7 Brutal Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Hiring A PR Manager

So, how do you obtain brilliant PR? You start with the right person, and by that I mean BOTH manager and client.

The pairing has to be perfect. Those who sit in their agencies thinking that all you need is a long list of press contacts and a gift of the gab are missing out on a big trick. The relationship between client and manager needs to be water tight. Yet, this plus a whole host of other issues usually fail to get any attention by businesses.

So, in this post, I will walk you through the 7 brutal questions you need to ask yourself before you hire a PR Manager (and it’s a frighteningly vast number of businesses who don’t.)

  1. Do they ‘get’ your business? Understanding your playing field is vital to the success of the relationship between your PR manager and you. They need to have either experience in your trading arena or have the desire to learn it thoroughly.
  2. Are they keen for the right reasons? Enthusiasm is the key here and if your newly acquired PR manager is willing to engage, then they are a better bet than someone who is simply willing to part you from your cash.
  3. Do they genuinely want to get to know you? A good PR manager will want to spend time with you and get to know you and your company. Allow them to do this as it will give them valuable insight into how you think, speak and currently project your company image. It might sound like a turn on the therapist couch, but if you want your PR to be transparent, on song and genuine then your PR manager is going to want to make sure the story you share is truthful and accurate.
  4. Do they love you? Don’t simply go for a PR Manager who kisses the ground you walk on. The papers will only take so much of yet another client wishing for their ego to be massaged.
  5. Are they the right PR Manager for you? This is a toughie as most businesses will hire someone that’s wrong. That doesn’t mean to say that there are bad PR Managers and you have to know how to pick a good one. Some will be a good fit. No everyone you meet will be.
  6. Have they identified opportunities yet? Every day is an opportunity. A good PR manager will not sit around waiting for those opportunities to drop into their lap – they need to see the world differently to everyone else and a good PR manager won’t hang about. They will want to take action and shout your corner as soon as possible.
  7. Are they swtiched on? You might have heard about the brain’s excellent ability to ‘distort, delete and generalise’ everything that comes into contact with its eyes, ears and senses each day? A PR Manager will be subconsciously switched on to picking up everything once of data which in turn, leads to a positive opportunity to create that all important persona for their client. They will have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world and ready to snap up an opportunity as soon as it happens. 


Michelle has won awards for her contribution to Communications and PR for several high profile clients and projects, including the London 2012 Olympics.  She holds a total of 5 Diplomas in Marketing, PR and even Business Psychology. She currently works as a PR Manager and lives in Wiltshire with her 3 cats and son, Jon. 

Why Every Business Needs PR (And Not Just Because It’s Cheaper Than Ads)

In every city in every country, Media and PR agencies sprout out of the ground.

Sitting on every creative corner of every street, they can be found nestled amongst vegan coffee lounges and minimalistic art studios like modern day gods seemingly holding the keys to profitability and success.

what's PR?


In the meantime, companies sit dreaming. Wondering what it would be like to hit the big time and see their name in lights like their competitors and all that’s separates them is an advertising budget. Right? No. It’s much more than that.

Every business wishing to hit the top needs someone either in or out-house to at least, cultivate and review the image the company is portraying to the outside world. Banging out a dozen marketing ads in a few publications, even on a regular basis, is not going to make your business the next big thing. You need a sound PR strategy.

(And this is the point where most businesses roll their eyes and say it’s for bigger fish.) That’s not true either. It is for everyone and anyone. Big or small.

So, in this post today, I attempt to set the record straight on PR and why businesses can’t do without it.

But first, let’s look at the difference between marketing and PR. Why? Because although one is very important and integral to the success of a business, the other is vital.

Marketing vs PR – What’s the difference?

Marketing is the communication between you and your customers, investors and suppliers. It is the channel by which you inform them that you exist. It is the conversation you have with the outside world.

PR on the other hand is NOT what YOU say to your customers, investors and suppliers, it is the conversation THEY have amongst themselves.  Marketing is important because it’s your voice. PR is vital because it’s theirs.

why every business needs good PR

While marketing will help you discover what your customers want, their pain points, their values and demographic, it is PR that will create the image, the persona of your business and it is this, that sticks hard. Marketing can be changed instantly, but PR has a greater impact because it is the one thing that the business cannot control.

So, what is PR?

Every self-styled PR guru has an opinion what will be the next big phenomenon. Fashionable 20 somethings in glass high rises gossip over the next big concept that will change how the world thinks, and that the next British Gas advert will be the one that will save the planet.

