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Meet Steve Turner of Solomon Turner PR

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Turner. He’s one of the city’s leading experts on PR and communications and we think you’ll learn a lot from his story.  Check out our conversation below.

Hi Steve, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I graduated from the University of Missouri and its school of journalism. First, I chased a dream of becoming a sports announcer and got heavily involved in doing sports play-by-play and news at a variety of radio stations. Over time my career shifted into radio ad sales and station management. I eventually went to work for an advertising agency and liked working with clients on their entire media campaign. I got exposed to the public relations aspect of the business where I had the opportunity to work with writers and journalists to help them create stories and, at the same time, generate earned media exposure for our clients. Eventually, I started my own PR firm and merged with an ad agency, S. Solomon and Associates. I married my partner, Shelly Solomon, and the firm became Solomon Turner. I have been an owner and principal with the agency for over 30 years. I have been fortunate to work with a variety of celebrities, corporations, nationally known speakers, and sports stars for over three decades. Most happily, I have been able to share all our successes and challenges with my wife, Shelly. It has been a great experience.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Like most businesses, we have had our challenges along the way. When I first started my own PR firm, I did not have any clients and I had to do a lot of networking to build a client base. At the time, there were no textbooks on how to start a public relations firm much less how to manage one. It took a lot of trial and error to get the business going. The business grew and then the Internet came along. The Internet started to have an impact on the traditional media business. It changed everything and we, in the PR business, had to change with it. The other major challenge that occurred was during the recession of the mid-2000s. We lost a good part of our client base as companies closed ranks, downsized, and stopped spending money on anything related to marketing. It took several years to get back up to speed and regain momentum.

Great, so let’s talk about Solomon Turner in a bit more detail. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Solomon Turner is an award-winning PR firm. Over the years, we have worked with many well-known personalities and companies such as Anthony Robbins Seminars, Coldwell Banker, Northwestern Mutual, and dozens of others in architecture, construction, finance, healthcare, sports and technology. Our focus is helping companies large and small create a messaging strategy, then helping them formulate a game plan to communicate that messaging to their client base and stakeholders. The goal is to generate brand awareness and identifying key message points to move their prospects through the sales funnel. What differentiates our firm from others is that we work with a lot of smaller type companies, ones usually not on the radar of large national PR agencies. We also have a great list of media contacts to generate national as well as local media coverage.

Shelly and I are most proud that many of our clients have appeared on national networks such as NBC News, ABC News, CNN, etc., and in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many top print publications. Our firm has longevity. Now in our 32nd-year clients know we will be around to guide them through their campaigns, not just this year but for many years in the future. In fact, we have worked with one particular client for the entire time we have been in business. We are most excited our clients have voted us to the Small Business Monthly list of Top PR Firms in St. Louis for 13 years in a row. I personally was also named a Rockstar Publicist by Authority Magazine and Thrive Global. I enjoy talking marketing and PR with any business owner, regardless of size, who wishes to build their brand.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson is to stay on top of everything happening in your industry. An example is when the Internet first came along and a lot of old-time PR professionals were unable to adjust to the new digital era. This caused some agencies to greatly change their business models. Some just closed. Fortunately, we were able to adapt and learn new strategies and technologies to offer our clients. I cannot overemphasize the need to continually educate yourself and your team on the latest business practices. The key is to join groups, read books, take seminars, listen to podcasts and keep abreast of what is working in your chosen field. Those who stay on the leading edge of their industry are of high value to both their clients and the company they work for.

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Photos courtesy Solomon Turner PR

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