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Andrea Pass has worked in public relations for decades, but it wasn’t until some encouraging clients pushed her to branch out on her own that she took the plunge. Thus Andrea Pass Public Relations was born and she hasn’t looked back since. Her passion for PR, securing press and media coverage for her clients is made even easier by the fact that so many of these clients are her role models. She believes in the entrepreneurs she works for and their products – which makes every placement a professional and personal success. Today the Fair Lawn, New Jersey-based entrepreneur is making sure she gets paid what her time is worth, and even in these Pandemic times, still makes a point of getting dressed up for work every morning.

Pass’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

What was your reason for starting your business?

I love public relations. As a public relations professional for over 30 years, I launched my entrepreneurial venture, Andrea Pass Public Relations, to provide a service to clients to secure press coverage in print, broadcast, online and news media in order to grow brands and drive sales using earned placements. I knew that I could get the job done with heart, soul, creativity, effort and effective communications. When the results appear and I service clients with that media placement, I’m truly excited. The thrill never dies. Success is an ongoing goal.

How do you define success?

Success is securing effective media coverage for a wide range of clients. Whether a book or consumer product receives a positive press review or a business or service client is interviewed/featured on a broadcast, podcast or videocast, that placement and use of content is my definition of success for Andrea Pass Public Relations.

Tell us about your biggest success to date.

While press coverage varies for each client since needs are different, my personal placement of a lifetime has been a double segment on ABC TV’s “20/20.” I had pitched one of the largest marketers of “As Seen on TV” products and was able to secure interest in attending the client’s pitch-a-thon where at-home inventors were pitching their consumer gadgets in the hopes of the company manufacturing, marketing and selling their product. With the success of that event, the ABC producer wanted more. I created an opportunity to attend an infomercial taping and to interview the company CEO in a retail location housing the brand’s products.

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What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

My top challenge has been getting paid what my work is worth. I’m sure this is a challenge many entrepreneurs face — prospective clients want the services, but don’t want to pay the price for those services. I have walked away from potential business because I must stand up for my abilities, reputation and successes. I am confident that I will deliver based on the retainer I present to a client.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

Being a solopreneur means handling every single responsibility on my own. I am able to make the time necessary for my clients while also participating in networking and industry activities. I am also able to make my own schedule and to take care of my family when need be. In a prior work experience, I loved my clients and my team, but worked for a bully boss. It was a personal situation that could have left me broken, but did not. My clients and business associates knew my worth and were and still are always there for me. It was the cheering from those clients and business colleagues who encouraged me to go into business for myself. Andrea Pass Public Relations has been a true labor of love.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?

My tips for starting a business include being sure to do your homework and be prepared to dive into the deep end. Turn to experts to be part of your extended team. I have someone handling the finances, have secured letters of agreement from legal sources, had my website designed professionally and set up and manage my social media pages. Effective communication is key when starting. In addition, remember to make time for your personal health and wellness.

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How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

“Failure is not an option.” I start my day with a great workout and always eat something for breakfast. Getting dressed up every work day makes me feel good. Even in the tough times, I put a smile on my face and work hard to get the job done — and done successfully.

Who is your most important role model?

My role models have always been my clients. I am in awe of the companies they have built, the products they have created, the books they have written and the services that they provide. Every single day is a learning opportunity and, while I provide a valuable service and teach them about public relations, I gain so much for watching these businesses grow.

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Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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