We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlotte Shaff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlotte, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I shamelessly believe in self-promotion. Not only for my business but for my clients. And because I love to support small businesses, it is very easy to help spread the word about what they are doing through my networks, referrals and on social media. My focus as a PR Pro is pitching local. I learned quickly when I started out that I can’t do everything and be everything for clients. With 15 years of local media relations, I can quickly find the right reporter for the right client. I have people reach out to me a lot asking if I can help connect them to someone or if I know someone in an industry they need help with. PR is really all about relationships and if you find the right balance of informing and sharing, you can be a great promoter. I talk about my clients online a lot because social media is my “water cooler.” But not so much that people want to block me, ha ha. I believe in the people I represent, so of course, I want to use their services/product. I am open about who I am, what I do, and who I support which makes it easy to self promote and create an image of who I am. I am a happy, caring, helpful human and I show that daily.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I love supporting local small businesses in the Valley. I’m from a small town in Michigan and my parents ran their landscaping/nursery business on the same land as our house. Small Businesses are the heart of our communities and I want to see them succeed. My niche is local, local, local. While I have had a few national (but locally owned) clients, I thrive on helping the “little guys and gals” in the Valley. I am not a full-service agency and I like it that way. I love to help a business or nonprofit owner share their expertise and assist media with topical/trendy stories. That is why I am proud to work with industries like HVAC, auto repair, restaurants, lawyers, medical, fitness, etc. These biz always have something new to discuss or offer expertise on. I also need to believe in the business or the service offered. I am picky and won’t just take any client that comes my way anymore. I learned this after a few tough years starting my business. I also learned that I need to onboard clients to the world of media relations. I’ve seen it all….clients who are rude to a producer because their story was dropped due to breaking news, a client who emailed a journalist to tell them they didn’t like their story in paper, etc. So now I make sure each new member of The Media Push has an understanding of what PR is and what it means to them when they work with me. The best new client for me is from a referral by a current client or an agency I’ve worked with. I don’t walk into a business and tell them to hire me. This sets me apart and shows that when you choose to do PR with The Media Push you are educated and helpful to the media so they keep coming back for the next story need.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a great question because a lot of people reach out to me and ask where to go or what to do when they are in Phoenix. First of all, I live in North Central Pheonix and feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing restaurants and shops. Have brunch or coffee at Luci’s at the Orchard off 12th street and Glendale. For lunch, you must have a famous Pastrami sandwich at Miracle Mile Deli. Or, if you love Mexican foods, I suggest Otro Cafe. Hit up Womack and grab a classic cocktail in a booth while the band plays. I know lots of folks think they need to stay at a Scottsdale resort, and yes, I have my faves, like the Fairmont Princess and the Westin Kierland Resort, but think outside the box! Enjoy a spa day at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. Make reservations at Kai and experience some of the best dining in the valley while gazing out at the desert sunset. Next, hit up the east valley for a day of paddleboarding on the Salt River or if you want to take it really easy, book a tour on the Dolly Steamboat. Of course, for dinner, you MUST visit the most unique and fun restaurant destination in Arizona…Organ Stop Pizza, home of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Enjoy pizza, appetizers, beer and ice cream while listening to everything from Bach to Rock. It is truly a must see in AZ. My husband and I are known for our weekly date nights, and some of our favorite places to eat are Rusconi’s, Southern Rail and Ladera. All in Phoenix. If you love golf, or just people watching, definitely find a way to be here during the Waste Management Phoenix Open. There is a reason why they call it the “greatest show on grass.” You have to go, but I suggest not on a Saturday! Too many people. Also, for the amazing red rocks, take a day trip to Sedona. The scenery is just so magical.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my success and longevity to the PR community in Phoenix. I did not study public relations in college. My major was Broadcasting. But when I decided to start my own business, and I decided on PR, I realized I had a lot of skills many others in PR do not have. I’ve been in a newsroom. I know how the media works. I understand the roles of EPs, producers, reporters, and photographers in what is needed to make a great story and how they work. BUT, I also needed a lot of help in the areas of PR that they don’t teach in a school. That is when I discovered how open the PR/Communications community was to helping others. I was asked to write for the Valley PR Blog and my posts were all about breaking into PR, how to pitch, how to help clients understand PR and follow the Phoenix PRSA org and share their events. I am told other parts of the US do not have such a welcoming group of PR Pros who will help and assist others when they need a contact or help with a project. The blog is no more, but I have been actively involved in PRSA and as an admin in a PR Pros Facebook group. I would not be where I am and who I am as a PR owner without the amazing people in Phoenix PR.
Please credit the family pic in our doorway to Rick D’Elia, D’Elia Photographic Other Photos by Charlotte Shaff, The Media Push.
Abby Oates, Blue Eyed Boys Photography (headshot of me and the horizontal cover pic)