Building & Scaling a Large Media Company & How to handle a PR Crisis in your business

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Founder & CEO of Media Minefield

Kristi Piehl launched Media Minefield in 2010 following a 12-year career as an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter. With clients ranging from startups to billion-dollar brands, Media Minefield is a one-of-a-kind agency specializing in earned media and messaging.

Kristi was named a 2019 Women in Business honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. She studied Professional Writing and graduated with honors from Bethel University. In 2015, Bethel named her Alumna of the Year. Kristi is a founding member of DePaul University's Women in Entrepreneurship Institute and a member of Women Presidents’ Organization.

Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives. She is a well known speaker, educator & social media strategist. You can work with her one on one with coaching and content creation (photo/video) services

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Kristi Piehl 0:58

Sure. I was television reporter for 12 years, I worked at five different TV stations across the Midwest. My career ended with a layoff. I was an investigative reporter at the ABC station in Minneapolis, I did a little bit of work for Good Morning America and didn't see it coming, I was out of a job on the economy turned and knew immediately that it was a really good thing for my life. Though, I had no idea what I was going to do. I took some time off soul search, volunteered, spent quality time with my kids who are a little at the time, and really came to the point of view that I wanted to use my background in news to help people. And I believe that public relations didn't have an reasonable or valuable tool or solution for that problem. So I took a class at my church that was how to help people with your passion. And media minefield was born. And we will be nine years old. Very soon. Wow.

Jenna Redfield 1:56

And so just so Okay, so my question to you, you're kind of an accidental entrepreneur at that point,

Kristi Piehl 2:02

right? wasn't my intention wasn't my life's goal. However, now that I've processed through it and thought a lot about it, I've been an entrepreneur my entire life. I just put that part of my brain aside. While I was doing news, and while I was telling people stories, but I have about four business ideas a day. Now that I like opened up that part of my world. Yes, I absolutely an accidental. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 2:29

I love that. Because I feel like I am too. I had issues after college finding a job. So then I'm like, why don't I just start my own. And it was just, it was interesting, because I think a lot of people that are listening to the podcast are that way, or they're really creative, and they have a day job. And they're just like, I want to follow my passion, or I want to follow what I really want to do, which I think the hardest part is, you know, how do I do it? You know, how do I do it? How did you learn how to start a business?

Kristi Piehl 2:55

Funny story. I didn't I mean, I didn't have a business plan. I didn't have Masters in Business. I have an English degree. I am a trained journalist. However, what journalism gave me was the mindset that I don't have all the answers, but I believe I have access to people who do. So that put me in, in touch with reading and learning and blogs, and newspapers and stories of entrepreneurs. And just a deep seated belief that there was a better way to do public relations. When it comes to earned media, which is what what we do, we do three things that media mindful, but earned media is the kind of media you don't pay for. We do crisis media, and then we handle social media on behalf of CEOs and business owners. Okay, so our messaging is our wheelhouse, and I hire former journalist, because we have this, this mindset of understanding what someone's story is how to influence an audience, and how to have the audience take action.

Jenna Redfield 3:57

Yeah. And so you started when you start started, it was just you for it was just

Kristi Piehl 4:02

me, it was me. It's funny, I when I talk about it, now, it was easier to be legal to do business in the state of Minnesota than it wants to get my rescue dog. Wow, they 30 days some paperwork, pay a fee. And I was you know, db AS as initially an hour braided, but it was September about September 1 2010. And that's when I got my paperwork, and I was legal to do business, the concept. And my, one of my big mistakes, there are several, but one of my biggest mistakes was I wasn't thinking big enough. I wanted to solve a really big problem and thought, okay, me at my kitchen table, you know, and I use this term, and I hate the term now. But at the time, my mom job. And I started giving work away and figuring it out. And I very much believed and believe that when it comes to securing earned media that there there wasn't a good solution. And I I gave work away and worked with nonprofits and try to figure out what would step one be and what would stem to be how could you scale a solution to this problem? We now have we call that usability we've trademarked it we that's what we use every day. It was but again, me by myself for a year just figuring it out. And within a year, it became clear that there was a need, the solution was effective. And people wanted my solution. And at that point, employee one came into the picture. And she's still with the company. Oh, wow. And it was she and I met for coffee. She heard me speak. And we have similar backgrounds to some degree. And she sent me an email at midnight, after I met her. I never was thinking employees, I thought we were just talking about, you know, where do you take your kids to the doctor, she just moved to town. And she sent me an email and said, I need to I think I'm supposed to work for you.

