How to be an independent freelance PR pro

At MediaHQ, we know all about the PR industry. PR professionals need to be media savvy, creative, people people. They are responsible for raising a company’s positive media coverage, building relationships with key people and managing a company’s reputation by actively counteracting any negative publicity that could damage their name. They are in charge of telling a brands story to the public and to potential customers. 

While many PR agencies are highly successful today, in the world of modern PR, more and more freelance professionals are also making strides in the industry. July 4th is Independence Day in the USA, commemorating the Declaration of Independence in the States in 1776.  So, in an inspired blog post, we compiled a list of five tips to help you become an independent freelance PR pro.

Goal setting

Establishing yourself as a freelance PR pro may seem enticing, but if you are not a self motivated and driven person, freelance may not be the right fit for you. Being your own boss and choosing your own hours is, of course, a much sought after lifestyle. But, in order to do this effectively, you’ll need to be able to set personal goals and actively pursue them.

Maybe you want to increase a client’s social media following or bump up sales of a certain product by the end of the month. Perhaps you want to form five new media relations by the end of the year. Maybe you want to get your client’s story into a national paper this week. Whatever the case, your goals should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Monitoring your success can help you adjust your goals accordingly.

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Define your niche

While it is important to be adaptable in the demanding world of public relations, differentiating yourself from other PR pros will help you pull in business and gain recognition. Being the best at one thing will set you aside from those that do a bit of this and a bit of that. Once you’ve mastered one area and have effectively built up a core client base, moving into another aspect of PR will be much easier, if you wish to do so. Identify your weaknesses, find your strengths and sell yourself as a specialist in your area.

Know your competition

Great PR people take the time to read, analyse and understand the market and media they interact with. Like in any other highly competitive field of expertise, being familiar with your competitors is favourable, especially as a freelance PR pro. If you know the type of work that your rivals are producing, you’ll be able to think of different hooks and alternative angels that a journalist has not seen before. Catching the media’s attention is vital. Sending a mediocre press release with average ideas and images that a journalist has seen 10 times before will limit the chances of your story being scooped up. Be creative.

Network

Whether you work in a PR agency or you are working as an independent freelance PR pro, establishing positive and long standing media relations is imperative. While interacting via email may be a way to form and maintain relationships, meeting face to face can make all the difference. While the idea may be daunting for some, in order to be a successful, independent freelance PR pro, you’ll need to get comfortable with meeting new people, networking and pitching yourself to potential clients.

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Sell yourself on social

It’s the 21st century and social media is rampant. Being visible online is essential. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. Hence, investing time in your social media accounts and making them visually appealing can be very beneficial to any business, especially when you are trying to establish yourself as a solo PR pro.

Use your social platforms to showcase the high quality work that you are capable of creating. Clients will be more inclined to commission your work if they can see previous examples.

Are you an independent PR pro? Want to gain access to a media contacts database of thousands of media professionals? Click here for more information, or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.