From Glasgow to Aberdeen to Edinburgh and from Facebook pages to business pages, kind of a lot has happened in the last six years.
The beauty of working in the media is the variety. One day I’ll be interviewing an entrepreneur who’s just sold his business for £50 million and the next I’ll be explaining the possibilities of an advanced Twitter search to a vet.
I am now based in Edinburgh, following three years in Aberdeen. Even though it was my husband’s job that brought us here (Head of Sales for Aston Martin and Rolls Royce) it dovetailed beautifully with the work I’ve been doing with Mike Watson at sbnn.co.uk. Our new digital publication, Scottish Entrepreneur, has required me to attend and report on events which are almost always in Edinburgh or Glasgow – tricky if you’re 150 miles north with two small children.
Part of the reason I set up Impact Online, walking away from a full-time job as an editor, was to give myself more freedom. I wanted to work flexibly and remotely, taking advantage of the technologies that made that possible. I think my most far-flung client to date is JAB in Hong Kong. My city moves didn’t affect business particularly, in many ways they enhanced it. I now have great contacts in three of the main Scottish cities. One client came to me in Aberdeen precisely for the knowledge I had of introducing a Glasgow business to the Aberdeen market.
Sometimes, though, there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Being in Edinburgh has allowed me to meet some people I’d only ever tweeted or emailed. One business lunch with a publisher turned into a bit of a brainstorming session and ended with me securing a six month commitment for my client Carole Ferguson to be the magazine’s legal columnist.
I do sometimes wonder if it’s sustainable to dance either side of the fence, being both journalist and PR consultant… But why not? As long as there is no conflict of interest, it can only be a good thing to thoroughly understand the challenges both parties face. As a PR consultant I can honestly tell clients whether their story will fly and how best to present it. As a journalist I know exactly who to contact and how to present their message without it compromising the integrity of the story.
I’ve long held the belief that content marketing is the future and also where PR, marketing and journalism merge, so having skills in all three arenas isn’t just desirable, it’s becoming essential. I personally don’t think it’s enough to say to a client, ‘yes, I can handle your PR’ without also keeping their website up-to-date, managing their social media output, creating and editing their videos and writing their newsletter, especially if they’re an SME without the budget for three separate wages.
I’m excited about the challenges over the next few years, particularly if technology continues to develop at a breakneck pace. I may have an announcement in the next few months (and no, it won’t be another baby) which will take my little company to the next level. I’m so glad I took the plunge six years ago, I genuinely love my job.
Please get in touch if you think Impact Online could help you or your business.
0800 612 5828
kim @ impactonline.co.uk