Kristi Piehl 5:50

Oh, wow. Like Yes, employees, all my problems are solved. Not really

Jenna Redfield 5:56

I always say sometimes more employees means more management. Yeah, it kind of changes your role. Really.

Kristi Piehl 6:01

Absolutely. And that's I think the trick of, you know, running a, having the concept to start a company and then running the company is I have to evolve and be a head of the company, even though the person I am leading the company, when I was by myself is very different than the person I am now. And we're almost 30 people and we have a plan to 50 people and beyond. So it's that constant evolution. And making sure that I'm one step ahead. And having the wisdom that if I'm not the right person to step away to kind of outsource that part. So what was it? So what was your role at the beginning? What was her role? What did you offshoot to her right away? Sure. So my role was finding clients, so I was out having conversations and getting new clients. And she was taking the process that I had developed in the first year and doing it again and again and again and making it work.

Jenna Redfield 6:53

And then from there, how fast did that grow, adding on new employees?

Kristi Piehl 6:58

Sure, within the first year, so she was a part time employee. Within 18 months, we had our first full time employee, she's also still with the company, we tried a few kind of offshoots. We tried video production, realized that there's people that do that very well. And that went away. We did paid ads for a while realized that wasn't something that we should be doing either, because we're we're really good at this. This one thing focus on the fly will get the flywheel. Yeah. So it was we just quickly grew. And within two years, we were at 12 people.

Jenna Redfield 7:29

Oh, wow. That's amazing. And I think a lot of people, you know, have to decide if they want to be like a one person, you know, business or scale that way. So what was it because you wanted to grow? Like in terms of what you offer? Or what was the reasoning behind? Besides staying just a one person, it was just like, you had too much work almost right.

Kristi Piehl 7:52

You know, I think that for me, and I've thought a lot about this over time, because I keep asking myself the same question, which is why? Why did I start this? Why am I doing this? Why am I still doing? Because it isn't just to grow. It isn't about I didn't start it, you know, to make a lot of money that that wasn't that wasn't my Why? My why was because there's a better way. And initially it was there's a better way to help people. And now I believe that my there's a better way has two prongs. One is to help people, we have a better solution. And we have small businesses $2 billion brands that believe that and have trust us with their business. But also I believe there's a better way to have workplace culture. And that's the second and newer part of my purpose. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 8:39

your vision and your mission. And I think that's really cool. Because a lot of people do it just for the money. You know, and I think having a vision and more of a reason why is so important to every small business. And I think that's something you've almost probably helped some of your clients figure out to with their messaging.

Kristi Piehl 8:57

Absolutely. Because if it was about the money would have given up a long time ago, I mean, there you know, months where you don't take any pay, where you put everything back into the business, it could suck your soul, because if you want to make money go work for someone else, because you're gonna get a paycheck every other week or every week. If you I recently just spoke to hundreds of teenagers who are interested in business and, and it was entrepreneurship and I believe that being an entrepreneur entrepreneur means that you're willing to risk almost anything to do your dream. The do piece is very important. You have to do the dream. A lot of people have dreams.

Jenna Redfield 9:35

Yeah, I think that's the biggest difference between someone who's sitting there wanting to do something and someone actually doing something. I've been talking about this a lot lately.

