Alyson Campbell, CEO & Founder of Heart & Soul PR, on Pioneering a Better Way to do Business within the PR Industry
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
Hello! I’m Alyson Campbell, CEO & Founder of Heart & Soul PR. Heart & Soul PR is a full-service public relations agency with a mission to bring the heart and soul back to business, by ultimately changing the way business is done. I work with brands to grow their visibility through strategic business counsel, brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, social strategy, partnerships, and celebrity/influencer relations. I am proudly woman-owned and operated and have a fully woman-powered team. I am the recipient of the PR Week Awards’ “PR Innovation of the Year”; SABRE Award for “PR Agency Initiative”; and Ragan’s PR Daily Nonprofit PR Award among other honors. I contribute to Comm. Pro Biz. I have been featured in InStyle, Uproxx, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, The Pop-Marketer Podcast, New York Times, PRWeek, and more.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
Networking and meeting other successful women to learn more about their businesses and support and grow together.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I had worked in large, corporate environments for the majority (10+ years of my career). While I am so grateful for the opportunities that I was afforded, the clients I had a chance to work with, and the relationships I made, I knew there had to be a better way to do business – working with humanity, and empowering humans around me, rather than just being in a “box” if you will. I set out to change how business is done, working with brands that also work with heart and soul, and who are out to inspire others in the world.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
10+ years in large global public relations agency settings
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I think it’s something we have inside of ourselves yes.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
Honestly, I did anything to get conversations going and to secure clients as quickly as possible. I networked across a range of forums including in beauty (Cosmetic Executive Women was one), went to as many events and networking opportunities as possible, cold-called, and emailed. I am fortunate to have also gotten a range of word-of-mouth referrals.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
The long sales cycle; in my line of work, there is a lot of education as often public relations is seen as a specialty service and can feel expensive to brands just starting up. I had to learn to always stack my decks so I wasn’t in “feast or famine” mode. Definitely growing the business and sustaining the income was my biggest challenge upon starting up and I learned to always keep going!
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
Building my business from scratch to having a global fitness client – the leading personal trainer certification company.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes; I think we can’t work to live. We should love what we do, and therefore it is an extension of our lives, it shouldn’t consume our lives. Schedule your day, prioritize your key tasks, and know you won’t likely accomplish everything you want in a day. Take a break too – it helps free up the “monkey mind.”
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Don’t give up; there are going to be a lot of hard knocks. Remember your why along your journey and why you’re doing what you’re doing, even on those days that do take you out.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I recently launched a Creative Content Studio – allowing brands to get photoshoots and video shoots and marketing support for their most important asset – themselves/their brands in partnership with an awesome leading celebrity photographer/videographer friend. Additionally, I will soon be consulting on two very exciting new projects in emerging spaces in NFT and cannabis!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
The sky’s the limit! I imagine I will transition it to be more focused on strategic counsel and speaking opportunities to scale my business beyond the day-to-day.