It’s good to have strong goals, but what Diane Dennis, founder and president of Inspired Media Communications, find is that unless what you do is tied to your deep core values and stirs your heart and gets you passionate, then you’re just going to do a business strategy that makes you tired and feel depleted. Diane has worked with bestselling authors, coaches, speakers, organizations, and businesses to create a solid brand to garner media attention and to highlight their mission and their services. Diane created Inspired Media Communications from an unmet need she saw in the marketplace for razor sharp messages that resonate with audiences, customers, and community members. Heart-centered PR is all about getting really clear with your message that serves people and connects them with a heart-centered message and have them engaged with you and learn something from you without necessarily looking to sell them anything or get them to come to your website.
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The Heart-Centered PR Strategy with Diane Dennis
I have someone with me who I know is going to be so well received by our Heartrepreneur family. I have Diane Dennis with me. She’s the Founder of the award-winning PR firm, Inspired Media Communications. Diane has worked with bestselling authors, coaches, speakers, organizations, and businesses to create a solid brand to garner media attention and to highlight their mission and their services.
She’s also a communication expert with certification in Trading and Development, Life Transition Coaching, and the TED Behavioral Change Orientation, known as the Empowerment Dynamic, the antidote to the drama triangle. She also has a degree in nursing. Mostly why I invited her here is I don’t find a lot of people who understand how heartrepreneurs want to do PR. She knows all about heart-centered PR. Welcome to Heartrepreneur Radio, Diane.
Thank you so much. I’m excited to get to know you.
You are very diverse. Let’s first talk about what led you to get into PR?
After working as an RN, I felt that I had outgrown the role. The role in traditional Western medicine is very structured for good reasons. I’m a life learner. I wanted to expand my knowledge. I took a break from nursing and I started writing. After some work, I became a columnist for a major newspaper in my hometown. I also became a radio show host, then I was asked to come on TV regularly to talk about my column topics. All of a sudden, I was in a new field, but I went back to get a degree in communications to learn how to monetize and develop some real strategies. I ended up finding that PR was a natural fit for me.
I love hearing people’s journey and their story, how we wind up where we are. I had never heard of the TED Behavioral Change Orientation. I love to learn something new. Tell me, what’s going on in the world of PR? Why is it not heart-centered? It all looks very formulaic. Maybe I’m wrong.
Most PR firms are structured in a way that aligns with traditional corporations. The corporate world is foreign for heartrepreneurs. It doesn’t feel like a good fit. I kept my business small because I’m used to hands-on, starting out with my nursing career. The reason I went into that is because I defined myself or align with the caregiver archetype. I love getting to the heart of the matter and connecting emotionally with my patient and then also with my PR clients.
The best way that I worked was to stay small and to be very heart-centered and conscious of all of my efforts to meet their needs from a deep inner core. A lot of people would come to a publicist and say, “I want to be a household name. I want this to go viral. I want to make millions of dollars.” That’s fine and great. It’s good to have strong goals. What I find though is unless what they do is tied to their deep core values and what stirs their heart and gets them passion, then they’re just going to do business strategies that burn them out, make them tired and feel depleted.
My original background is I have a master’s in speech language pathology. I went into a communication field. I went into it because I wanted to have a deep connection with patients, so I could get the nursing. You’re something so important here. I have had PR firms represent me over the past and some of them didn’t take the time to connect with me. Some of them weren’t even very conscious of what I stood for and stood against.
I always remember this one called me up, so excited. I was away speaking in Vegas and they’re like, “This is amazing. We got you on The Today Show.” They tell me the topic and I’m like, “That’s not my topic.” They go, “It’s The Today Show.” I’m like, “Yeah, but that’s not aligned.” I do talk to coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers, authors, and in all kinds of organizations. It seems everybody now has in their head, “I want to be a big brand and I want to go viral.” I want to take people back to basics. Let’s get your message out. Let’s get it out in a heart-centered way.
What I find is that I spend a lot of time, and this is just organically done through my work with my clients, is getting the brand who they represent. We can say there are a lot of buzzwords out there now that becomes white noise so we can beat the drum and say what it is we do and what we represent and what we’re all about. What something that ties it to get people’s attention in a way that’s powerful, then it’s just a lot of busy work that goes around in circles.
