Today we are sharing the story of Hannah Rowe, a marketing and PR freelance consultants based in the UK. After spending a few years as a marketing and PR manager in a social care company, she made the decision to go freelance and to get her own clients. She was originally working more on the marketing side of the business (Chartered Marketer since 2004) but gradually and thanks to the help of a colleague, developed her skills in PR. She now offers services in both marketing and PR. This is her story and her recommendations for others who'd like to follow a similar path.
1. Tell us about you and your professional background
I’ve been freelance for over 6 years, having previously worked as a Marketing and PR Manager for a social care company. Prior to that, I held various marketing roles within the financial services sector. I’m a Chartered Marketer (Chartered 2004).
2. How did you get into PR and ultimately become a freelancer?
3. What services do you generally provide your clients?
It varies – some want a full-service Marketing and PR package (strategy etc), some just want the PR. The fact that I’m not doing one thing all day is what I love about it – one minute I’m writing a press release, the next I’m organising an event or doing social media.
4. How do you find new clients?
When I started out I looked at who was advertising a lot and got in touch with them. I do a lot of networking too.
5. What’s the piece of work you’re proudest of?
When I worked in my previous role I looked after a famous elderly gentleman’s media appearances. He passed away on a Saturday and I managed the reporting of his death, ensuring he left his home for the final time away from the glare of the media with dignity. It may sound morbid but it was the final service I could do for him and I am proud to have managed it.
6. What has been the biggest challenge in your freelance career so far?
The inevitable quieter periods, which usually occur in January when no-one is quite back to work and you begin to worry. A photographer friend of mine reminds me, “you just have to hold your nerve”!
7. What makes you keep doing it? What do you love about what you do?
I love the variety, being my own boss, and the buzz I get when a client says ‘you did a great job’. There are times when we ALL question why we do what we do, but as long as they aren’t every day, I say – keep going!
8. What are your top tips for aspiring PR consultants?
Firstly, get some qualifications (CIPR). If you aren’t already in a PR role, try to get some experience with someone who is. Learn how to take a decent photograph (make friends with a photographer to do this) as you’d be amazed how useful it is. And finally, if it’s what you really want to do, don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up!
9. What average rate do you charge your clients?
Day rate £350 (South West England).