Kellye Crane

Get SMART About Marketing and PR

Technology, social media, and search are just a few of the things that continue to shift how public relations, marketing and communication professionals practice. With many disciplines converging, it is almost certain that the scope of your work over the last couple...

The Benefits of Mentoring an Intern

This is a guest post by Solo PR Pro founder and former president, Kellye Crane. Lately, I’ve seen many cars sporting a paw print bumper sticker with the pro-adoption motto, “Who Rescued Who?” Poor grammar aside – and keeping in mind no one in our scenario is a dog – I...

Ultimate Year-End Checklist for Self-Employed Consultants

This post has been updated for 2015. The end of the year is fast approaching, but there’s still time to close out 2015 with a bang! Here are 12 items that should be on any independent consultant’s year-end checklist: Financial 1. Make business purchases now - One of...

Chat Recap: Pre-qualifying Prospects, Contracts and More

On the second Wednesday in December, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On December...

Attention Spans Are Shrinking [Infographic]

Do you have the attention span of a goldfish? According to some sources, human attention spans are shrinking at a rapid rate and topics actually hold our attention for less time than our fishy friends. As PR professionals, we know how difficult it can be to grab - and...

Chat Recap: PR Plans

On the second Wednesday in November, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On...

Charting the Course: A Guide to PR Planning

Strategic planning forms the cornerstone of what we do as communications consultants, and provides the foundation that allows us to gain consensus and chart a strategic course for – and with – our clients. What differentiates top consultants from others – including...

My Business Is 20 Years Old! 20 Lessons for Longevity

This month, I’m celebrating 20 years as a Solo PR Pro. I can’t really wrap my brain around it, but there’s one thing I know for sure: that’s a long time! Since founding Solo PR Pro in 2008, I’m often asked how I got my own start as a communications consultant, so I’m...

Chat Recap: SoloPR Pros Income Trends, Satisfaction and More

On the second Wednesday in October, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On October...

Solo PR Pro Compensation Report Highlights [Infographic]

The groundbreaking 2015 Solo PR Pro Compensation Survey yielded some fascinating findings (be sure to view the full report, if you haven't already). To review the top highlights of the report at-a-glance, view the following infographic (and share with your...

Chat Recap: Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Scandal and More

On the fourth Wednesday in September, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On...

PR Interns or Assistants – Which is Right for You?

As small business people, we need to take an honest look at the time we’re willing to invest. Do I have the time to help someone learn more about public relations or would I rather pay someone to go away and get the job done?

Chat Recap: Social Media Planning and Execution

On the second Wednesday in September, we held one of our popular combined Twitter chats with the wise social media practitioners of #SMchat.  Our two groups of top communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice on the following topics of...

Complete the 2015 Solo PR Compensation Survey Today!

Thank you for your interest - the survey is now closed. Results will be published in coming weeks on the Solo PR Pro blog. Want to be sure you’re notified of the results? Click here to sign-up for our free newsletter, In the Know. How much are other freelance...

Laid Off? Now You’re Free to Consult!

  “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" – Joseph Campbell The first time many people consider PR freelancing or consulting is the day they learn their job is no longer. If you’ve recently been...

Consultant Know Thyself—Harness the Power of Personality Types

This is a guest post by Kerry Bezzanno. Ever wonder why people do what they do? Has your own behavior ever driven you crazy? Like, why deadlines may be the infernal bane of your existence no matter how many times you swear to yourself—clenching your fist to the sky à...

Keeping the Funnel Fed— Summer Strategies

We’re all familiar with Aesop’s fable, “The Grasshopper and the Ant:” in the summer time when the living was easy, the grasshopper sung and played – neglecting to store food for the winter like his friend the ant. When winter came the ant was ready, but the...

How to Offer Media Training to Your Clients

If you do any kind of media or influencer outreach for your clients, basic media training should be part of your services. There’s nothing worse than spending countless hours securing the perfect opportunity, and then watching a client blow it in just a few minutes –...

How to Maximize Your Profitability with Better Client Management

It's not always apparent, but inefficient client management is a slow leak on your profitability. In the following presentation, we outline the five things you need to do to build the foundation of a successful business with effective client management– one brick at a...

Chat Recap: What do you do with a piece of news?

On the fourth Wednesday in June, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On June...

#SoloPR Topic Chat: What do you do with a piece of news?

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. A part of your role as a professional communicator is to make sure your client’s messages are visible to their identified audiences. Whether you manage the...

Guest Blogging for PR Pros

This is a guest post by Mickie Kennedy. You’re probably -- scratch that: definitely -- stretched for time. Between clients, research, and keeping on top of your own blog (if you have one), putting the hours and effort into guest blogging for other publications is a...

Vacation Time!

Members of the Solo PR Pro community know I’m a firm believer that regular breaks are critical to enjoying a long-term, successful career as a Solo PR Pro. The importance of taking time off on occasion cannot be understated, and this week I’m taking my own advice! The...

Chat Recap: Client Reporting Best Practices with Christine Perkett

On the fourth Wednesday in May, we joined forces with special guest PR powerhouse Christine Perkett. Participants weighed in with opinions and insight on the following topics of interest: In general, what do clients really care about? What do they want to see in...

#SoloPR Topic Chat: Client Reporting Best Practices

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. In the pursuit of happy clients, good reporting is key. But what reports are worthwhile and how can we make them more meaningful? Tomorrow (Wednesday,...

Chat Recap: Social Media Routines

On the second Wednesday in May, we held one of our popular combined Twitter chats with the wise social media practitioners of #SMchat.  Our two groups of top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice on the following topics of...

5 Ways to Gain the Media’s Trust

This is a guest blog post by Jason Mollica. Let’s be honest, we’ve all seen the quotes, tweets and Facebook posts from journalists about public relations pros being sneaky, unethical, or distrustful. It’s something, unfortunately, that comes with the territory. Most...

Checkout Solo PR’s New Design Refresh!

As with many long-standing websites, Google’s announcement that “mobile friendliness” would become a factor in mobile search results was a bit of a jolt for us here at Solo PR Pro. Though the site displayed fine on most mobile devices, Google’s test tool  let us know...

Chat Recap: Managing Client Expectations

On the fourth Wednesday in April, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On April 22,...

Register Now to Join Solo PR Pro at the FPRA Conference in August

We’re going to Orlando! The schedule is up and registration is now open for Solo PR Pro’s main event activity for 2015 - the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Conference, being held August 10-12, 2015. As previously announced, we’ve joined forces with the...

The Most Important Word for You to Know

The most important word to any freelancer or consultant is... “scope,” preferably not followed by the word “creep.” Scope creep is the bane of any independent consultant’s existence. It happens when your client adds things to your to-do list that you didn’t foresee....

Chat Recap: When Should You Subcontract?

On the second Wednesday in April, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On April 08,...

10 Basic Rules for Successful Infographics

Love them or hate them, highly-sharable infographics have become an enduring part of the content marketing landscape. While there was a time when the rush to create infographics resulted in a lot of crazy-looking .jpegs with no purpose, we now have tools (such as...

Are You Ready? Five Crisis Communications Building Blocks

This is a guest post by Fran Stephenson, a Solo PR PRO Premium member who has handled hundreds of crises during her 20+ years in corporate communications, including more than 15 years as a theme park communicator. Her new ebook, “Managing Your Next Crisis: A...

Chat Recap: Are PR Focused Conferences A Useful Investment?

On the fourth Wednesday in March, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On March 25,...

Are You Pretending To Be Busy?

We all do it on occasion. Sometimes we fool even ourselves, we're so good at pretending to be busy -- and independent consultants are especially vulnerable. It can be a form of procrastination (as in the illustration above). Or perhaps we just can't find the muse that...

Demystifying the Home Office Deduction

Disclaimer: This post is newly updated, and is not a substitute for the guidance of a tax professional. If you’re still working on your tax preparations, we’re not judging. Hopefully, you’re striving to keep as much of your hard-earned income as possible. An...

Chat Recap: Social Media, Press Releases and Negotiations

On the second Wednesday in March, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On March 11,...

Persuasive Communication – PR, Psychology and the Brain

The best PR pros know that persuasive communication benefits from a healthy dose of psychology. How do people think and process information, and how can we use that understanding to improve our communications? Nobel prize-winning economist, Daniel Kahneman, has...

March Fourth Offers a Mandate

We’re more than two months into 2015, and some (most?) new year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. But just when we’re about to relax into old routines, the calendar offers us a date to serve as a reminder: March Fourth! This day offers a great opportunity to...

Chat Recap: Prospecting For New Business

On the fourth Wednesday in February, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On February...

#SoloPR Topic Chat: Prospecting for New Business

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. For any contractor, regular attention to the new business pipeline is critical to success. For many communications consultants, networking for new clients is...

Chat Recap: Ethics, Databases and More

On the second Wednesday in February, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On February...

My Year of Living Humorously

You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely. -Ogden Nash I had a birthday over the weekend, and though it didn’t end in a zero I sort of dreaded this one - perhaps because I’ve been feeling a bit boring lately. As Solo PR Pros, many of us work...

29 Ways to Stay Creative [Infographic]

  I don't know about you, but I always have a harder time getting going in the winter. Gray skies and heavy clothes can make me feel lethargic and uninspired. Fortunately, I found many of the ideas in the following infographic, produced by the no longer active...

Chat Recap: Love More, Sell More with Jack Vincent

On the fourth Wednesday in January, we joined forces with special guest Jack Vincent, sales coach and author of A Sale Is a Love Affair.  Participants weighed in with opinions and insight on the following topics of interest: Jack says self-love is the first step in...

Tools Rule – Except When They Don’t

A version of this post ran on the Cision blog. I’ve never met a communications professional who wasn’t a tool fiend. Sometimes it seems our appetite for tools and services that can help us do our jobs better is never-ending. And why wouldn’t we be in love with tools?...

Chat Recap: Is Social Media Marketing Its Own Discipline?

On the second Wednesday in January, we joined forces with #SMchat for one of our popular combo Twitter chats with that group. The questions centered on the topic Is Social Media Marketing Its Own Discipline? Participants weighed in with opinions and insight on the...

How to Develop Modern Key Messages

Roughly six years ago, I wrote a guest post for Kami Huyse’s blog about the role of messaging in public relations - at the time, the term “key message” had developed a bad reputation. Folks were hopping aboard the Cluetrain Manifesto’s proclamation that “there’s no...

Start 2015 Off Right with These Top Posts

Happy new year! The turning of the calendar page has special significance for Solo PR Pros. Many newly independent communications professionals hang out their shingle on January 1, while others already in business choose to redouble their efforts to achieve new goals...

