It's easy in 2018 to believe that the only way to achieve fame and fortune is to get on Snapchat and start your own reality show, but if your target audience isn't there, you'll be speaking to an empty room (or to your mom and three of your cousins).
Several years ago when I was working for a domain name registry that owned the domain extension ".catering" our partnerships team decided to buy a speaking engagement at a catering trade show.
Being in charge of our public relations, I attended the show to network, meet local media and engage social influencers at the show.
The only problem is that there were no social influencers at the show.
When I was first self-employed, I wanted to take on every single client that crossed my desk.
Even some who weren’t such a great fit.
I learned (in some cases the hard way) there are certain prospective PR clients you should very much walk away from even if you need the business.
Here are six red flags—things prospective clients actually said to me—that should tell you to think twice about whether or not you want to take them on as prospective PR clients.
When I was a senior in college, I was obsessed with finding a job. I combed the now-archaic alumni database. I networked. I sent emails. I made follow-up phone calls. I attended networking events with a paper resume in hand and a black leather portfolio case in my bag at all times.
Luckily, it’s easier now. That is because everything–and I mean everything–is online.
I haven’t carried a physical portfolio since 2010 and even then, it probably looked like the modern day version of a flip phone.
I didn’t even bring a paper copy of my resume to my interview for my current job because I had it locked and loaded on my iPad.
In 2011, I was barely a senior account executive on the brand marketing team at a fancy public relations agency when I quit to start a PR business.
I wasn’t unhappy.
But I wasn’t excited about going to work in the morning, either.
Plus, I’ve never been especially good at faking my feelings.
The previous year, I had met a group of solo PR practitioners and I couldn’t stop thinking about the passion they had for their clients.
I liked the lifestyle flexibility that self-employment offered and the creativity they put forth in their work every day.
After resigning from my job (mid-December), by the time I turned 27, on January 10, I launched my PR business and had two clients lined up.
I also had a part-time job to fall back on in case the whole PR thing didn’t work out as planned.
(Spoiler alert: I’m not currently waiting tables, so it worked out.)
I did make some pretty significant mistakes along the way.
In case you’re considering launching your own PR business, here are three things I wish I knew before I started
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.