Today we’d like to introduce you to Helena Paschal.
Hi Helena, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started my business almost 20 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, with a foundation of event planning and public relations. My career path started in 1997 with a college education in public relations. In college, I became the President of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America), and I took the organization from seven members to over 90 active members and 32 accounts in less than three months.
I worked as an intern with a radio station designing public relations campaigns for local businesses. I went on to earn my master’s degree in communications with a specialization in organization development from St. Louis University. I have planned over 500 business events. In addition to planning PR events, I am the CEO of Correlations Professional Training Development, the only four-year professional development program for aspiring event planners. I have trained and certified thousands of event planners throughout the world.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not at all! During college, I forfeited spring breaks and summer vacations to intern with a radio station with the dream of having a full-time position upon graduation. A few months before graduation, the station let me know that due to budget cuts, they could not afford to hire me. As a college graduate, I struggled and had to move in with my mother. I was flat broke! I had to work random temp jobs to stay afloat. I decided to get my master’s degree only to be eligible for grants and loans for housing. When I got accepted into the grad program, I found my own place near campus. Grad school was nothing like undergrad, and it was extremely challenging to keep up with the workload but I finished in two years.
After grad school, I was offered a job with a financial group as an organization development coordinator, but my cousin in Atlanta told me that I could make more money in Atlanta. Without any hesitation, I packed up my Honda Civic with clothes and a television. When I arrived to Atlanta, I found out that she was struggling and I was right back at square one at temp jobs trying to stay afloat. The worst temp job was assembling wheelchairs in a warehouse in extreme Atlanta heat! Within months, I was able to secure a full-time job with a document outsourcing company, and I moved into my own apartment. The company promoted me within a year and transferred me to Dallas, Texas, but I hated the long hours and intense workload. I started filling my weekend calendar with event bookings to match my salary. When I did, I requested a transfer back to Atlanta and quit my job and started my own business.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I promote small businesses with event planning. What sets me apart as an event planner is I plan events with public relations to start, promote, and develop brands and reputations. I see so many new businesses waste money running ads, but ads don’t work until you have a brand. I help small businesses develop a brand first with their local media and community to build their online presence on social media.
Bill Gates said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
As a business owner, I understand how important it is to build trust and loyalty with customers. I do this by planning a grand opening, a book launch, a business shower, or a cocktail mixer to attract local, regional, or national media attention. My PR events boost ticket sales, helps clients gain new customers, and increase their exposure. The combination of event planning and public relations provides growth hacking strategies to give my clients the best results with SEO and puts them at the top of online search engines.
My process starts by listening to my client’s story. Who are you and where are you from? Why are you starting a business? What problem do you solve? Who is your ideal customer? What are the benefits? What makes you unique? After creating and developing their story, I translate it into an event. The event translates into marketing. The marketing translates into conversions. The conversions translate into profits. To help clients develop a sustainable business brand, I repeat the process. Truly successful PR shapes your brand and elevates your reputation and requires deep thought and creativity. Weaving a brand story into a curated event attracts attention.
I have a proven 7 Step Approach: 1. Build Trust (What is your online reputation? What can your business deliver and guarantee?). 2. Create a Business Event. 3. Community and Online Audit. 4. Event Planning and Public Relations. 5. Engage Local Media and Influencers at the Event. 6. Develop Your Brand Identity. 7. Social Media Advertising and Digital Marketing (PPC).
I am known for event planning and my four-year professional development program for aspiring event planners through my other company, Correlations Professional Training Development. Online and in-person classes are available for enrollment on www.correlationsllc.com.
I want readers to know that if they are ready to launch or relaunch their business, they should contact me to plan their business shower! I’m looking forward to planning business showers in Houston to help entrepreneurs drive more business and increase their exposure. The business showers consist of a curated event and a crafted press release to increase their visibility online across major search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing. Plus, they can invite their friends, family, and the community to shower them with gifts. Gifts at business showers generally include coffee, tea, gift cards, candles, office supplies, or self-care kits.
I am also kicking off breast cancer awareness month with my own event, a Pink Champagne Women’s Empowerment Retreat on October 1-3rd for women seeking to maximize their mind, money, and spirit. Women can register at www.pinkchampagneretreat.com.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I have a podcast on Spotify, “Class is Back with Helena,” and several books on Amazon. My new book, “Pink Champagne: Release the Pressure and Pain to Change Your Life,” comes out on October 1st.
I read books by Brene Brown and T.D. Jakes, I listen to old audiobooks by Joseph Murphy, Neville Goddard, Earl Nightingale, and Rev Ike. I attend Lakewood Church with Pastor Joel Osteen for weekly inspiration.
- Sprinkle PR Event Package: Get Your Name Out There $1,495
- Business Shower PR Event Package: $2,495
- Business Storm PR Event Package: $4,500
- Signature Storm ‘Go Viral’ PR Event Package: $8,995
- Pink Champagne Women’s Retreat $495
- Website: www.helenapaschal.com
- Instagram: helena_paschal
Elisha Akram MTW Portrait Studio Post Oak Hotel (library picture)