Kristi Piehl 9:42

Absolutely. And there's being an entrepreneur is a wiring it isn't. It isn't a degree it isn't a desire, it's a wiring you, you either Are you are and it's not better or worse. It it just is and, and being a business owner is different than being entrepreneur, being a franchise owner is different than being an entrepreneur, having your whole makeup business different than being an entrepreneur. You know, I told the kids that I was speaking to if if you own 100, McDonald's, and you are not able to paint the artist pink, you're not an entrepreneur, you're half being a business owner is a fabulous, a fabulous life. It just is different than being an entrepreneur.

Jenna Redfield 10:23

Yeah, the way that I feel. Yeah, I agree. And I think that there are those confusions. And even when I'm talking I'm like, is this we know which ones which like, I feel like a lot of it was social media. Now it's kind of made it merged in a way like bloggers are now you know, self employed, and like, there's all these different terms. And it's like, wait, what am I you know, the label is hard, because it's like, you know, I don't know, I just I struggle with that personally, because I'm like, people are like, what do you do? And I'm like, maybe like 100 things? Hey, how do I describe myself in a way? That makes sense. But for you, because you have this agency? I feel like it's clear what you are, you know it to the agency.

Kristi Piehl 11:03

Yeah, I'm the business owner, but also the entrepreneur that's constantly wanting to invent and create and disrupt. That just is who I am at my core.

Jenna Redfield 11:14

That's so cool. So let's talk a little bit about the business in terms of what you guys do. The biggest thing I was on your website, and I love the idea of crisis management, because I haven't had anyone on the podcast talk about that. What is that? And what kind of scenarios do companies get in that need crisis management? Sure. It's a great question. And I have to be careful, because some of the things we've handled I can't talk about, but I'll talk the general Yeah, don't just think of someone else maybe that you'd hadn't worked with.

Kristi Piehl 11:42

So, for example, this is a bad example, because it's too public. And a lot of people ask me, would you work with the president and know that because there's constantly crisis happening there with with tweets, but I, in general, oftentimes companies have or individuals have things happened to them that they didn't intend sometimes it's, they use the wrong word in a tweet. Sometimes, you know, build a bear a year ago was in crisis, and we did not help them. And I did some media talking about what I thought they should have done. But they created this, you know, high demand for a bear they had these huge lions all throughout the malls, and kids were walking away and being turned being told that they couldn't have the bear. So it turned into this, like, you know, 24 hour big crisis where suddenly there's someone wants answers. And in this age of social media, it's no longer a news cycle. So when I got into, you know, news, it was there's a new cycle. So let's wait and see what happens tomorrow morning. Yeah, can't wait anymore. You can go to sleep as a company, and you can wake up and have a bazillion, you know, tweets that you did something wrong. So companies have to react to crisis's. And it's all about making sure that there is some kind of statement, you know, no comment is a comment. And as trained journalists, we all in the office really understand that you can say a lot of things without admitting guilt, you can say a lot of things. Because when a crisis happens, people have a right to know. And social media has allowed. You know, I use this quite frequently. Delta, for example, yeah, if I'm sitting on an airplane, and there's a baby screaming ahead of me, someone brought in an emotional support peacock, someone spilled coffee on me, I could I can easily start tweeting at Delta. And I expect, and I use it as a collective population. I expect some, some someone to tell me something, someone to fix it. And back, you know, 15 years ago, you would never think that same experience happens. And I'm going to call the CEO. But now with Twitter, you can have access to people in a different way. So crisis has changed. It's more fast paced. It's so critical. And almost every crisis can be not not always been positive, but can certainly be mitigated. So we work with crisis clients, sometimes they call us in the middle of something terrible happen. Sometimes it's okay, we want you to come in and tell us what our threats are. Tell us what we need to be thinking about looking at and give us a plan. It's so important for companies to have outside relationships with agencies prior to the crisis, it's really hard to come in, and we do it, you know, nice to meet you. What's your crisis? Yeah, let us help you, as opposed to, hey, we already know you. I know what your threats and concerns are. Now we can make this a little more positive. So we've dealt with it in all different ways. But it's social media has really revved it up.

