Why I chose publicity coaching for pet businesses over done for you PR

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Are you wondering whether you should learn how to do your own PR by working with a coach?

If so, this podcast will explain the difference between coaching and done for you PR, and if you have a pet business and are looking for support and would like to chat about working together on this, do let me know.

I’m Rachel and I’m a freelance journalist for the national media in the UK and in 2019, I decided to offer PR coaching for small business owners in the pet industry.

When I started writing more about the pet industry and decided to start a business working with pet brands, one of the things I considered was doing PR.

Having worked as a journalist since 1999 on newspapers and magazines, I know the kind of stories that work and the ones that don’t.

I’ve dipped my toe into the world of PR too, working for Marco Richards in Manchester part-time from 2004 to 2006 with clients in healthcare and all kinds of other industries.

And before writing a book, Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses in 2018, I did PR for the pet-sitting app Pawshake and worked on press releases for other pet brands.

After the book grew into a community on Facebook and then into an online business, I decided NOT to offer done-for-you PR and to provide coaching instead.

In this podcast, I’m sharing the reasons why and you can listen in on the player link below or read the key points covered as a blog post.

1. I didn’t feel comfortable charging lots of money when you can’t guarantee coverage

The reason why PR companies charge up to £6,000 a month is because it is hard work to secure coverage.

It’s not just a case of writing a press release and sending it out to a list. 

PR companies have reports to write, KPIs to monitor, events to organise, meetings with clients, databases to track media coverage and much more.

And it’s right that people pay for this, PRs work hard, editors can be demanding, journalists are under pressure and you can bear the brunt of that.

But even when you pay a shedload of money for PR, you can’t guarantee that journalists will use a story.

Even when an article is placed, events can mean it gets kicked out of the paper or knocked off the schedule, and this is out of your control.

When someone has paid a vast amount and this happens, it is disappointing for them and stressful for you too.

2. Supporting small businesses and growing businesses is what I’m passionate about

In the past I’ve worked with big clients who have huge budgets and quite rightly expect a lot for the money they’ve invested in PR.

Being in the media isn’t only for large companies with deep pockets, new and growing businesses have stories to tell too.

Having press coverage means so much to them as well, particularly local businesses who want to reach people in their immediate area.

Empowering people with the skills to do their own PR and land brilliant coverage is what I absolutely love. 

3. I can be honest about whether a story idea or press release is any good

With my coaching clients, if someone comes up with an idea and I don’t think it will work, I can be totally honest.

In the past, I’ve worked with clients who have insisted we send out stories which were rubbish and we knew wouldn’t land.

It meant time was wasted, contacts were bothered with stories that were never going to see the light of day and it’s demoralising trying to punt something you know won’t go anywhere.

4. I don’t have to be rejected over and over

Who likes being rejected? As a PR you get rejected over and over. With fewer journalists and more PRs it’s hard to cut through.

If you show business owners how to do their own PR they put themselves forward, and yes, sometimes they get rejected.

Most of the people I work with have either bought a course for around £750-£900 where they’ve learned to do it themselves and pay a small monthly fee for ongoing support.

They put their ideas forward and if they’re not picked up, it’s not the end of the world, they try the next outlet then if they can’t place a story, they use it for their website or social media.

5. Journalists would rather speak directly to the person

Having to go through a PR can be frustrating and time consuming. Journalists would rather deal with the case study or expert directly.

They can move quickly and get the information they need without endless e mails and calls. My clients learn how to be the perfect case study so they’re chosen over and over again.

Often I’ll get requests from journalists for experts and pet stories, and they’re connected straight away to the person who can help them.

Conclusion

Learning how to do your own PR empowers you with skills you can use for life.

The cost of joining my Pets Get Visible membership is only £30 a month and you can learn so much to get started on approaching the press.

There are many PRs out there doing an amazing job and I regularly connect pet businesses with them when they are ready to outsource.

I believe as with many other things in your business, it’s best to learn to do it yourself first, then hand it over. 

This is what Jess from The Canine Menu said about my publicity coaching – we spent two days together and she had two stories published within just one week.

The most dog-friendly day out in Warrington in the Warrington Guardian:

https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/24308044.partridge-lakes-cafe-best-dog-friendly-day-warrington

And the pub that sells more snacks for dogs than humans in The Yorkshire Post

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/the-norfolk-arms-ringinglow-sheffield-pub-sells-more-dog-treats-than-peanuts-after-launching-canine-menu-4622052

If you’d like to chat about in-person training, click here to book a call.

Get regular tips by signing up to my newsletter: https://publicityforpetbusinesses.mykajabi.com/Optin

Learn about Kim at Leo, Charley and Me: https://leocharleyandme.co.uk/

Learn about Louise at Paws4Running and Studio44 pilates: https://studio44pilates.com/

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