Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Marin Richdson, the founder of Disrupt PR, a full-service global public relations agency based in Austin, Texas.
With a background as a former national television journalist, Marin founded Disrupt PR in 2021 to specialize in earned media and help disruptive brands and entrepreneurs get placements in the world’s top media outlets.
Under Marin’s leadership, Disrupt PR has reached over 3.8 billion people through 273 media placements for their clients and has been recognized by PR News as one of the Top 100 women in PR for 2022.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Marin Richardson: I’m Marin Richardson. In 2021 I joined the Great Resignation and founded Disrupt PR, a full service global public relations agency based in Austin,Texas (you can find us on Instagram @disrupt.pr). Since launching the company, we’ve worked with real estate tycoons, a fin-tech company revolutionizing prop-trading, a non-profit helping orphans in Ukraine, a guru in the ancient art of QiGong, and the creators of the first credit card for legal cannabis purchases.
We specialize in earned media, and have gotten our client’s placements in the world’s top media outlets: The Today Show, New York Times, MSNBC, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wired, and many more. In 2022, Disrupt PR has reached more than 3.8 billion people through 273 media placements for our clients. My work earned recognition by PR News as one of the Top 100 women in PR for 2022.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffett, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Marin Richardson: Disrupt PR is a public relations agency founded by a former national television journalist. We strive to partner with disruptive brands and entrepreneurs looking to innovate in their respective marketplaces. We have a solid idea of what journalists like to write about because a lot of us were former journalists.
Our biggest strength is we get results because we’re no publicists, we’re former journalists who come to the table with unique strategies and pitches. We have a seamless way of pitching the media that creates a great number of wins for our clients because we create stories that we know journalists want to write about.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Marin Richardson: Getting over 300 media placements in one week for a Ukrainian non-profit called Abundance International, which provides invaluable services to children with disabilities who are impoverished or find themselves in war zones. Those placements yielded more than $500,000 in a week, which meant 20,000 Ukrainian orphans were transported out of the country when the war started.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Marin Richardson: The answer is really simple — create a culture where communication is valued and encouraged. Ensure that your team knows they are respected and praise them for their good ideas. No matter what position your employees are in, being respected and valued is the most important thing to a lot of people. Not being appreciated for your ideas is an area where I felt undervalued in the past. We hire people who are really creative, have great ideas, and thrive in that sort of innovative environment. Letting them know is a great way to ensure they’re happy and know where they stand.
Prioritizing work-life balance is key. We offer extra perks like giving people their birthdays off and respect our employees’ personal lives and the daily appointments and things that come up. As long as you’re communicating, you are more than allowed to
Extracurricular team building activities are also a great way to build camaraderie in a virtual office space, such as a virtual holiday party and Halloween tarot card reading. Additionally, we build upon collaboration with touch-tone calls like regular end-of-day calls to ensure everyone is on the same page while highlighting the best things about working in an office — engagement and interaction with your team.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Marin Richardson: The book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, it’s about changing your framing and thinking to really chip away at your goals every day. The book shows you how to hack your brain into desiring and working toward things that you may not want to do but lead toward achieving your ultimate goals. It reshaped my brain and allows me to tackle the hard tasks in life.
I really don’t gift people books because people want to read what they want to read.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Marin Richardson: Cutting through the clutter and clearly communicating what your company does. In a world where everyone pays a ton of money to advertise and is active on social media, how do you cut through the clutter and reach your clients/customers in a succinct and appealing way. It’s very hard, and not because we don’t know how to do it, but because it’s a noisy environment where a lot of people are doing very cool stuff.
Businesses have trouble communicating. If you’re a huge company with a massive budget, you can have a large marketing team and buy billboards. But the smaller companies really need to figure out creative solutions to cut through the clutter.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?.
Marin Richardson: The time and patience it takes to go slow and avoid working fast so that you can share how work processes and SOPs operate as a company based on what the team needs to accomplish. For example, being a former journalist and reporter was a very autonomous role where I had to rely on myself and get my own results.
Now that I lead a team, I recognize there’s still a lot to share as far as what you do and how you think which enables the team to meet goals and achieve greatness on their own and for the greater company. These best practices took a long time for us to develop, but have yielded tremendous results.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Marin Richardson: There’s a whole element to business where you make new contacts and connections with potential clients and within the industry, I largely do in old-school ways. Becoming super efficient in modern ways to develop these relationships would be something I’d love.
It’d be great to connect with thousands of people and grow and scale the company massively using all of the technology 2023 has to offer.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Marin Richardson for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Marin Richardson or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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