Jenna Redfield 14:43

I mean, social media is our bread and butter at times is collected that's like a lot. And I'm always afraid of that of a crisis. So I think a lot of people are a little bit almost scared to say certain things we did. Two weeks ago, our episode was about political correctness and making sure that it like, you know, you got to say the right thing, or people will get upset. What has like you said, it's changed over time. What is what does that look like now?

Kristi Piehl 15:08

People have access, and there are two anyone had to almost everyone. And there are folks who enjoy starting crisis, which is new, and, and yet, there are always options to respond. And I think there's still this mindset of maybe if we say nothing, it will go away. And what we've seen is they don't go

Jenna Redfield 15:31

away. They used to, they used

Kristi Piehl 15:33

to go maybe away a little bit, but no longer if if there's a small crisis. Odds are if you don't deal with it, it will be a big crisis.

Jenna Redfield 15:43

Yeah. And I think that that that speed to is a huge part you just mentioned with Twitter and stuff. So how, I guess I know, this is probably what you teach. But what's the just the first step? Do you you know, get your team together? Are you you know, decide on? Which direction like how to people decide what to say, you know, depending on the issue.

Kristi Piehl 16:03

Sure there, if it's something that is of a legal in nature, we don't want to work unless there's a lawyer in the room. Interesting. Because taking there's a big difference between saying I'm really sorry that this happened, and this was our fault. And there are legal ramifications. And I'm not a lawyer. Yeah. So have a lawyer nearby. Generally speaking, yeah. But most companies don't have that level of public crisis. Oftentimes, it's what you're talking about the the person who starts trolling and tweeting, and what do I do? And there are ways to respond and and most people don't feel like you do. Thank you for your input. And we're done. I think there's also this mistake that I see a lot of people make is they feel like they have to keep responding. you respond once and just because they say something that doesn't mean you have to say anything, start a dialogue, don't start a dialogue, you're going to lose anyway. No need Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 16:58

I think that's happening me before and accomplished comments on Instagram, someone comments, something and it that maybe has a negative spin. And I know and I think it same with even like reviews on, you know, Yelp or something, it's like, as, for me, I'm at more impressed if the owner comments and actually addresses it, because I think that's the biggest mistake a lot of people make is they just leave it. And that's what you said that no comment, like, that's almost worse than just saying something publicly like, and again, the the apology part is, is hard, because it's like, you don't want to MIT fault either. So hot, like, do you tell people just don't say I'm sorry? Like, what? What are the words in that situation?

Kristi Piehl 17:35

I think there's always an acknowledgement of how the other person is feeling. And oftentimes people say things or do things and that is not their intention. So to say that was not our intention, and always to make it right. You know, if you're a business that sells something, and, and someone comes in and makes a complaint, or you know, I ordered a I ordered my coffee, and it was around, you know, some people can really go on tirades about things. And it's oftentimes it's very simple. Even if you can't make it right for them. Other people are watching. So if it's that coffee issue, and you say, I'm so sorry that, you know, I apologize that that happened, because you can apologize for it happening without admitting fault. I apologize that that happened. That is not aligned with our whatever your insert your key message, value, mission standards, excellence, whatever. And please DM me and will and will make it right, yeah. Now everyone else who sees that knows that you care you listen, because that's what you want. People want to be heard. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 18:30

I think that's so true. And I think it's hard when you can't fix everything, and no one's perfect, you know, to and I think that that's an issue a lot of people like it stresses them out is, you know, maybe it's not under my control, too. It's one of my employees, or it's I used to work for a moving company. And I was the social media person, and I would get all these reviews, good or bad about something I can't control, which was the movers,

