For some people the name of the company is just something that they jot down on incorporation papers or something they have to place on their business cards somewhere around their phone number and e-mail address. However for Sharon Zeev Poole, the entrepreneur that started Agent99 Public Relations, her business name required “a little brainstorming and creativity.”
The number ‘9’ is my favorite lucky number, and ‘99’ was the best year of my life. I met my husband, I started my career in PR and I had the time of my life living in London.
As if that wasn’t enough of a reason, Poole recalls that she loved the character from “‘Get Smart who was sassy resourceful, diplomatic, smart and made her partner ‘Agent 86 – Maxwell Smart’ looks great—which was a brilliant analogy for the way we work with our clients.”
Working in Public Relations for over 12 years, with world-wide experience with brands like Warner Bros. Pictures and Starbucks Coffee, Poole started looking for her next big challenge and she decided to plunge into entrepreneurship.
Started in January 2007 with the help of her existing network, Poole launched Agent99. The company continues to grow and maintain “a clear vision and passion for [their] client’s ‘missions’.” With bevy of PR services including media relations, media and third-party promotions, crisis management and more, the company continues to “save the day”.
Their client list includes Moi Moi Fine Jewellry (the very first interstate store in Perth), the Hunter Valley Gardens (family fun day to preview the school holiday program), and Maureen Houssein-Mustafa who built the Australasian College Broadway from a meager $1,600 to a business valued at over $30 million. Poole recalled that seeing Maureen on the cover of Management Today magazine made “her and her team very proud to do what they do every day.”
Difference between PR , Marketing & Advertising
Public Relations (PR) is one of the many marketing tools available to anyone wanting to market their business or product. It’s very important in terms of helping to define your public image, and promoting a business in a very cost-effective way. The key difference is that unlike most marketing tools such as advertising, PR is termed ‘below the line’ activity and doesn’t cost anything, except for the agency fee (if you outsource this) when they execute a PR campaign to secure editorial for you.
PR Advice from Sharon Zeev Poole and 99 Agents
When running a PR campaign it’s important to think like a journalist and remember that they are not looking at running an advertisement about your business, they want to write something that has an angle or a hook that will make it really interesting for their audience. Before embarking on a PR campaign, it’s also really important to have your press releases and media materials written professionally and in a format journalists like to receive it. Short (one page is sufficient) and free of jargon! You should also have relevant images ready to be emailed both in high-resolution and low resolution of either the product or person being interviewed. When sending it to media, make sure that your list of contacts is relevant, targeted and up to date!