How to get started in PR with no money, no clients

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There’s a long list of business ideas that we willingly admit are hard to pull off without money, connections and clients. PR is one of them so when we got an opportunity to talk with Sasha Robyn who co-founded a PR company before starting BlogChatSA, South Africa’s first exclusive online bloggers show. Sasha’s I-may-be-a-rookie-but-I-can-do-it stance has helped her and we think it can help you too.

Here’s Sasha’s easily replicable winning formula for getting started in PR.

The skills you need

In order to succeed in the PR industry, you need to acquire skills that will help you grow and stay grounded in the nature of the business. These skills are

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Creativity

img_20160617_211017Most important is the last one, creativity and perseverance. While it’s still debatable whether perseverance is a skill or a trait, it’s needed to keep you on track and ensure success.

Then comes the somewhat cliché word for Motherland Moguls; passion. You’ll need a strong drive to put in and offer your best to your client. This will set you aside from any other PR agency.

As for the resources, get a laptop where you can create a clients’ database. This will be a list of people to whom you render services. A laptop will also help  you create the social media strategy you’ll be needing to grow your company.

Setting up a PR agency with no money

Apparently in PR, money is not always needed to get your company off the ground. Sasha advises that an easier way to branch out into PR and make yourself known is to build on relationships and valuable contacts.

Then, create an online presence for yourself and/or your business. Your business will not flourish or draw interest from the broader public if you do not make use of social media platforms. They assist in driving the business and bring clients to you who are in need of the service that you project online.

When you build a website for your agency, make sure you keep it professional and simple.

Getting started on networks

Networks in business are important as they form part of the driving success of the business. In PR, your business thrives off the services that you provide to your clients.

According to Sasha, how and where you connect with people will determine the success and efficiency of your business. Attend events/seminars that would allow you to network with people. Consider engaging in public speaking as this would allow you to brand your company on a word-of-mouth basis. It’ll also make it easy for clients to connect with you and/or your business.

Source for people who have experience and knowledge in PR and can assist you in building your brand. Do your research on companies/people and the media (depending on your interest in the field).

Sasha’s 5-step plan to break into the PR industry

It takes a lot of dedication and determination to make your mark in PR. Whether you want to launch your own agency or find a job with another agency, these steps will help.

  1. Understand the media universe, including social media
  2. Find your niche/product/service
  3. Education/training
  4. Research local PR Agencies: learn their culture, areas of focus and how they functions.
  5. Network, Network, Network

Hey South African #MotherlandMoguls, the SheHive will be in Johannesburg from November 3-6. Find out more here.

About Rafeeat Aliyu

Rafeeat loves food, learning about pre-colonial African history and watching horror movies. She writes weird and speculative fiction sometimes.

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