Rewarding Our Supporters – Become a Solo PR Affiliate

Solo PR PRO Premium members are our biggest fans, and we'd like to reward you for what you're doing already - recommending Solo PR PRO Premium membership to your friends and colleagues. Today we're unveiling our new affiliate program, which pays $25 for every new...

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U.S., this week is a time to slow down and spend time with loved ones (yes, even driven Solo PR Pros!), and to take a moment to feel thankful for our blessings. I'm thankful for the Solo PR Pro community, which allows me to learn from amazingly smart,...

Join Solo PR Pro at the FPRA Conference in August 2015!

The wait is over – we’re excited to announce Solo PR Pro’s main event activity for 2015! We’ve joined forces with the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Conference to sponsor and help organize an indie-focused Solo PR Pro track. This arrangement comes with...

Chat Recap: Storytelling, Public Speaking, and More

On the second Wednesday in November, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On November...

23 Creative Holiday Gift Ideas for Clients

It's hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us! Many businesses, large and small, choose to include clients and colleagues in holiday gift giving, which means now is the time for the (sometimes dreaded) task of gift selection. Independent communications...

7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money on Professional Development

Ongoing education is critical to success in our business, but with so many “gurus” online – from individuals to big name trade publications – peddling conferences, advice and information products, how can you be selective and avoid falling victim to mediocre...

Modern SEO Cheat Sheet for PR Pros [Infographic]

In recent years, Google has made a number of important updates to its algorithm that impact many aspects of PR and marketing (not just Search Engine Optimization, or SEO). Did you know distributing press releases via a wire service no longer positively impacts SEO,...

Chat Recap: Managing Your Self-Employed Business

The rise of the independent nation is well underway, and much of world has recognized the critical role professional independent consultants can play in today's workforce. As the environment for freelancers and contractors continues to evolve, those of us who are...

Negotiating and Business – Join This Week’s #SoloPR Topic Chat

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. Tomorrow (Wednesday, 10/22/14) at 1-2 p.m. Eastern time, we’re looking forward to our monthly #SoloPR Topic Chat on Twitter (never participated in a Twitter...

Chat Recap: #SoloPR Twitter Chat Turns 5!

This week, we celebrated the #SoloPR chat's fifth birthday! Longer than any other continuously running PR chat on Twitter, we've gathered an amazing group of professionals who play hard, work harder, and are always interested in helping and learning from each other...

The Rise of the Independent Nation – Follow the Money

When I first opened my business as a solo PR pro in 1995, independent communications consultants were a rare breed. While forward-looking clients (primarily at PR agencies) embraced the benefits of working with experienced and flexible outside counsel, other...

#SoloPR Chat Turns 5 – Join Us to Celebrate!

In 2009, the U.S. welcomed its first black president, we mourned the loss of the "King of Pop," and people were talking about a crazy new TV show called the Jersey Shore.  And on Twitter, we gathered a group of forward-looking early adopters for an hour of "smarts and...

Join Us for This Week’s #SoloPR Topic Chat: Ethics

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. Tomorrow (Wednesday, 9/24/14) at 1-2 p.m. Eastern time, we’re looking forward to our monthly #SoloPR Topic Chat on Twitter (never participated in a Twitter...

5 Tips to Build Client Partnerships

This is a guest post by Heather Whaling, president of Geben Communication. The people who hire you – are they clients or customers? Do they see you as a partner or a vendor? A consultant or a freelancer? Just semantics or is there an actual difference? I see the new...

Q&A Chat Re-cap: Weekend Work and more

On the second Wednesday of each month, we hold our traditional Q&A chat, where top independent communication professionals share thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). Our September 2014...

Self-Employed Health Insurance – Your Questions Answered

One of the most vexing challenges facing many self-employed solo and small businesses is health insurance - and this challenge has only become more complicated in recent years. This week, during our #SoloPR Topic Chat on Twitter, we were joined by Angus McRae, a...

#SoloPR Topic Chat Preview: Health Insurance

Be sure to checkout the re-cap post for this chat - which includes highlights and the full transcript - here. Next Wednesday, August 27, at 1-2 p.m. Eastern time (10-11 a.m. Pacific), we’re looking forward to our first #SoloPR Topic Chat on Twitter (Never participated...

The Best Tools For Consultants to Manage and Promote Your Business

Welcome to the next installment of Solo PR Pro’s Tool School series! Designed to fight overwhelm, all this month we’re offering specific recommendations for services that are cost-effective for indies, and aren’t enterprise-focused or overkill for our needs. Last...

Chat re-cap: Disclosures and Other Sticky Situations

On the second Wednesday in August, we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by the community (learn how to join us here). On August 13,...

54 Tools for PR and Digital Success

Welcome to Solo PR Pro’s Tool School series! Designed to fight overwhelm, all this month we’re offering specific recommendations for services that are cost-effective for indies, and aren’t enterprise-focused or overkill for our needs. In this, our second installment,...

Half Price Discount on Inkybee Small Team Plan! Learn More.

The Inkybee service focuses on one of the most vexing aspects of PR, digital, and social media outreach: blogger and influencer relations. It offers a suite of powerful tools for research and discovery, outreach, and reporting that includes everything from detailed...

Ultimate Guide to Productivity Tools

Welcome to Solo PR Pro’s Tool School series! Designed to fight overwhelm, all this month we’re offering specific recommendations for services that are cost-effective for indies, and aren’t enterprise-focused or overkill for our needs. First up, we look at Productivity...

Tool School Series: Find the Tools to Build Your Consulting Business

It’s hard to believe, but the back-to-school season is upon us. There’s the excitement of starting new classes, getting new outfits, and buying school supplies. Fortunately, as adults we can enjoy the fun and excitement of learning without a dress code. In August,...

My Face Freaks Me Out – But I Need to Get Over It

Some people obviously love to post pictures and videos of themselves online. I am not one of those people. I’m a card-carrying Gen-Xer who predates selfie mania. I’d rather veg out than take snaps of myself in a new outfit. And if you ever see a picture of me...

Chat recap: Platforms, Podcasts and Job Postings

In case you missed it, the #solopr chat is moving to a twice monthly schedule. This week we held one of our traditional Q&A chats, where top independent communication professionals shared thought leadership, tips and advice in response to questions submitted by...

The #SoloPR Twitter Chat Evolves – New Schedule and Format Updates

The #solopr Twitter chat is one of the longest continuously-running regular chats on Twitter - this September, the #solopr Twitter chat will be five years old! Nearly 250 chats later, participants in this top Twitter chat for independent communications professionals...

Chat recap: Navigating Tricky Clients and the Role for Texting

Each week, top independent communication professionals share thought leadership and tips as part of the #solopr chat on Twitter (learn how to join us here). This week, we weighed in with opinions and insight on the following topics of interest: When a client is...

Chat Recap: Analyzing Success and Keeping Your Chin Up

Each week, top independent communication professionals share thought leadership and tips as part of the #solopr chat on Twitter (learn how to join us here). This week, we weighed in with opinions and insight on the following topics of interest: When you have writer's...

Holiday PSA: Don’t Drink and Tweet

It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere and the U.S. observes its Independence Day this week. With cookouts and celebrations on the calendar, we thought we'd share some holiday fun with a few reminders to all you hot and thirsty people out there: For those who...

Get It In Writing! Free eBook from Solo PR Pro

Legal contracts can be one of the most daunting aspects of running an indie business. You know you need them, but where do you start? What format should you use? How do you determine what to include? The free ebook, Get It In Writing! The Communications Consultant’s...

A Solo by Any Other Name

With sweaty palms and a fire in your belly, you decide to make the leap into a solo career. You know you’re boss at what you do and now you’re ready to be the boss. You may have been consulting as a side hustle or starting from ground zero with nothing more than a...

Hitting the Pause Button

For most Solo PR Pros, we’re always experimenting with our businesses. That’s part of the fun! We’ve talked before about the importance of taking time off, but when you’re out there pushing the envelope, it’s also OK to occasionally hit the pause button, adjust, and...

Chat Recap: PR Crisis, Visuals, Transparency and Changes

An international group of independent communication pros gathered for the April 30 #solopr Twitter chat to discuss the following topics of interest: (1/2) We all know about the Clippers. @prtini makes a great pt about using visuals in crisis...

Working with Subcontractors – Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know

When a new business owner first begins to experience a snowball of success, it’s exciting – until the realization sets in that you have more work to do than you can handle by yourself! Before you rush to hire an employee, first consider the interim step most solo PR...

How to Get to the Top of the Blogging Heap

In this dog eat dog world, do people really cooperate to get to the top? Of course they do, and the world of blogging is one of the most obvious examples. Solo PR Pros support each other on a regular basis, and today we're unveiling a resource to help you easily find...

Chat recap: Publication Promises, Pay-to-Play and Hyperbole

During the April 16 #solopr twitter chat a diverse group of independent communication pros from across the country gathered to discuss the following topics of interest: Have you ever promised a client coverage in their chosen publication in order to win their...

5 Reasons Blog Comments Are Still Important

Whither the blog comment? Recently, popular blog Copyblogger announced they were removing the comment section from their blog, and encouraged readers to instead write their own posts in response, or comment on Google+ and Twitter. Mark Schaefer shared his thoughts on...

Spin Sucks – But You Don’t Have To

Can you clearly articulate the difference between paid, earned, owned, and shared media, and how to capitalize on each? Do you know how to use your love of reading fiction for better storytelling in your day job? If you know you (or your clients) could use a primer on...

How to Create Your Own Logo in 5 Minutes

Logos are central to an organization’s visual brand identity, and as communications consultants, we’re trained to give them a great deal of importance. But in fact, if you need a logo quickly and with minimal hassle (for invoices, letterhead, business cards, etc.), you can actually create your own logo in 5 minutes, no special design software required!

Tax Time Tips – and a Little Fun

In the U.S., tax day is just three weeks away, and every year consultants wonder if there are deductions they haven't thought about. This  infographic (a couple years old, but most is evergreen), highlights some of the top tips and things to think about: Of course,...

Chat recap: Finding Efficiencies and Avoiding Debbie Downers

During the March 12 Solo PR chat, independent communication pros discussed the following topics of interest: I need help with admin tasks- is a virtual assistant the way to go? How do you find a good one?  What tasks can/do you offload to a VA? What do you do when...

Top Takeaways from the 2014 Solo PR Summit

The 2014 Solo PR Summit in Atlanta has just concluded, and we're proud to say it was a huge success! Furthering Solo PR Pro's mission to provide the tools, education, advocacy and community resources needed for communications consultants to succeed and grow, the...

