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to think that you cannot start a PR business, having never worked in PR??

(21 Posts)
HopefulMimi Fri 14-Oct-11 12:28:54

My sister, is setting up a PR business. She has never worked in PR, which is something which I would have thought to be essential?

To be fair to her, she is 25, and she set up her own internet business at 19, after dropping out of college with no qualifications. It was very successful, and continues to be successful - it's based around digital content downloads etc. She also has done some freelance writing, again with no qualifications, just completely through her own persistance. So she definitely has motivation, and is able to sell herself well, but now she wants to apply this to doing PR. She has tons of ideas, absolutely loads and they all sound good in theory but I just feel like saying to her 'Just stick with what you are doing' - I don't want to see her fail, and it just seems that she is diving in at the deep end here, she is already trying to set up meetings with clients. I advised her to at least study PR and marketing, but she says that would just be wasting valuable time. She is brave, I'll give her that, but I feel like I am just sitting back and watching her make a mistake. Should I just shut up about it to her? My mum is totally convinced that she can do it, but she has no experience of PR other than the 'theory' and how she's had to sell herself and her business.

Am i just being unsupportive?

Kayano Fri 14-Oct-11 12:30:51

If she had made a success of her other ventures, just support her!

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:31:01

You are being unsupportive BUT realistic in many ways. She may well be successful, as she'll be gaining PR experience every step of the way. She may well fall flat on her face.

Its not worth arguing over, wish her luck, she's not forcing YOU to do it is she?

So, sorry YABU.

AyeScream Fri 14-Oct-11 12:31:18


She sounds brilliant.

Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 12:31:36

You are being a little unsupportive.

Trills Fri 14-Oct-11 12:31:58

YABU to think she can't do it.

YWNBU to encourage her to have a backup plan.

Callisto Fri 14-Oct-11 12:32:09

PR isn't exactly rocket science. I think you sound a bit envious tbh. Support and encourage your sister instead of telling her she can't do it.

HopefulMimi Fri 14-Oct-11 12:32:14

I know, it's not in a malicious way, I just don't want to see her be dissapointed etc. But she does always surprise us, so perhaps she will with this too. She seems to be able to turn her hand to everything.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 14-Oct-11 12:32:49

PR is mostly about contacts and credibility. If she's motivated & confident enough and potential clients buy her pitch, she'll probably be OK if she prices herself attractively. Yes, it'd be easier if she worked for a PR agency for a short time and learn a few tricks and dodges. Otherwise, she sounds like she has the chutzpah to pull it off smile

Olivetti Fri 14-Oct-11 12:42:51

YABU and sound a bit envious, tbh. She sounds like she has many of the skills needed for PR which, as Callisto stays, is not exactly rocket science. There is no point "studying" PR - the very best practitioners bring a range of skills from past experience in all sorts of jobs, e.g. media, politics, digital.

Teetik Fri 14-Oct-11 12:45:44

Her business is successful?
Her writing is successful?
She's persistent, brave, good at selling herself? Not sponging off you or your mum?

For god's sake, leave the woman be! She's fine!


NinkyNonker Fri 14-Oct-11 12:49:06

To be taken seriously within PR you need to have an increasing number of professional qualifications and to get this you need experience. I see noreason that she won't be very good at this from what you've said, but you also need contacts etc which she prob won't have. If I were her I would go for some experience within a firm at whatever level while keeping her business going and go from there. I have many friends working at different levels in PR and it really isn't easy to get into at all, she may get a bit of a shock.

Olivetti Fri 14-Oct-11 12:51:52

You don't need professional qualifications, especially not if you are setting up on your own.

PlumSykes Fri 14-Oct-11 12:53:28

I'm a journalist, so deal with PR folk all the time. The ones who are winging it stand out a mile.

If I were looking at using a PR agency, I want to know which accounts they had previous worked on, how successful they had been etc. If she's never done it before, I'm not sure people are going to hand over their money, esp. in such straightened times.

AyeScream Fri 14-Oct-11 12:54:55

Then she'll learn.

She sounds ace.

ChippingIn Fri 14-Oct-11 12:55:42

She's 25, with a reasonable amount of success behind her. She still has her business to fall back on if this doesn't work out. Just support her!

You do sound a bit jealous of her (I would be too - 25, everything she touches turns to gold! envy), you might be better spending your energy focussing on yourself and letting her get on with it <meant in the nicest possible way!>

pinkdelight Fri 14-Oct-11 12:55:44

Maybe buy her a book? She could get the basics from reading a half-decent guide to PR. No need for a course. Doesn't sound like she's a classroom type and some courses can just be cash cows anyway.

GetOrfMo1Land Fri 14-Oct-11 12:56:47

She sounds great - if she has marketed her online buisiness sucessfully, they obviously knows practical aspects of PR. I don't think a paper qualification in this would be worth the paper it is written on. Good luck to her - stand behind your sister OP and don't worry.

NinkyNonker Fri 14-Oct-11 12:57:20

No, you don't need them, but when you are competing for business against experienced people who have them (like me, though I don't work and have since retrained) it helps. But I guess she'll only be looking at small accounts to begin with anyway.

NinkyNonker Fri 14-Oct-11 13:05:36

Darn it, just lots a post.

To be taken seriously she will need either CIPR (Chartered Institute of PR) or CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) recognition. Here is the CIPR website: Most if not all firms worth their salt will have this, and she will be competing against them. By all means set up shop and the do what is needed whilst establishing herself but it is worth it. There are innumerable one man band PR 'companies' set up by people who think it is really glamorous and quite easy when really in order to do it well it is quite an art.

She sounds switched on so I'm sure she wants to do it properly.

Olivetti Fri 14-Oct-11 13:08:01

NinkyNonker - agree, she'll have to focus on really small accounts. I guess it depends what her expectations are. As you know, PR spans a wide spectrum. She's not going to be managing issues for global brands, obviously. And you do need senior level experience to do that. But I have assumed she'll be helping to promote small clients etc, in the first instance, rather than handling grittier stuff.

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