How to do your own PR – my talk to North Yorkshire FSB at Ampleforth College

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I was really delighted to be asked to speak about PR to 100+ delegates at the North Yorkshire Federation of Small Business Expo this week at Ampleforth College (what a place!).  I was even more chuffed – if slightly intimidated –  when I found out that my fellow speakers were the hugely successful Alex Albourne (founder of Pipers Crisps), Dr Jackie Mulligan (ShopAppy), Simon Bourne (Hand Dyed Shoe Company) and the totally inspiring Jacob Hill from Offploy. Every one of them delivered wonderful, engaging and unique presentations full of great advice, insight and authenticity.

For my 20 minute slot, I’d been asked to offer a little insight into my colourful media career which has involved writing problem pages, horoscopes, beauty pages, acting in photo-love stories for Jackie magazine, working as an assistant producer on numerous TV programmes, doing a 5 year stint in the BBC Radio Newcastle newsroom as a producer  and finally running a small, successful PR company.

The main purpose of my talk however was to offer insightful, useful and practical advice on how small businesses can do their own PR – how important it is for ongoing brand awareness and how good PR generates sales. Along with a few (hopefully entertainng) newsroom tales, I stressed the importance of branding, knowing your audience and your key messages, I demonstrated 10 important criteria for a newsworthy PR story – with real life examples – and 10 rules on writing a press release or any kind of media item.  I also threw in a few extra  tricks of the trade that never fail.

Why am I giving away my secrets you might well ask?  Well firstly because I sincerely believe that all small business owners should understand the huge benefits of good PR. Secondly I may be wrong but although my audience (who were fabulous, so attentive and laughed a lot – thank you!) all know what constitutes a good story now, and how to write it – they’re probably not going to have time, or will put it off. The third reason is that – as I explained on the day – so much good PR is about the relationships you make with stakeholders and journalists – and that’s really up to every invidiaul themselves. And finally I did it because I’m in PR dahlings and I’m supposed to be nice mwah mwah.

But it was really good fun and I learnt loads!  Here’s to the #FSBNorthYorkshire. Fab fun people!

And big thanks to Stephen at Ascent Agency in Richmond who did the graphics for me. Top bloke!

Carolyn and Kate 2