I am super excited that Nelly at Pearl Lemon has joined me on the Brave Edit. I love her enthusiasm and real approach to her work and life!
So, let’s drive in and see what life as a PR is like for Nelly.
Tell me about you and your business.
Pearl Lemon is a digital marketing agency that was created back in 2016. We’ve got a 100% remote global team working round the clock to help our clients with whatever their goals are.
We help with SEO rankings, link-building campaigns, content production and marketing. We’re forever learning about new tools, extensions and software to help us and our clients optimise on this experience and work together to build something great.
What is your morning routine before you get to your desk?
On days that I can work on Pearl Lemon for the full day my morning routine is always the same:
I start by waking up at 9am and make a cup of coffee and prep my breakfast. If it’s something baked then while I wait for it to cook I log in and set up for the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
I try to keep it relaxed because it sets my day to be a productive one and prevents a huge cognitive load because I’m not immediately thinking about work all the time.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to your desk?
Since Pearl Lemon is 100% remote my desk depends on my mood for the day. Sometimes I work on the kitchen bar other times from my bed. Regardless of location, I tend to check my emails first to see if there are any urgent tasks that need to be completed for the day.
Tongue in cheek question, what does a typical day look like for you?
Honestly, no two days are the same. A slow day might be doing some research on future PR pitches and outstanding campaigns as well as answering emails. As I double up as a content writer I might also check on the progress there and do a post or two to keep on schedule and help out the team.
Busy days are full of everything – more training (no one ever knows everything), managing new hires, PR campaigns/emails and team meetings to catch up on progress and future tasks.
How have you kept on track over the past year and dealt with the impact of COVID?
I joined Pearl Lemon in December when the UK was getting into its second lockdown. I’ve learnt that since PL is 100% remote the lockdown has not stopped them at all from working at the same speedy pace that they have been before.
Somehow they also managed to release a new plant-based meal delivery service in that time too called PlantSumo, which I guess just goes to show that lockdowns do not have to hinder or stop progress in any way!
What do you see as the biggest challenges for PR at the moment?
PR already gets slack for being a very detached process, and you know, with cold email/cold calling campaigns this is somewhat deserved. I think with the pandemic, lockdowns and other obstacles the main challenge in PR is probably trying to have that human touch to any campaign.
Reaching out to clients, potential collabs and the like will be harder because people aren’t working in teams anymore – they’re more spread out as they work from home. Having more Zoom calls and video chats is not that fun (not to mention any awkward technical issues) – PR is about building relationships on a more personal and in-person level and obviously, we’ve had a lot less of that in the past year.
What are the non-negotiables for you in your business?
Setting boundaries. Our team communicates almost exclusively on WhatsApp which is usually used for personal communication.
Some days it’s harder to disconnect from work than others, but I have started muting group chats or putting my phone on ‘do not disturb’ after 7/8 pm so that I can do some stuff for myself and not feel like I have to be ‘at work’ all the time.
This has helped me a lot, and I’ve found time to draw, read and work out. I think many people struggle with setting boundaries because you now have a cross between work and home.
We know working in PR can be stressful, how do you look after yourself, as well as your clients?
Personally for me, ever since I started working out in November I have been stress-free almost every day! Feeling restless? Run. Feeling anxious? Run. It’s been a relief and also makes me healthier and fitter.
As for clients.. I just try to be there for them and answer their questions or address their concerns as quickly as I can. No one likes to be ignored, and so it’s my job to help as much as I can. Obviously, sometimes mishaps occur, but there’s nothing that honest communication cannot solve!
What plans do you have for 2021?
I actually made reasonable goals for this year and I’m on track for keeping up with them! Super proud of myself and my new found non-complacency 😀
- Read 52 books
- Update my personal blog 24 times (it’s like a creative and inconsistent diary)
- Continue running and exercise
- Travel (covid permitting of course)
- Figure out what my next career step will be
What advice would you have for someone looking to start a PR career?
Prepare for a lot of rejections, but never let them get to you. There are so many people writing articles in the world, it will be impossible to create a winning pitch every time. Do the best you can with your knowledge and you will see that it works out. Be confident 🙂
What motto do you live and work by?
Hm.. This is a tough question actually, but I think I would have to say “If it’s good – that’s great. If it’s bad – it’s a story!”
I think that can be applied to everything – life, friends, work, new experiences. You can always learn something new, and things that may seem bad or embarrassing at one point will be funny anecdotes next time.
Thank you Nelly, and I hope you all have a great Tuesday!