Brigitte Lyons

For Life on Purpose Episode #19, my guest is Brigitte Lyons, a media strategist with a passion for storytelling. Brigitte joins me to discuss the question, “What do you want to be known for?”, how we can answer that, and how it’s applicable to all areas of our lives.  We also talk about how PR, a bad word for some, can be used for good to promote businesses and causes you believe in.

About Brigitte Lyons:

Brigitte Lyons is a media strategist with a passion for storytelling. She founded B, the forward-thinking PR agency that she runs, after spending a decade working at traditional public relations agencies. She learned how a movement was organized from the ground-up, she battled a governor and won, and she worked with top tier media like CNN and Bloomberg.

Now she is relentless about helping forward-thinking organizations and individuals move people with their ideas, and she is obsessed with bringing public relations into the social era—especially the values of co-creation and continuous innovation.

To learn more about Brigitte and her work, visit:

BAbout B- the Forward-Thinking PR Agency:

We’re united by a shared love for mission-driven organizations, thought-provoking news outlets like NPR and Wired (Brigitte forgives Maggie her weakness for the TODAY show) and work-a-holic tendencies.


The simple truth is that the media wants to share your message, and our job is connecting you with the newspapers, TV stations, bloggers and magazines your audience trusts most.

We’ve got the chops and the traditional experience, but we’re also not afraid to push forward the conventions of our industry.


  • Public relations is more than just media outreach and ego placements. Our job is to support your chief initiative — whether it’s bringing in more revenue, reaching a new customer base, growing your email list, hitting the speaker’s circuit or igniting a movement.
  • Being territorial over results is counter-productive. Our public relations campaigns are fully integrated with your brand positioning and ongoing marketing efforts.
  • Today’s media is interconnected. Journalists get ideas from bloggers, news is broken on Twitter, and your fans just might be super users on Pinterest. As a result, our campaigns are holistic.
  • Sending out a press release to hundreds of reporters has a name, and it’s called spam. We’re a high-touch agency. We don’t just send out a press release and call it a day — we work hard to uncover what a particular reporter or blogger wants and deliver exclusive content that hits all the right notes.

Episode Summary:

In JUST the first 15 minutes of our in-depth conversation, Brigitte and I discussed:

  • Why ask the question, What do you want to be known for?”
  • “It’s kind of big and hairy! It’s so important because the answer to that can become the heart of your message. So as a PR person, I’m always thinking about how do you communicate effectively, how do you get your message out there. It can also be a pinnacle for the kinds of actions you take.”
  • Creating a framework to make that question easier to approach.
  • “One of the things that motivates me to break down these concepts is that even I struggle with them. I have this in common with my clients. I’m a big picture thinker; I’m very much that person who wants to push boundaries and who gets very passionate.”
  • Why is it so hard for people with multiple interests? HOW do we decide what to put out in the world?
  • “I can identify personally with that inclination. I’m a sometimes/wanna-be meditator; I’m really interested in mediation. I took a yoga teacher training course. And I like to study Buddhism. All of these things are personally interesting to me. And it’s so relevant to what your podcast is about. I could have very easily said, ‘I’d love to come and talk to you about how can you bring the qualities of ‘right speech’ into your business.’ But at the end of the day, that wouldn’t necessarily serve the kind of mission and legacy I want to leave in the world.”
  • The various connotations, good and bad, around the term public relations.
  • “I like to use a really simple definition of public relations, which is just getting the endorsement of the thought leaders, of the people that your audience already know, like, and trust. This could be anything from coming on a podcast and doing an interview about your work. Because your audience already know, like, and trust you, therefore they might be more receptive to my messages or it can be done though mainstream media. Getting a profile in the New York Times.”
  • “But I would argue that a lot of the things that fall under social media today are also in this PR realm. Anything from guest blogging to if you’re a business owner, doing a webinar hosted by somebody else. It’s all about getting your message out there using the outlets that are available to you.”
  • “There’s a lot of mystery shrouding the industry of public relations and how you can use this tool. PR isn’t something that itself is inherently good or bad. I think a lot of us are so used to seeing it used by organizations to spin things or to cover up things or to give out false apologies when they do things that are bad that we have this negative taste in our mouth when really we should have the negative taste for the culture of the organization.”
  • The democratization of media: “Every individual and organization out there who wants to bring about any sort of social change is up against a lot of obstacles. There are more media outlets than ever. We’re all competing for the attention of a populace who is increasingly distracted. We’re all being bombarded by messages. You can’t go to a bathroom in a restaurant without getting an ad on a screen. But instead of being down on that, we can also look at the fact that the opportunities have been democratized as well. There’s this incredible flow of information that’s out there. People can really tune into the causes that they’re interested in, the kind of information and media they’re interested in. So for almost no investment, businesses can use PR. It’s a free tool!”