Final Solo PR Summit Details and Last Chance to Register!

Today is the last day to register for this week’s Solo PR Summit – I’ve had a chance to see the presentations, and believe me when I tell you I learned a ton reviewing them! If you can make it to midtown Atlanta Wednesday and Thursday for this unique in-person event,...

Building a Successful Community – The Solo PR Story

If you’re a community manager, what do you need to keep in mind as you try to build a passionate niche community like #SoloPR? If you’ve ever wondered how and why Kellye Crane started Solo PR, and how the Solo PR Summit went from idea to real-world event, this...

Keep the New Year Spirit Alive

Much is said about the spirit of Christmas (Elvis opined, Why can't every day be like Christmas / Why can't that feeling go on endlessly / For if everyday could be just like Christmas / What a wonderful world this would be). But when it comes to business, isn’t it...

A Year in Review – The Top 5 Solo PR Pro Posts of 2013

This year we gave you tips, tools and templates to help you start, manage and grow your solo business. You read, clicked, commented and downloaded in response. Before the ball drops on 2013, we look back at the most popular posts of the year. Whether you are reading...

Songs to Solo By

We've added many new recruits to the Solo PR Pro army since we first published these playlists in 2011, and with everyone in the U.S. still recovering from eating too much turkey, now seems like the perfect time for a pick-me-up! We're re-sharing this post so everyone...

Full Schedule and New Speakers Announced for 2014 Solo PR Summit!

Being held February 19-20, 2014, at the Georgia Tech Learning Center in Atlanta, the line-up for the 2014 Solo PR Summit – the only event specifically for independent communications consultants – just keeps getting better! Today we're excited to share that joining...

Chat Re-cap: PR Tricks and Treats

During the October30 #solopr Twitter chat, independent communications professionals were full of PR tricks and treats as we discussed the following topics of interest: What tool did you think would be a treat, but turned out to be tricky? #solopr On your blog, how can...

Chat Re-cap: Business Books, Budgets and Blogger Relations

During the October 23 #solopr Twitter chat, we discussed the following topics of interest to independent communications professionals: 1. Are you working with clients on 2014 budget/plans? Are budgets going up/down? Adding or subtracting projects? 2.What business...

Photowalks for Profit and Fame

In this guest post, Betsy Decillis discusses the concept of photowalks and provides some advice to get started using this social strategy. Photowalks - walking with a camera for the purpose of taking pictures – have long been popular with photographers. However, the...

20 Top Tips on Using Video for PR Pros

With ongoing advancements in technology, video capabilities continue to change and increase in importance for PR professionals.  I recently attended an excellent session on video organized by my fellow Atlantans, Mitch Leff and Brennan Robison, co-chairs of the PRSA...

PR Ethics, Difficult Client Contacts, and more

During the September 25 #solopr Twitter chat, independent communications professionals discussed PR ethics, as well as how to deal with a difficult client point person. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, we've setup a Storify with highlights of the...

Register Now for 2014 Solo PR Summit – Top Speakers Announced

The moment has arrived – registration is now open for the 2014 Solo PR Summit! The only in-person conference hosted by Solo PR Pro is returning to Atlanta, February 19-20, 2014, and it will be even bigger and better than ever. We’re happy to share that this year’s...

Cision Offer FAQ

NOTE: Cision has notified us that on April 30, 2015, it will cease offering the Solo PR PRO discounted rate. Cision will continue to write one year contracts for Solo PR PRO Premium Annual members at the significantly discounted rate until that date. Members can view...

Special Cision Discount is Here!

  NOTE: Cision has notified us that on April 30, 2015, it will cease offering the Solo PR PRO discounted rate. Cision will continue to write one year contracts for Solo PR PRO Premium Annual members at the significantly discounted rate until that date. Members...

Videos, Vines, Customer Promoted Tweets, and more

During the September 4 #solopr Twitter chat, independent communications professionals discussed the importance of video quality, how to use Vine video, disgruntled customers purchasing promoted tweets, and more. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the...

Knock ’em Dead with SWOT Analysis

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to the summer season. This means many solo professionals are kicking it into high gear to finish the year strong and set the stage for a better-than-ever next year. Whether you’re putting together new business proposals or engaging...

Newsjacking, the Media and Miley, and More

During the August 28 #solopr Twitter chat, independent communications professionals discussed video news releases (VNRs), newsjacking, traditional media's ever-increasing celebrity focus (e.g., top coverage of the Miley/VMA controversy), and more. In addition to the...

Free Yourself from Business Development Hell

This is a guest post by Solo PR PRO Premium member, Diane K. Rose. Chances are one reason you love the solo PR life is the flexibility that comes with being one’s own boss. Instead of working on projects imposed by corporate honchos, you pick topics and clients that...

How to Organize a New Partnership – Before You Sign the Papers

This is a guest post by Steven Spenser, Principal, Praxis Communication. Steven is a frequent, valuable contributor to the Solo PR Pros group on LinkedIn – we asked him to provide this blog post, based on one of his helpful LI answers. If you have any insights or...

How to Join Forces with Other Solos

This post was written by Karen Swim. As a solo pro, you enjoy the benefits of controlling your work life. You can work from a home office, a remote island (with WiFi of course!) or your own office space. Working independently gives you complete control. However, being...

Highlights from the Combined #SoloPR and #SMChat

This week we had a special treat -- we joined forces with the social media-focused #SMchat community during our regularly scheduled #solopr chat hour, for a combined sharing of ideas. It was especially lively and informative, and we found the #SMchatters to be...

Save the Date for the 2014 Solo PR Summit!

Back by overwhelming demand, we’re pleased to announce that the Solo PR Summit – the only in-person conference hosted by Solo PR Pro – will return to Atlanta February 19-20, 2014, and it will be even bigger and better than ever! Mark your calendars now to join us at...

5 Facts About Working with Solo PR Pros

There are many advantages to working with independent PR consultants, and thousands of organizations every day select the benefits of working with a Solo PR Pro over the alternative options. Members of Solo PR PRO Premium recently had fun brainstorming around this...

Karen Swim Joins Solo PR as Director of Development

Today, I'm excited to share that Karen Swim is now consulting with Solo PR, serving in the new role of director of development. Karen's accomplishments have made her widely respected across the communications industry, and for those of us who participate regularly in...

Uncovering Insights Using the New Facebook #Hashtag

This is a guest post by Michele Blood, Ph.D. In early June of 2013, Facebook began rolling out a brand new feature that is making business owners, public relations folks, content marketers and others drool. Facebook’s newest feature involves clickable, searchable...

Twitter Chat Tool Winners

The Solo PR community has spoken, and the reports are in! During the June 12 #solopr chat, the day after Twitter changed its service, our community experimented with a variety of tools to see how well they stood up to the fast pace of a real-time Twitter chat. The...

Chat Lovers and the Shifting Sands of Twitter

Today is the day Twitter makes significant changes to its service by retiring version 1 of its API (which, for the non-techies, stands for Application Programming Interface, and is what add-on services use to access tweets). Since its launch almost four years ago, the...

10 Steps to a Winning Success Story

The demand for content has never been greater, and PR professionals are typically tapped to meet content needs in most organizations. For solo PR pros, content strategy and creation can represent a significant portion of our business. As you seek to feed the content...

Sharp Insights from Journalists on Reporting in the Social Media Age

During the South-by-Southwest session, Sources in the Social Media Age, Joe Ciarallo, senior director of PR at salesforce.com, moderated a lively discussion with an all-star panel that included Greg Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media (the group that brings us Muck Rack),...

SXSW: The good, the bad, and the ugly

After a two year hiatus, I returned to South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive for the 2013 event. As in the past, next week we'll start a series of posts sharing session insights and key takeaways so you can benefit from the experience, without the big price tag! But...

Sarah Evans on Intrepid Radio: Getting More Done In Less Time

As we head into the final stretch before the Solo PR Summit (which kicks off just two weeks from today - grab one of the few remaining seats!), top business podcaster Todd Schnick of Intrepid Radio just published his recent interview with Summit featured speaker Sarah...

The Pros and Cons of Facebook Mobile vs. Desktop

Facebook’s mobile platform is fast-growing and offers unique opportunities, and many marketers are learning  to capitalize on this dramatic change in use. Using paid tools or the Facebook Power Editor Chrome Extension, you're able to specifically target mobile users...

How to Plan and Manage Complex Events with Templates

Most PR pros know how to plan a basic event, with one or two collaborators, where the tasks can be handled within a collaborative project management tool. But what if you’re asked to manage a large-scale happening (like a multi-day conference or cross-organization...

Think Like Zuck: Five Business Success Secrets from Mark Zuckerberg

Whether you love him or dislike him as a person (I lean more toward the latter), there’s no doubting the world-changing impact of the 28-year-old Mark Zuckerberg. Entrepreneurs like us can learn a lot from his strategic mindset and innovative approaches to business....

The Best Content and Social Media Calendar Templates

Managing content and the conversations around it have always been part of the PR job description. But today, there are many more communications vehicles, with advanced content marketing and management increasingly falling into the PR domain for many organizations....

How to Spot and Attend Great Conferences

What’s the formula for a great conference? I love going to in-person events and conferences, and in the past 20 years I’ve had a hand in planning more than my share. While preparing for the Solo PR Summit (the full schedule is live today!), I’ve given a lot of thought...

Who you like on Facebook impacts your personal brand

On Facebook: -Do you want to declare your love for household product samples on a daily basis via “Women get it free”? -Would you tell all your friends to "SHOP SALE" at Levi’s online store? -Do you want everyone (including people you don’t know) to be aware you’re...

How to Charge for PR Consulting Services

What fee rates should public relations consultants charge? If there’s one key question for freelance PR consultants, both newbies and veterans alike, it’s this one. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and over the years we've addressed many aspects of...

Solo PR Summit Registration Open, Speakers Announced!

The moment we've been waiting for has arrived: registration for Solo PR Summit is now open! Being held February 20-21, 2013, at the Regency Suites Hotel in Atlanta, Ga., the first-ever in-person event and conference hosted by Solo PR Pro is already attracting...

Mourning one of our own: Dee Stewart

It is with heavy heart that I share the news that Solo PR Pro community member Dee Stewart (@DeeGospel on Twitter, also known by her pen name Miranda Parker) passed away Friday evening. Though she faced challenges with her heart health for years, Dee met them with...

Crisis Communication, Humor in Social Media, & More

During the September 19 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed crisis communication, rookie mistakes to avoid as a new freelancer, and using humor in social media. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the following highlights some of the...

