Hope Katz Gibbs is not only an award-winning journalist, but she has also become a thought leader in the PR industry. She has started, and continues to run, several public relations projects: The Inkandescent Group LLC; Inkandescent Public Relations; the Be Inkandescent magazine; and the Truly Amazing Women Who Are Changing the World website.
As Hope Katz Gibbs tells it, PR is “like fireworks.” You have to catch the opportunity to shine, because it goes away quickly, like fireworks in the night sky. With Inkandescent Public Relations, she allows companies to shine so they can grow. The company offers a suite of PR services, from “marketing, publishing, and website design.” Their efforts will help spread the good word of your expertise to important stakeholders, such as reporters and customers.
At Inkandescent, Hope Katz Gibbs receives support from her team of journalists with noses for good stories, and with the equivalent talent to bring those stories to life for your audience. Hope’s team members are also all journalists, giving them the ability to empathize with their entrepreneur clients who may be struggling to get over the hump. The company has also published a book titled “PR Rules: The Playbook,” designed to give other entrepreneurs the blueprint to PR success.
Hope Katz Gibbs has made it her mission to “promote, educate, and inspire entrepreneurs.” Since incorporating The Inkandescent Group in 2008, she has helped over “100 entrepreneurs, educators, authors, and small-business owners” boost their profile and credibility among their industry clients.
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Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Hope Katz Gibbs: Inkandescent™ Inc. is a company filled with heart and soul. We are a team of storytellers. We care about our clients, our readers, and our mission. This is what has enabled us to work with hundreds of small business owners who agree that storytelling is the best way to build sales. Show it, share it, don’t sell it — and customers will come.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Hope Katz Gibbs: Delegate! For goodness sake — don’t try to do everything yourself. You can’t. You shouldn’t. And honestly, you don’t want to. Find people who love what they do, and collaborate with them, support them, enable them to feel empowered and grow with you. I truly believe a business is soul work — it’s not how much money you make, but the lives you touch as you work toward achieving your goals. That’s a team effort. Our motto: We all stand together. If nothing else, it’s more fun that way.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Hope Katz Gibbs: Oh, so many people! Like most entrepreneurs who have built a business, there’s no way you can do it alone. While I have heard this tale many times from others, and as a reporter encourage the CEO to take credit (otherwise, who do I feature in the story — surely not the entire team) I understand why they don’t. So I’ll name a few:
- I thank my art director (and now x-husband) Michael Gibbs for his vision, wisdom, and brilliance in creating the look of all of my websites, books, marketing martials, work for our clients, and for truly being the support system that has taught me, encouraged me, and loved me since the day we met on Nov. 11, 1991.
- I thank Kathleen McCarthy, my copyeditor and confidant for a decade. She sat next to me as we wrote, “PR Rules: The Playbook,” struggled through the challenges of doing PR for small business owners, and always had only smart, kind wisdom to share. She is one of the smartest, kindest people I have had the privilege to know.
- Nelson Benavides has been my video editor since 2014. I met him as he was graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, and since then has crafted more than 100 videos for our YouTube channel, www.Inkandescent.tv. To say that Nelson has seen the good, bad and ugly of people when they are on camera and under pressure to perform is an understatement.
- JP Faber, my editor at New Miami magazine, taught me how to truly write a story in 1989. I sat in the chair next to him as he edited my articles for two months. I attribute being able to launch my freelance career in 1993 to him.
- Cynthia de Lorenzi, founder of www.SuccessInTheCity.org is a woman who is not just my collaborator, but I think of her as my fairy godmother. She not only encouraged me to move to Las Cruces, NM in July 2020, she has been a guide and support system that I cannot be grateful enough for. We all need our girlfriends!
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
Hope Katz Gibbs: As I said in the question above — no one can do everything well. Not only is it impossible to master the art of web design and development, videography and video editing, writing and copyediting, not to mention proofreading, podcasting, and bookkeeping — why would you want to? Having collaborators makes the work more fun, more interesting, and much more captivating and useful for clients.
In fact, one of the books that I’m collaborating on right now is entitled, “Collabor8,” with my Cynthia de Lorenzi, who I mentioned earlier. As the founder of the international networking group Success in the City, we know that Collaboration is Key.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Hope Katz Gibbs: Ah yes — I know this drama all too well. It’s not because I have experienced it myself, but because so many small business owners have confided in me as their publicist (or the reason they won’t hire a publicist): “I do it all by myself.” It was the battle cry of my kids when they were toddlers, and it doesn’t seem to go away when we become adults.
Indeed, many people launch their own company because they want the pride of ownership. They want to make their mark. And, they don’t want to spend any money. This always amazes me because the way to make money is to spend your time wisely. That means paying for things you don’t need to do (bookkeeping, web development, design, etc.) But it also takes having tremendous balls-to-the-wall faith in yourself and confidence in your idea. It often takes a few years trying to do it all, however, to realize that.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
Hope Katz Gibbs: Time. And experience. And a lot of mistakes. Of the handful of helpful life lessons my father imparted was “money rolls away, and it rolls back; don’t sweat it.” As a small business owner and freelance writer for more than 30 years, I have the perspective to know this is true. In time, you develop an instinct about when business is going to roll away, and when it’ll return. It is faith in that knowledge that is born of experience. You just gotta live it.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Hope Katz Gibbs: I have started a Revolution with the Truly Amazing Women project / www.InkandescentWomen.com: Together We Stand. I believe that when women come together, support each other and Collabor8 — there’s nothing we can’t do.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Hope Katz Gibbs:
- Inkandescent Women magazine: www.InkandescentWomen.com
- Inkandescent Health & Wellness magazine: www.BeInkandescent.com
- My new book: Why Divorce — 5 Reasons to Leave www.WhyDivorce.us
- My online portfolio: www.Powered-by-Hope.com
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
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