This week I didn’t think I would have time to write a post. The reason being that me and one of my friends have decided to set up our own PR agency :). Granted, we’re not accepting paid clients (yet!), but we’re using it more as a means to consolidate and collaborate on our work experience.
We thought that it would be easy just to set something up, but didn’t actually realise how much work goes into the initial stages of starting your own agency, and how time consuming these steps are. Although I’ve already written about my typical day, I thought I’d use this experience to write a short post on what we’ve been getting up to and how we’ve managed our time.
The first thing we had to do was think of a name. Obviously we wanted something that was catchy and a bit of a pun (we’re a big fan of puns). However, this proved harder than we originally thought. Even though it didn’t really take up any extra time, it took us about 3 days of brain storming to eventually come up with “Bare Faced PR”, on top of our usual uni work and home lives.
Secondly, we needed to come up with a logo. Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m ok at Photoshop, but we were a bit out of our depths here. We decided to appeal to the good nature of friends and family to help us with this. In total this took us another 2 days to discuss and finalise. Most of this was done after 7pm at night, when Penny was in bed and I was busy making tea and doing other jobs.
Next, we decided to concentrate on our social media as we didn’t have a clue where to start with a website. As any PR practitioner will know, this is an ongoing thing. Despite the accounts only taking around 5 minutes each to set up, we still had to follow, add and post, which can take a while and never really stops. We’ve decided to devote any spare time we have to developing our social media presence. This includes, but is not limited to, bus journeys, lift rides, queuing and tea breaks. (Here are our Twitter, Facebook and blog if you’re interested.)
Finally, comes the website. The first step was to shop around for a decent host. This took longer than we expected. Many sites tie you into 36 month contracts, which is a commitment that neither of us were ready to make (financially or career wise) at this point. After another day or so we decided to go with Host Presto. It seemed fairly straightforward, until we got into the nitty gritty of advanced settings and setting up email accounts. Again, this took place after uni or between lectures on top of our already heavy second year course loads.
The last aspect we had to consider this week was the physical design of the website. As we’re just mere students there’s no way we could pay for a professional design. Instead, we used Adobe Muse to put together a simple, single page website. This was less time consuming than I actually thought it would be. I managed to get a babysitter and over the course of a Saturday afternoon we muddled our way through layers and links to make our website.
Because we’re not accepting paying clients we haven’t really had to do any of the business-type things that would also be needed (such as business plans, finding premises, adhering to health and safety law, etc.).
As you can see, it took us a while to get everything ironed out, and this is before we’ve taken on many clients, or done any traditional PR work. When you add this on top of assignments, having Penny and weekly reading it soon adds up to no free time or social life. Most of our ideas came via text message late at night, and the other work we usually managed in short bursts between lectures or after our uni work.
That being said our hard work this week has paid off and we’re already starting to do work for one of our clients through our agency. Keep watching this space to see how it pans out and if I manage to fit my daily jobs into 24 hours!
Side note: I’ve already started to be one of those really annoying people who are constantly glued to their phones, checking email and social media. I’m even starting to annoy myself.