Happy anniversary to PJPR!

Many people ask me how Liza and I met.  And since you probably don’t know that this month is her one-year anniversary of starting Payne Jones Public Relations, I thought this would be a good time to tell that story here.


While I was living and working in Charlotte, I came down to Greenville to interview for a position as public relations supervisor at Erwin-Penland.  Liza, also a PR supervisor, was looking for someone to work with, share ideas on how to grow the public relations department, manage junior- to mid-level staff members and pursue new business opportunities. 


We got along great and I was really excited to join the team…Liza was seven months pregnant so we thought it would be good timing for me to join EP, shadow her for a few weeks and learn the ropes so I would be “up to speed” when she had her baby…Flash forward to July 2006 – I moved to Greenville on a Sunday, started work on a Monday and Liza had her baby that Monday evening.  I didn’t even get to spend ONE DAY with Liza!  Talk about being baptized by fire.   What do they say about the best laid plans??? 


At the end of six very long weeks, Liza finally came back to EP and we made plans on how we would start off exactly where we left when I had interviewed a couple months before.  However, like many mothers, she found it challenging to juggle the responsibilities with being a first-time-mom while working 40+ hours in an agency environment without a lot of flexibility to schedule in doctor’s appointments, daycare activities, etc. 


So, on April 19, 2007 she said goodbye to EP and started her own venture, Payne Jones Public Relations.  I was very happy for her but really bummed I didn’t have my “partner in crime” at work anymore. 


Three months later, she supported me in my decision to go out on my own, as well.  I owe Liza a lot of things – she brought me down here to Greenville so I could be closer to my boyfriend (who is now my husband), she supported me when I was unsure if I could be successful on my own, and she is a really great friend and colleague who I can share successes and also vent to her when I need to.


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 50 percent of small businesses fail after the first year!  I just wanted to give props to Liza for making it a whole year – she’s still going strong – and wish her much success for many years to come!  Happy One-Year Anniversary to Payne Jones PR!  Where is the cake?







  1. If Liza and Kim are partners in crime, I guess that makes me the warden. I had the good fortune to oversee their work at Erwin-Penland, and I couldn’t be any more pleased for them and proud of all they’ve accomplished as independent practitioners. Congratulations on a great first year, Liza, and best of luck to both of you as you continue to blaze new trails.

    Barry Finkelstein
    Greenville, S.C.

  2. I think I speak for both Kim and myself when I say we couldn’t have done this without the support we received from Barry. He was, and continues to be, a great mentor. Thanks for the kind words, Barry.

  3. Happy #1…whats one thing you will do different in your business during year 2?

    I really enjoy the blog, you and Kim are doing a great job.

  4. Thanks, Rick! We hope it’s fun and insightful at the same time. Year two? All about keeping the new business pipeline full, while keeping existing clients happy. It’s been a great first year and I’m so happy I’ve had the opportunity to explore the small business realm. Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Wow! Congratulations!!

    Of course I just have to lament that the SBA is still making that claim about 50% of businesses failing in the first year… If they hadn’t drummed that into my head, I would have tried “going solo” a long time ago!!

    I’m so glad we have you two as an example to follow!

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