Blogs  / April 15, 2014

AirPR & YEC team up to increase PR opportunities for entrepreneurs

by Rebekah Iliff

Editor’s Note:

This blog post is touting a partnership AirPR has recently launched to promote the benefit of our Marketplace. So, yes, we are going to talk about ourselves.

But I think it’s relevant to where the PR industry is going (content marketing, publication partners, branded content, etc.) plus we interviewed the co-founder of our partner organization, and he has some VERY interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on, after the jump!


AirPR has joined forces with the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to create a partnership that helps companies and entrepreneurs elevate their visibility, extend their network and capitalize on additional PR opportunities. Talk about win/win/win situation!

We’re amped to work with YEC because they are incredible resource for media opportunities, thought leadership positioning, mentorship and brand building. And as a referral partner, any clients who come through our Marketplace will have direct access to the YEC membership program – something usually reserved for those referred straight from another YEC member/entrepreneur.

The overarching goal of our partnership is to create a channel for the most press worthy companies to get media exposure and allow the PR pros who rep them to facilitate these opportunities on their behalf. In other words: “increasing PR performance” (hooray for dovetailing missions!).

I sat down with the Ryan Paugh, Co-Founder and COO of YEC, to chat about his remarkable organization and how it serves today’s uber busy, on-the-go entrepreneurs:

Rebekah Iliff: YEC has cultivated one of the most unique and elite business communities out there. Bravo, you! What was the impetus for the organization and how has the vision shifted (if at all) since its inception?

Ryan Paugh: Our goal with YEC has always been to ensure that young entrepreneurs never feel alone or struggle due to a lack of proper resources. Since our start back in 2010, we have matured a lot as a business, which has allowed us to make a bigger impact with that vision.

RI: Even entrepreneurs need cheerleaders. What is YEC creating this year in that you are particularly excited about?

RP: We want to be at the center of your entrepreneurial life. This year, we are focused on getting even smarter about how we connect our members with media and PR opportunities, business services, entrepreneurship resources, and each other. The real catalyst will be a combination of innovative technology and concierge-level support from our team. YEC members are some of the busiest people in the world so when it comes to taking advantage of their membership we want to make it as easy as possible by creating lots of touch points.

RI: Brilliant. Love the focus on efficiency and optimization. So, your organization is committed to constantly improving the startup ecosystem. Can you tell us where YEC is focusing to grow your already thriving community?

RP: In partnership with Junior Achievement (JA), we recently announced the launch of the largest peer-to-peer entrepreneurship effort in the nation to match entrepreneurs as volunteers and mentors for students through JA’s high school programs. Additionally, we launched a new online resource called StartupCollective that provides free business resources to aspiring entrepreneurs. All contributions are from YEC members who are established, successful business owners.

RI: YEC offers a tremendous amount of benefit to entrepreneurs. What offering in particular have you seen propel and elevate your members?

RP: One of the things that I believe we do better than other organizations is help our members share their story and build thought leadership in their industry. We have a skilled editorial staff that work with every member to create tip-based content for our 100+ media partners. The result for our members is that they start getting recognized as an expert in their field, which then arms their company with social recognition and growth opportunities.

I have watched our editorial staff receive everything from gift certificates to bottles of wine from our members because they are so happy with the results. So obviously it’s working.

RI: As a busy entrepreneur is can be difficult to juggle many responsibilities. How do you see YEC helping to lighten the load of entrepreneurs who are already stretched thin?

RP: Our program is designed to give everyone in YEC a high-touch experience. You can connect with a Member Concierge on our team for help with literally any business challenge you are having. They will help you find a solution to that problem either through a service we offer, through connecting you with one of our partners, or connecting you with another member for peer-to-peer advice.

RI: Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs is _________.

RP: Having the opportunity to help people with work ethic and vision achieve their goals. I wake up every day and not only get to work on my own business, but also make an impact on thousands of other businesses.

Well, there you have it: a stellar organization that lives to boost the visibility of burgeoning business minds. If you or any of your clients are interested in joining the YEC, please let us know: leta@airpr.com.