UofL champs with Ferdinand's Ball founders
Something that’s really astonished me about my new freelance gig is the amount of interest I’ve had in my PR and media relations services.
See, when I first envisioned going out on my own, I assumed that my only marketable skill — y’know, the one that would make money — was my writing. I mean, hello? I am a trained print journalist, so this seems like a pretty natural conclusion, right?
Yeah, I pictured myself in my home office, dressed in yoga pants and a ponytail, tippy-tapping away on my MacBook Pro keyboard, completing assignments for corporate marketing departments, advertising and web agencies, industry blogs and local publications.
I figured I’d do the occasional press release, but I didn’t think I’d land any clients who wanted a true publicist — someone who'd go to bat for them with the media. At least not initially.
It’s not as if I hated the idea of selling myself as a publicist. I didn’t. I don’t. I love media relations and PR. It’s fun, plain and simple. Having been a member of the media and later, a PR flack, for a combined 15 years, media relations is a natural fit for me. I’m pretty darn good at it because I know the game.
“But,” I thought to myself, “I’m just little ol’ me. Who’s going to want to hire a solo consultant to tell their stories?”
The answer to that question — more than you can shake a stick at -- is what surprised me.
Turns out that there are a lot of companies and organizations that need public relations help, which is essentially pitching their stories to a wide audience through print, radio, TV and online channels. But they don't want to hire a big, expensive agency. Enter yours truly, who does not have a lot of overhead, and therefore can work at a much lower hourly rate.
Writing press releases is part of an overall strategy, so I’m definitely doing that. But I am also compiling industry-specific media distributions lists, as well as re-establishing or re-invigorating the many media relationships I’ve built over the years.
The best part is, of course, a stellar response from clients and media alike. Stories are getting told, thanks to me.
I friggin’ love it.
Speaking of lovin’ it… I’m coming down off a PR high today, thanks to the success of a charity Derby event I worked last week. Kim Boyle and Aimee Boyle Wulfeck, the lovely founders of Ferdinand’s Ball, hired me as publicist back in January to get media coverage for the event beforehand and to wrangle the media who showed up to cover it at the Muhammad Ali Center on May 2.
I have to admit, I underestimated myself AND the event. It was just more of everything than I anticipated – more work, more prestige, more impact, more notoriety. Just MORE.
It was awesome, really. And when it was all said and done, I felt like I did a great job for my client. I can’t wait for next year, assuming they ask me back.
Being offered the job with Ferdinand’s Ball provided me with the first inkling that my PR skills might be in demand. For that, I am very grateful. It was a much-needed reality check.
It has turned out that Ferdinand’s Ball is the first of many events I’ll be promoting this spring and summer, which is SO cool. Not to mention several other clients who have stories of growth and change they have hired me to share.
I’ve also got a ton of plain ol’ writing projects coming my way, which I love for different reasons. But I am grateful for the variety.
Look at me…I’m all versatile and shit.
This all just goes to show that I shouldn’t box myself in by my own limited thinking. Yep, I’m going to stop picturing my perfect career and just let it happen. So far, it’s turned out a hell of a lot better than my little brain could have imagined.
Looks like this here writer girl iz also a publicist.
Me likey. Me likey. A LOT.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After 10 years, she's still just saying.