That might be only a fraction of what PR is, but it certainly isn’t the whole story. So, what what’s the rest of it?

Is it the glossy images on the front cover? The stepping out of Harrods just as a TV camera shoots by? Scanning the airwaves for a topic which fits in with your client neatly and seamlessly? Well, no. It’s a combination of all of these things.

The idea that PR is simply the right look, the right word or the right angle on something is only half the battle. That said, if PR is a battle then you’re doing it wrong. Good PR is effortless.

why every business needs PR

PR in itself is essential to anyone or any business wishing to set out into the world their message. If you have an idea about any business, regardless of industry, one of the easiest things to do is shout about it, but make sure you are shouting at the right audience. There’s no point waving your arms up and down in the middle of a busy high street. If you’re not striking a cord, then you might as well be shouting at no one.

What’s your message?

Get clear on your message and even more so, ask yourself ‘why should anyone listen to what I have to say?’ We all buy with emotion and justify with logic later. Someone doesn’t buy a 63″ TV because they want a 63″ TV. They want the experience that goes with it. They want the clarity, the colour and sharpness of the picture. They want to feel as though they are IN the picture and away from their lives. They certainly don’t consider the price. They worry about that later.

Understand what it is you are selling and figure out the emotional pull you can lever behind it. Your customers won’t ever remember what it is you’ve said to them. They will even forget the discount or the offer that you gave them on purchase. What they WILL remember is how you made them FEEL.

The cheaper option

When someone buys something from you, you want them to go away and become a raving fan and gush to their friends how much they love your brand. That is PR. It is the shouting the public do about you to each other.

Every business, big or small needs an element of PR. It is the most over looked corner of marketing and advertising yet remarkably, the cheapest. PR when done properly won’t cost you a penny yet it is surprising the number of businesses who simply advertise without any form of PR strategy. It’s money down the drain for nothing.

The key to remember above anything else is that every business is human to human. It doesn’t matter if your client base are members of the public or other businesses. You are dealing with human beings on a daily basis.

Connect with them and they will become your marketing department.

Now that’s good PR.


Michelle has won awards for her contribution to Communications and PR for several high profile clients and projects, including the London 2012 Olympics.  She holds a total of 5 Diplomas in Marketing, PR and even Business Psychology. She currently works as a PR Manager and lives in Wiltshire with her 3 cats and son, Jon. 

The Secret Sauce To Having A Brilliant Career Part 2 (The Power Of Intention)

Following on from Part One, let’s start Part Two by talking about the things you’ve probably do already that you think might work but actually don’t when it comes to creating your ideal path:

Mood boards:

Sitting down and making up a few Pinterest boards is not going to get you all the wealth and abundance you want. Sorry. They will work if you want to change the colour of your bathroom, but when it comes to manifesting your dream job, it’s really only half the recipe.


You might want to sit down painfully crossed legged for half an hour each day and focus your mind on visualising your ideal role without that thought of ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’ But, it’s not going to work on its own.

Sure, everything around you in your life, right now, started off as a single thought than then transferred to an idea before action took place, but it took a lot more than simply thinking about it. Your mind might be brilliant enough to come up with some pretty cool graphics after ten minutes of your eyes being shut, but with the secret element, the imagination won’t work to creating your dream career.

There is one key element you have completely missed out on.

You have to believe in what you want. But not in the way you think.

You need to EXPECT it. Like it’s a given.

Because everything you have in your life, right now, you expected at some point in the past.

That bad relationship you’re in? You expected that to happen. Even if your intention was different when it started out, there was at one point after that, that you expected it to be the way it is right now. So you got it.

Somewhere along the line, your thought process shifted. Even if you didn’t realise it at the time.

The universe will ALWAYS give you want you expect to happen.

Belief is one thing but expectation, is a whole new, very real ball game.

And this is where your inner marketing manager comes back in.

Your inner story is writing your expectations and your actions in the outside world will ensure that, that expectation will be carried out.

You might land the perfect job, but if you deep down expect to lose it as some point in the future, sure as heck, you will. Because your subconscious mind will ensure your actions will pave out the journey to that expectation, so it is carried out on time, right on schedule. The expectation is your belief and if your believe something will happen, it will.

So, how do you go about changing what we believe will happen in our lives? Well, we use dreams.

If you find it difficult to consciously think about how to change your belief system, then to intend to dream it instead.

Many of us will struggle to change our belief system simply because they are the beliefs and values we’ve had all our lives.  Yet using dreams can skip that and all you have to do is set the intention.