Save the Date: Solo PR Summit to be held February 20-21, 2013

Finally, an event specifically for us! Mark your calendars now for the Solo PR Summit – the first-ever in-person event and conference hosted by Solo PR Pro, being held February 20-21, 2013, at the Regency Suites Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. With an emphasis on real world,...

This just in: Monday is Labor Day

Here’s a public service announcement: Monday (September 3, 2012) is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. Had you lost track of that fact? You’re not alone. As solo PR pros, we often forget about non-religious holidays, or see them only as opportunities to get ahead on...

Project Management & More

During the August 22 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed additional income streams, project management tips, time tracking solutions, and more. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the following highlights some of the most popular tweets...

Wikipedia Entries, Professional Associations, & More

During the August 8 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed overactive social media users, tips on creating Wikipedia entries, best practices for promoting a book online, and the benefits of joining professional associations. In addition to the...

A matter of life and death for PR Pros

Recently, a new study found that (as in previous studies on men) women with high stress jobs have a significant increase in their risk of having a “cardiovascular event” – an almost 70% increase in heart attack risk, and nearly 40% more likely to have other...

Staying Afloat on Stormy Seas

In my most recent post, Secrets of a Sickie, I talked about what to do if you’re ill, and mentioned that many of those tactics also apply when other emergencies arise. My personal posts on this blog are typically few and far between, but (in an ironic twist), since...

Public Listings Now Available Via Solo PR PRO Premium

We’re always looking for ways to help the best independent PR consultants – and the clients who seek to hire them - find each other. Today, we’re happy to unveil our new Public Listings and PR Pro Search feature, which offers members of Solo PR PRO Premium a...

Help Us Plan the Solo PR Conference (quick survey)

By now, you may have heard that we're in the early planning stages of an exciting new development at Solo PR Pro: a full conference, to be held in Atlanta in February of 2013. As anyone who's ever planned an event knows, there are always trade-offs (high fee for an...

Working all the time to get ahead is a fool’s game

As self-employed consultants, we have to take breaks and vacations whenever we can get them (something I’ve been remiss in doing for a while). So when I was invited to speak to the Coastal Carolinas chapter of the American Advertising Federation this week, I made sure...

Focus your efforts for fun and profit

As consultants, we’re largely in charge of our own destiny – which can be both a blessing and a curse. Most (all?) of us have things we enjoy that we aren’t good at, and things we’re good at that we don’t find enjoyable. For example: I love to sing -- but no one ever...

Need Facebook Timeline Cover or Logo Help? Emergency Cheats Here

As you probably know, Facebook’s new Timeline design went live for everyone – like it or not – this week. If you're like me and you got a panicked phone call from a client at the last minute, asking for help on their Facebook timeline images, or you procrastinated on...

Announcing New Find a PR Consultant Feature, and more

Today, we're proud to unveil our new no-cost Find a PR Consultant feature that will help those seeking assistance from a solo PR pro locate the help they need. It's also the last day for independent consultants to get in on the beta Solo PR PRO Premium membership. In...

11 Must-Watch Diverse Marketing Influencers

Lists of people to watch in marketing often come under fire for being light on diversity. Here’s the thing: including those with ethnic, cultural and religious differences is not hard to do! Some say there’s a diversity deficit, and that may be true, but as with many...

Members Only Content

  Sorry, this content is exclusively for members of Solo PR PRO Premium.     To learn more about the many time- and money-saving benefits of PRO membership, click here to get access. Already a member? Sign in below: %%LOGIN_FORM%%      ...

LEAP Forward

Every four years, we get a bonus day – an extra day to do with what we will. On this Leap Day, doesn’t it seem like a good moment to pause and think about our goals, and what we’re leaping toward? For me, I purposely selected this day to release some new deliverables...

What Solo PR Pros Really Do

As you've probably seen, there's a funny little meme going around depicting the difference between what people think you do, and what you actually do for a living. For some Friday fun, I thought we solo PR pros could use one of our own!   What do you think? What...

Gifting Reporters, When Life Gets In the Way, & More

During the February 1 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed handling new employees of a long-time client, giving gifts to reporters, and managing your workload in the wake of a family tragedy . In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the...

Solo PR Pros Make the PR Industry Stronger

When PRSA asked me to participate in their series “12 Trends That Will Change Public Relations in 2012,” I saw it as an opportunity to expose the uninitiated to the benefits of working with a Solo PR Pro. In “Solo PR Pros — The Profession’s Secret Weapon,” I lay out...

Discussing Ethics, Politics, and more

During the January 25 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed alternatives to the large media databases, the Paula Deen scandal and associated PR ethics, and the political climate. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the following highlights...

PR and Sales, Finding Subcontractors, and more

During the January 18 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed the relationship between PR and sales, finding subcontractors, the Italian cruise ship disaster, and much more. In addition to the downloadable transcript in PDF, the following highlights some...

Why are consultants’ fees so high?

Independent consultants typically don’t have the overhead of a larger firm, and while they are usually an excellent value by comparison, why do their rates still sound so high? Not only is this a question some clients may ponder, but those new to consulting often...

Managing Social Networks, Moonlighting & More

During the January 11 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed keeping abreast of new social networks, balancing 9-5 along with consulting work, and the best conferences/events to attend in 2012. In addition to continuing to provide a downloadable...

Building Media Lists, Managing Clients’ Social Media Needs, & More

During the January 4 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed building national media lists on a budget, using mindmap software, handling a client's social media presence, and 2012 PR resolutions. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. How...

Social Media Vacations, Accounting Software, & More

During the December 14 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed social media during the holidays, accounting software, & organizing new business leads. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. How much "social media" presence will you...

Advice on Setting Fees [video]

What do you charge? How do you set your fees? These are the most daunting - and among the most important - questions PR consultants ask. Though a one-size-fits-all answer would be nice, unfortunately there isn't one. There are many variables that go into setting the...

News Wire Services, Controlling Clients, & More

During the December 7 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed news wire services, controlling clients, and slower work periods. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1a. What news release/news wire services get your high ranking? Free or...

Bookmarking Tools, References, & Holiday Greetings

During the November 30 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed online bookmarking tools, client references, & sending holiday greetings. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. What tool, if any, do you use for online...

New Business, Renegotiating Client Contracts, & More

The November 16, 2011 chat was sponsored by PitchPen, a new service for consultants to pitch companies actively seeking PR help: http://www.pitchpen.com. Consultant participation in PitchPen is invite only- email membership@pitchpen.com with your name/experience/links...

Get In Early On Our New Solo PR PRO Member Site!

We’re happy to unveil the premium Solo PR PRO membership site, now in public beta (at special beta pricing). Specifically for us, this premium PRO content offers road-tested deliverables and downloads, a members-only Forum, a special upcoming Show Me the Money! series on setting rates, and much more.

This Was Only a Test

This was a test, this was only a test. If this had been an actual announcement, you would have been instructed.... If you subscribe to the Solo PR Pro RSS feed, you may have seen a strange test post over the weekend. As sometimes happens when you're pushing the...

Generalist/Specialist, Image Consulting, & More

During the October 12 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed bad PR stories, image consulting, & more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Is it better for a #solopr pro to be a generalist or a specialist? 2. Recently, a PR pro...

Announcing Our New Community Specialist

Today is a big day for Solo PR Pro – the excellent Heather Rast joins the team as our Content and Community Specialist. Most of what she’s doing will be behind the scenes, as we work on some big things for you (stay tuned!). A fellow solo, I asked Heather to share her...

On the Path

The amazing Jennifer Spivak started with us as an intern and continued as a community assistant – her energy and drive have truly been a constant inspiration! As she continues down her path toward becoming a full-time independent consultant, Jennifer’s decided to...

Holiday Press, Increasing Clientele, & More

During the October 5 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on helping clients find value, garnering holiday press, increasing clientele, & more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Client's focused on deliverable that may...

Surefire Ways to Limit Your Speaking Engagements

An important technique for building your profile and credibility is to speak at events. Speaking at conferences that target your peers can lead to new business referrals, and events that target your prospective clients can yield a nice stack of interested executive...

Failed Expectations, Facebook Changes, & More

During the September 28 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on failed expectations, paying for premium services, Facebook's recent changes, and marketing books. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. How do you handle not...

Does It Make Sense to Blog If No One Is Reading It?

Many of the Solo PR Pros I meet express intimidation around the idea of blogging: “What will I say? I’m not known enough to get much traffic, so what’s the point?” I recently attended an excellent presentation by Mark W Schaefer on “Why you should blog, even if no one...

Becoming a PR Consultant – You Can Do It!

It can be scary to take the leap to independence. Unfortunately, it’s this fear that keeps so many paralyzed and stuck in jobs they don’t like, dreaming of the day they can get up the guts to take the leap. Rest assured: you can do it! When I resigned from a PR agency...

Blogger Outreach, Klout Scores, & More

During the September 21 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on blogger outreach programs, Klout scores, the Netflix saga, & more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. When you build a blogger outreach program and compile...

Solo For The Long Haul, TechCrunch Drama, & More

During the September 14 #solopr Twitter chat, which was guest moderated by Amy Sept of Nimbyist Communications, independent PR pros discussed handling former clients, being solo for the long haul, the current TechCrunch drama, and interesting uses of PR. Specifically,...

Blogger Outreach & Earning What You’re Worth

During the September 7 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on blogger outreach strategy and getting paid what you're worth. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. A major PR firm recently lured food bloggers to an "exclusive...

Sub-Contractors, Collective Power, & More

During the August 31 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on motivating sub-contractors, hiring a full-time assistant, the collective power of #solopr, and more. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. Do you have any tips for...

Do We Have Collective Power?

This is not your typical “vote for my panel” blog post (well, not exactly), but I do have a session in the South by Southwest (SXSW) Panel Picker this year. The Panel Picker process is often maligned as a popularity contest that requires potential speakers to pimp,...

Pricing, Current Events, & More

During the August 24 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed sharing pricing information, using current events in media pitches, and social media referral sources. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. We've seen posts lately from...

Balance, Google+, & More

During the August 17 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on establishing a work/life balance, participating in Twitter chats, and diving into Google+. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. What steps do you take to help balance...

Getting on Board with Google+

Regular readers will recall that I suggested a taking a wait-and-see approach to Google+ when it first launched (especially since the search giant has a less than stellar track record when it comes to social). Though it’s no panacea, the verdict is in: if you haven’t...

Burn Out, Interns, Events, & More

During the August 10 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed client advice, feeling burned out, hiring an intern, and more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Would you ever advise a client to blog negatively about a person or...