If someone comes to me and they have a really small niche, but they want to be really big, we’re going to have to work with that. Massage it to get their message into a broader audience rather than just a small, narrow demographic. I don’t do it just for the sake of getting them a bigger audience or more audiences. I do it so that we can expand. They’ll have more of their inner core and who they want to touch in a deeper way.
I wish I met you years ago before I had engaged with all the wrong PR firms. One of the firms got me onto a show and it’s a pretty big show here in the Philadelphia many years ago. They were asking me questions that would not promote me or my brand at all. I appeared and I was this talking head expert. All of my clients thought, “That’s going to be it. You’re going to be this big brand and a household name.” I’m like, “A handful of people saw it, and it didn’t change the world.” I started to get really clear, what is my message.
Whether it be radio, newspaper, magazine, TV, what can I appear on that will actually serve people and connect them with a heart-centered message. Not necessarily look to sell them anything or to get them to come to my website, but have them engaged with me. Learn something from me and say, “That was an interesting interview.” When I put my focus on that, the PR opportunities that came were very different, including an article coming out in Forbes. The interview questions allowed me to really make a difference.
We do have in my media training, some tricks of the trade when you are asked a question that’s totally irrelevant to why you are there and what’s important to you. Producers in today’s world are overworked and underpaid. The hosts oftentimes don’t have time to research your material and if your material is really unique, well-established within you, you know the message you’re trying to get across. We have a little tricks of the trade that teach people how to answer the question that they wish the host would have asked.
I’ve been able to do that pretty well on radio, where I say, “That’s a great question. First I want to say.” I wish that when I first started PR, someone had given me that tip. I learned that over time. I just did ten radio shows that were a waste of everyone’s time and so thank you for that. These shows go really fast, but you’re very valuable. What’s maybe another tip that folks can take away?
I’m guessing that the audience wants to understand what heart-centered PR is and why heart-centered is so important. The science behind it is when you do that, which speaks to your soul, your spirit, and you have passion doing it, you get lost in the moment. You’re in the flow. You would rather be doing that than anything else and everyone’s looking for it. A lot of people don’t know what that means or what that feels like. They’re too busy doing what it is that they do. I think expressing that outward and then giving tools for people to use that can speak to them right where they’re at and make those small shifts perhaps that can get them in that place of love expansion. When you’re doing what you love, your body and mind are tied together.
If you think I don’t like this, this is hard work, it’s just drudgery. I’m not where I want to be. Your body responds with hormonal responses that are negative to your body and everyone says they’re under stress. That’s because of what they’re thinking. If you get in a space and discipline your mind to add loving thoughts to everything you do, your body is creating endorphins. At the end of the day, you are going to be on a high rather than being depleted.
That was one of the best tips anyone has ever given us. Thank you for that. I’ve been saying this for years. It’s the mantra all over my home and my computer and everywhere. My mantra is, if it isn’t love, it isn’t me. As soon as any other emotion comes up, that’s not going to be a part of me. I’m going to say to folks if they are even thinking about PR, I would love them to get in touch with you. You are heart-centered. How can they reach out and connect with you?
My website is, InspiredMC.com. My email, Contact Me, is right there, easy to find. Just shoot me an email. I always get back to everyone as quickly as I possibly can. They have no obligations, no charge conversation to see if we’re a good fit that we could help. I want to make sure that I know I can help folks to get where they want to be.
I love finding someone who does heart-centered PR. You’re the first person I found. I’ve interviewed lots of people, I’ve hired lots of PR firms, and I knew you had to come here because I do want people to make this connection. I highly recommend that you reach out, you connect with her and let’s see whether or not she can help you on your journey. Diane, thank you so much for doing the work you do, being so heart-centered and for taking time to be here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
I feel most grateful for having connected with you and I love what you do.
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About Diane Dennis
Founder and president Diane Dennis lends her extensive experiences and skills in television, radio and print to the organizations that Inspired Media Communications serve. Diane created Inspired Media Communications from an unmet need she saw in the marketplace for razor sharp messages that resonate with audiences, customers and community members.
Founded in 2005, Inspired Media Communications has served an impressive group of companies who have met their goals in creating more community awareness and increasing customers. Inspired Media Communications customers have been featured on television segments, prime time news shows, magazines and newspapers.