Business owner and public relations expert Ruth Furman has racked up success building character and strengthening brands, one relationship at a time. In a recent interview on the “Entrepreneur Showcase” video podcast, Furman described how focusing on people and her stories helped build a business that, if she were a person, could order a celebratory cocktail party this year.
Furman, a member of the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Business Women, owns ImageWords, a 21-year-old public relations and marketing agency serving the Las Vegas Valley and beyond. The 30-minute interview with former KLAS-TV reporter Patranya Bhoolsuwan, posted on YouTube, covered Furman’s career origins, strategies and gratitude, both personally and professionally.
Bhoolsuwan recalled working with Furman and marveling at his ability to connect people. Furman said such networking is part of his brand promise to local, regional and national customers.
Furman said he assesses what clients need — media training, referrals, campaigns — and tailors his approach accordingly. It’s important, he said, that clients get the tools they need to get their stories told in the best possible way. Sometimes, he said, the best tool is sponsored content, which allows customers to shape and deliver their messages exactly how they want. It’s not free, but the investment is worth it.
If clients prefer to seek coverage from traditional media, Furman manages their expectations, explaining that news has a different purpose than ads, and then assesses what reporters need. He will find the best reporters for the story and meet the deadlines.
“It’s not really so much about me or my business,” Furman said. “It’s more about what’s going to make a better story, because that’s going to bring the reporter back to me, over and over again.”
Furman said he practices “news clipping,” something he learned from his journalism studies at Indiana University. Furman described a journalism professor’s directive to read The Wall Street Journal’s “What’s New” section, a series of story summaries, and how he kept her and her classmates abreast of developments. current.
Knowing the news helps connect clients, journalists and stories. For example, she said, knowing about the current shortage of children’s cold medicines would help her prepare health professionals to answer questions about that topic on air and on record.
Sometimes a story that starts in one place can resonate in another place, Furman said.
“I like to say, ‘big gets small and small gets big,’” Furman said. “I can make a local story national. And I like to make noise when everyone else is quiet; this is how I get the attention of my clients; that’s how I also build brands”.
Similar tactics help Furman build bridges. During the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Furman said he spoke to women from all walks of life who were struggling and connected them with reporters he knew. That way, women told his stories, which helped them forge new connections, and reporters filled their need for stories about him.
Furman said a winning attitude keeps her motivated. She said that she always works to heal joy, stay flexible and see possibilities. A former client told him: “Don’t tell me what you can’t do, tell me what you can do.” The Takeout: The Results Are Sexy; excuses are in poor taste.
“I always have tricks up my sleeve to activate when life happens,” Furman said, “because it always does.”
Patranya Media LLC produces the “Entrepreneur Showcase Series” with Parkway Media. Watch the interview here. Visit ruthfurman.com for information about Ruth Furman and ImageWords.