Downtime: Community relations govt lures new business enterprise by way of fishing

Brian Chandler with a capture beneath the Mayo Bridge. (Image courtesy of Brian Chandler)

When Brian Chandler sought to hook a few much more clients for his small business, the community relations practitioner naturally went to a pair of his beloved pastimes: boating and fishing.

“I stated I actually would like to get started to get some organization in the maritime, boating and fishing market, just considering, ‘OK, I like to do those items how great would it be to operate in the market as nicely?’” recalled Chandler.

“We now had a reliable Virginia/Mid-Atlantic guide of enterprise. My brain went to we could increase the business even much more if I’m able to do do the job in a enthusiasm that I know and I can discuss intelligently about,” he reported.

A ten years later, Chandler’s firm, Commonwealth PR, has recognized a customer base that consistently consists of maritime businesses, boat makers, constitution fishing companies and identical enterprises. Clients in excess of the a long time have involved American Sportfishing Association (ASA), Barker Boatworks, BoatUS, Sea Tow, Shakespeare Marine and Sportsman Boats.

Brian Chandler at the Collect coworking place in Quick Pump, wherever his Commonwealth PR firm is presently dependent. (Jonathan Spiers picture)

He’s also had a hand in the business by itself, doing work with ASA on Senate passage of the federal Modern day Fish Act. And earlier this yr, he was appointed to the board of administrators for countrywide association Maritime Marketers of The usa.

This sort of involvements have rubbed off on his own fishing and boating pursuits, which Chandler reported in change has introduced him to equally a specialist network and a fishing neighborhood in Richmond.

“I surely am more well-informed now about distinctive things with the industry — the engines, the boat managing or piloting, circumstances. For me, that has built me a safer boater,” he claimed. “Over the final six several years, we’ve possibly labored with fifty percent a dozen clients in the field and some of them are nonetheless total-time shoppers that we get the job done with today.”

It all begun when Chandler determined to blend get the job done and enjoyment soon after sitting in on a seminar on aiding shoppers with social media. He explained he walked away from it wanting to up his have on the internet existence with a qualified exertion to attractiveness to the maritime marketplace.

Brian Chandler has merged his boating and fishing pursuits into his general public relations function. (Images courtesy of Brian Chandler)

“I transformed my profile to say: ‘My tweets are 50-50 general public relations/internet marketing and saltwater fishing and boating,” he said. “Literally overnight, I more than doubled my adhering to.”

He also commenced pursuing some of all those corporations on Twitter, together with business large National Maritime Makers Association, which happened to be on the lookout to seek the services of a PR agency to enable advertise a particular watercraft protection marketing campaign for a sister affiliation.

“We responded to their RFP, and alternatively of our usual accommodate-and-tie and official

photos for headshots, I had a image of me holding a huge purple drum (fish) and had the group mail in images of them out on the h2o,” he mentioned. “They responded and stated, ‘We adore your proposal, it was surely done with our business in head,’ and landed that account. From there, phrase started off to spread.”

The Virginia indigenous bought his begin flyfishing on streams and has since ventured into saltwater fishing.

These days, his five-human being firm’s shopper roster consists of two entire-time maritime consumers, as very well as many others that simply call on the firm routinely for deal get the job done. Irrespective of the firm’s inland spot, Chandler explained enterprises in fishing warm spots these as Florida and California are recurrent amid them.

“We hear from them that they ended up a little skeptical at very first of this PR business in Richmond knowing about their industry. But soon after five minutes of having a discussion with me, they say, ‘He’s received it. He understands what we’re making an attempt to do and is aware of our industry quite well.’ That’s been really neat to get that opinions.”

Lifted in Dublin in southwestern Virginia, Chandler, 47, commenced fishing and flyfishing on close by streams and at nearby Claytor Lake Condition Park. In higher education, the Emory & Henry alum claimed he commenced venturing into saltwater fishing with a buddy who had a boat in South Carolina.

Right now, the married father of two mostly fishes on shore although he explained he does some off shore fishing as perfectly. He owns a 20-foot Crucial West fishing boat that he can take out into the Chesapeake Bay, and in Richmond, he typically hits up well-liked fishing places along the James River beside the floodwall and the Mayo Bridge, where he mentioned he’s turn out to be portion of a fishing local community.

Brian Chandler’s beloved fishing spots in Richmond include the riverbank across from downtown.

Noting other locals who obtain to catch striper and shad that head upriver to Richmond from the bay in the spring, Chandler said, “They’re a team of fellas that go down ideal at the floodwall, proper at the 14th Road bridge, and it is like a group. They share suggestions we information each individual other, like, ‘The bite’s on today!’

“They’ll do campfires and prepare dinner clean fish appropriate there on the lender of the James. There’s seriously a neat tightknit group right here in Richmond when it will come to the stripers and the shad, and now the smallmouth bass you can catch at Pony Pasture.”

Whilst he’s found ways to integrate fishing into his do the job, Chandler reported it also delivers him a substantially-needed crack from his every day grind.

“It’s just an possibility for me to get absent from the working day-to-working day routines of work and life and be out in mother nature,” he claimed. “Whether you’re on a boat or you’re on the lender fishing, it just will help you settle your self and brings peace and steadiness.”

This is the hottest installment in our Downtime collection, which focuses on company people’s pursuits outside the house of the business. If you, a coworker or somebody you know around town has a distinctive way of passing time off the clock, submit recommendations to [email protected] For prior installments of Downtime, click right here.