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Name: Barbara Henricks
Business: Cave Henricks Communications, full service media relations for authors
Industry: Marketing & PR
Location: Austin, Texas, U.S.
Reason for starting: A deep passion for books and authors. I left a NYC based book PR firm after launching and running their business book division for a decade. I was worn out by ten years of telecommuting. I left amicably, took my biggest client with me and opened my own doors in late 2006.
Related: Read about another female entrepreneur working in publishing here.
How do you define success? Doing what I love every day and creating a company where others want to come to work. We’re book lovers at heart and it’s truly a joy to work with authors who are so passionate about the stories they have to tell. Being part of that process is something I never grow tired of.
Biggest Success: Along with representing some of the biggest names in business today, including Jack Welch, I am most proud of my work with the Gallup Organization. I spent 12 years working with them, launching books whose mission was to rebrand the company from being only a polling group to a management consulting concern. I was part of the team. Their books had a larger purpose in the company platform which made that work challenging and resonant.
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What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? The biggest challenge in starting your own business is to know what not to do. I don’t love systems, I detest bookkeeping, and I’m not the most organized person you will ever meet. I addressed this by making my first hires an office manager and a CFO. Smartest thing I ever did.
I’d like our agency to become the first that tears down the divide between traditional pr and social pr. I strongly believe that being a publicist in the 21st century demands mastery in both areas of media and that segregating the efforts detracts from them both. Secondly, I’d like our agency to be a home for authors. As the publishing world struggles through a chaotic team, it gives us a chance to form lasting relationships with authors and allow us to represent them throughout their career, not just at the time of a book launch.
Who is your most important role model? Peter Georgescu, Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam. I first worked with him in 2008 on a book he authored on creativity. He has served as mentor and friend as I opened my own company and I admire his business acumen, his thoughtful insight, and his unending graciousness. In the cut throat world of business, Peter had a long and storied career while remaining true to his own values. If I could achieve even half of what he has, I’d leave the business world happy.
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Edited by The Story Exchange