IAM670- CEO Focuses on Brand Awareness and Media Relations

Podcast Interview with Ronjini Joshua

Ronjini Joshua is the CEO and founder of The Silver Telegram a PR agency focused on brand awareness and media relations for technology companies. She has been in the PR industry for 17 years working at large agencies, as in-house PR and as the founder of her own agency. Ronjini is also the host of The PR Playbook Podcast, a podcast about everything you need to know about public relations as well as a contributor on Forbes and a speaker at industry events.

  • CEO Hack: Waking up before everyone else
  • CEO Nugget: Take a day or two to prepare and plan
  • CEO Defined: Leader, creative person who can inspire and motivate the rest of your team, moving things forward and not being afraid of change

Website: http://www.thesilvertelegram.com/

Podcast: https://ThePRPlaybookPodcast.buzzsprout.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ronjini
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ronjinijoshua

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Ronjini Joshua of The Silver Telegram. Ronjini, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Ronjini Joshua 0:38

Thank you. It's nice to be here. I appreciate. I appreciate you guys reaching out and let's talk today.

Gresham Harkless 0:45

Yeah, absolutely. There's loads of value that I know this episode will have. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Ronjini. So you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Ron Jamie is the CEO and founder of The Silver Telegram, a PR agency focused on brand awareness and media relations for technology companies. She has been in the PR industry for 17 years working at large agencies as well as in-house PR and as the founder of her own agency. Ronjini is the host of the PR Playbook podcast, a podcast about everything you need to know about public relations as well as a contributor on Forbes and a speaker at industry events. Ronjini, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

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Ronjini Joshua 1:22

Absolutely. I feel my head getting a little bit.

Gresham Harkless 1:25

There you go, keep it up for the episode, we got it, we gotta get all that knowledge out. So I wanted to hear kind of from the beginning on how you got started. Can you take us through your CEO story? Well, that you start your business?

Ronjini Joshua 1:37

Yeah, absolutely. It's pretty. I don't know, I might be pretty common. But um, my story started by accident. And I remember vividly thinking when I was first out of college, that I never wanted to be the owner of my own business. I remember thinking that and then all of a sudden it happened. I actually worked at a lot of big PR agencies. And what I noticed was like anybody like a gap in the market, there was a gap in startup PR agencies, you know, startups work a little bit differently than regular businesses, they'd have less money. They're looking for more impact. And what I saw was that we were turning away a lot of startups that had maybe a smaller budget and not small by any means, but small for the agency. And so I was like, sitting there wasn't doing a lot of work because we were turning away little small startups. And I was like, well, I should be working with those companies. They're interesting, they're doing something different.

And so at some point, I was like, Okay, well, I'm just gonna quit. So I quit my agency. I mean, yeah, they quit my agency. And I started freelancing for some of these smaller companies. And then from there, I actually got to bring on people that I used to work with in other places, other agencies, I used to work in video games. So I brought on someone from there because we were working a lot in video games when we first started the agency. And it just kind of blossomed from there. And I started liking it more. And obviously, there's a nuance to business ownership that's different from anything else you could possibly do. And so it's really hard to give it up. Once you become a business owner, you realise the potential and all the different things you can do. And from there, I had other business ideas. So, you know, I think it's really easy to become a serial entrepreneur once you start a business.

Gresham Harkless 3:27

Yeah, absolutely. I used to say, that when you scratch that itch, so to speak, you start to see opportunities pop up everywhere, once you start to see them. And that I think the problem and the challenge then becomes to not try to do all the opportunities at the same time and to focus on it.

Ronjini Joshua 3:41

Tell me about it. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 3:44

I absolutely love that. And I love you know, I think everybody loves kind of like the startup story, so to speak, especially those that don't have unlimited resources, which nobody really does. But you know, for lack of a better term, and then being able to be crafty, to be resourceful, and be able to figure out how to get their name out there. And really to build that business. I think those are really my opinion, some of the best stories.

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Ronjini Joshua 4:05

I think in hindsight, though, I probably would have done it differently. Maybe we'll get to that.

Gresham Harkless 4:09


Ronjini Joshua 4:09

We definitely would have done it a little bit differently if I knew the direction I was going to be in or the position I was going to be in today, which I didn't I didn't plan for it. So there's something for having a business plan, I think.

Gresham Harkless 4:21

Yeah, absolutely. But um, so I know we touched on it a little bit when I read your bio. So can you take us through exactly what you do for your clients and how exactly that process works?

Ronjini Joshua 4:31

Yeah, sure. So we're a PR agency. So another reason why it's so different. We're a professional service. I went to school for PR so I'm one of those few people that like to graduate. And actually did.

Gresham Harkless 4:41

What they're doing.