Personal Profiles, Assessing Client Interest, & More

During the August 3 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on personal social media profiles, assessing client interest, buying Twitter followers, & more. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. Can you have a personal profile,...

Top Tip for Relaxation

Stressed out Solo PR Pros need to find ways to relax! In this video, I share my favorite relaxation tip.     If you can't see the video, watch it here.   Do you have any tried and true methods for chilling out when the day gets overwhelming? Let us know...

Work Situations, Inattentive Clients, & More

During the July 27 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed work situations, growth goals, contacting press, and inattentive clients. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Do you work from home, or an off-site office? Pros/cons? #solopr...

Ponder Your Legacy

Recently, I was asked by PRSA to be interviewed as part of the organization’s Business Case for Public Relations series. Many of the questions are heady, and gave me pause. But perhaps the most difficult question to answer was, “what do you want your legacy to be?”

Blogging, Scandals, & More

During the July 20 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on blog etiquette, overseas scandals, & working with subcontractors. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. I have a new personal blog. Not sure if I need to do a...

Three People You Must Read

When I attend conferences and events, read blog posts, and watch others’ pontifications, I always pay attention to who they are quoting/citing. Having done this in the social media marketing space for several years, I’ve noticed that there are three people from whom...

Business Strategy, Insurance, and Tact

During the July 13 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed business strategy, insurance, and branching out. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Do you use tact, bluntness, or both for business? #solopr 2. Do you have errors and...

Secret Method to Tracking Time

There are many electronic systems available to help independent consultants track their time. But here's a secret: some of us still find that we like our old-school paper-based methods best. Many in the Solo PR Pro community have asked what I use -- in this video, I...

Blacklisting, Dropbox, & More

During the July 6 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed media blacklisting, internal vs. external PR, social media & PR for new brands, & Dropbox's recent change in terms of service. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. Post...

It Pays to Wait

You may have heard that Google+, a new social media service from Google, was unveiled last week (not to be confused with the +1 button, which Google also released recently). In the wake of an avalanche of press coverage, you may want to do what I always do: take a...

Subcontractors, PR Competitions, & More

During the June 29 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on finding subcontractors, entering PR competitions, & using group auto-sharing tools. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Have you used eLance or similar sites to...

Let’s Vote Triberr Off the Island

I don’t usually do an entire post on one particular tool, but on the recent #solopr Twitter chat (held each Wednesday, 1-2pm ET), we discussed group automation tools, specifically Triberr. I’ve shared my feelings about Triberr via comments on numerous posts, and –...

Social Platforms, Tricky Client Situations, & More

During the June 22 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed social platforms, tricky client situations, and innovative PR techniques. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. With the growing number of online/social platforms, how do you...

Media Relations, Dress Codes, & More

During the June 15 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on reporter etiquette, solo PR dress codes, and influencer identification tools. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. Orig asked on the LI group- http://linkd.in/kArPXz -do...

Business Goals, Referral Systems, & More

During the June 8 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed business goals, referral systems, client red flags, and more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. We're almost at 2011 half-way pt. How is everyone doing on their business...

Gone Fishing

    Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I believe regular breaks are critical for preventing burnout and enjoying a long-term, successful career as a Solo PR Pro.  I've been preaching the importance of vacations for years. For the...

Measurement, Monitoring, & More

During the June 1 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros addressed a variety of monitoring & measurement topics, including AVEs, low-cost tools, & time management tips. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. What is the difference between...

Thanking Our Unsung Heroes

Today is my wedding anniversary. It doesn't even seem possible, but my husband and I have been together for 19 years, and married for 15. This anniversary feels like a big one, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank him for being the unsung hero of my business...

Foolproof Formula for Handling Brain Pickers

We all know they're out there -- reminiscent of zombies, they issue a common refrain: "Can I pick your brain?" Perhaps these brain pickers have no idea how many requests of this type the typical solo PR pro gets in a given month. Regardless, the next time someone...

Radio, ProfNet, Measurement, & More

During the May 25 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed radio placements, ProfNet Connect, PR as a dirty word, and biggest measurement challenges.  Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. This article (by a radio person) on "Why Radio...

Why You Need a Little Google Analytics in Your Life

This is a guest post by Fabiola Fleuranvil of Blueprint Creative Group. Let's face it. There's so much for a Solo PR pro to be concerned about- business development, marketing, client management, networking, social media, and the list goes on. And now, you can add...

Extra Costs, Website Leads, Summer Vacation & More

During the May 18 #solopr Twitter chat, solo PR pros shared insight on adding mileage expenses into client contracts, building your own website, getting leads from your website, and taking a summer vacation. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1....

Challenges Beyond Our Own

I'm usually not keen about covering my support of various causes on this blog, and I'm rarely personal. But I’d like to share why I feel a connection and have signed on as a Blue Key Champion for USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. As someone who lived in New...

Competing with Bigger Firms, Selling Social Media, & More

During the May 11 #solopr Twitter chat, solo PR pros discussed competing with bigger firms, tricky client situations, selling social media, & working with clients in complicated industries. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. What is the best...

Unbilled Work, Tracking Client Progress, & New Business

During the May 4 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared insight on responding to clients who ask for unbilled work, tracking client/campaign progress, and speeding up the new business process. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. What do...

Keep Reaching

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? -Robert Browning   Some days, reaching for what’s beyond our comfort zone feels too difficult. It’s hard to push the boundaries, and often situations outside our control test our patience and...

Time-Keeping, Media Connections, & Small Biz Publicity

During the April 27 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed time-keeping systems, connecting with the media, and generating publicity for small businesses. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1. What do you use for time keeping...

New Look – New Newsletter!

Independent PR consultants have their own issues, and it’s high time we had our own newsletter. For PR and consulting news, tips, special deals, and previews, signup today for the new Solo PR Pro e-Newsletter. This free email newsletter will come to you every two...

Social Media Non-Believers, Stubborn Clients, & More

During the April 20 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros shared valuable insight on social media non-believers, stubborn clients, offering discounts, Twitter best practices, and the stressful world of PR. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1....

Do You Need a Blog?

There are many people who suggest that all business professionals should be blogging. But what does Mack Collier, founder of the hugely popular #Blogchat and long-time blogger at MackCollier.com (previously The Viral Garden), think? I had a chance to interview Mack...

LinkedIn, Solo PR Blogs, Content Aggregation, & More

During the April 13 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed the importance of a LinkedIn photo, solo PR blogging tips, blog design preferences, and balancing aggregated content, third party content, and original content all in one blog. The following...

Upscale Clients, Membership Sites, Firing An Under-Performer, & More

During the March 30 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed dealing with upscale clients, pursuing membership sites, firing someone who's under-performing,  and journalists' social media behavior. The following questions were addressed: 1. If client has...

Cost, Price, and Value – There is a Difference

This is a guest post from Garrett Kuk, of Speakeasy Media. Solo PR Pro strives to bring you new ideas and information on alternative practices for your reference. This post should not be considered a specific recommendation of this approach (each consultant and...

Influence Flows from Relevancy

I had a lot of reasons for going to SXSW, but here’s the truth: the chance to be roommates with the amazing Valeria Maltoni sealed the deal for me. While most blogs are at the undergrad level (if that), regular reading of ConversationAgent is like getting a Ph.D.  My...

Paying for Online Content, PR Measurement, Retweets, & More

During the March 23 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed paying for online content, PR measurement tools, retweets, and information overload. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. Interesting post on @spinsucks re: what will people...

Getting Your Idea Approved

We’ll be sharing notes from some of the most useful South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference sessions I attended, so you can live and learn vicariously – and save yourself the big price tag! As independent PR and social media consultants, we’re frequently in...

An Influence Throwdown at SXSW

We’ll be sharing notes from some of the most useful South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference sessions I attended, so you can live and learn vicariously - and save yourself the big price tag! One of the more thought-provoking panels at SXSW was titled,...

New Clients, PR Platforms, & Twitter Habits

During the March 16 #solopr Twitter chat, solo PR pros shared insight on announcing new clients, using services like HARO and Profnet, and changes in people's Twitter habits. The following questions were addressed: 1. Do you announce new clients? 2. Do you use HARO...

Pondering Pay for Performance

This is a guest post from Alison Kenney of KPR Communications. Recently I met and won over a new client (thank you) but was surprised when presented with a contract that offered bonus payments for achieving media coverage (in addition to a decent monthly retainer). I...

Avoiding Spam, the Definition of PR, & More

During the March 9 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros touched upon avoiding spam, the definition of PR, partnering with non-profits, and marketing your services as a subcontractor. The following questions help guide the conversation: 1. How do you avoid sending...

Enchantment is in the Eye of the Beholder

The introduction of the book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions states: “This book is for people who see life for what it can be rather than what it can’t.” I believe everyone who’s taken the leap to become a Solo PR Pro falls into that...

6 Ways to Make the Most of a Conference Experience

The reasons to attend an event like South by Southwest (SXSW) are varied, and sometimes seem a bit obtuse to those not in attendance (“I have better things to do than go to a lot of parties,” many say). However, as we discuss on a regular basis in the Solo PR...

7 Lessons PR Pros Can Learn from Bruce Buschel

Before, during and after last week’s flurry of posts in response to the New York Times piece, the excellent Solo PR Pros LinkedIn Group continued the conversation with insightful comments and observations. Community member Christa Miller (who was the first to post the...

Ethics & New Business

During the March 2 #solopr Twitter chat, solo PR pros discussed ethical boundaries and new business. Specifically the following questions were addressed: 1. What are some situations where a client rep could cross your ethical boundaries? How would you handle? 2. What...

From Journalism to PR

This is a guest post from Ed Van Herik of Van Herik Communications. When I made the decision 15 years ago to move from journalism to public relations, I had the opportunity to sit down with the owner of a small PR firm. He had been a business reporter at a defunct LA...

10 Foolproof Ways to Waste Money on PR

There's yet another anti-PR article making the rounds, and this time it was printed in none other than the New York Times. When I first saw it, I thought it lacked substance and hoped it would go away. But like any anti-PR article in a major publication, this thing...

PR Apps, Relocating, Time Management, & More

During the February 23 #solopr Twitter chat, PR pros shared valuable insight on PR apps, relocating to a new city, covering production costs, and favorite time management tips. The following questions helped guide the conversation: 1. What is the best smartphone...

Sarah Evans on Becoming a Solo PR

For many of us, Sarah Evans needs no introduction. Sarah's Twitter innovations include the popular #journchat weekly chat (the model on which our #solopr chat is based), and she's never afraid to try something new. But few realize that Sarah hasn't always been a free...

