Ready PR One, with Caroline Joynson
37 min Caroline Joynson
Andrew talks in this episode to Caroline Joynson, founder of Cheerleader PR, about how to get a business 'PR ready', how to avoid PR overwhelm with the number of print and digital channels, solving copyright conundrums, and the super-savvy way to handle journalists.
Read the full transcript and access the show notes at https://adigital.agency/podcast.
Find out more about A Digital at https://adigital.agency
Get a free copy of Andrew's book, Holistic Website Planning at https://gothedistance.website.
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The thing is now we are basically our own media empire. When I started in PR, you had the choice – you either went into the media through the advertising or editorial route – ie, PR. And now we've got all of our own channels. We can have our own radio show as a podcast. We can have our own TV programme on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram Live or whatever. We can put our own views, opinions, news out on our own channels. None of those things were possible when I first started. It's mad to think of all the things we created – photo-stunts and all these things we used to do – just to get the attention of the media.Caroline Joynson Tweet
Andrew: Hello again and thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Clientside Podcast. I'm your host, Andrew Armitage, and it's great to have you with us today. Thank you for tuning in. The podcast is supported by the digital agency I founded called A Digital, and on the podcast we've been talking to senior leaders in the digital space about people, process and culture.
Andrew: We've talked a lot about digital transformation, but today we're talking about PR, and, as usual, we've a special guest here to share her expertise and knowledge. Caroline Joynson is a PR strategist and the founder of Cheerleader PR. Her mission is to empower passionate business owners to promote themselves with confidence, helping them to gain media coverage and PR so they can raise their profile, build relationships and make more sales.
Andrew: In today's conversation, we talk about what it means to be PR ready. We chat about the overwhelm that is often felt by business owners who want to get more PR for their business. But when faced with a multitude of digital and print channels, don't always know where to start. And then we round off with a really interesting discussion on copyright, and what I suspect is not that widely known – that sharing pictures of your content from commercial publications across your social media channels could actually be a breach of copyright and land you in a spot of trouble.
Andrew: So we talk about how you can safely extend the reach of your PR without running the risk of a fine. There's a lot more to PR than simply sending out press releases, and with over 20 years' PR experience, Caroline supports businesses with PR coaching courses and consultancy, working with clients locally, nationally and internationally. She helps them to get clear on their message and share it alongside their unique story and expertise. So welcome to the Clientside Podcast, Caroline.
Caroline: Hi, great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Andrew: You're more than welcome. Thank you for taking the time to join me. Caroline, just introduce yourself to our listeners. Tell them a little bit about you, what you do, your company and how you got involved in PR.
Caroline: A few things then, yeah? [laughs] So, I'm Caroline Joynson and I'm the founder of Cheerleader PR. I've worked in PR for over 20 years and Cheerleader PR is basically me – another version of my career. Next step of my career of helping business owners promote themselves. So I've worked in PR agencies, I've worked inhouse and in the National Media Museum in Bradford, so running the press office, I've been freelance as well. And then when I was freelance I realised that I could go in and work for small business and do their PR for them.
Caroline: But then when I'd finished that project, or that had come to an end, that that work, that those businesses didn't have the skills or the relationships to carry on the work that I'd started. And it just seemed like that could really help people to know how to do that. And also a lot of the people I work with seem really overwhelmed with kind of what they even wanted to say, what their messages were, what they wanted to be known for, but also who to say it to and when to say it. And it just became a massive, overwhelming 'eugh', basically.
Caroline: I guess the way I go at PR is that, in order to promote a business to the media, you have to be really clear on what you want to say and what it's all about and why you're doing it and what you want to come across. So you have to be really clear on the messaging and really succinct and those skills that I use and honed over those 20 years. I could help people to come through that overwhelm and just come out really clear with the clarity and the confidence to talk about themselves, really.
