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PR/Copywriters - how long did it take you to get going (plus any advice please)

(11 Posts)
climbanymountain Tue 02-Sep-08 20:32:58

Help!

I am setting up a 'boutique' PR & copywriting business(probably including website design too). We have loads of relevant experience but have always been employed so this is very new to us. We're not in a city BTW.

My business partner is suddenly getting v worried about finding clients now the recession is biting. We haven't even advertised ourselves yet so very early in the process.

Wondered whether any freelancers had advice or could give me any idea how long it took for them to get their business off the ground. Especially interested in how you got work - was it through networking, websites, adverts, articles.

squeaver Tue 02-Sep-08 20:38:44

100% through networking/referrals. I do freelance PR consultancy. All of my work comes from people I know or people who know people I know (iyswim!)

I had 15 years experience before I went freelance and I'm very lucky because I mainly work with friends.

So my advice would be: make contact with everyone you know, tell them what you can do for them and then find any excuse you can to keep in touch with them.

I don't particularly rate the PRCA but you might want to call them for advice.

climbanymountain Tue 02-Sep-08 20:41:23

Squeaver - do you find people value PR? I have been in contact with a number of friends with businesses and start-ups and while they're really happy at the thought I might do it for free they seem disinterested in a paid for service.

squeaver Tue 02-Sep-08 21:34:34

Hmm where are you? Tbh I've worked mainly in London and for big companies/brands where it's just part and parcel of the marketing mix. Small local (rural?) start-ups maybe don't need PR as a first priority.

climbanymountain Wed 03-Sep-08 14:34:24

You're probably right as we are out in the countryside in the south. However, we have a few cities fairly nearby.

squeaver Wed 03-Sep-08 18:12:23

Well don't get sucked in to doing something for free (sure you already know that). Maybe you should start by selling them your other services then gently persuading them on the PR bit.

I really do wish you luck with it. Would love to be int he countryside doing my own thing.

BlingLovin Wed 03-Sep-08 18:18:34

climbanymountain, do you have any PR experience? I might be missing something, but you don't sound like you know much about what kind of PR people value? Is that because you haven't worked in PR before or because you aren't that up to speed on your local market yet? I think that people do value it, but they are resistent to service providers who don't have some kind of track record?

climbanymountain Wed 03-Sep-08 18:55:28

No I'm no PR expert (more the copywriting and marketing side) but my partner has worked in it for years and has a strong track record but mainly with big organisations. Also, she has worked in a particular city and so this is a new geographical area with a lot more SMEs.

Amaryllis Thu 04-Sep-08 14:00:30

My business grew really well - mainly though networking, a bit of face to face but mostly online. I used contacts from previous jobs to help get me going too and they still surprise me every so often with requests for work.

I think that as you have a portfolio of skills you should be fine: people will have different needs at different times. Apparently more people are setting up businesses now as they fear redundancy.
I'm also in the South - Sussex. We moved out of London last year.I do much of my work remotely, so have clients across the UK (and Ireland and the US!) so while pople like to think of a PR agency being in London, I don't think localtion is a real barrier.

monkeymagic Thu 04-Sep-08 14:25:36

This is a good networking group for media peeps, could be useful for you: www.mediawomenuk.com

climbanymountain Thu 04-Sep-08 19:54:05

Thanks monkey, I have just signed up. Ama, do you find people just see your website or do you have another way on networking online? I'm in SWest BTW so no competition grin

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