Biz Partners, Taglines, & More

During the February 16 #solopr Twitter chat, PR pros shared valuable insight on working with a partner, using subcontractors, coming up with a tagline, and doing work while on vacation. The following questions were addressed: 1. When working with a biz partner, what's...

Solo PR Community: Be My Valentine

I'm not an overly sentimental gal. I don't like chick flicks, I hate syrupy pop songs, and I rarely cry without good reason. But one thing makes me breakout in sappy declarations on a regular basis: the Solo PR community. Lately, I've been awash in mushy feelings...

DIY PR, Down Payments, Going Solo, & More

During the February 9 #solopr Twitter chat, solo PR pros discussed the Do-it-Yourself PR mindset, how to handle being dissatisfied with an outside vendor's work, how to prepare for a solo PR career while at an agency, and trying new mobile tactics for PR....

Mobile and Public Relations: Making the Most of this Untapped Duo

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a big believer in integrating public relations across the previously entrenched silos of marketing communications. Because our job is to shine a light on marketing initiatives and communicate with our publics, PR can play a...

Performance & Proposals & Payments, Oh My!

During the February 2 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros touched upon pay-by-performance, RFPs, and more. Specifically, they weighed in on the following questions: 1. Have you ever worked on a pay by performance basis? e.g., a bonus if you hit X objective, or...

Outreach Methods & Back-Up Plans

During the January 26 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed their preferred methods for contacting media and influencers. In addition, these solo PRs shared their opinions on having a back-up/succession plan in the case of a family emergency, illness,...

Project Management, Social Media Opportunities, and More

During the January 19 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR pros discussed issues relating to project management, awards programs, and the opportunities in social media for finding work, speaking gigs, and more. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1....

Connect the Dots: A Solo PR Success Story

This is a guest post from Davina Brewer, principal at 3Hats Communications. I have been meaning to write this for the Solo PR blog for months, figured it was about damn time I did it! Arik Hanson recently listed some of the best LinkedIn groups for public relations...

Questions on Volunteering and Social Media

During the January 12 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR professionals discussed issues around both volunteering and social media management, addressing the following questions: 1. As a freelancer, I get asked to serve on volunteer committees in my town a lot!  How...

Introducing Our New Solo PR Community Assistant

It's my pleasure to announce that Jennifer Spivak, currently a student at City College of New York, will be serving as our first Solo PR Community Assistant. Those of you who attended the Solo PR meetup in D.C. during the PRSA Conference last October will certainly...

Finding Partners, Staying Motivated, and more

During the January 5 #solopr Twitter chat, pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1) How do you find good and loyal consultants to partner with? 2) How do you get more social network followers for new...

Share Your Resolutions

One of the greatest things about the Solo PR community is the support and inspiration we share here. On a recent #solopr Twitter chat, some suggested that we share our New Year’s resolutions here on the blog – fun, serious, and everything in-between. As we countdown...

Celebrate the Season

We've talked before about the importance of taking a break, and how it can actually be an important factor in your ongoing success as a Solo PR professional. So what are you doing this holiday season to unwind and recharge? Starting tonight, I'll be hosting my Mom,...

Year-End Considerations

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, top pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1) What are your favorite year-end tax tips? (always room to know more on this) 2) What other year-end activities do...

Weigh In on Future Solo PR Offerings

As we look toward 2011 and find ourselves in the third year of this blog, there are many options under consideration to take the services and resources here at Solo PR to the next level. And who better to help make the decisions for Solo PR than you - the Solo PR...

A Chat Re-Cap Twofer

Thanks to the ongoing woes of favorite chat transcript site WTHashtag, there was a delay in compiling the  recaps for our two most recent #solopr Twitter chats. I'm happy to say the wait is over -- transcripts and overviews for the December 1 and December 8 chats...

Client relations, Forecasting, and more

During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, top consultants in PR and related fields offered insights on a variety of topics, addressing the following questions: 1. How do you make all of your clients feel important and valuable with your limited time? 2. How do solos...

How to “LINC” PR with Social Strategy

This is a guest post by Ann N. Videan, APR, Business-Tribe Architect/Owner, vIDEAn Unlimited, LLC. You can wish for that ever-so-valuable buzz about what you, and your clients, do. But do you actually have a strategy to make word-of-mouth (WOM) happen? Do you know the...

Social Media for Clients

The November 10 #solopr Twitter chat addressed one of the most pressing issues facing all PR professionals today: how to handle social media. We discussed the following questions: 1. If a client tells you they want to fully leverage social media, where do you start?...

Chatting About Qualities and Resources

As part of the November 3 #solopr Twitter chat, we discussed the key characteristics of successful Solo PR pros, addressing the following questions: 1) From @JGombita: What are the attributes of #solopr that work so well? Can we make use of these in our professional...

Considerations in Q4

With Q4 2010 well underway, this week's #solopr Twitter chat covered some of the key issues we face this time of year: 1. How do you make sure clients feel comfortable when you're out of the office (short term and long term)? 2. How do you mark the holidays with your...

How to Make Your Client Successful: PR, Politics and Social Media

This is a guest post from Mary Ellen Miller, President and CEO of MarketingMel. Dan Eldridge, a highly successful local businessman, called me seemingly out of nowhere one day to tell me he was planning to run for County Mayor in Washington County, Tennessee. This...

Issues with Subcontracting, and more

On the #solopr Twitter chat this week, we discussed several critical issues related to working with subcontractors, among other things. The questions included: 1) How can you start a virtual firm with other solo PR folks? 2) What if a subcontractor (in this case,...

Business Costs, and more

During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, consultants in PR and social media offered tips on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1. How often during the year do you work on the administration and branding of your business? Do you ever center a...

Facebook Announcement Recap Roundup

Of all the social networks, Facebook has always been the fastest-moving target, with changes and feature updates sometimes coming on a monthly - and even daily - basis. Love it or hate it, this channel continues to grow at an astonishing rate - which means it's worth...

Press Tours, Story Angles, and more

This week during the #solopr Twitter chat, we discussed a variety of subjects of interest to both solos and non-solo PR practitioners alike: 1) How do you qualify the businesses you work with? Budget? Stability? 2) Is the press tour/teletour dead? Do you still...

Proposals, Pricing and More

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, pros in PR consulting offered advice on two key issues in running your business, addressing the following questions: 1. As discussed in today's Solo PR post, have you used value/fee-based (rather than hourly) pricing?...

Setting Rates: A Field Guide

This is a guest post from Greg Brooks, principal of West Third Group. What should you charge? More to the point: Why aren’t you charging more? It’s a surprising blind spot – not just because otherwise smart practitioners get it wrong, but also in the sheer breadth of...

Insights on Fees, Employees, and more

This week's #solopr Twitter chat addressed some of the top issues facing independent PR consultants, ranging from when to raise rates, to when to hire employees. We covered the following questions: 1. How do you know when your fees are too low? 2. When it comes to...

Focusing on Research

Research plays a key role in any public relations or marketing communications program, and independent practitioners can face special considerations. During this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, we discussed these issues: 1. When you get a new client, what kinds of...

Join Us for the First-Ever Solo PR In-Person Meetup

I’m happy to announce a fun opportunity to raise a glass with your friends and colleagues, and expand your network of fellow independent public relations practitioners. All indie PR pros (and friends) are invited to a happy hour meetup, co-hosted by Solo PR and the...

Blogger Research, Expectations, and more

During the #solopr chat on Twitter this week, top pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1. Media and industry publications are quick to use the term "PR disaster." In your experience, what really...

Chatting About PressWiki

During this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, we primarily discussed PressWiki - http://www.presswiki.org – a new, free tool for aggregating media contact information. We were joined on the chat by Amy Mengel of readMedia, that company that created PressWiki. In keeping...

New Business, Networking and more

What are the networking secrets of the top Solo PR Pros? As part of the #solopr Twitter chat held the week of August 23, pros in PR consulting shared their experiences and advice on this and other topics. We addressed the following questions: 1.  How do you follow up...

Geographical Reach, Wardrobes, and more

The #solopr chat on Twitter this week once again gathered a terrific crowd of top independent PR pros, and the discussion was both informative and fun. We addressed the following questions: 1. How much credibility do you place in recommended "PR blog" lists (are they...

Social Media Integration with PR

This interview was recently published by The Center for Sustainable Journalism, and readers of this blog can join me at the upcoming Social Media Integration Conference for 20% off the early bird rates! See below for details. Center for Sustainable Journalism: What...

Discussing Video and Social Media

During the August 11 #solopr Twitter chat, independent PR consultants offered their insights on topics submitted by the community. We addressed the following questions: 1. Are you using video with your press releases?  How? 2.  As a follow-up:  How much old-school...

Business Plans, Rush Jobs, and more

During the August 4 #solopr Twitter chat, Solo PR Pros shared tips and tricks on a wide-range of topics, including: 1. Do you have a business plan? What format, and how did you develop it? 2.  What do you think about NEWSBASIS (the PR/journo networking site)? 3.  Do...

Solo Self-Promotion, and More

This week’s #solopr chat on Twitter was a lively discussion (as always!). Questions included the following: 1. Do you have recommendations for the best ways to track radio and TV PSAs? 2. How important is it for PR pros to promote their own (personal) image, i.e....

First Steps, Marketing, and more

The #solopr Twitter chat this week was once again a varied discussion, with expert advice in response to the following questions: 1. What do you do for tech support? 2. What do you do when a potential client calls, then calls two more times & sends two emails...

New PR Tactics, and More

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, top pros in PR consulting shared their thoughts on a wide-range of topics, including the following: 1) When trying to estimate hours for a blogger outreach program, how do you handle? 2) Has anyone used CNN's iReport.com or...

Superheroes Don’t Exist

Family emergencies can serve as a reminder that there is much more to life than work - these times can offer an amazing opportunity to pause and reflect on our own priorities. Unfortunately, even during periods of grief or illness, we tend to measure ourselves against...

No Freedom without Independence

This weekend the U.S. will celebrate the July 4th holiday, and we'll all pause to appreciate the freedoms we often take for granted. In fact, there is no freedom without independence, and those of us who’ve chosen to ply our public relations trade independently know...

Chatting at the Mid-Year Point

As part of the #solopr Twitter chat this week - at the halfway mark in 2010 - we covered a variety of questions/topics submitted by the Solo PR Pro community: 1)  Looking for ideas/advice when announcing new client relationships. Get permission? Make a big splash?...

Holiday Pitching, Renegade Spokespeople, and More

This week’s #solopr Twitter chat was once again a fast-moving hour full of useful tips from some of the top pros in PR consulting nationwide. We covered some timely topics this week, covering  the following questions: 1. Is there a "dead zone" around the US 4th of...

