Episode 298

Paul Lowe: Marketing Consultant


March 26th, 2024

8 mins 31 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

We're back with this mini series of Talent Showcase episodes focused on people in marketing, communications, PR, and allied fields who're looking for their next opportunity. You'll hear their stories, successes, and how they can help their next employer or client.

Today, I'm joined by Paula Lowe. Paula is the founder and principal of The PR Table, a marketing communications consulting firm, where all of marketing has a seat at the table. Although Paula's expertise is in media relations and communication strategy, her experience encompasses all aspects of marketing communications, from email marketing, content development, and social media to website creation and maintenance.

Paula has more than 15 years experience, having worked with large multinational corporate entities and small startup ventures within a wide range of industries, including technology, Financial Services, Health Care and Medical, Health IT, Supply Chain, Non profits, and Supply Chain and Logistics.


Mark Reed-Edwards: Paula, it's good to have you on the show. Welcome.

Paula Lowe: It's great to be here, Mark. Thank you.

Mark Reed-Edwards: So, I just told your life story, but can you tell me more about yourself beyond what I just shared, your background and career path?

Paula Lowe: Sure. It's always fun to sort of remember the story. I actually went to school in Boston and graduated with an associate degree in hospitality management. I quickly got a job at the Ritz Carlton in a supervisory role, but realized that it was not going to afford me the opportunity to complete my degree, which was very important back then.

So I transferred and got a job as an admin assistant at an environmental engineering firm. And about a year in, I transferred from the facilities department to the corporate communications department. And that was it. I fell in love with corpcomm. I began to realize that my natural storytelling and relatability with people was something I could leverage in a career that I would find satisfying and challenging.

So I got in touch then with our PR consultant that was brought in. My boss said, "I'm going to have you work with our PR consultant, help tell some stories. I think you'd be good at it." I said, "Great." And that was it. From there, I left the environmental engineering firm and I joined Lois Paul Partners back up in Lexington.

I've had my career in public relations ever since.

Mark Reed-Edwards: So what is one of your most important career accomplishments, do you think?

Paula Lowe: I have to say, working for Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, which is a non profit. They have a hospital license for Hebrew Rehab Center. And they have eight or nine senior housing locations throughout Greater Boston. And I was there at the onset and throughout COVID.

And that was a very, very challenging, stressful, difficult time. But it was also a really great learning opportunity because HSL is a leader in senior care. And the then- CEO, he's since retired, but he was a real inspiration to see how he handled things and we were able to bring them through that crisis really successfully.

Mark Reed-Edwards: So what do you think you can offer your next employer or client?

Paula Lowe: I think that the years of experience I have have led me to be, although I am a PR specialist, if you will, my forte is media relations and analyst relations, securing those relationships, but you know, there's a breadth of services and strategy that I can bring to my clients, so relationship building, persistence.

One of the things I found as a PR person is that we have to be persistent. And if a client or I want a relationship with a particular member of the media, I will make it happen. It just might take some time and some creativity. I really find a lot of inspiration in trying to find different ways to do things.

I'm not a believer in "this is the way we've always done it so this is the way we should continue to do it." So if my clients are open to new ways of looking at things. I bring a lot of creativity and ideas that we can implement. And of course, strategy. I've done that for most of my career.

Nothing is done in a bubble. There's always a strategic reason and business objective we're trying to achieve.

Mark Reed-Edwards: I've never really done PR. I've been in areas around PR and talked to the press on occasion. But persistence is a quality for most of the people I know in PR who are great at their jobs. Because they build relationships over years. And you have to be persistent to do that.

Paula Lowe: Absolutely. And it's a fine line. Some of the relationships I built early on in my career, I'm still friends with those reporters and editors. And I think one of the things that sets me apart, and maybe even it's a generational thing at this point too, but I never went to a reporter or editor with a pitch that I had to read off a sheet.

I made sure I understood it. I made sure I understood the business value of what we were offering, and if they didn't accept it, I always asked why. I said I know that time is tight, but what am I missing here? Because I am trying to be a good resource. I do my research. If I'm missing, I need to know what I'm missing and why.

And sometimes they would tell me, sometimes they wouldn't, but often they'd say, "You know, that's a great question. Nobody asks that. It's not totally off the mark. It's the timing or it's this." And that's valuable information to take back to a client as well. Why the pitches aren't working or why the client thinks it's a great story, but maybe the media doesn't.

And then we find a different way to go back to that person with what they can use.

Mark Reed-Edwards: Yeah, and finding out their editorial calendar and just partnering up with them over the course of months or even years so that you can align with what the reporter's needs are and those reporters are stretched thinner than ever now.

Paula Lowe: Oh, gosh, for sure. The landscape has changed significantly and it's very challenging. But you can still do it. I'm doing it right now for a client. I'm having a lot of fun. It's a really unique auto industry training software company that I'm working with and it's a lot of fun and I'm making those relationships on their behalf and it's just been great because you can still do that.

It just takes a little longer.

Mark Reed-Edwards: Yeah. And how do you---I'll ask one last question. How do you work with your client to set their expectations that they're not going to be in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times next week.

Paula Lowe: Isn't that the age old question?

Mark Reed-Edwards: Yeah.

B You know, it's just a matter of being very honest and direct and saying, " When you have that story I'm happy to tell it, but you're not there right now, or you know, it's gonna take some time to secure those relationships and make those connections."

One of the challenges, too, is the way people move around.

Many of the people I worked with just a few short years ago are now in different roles. Still within the media landscape, but different roles. It might mean that I need to get reconnected or connected with someone new. And those things do take time. So I just sort of set the expectation up front and let them know that there are certain criteria that you have to meet to get into a big publication like that, or even Forbes, Fortune, those kinds of publications, and those take time. They're not an overnight thing.

Mark Reed-Edwards: Well, Paula, you've got a great story to tell for yourself, and thanks for joining me. I hope this podcast helps you find your next great gig.

Paula Lowe: Thank you, Mark. I appreciate being here.

Mark Reed-Edwards: Well, that's it for this mini series. Together, we've met some extraordinary people. Ben Bradshaw, Jason Rasmussen, Gem Passant, Chuck Tanowitz, Kelley Lynn Kassa, and today's guest, Paula Lowe.

I hope we helped tell their stories and that they have nothing but good fortune to come. As for what's coming next for this podcast, stay tuned.

We have one of the world's leading Amazon experts and the guest for the most popular episode of Confessions of a Marketer while we were away. That's Robin Johnson. She'll be with us next time, and we'll see you then.