Feeling unsure, I get it
About three years ago I went back to the world of PR for a really long time, and the imposter syndrome was alive and kicking.
The fear of failure took over and I remember looking at Facebook groups and forums and feeling alone.
I was lost.
I had serious doubts that I could ever go back to the career I once had where I was flying around the world, hosting events on Red Square and heading up multi-country teams and campaigns.
While I’d done all the PR for my first book Cast Life, and our charity, DDH UK, and had global success, I’d essentially spent several years looking after my son after various rounds of orthopedic surgery and making sure he and his older brother were happy.
Coming back to the freelance world was like starting over again, and I wasn’t sure I could do it.
I had no contacts, as many had moved on, were on maternity leave and with no money, I couldn’t afford a database.
I had no clients, so it wasn’t as if I could go out and shout about the fantastic businesses I was working with, anyway.
I sat at my desk crying and thinking that I couldn’t start over again after years looking after my sick son.
I really thought about packing it all in and that my PR days were over.
It looked like everyone else had their shit together.
They were BFFs with the press when I felt an absolute Billy No Mates.
Coverage was flying into their inboxes faster than they were drinking their skinny, decaf flat whites.
It felt as if everyone else had clients knocking on their doors, wanting them to represent them without the words pitch or proposal being mentioned.
It was pretty grim and seeing my potential was hard at that time.
My kids were at school, I knew I wanted to do something, but I questioned if that ‘thing’ was PR.
As I sat in Starbucks, said skinny flat white (I can’t go decaf) and Grazia in front of me, and something deep inside me said, don’t you bloody dare give this up.
That was a real turning point for me.
I gathered up my magazine, took my coffee home, and looked at how I could start to be the PR professional I wanted to be.
I won’t lie, it took courage and creativity.
I invested in a coach, got a new website, and put myself out there.
I didn’t just step out of my comfort zone, I took a giant leap ahead and didn’t look back.
Yes, those people may have been getting coverage and clients and a black book (or GDPR secure folder) full of contacts, but they also had to do the work and put the time and effort in.
What I didn’t always appreciate back then was that I was most probably privy to their show real and the highlights.
Those skinny flat whites could have been a lukewarm mug of instant Nescafe.
Clients might have been plenty, but they were taking over their lives and texting all weekend.
Coverage was coming in, but website links were missing or a client’s name was wrong.
As my confidence grew and my perception changed, my network is much stronger and my expectations more realistic.
I also took the rose-tinted glasses off and saw that glossing over the crap was rife, I mean who wants to admit having sleepless nights about a pitch?
Three years on and I am pleased to say that things have changed.
I have clients, ones I love working with and get results for.
I have emails right now in my inbox from contacts I know well at The Sun, Pick Me Up, Metro, Your Healthy Living, and Medium.
I now train small business owners to do their own PR, and my second book, PR School, has a string of 5-star reviews on Amazon as well as media coverage that is still coming in.
I am also now a visiting lecture at Plymouth University and a Mentor at Westminster University.
So, why am I telling you this?
I am telling you because I know what it is like to feel alone and stuck,
To be chasing the thoughts in your head that tell you aren’t good enough and can’t do this.
To think you can’t call a journalist (they don’t always want to be called, but that’s another post) about your hot off the press story.
To be too scared to have that conversation with your client when things aren’t working.
You don’t have choices.
The reality is, you do.
I recently completed my mental first aider training and am working towards ICF coaching accreditation.
I made the decision to
I can help you to not only rediscover your media mojo, but claim your place at the PR table and love your career, and your life.
Using my unique blend of industry experience (I have worked in agencies, in-house, and had my own business) combined with my coaching and mentoring skills, I work with clients and help them find their way again.
Even before corona come along and kicked our butts, PR was a
I know that because I am doing exactly that.
No, I am no longer running around the world in heels with a martini in my hand and name badge pinned to my designer dress – something I hankered after when I was sleep-deprived and sat in
What I now see is that all those experiences, including navigating the challenges of DDH and moving to live by the sea, have led me to where I am today, and that’s a pretty great place.
I know I bang on about this, a lot.
You have come this far, and I’m not going to let you stop now – unless you really want to.
This isn’t me showing off, it’s me saying, keep the faith, take some time out, look at where you are and if you need the help of a coach who understands, but also knows who to ask the right questions to help you move ahead, get in touch and let’s talk.
If you want to dip your toes into the pool of PR career success on your terms, why not come and join the PR Pro Hub on Facebook and start to make connections and see that everyone has some struggles, we just don’t always let the world know.
Take care and be you.