Caroline: So yes, Cheerleader PR is all about helping passionate business owners to get media coverage and PR so that they can raise their profile, build relationships, and make more sales. And ultimately, relationships are the heart of business and that all adds to your reputation. So that's the way I come at PR and as I say, it's been 20 years of doing it and still enjoying it, but just doing it in a slightly different way now because I guess the internet and online businesses, it's opened up a whole new world for teaching people really.
Andrew: Yeah. So many more channels available. And I suppose it's a lot of the musicians – Ed Sheerans of this world – who have used the technology to create their own records, their own music, their own platform, and that proliferation of all the different channels. And we're on a podcast now, of course, which is another channel which has grown hugely. It means it's opened up the different directions that companies can take. And again, on the one hand, that's a positive, but I suppose it also plays into that overwhelm that people might feel.
Caroline: Yeah, I know what you mean. I think the thing to say is as well with PR, obviously it's a known profession and a lot of time and effort goes into becoming a PR professional. And I guess I'm not saying it's just easy to just suddenly do exactly what I do and I wouldn't want to release people to send pictures to journalists that were just not great and spammy. So I suppose it's all about me teaching people how to do it in a way ... there's a really professional way to approach it so that they can then do it and learn those skills on the job really.
Caroline: But yeah, the thing is now we are basically our own media empire. When I started in PR, you had the choice. You either went into the media, either through the advertising route, or editorial route – ie, PR. And now we've got all of our own channels. We can have our own radio show as a podcast. We can have our own TV programme on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram Live or whatever. We can put our own views, opinions, news out on our own channels. None of those things were possible when I first started, I mean, it's mad to think of all the things we created, photo stunts and all these things that we did to get attention of the media.
Caroline: And people still do those things. Absolutely. It's still part of PR, but we've now got the ability to put our own information out there. But also the other thing is we can then share PR coverage, share things that we've done on our own channels. So it is a win-win really. And I do always say the difference with PR is it's about other people saying you're good at what you do rather than you just saying it yourself. So although you can put all this stuff out on your own channels, still someone else featuring you on their channels like you are having me on this podcast now. It just says that I'm a good person to put in front of your audience, and if someone else says you're good at what you do, then that's taken as a stronger kind of recommendation, more credibility. So I guess those principles haven't changed, but there's just so many more options. And you're right, there is a real risk of an overwhelm in that way, in the terms of the channels you might use as well as the messaging. But that's where I guess people like you and I come in to help people to make sense of that.
Andrew: Yeah, definitely. And it was an interesting point that you said we don't necessarily like talking about ourselves or we don't necessarily know the right tone to get the message across. There's lots of people that I see on LinkedIn, sort of entrepreneur badging against their name and their title, and they're very much out and talking about themselves. But I think the key thing around stories is, yes, absolutely, you've got to think of, 'am I creating a personal brand or am I promoting a product or service?' But the channel is one thing. The content is surely the most important aspect of it. And knowing who and when to target with that content.
Caroline: Yeah, that's a great question, isn't it? At what point does a personal brand become a brand in its own right or a business in it? So for example, what I do, I have built a personal brand because it's me as an expert going in and helping people, and it's very much my personality that I'm sharing and hoping people will then want to work with me because there's multiple millions of people that do what I do, but it's my differentiator as me. And the same with like you say about the stories there. So many people I work with, they'll say 'I don't really have a story' and they can be really negative about themselves and 'I don't really know that much'. And you think, gosh, you've managed to create a business, you've built some sort of brand around your passion.
Andrew: Something triggered the feeling to do that, the urge. I think that idea that people feel they don't have a story sometimes a bit of a misnomer, but it takes somebody like you perhaps to be able to extract the details that they don't really see are something that's particularly important or relevant.
Caroline: I think it's a thing of helping someone to make sense of points in their life that led them to where they are now. And I guess if you want to do PR around your business, then you're wanting it to be relevant to your business in some way. Journalists don't generally just write about a business on its own. It's often about the stories around it, how it came to be, or even different aspects of the founder's life, which might not even be really interlinked with the business. I help people look at those key moments that led them to have the business that they've got now. And when they do that, I run my media bio masterclass and in just 2 hours the difference it makes to people because they start thinking 'I'm not really sure'. And then I have comments like, 'Oh, I'm actually crying now when I realised how far I've come', and I think it's a very British thing as well, and I think women as well can struggle with it, maybe a bit more of that thing of just not wanting to talk about themselves. It's not good to show off.