Dreams are hugely powerful yet we tend to ignore them as our mind simply going through what we think is the ‘sorting out of stuff we’ve done during that day or seen or TV.’ Yet they are much more than that.

You might have come across something called the power of intention.


So, here is a little trick for you.

Before you go to bed tonight and go to sleep, set yourself your intention for the following day and ask your subconscious mind to give you to, in a dream, all the things you need to make that intention come true.

Get used to using your imagination when visualising your dream scenario. You see, visualising will only work if you truly feel and believe what you are visualising is actually going to come true. Other wise, as we talked about before, just thinking about an image is not going to do the job.

You have to get emotionally involved in what you want or it won’t happen. Just thinking about the word ’emotion’ shows that you need to take action – ‘e-motion.’ To make something happen your life you first have to take the action for it to happen.

Then it will happen, but be warned. This can work for both positive and negative outcomes so be careful what you wish for!


Want to find out more? I love this post from Without Boxes on the Power of Intent – click here to read on. 

Missed out on part one? Click here to read it.


Michelle is an award winning marketing, PR and leadership consultant. She is has CoE Diplomas in Marketing, PR, Business Management and Accountancy, and is a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management and The Association of Integrative Psychology.

She is a keen mountain biker and once won the 42km cross country race for ChildLine raising over £1000. She lives in Wiltshire with her family and three cats.




The Secret Sauce To Having A Brilliant Career (In Fact, Brilliant In Every Corner Of Your Life)

Did you know that being any manager of any team or department, you need to be a brilliant marketing manager first?

You don’t see it?

Let me explain:

Marketing isn’t just for the department and it doesn’t just stop at what ever it is you are promoting to your target audience.

Marketing starts, believe it or not, with you and more importantly, how you feel about YOU.

This is what I mean…

Market yourself to yourself effectively and you can literally change your world. Regardless of your occupation, industry or niche. Whether you are an office cleaner, a builder, laying roads, tredding the boards or heading a board room. If you can market yourself to yourself, you can be anything or anyone you want to be.

So let’s go back for a second to the heading of this article today.

We’re talking about being a marketing manager but let’s turn that around for a second. Manage your marketing – managing yourself as your own marketing manager. It is all about the inside story. What you tell yourself inside is always what you get on the outside.

Ok, so now I have completely confused you, let’s take that last paragraph apart.

We already know that what’s going on, on the inside of yourself is always, always reflected on the outside. So, if your life is pretty rubbish, then I can guess that you don’t feel that great about yourself, right?

So, that gives us a chicken and egg scenario. What came first? The feeling of being inadequate and useless or are you just merely reacting to what’s going on in the outside world?

What you think about yourself is always reflected in your world

The values you have of yourself (or lack of it) comes first. Always.

Those values you have now, have been there since you were around 12 years old. That’s the age where we build our sense of self worth that sticks rigidly to for the rest of your life. It maps out your destiny.

You see, where we have been going wrong all these thousands of years is that we allow what’s going on in the outside world dictate to us how we feel, rather than the other way around. What we should be doing is rewriting the rule book in our minds on what we want the outside world to be.

Yet this is very difficult to do otherwise we would all be doing it. You see, we’re not beings that feel and then think, we are thinking beings that feel. We are led every day to act on how we feel, we should be scrapping how we feel and just doing what we KNOW we should be doing.

I will give you an example:

If you didn’t feel like doing something, you wouldn’t do it right? Yet, if you wanted to do it, you would do it, yes?

Changing the intention

What you need to do is change the intention. Your mind creates the feelings that puts your physical body into scenarios that reflect how you feel about yourself, others and the world around you.

You will always, on a subconscious level, look, no, in fact, seek out all the situations on the planet that are equal to your values. So if you have a bad job now, you will always have a bad job, because you are actively seeking out jobs that are equal to the poor image you have of yourself.

Great leaders don’t put themselves in that environment. Why? Because the conversation they are having inside sees them as the great leaders they are, or the great business owners, entrepreneurs, managers. To change it, you change the way you are marketing yourself to yourself.

And it can happen, and quicker than you think.

(Want to know what happened to me? Click here for the full article) 

Want to know how you can change your world into the one you want? Read the next article here…


Michelle is an award winning marketing, PR and leadership consultant. She is has CoE Diplomas in Marketing, PR, Business Management and Accountancy, and is a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management and The Association of Integrative Psychology.

She is a keen mountain biker and once won the 42km cross country race for ChildLine raising over £1000. She lives in Wiltshire with her family and three cats.