Kristi Piehl 19:00

for example. So I'm like apologizing, because I'm like, I don't have anything to do with that. But it was a taking effect on me, you know, and then reflects on the company. Yeah, one of the reasons that we started the new line of service on social media, for CEOs and business executives just called pop, which is positive online presence, okay? Is because I read a stat and Forbes at 44% of a company's valuation is attributed to the persona of the CEO, oh, interest, 44% of a company's valuation is crazy, right? That's a lot. That's a lot. However, it makes sense. We know that more and more people are making their buying decisions based on you know, Twitter and based on a company's perception, and people are saying, hey, this happened to me, I'm not doing business there anymore. It's, it's, it's a new way of thinking from a consumer. And the time for a CEO or a business executive or a leader to deal with a crisis and to deal with social media is not in the middle of a crisis. If you have a positive social media persona, it's like armor during a crisis. Because if you have a body of work on the internet that says, gosh, they're donating to charity, and they're kind to their employees, and you have five star reviews, and then something crisis like happens, it looks like a one off. If someone has no footprint, or they don't own their story, and then something negative happens. It appears publicly that that's who they are. So you're allowing a crisis to define you. And the time to do hard crisis work is

way before any crisis and to be in that

Jenna Redfield 20:30

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I think the biggest thing a lot of maybe celebrities are afraid of is, you know, you Google someone. And if they were in the news or something negative happened, that's the entire front page, you know, and that can affect your, you know, people googling you for resumes or you know, finding a job. So is there any way that like, so if you're doing all of this positive presence beforehand, does that help negate if some story comes out, you know, the search results?

Kristi Piehl 22:16

Totally, oftentimes, and we have clients that have hired us for this exact reason is that they feel like you know, they were staying kind of quiet in the press and or publicly, not talking about the things they were doing. And then something negative happens and it completely overtakes their SEO, you know, their search. Yeah. So if you have an ongoing regular social media presence, oftentimes your Twitter, your LinkedIn, those feeds are showing up on the first page. And that's content that is from you. So people can see your heart. I often I often talk about the CEO of TMobile, who probably is the best and most well known CEO on social media, he does an amazing job. And if you google him, and his name is john, and if you go john ledger, if you if you google him, you can see a whole bunch of his social media things coming up. And there's negative things when he runs a huge company and involved with a buyout and all these things. That's on that's lower. So what you first see about him is what he wants you to see about them, which is credit. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield 23:17

And I think buying like I always say buy your name as a domain. Totally. Because then that's usually one of the first things that comes up. And you control that. And I think that that's so important, because image and the way that you kind of are putting yourself out there is so important, and I don't think people think about it enough, because it's just how our world works. Now on the internet, it you know,

Kristi Piehl 23:37

so many people, especially folks of certain age groups believe that, well, I can't have any control. It's not fair. But that's, that's not true. You can control your own story. You can control your message. It takes work. Yeah. And it takes intentionality. And it takes strategy. But absolutely, you can control it. And when I think about social media, think about it as the only kind of media out there that no one is betting. Because if you think about, you know, in my business, radio, and podcasting, and you know, you're sitting here Yeah, if I say something that isn't true, you can call me out. Now social media, I can put out there what I want. Now other people may call me out, right. And I'm not saying to use social media for lying at all, what I'm saying is, you can put it out there and it's not being controlled, that edge checked. And again, I'm not saying but you can put out what you want to put out. And, and it's yours to own.

Jenna Redfield 24:36

And that's why I love it is because there is a freedom to it where you don't have to go through many hands or, you know, have to do certain things. I don't know, I just I love the freedom. And I don't ever lie, obviously either on internet, it's definitely something where I I feel like my and I try not to be too opinionated either. I think that sometimes people build their brands off of their opinions. Sometimes I'm just like, this is the facts, you know, and I think everyone does it differently. So So let's talk a little bit about the other things that you said earned media. And then what was the other three? So it was crisis management earned media and positive online positive social Oh, so we're just talking about Yes. So so do people use all three? Or is do they usually come to you for one thing?