Caroline: And 'who are you to shout and blow your own trumpet?' and 'you shouldn't be taking up too much space with your voice and your story'. So all those things play against us really. And I guess, yeah, I do come in and help people to see how much they've got to offer. And that's on the side of the story. And those pivotal moments have got them to where they are now, but also their expertise, because, again, people don't like to say they're an expert in something because it's always showing off again, is it? We'll just find all the reasons to put ourselves down.
Caroline: But ultimately, you know, with anyone, you're going to buy you as an expert because you know your stuff, they want to know the stuff. So if you can't big up your own expertise you're going to struggle. And just seeing that, you know, no one's got the same story, no one's got the same expertise, and that's what makes you unique. So that's the thing you want to be making the most of, really.
Andrew: Let's roll back a little bit into a broader definition of PR. Do you consider a PR provider, PR agency or PR consultant like yourself to be the storyteller or the media relationship manager?
Caroline: Ooh, gosh, that's a good question. I suppose it's a bit of a cop out, but I suppose it is a bit of both, if I'm allowed to say that. But in the sense I think when you're telling a story, you have to pick out the relevant bits to the person you're telling the story to. I used to say 'no, just bullet point all your life down' and then I refined it, and it was like, 'all of your parts of your life are amazing and you've learnt'.
Caroline: But actually the point is, how do they get you to where you are now? And it's like working out that, that part of the story that's gonna be relevant if it is about your business obviously. So, yes. Storyteller. But it's strategic storytelling, ready to pick out the relevant bits and also to choose which bits you're happy to share because people have things they don't want to share with the world. And that's absolutely fine too.
Caroline: And then I guess the other side of it is the media relations side – working out how to share that to get someone else's attention, particularly a journalist's attention or equally that could be building relationships with peers, with customers, with the media – the relationship side's really important too. I guess I see the relationship side as common sense really, in the sense of how to build relationships with anyone, be interested in them, work out what they want, and then help them see how you can help them. But I don't think everyone does think like that. So I guess it's that thing of trying to teach people those skills, which to me I guess I just take them for granted. But they're not. It's not always the case really, is it?
Andrew: No. And I guess that's where certainly things like imposter syndrome come in, because people think that they've got the skill, but they're perhaps not quite willing to put themselves out there for fear of what might follow. People, of course, they don't know what they don't know. And while they might be quite happy sending an email off to a journalist in a local paper because there's something that's local that's taking place, that's quite different to trying to build broader awareness about a new product or service or a start-up or something like that.
Andrew: Your PR is not advertising – journalists that see something that is overtly promotional, they're going to move you to the commercial team and say, 'We've got an ad box for that kind of content'. So it's pitching the right level that articulates the story, but equally something that is going to be of interest, not primarily to the journalist, although of course the journalist has to write the story and fill the space in the paper, but the readership, so thinking about audience, I presume, is a very key part of that content?
Caroline: Absolutely. I always say whether I'm doing someone's PR form or having a session to teach them how to do it themselves, 'who is it you're actually trying to reach?' Because unless you know that, how do you know where you can reach them if you don't know who they are? And it's very hard. But also, 'what are your objectives in your business? What do you want to achieve in your business?' Because then you're going to plan PR that's going to help you with that. Otherwise, again, just we've only got finite amounts of time. It is about audience.
Caroline: And the great thing with the media is they've already done that piece of work. They know exactly who they're writing for – like, the regional media or the local media example is great because what's interesting to them is people from that area that have done something interesting or something amazing or shocking or whatever. But any journalist is always just thinking, 'How is this interesting to my reader or my viewer or my listener?' So the basic advice is to work out who your audience is. But then when you work out where you want to be seen so you can reach them, think what does that journalist – the gatekeeper to putting those stories or picking the stories – What are they looking for to reach those people? So absolutely at the heart of it is the audience and where they are and how you can then get in front of them. And it's about relevance, really.
