Randall launches public relations business
After losing her job as marketing director for the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce due to staff reductions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Carmen Randall decided to draw upon her experience to open a public relations business.
So in June, after people had approached her to help market their businesses, she launched Uwharrie Marketing Association. Her headquarters is inside Mathers Reality, 624 N. Main St., Oakboro, which is one of her clients.
Randall, who lives in Oakboro and is the only employee, works with businesses to enhance their visibility within the community, helping them to network with prospective customers and find ways to promote them and their products on social media. Some of the services include video spotlights, behind-the-scene explanations, educational videos and photos.
Uwharrie has around 35 clients, including the City of Albemarle. She is working with Albemarle to rebrand its public image which includes helping the city become more proactive in getting the word out on social media about upcoming events.
Other clients Randall has consulted include the City of Locust, Emricci Pizzeria, United Way of Stanly County and Quality Child Care Center. Many of the businesses she worked with during her time with Chamber are now clients with Uwharrie Marketing.
Uwharrie Marketing updates its Facebook and Instagram sites daily, often reposting content from its clients. One way Randall encourages people to share her posts is through Friday Free-for-All giveaways, where a certain business, which gets highlighted in a short video, donates a prize to a follower who comments on the video, shares it and tags three friends.
“It creates a snowball effect,” Randall said. “That kind of saved me from having to boost anything because it’s boosting itself.”
Much of her time is spent teaching businesses how to set up and manage social media accounts, including what to post and how often to post. Randall, for instance, recently helped the Albemarle Parks and Recreation set up its Instagram page.
“The great thing about Uwharrie Marketing is I’m able to personalize to each business or entity to help with what works for them,” Randall said.
She is still working to promote the company and meet with officials from the various municipalities.
“For me, it’s been great to have the support from the locals who’ve known me for years,” she said.
While it was a challenge to launch a new business during the pandemic, she said her drive to make it work has revealed to her that she’s even more passionate about helping local businesses than she thought.
Uwharrie Marketing’s early success gives her optimism for the future, once the pandemic is gone.
“If I’m able to maintain 30 members during a pandemic, then imagine what it would be like on a regular basis where you’ve got people that are able to afford that extra content.”