5 Lessons Learned Running My Own PR Business


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Time flies when you are having fun, right? This year marks the fourth year that I have been doing PR on my own. It is crazy to think about all the time that has passed, the clients that I have worked with and what I have learned along the way.

In May of 2010, I had just graduated from college. I was spending the summer doing a paid internship, and beyond that I didn’t have much of a plan. August rolled around, the internship ended, and even though I had been applying for full time positions I didn’t have many prospects. What was I going to do now?

I figured that I would take on a few freelance positions, while I continued the job search. This would allow me to keep getting “real world” work experience, which I thought would look more attractive to employers. Little did I know that four years later, I would still be going strong as fifteen media.

I have definitely grown along the way. Here are some of the major things I have learned:

Confidence comes with time

As you gain experience, you will become more confident in your work. As I like to say, I have finally found my voice, and I am not afraid to express my opinion. When I first started, I would just agree with the client. They must always be right. WRONG. That mentality will get you in a lot of trouble when working with clients.

Remember they are hiring you for your expertise, so respectfully show them you know what you are talking about. However, you can’t force this confidence overnight, just know that it will come with time.

Boundaries are oh so important

Here I go on my soapbox about work/life balance again. I can’t say it enough: even if you own your own business, you have to find time away from work. You can’t forget about all the things you loved before you were a business owner. Sometimes stepping away from work is the best thing that I can do. I come back refreshed and full of new ideas.

It’s important to celebrate accomplishments

Sometimes we get involved in the day-to-day grind and we forget to think about what we achieved. When you own a business, there are a lot of ups and downs, so you definitely need to celebrate the good times.

It’s smart to have a specialty

I have found that trying to be a Renaissance woman in business got me nowhere. I found so much more success when I decided to focus on one thing: pitching and placing. All of my services revolve around that.

It’s crucial to enjoy yourself

But seriously! You will never be as successful or organized or on top of things as you would like. You will never have a time when all of your campaigns are going 100% how you want. That is why you have to enjoy the journey. The reality is you are going to spend a lot of time at work, so you might as well try to like what you are doing.

I think this is even truer when you own an agency. Overall, you really have to like your job to get through the mundane day-to-day. Even in PR, it is not all parties and glamorous events.

Photo Credit: AnnieAnniePancake

Rebekah Epstein

Rebekah Epstein

Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Rebekah also blogs about all things Gen Y at NeonNotebook.com.