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, having that story is what creates that level of interest. And then I suppose the different ways of telling that story for different audiences, for different journalists and so on. So I suppose, you talk about audience. You mentioned a little bit of strategy and positioning. Is that essentially what you mean by PR ready? You've got this phrase that you have about business as being PR ready. Is that essentially a series of prerequisites that essentially they need to have in place before it really makes sense for them to work with someone like you? There must be things they can do themselves, but I presume working with a PR consultant brings a financial investment. No doubt it brings a time investment as well. And to get the most from both of those, I guess you've got to have certain things in place before you make that commitment.
Caroline: Yeah, I think the thing is that one of the questions I get asked the most is 'should I start?' And that is where the 'PR ready' kind of phrase has come from a set of steps to get PR ready. But actually those things in the steps aren't onerous and they're just basically about being ready if you see an opportunity to be on a podcast, to quote for something in a newspaper or to be featured in a magazine, if you see an opportunity that you're ready to go with the right information.
Caroline: So that's a bit like with me being on your podcast, having your bio ready to go, having a couple of paragraphs that sum up you, what you do, and what it's all about. Having your imagery ready. That's huge in PR and that's something I find a lot. I think I come up quite highly on Google for PR photography because I talk about it so much, but I'm not a photographer. But the picture is worth as much as the story quite often, in the sense of what picture brings your story to life or your headshot that shows this is this individual person that's given this commentary.
Caroline: So it's having your images ready. It's just being clear on what you want to be known for, where you want to be seen, but also just having the basics in place to put yourself forward if you see an opportunity. That's what PR ready is to me. It's just about the PR opportunities that are infinite. There's multiple journo requests every day. There's loads of podcasts, loads of YouTube channels, there's no shortage of opportunities, but it's more about which ones are right, the right ones for you. And when you know which ones are right for you, how can you be ready to respond as quickly as possible? Because it is competitive and you need to be able to put a good case forward. So that's my PR ready kind of process if you like, but it is very much common sense, of just having the right information about yourself ready to go when you need it.
Andrew: Yeah, I know. There's the journo requests hashtag for example, on Twitter, which if anybody looks at, it's usually journalists who have a story and journalists are very deadline driven. They usually have to be responded to in fairly short notice. There are clearly some longer form pieces that might be more research based, and there's no immediate deadline for an article. But journalists are very time driven, in my experience and being ready, being in a position to respond ultimately is more likely to get to the top of the queue, I would have thought.
Caroline: Yeah, particularly with those journo requests. So, as you say that's a free hashtag on Twitter. You can just type it in and you'll see like just scrolling multiple requests from journalists and they're what I would call reactive opportunities. So obviously they're public. Anyone can see them, anyone can respond to them. It can be a bit of a numbers game and you can respond to loads and never hear anything back. Or then you might just see one and respond and you hear straightaway. It's a bit of a lottery. So I think with those ones, yeah, definitely the quicker you can get in with your information.
Caroline: I did one about tips I'd give to somebody facing redundancy because that's something that happened to me and it was a key part of how I came to have my business. And I replied to that one, and it took about at least a week, maybe two weeks, to come back to me and he said, 'Oh, thanks for that, I like this particular point. Can you expand on it?' So if you don't hear straightaway, it's not like never, forget it, it's never going to happen. But you've just got to keep going with those and just keep responding to ones that are relevant.
Andrew: I guess again, journalists will be working on multiple pieces at the same time and being deadline driven. They're probably juggling quite a few things. So it maybe isn't an immediate response, but I guess, again, working with someone like yourself, you're able to take away a little bit of that lottery, that gamble of 'will it get picked up, won't it get picked up?' because you're able to perhaps manage relationships with journalists on a little bit more of an ongoing and regular basis.
