I’ve done it. I didn’t think I could, but I’ve done it.
I’ve gone freelance. I’ve taken the plunge and I’ve gone freelance.
It’s a big step, there’s no denying it. It’s scary and daunting but I’m also so excited about it.
With more than 10 years of working for larger companies with big budgets for communications and marketing, I am going out on my own to help those who don’t have the budgets, the time or perhaps the expertise, to tell their story in the right way, through the right channels.
I got into PR through the journalist route, like so many PR and communications people I know. I could tell you that I became a journalist because I wanted to hold authority to account, fight for the underdog and break the stories that needed to be told….and I did want to do all that. But, secretly, ever since I appeared in the local newspaper (shout out to the Suffolk Free Press) when the school sports teams I played in had their picture taken, I loved it. I loved seeing my name in the paper – I needed to have a job with a byline. And also, secretly, I wanted to be Lois Lane and I loved the kids from Press Gang!
But once I started doing work experience in newsrooms and completed my NCTJ journalism qualification, it became more than the thrill of seeing my name in the paper. It was about speaking to people from all walks of life, covering interesting and sometimes disturbing court cases, and yes, I even loved attending those village fetes or covering school Ofsted reports. It was about giving a voice and, subsequently, getting the column inches that people deserved – whether it was a positive or negative story.
I crossed over to the dark side – and by that, I mean the press officer side (which isn’t the dark side at all) – after the local newspaper I worked at closed our office and relocated the news team too far away from where I was living for a sustainable commute.
It took a little while for me to find my PR feet. It took time for me to get to grips with an organisation’s decision making or sign off process. But the love of getting a story the column inches it deserves remained, and when I saw our story get national attention in a newspaper or on the TV, it still gave me the same thrill.
I’ve been lucky enough to work for larger institutions with compelling stories that will get media coverage, and I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside colleagues with expertise and experience to draw from. But what about those companies that still have good quality stories to tell that may not have the expertise or, indeed, the budget to employ someone to get them out there?
That’s where I want to put my efforts now.
I want to help those teams or organisations that may not have the knowhow or have the time to engage the media and get the column inches they deserve.
I’m doing this on my own…freelance. Self-employed. A consultant, if you will. It’s scary and exciting, but I’m ready. I know that I will get just as much of a thrill – maybe even more – when I secure that media exposure for my clients, as I did when I saw my sports team photo in the Suffolk Free Press.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store, what stories I can share, and who I’ll meet along the way. If you’ve got a story to tell, get in touch and let’s work together to get you the column inches you deserve.