co-founder of Inner Circle Labs.
|Julie Crabill, CEO and co-founder,
Inner Circle Labs
to become an entrepreneur? Did you remember any incident which motivated you to
become entrepreneur in PR & Communications business?
into PR. That desire to understand the business behind the business drove me to
ask more questions than were maybe expected of someone at my level. Luckily, I
had great mentors who not only allowed it but embraced my desire to learn more.
And, that curiosity plus hard work led me into management roles at various PR
agencies over my decade long career working for other people. But as I
continued to move up in the ranks, the idea of starting my own agency became
less of a focus. I guess I saw how hard and thankless it really was and became
complacent because I was in an agency that allowed me to grow and essentially
run my own practice. It wasn’t until I came back from a long trip and found
that the executive team had completely changed my role that I realized I needed
a change. Despite my seniority within the agency, I didn’t have as much
authority as I thought I did around how the business was run and ultimately my
fate, and that of my team’s, was in someone else hands. I’m grateful now
because that experience forced my hand. It pushed me to think back to my
original dream of starting my own company and then step outside of my comfort
zone and go out on my own.
about your firm, briefly?
the stories of the people and companies that are building great products and
disrupting their industries. We are a full service partner that provides PR,
marketing, communications and branding counsel to companies with an
entrepreneurial spirit and an interesting story to tell. We go beyond
traditional PR to ensure real business results whether the execution happens to
be getting in front of the right media, trying to meet the right VCs or wowing your
for startups? Please explain.
business as the engineer who handles your back-end programming. You might not
realize it now, but your company messaging will decide whether your product
will succeed and using that message to establish a voice in the industry takes
dedicated PR resources. If you don’t tell your story right, someone else will
tell it for you.
global trends in PR?
than trying to gain media coverage through fabricated announcements, it’s
critical for PR professionals and marketers to embrace new and different ways
of getting news about their offerings and accomplishments to relevant audience
members. For the average startup or private company, here are four storytelling
methods that help you break free from press release monotony and find new ways
to share your story with the world.
Tweet your news as a series of messages with relevant hashtags instead of just
dropping one tidbit into the Twitter ether.
If you already have a blog on your company’s site, use it as a place to share
news as it breaks. Ultimately, your news section should be a one-stop shop for
Create and share a piece of visual content to get your news out. You can post
content to your social channels, blog and newsroom, but you can also use the
piece for native advertising and social media promotions (paying to help it
tell your story: Consider forgoing a public announcement in lieu of giving one
reporter who knows your product and company — and can make your story shine —
for next 2 years? Are you planning for hiring and expanding your business
footprint to other geographies?
geographies is an option, but more specifically, we’re looking to meet the
needs of our evolving client base. For example, we’re looking to expand our
offerings in digital, social and multimedia. Ultimately, we want to provide a
full stack solution for the types of companies that partner with us.
like to give for budding entrepreneurs?
business needs in year one to succeed (order them by both urgency and
importance) and divide the list into 2 categories:
passionate about and can add the most value around
idea how to do (sure, you might be able to learn to do these but it would take
a long time)
closely – as they say, cash is king, and you need to understand how cash flows
through your business so you can manage expenses appropriately
time they give you, ask direct/precise questions first, take copious notes,
save open-ended questions for the end’
to see in your business – write up in detail what the business will look like
in 5 years if everything goes perfectly. Don’t just focus on numbers and
product, how will it make you feel, what types of customers will you have, what
will the team look like, what will keep everyone working together and engaged
toward a common goal, what will your benefits packages look like, what you will
be known for.
your business will provide to the world in 5 words or less – again, don’t just
talk about the product or category – you need to be able to succinctly state
the problem that you will really solve.
business by finding a tribe of people you can trust – some might be from your
mentor group but you’ll also want to find peers you can trust. Sometimes you’ll
mentor them, sometimes they’ll mentor you – just as often you’ll celebrate wins
together and help each other through the low-points of what can often be a
Interviewed by Start-up Terminal Bureau