Caroline: Yeah, because the other side to PR is the proactive side. So that's actually going with a story to someone specific and pitching yourself. And I guess particularly again with the PR side of things, it's about being ready to do that as much as just to respond. And I think on a basic level, if you could just check Journo request every day and just have a quick look that's going to really help with PR. But if you've got more time and you can actually put together, as I say, a pitch for a feature that you think you could be in or you've got some news for your business that you want to get out there. That's then about going out there proactively and saying, 'I've got this story, I've got this idea. Would you consider it?'
Caroline: Yeah, I suppose as a PR consultant, we do work with some of the same journalists, but you're always only as good as the story you've got to pitch. It doesn't mean if you know a journalist you're more likely to get your story picked up necessarily. It just means they might recognise your name in their inbox. But again, if an entrepreneur or business owner was going to pitch themselves, if they've seen that column in, I don't know, Prima magazine, 'I want to be in that'. And every so often, every couple of months you sent a new idea. Probably the journalist would get to know you.
Caroline: So I think you've just got to pick who it is you want to build a relationship with. And again, that goes back to knowing where you want to be and what you want to aim for and then just be consistent in a really nice way – I'm not saying 'stalker' way! [laughs] – but just keep in touch with ideas and interacting on social media and just getting to know somebody a bit and build relationships and you can pitch a better idea that's more likely to get a yes.
Andrew: I suppose in some ways what you're saying is, if you can almost pitch a content pipeline to somebody, then yeah, you build up a little bit of recognition. Journalists are always going to have that need for content, but they never necessarily know when that need is going to arise. And if you've built something of a relationship there, then potentially it gives them someone to turn to.
Caroline: Yeah, exactly. And you might find that, for example, there might be a freelance journalist who writes for multiple places, but you can't share, copy images, screengrabs of printed coverage because that is just very risky. And as I say, it is subject to a fine. And it used to be that they'd go after PR agencies and probably bigger companies. But I think if you flip it on its head, they actually need you to help them. If you've got great stories, great expertise, great content. The amount of journo requests I saw about sleep tips with the heatwave, for example, recently, and we think they probably have a sleep expert on their books, but they don't necessarily. So again, if you are a sleep expert, but any sort of expert, look where you can help and then make sure you're available and know you're aware of what's going on. So if there's something like that, you can offer to help, and give quotes and comments and stuff and tips.
Andrew: Really good advice and particularly around journalists being freelance because there's a lot of them who are freelance and if they are working for multiple publications, it could turn into multiple chances for coverage. I want to move on and talk a little bit about copyright, because if you get featured in a paper magazine or even a website, that's great. You can very easily share links. You might take a photo of the article, you might take a photo of the magazine cover, whatever it might be. Your audience is only going to get so far or your audience is a certain size within a given publication. So naturally, if you've got a good bit of PR coverage, you want to tell the world about it.
Andrew: You might want to go and share it on your social channels to a slightly different audience and build up this picture. 'Oh, look, I've been featured on the BBC' or what have you. I've done that myself. So what's the copyright restriction on that? Because these magazines and newspapers, typically, you're paying for them. You've got to buy them. There's a commercial model that sits behind them. Copyright exists with the owner of that content who in most cases would be the writer or the publisher. So am I okay just to basically go and snap the article out of a magazine and post it across my social media?
Caroline: No is short answer on that one. No, you're right. There is copyright restrictions around newspapers, magazines, printed material and even online coverage as well. So it's something I've been aware of from agency days that there's an agency called the Newspaper Licensing Agency and I guess you could call them the copyright police, print media and online now as well. And every year you had to have a form and fill out how much copying you were doing for your clients and how much sharing of these coverage books you were doing. Because I guess their argument was, 'you've bought one copy of that newspaper, and if you're just going to share copies of it, we're not going to make money'.
Caroline: And yeah, basically the agency manages copyright for those publications. Basically, the best way to have a look is to go to the Newspaper Licensing Agency's website, which is NLA, and they have a massive list of all the titles, magazines, newspapers that they cover and they collect, I guess, fees for, if you like. It used to be that they'd go after PR agencies, and probably bigger companies, but I know in recent years they have gone after the small business that's got a great piece of coverage, shared it on social, and then got this contact from the NLA saying, 'you need to pay us for that, thank you'.
