3 Question Interview: Vel Johnson of Vasaj Communications
I met Vel at a networking event years ago here in Orlando. We instantly befriended and shared similar business and entrepreneurial stories to almost no end. Her history in working within Florida State government in the capital and working closely with elected officials to local community leaders was inspiring. I’ve always said that it’s not always about what you know, but who you know, and Vel is well-connected! In this brief 3 Question Interview you’ll get an idea of who she is and what Vasaj Communications has to offer in the way of small business marketing and public relations.
1: How do you define public relations different from what the initial naïve perception people may have of this type of service?
On this amazing journey as a public relations professional, I enjoy specializing in the art of transformation and helping businesses grow! The ever-expanding world of public relations largely impacts public opinion, financial performance, and business success. My personal definition of public relations serves at the critical core of my life’s work. I believe it’s the experience, leadership and collaborative approach that is required to be a catalyst for business growth, visibility, and longevity. The public relations approach may be unique to every business and individual, but its intrinsic value is unwavering in being an integral component of influence on industry.
2: With a $500 monthly budget for marketing, what would you suggest a small business owner do with that to increase their brand awareness?
A consultation with the potential client would be required to expertly recommend the most effective manner for building brand awareness. However, there are a couple of measures the business owner should consider before being able to establish a practical and effective approach to setting a marketing budget. First, the business owner needs to identify short and long-term objectives, consider the target market, and know and understand the needs of this audience, as much as possible. Having insight into the demographics (the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc.) and psychographics (the measure of the customers’ attitudes and interests) will help guide the campaign’s marketing vehicle and contribute to being able to adequately establish a budget. Secondly, the business owner must realize that as the depth and extent of business goals will vary from business to business, so will the range of professional experience, industry knowledge, and retainer fees vary for branding experts. Just as you would visit more than one car dealer if in the market for a new car, I suggest speaking to more than one marketing professional to find one that is a comfortable fit.
3: What’s the most challenging aspect of your job that most of your clients wouldn’t know from the outside looking in?
That’s a thoughtful question, Jean. I thoroughly enjoy supporting clients of different backgrounds and needs with media and government relations, press communications, author campaigns, messaging, social media management, event coordination, webinar creation, and a host of other branding mechanisms. However, what may not be glaringly obvious is that there is no cookie cutter approach to optimizing one’s brand, and even within the same industry, branding objectives differ. As a public relations professional, I believe it’s important to spend time getting to know the unique personality, business acumen, and mindset of each client, particularly if I’m going to write their talking points, digital messaging, or serve as a company spokesperson. I completely customize services to best fit the client’s overall need. To learn more about Vasaj Communications and our scope of services, visit www.vasajcommunications.com. I can be emailed directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.