It all started over coffee. Best friends Alex Duggan & Ali Sherrod were chatting over lattes when the idea for Ivana Marina Public Relations Firm was born. Ivana Marina PR combines Ali’s event coordination strengths with Alex’s marketing strengths. Aside from events and marketing services, Ivana Marina PR offers assistance with media representation, website branding, and social media analysis & strategy.
I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to interview the ladies of Ivana Marina PR! I work in business development, and one of my favorite parts of my job is working with Woman-Owned Small Businesses. I am so thankful for the opportunity to interview such intelligent ( and beautiful!) ladies. If you are in the Huntsville, AL area and need PR services, I strongly encourage you to connect with Ivana Maria PR.
What was your inspiration for starting Ivana Marina PR?
Alex: We were sitting at Starbucks one day, the birth place of all great ideas, and it just kind of hit us both at once. “Why don’t we start our own business?” We were best friends in college (she was actually my big sister in our sorority) and for a solid year we did absolutely everything together. We took on lots of events, contests and projects, so we already knew we worked great as a team. We have very similar personalities, but our differences complement each other really well.
Ali: I agree, our individual strengths play off each other in a way that is a perfect combination of Alex’s creative mindset and my strong ambition. Combining my expertise in the event coordination industry and Alex’s experience in small business marketing together we knew we could make a positive impact among local businesses.
What services/specialties are offered?
Ali: We specialize in all sorts of public relations services for local businesses. We design packages for the individual needs of our clients. We’ve done more technical things like marketing plans, social media analysis and strategy, and website development and branding. We’ve also done news interviews and press releases, designed billboards and logos, and coordinated photo shoots and fashion shows.
Alex: We love getting to know our clients and figuring out how to best help them, because everyone’s needs are a little different. We love doing events! In September we did a charity music festival, a Lilly Pulitzer Market benefiting Make a Wish and a fashion show. In October we have a giant shopping expo, and in November we have a day-long arts festival. And we just took on our first musician for artist representation, which is something I’m really excited about.
What should your clients expect?
Alex: We’re both very bubbly and outgoing. But we’re also always prepared. You can expect us to have researched your company/organization and already have ideas mapped out for what we think would work for you.
Ali: You can also expect us to be dressed professionally, but always fashionable. We refuse to sacrifice our style. You can always expect Alex to be equipped with her pink sparkly notebook and pencil pouch while I house all our spreadsheets and documents on my hot pink-encased iPad.
Where do you see Ivana Marina in 1 year? 5 years?
Ali: In the next year I’d like to see us as the go-to source for public relations in the area. And I really want people to recognize the need for what we offer, because having a great public relations foundation can definitely mean the difference between success and failure in the small business world. And within five years I would love to see the business expand into a larger firm with more consultants.
Alex: I would love a fabulous office downtown. That’s my big goal for us.
What advice do you have for other women wanting to start their own businesses?
Alex: Stay motivated! Commit to it and don’t give up when it seems overwhelming, because it definitely will at the beginning when you’re dealing with licenses and paperwork. And get a business partner who knows how to do paperwork because I would still be filling out forms without Ali.
Ali: You’ll need lots of coffee, so buy a Keurig. The idea of owning your own business sounds appealing because of the amount of independence it comes with at that’s great, but you should be prepared for the responsibilities that come with it also. Although the hours have been long and the work has been stressful at times, I would do it all again because I believe that loving what you do is one of the most important keys to a happy, healthy life. And don’t forget to save your receipts to write off all those lunch “meetings” on your taxes!
Thanks again to the ladies of Ivana Marina PR for allowing me to interview them! Best of luck in your careers, Alexi & Ali! Be sure to check Ivana Marina PR our for your PR needs if you’re near Hunstville, AL; and if you aren’t, you should still connect with them on social media – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn |
Hope you’re all having a great Tuesday!
Note: All photos in this post are property of Ivana Marina PR, LLC. Also, this is not a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own.