And I know what you mean, you do want to be able to share these things because it's amazing. Equally, you're promoting the publication saying, 'look, I've featured in this place. How great.' And certainly I know journalists, they're grateful if you say thank you to them for featuring you or talking about the feature because it's not even them that's necessarily behind this. So basically the best advice I can give is that the actual physical links aren't subject to copyright. So if you do have online coverage and you copy and paste the link into social media, for example, or I guess share it in your bio, then a link isn't copyrighted.
Andrew: Directing people towards the publication. Where they can get the recognition or if it's behind a paywall or whatever.
Caroline: Yeah, exactly. And yeah, a lot of them are behind paywalls now probably for that very reason because, you know, the media are a business as well, aren't they?
Andrew: I know that printed media circulations have declined over recent years, obviously with digital. I think there's probably a very strong argument in their favour that says, look, we've got to get paid for the work that we're doing.
Caroline: Yeah, yeah. And a lot of that I suppose comes from advertising, but equally on the other there is a cover price on those papers, for example, or those magazines. So it's that whole thing about sharing it but not paying for it, isn't it I suppose. But the way is to still share your PR success without sharing screenshots of coverage. What you see a lot of people do is say 'as featured in' and they'll use the logo of the publication. You could probably argue their copyright as well, but that is, again, you're promoting the publication and I've never heard of any problem with that. That would be one way.
Caroline: But there's ways you could make content out of the fact you could say, 'I was recently quoted in Vogue, and here's a summary of what I talked about or here's the image'. Sometimes it's crazy because you've provided an image for free that is then being used, but then when it's been used in their publication, it's copyrighted. But you could say share the original of the image and say this image was just featured in the Yorkshire Post. And I mean they're talking about this. So I guess it's writing around the topic of being featured, but definitely saying 'I've been featured in' is really powerful. And yeah, if it is online and you can get a link, then that's a great way to do it basically.
Andrew: And I suppose that it's not always the case that full article gets rewritten as it was submitted. They may well have paraphrased it, chunked it down to just a comment, potentially leaving with the bits that weren't used. You're still able to talk about that in additional content that you might create on social or your own website, for example.
Caroline: Yeah, it's that thing of, you're the digital expert, but you don't want to have exactly the same copy. It's crazy again because you might have sent out a press release and they've just used that, that text, but so have multiple other places kind of thing because it was usually sent to multiple people. But I guess you just don't want to look like you've copied ... your own story, if that makes any sense. [laughs]
Caroline: So I think it's just being sort of savvy really, and I probably made it sound more complicated than it needs to be. But basically to be on the safe side, you can share links, don't screenshot coverage unless you ask the publisher's permission – when they say, yeah, go for it. But if it's a smaller publication, you're not sure if it's covered by the NLA. They do have a massive list on the website. You can just double check as well. So that's my main tips really on that one.
Andrew: Getting permission's another opportunity to connect with the journalist, the contact that wrote it. But that's really interesting because I think that's probably not all that widely known about – that copyright applies. It's very easy just to take pictures of perhaps the cover of a magazine, perhaps the article itself even. And yeah, it seems that could end in a little bit of hot water. Really interesting.
Andrew: We've been chatting for a little while now and we will run out of time fairly soon. And I've got this series of questions that I've been asking all my guests in this series of the podcast. I think we'll dive into those now if we can. Just got five relatively quick questions just to help our listeners get to know a little bit more about you. So we'll kick off with the first one, and that is, what is the one app, website or piece of software, personal or professional, that you couldn't live without?
Caroline: It's got to be Asana for me. Okay, which is sort of an online to-do list kind of thing, really. And I basically started using it earlier this year and I just think, why was I not using it more before? Because being able to tick things off, move them around tasks when I think of them, I can't imagine not having it now. So I'm going to say Asana for mine.
