How Laura & Rebecca Joined Forces
How We Got Started in the PR Industry
We both started in the PR industry in Chicago working together at Elizabeth Berger Associates in 2003. We actually only worked together for about 8 months, but we connected instantly over our love of healthy eating, coffee and home workout DVDs! We had so much fun working together on clients such as Le Colonial, Sal & Carvao, SCOOZI!, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, Shaw’s Crab House and more. We parted ways as I left to start my own public relations agency, Bettie Bomb, and Laura began to work for other top PR agencies in Chicago. But we stayed close friends…weddings, showers, bachelorette parties, birthdays and now our kids birthday parties, we’ve remained in each other’s lives.
Over the years, especially after children, when the balance of PR agency life and kids was becoming very stressful for Laura, I would ask, “so when are you coming to work with me?” But I knew it was a huge jump for her with a lot of unknowns. I understood completely. I made the leap when I was a naïve 25 year old, before kids and when I thought I had “learned it all” at Elizabeth Berger Associates. I couldn’t have been more wrong, but I don’t regret my decision. I learned on my own along the way and it made me learn quicker!
How We Came To Work Together
15+ years, two husbands named Mike, five kids, three pups and MANY clients later, Laura called me on March 23, 2020 to tell me she had been let go due to COVID-19. She called me as a friend, to vent and just talk. We were talking about solutions, how crazy it was being home with the kids, e-learning and also, how I had been hit, losing over half of my clients. It was a stressful and scary time for so many people.
But this was what needed to happen. Laura had just had her third child and balancing three kids with agency life was becoming too much. Something needed to change. First, we started talking about her working with me while she found another permanent position. But by the end of the conversation, it turned into us working together as partners to grow the business. Even during the scariest time and dealing with the unknown of COVID-19, it was the first time Laura’s tone had changed when I asked the question. She was all in.
Over the next couple months, we balanced kids at home and e-learning with trying to reach out to potential clients and restructure Bettie Bomb. It was monumental, but exciting. It was a bright light during such an unnerving time. I took advantage of the downtime to focus on aspects of the business that I had wanted to for so long…but this time I had help! Since then we have built a new website, expanded our services, grown our client roster together and figured things out along the way. We’re focusing more on what we need to do as a business to promote ourselves better. Internally, we’re doing so much more work on positioning Bettie Bomb as a top boutique Chicago PR agency and we see it slowly paying off. I never focused on this area of growth before and it feels good.
We are currently making our partnership official as of January 1, 2021. Laura and I will be co-owners of Bettie Bomb, Inc! We’re excited to endeavor in creating one of the top public relations agencies in Chicago! I’ve done this for so long by myself and it’s amazing that I now get to share the responsibilities with someone else. We both have the same goals, work ethic and life balance. We love our professional lives and are great at what we do, but hands down, our families come first. So we do everything we can to make that work & life balance. I can’t believe what has happened since last March, but it has made us all stronger and ready to take on the future!