One Year Down

Sophie McGrath PR - One Year Down

Welcome! Whether you are here to suss me out for your next PR campaign (I’m A-Grade) or just for a sticky beak, I am totally cool with either (I would do the same. Welcome sticky beaks).

I can’t believe it’s been one whole year, can you? You probably can more than me but if you are keen to know more about me and my experience of one year in the #PRLYF (is that what they say?), continue reading the big blob (on my blog) below – who knows, I might offer someone out there a decent piece of advice (don’t let the baby face fool you).

I have enjoyed every single minute of it. A lot of it has been hard and I have learnt so much along the way (BORING, let’s get real…)

I seem to get asked the same questions when I venture out of my home office, (unchained from my desk) and see humans so in case you are wondering the same see below for my 10 FAQ’s:

Question One – “Don’t you get lonely?”

Never. I do really good work on my own, in my own space, on my own time. I may be a little more introverted than most PR chicks but I turn it on when I need to… Mind you I speak to people every hour of the day on the phone or in face-to-face meetings whether it’s with clients or media and the best buds are pretty snap chat / what’s app friendly throughout the day.

Question Two – “How do you get the work and make the cash, dollar?”

Well, not to brag but I have never actively pitched myself out to anyone – yet! (You wait 2017, this girl’s got goals). Every single client that I have worked with so far has been through friends of friends, school friends, media suggestions, friends of clients I had previously worked with, my spray tanner (thanks Stephie!), right down to the guy that pours my coffee every morning (thanks John at Uncle Drew) who has seen me at my absolute worst for a 6:30am coffee and still suggests me – ‘nuff said.

I had a more ‘lets see how this goes’ approach when I started sans business plan and call it luck or hard work, every month I was never left high and dry, managing anything from 5 – 13 clients a month and allowing it to grow organically.

Question Three – “So, like what do you do with clients?”

I think any publicist gets asked this question on the daily and sometimes I can’t explain it well enough myself – my mother thinks I Instagram all day (Bless. I mean I do, but that’s just to keep ya’ll informed!) And my mates think I drink and dine all day (so glam but so far from the truth!) Basically, I do my very best to create hype, awareness and influence people’s perception of a brand in a way that suits the nature of that very brand. Every single campaign is different and tailored to its needs and wants and what I think the brand needs to do to achieve all objectives. It’s a beautiful life, really.

Question Four – “When will you be hiring someone or getting an intern?”

Some day but not right now. Why you ask? Well…

  1. I am still figuring out the ins and outs of running a business. I am making my mark and continuing to build on my relationships, experience, brand (yadda, yadda) plus learning to manage it completely and effortlessly before I manage someone else / multiple lovely people.
  1. I want to mentor someone, be available for him or her always and nurture his or her growth. Yes, I know, sounds lame but sadly, this doesn’t exist all that much in the PR world. Don’t get me wrong, I learnt everything I know today from being thrown in the deep end from day one but I find a lot of people don’t last the distance and burn out from the nature of agency PR and lack of support or become a little bitter about it all and leave for good which is a damn shame!

Question Five – “Why did you end up flying solo?”

It was my time. No really, it was – the feeling of wanting to do my own thing literally BURST out of me after many years of always just thinking about it – I finally had the guts to do it. I was always under the impression I needed yeaarrrsss of experience (mind you I think 7+ years is ample) but I came to the realisation that I was managing major campaigns on my own, so… I thought why not do that, but under my own name instead of someone else’s? Simples.

Question Six – “You look so busy!!! How do you manage all of them [clients]?”

Time Management. Seems very simple but if you are not in a love affair with timelines, time management, organisation, calendar notes, mapping out your week’s worth of work day-to-day plus organising your clients then don’t get into PR.

I’ll be honest, I get up really early – in the 6’s and I work until the work is done (sometimes very late at night) but hey, that’s OK because luckily for me this is my thing and I care about my reputation and it’s a true hobby (I don’t have hobbies, PR is it).

I always manage back expectations, I am very open and transparent (two words I always use in a new business meeting) and I will never take someone on if I cannot give them 100% of my time and efforts.

Question Seven – “What?! You work from home?!! Don’t you just sit in your pajamas all day and watch Ellen?”

I don’t think I have sat at home in the whole year and watched TV in my PJs (sorry to disappoint you). Lucky for me daytime television is awful (except for the Olympics, that was a major distraction thanks to opposite time zones) and plus I’d rather do other “distracting” things like take a nap, walk my border collie Maximus, eat food and stare at a wall blankly, you know?

Yes, there is the serious case of the leisurewear and bare face look when I don’t have to be a PR “glamazon” (nothing major, always in sneakers but one pair has gold toe caps!) but the flannelette PJs are for the bedroom only. 

Question Eight – “When will you get a fancy office?” 

Like the Q – when will you get someone to work for you, people are very quick to hurry my business along and for me to have a name on the door (I am still totally chuffed my name is on a business card and a ‘with comps’ slipped and now all over the Internets – thanks dashcreative!)

I love the flexibility of working from home in the office, a lot of magic happens in there – it’s Sophie McGrath PR by day and Mark Zito’s AKA ‘Fractures’ (check him out, he is awesome and I am in no way biased: www.fracturesmusic.com.au) studio by night but one day you’ll be able to come visit me in my office instead of us meeting in your hood or half way at a midrange-to-trendy café.

Question Nine – “But if you are not an agency, how do you manage events all on your own?”

Sometimes it would be nice to split myself into 5 Sophie’s but I make do and get the job done. I work closely with internal teams and luckily they have all been keen to work alongside me to manage doors while I go ahead and greet guests, manage client and introductions, photographer and nailing the brief etcetera, etcetera!

I know I have said it to a lot of you, the whole, “Thanks so much for coming!!!! I will chat to you inside…” and then it hits 10:30pm and you are out the door but know my intentions are good and I really, really do want to talk to you but the client comes first, always and I am only happy if they are (no sipping on champs for me!)

Question Ten – “What makes you different?”

This isn’t a Q I get asked from the general public, more so new business clients who are sussing me out and that’s cool and I always say the following:

  1. I am open and transparent – no smoke and mirrors and air kisses here
  2. I work cross-category – Keeps it interesting for me and allows me to broaden my line of work
  3. I don’t believe in long term retainers rather work on projects basis with ongoing clients – Retainers cause issues
  4. I have great relationships – I am forever grateful for the media, bloggers, influencers, celebrities, creatives that help me in my day-to-day work because I can’t do much without them supporting me
  5. I do good work – Lucky for you, I am a total control freak and perfectionist (both good things in my line of work)

So, that’s it! Here is to one year (** cheers myself **) and may there be many, many more.

I hope to keep this blog up to date fortnightly but if you would like me to chat about a particular topic please email me at sophie@sophiemcgrathpr.com I would love to hear from you.

CHEERS!

S XX