Andrew: Keeps you in check. Yeah,and these platforms have obviously some of them been around for a long time, but they've grown in popularity as people have been doing more remote work. And I think there's been broader adoption and understanding of how they can really add value to a business. We use a similar one – I have used Asana though – that we equally couldn't live without.
Andrew: The next question was, what excites you in digital at the moment? Obviously you work in digital – you're PR by focus, but that obviously overlaps into digital. So is there anything in particular that is exciting you that you're seeing in the digital or the PR landscape at the moment?
Caroline: If I can say Reels, okay, is that relevant? I think I've only recently more accepted that, you know, as much as I love photography, things like social media are very much going more into the video side of things. And I think I tried to add how to play with it, resisted it a bit, and then just recently thought, you need to move on really. And it's that you're just going to have to make some small videos and I don't mind making videos. I do Facebook Live a lot and things like that, but the real thing was quite a new thing to me. But I think it's the idea of just being able to create these little snapshots of tips or moments in time.
Caroline: And I think that's the sort of content people are wanting. It's been driven obviously by Tik-Tok and then Meta adopting it. But I think I'd be interested to see where that goes. My daughters are 11 and nine and they just want to watch all these little videos all the time. So I don't know what that's going to say about their attention span, but I think it's just that thing of accepting that things move on and you have to go with them. You can only resist it for so long. So mine would be Reels in that sense.
Andrew: Yeah. And it's interesting as well I think to see how different formats of content like short videos can actually overlap into things like search optimization. Because the type of content that people might see in Reels, they may then go and tap in a search over on Google and that potentially then feeds round into PR because if people are doing Google searches, what's coming up in those results can in part be driven by PR, can't it? So it really emphasises the need for a bit of a PR mix, if there's such a word.
Caroline: Yeah, I think that's the thing. That's what we haven't really talked about yet. But in the sense with the way PR and digital works so well now is if you get an online piece of coverage and you're given a link to your website from that media outlet, which you can't demand – you can ask nicely, and they may or may not give you it, but if you do get one. So for example, like when I was in The Guardian, that's got a domain authority of over 95 out of 100, and that still comes up on my search results very highly, as you can imagine. And yeah, you're right. It can really bring that extra dimension. It's from the days of when it was advertising or editorial and that was it. And it was in the bin, in the recycling bin the next day. That content lives on now. So yeah, I guess it's all coming together really.
Andrew: Definitely. And yeah, I always say there's nothing that works in isolation. It's a combination of things that ultimately work together and hopefully support each other to get the end result. Let's move on to the third question, which was, if you had an extra hour every day, how would you spend that time?
Caroline: Oh, gosh. I mean, I think for me, if it was business related, then I think I would spend the extra hour working on the business, whether that was like looking at new processes or more marketing. But then I think an hour would get eaten up so quickly. But yeah, I think it would be working on the business. But if it was an extra hour to do anything, which I did think, I need to look above the business, I've just recently got an inflatable kayak and I'd quite like to take that out more often. So I'm going to say either working on the business or kayaking, which would be more fun.
Andrew: Great. What do you feel is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
Caroline: That's a good one. So I think positivity is a massive one because sometimes when I work with people who, as we've said, have the guts to start a business, but they're not that positive about themselves. I always see the good in everyone and everything. That's something I look for really naturally, and I think that's got me a long way, the other way. If I was going to push it and say another one, I think it has to be tenacity because you've just got to keep going with PR. You'll get 'no's, you'll get knocked back. But when you get a 'yes', it's amazing, you celebrate it. So I think that's what's kept me going in PR as well.
Andrew: Yeah, excellent. Good. And then final question. I'm quite passionate about helping younger people at the start of their careers. What advice would you give to someone at the start of their career? Substitute digital for PR. So, someone starting out in PR, what advice would you give them?
Caroline: I think my advice would be, whatever you're working on or whoever you're working with, really just to kind of embrace the opportunities. My first agency role was with a really small agency, which meant I got to sort of do it everything at every level from answering the phone to going to the meetings to sending out the press releases or making things happen.
