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How Solo PR Professionals Can Use 2021’s Most Buzzed About App, Clubhouse

Clubhouse is a fairly new social app that's taken the world by storm. Part podcast, part TED Talk, the high-profile app can be a great resource for PR professionals. 

Clubhouse is in its early days, but adoption has been fast and furious and, in my experience thus far, it’s proving to be an interesting and fruitful tool for PR professionals. Whether you are choosing to moderate a discussion or simply listen in (there is no obligation to talk), it can be valuable. I’ve found it to be super addicting, and many evenings I pop in my earbuds and listen to conversations for hours on end, when I should be asleep (oops!).

3 reasons PR pros should join Clubhouse

Three main drivers are behind my A+ rating for Clubhouse for PR professionals: media insight, networking and business development. 

Let’s dig in. 

1. Refine pitches and discover media nuggets

There are so many rooms available in Clubhouse, so it’s only natural that many rooms (and many topics within rooms) will gravitate toward current events. As a PR professional, hearing multiple perspectives on relevant news is incredibly helpful when identifying important happenings in the news cycle. 

I’ve been in a few rooms where conversation around events has even allowed me the opportunity to workshop a pitch in real-time with other PR pros. This is valuable insight you may not normally receive, especially if you’re a freelancer. The ability to talk through your pitch and have other professionals give you relevant and timely feedback based on their recent experiences with the media or their take on relevant news hooks is gold. 

Additionally, Clubhouse is a great forum to talk about media outlets and topics that specific journalists are covering. If you have 50 PR professionals in a Clubhouse room, chances are they are working with a variety of different industries and types of news. With the different focus areas, this often leads to a lot of discussion about which publications reporters are currently at, what they’re covering and what they’re interested in, which can only help in building your media list. Reporter left an outlet? Somebody is bound to mention it. NYT hired a new reporter? Somebody probably recently worked with them. And if not, you can ask!

Which leads me to my next point…

2. Rub virtual elbows with some of the best in the business

Whether it’s with a reporter, other PR professionals or potential clients or partners, Clubhouse is a great place to build and nurture relationships without a formal discussion or process. Because of the free flowing conversations that often take place, Cubhouse is a great tool to find other business leaders for potential partnerships and collaboration. For instance, there may be a complimentary contact in one of your rooms that would benefit from a joint engagement with one of your executives. Or, you may discover a counterpart PR professional that doesn’t compete directly in your industry, but that you can partner with and network together. 

Why does networking seem so easy on Clubhouse versus other channels? 

My take is that because of the laid back nature of the “conversation” versus the “organized, planned briefing”, there is less pressure and lower stakes. While Clubhouse can be used for the sole purpose of networking, many go on to partake in casual conversation about topics important to them, so there is less stress and obligation tied to conversations. 

3. Drum up new business

If you’re a PR pro look for additional clients, there is a ton of opportunity for the taking on Clubhouse. For instance, if you’re focused on startup PR, head into the “Startups” rooms, search your niche, and simply join the conversations. I’ve met some intriguing startup founders — some I might work with, some I might not, but it’s been fruitful in identifying potential pipeline.

In my first week on Clubhouse, I popped in a room relevant to the client base I serve and  scored a new client. Somebody was looking at the room attendee bios, saw mine, googled me and my business, and reached out via email. I simply listened to the conversation; I never even spoke and here I was capturing interest. Before you dabble in conversation, make sure your profile is very clear on who you are, what you do and how people can contact you. 

Another fun way to capture potential business is to moderate a room with another PR professional about a topic you’re passionate about. Ping others in the room to join the chat and use this spotlight as the opportunity to show your credibility. Consider using Clubhouse for your own research purposes as well and pose questions to things you don’t know the answer to, knowing full well you have a room of people willing to chime in.

Don’t overthink Clubhouse 

The best part about Clubhouse is the casual atmosphere, so go in with no expectations and enjoy the conversation. Clubhouse is invite-only, but you can get on the waiting list by downloading the app (at the moment, it's only available for iOS) and submitting your phone number. If you’re eager to dive-in, you may want to post on social media that you’re looking for an invite; many Clubhouse members are eager to invite others to join in, so you’ll get added quickly.

A 15 year industry veteran, Andrea Holland’s latest venture has been helping PR professionals find remote work with RemotePRJobs.com. A venture started in 2018, the list continues to grow exponentially month over month, as PR professionals search for remote work in the middle of a global pandemic. Aside from jobs, thousands of PR professionals follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow her advice, blog posts and content around PR. She’s also the leading PR author and instructor for LinkedIn Learning – her courses have been viewed by more than 100K entrepreneurs, PR professionals, and students worldwide. Follow her on Twitter at @andreaholland and @remoteprjobs.