How did I get here?

When I was growing up, I didn’t dream having a career in PR, if I am honest, I didn’t even know such a thing existed other than in the world of Absolutely Fabulous. When I was small, I had several dreams of what I would be which included:

Becoming a nun (I was about 8) – not because I was particularly religious but because I had a kid crush on Captain von Trapp from The Sound of Music. I don’t think wanting to marry a handsome man is reason to become a nun.

A heart and a lung surgeon (I was 11) – turns out I was ok at science (not great but ok) and biology was my best science but given I couldn’t really deal with any of the dissection stuff I doubt I would have been a success.

A lawyer – Not sure what prompted this desire.

I am sure if I spoke to my mum, she would have a full list of careers I had dreamt of. In the end I decided that I wanted to be a journalist and between the ages of 16 and 18 did quite a bit of work experience on local newspapers before heading to university to study a journalism degree.

I loved journalism until the point that I graduated and got a job as a journalist (well editorial assistant) at which point I realised that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the intrusiveness, the fact you were expected to knock on people’s doors at bad times in their lives and I didn’t enjoy the newsroom atmosphere (shouty with a lot of testosterone). After only a year I had a rethink and decided I still wanted to write, and I wanted to speak to people and hear their stories and that led me to the world of PR.

20 years later and I still love it. I love hearing what makes people tick, how they got to where they are, why they need help and helping them share that story. Whether it is working with a charity, getting a small business seen, helping people promote the work they are doing I enjoy it. I still get the same buzz when an event goes well, or I see a client in print or hear them on the radio as I did when I started out. In fact I maybe feel it even more now since I started working for myself and have my own clients, because I really enjoy working with all the businesses, I do PR for.

What do you love about your work?

PR Tips: 1 People don’t buy your product. They buy your story.

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I have been thinking about the most common things that come up when people first speak to me about working with them on a PR campaign.  With that in mind I thought that I would create some short blogs outlining my top PR tips.

When people  get in touch they usually want me to spread the word about their product or service, which is great as that is what I am here to do but quite often  unless the product or service is totally unique it will be hard to get coverage.

All is not lost though, there is always another angle and this is where your story comes into play.  Most people have a story but very often, as it is just part of their life they don’t realise that the story would be of interest to others.

This is why when I first start working with a client I sit down with them and have an in-depth chat not just about their business but their background and how they got to where they are now.

Have a think.  What’s your story?

 

 

 

I like big books and I cannot lie

blur book stack books bookshelves
Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Books, books, books. As far back as I can remember I have always had a book on the go.  I absolutely love reading whether it be for escapism or personal and professional development.

As it is World Book Day I have put together a list of some of my favourite books.

Fiction

To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman

The Crying Tree – Naseem Rakha

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

One Day – David Nicholls

We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Non-Fiction

How to be a woman – Caitlin Moran

Brilliant Life – Michael Heppell

Change your life in seven days – Paul McKenna

The Freelance Mum – Annie Ridout

The Friendship Cure – Kate Leaver

Hot Feminist – Polly Vernon

Chase the rainbow – Poorna Bell

Like a Queen – Constance Hall

Things I wish I’d Known: Women tell the truth about motherhood – various authors

Shattered: Modern motherhood and the illusion of equality

 

What are your favourites?  Did any of them make my list?

 

 

 

 

How to get publicity for your small business

Publicity is a great way of spreading the word about your small business without the expense of using paid for advertising or other marketing tools. The sometimes tricky bit is coming up with an idea to get the media to notice and speak to you
Before you get started it is important to decide what you want the publicity to achieve (more brand awareness, an increase in visits to your website; more sales leads) think up some stories and then send a press release to the relevant radio stations, magazines, websites and newspapers.

To get you started I have come up with a few ideas that can help get you publicity.

1. Introduce something new or improved
Are you the only company selling x,y,z in your area? The media will be interested in this or perhaps you’ve made an improvement to one of your products or services which will benefit your customers or local community.

2. Mark the passage of time
Is your business celebrating 5, 10, 100 years in business? Let people know. Or perhaps it is the anniversary of something related to your industry that you can piggyback off.

3. Win an award
Award winners are a press staple. Most papers you pick up will have a story about a recent award winner. So get applying for awards relating to your industry and if you win don’t rely on the publicity arranged by the award organisers, do your own.

4. Get involved with a charity
Don’t just give your time, do something different, give your time, product, or better still use your staff and resources to do something different that will also raise cash or help a charity. It’s even better if the charity is relevant to your business.

5. Survey your customers
Facts and figures from surveys are popular with the media. Start surveying and spread the word about your findings.

6. Give something away
Newspapers love running competitions. They usually set a value for what the prize needs to be worth but for what is usually a relatively small cost to the business you’ll get space to tell everybody what you do, attract a new audience and also the possibility of some data capture of people who were interested enough in your product to want to enter a competition, these people are potential customers.

7. React to a current story
Give your opinion on something in the news (national or local) that’s relevant to you. Try and add some value to the original story.
There are numerous ways to get free publicity and it is hoped that this list will go some way to getting your started.

If you need help with raising awareness of your company or a chat about the sort of things you can do visit http://www.beckandcallpr.co.uk