Rosie and the PR Dispatch gang are long-time pals of Studio Cotton, as we’ve always thought what they do is blimmin’ brilliant. In fact, I wrote a blog post in collaboration with them back in 2020 – Investing in your business’ PR payoff featuring PR Dispatch.
PR stands for public relations, and is “the process of communicating with the public through the vehicle of the press to promote your brand and create a positive image. In addition to your marketing and other key areas of your business, a long-term PR strategy will help generate awareness and gain credibility.” It includes press releases that get sent to media outlets, product placements, events, and partnerships.
PR Dispatch have been providing totally incredible, award-winning and affordable PR memberships since 2017, giving product-based brands the tools to gain press exposure.
They give members everything they could possibly need to pitch their brand to the UK press and get it right the first time, without wasting time or money. Plusssss there’s loads of awesome free PR advice in the form of downloads, workshops, and the PR Dispatch blog.
Here’s how Rosie started out as a total self-confessed PR novice, and ended up sharing her outstanding PR expertise with small business owners.
1. Why did you start your small business?
I founded PR Dispatch in 2017, after running my own PR agency, London Fashion Agency (LFA).
Being so immersed in the creative PR industry and having countless conversations with independent businesses, I quickly realised there was a big need for a more affordable option for smaller businesses – an alternative that would make PR more accessible.
I knew that with the right learning, support, and press contacts, smaller brands could get great results by doing their own PR. So, in 2017 I launched membership platform, PR Dispatch, to do just that.
2. Tell us about your background before PR Dispatch
At school I struggled with dyslexia and it quickly became clear to me I wanted to learn practical skills.
In 2009, I moved to London to study an MA in textile design. I secured an internship with independent clothing brand Lowie, where I hoped I could learn the ins and outs of running a brand.
On the second day, I was given the task of PR with no experience. The director put a pile of magazines in front of me and asked me to call and email each one and pitch their products. I was sold.
A few weeks later, Lowie started to receive press coverage, I convinced them to pay me freelance one day per week and they became my first client. Bronwyn at Lowie recommended me to other brands and before I knew it, I had a PR agency – LFA.
At LFA we managed the PR on behalf of brands, and it was incredibly exciting working closely with emerging businesses, helping them build their awareness.
3. What’s your bestselling service, and why do you think it’s so popular?
The Christmas gift guide membership which we launch every year in July. Our 2022 memberships sold out in a record 67 minutes. The membership provides a curated list of editors and journalists who are specifically looking for gift ideas to feature.
The results speak for themselves, and I absolutely love seeing all of the coverage our members achieve. In 2022, our members products were featured on every page of Red and The Guardian gift guides.
4. What’s the loveliest part of running PR Dispatch?
Hearing the responses our members receive from the press and seeing the coverage they receive through using PR Dispatch. The coverage they achieve is mind-blowing, and our community of members are just fantastic.
I’ve been known to shed a tear of pure joy when reading messages from our members.
5. What’s a terribly unlovely thing that you’ve experienced that might have had unintended positive consequences?
After the birth of my second child Isla in February 2021, I began to suffer from postpartum insomnia.
As a busy entrepreneur juggling business and childcare, it escalated to new heights by the end of the summer of 2021, despite trying every possible solution, including sleep hygiene, sleep restriction, and CBD oil. I was at a breaking point and could no longer function.
Today, I can’t say my sleep is perfect, but since learning to prioritise my own health and wellbeing as well as being honest about when I need to take some time to reset, it’s definitely a whole lot better than what it was.
I’m also no longer hard on myself when things don’t go as planned and I’ve learned to be honest with those around me when I’m struggling.
However, it has helped me step back and re-evaluate every aspect of my life as a business owner and mother. I’ve changed the way both myself and the team operate by adopting a four-day working week, which has improved output throughout the whole business.
The team now operate on a flexible working schedule – not just for myself, but for anyone who needs some time to clear their head, they’re free to do so. I also only schedule calls on a Monday or Thursday, so I no longer have the added pressure of gaining lots of sleep every night.
6. Sing the praises about an organisation or professional that helped you on your small business journey (and let us know how)
It has to be Bronwyn Lowenthal, the founder of Lowie – my first ever client, and now a friend. She’s a creative genius – her products made my first experience of PR easy!
7. Tell us about a step you’ve taken to make PR Dispatch more lovely
As I mentioned, I introduced a 4-day working week for my team. The pandemic showed me that the traditional 9-5 may no longer be fit for purpose.
With PR Dispatch now operating a remote and flexible working policy, I wanted to join many other businesses on an internal trial of the new working structure, less hours, no loss in pay.
The team now takes every Friday to pursue hobbies, personal interests, catch up with friends and family or simply enjoy some screen-free time. It’s no secret that happy employees result in more productive days, so for us at PR Dispatch, it means happier members.
8. What’s a lovely thing you have planned for the next 12 months of running PR Dispatch?
The Christmas gift guide membership, launching 6th July!
9. As recommended by you
We asked Rosie to recommend 3 podcasts, blogs, or Instagram accounts that she’d recommend to other small business owners…
We are big fans of Therese Ortenblad here at PR Dispatch. Her blog is really useful for any small businesses and independents looking to get started with wholesale.
Alice Benham’s podcast is great for other business owners to listen to others who ‘get it’. The conversations with guests are always honest, raw and informative.
Listening to guests discussing doubt, failure, and sharing insights on their eventual success on this podcast is so inspirational and one of my favourites!