Kristi Piehl 25:20

More and more, we're seeing companies come to us wanting to or all three? Okay, we have some clients that want just one. Okay. We have some clients who come to us just for messaging. And you mentioned messaging and knowing, you know, the reason I think that social media scares people and messaging in general is that you have to get really clear on the two or three or four or five things you want to be known for. And we talked about, you know, what media minefield does is, we make you famous in a good way. And it's, it's knowing who you are, who your company is what you want to be known for. And then really focusing on that, because we all have folks that we follow on, whether it's social media or wherever, wherever, and we're talking about recipes, and we're talking about kids, and they were talking about work. And you know, it's just, that's too much. Now, what do you want to be known for? What's your key message? What's your point of view, and stick within that realm, generally speaking, because I see people going off track when they don't know their key messages, businesses and people,

Jenna Redfield 26:17

I recently did that on my own Instagram, I was talking about too many things. And I am the kind of person where I have a lot of interest. And so it's like, for me, I'm like, No, I need to scale back. Because people come they don't realize what when I do, you know, because I'm talking about all these other things. So I think that's so important for every business or even an individual personal brand.

Kristi Piehl 26:37

Is it mostly like businesses that come to you? Or is it even sometimes individuals, it's both oftentimes it's a company, but sometimes it's an executive who says, or an executive team who says, We don't know how to get this person's message out there. And sometimes it's because they want, they're thinking about their next move. Sometimes they're thinking about a business sale, sometimes is legacy, it's time now to think about being on a board. And therefore you have to have the right online presence. I do know some folks that have been interested in a very public very high profile board work. And they've been said, there's not enough out there about you, because this is how people find information. Sure. So it's really at kind of for some folks who are who haven't been comfortable in social media, reinventing themselves and telling their story. But we either get a company coming to us and saying, gosh, we've got this great communications team, but they don't understand earned media. And we really need some fantastic news coverage, so that we can, what's the take action step, sell the company, have more people buy our product, have more people know about us, whatever it might be. And then we have other folks come to us as as an individual person and say, help. This isn't what I want to put out to the world. And I don't know how to tell my story. And and executives are overwhelmed. It is completely overwhelming. Who has time? Yeah. To know, the time of day you should be posting and how many times you should be posting and the hashtags? Yeah. Because it without strategy. Yeah. And the other thing about social media and businesses in general is that if you're going to be out there, you have to be engaged, to go out there and make posts and then to not comment or lie, or that's almost worse, because it feels like you're ignoring.

Jenna Redfield 28:21

I totally agree. And I think that, you know, I thought I think about this all the time. I mean, social media is kind of my life. And I think a lot of people tell me, I was talking to people in the last few weeks. They're just like, I hate social media. And I'm like,

Kristi Piehl 28:34

like, there's so much good on it. I think they're afraid of the bad. And I think that's kind of what your company shows both sides. It's getting rid of the bad and focusing on the good. So how, how do we sort of shift into that positive mindset of social media? Like this is a tool that is powerful in a good way? Absolutely. It's just like so many other things. It's all about what you choose to spend your time looking at. Certainly, we just I've had some, you know, mass shootings, it's horrible. There's websites, they're involved, where you can find all sorts of hate dialogue and social media. However, if you don't go to those websites, and look at that social media, you don't see it. So you control your Google search, you control what you're reading and looking at, you control who you follow. And it's just like, in real life, you know, you want to build your tribe. And yeah, put people around you who make you better. Do the same on social. If your social media is people who make you feel bad.

Jenna Redfield 29:30

Yeah, unfollow them, and follow them. Yeah,

Kristi Piehl 29:33

them you have the power, you can use the tool for good. And there are rabbit holes. Absolutely. So it's really important to set guidelines and timeframes. And I find myself doing it. Oh, look, there's someone I went to high school with. Look, they've got a grandkid look at wow, you know, and what were to 10 minutes ago, that was a waste of my time. So it's about, you know, controlling what you're looking at and how you're using the tool.

