Everything you do in life is PR

Without sounding too cheesy, it is always the right time to start PR. If it is at all possible, it should be involved from the beginning of a business. It is the foundation from which a public presence is built.

Jessica Weiland

Started Grace Creative – journalistic guru

Jessica Weiland (Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, Italian and Public Relations) is respected for her bold strategies, honest advice and intimate knowledge of the  media landscape including all specialist Australian print, online and broadcast journalists. As a boutique, specialist agency Grace Creative provides personalised, bespoke services for each client on national, state and local levels. There is no cookie cutter approach here. Just simple, straightforward, honest to goodness PR, communications and writing services to help your business establish a graceful public presence.

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I am and always have been a writer at heart. I enjoy making a difference to the lives of small business owners through honest, straight forward, well executed public relations.

Why did you leave journalism and get into PR?

I love writing and I loved journalism and still do to an extent wear my journo hat. I don’t think you ever lose that journo instinct. However, after a few years I felt I needed to make the transition to the so called ‘dark side’. Lifestyle, greater variety and the endless opportunities to grow my career were the drivers.

What sets your biz apart from others?

I am a big believer in the saying that without integrity, everything fails. So Grace Creative is about simple, straightforward, honest to goodness PR, communications and writing services. There is no cookie cutter approach. No smoke and mirrors. No bridging and side stepping. Just clever, insightful and expert PR guidance to help a business establish a graceful public presence. Whether that be online, in the media or with stakeholders.

What is it you love most about your business and the world
of PR?

The kick you get when you land a great piece in the media and seeing the difference a bit of good PR can do for a business in terms of their own identity and their public presence. I love how you can take a business and help them develop a graceful and commanding public presence.

Do you miss journalism?

The thrill of a deadline that simply has to be met and the prospect of holding a front page story in your hot little hands. That and seeing your byline on a story you’ve worked tirelessly on.

Why is PR important? 

Everything you do in life is PR. It isn’t about selling things or peddling lies. Clever, smart PR is about focusing on your strengths and using them to the best of your ability. It’s about putting the right foot forward. It’s important to have it front and centre when it comes to websites, media engagement, marketing and communications collateral. It defines your public presence and shapes how you are viewed by the very people you are trying to talk to.

What does a PR plan include?

A good PR plan should have a critical review of the businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Key areas of vulnerability should always be addressed to ensure the business is well prepared and corrects any areas needing strengthening before going to the public.

Is there a right time to start PR?

Without sounding too cheesy, it is always the right time to start PR. If it is at all possible, it should be involved from the beginning of a business. It is the foundation from which a public presence is built. However, key times to consider PR would be well before you have something to say to the market. So for instance, a website re-vamp, a change in the content/structure of media documents, re-branding or in the lead up to a launch/event would be key times to be considering PR.

prIs PR only about traditional print/radio/TV media or online too? If yes, what online avenues do you follow up? Bloggers? TV shows?

No PR isn’t limited to print, radio and tv. There is a whole range of social media and online platforms which can be used to support a PR campaign or strategy. However, it never is one size fits all approach when it comes to PR. It is important to choose your mediums carefully and have an effective, strong and reliable presence in each of them, rather than a weak presence across multiple channels.

Do you do PR for your own business?

I do, everything from guest blogging, to tweeting tips and insights to attending networking events to talk to others about the ever-changing business sector.

Hottest PR tip you can give?

I have a few:

1) Be honest and be yourself.

2) If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to say so. Making something up or lying to a journalist to save face will not only damage the relationship over the long term but could also backfire and lead to negative coverage.

3) If something is truly newsworthy, then the media will be interested. Full stop. You shouldn’t need to sell a story or news to the media, if you are, then it’s not news.

4) Journalists are not the enemy and it is possible to have a good relationship with them.

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