Caroline: And the same when I went to my second agency, we just used to get sent off just to drive ourselves to wherever to manage a photo call or something. And I've never really done that. The other agency, that wasn't really an option. And I used to think, 'gosh, they're going to send me off'. I was like sort of I guess mid-20s and I just hadn't had that opportunity. But what I've always found in my career, I suppose in my life, really, like with going to those photo-calls or even with my own business, if someone says, 'oh, you know, can you do this'. I say yes to opportunities. Even if you think, 'Oh my God, that's really scary'. I think, just have a go.
Caroline: And that's probably like when I started to promote myself and Cheerleader PR a few years ago. I'd always only promoted clients, I hadn't ever promoted myself. So someone said to me, 'oh, would you like to come and do a podcast with me?' Or 'would you come and talk to my group?' I'd always just say yes, even when it was really scary, because I just thought, well, I'm going to learn and I'll work it out – once I've said yes I'll then work out how to do it. So yeah, I think that would be, go for it and do things you're offered to do that you think, 'hmm, I'm not sure', but just take the opportunities because it'll always come in handy and it'll help you to grow faster as well.
Andrew: Definitely. And as I keep saying, I think Steven Bartlett is a regular poster on this theme that if you're not stretching yourself or you're not taking yourself outside your comfort zone, then you're not giving yourself the opportunity to learn. I think that's one of his quotes that I've seen or it may have come from. It may be a quote that he's shared from somebody else. But yeah, I would absolutely agree. I think you do have to embrace those opportunities as they come and take them for what they are. Nobody knows everything. It is obviously an opportunity to learn. It's an opportunity to meet new people, try something new, experience something new. And yeah, as a young person, who knows where that could take you either through the path of connections, help to develop your own personal interest and ambition. Yeah, absolutely. I'd agree with all of those. Yeah, great.
Andrew: Well, look, Caroline, I've really enjoyed chatting with you. It's been really fascinating hearing a little bit more particularly about that copyright discussion that we had earlier. And there's lots of other areas that we could talk about with PR and particularly going into the digital areas with link building and all that kind of stuff. But I'm afraid we are out of time. If people do want to continue the conversation and follow up with you, where would they be best placed to go and find you.
Caroline: So they could go to my website, which is cheerleaderpr.com. I also have a free Facebook group which is called PR for passionate go-getters. And if you did want my PR-ready checklist, you can get that from a website just on the home page. You can just download that and that's seven steps to get PR ready. You can check where you're up to or work out what you need to start and go from there. So they would be the best places to find me.
Andrew: Fantastic. We will put those links in the show notes and the transcripts, which will go up onto our website at adigital.agency/podcast. Caroline, thank you again. Really appreciate you taking the time to join me. I loved having the conversation with you and yeah, thank you very much.
Caroline: Thank you.
Andrew: So thank you for tuning in to The Clientside Podcast today. Caroline Joynson from Cheerleader PR was my guest and, as ever, I'm always grateful for our guests sharing their insights and expertise. Links from the conversation, including that seven-page checklist to become PR ready, can be found on the podcast page on our website over at adigital.agency/podcast. Please do tell your friends and colleagues about the current series.
Andrew: You can, of course, find the podcast on all popular channels. Just search for The Clientside Podcast with me, Andrew Armitage, and you'll find not only today's episode, but a back catalogue of over 50 conversations talking about all things digital branching into areas like PR, as we've heard today, leadership transformation and more specific areas such as email marketing or growing a YouTube channel. We appreciate you sharing the show on your social media channels, perhaps even leaving a rating on Apple Podcasts. And we welcome any comments. Do get in touch with me either on Twitter or through LinkedIn. It would be great to hear from you.
Andrew: As an agency, we're also accepting new projects. So if you're working on digital transformation initiatives that involve the development of your website or perhaps an internal business application, then do reach out to us to learn more details, of course, over on our website. I'll be back in a couple of weeks' time, so I do hope you can join me then. Take care and I'll see you next time.