Jenna Redfield 29:55

Yeah, I agree. boundaries, is what we are, I'm soaking, because we're gonna be doing a series on the podcast on mental health and social media and how to like, not go what we just talked about, like going down those rabbit holes where you wear it, then it affects you emotionally, mentally, because I think that is a bigger issue than we're willing to talk about. Everyone's on their phones all the time. And just it like how does that affect us as people, you know, because it changes how we, you mentioned that something that I want to mention is, is people can kind of also then create their opinions based off of what they look at. And I do think that affects politics. And all of these things is, you know, Google can tell what you like, and then they send you more things. How have you seen that affect people over time to

Kristi Piehl 30:40

it's it's so interesting, because when I was in news, when I was a reporter, we didn't go on the air and say, ever report anything that we saw someone else reporting first. So we didn't go on and say, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, blah, blah, blah, we went and tried to vet that get the Associated Press to vet it. And now you see, not just local, you see national news reporting, you know, TMC just reported blah, blah, blah, now that would have never happened, and I get why it's happening. And I'm not blaming media, there's it has to be faster, they have to, they have to stay above a head of social media. When these news, big news that stories happen oftentimes at someone with the phone, because in this day and age, everyone's a reporter. And you have to think like that. It's someone with a phone, who gets the best video gets the best interview gets the whatever. But this fact gathering cycle has changed. And there are a lot of things on social media that look like it's legitimate news, but has never been fact check. And it's so important to understand what your what kind of news you're watching, consuming content, what kind of content you're getting, and what the what the position is. Now, yeah, there's bias out there all day long. I encourage everyone get the other side, just so that you can be a little bit more informed. If you watch, if you came to the US and for one week watched Fox News, you would leave the US believing one thing. And if you came here and watch CNBC, you would think something completely different. Now, they are living in the you know, they're consuming content in the same country. Yeah, if they were watching both of those, or watching even the social media posts of both of those, they might have a little bit more balance, or at least be interested in seeing the other side. So people have a right to their opinions. Absolutely. However, it's so important to understand if what you're watching is opinion or news. And personally, I think we're kind of things went awry. And people's in the consumers mind is, as soon as radio and TV and newspapers started presenting and putting their I'll use an example from TV, because that's my background, you know, these opinion shows on a new set. So we're used to seeing, you know, back in the day, Walter Cronkite, like these, you know, journalists sitting behind these news desk, and it looks a certain way, and that's our brain is letting us know, like this is News. Now, when you put someone who does opinion in the same visual setting it your brain thinks this is News, but it's an opinion. So nothing wrong with opinion. But we have to understand the filter through which we view the world

Jenna Redfield 33:19

that is so, so important. And I think, you know, like that, it's just so I never thought of it that way. Because I think a lot of like, I go to the gym, and I see cnn on one station, and I see fox news on the other. And I'm like, they are completely different. And it's just so interesting that you know, and sometimes people just tune out the other one. And they don't, they don't look at both sides, or they're the only follow certain people or they only follow this issue. And it's just it's I think that's what's causing a lot of the friction in our in our country right now. And so many people are surrounded by people who think just like they do.

Kristi Piehl 33:55

Yeah, that's dangerous as well. Yeah, you know, it's important to have people in your circles who are younger, then you an older than you and different background and diversity and all these different things, because it does make you think differently. And to see the world through someone else's lens doesn't mean you have to agree with

Jenna Redfield 34:09

it. Yeah.

Kristi Piehl 34:10

But we have to get to a point in the country where we can have conversations without attacking each other.

Jenna Redfield 34:16

I agree. And I think traveling to is another important thing is to see other places because I I was in Minnesota for the last two years, I hadn't traveled in a year and a half, and I went to Boston and I like couldn't believe, like coming back, it felt weird, because I was like I've been gone. And then I look at Minnesota differently. Where I live, I'm like, I felt like almost like a tourist in my own city looking at it in a different light. And it was really interesting to me. But I think that's that's so I just is such an interesting topic I wanted to talk about for so long, because I'm like, it's not like I'm saying I'm one side of the other. It's looking at both sides and seeing kind of why people think certain ways and kind of getting your own opinion based off of that not just one person's or one side's opinion, you know,

