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Tara Goodwin Frier is a public relations guru, the person you most want on speed-dial in a crisis. Before starting the company, she served as Vice President of Edelman Public Relations’ Boston office where she managed an active portfolio of clients, and executed Boston media strategies for Edelman’s national and international accounts. Prior to her work at Edelman, Tara served as chief of staff of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development where she managed a staff of 250 and a budget of $450 million.
Tara is also a featured blogger on WomensForum.com, not just because she knows where the skeletons are buried, but because she knows a thing or two about the art of balancing life, family and a business.
Goodwin Group PR is a full service public relations agency that partners with clients to increase visibility in target markets, generate excitement for products and services and create the momentum to increase bottom lines.
MO: What inspired you to create your own company instead of working an already established firm?
Tara: I’d love to say it was inspiration but actually, it was circumstance. After the technology bubble burst in 2001, CEO Richard Edelman decided to close a few of the firm’s offices and Boston was among them. At the time I was pregnant with my second son and decided that it would be difficult to start a job search in the middle of a pregnancy. Richard said that if my existing clients were interested, he was fine with me taking them to start my own venture. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became especially when several of my clients agreed to it. Goodwin Group PR was born several months before my youngest son Will and I’m particularly grateful to Richard Edelman for giving me the push to start my own company and I check in with him from time to time to say “hello” and “thanks”.
MO: What are the guiding principles that serve as the foundation of Goodwin Group PR?
Tara: Many words come to mind but if I had to narrow the field I would say honesty, integrity, tenacity, creativity and resiliency. Over the years, I have been fortunate to cultivate a team who embodies these principals and characteristics both inside and outside the workplace.
MO: With a saturated public relations market, how do you stand out from the competition?
Tara: We have built a solid reputation in our industry because we love what we do and our clients know that we will do whatever it takes to get the job done. They remark all the time about our creativity, energy, and our willingness to go above and beyond what’s expected. We set high standards for ourselves in the first place, and to know that it’s both noticed and appreciated is a great bonus. The majority of our new business comes from client referrals and that says a lot.
MO: As a successful entrepreneur do you have any advice on balancing life, family and a business?
Tara: I’m still trying to achieve that perfect balance and I can tell you that after ten years, it’s been rather elusive! Some days I’m a great CEO/PR person and other days I’m a fantastic mom and admittedly there are days that I’ve come up short on both counts (I’m my own worst critic). When you have a day where you can focus on both work and family, you feel like you can conquer the world!
MO: Can you tell our readers a bit about the non-profit work that you’re involved in?
Tara: Non-profit work is very important to us. Several years ago I used to be chief of staff of a state housing agency and public service is in my DNA. When we see needs out there that resonate with us personally and we can help address them using our PR skills, it’s incredibly rewarding. Some of the charities we work closely with include: NE Patriot Matt Light’s foundation, Wellspring Farm Learning Center, Dress for Success Boston, the Hockomock Area YMCA and Trevor’s Trek Foundation. We recently finished a video highlighting the work that Wellspring Farm does with children with disabilities and seeing their reaction to our finished product was one of the proudest moments of my career.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for Goodwin Group PR?
Tara: We are launching a new consultative arm of the company this spring called PRRX – which offers small- to mid-sized businesses that want PR but can’t afford it, access to our top staff for strategy development, writing guidance, workshops and seminars. Over the past ten years, I’ve met so many talented entrepreneurs with amazing ideas yet limited budgets. PRRX allows us to work with some of these creative companies in a cost-effective way that won’t strain their resources but will give them a strategy to achieve the coverage their dreams deserve.
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