FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH
|“A Little Self-Promotion (for a change)”||
|By: Ron Brounes||
The other evening I attended a social gathering where I enthusiastically announced to the people at my table that Brounes & Associates was about to celebrate its two year anniversary. (Time sure flies when you’re having fun; I guess???) For the most part, that announcement was virtually ignored, though it did solicit a few sarcastic references to past newsletters and a handful of obligatory questions about my business. “So, how are things going in the world of public relations?” “Are you working on any exciting political campaigns these days?” “Now, what is it exactly that you do again?” All three questions basically confirmed my innermost fears. My friends and family have no idea what I do for a living. Then again, I’m not even sure if my clients understand either. Heck, sometimes I wonder myself.
I felt a little like that famous Vice Presidential candidate, Admiral Stockdale, in his memorable “Who am I? Why am I here?” speech. (If you don’t remember, Stockdale ran on that initial Perot ticket.) In any case, for the past two years, I’ve been passing along useful tidbits of information about business communications, networking techniques, goal setting, and even elevator etiquette through these newsletters to just about everyone I’ve ever met. (And even some folks I haven’t met.) And yet, I sometimes feel the need to better explain my personal background and the nature of my business. While I may perform some PR functions, I would not consider myself to be in the public relations business. While I enjoy working on certain political issues, that represents a very small percentage of my business to date. So what exactly is Brounes & Associates? Better yet, just who is Ron Brounes?
I was born on December 31, 1962, in St. Lukes Hospital in Houston, Texas. (My dad was always a stickler for effective tax planning.) My professional background includes several years as an often frustrated CPA, working in accounting, mortgage banking, and investment finance. For the years prior to founding Brounes & Associates in April 1997, I had been involved in the marketing and analytical areas at investment firms that serviced banks and other institutional clients. This professional background provided me with a unique understanding of the internal workings of many businesses. Additionally, I maintain political experience, both participating in campaigns and lobbying on behalf of issues and organizations. Brounes & Associates was formed to provide technical writing and consultation services to the business and political community. (Contrary to popular belief, rehearsal dinner speeches are not part of the job description.)
Because of my investment experience, much of my business has been “outsourced” from the financial services sector. I work with depository institutions, brokerage firms, financial planners, insurance agencies, and investment advisors in town and across the country. As the business has grown, I have ventured outside of the investment world. Today, my client list includes attorneys in various areas of the law, health care professionals, accountants, recruiters, political consultants, and others. I have also developed several relationships with public relations firms which utilize my services for more technical business projects.
AT YOUR SERVICE
Among other services, I have assisted several clients in writing and placing technical business articles (and op/eds.) in appropriate industry/trade periodicals. Such an article portrays the author as an “expert” in the field and can be distributed as a marketing piece. For investment professionals, I have written informative and educational pieces ranging in topics from asset allocation to small business lending, money management to insider trading, mortgage finance to charitable giving. I have assisted attorneys with articles about anti-trust in this merger environment, private equity financing, and timely Y2K issues. The articles appear under the client’s byline with Brounes & Associates assuming no credit in the process. (That’s why I’m doing so here.) I even provide one firm with a list of potential articles based on current world events. Through these assignments, I have developed excellent media contacts.
I also compose investment spotlights and monthly newsletters for securities’ firms, and assist with quarterly performance reports for investment fund managers. These pieces are distributed to clients and prospects. I perform analytical work on their behalf, a function no public relations firm can offer. For marketing purposes, I have prepared technical pieces in the form of brochures, and written the descriptive text for various web sites. Additionally, I have done a considerable amount of speech writing and developed full scale presentations for a diverse client base (business, political, and community minded). In fact, I recently helped coordinate the programming for a users’ conference on behalf of a software firm, and served as the lunchtime speaker. Politically, I have produced issues brochures and talking points for various candidates and lobbied on behalf of several organizations.
THE “ME” GENERATION
But enough about me; let’s talk about you. (What can you do to help me?) Actually, how can Brounes & Associates help you? My services are designed to allow you to focus on your daily job responsibilities. While this marketing/communications wrinkle could be advantageous to your businesses, you simply do not have the time nor inclination to write articles, newsletters, and other materials. All of your schedules are quite hectic; some of you work on billable hours or are compensated on a commission basis and are unable to brainstorm about such opportunities. My understanding of business issues and current affairs enables me to assist you in these often overlooked or under-prioritized areas. The final products are always your work, your thoughts, your expertise. I merely help compile the information and produce a format that you can easily review and edit. And, if I do my job properly, no one will ever have to ask you, “Now, what is it exactly that you do again?”
q Annual Reports
q Business Plans/Presentations
q Presentation Training
q Marketing pieces
q Op/ed. articles
q Position Papers
q Policy Manuals
q Financial Analysis
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH is a publication of Brounes & Associates focusing on business marketing and general communications strategies. Please call Ron Brounes at 713-432-1910 for additional information. I hope no one found this “self-promotional” newsletter offensive in any way. (I liked it and that’s all that really matters.) Brounes & Associates thanks all current clients for their continued confidence. We look forward to future business dealings and, at the very least, more discussions about these newsletters.