environment.
For me, the recession proved to be an opportunity. Authors were feeling the pressure to expand their promotional efforts as their publishers cut back on budgets. Rather than rely on their publisher to promote their novel, authors took publicity and promotion into their own hands and hired publicists like me to help. I was able to successfully market my clients and fill the void left by their in-house team, and because the recession left so many authors in need of that assistance, my business grew exponentially.
Sylvia: Smart! You really filled a void for authors. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing close to 200 authors on this blog. This has been a great way for them to market their book… and I’ve enjoyed it over the years. How do you promote/market your business?
Dana: The two main promotion tactics I use are social media and in-person networking. I attend 3-5 conferences / conventions a year and dozens of local networking events, on top of regular speaking engagements. I talk about publicity, promotion, marketing, etc. and always have business cards on me. I never opt for a hard sell; I find that if you demonstrate knowledge in your field, people will hire you without your suggestion.
Once I’m back from these networking events, I connect with people I met via social media. That way, I can continue building relationships after the event is over. They may not need a publicist at that moment, but when they do, hopefully, they’ll think of Kaye Publicity.
Sylvia: What books and resources would you recommend to other women in business?
Dana: I love HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. There’s a reason it’s been in print for over a decade. I also enjoy reading websites like this one, as well as The Grindstone (www.thegrindstone.com), The Billfold (www.thebillfold.com) and Little Pink Book (www.littlepinkbook.com).
Sylvia: Why thank you, I love my website/blogs. It is definitely a challenge keeping it current and relevant. I will check out the other websites you mentioned. I, too, love perusing interesting and informative websites/blogs. What advice do you have for women who are just starting out?
Dana: Instead of getting worried, get a plan. Launching a business or a new career is risky and women tend to worry more than men. Rather than worry about what the future may hold, create a plan for your future and spend that energy working towards it.
Also, if you’re launching a new business, interview people in that business. Ask them about the mistakes they made when they were first getting started, things they wished they knew or are glad they know now. Learn from them and avoid the pitfalls.
Sylvia: Great tips! How do you stay connected in mind body and spirit?
Dana: I’m a triathlete, so I swim, bike, and run. Working out is my form of meditation and it provides stimulation outside of the office.
Sylvia: Wow, great! What is your favorite quote to live by?
Dana“Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” Ray Bradbury
Sylvia: Share with us two industry or general business related tips that could help other women business owners.
Dana: I think women are more likely than men to take things personally. My advice to women when they get into a heated situation or conflict, take a step back and breathe. Try to remember that business is business and it’s not personal. Also, never shy away from trying something new. The only thing worse than failing, is never having tried at all.
Sylvia: Yes, great tips! I know your message will resonate with so many of my subscribers and readers. You’ve been so gracious in sharing your wisdom. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with us. Please share your contact information.
Dana: Thank you for having me! I can be contacted through my website, www.KayePublicity.com, and I’m very active on social media:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dana_Kaye
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KayePublicity
- Tumblr: http://kayepublicity.tumblr.com/