New Business, PR Timing, and More

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1. When in between projects and working to gain new business, what are the best practices? 2. I graduated in December and...

Whores, Pimps and the People Who Love Them

When you see people successfully grabbing for accolades, do you find it admirable or whore-ish? At what point does the sharing of one’s information become pimping? Is sensationalistic writing just more punchy and exciting, or does it make you feel nauseated? With...

Twitter Thwarts Today’s #Solopr Chat

Due to massive and widespread Twitter failures, today's #solopr chat has been canceled. All of the questions submitted will be held until next week, when we'll be back with a vengeance! Join us next Wednesday from 1-2 pm ET (find your local time zone here). In the...

Sharing and Support

In addition to offering the usual practical tips, during this week's #solopr Twitter chat participants shared some of their personal stories about why they became Solo PR Pros, and what keeps them inspired to stay independent. Both new and long-term solos drew...

Handling Sticky Situations with Journalists

Each week the #solopr Twitter chat – held Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. Eastern - addresses topics and questions submitted by the community of Solo PR Pros.  Though the chats attract primarily independent PR consultants and those interested in learning more, information...

May 19 Chat Transcript

During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, PR consultants shared their top tips on topics that are key to running an independent PR business successfully. The questions included: 1)  Does anyone have a co-op, biz partner or share office space? How's that working out?...

Managing Your Solo PR Business

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, including the following: 1. A community member wanted to discuss @ginidietrich's post: It's Time to Rid PR Firms of the Billable Hour. What do you think of...

Dealing with Stress

Lately, there seems to be a recurring trend among many independent PR consultants - stress! For most of us, it comes as no surprise that PR was recently named among the top 10 stressful fields. With so many of us feeling stressed out, and since our longevity as Solo...

Raising rates, Monitoring and More

We discussed some of the hottest topics now facing #solopr pros during this week's Twitter chat. The questions included: 1) When do you decide to raise rates, and how do you do it? 2) What applications/services do you use for media coverage or social media...

Thinking Big Picture

During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, we addressed questions from the community that centered around looking at the big picture for your business. The topics included: 1) How do you know when it's time to start hiring staff and turn your solo practice into an...

10 Foolproof Excuses to Network and Reconnect

We’ve all been there: one day we look up, and we haven’t done our professional networking in a while. But if you haven’t spoken to a contact since the last millennium, what excuse can you use to reconnect? Of course, if you have a great relationship with one of your...

Why Did You Go Solo?

During this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, we discussed some of the most important questions that face independent PR consultants, especially those just starting out. Read the transcript (in PDF) for answers from top Solo PR Pros to the following questions: 1. Are your...

What Are You?

During this week’s #solopr chat on Twitter, we had a lively conversation that included the pros and cons of the various labels we use for ourselves. Is it better to position oneself as a consultant, freelancer, independent contractor, or some other title? This...

Fish or Cut Bait

This week’s #solopr Twitter chat was once again a fun and informative hour. In honor of the former (and the fact that it's April Fool's Day), I couldn't resist including an image that relates to an inside joke among chatters - the transcript reveals why this week's...

Keep a Positive Attitude

This is a guest post from Alan Cohen of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching The life of a solo PR practitioner can be isolating. Alone in your office or home, without the stimulation of colleagues and the energy of a busy office or institution, it can be a challenge to...

Wire Services, Unpaid Bills, and More

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, top PR consultants discussed a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: 1) What wire services have you used, and which do you prefer? Is wire distribution important these days? 2) How do solos collect on...

Parting Ways with a Client, and More

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, PR consultants offered insights on a variety of important issues, including the following: 1) Do you provide a client with a variable rate sheet, or just say "this is what I charge?" 2) How are other #solopr pros creatively...

To Free, or Not to Free

During a recent #solopr chat on Twitter, I made the following statement: Remember: it's worse to work for free than to not work at all. While many pros agreed with me, some had serious questions about this advice (below). But aside from new business opportunities...

From Productivity to Interns – #solopr Chat Transcript

During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, veteran Solo PR Pros and newbies alike shared tips on a wide-range of topics, including the following: 1) What are your favorite productivity tools? 2) Assuming many #solopr folks work from home, how do you manage interns and...

How a Cog Breaks Free – an Interview with PRCog

For those of you who are active on Twitter, @PRCog needs no introduction. One of the few examples of social media anonymity done right, PR Cog expresses – with trademark humor – many of the frustrations that exist for a mid-level PR pro. These generalized beefs can be...

Lessons Learned

This week’s #solopr Twitter chat covered a wide-range of topics, with some of the top pros in PR consulting weighing in on the following questions: 1) Do you take credit cards or some sort of online payment vehicle? 2) Have you ever relocated your biz to another...

The Solo PR Pro Community Grows

I’m pleased to announce that, by popular demand, we now have a Solo PR Pro Facebook fan page! Why a Facebook page? Though social media is what participants make of it (this means you), in my mind I see our Solo PR Pro community breaking out like this: Solo PR Pro blog...

When to Tap Your Network

One of the most important issues a PR consultant faces is how and when to bring in help as subcontractors. During this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, reasons to have a robust network of support came up in response to the following questions: 1)  How do you handle...

Time management, monitoring and more

This week’s #solopr Twitter chat was once again jam-packed with helpful tips. New and established PR consultants alike offered insights on the following topics: When budgets are small, what methods do you use to track clips (both online and print)? How do you "fire" a...

Salty and Successful

Jeremy Pepper has been blogging for seven years at Pop! PR Jots, and this early adopter is known for not pulling punches. The interesting thing is, whether he's on his blog telling people to shut the ---- up, or on Twitter letting folks know when they're blowing hot...

On Firing a Client

This is a guest post from Heather Whaling of Geben Communication. I fired a client last week. If this is some sort of "rite of passage" that every SoloPR person experiences at some point in her career, I guess I'm officially a member of the club. While I'm a new...

How PR Consultants Can Switch Industries

As part of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, pros in PR consulting offered insights on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions: What advice do you have for switching industries- e.g. B2B to consumer PR? How do you balance the tax/financial planning...

PR Consulting Clients Want Specialists

This is a guest post from Kevin Dinino, Founder & CEO, KCD Public Relations Inc. I started out like many in the PR field, as a generalist Account Executive at a mid-size PR agency pre-Internet bubble.  Once the sky started to fall and clients such as Neopets.com...

Help PR Pros Find a Job

PR consulting is the best life there is. In fact, just today the Wall Street Journal stated we’re in the “Age of Going Solo.” But this month, I’m issuing a call to Solo PR Pros to participate in an upcoming Twitter event called “Help a PR Pro Out” day. (#HAPPO for...

Subcontracting, SEO and More

Experts in PR consulting once again offered hundreds of pieces of sage advice in this week’s #solopr Twitter chat. During the discussion, there was a universal sentiment that subcontracting or outsourcing non-core services is important for long-term success as a PR...

Do You Have Ugly Stuff?

Design plays an important role in establishing credibility — especially important for independents.

Tips on Finding PR Consulting Clients

How did successful PR consultants find their first clients? That was just one of the many interesting questions covered in this week’s #solopr Twitter chat. Interestingly, many of the top pros participating did not have clients before taking the leap toward...

Don’t Be PR Roadkill

How can a public relations professional become PR roadkill? By continuing to ignore social media. Like an old Looney Tunes cartoon, there are throngs of pros about to stampede by and leave you in their dust. I wanted to offer up one final tough love post on the...

How to Charge for Social Media Services

During this week's #solopr Twitter chat, top independent consultants shared invaluable information on what they're doing with social media, and how to bill for these services. The following questions were addressed: Are your clients getting more serious about social...

How to Build a Name for Yourself

A lot of consultants (PR, social media, and others) come on strong to build a name for themselves, and then flame out. In some cases it may be because they can’t walk the talk, for others perhaps the intensity of their self-promotion can’t be sustained long-term. Those with staying power are less concerned about raising their profile, and more focused on building a reputation.

Is a Business Coach for You?

As a follow-on to last week’s guest post, Let Your Conscience (or Business Coach) Be Your Guide, Charity Lacey (the post’s author) suggested we have her “Jiminy Cricket” as a guest on the #solopr Twitter chat. Never one to back down from an experiment, I invited...

Work from Paris? Oui!

PR Consultants really can work from anywhere, and when it comes to enjoying this career path there's nothing better than mixing it up a bit. Take Valerie Chereskin, who I met at the PRSA International Conference, and who successfully spent a full month in Paris: It...

Business Insurance for PR Consultants

The January 6 #solopr Twitter chat kickedoff 2010 with a bang! Top PR consultants from around the country engaged in such a lively and informative discussion, the group addressed just two questions (with a wealth of info): What kind of business insurance types and...

Let Your Conscience (or Business Coach) Be Your Guide

This is a guest post by Charity Lacey, the creative and strategic principal of Virtue Integrated Marketing Communications – a San Diego-based full service marketing communications agency specializing in mom-/family-centered products and services. In January 2008, I...

To Be Successful, Take a Break

The holiday period is a good time to remember a critical strategy for your long-term success: the importance of taking some time off – away from your business – to regroup, renew and re-energize. All of the long-standing, profitable Solo PR Pros I know are committed...

Planning for 2010

This week’s #solopr chat on Twitter focused on year-end planning and getting ready for 2010. This is an important period in planning for your business and setting the stage for an even better 2010! As always, the Solo PR Pro community had some excellent tips to share...

Joining forces with other solos, and more

During the #solopr chat on Twitter this week, all of our questions submitted by the Solo PR Pro community. Here's what's on the mind of your colleagues: What are your topics of interest for professional development? PRSA-IPA needs ideas for teleseminars, speakers for...

New Tool for Media Relations Collaboration

Those of us who’ve worked at agencies remember joining forces with co-workers to develop combined pitches before conducting media relations for feature coverage. Pitching a trend is much more meaningful when you have three or more spokespeople from different companies...

Tips on Twitter Lists, Podcasts and More

The #solopr chat on Twitter this week was another excellent example of how the Solo PR Pro community continues to be an excellent source of inspiration, ideas and resources for each other. One of the most lively discussions took place around Twitter’s fairly new List...

Blogger Relations – from a Blogger’s Perspective

Blogger relations is an activity only growing in importance for PR pros as the media landscape continues to shift. When bloggers speak on the topic, we often hear cranky pronouncements about the uselessness of PR people, which can too easily be written off as the...

How do you distribute news?

