Almost four years ago, I officially embarked on my solo public relations career and created JRM Comm, a PR and marketing consultancy. I always dreamed of being my own boss, so when the opportunity did arise, I was excited and eager to take on the solo PR world. I have not regretted the move because it has also given me the opportunity to speak to small businesses, PRSSA chapters, and work with outstanding clients.
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Contemplating starting your own public relations firm or solo consulting practice? One of the first questions to ask yourself is, “What will I offer to clients?” To set a course for success, select your specialization. Here’s a quick FAQ:
1. Won’t picking a niche limit me?
Not at all. The narrower your niche, the higher the demand for your services. The day of the PR generalist is gone. The greater your expertise in a particular field, the more clients will value you and the less competition you will have. Remember, as you grow your firm, you can always add new niches.
What happens when thousands of PRSA attendees are released from a busy day of conferencing out into the gorgeous DC evening? They split up into scores of small interest groups, to tweet, chat, eat, drink and talk shop.
I joined about thirty PR professionals from DC and around the nation at the behest of the inimitable Kellye Crane, principal of Crane Communications, but better known to the twitterati as @KellyeCrane, the gracious hostess and savvy PR guru behind SoloPRPro. A resource to those already running solo practices, as well as to those who dream about running away from Big Agency and Big Company Life, Kellye has helped thousands of PR practitioners through her SoloPrPro website, LinkedIn Group, FaceBook page and weekly #SoloPR chats.
In the past couple of years, many public relations pros have started their own businesses, sometimes fulfilling a long-dreamed fantasy and sometimes in response to a work-life change. There’s no doubt that we solo PR types have more flexibility than our corporate and agency colleagues, but the shift brings its own set of challenges to the work-life balance we all need.
Here are five tips to help you stay sane — especially if you’re solo.
The featured speakers weren’t the only ones who offered great tips during “Let’s Talk Business: Independent Practitioners Share Advice for New and Established PR Practices,” Sunday afternoon at the PRSA International Conference.
The title of the session became even more appropriate when the Q&A period started. Attendees would ask the speakers a question, and the result would go beyond a short answer and develop into a full-blown discussion with feedback and tips from other participants.
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