Kristi Piehl 34:57

and social media has allowed us to consume content with all people who agree with us. And that's or it also allows us to attack people who we disagree with. And it has caused a lot of friction. And, you know, knowing it all starts right with knowing your own key message, knowing what your identity is, what your messaging is, and then making sure that you're out there and surrounding yourself with people who make you better for not make your work. Yeah, I agree. So and that's interesting, because you're the name of your company. It's kind of sort of along those lines. So how did you come up with that name? Sure, I was in that class. Initially, I've I've always for years and years said that media is a minefield, if used Well, you can move forward. And if you step on, you make a wrong move, you can blow up your brand. And the concept of media minefield is that we are the navigators, we have the map, we know where the minds are, we will help you navigate through, whether that's a crisis, whether that's through wanting your brand to be known more whether whatever it may be, but it's the concept that media should not be taken lightly. And it should not be done without strategy. And it's much like a landmine and that you can walk in something and not mean to. And you've got a lot of a lot of damage. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 36:19

that is I love that because it's such a visual way to show exactly what media is. So before you go, let's ask one last question. If someone wants to start a company, what is the first step would you say if someone maybe is just sitting in their house, and they're just like, I have an idea for a business. And I want to get started, what's the first thing that you would do?

Kristi Piehl 36:41

The first step is to see if your idea is valid, which means people will pay for it. So making sure that you go from I have an idea to Okay, I have something that I can sell, I can whatever our service, whatever it might be, but really, people that spend lots and lots of time talking about it and talking about it or all this money in something, and then they get to the marketplace and nobody wants it anyway. Yeah. It's figure out first, if someone wants to buy it, if no one wants to buy it. You don't? You should go to your next idea.

Jenna Redfield 37:15

Yeah, for sure. There's a book called will it fly by Pat Flynn that I have? And it's that's exactly what the books about, it's like, will it? Will it work in the marketplace? And I think that a lot of people in our Ellis, especially in like in our Facebook group, they have an idea. And then they launch it, and it's like crickets, you know, and they do everything, right. They do all the marketing, right. But it's, it's not needed, or, you know, people just are, maybe they're not ready for it yet the market isn't, you know, and spend a lot of time on Google, you know, I,

Unknown Speaker 37:43


Kristi Piehl 37:45

am one of the founding members of DePaul University's women and entrepreneurship Institute, and it's supporting and researching, you know, why are women women entrepreneurs not succeeding at the same rate as men? And what how can we help them in those types of things. And oftentimes, that someone has a really good idea, they're really passionate about it. And then they get to launch and they haven't thought of some really critical thing. So you know, who in your who in your circle can encourage and help make it better? And if someone says, Don't do it, without, without giving you a reason, they're not they shouldn't be in your tribe, right? I think often if I had had the idea for media minefield, and I called my husband who was away at the time, and said, I have I'm going to start a company. Had he not said, great. I don't know what would have happened. Yeah. So it's about having people around you who can make your idea better, and who will support you, and then going out and doing it. You can iterate and iterate and iterate. You're never going to just like never the perfect time to have a baby. Never the perfect time to start a company. It's going to keep getting better. Yeah, perfect. God. Gotta start. Gotta go.

Jenna Redfield 38:49

I agree. And I think that a lot of people, they ask advice from people who haven't done it, too, right. I when I first started a lot of the people in my circle, we're not entrepreneurs. And now I only ask other entrepreneurs, certain certain questions, you know, and then those there's other questions to ask potential buyers, you know, there's a lot of different. So it's kind of knowing Yeah, who to ask and what questions to ask. I think that's a really, really good tip, because I think a lot of people they struggle with unsupportive families and unsupportive friends so it kind of stifles them and actually pursuing it. And so just maybe finding a new group of people to be around find your tribe find your tribe. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. How do we find you on social media and online?

Kristi Piehl 39:34

Sure, Kristi Piehl at I'm on LinkedIn, and Instagram and Facebook and Peele is spelled PIEHL Kristi starts with the KA ends with an eye and at media minefield. It's media hyphen minefield on

Jenna Redfield 39:48

on the web, and all of my links are there. Awesome.