This week’s #solopr chat – held each Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. Eastern on Twitter – got into the nitty gritty of one of the top issues facing PR professionals today: news distribution. Be sure to check out the transcript here in PDF, or online, for astute insights from...

Wisdom of #solopr Chatters

The November 11 edition of the #solopr Twitter chat took on a life of its own (as all good chats do). We tackled tough topics, including the extent to which agency experience is helpful to Solo PR Pros, and whether PRSA membership is useful to an independent...

Key to a Long Career: Ongoing Education

As I arrive in San Diego for the 2009 PRSA International Conference (which gets underway today), I look forward to some exciting educational sessions and invigorating networking with old and new friends. I'm realizing that as independent consultants, we must find our...

Planning for the Future – 11.04.09 #solopr chat

Addressing issues/questions submitted by the community, the  #solopr chat – held each Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. Eastern – is becoming a weekly ritual for a host of savvy Solo PR Pros on Twitter.  Anyone with a Twitter account is welcome to join us! This week’s...

Mentors for Each Other – 10.28.09 #solopr Chat

October 28, 2009, the date of this week’s #solopr Twitter chat, was a proud day for me. Why? Because I was unable to participate in the chat due to travel, and it proceeded full steam ahead without me. What a terrific testament to the community of Solo PR Pros that...

Transcript for the #solopr Chat – 10/21/09

Starting this week, we'll be posting the transcript from the weekly #solopr Twitter chat (Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m. Eastern) here on the blog. Why? Because each week the chats are chock-full of free advice, tips and interesting discussions on the future of PR, social...

PR Consultants: It’s Twitter Time

As PR consultants, it’s our job to be a resource to our clients and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new strategies, technology and tools. For this reason, the time has come: all PR consultants should be on Twitter… now.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Hire Solo PR Pros

In the world of entrepreneurial ventures and startups, there are frequent discussions of whether Public Relations is necessary (in fact, a Google search for the phrase “pr is dead” [in quotes, lowercase] returns 119,000 entries!). The question resurfaced this week as...

Success Stories: Shonali Burke

Our latest Solo PR Pro success story is the fascinating and always engaging Shonali  Burke, ABC. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Shonali is the IABC-accredited, award-winning principal of Shonali Burke Consulting. She blogs at Waxing UnLyrical, under the watchful...

Tapping the Collective Wisdom

The many ways the Solo PR Pro community can interact goes far beyond this blog. We're starting to have weekly #solopr chats on Twitter, and please join the brand new Solo PR Pro group on LinkedIn for yet another way we can ask questions and share ideas with each...

Join Us for the #solopr Chat on Twitter

We've talked before about using the #solopr hashtag on Twitter. Now, by popular demand, we've scheduled the first #solopr Twitter chat for this Wednesday, September 2, 2009, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Prominent PR pros Heather Huhman (@HeatherHuhman) and Shonali Burke...

Using Social Media – Come Out from Behind the Curtain

Most PR consultants have been trained from early in our careers to work behind the scenes. We've typically served clients or company executives as the spokespeople, and it's deeply ingrained that the spotlight should shine on them alone.  Today, it's time to come out...

Readying for the Upswing

Some PR consultants are facing challenging times. While there's still lots of work to be had, in this environment clients occasionally slash their budgets mid-stream. Others are putting planned projects on hold for an indefinite period of time. When you get word of...

Friday Funnies – How I Organize My Desk

When it comes to maintaining control over the clutter-filled chaos, I'm the last person to offer advice! What about you, Solo PR Pro reader - do you have any tips for keeping the mess to a manageable level? Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely...

Why You Need an Online Home Base – and How to Get One

I'm afraid the time has come - some PR pros need a dose of tough love. I know you’re out there: PR and MarCom consultants with no presence online whatsoever. Many of you may have a Web presence, but perhaps it's anemic and a cohesive strategy is lacking. Now let me...

PR Consulting Questions? Let’s Share

I'm frequently asked all kinds of questions about becoming a PR consultant. Though we cover the full spectrum of being a Solo PR Pro on this blog, it has occurred to me (perhaps belatedly) that it would be beneficial to publish answers to the specific questions I...

Consultants: Celebrate Independents’ Day!

As the U.S. prepares to observe its Independence Day holiday, it’s an excellent excuse for consultants to pause and celebrate the many joys of being independent in business. Even in today's sometimes difficult market, being your own boss is extremely gratifying. Among...

Can You Leave Your Job to Consult Today?

To me, being a PR/MarCom consultant is the greatest job in the world. I'm so passionate about the virtues of working for yourself versus someone else, I started this blog! But I don't advocate everyone take the leap willy nilly. The truth is there are times when a...

What Disclosure Issues Mean for PR

Controversy has been swirling in online and blogging circles for some time about the thorny issues of disclosure and conflicts of interest. When it comes to blogs’ coverage of products and services, there are gray areas all over the place – some of them intentional,...

A Humorous Look at Client Maneuvering

When you're an independent consultant, eventually you'll experience one or more of the "negotiating tactics" hilariously illustrated in this video (hat tip to Brad Fitzpatrick, where I first saw it). In this economy, unfortunately such tactics become even more common....

Success Stories: Narciso Tovar

Having recently established himself as full-time Solo PR Pro, Narciso Tovar of Big Noise Communications has more than 13 years of public relations expertise with a remarkable track record. He considers himself both a teacher and student in external communications and...

To Partner or Not to Partner

This is a guest post from Laura Silver, a senior communications counselor with experience spanning both domestic US and global healthcare communications. She founded LAS Communications Inc. on the principle that quality work is an outgrowth of deep strategic insight...

Success Stories: Jen Wilbur

Solo PR Pro successes come from all walks of life, and everyone's story is unique. Since each PR and MarCom consultant makes his or her own rules, there's much we can learn from the experiences of others. To that end, I'm thrilled to unveil our first interview in what...

We’re a Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

Those who aren’t independent consultants might think there is rivalry and discord among our ranks. After all, aren’t we competing against each other? Wouldn’t a little back-stabbing be expected? In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is...

Guest Post on PRos in Training

I was thrilled to be asked by leading PR academic Kelli Matthews to write a guest post for her blog, PRos in Training. In it, I propose that the changes in public relations create a unique opportunity for emerging and experienced PR pros to join forces. The result can...

PR Consultants: Indulge in the Guilty Pleasure

If you’re like many these days, you’re probably spending a lot of time seeking new business and slogging it out with client work to pay the bills. Solo PR Pros, like the rest of the world, are under more pressure than usual, so we need to make sure we occasionally...

Are You Ready for Faster PR?

This is the first guest post on Solo PR Pro, and it comes from popular PR blogger Scott Hepburn. Scott is a copywriter for PRstore, a full-service marketing and PR company with franchises nationwide. He blogs at Media Emerging and plays devil’s advocate on Twitter as...

Modern PR: The Next Wave

Whether you call it PR 2.0, New PR, or some other catchy moniker, it’s clear that public relations is moving into a new age. As we’ve noted, Modern PR means evolving, adapting and embracing new challenges. At the forefront of this evolution is PR’s incorporation of a...

Modern PR: The Media’s Changing… with You or Without You

Despite some reports to the contrary, the media is not dying. But there are dramatic changes taking place and, chances are, this is not completely news to you. As PR pros, most of us have seen long-time relationships with key reporters end as they get laid off and...

Modern PR Pros and the Breaking News Dilemma

Perhaps you’ve seen the controversy around embargoes in recent months, or you may be blissfully unaware. But the issue of how best to handle important news (a big product rollout, for example) is always an important one. What does the recent commotion mean for...

Modern PR: New Incentives to Behave Professionally

We know they’re out there. The people who say they’re in PR, but they really just play a numbers game – sending as many emails as possible, in hopes of getting a small percentage of recipients to cover their clients. In fact, most of us have probably competed for...

Modern PR Series: What You Need to Know About Public Relations Today

The times they are a’changin. If you’re working in marketing communications or PR, you’ve no doubt encountered this already. With the now fast-changing media landscape, in many ways we’re in the Wild Wild West. The rules have yet to be established, and not everyone...

Should PR Pros Be Reading Blogs?

As I talk to friends and colleagues, I’ve found that a number of PR and marketing communications professionals are not reading many blogs. Those they do read are often related to clients, and quite a few folks have confessed to me that they don’t use RSS to keep up...

Don’t Forget to Take a Holiday

In our go-go-go world, many of us are conditioned to feel guilty when we’re not doing something related to our business. Add this to the fact that most of us don’t get paid when we’re not working, and many independent PR and MarCom consultants fail to take sufficient...

Sunday Silliness: Seven Things You May Not Know About Me

Recently, as part of a little game going on among bloggers,  Shannon Paul asked me to share seven things about me. Now, I don’t pretend to think that you all will find this fascinating, but since I truly believe that Shannon is one of the finest young minds in PR...

End of Year Tips for Consultants

The end of the year is fast-approaching, but there’s still time to think about some of the items that should be on any independent consultant’s radar: Consider hiring an accountant – Most accountants become insanely busy as soon as the new year arrives, and many do...

Look Before You Leap

Just before Thanksgiving, the brilliant David Meerman Scott wrote a post titled “Quit your job” that garnered quite a bit of attention (most of it positive). I was taken aback, because David is truly a great thought leader in the PR space, but on his point about...

Cherish Your Champions

This week is Thanksgiving, and we’ll all be taking stock of the many things we have to be thankful for. For those of us who love Claire Dalrymple Watkins, this week will also mark one year since we lost this magnificent young woman to breast cancer. But this post...

44 Tools for the PR Consultant’s Toolbox

Technology has made it easier than ever for small fries like us to provide big-league service. I’m often amazed how many Web-based applications are available now – it can actually be mind boggling and overwhelming at times. Here, in an attempt to help you wade through...

The Time to Think About Your Solo Career is Now

There’s an elephant in the room – in fact, there’s an elephant sitting on this blog. It’s the economy, and it’s become a central issue for just about everyone.   Whether you’re already a PR consultant or currently in a traditional job, we should all take steps now to...

Welcome to Solo PR Pro!

I decided to start Solo PR Pro because I’m often asked to recommend online resources that focus just on independent PR and Marketing Communications consultants… and I realized there really aren’t any. Solo PR Pros have a great life, and I firmly believe that more...

Why Public Relations Consulting?

Are you looking to break free of the cubicle? With the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicting that public relations as a field will continue to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, there are many opportunities to do just that as an independent PR consultant....

Who can be a Solo PR Pro?

While this blog has “PR” in the name, I believe professionals in a wide variety of disciplines can learn from each other here. Yes, I know many of these occupations don’t fall under the banner of public relations, but independents in these fields share many issues,...