Ronjini Joshua 4:42

Yes, what they're doing. So in public relations, we really focus on brand messaging. So developing the message to your audience, and then also getting people in the media. So a lot of people don't know this, and my parents still don't really get it. But there are people who place news stories in the media and I'm one of those people. So, I'll take and we mostly work with technology companies, but we have some lifestyle companies that we work with as well. And we take those stories and we put them into something that's newsworthy, we draw out the news from those, their company stories, and then we ship it and send it to media that might be interested in who is reporting on those particular areas.

So for example, I work with a robotics company, they just raised a huge round of funding $40 million, and they work in industrial inspection. And so they help save lives by putting robots out in the field versus people who are climbing big telephone towers or something like that. So, um, so basically, we take their story, and we kind of tell them, Okay, this is how these robots are benefiting this industry. And then we'll send it to someone like Popular Science, or Wall Street Journal, or Forbes or something like that.

Gresham Harkless 5:55

Nice. I absolutely love that. And I think that I sometimes will call kind of like the PR agencies, kind of translators in the sense that especially working with technology companies, because I find those kinds of IT technology companies probably are super smart, obviously can create incredible solutions, but sometimes aren't as, as gifted as being able to tell their story and get that across to the people. So that's why I kind of look at it as being like a trance.

Ronjini Joshua 6:18

I always tell myself, I'm always getting stuck with an engineer. And they're like explaining something. I feel bad because I have to ask them the same question over and over again because they're telling me first the technical term. And when you asked them again, then I said, Can you break it down a little bit more? So I always tell people that they should be able to explain it to their grandmother, that's the level I need.

Gresham Harkless 6:41

Oh, see, I thought you're gonna go with a four-year-old. But now the four-year-olds are so tech-savvy that you might be able to do that.

Ronjini Joshua 6:48


Gresham Harkless 6:48

So I absolutely love that. So I want to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for yourself or your business. But what do you feel kind of sets you guys apart and makes you unique?

Ronjini Joshua 6:59

I think one thing is I have this, like, I think my personal secret sauce is that I have a personality where I can really get excited about most things. So I really try to find that like a silver bullet within any brand. And I cling to that and come up with ideas. And I usually start generating ideas within minutes. Once you start explaining to me I can come up with so so I think, personality-wise, I am very excitable. And so I think that just leads to like that I'm very creative. And so I keep coming up with story angles. So personally, I think that's why I've been able to be so good at Media Relations, is that I can extract those little pieces.

And that's always been my speciality working in PR is media relations. So that's our agency specialty too. So it leads to our kind of overall special sauce of being able to please people in media. It's not as easy as calling in a favour, which a lot of people think it's you really have to have a good story, and you have to know who to pitch. And when I'm able to do that work. It's really fun. But I don't find myself being able to do that as often. Now, obviously, as a business owner, I've had to kind of change my priorities. But if I could pick it pick anything, it would definitely be media relations, and I kind of work with other people who have the same mentality for that.

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Gresham Harkless 8:12

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I think that, as we you know, get clarity on you know, exactly what we're doing and who we are, we start to attract those like-minded individuals. And, I love that curiosity that you kind of spoke to because I think, obviously is huge for NPR. But I think it's huge in business as well, too. And I think that we kind of touched on those opportunities that start to blossom. And it's largely because you do have that curiosity and can kind of look at things and find that silver bullet, as you said, I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or a book or a habit that you have bought something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Ronjini Joshua 8:49

I think my thing my hack is waking up before everyone else. So I wake up pretty early. And this is something I've actually always been interested in with other CEOs and people have families like how do they function, how's their like day schedule? Because I want to know if I'm crazy or not, but I wake up at five usually. And I try to wake up and just give myself 10 to 15 minutes to figure out what I want to do for the day. And then I'll obviously I'll start working if that makes sense. But I really just use that 10 to 15 minutes to figure it out. And then like get the house ready for the morning, especially now since everybody's at home. I get the house ready in the morning, and then my kids wake up around 6:30. So between 6:30 and eight and a half to start, do I kind of work with them?

Gresham Harkless 9:38

Awesome. So I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or as you kind of reference something you might tell yourself if you were to happen to a time machine.

Ronjini Joshua 9:49

The nugget is preparation and planning I think right now my mantra is purpose over perfection. So it's really like getting stuff done. However, I do think planning and preparation are really important in that time is probably the most valuable time you could spend on your business. So whether it's a day or a couple of days, I started doing retreats last year, and literally just by myself, and it's not a luxury retreat, I tried to get other people involved, and they were only interested in massages. It's literally I gave myself 36 hours to do as much work as possible in the planning department. And I couldn't believe how well that worked for mental planning.

So it was a personal planning session, but also business planning, I was able to get some stuff done on my website, just because it gave me the clarity and distance to be able to do that. And I told my clients that I would be unavailable, I told my team, they're gonna have to deal with like, I'm gonna be gone for two days, you're gonna have to take care of everything. So I think that was really important. So taking, like one or two days for planning, maybe a quarter. I think that is like probably the best thing I've ever done. And I wish I started doing it a lot earlier.

