This month we speak to Anna King, PR, copywriting and content marketing supremo, who has been a Work Crowd freelancer since the early days, around four years ago.
Anna works with startups and SMEs across HR, recruitment, technology, insurance, financial and professional services.
Why did you decide to go independent and what benefits have you seen both for yourself and now the clients you support?
I always knew that I would enjoy the freelance lifestyle as I’m very independent and like doing my own thing, away from all the politics and complications of office life. PR and copywriting are great because you can easily set up on your own with minimal overheads and risk, so around four or so years ago I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. I haven’t looked back since.
I love the flexibility and freedom it has given me, with no hellish commute or set working hours to worry about. I also like being able to focus on what is really important to my clients – achieving results – without all the management and overheads that suck up time and budgets in agencies. It also means I can say what I actually think without worrying whether my boss is going to disapprove!
From the perspective of my clients, they get experienced consultancy and execution, but for a fraction of a cost that they would pay an agency. It means that startups and SMEs who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford PR support have a way of telling their stories and raising their profiles, without busting the marketing budget at the same time.
What are you currently working on and can you share any recent successes?
I currently do PR for a VC firm, and I’ve landed some fab results for them recently, including a regular column in Forbes and an article in the new FT-backed startup title, Sifted. Their focus is on achieving hero thought leadership coverage in leading tech titles, so these were big wins for them.
I also represent a recruitment consultancy, both in the UK and in Dubai, and we’ve had some nice hits recently, including in Management Today, The Daily Telegraph and some of the top UAE titles, like Gulf News and Arabian Business.
Copywriting tends to be more on a project basis, but amongst others, I’ve written for the publisher, Raconteur and recently contributed to The Splash, a new in-house magazine from the content/tech startup, Turtl, which I love. I also write blogs for The Work Crowd, so you may have read my articles on here at some point!
What three words best describe you as a communicator?
Talk less, listen more (sorry, I know that’s four!)
You have worked from Brazil and are now based in London – how do you make remote working work for both you and your clients?
The key is to do your job well. If you’re doing your job well then it doesn’t matter where you are, and clients don’t care. Keep clients updated on what you’re doing, keep delivering results, and remember to have a phone or face-to-face catch up every now and again, and location shouldn’t be a problem.
What advice would you give a startup who is looking at investing in professional PR and communications support
The big thing I always tell my clients is that PR isn’t magic, and you have to respect the process behind achieving top-class results. Media are more cynical than ever so raising your profile through PR won’t happen overnight. It can be unpredictable, and it takes collaboration between you and your PR support to make it work. The best results come when you are committed to PR for the long-term, so you can build a strong understanding with your consultant/ agency and develop relationships with your key media.