Gresham Harkless 11:08

Yeah, no, I love that I definitely appreciate you know, you speak into that and how important it is to create that space. So the thing so many times we think that it will just organically happen. But you know, you have to actually create that space, great, those two days, three, whatever that might be, so that you have that space in order.

Ronjini Joshua 11:24

If you're worried about the time or the money that you're going to lose, you're not going to you're actually gonna make more money, because you're gonna plan. I think one of my biggest concerns of doing stuff like that is oh, God, I'm going to be gone for a day, what is the client's gonna do? And it's really not that big of a deal. If you think about it in a long-term way, yes, in that, but you can plan ahead and get someone to cover you, or plan ahead and let them know that you're not going to be there. I think we all deserve that space. And sometimes, as a CEO or business owner, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to be on all the time, but you could still be on it's just on for longer, longer-term planning. So I think I think it's really important to know that you're not going to lose money, just by taking a couple of days off. It's probably really vital and critical to your business to do that.

Gresham Harkless 12:11

Yeah, I was absolutely gonna say that, you know, you said deserve. But I said I would say even necessary because I think so many times, we have to remind ourselves that we're running a marathon. And my mantra kind of my theme last year was actually putting your oxygen mask on. And reminding myself of that all the time. Because I think so many times when you're, you know, when you have clients, when you have people in your life, you're always giving so much of yourself that we sometimes forget ourselves and how important it is to take that retreat or whatever it might be to recharge.

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Ronjini Joshua 12:38

Yeah, I was on a pretty strict schedule. I'm like a whip person, myself. But what I did, was I made sure I slept properly and ate properly. That was like the other thing is like really like managing your time in a way that it's like a human and not a robot. So I have to often remind myself of that.

Gresham Harkless 12:59

Yeah, absolutely. But I think you spoke to it, I think the fact that we have to remind ourselves that we are human. And you know, like, as you said, you know, the progress over perfection, we're not going to always be perfect. And once we remind ourselves of it, it's just like, you know, every muscle that we work out, you have to do it on a regular basis. It's not something that you can just tell yourself once and then you're good, easy, you have to continue to check in to make sure that that happens.

Ronjini Joshua 13:21

Yeah, I do my best I can tell when I'm getting really overwhelmed. I'm like, oh, gosh, I think it's time it's time to check in and you can like I start coming into this, like flow, this regular flow of knowing when that time is coming.

Gresham Harkless 13:34

Yeah, absolutely. It's so funny. You say that because I even find that in the morning or did it during days when I don't do, those kinds of morning activities. And I see my day gets out of whack. And I look back and I say, Okay, I didn't do that in the morning. And that's why I'm exactly where I'm at.

Ronjini Joshua 13:51

Yeah, exactly. And, yeah, I mean, I try not to regret things too much. But, you know, you always just have to look forward. And I always tried to do it the next day. I'm the kind of person who will reset the next day versus like, Oh, I'm gonna wait till Monday. I'll just do it right away.

Gresham Harkless 14:06


Ronjini Joshua 14:07

Procrastination is also a killer.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

Exactly, exactly. You're creating more of those habits as well, too. So you want to make sure you correct it as soon as possible.

Ronjini Joshua 14:14

Right, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 14:15

Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show so Ronjini, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ronjini Joshua 14:26

I think it's being someone who's a leader, a creative person who can motivate and inspire the rest of your team. You don't have to be the jack of all trades, you just have to know what you're good at and focus on that. And I think just, you know, moving things forward is I think the key role of a CEO in a positive way. So you know, not being afraid of change and also continuing continuously learning is part of that as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:56

Yeah, absolutely. Change is kind of like the only constant in understanding that we will never probably really be perfect. So continue to progress as you as you said so eloquently before, I think it's absolutely huge thing and you show tremendous leadership when you do that. So definitely appreciate that definition. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get a view, subscribe to your podcast and hear about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Ronjini Joshua 15:24

Sure, thank you. So our website is the silver telegram dot com. And you can find all the information there. And then we also launched the PR playbook podcast earlier this year. You could find that on any of your favourite podcast players. So Apple Podcasts, Spotify, I Heart Radio, we're all over there. And then also on the website, you can find the podcast it's the silver telegram.com backslash, the PR playbook podcast. And then if you wanted to contact me if you have questions about PR about a programme or if you should even do it, I get a lot of those questions. It's just Ronjini R O N J I N I at the silver telegram dot com. And I'm sure you have show notes so I can give you all my information there. I'm on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

Gresham Harkless 16:10

Awesome. Yes, absolutely. Like you just said, We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes just to make it even easier. But definitely appreciate your time and all the awesome things that you're doing for so many businesses and organisations as well. And I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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