“PR is a lot to do with you and your personality” — A lesson I teach is centered around being authentic. Let yourself be seen and be authentic and that will take you far.
As a part of my series about the things you need to know to excel in the modern PR industry I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Merrywest from Amy Merrywest Consulting.
Amy is a PR coach for mums with small to medium businesses. Her ‘Powerful PR’ course is her signature program and it’s designed to teach the nuts and bolts of getting great media coverage in an easy and manageable way — with no jargon. She focusses on teaching mums because she understands that it’s important to get the balance right — you can do your own PR and still be there on the school run!
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thanks for inviting me!
I started out as a temp in a very small PR firm and I was fortunate enough to be offered a permanent role just as the company were expanding. As the company grew, so did my love for PR.
I then moved on to a huge PR firm in London and I took on some very big clients and the more time I spent learning and networking, the better it got! I was producing coverage that was generating hundreds of thousands of sales and watching products become the ‘must-have’ item. It felt so good to be the creator of such hype!
My time within the industry was amazing and I learned from such great mentors but it was tiring, so I made the decision to leave the city and move back to the countryside. Soon realising that I still wanted that buzz but in a different way — I really wanted to share my skills.
I set up the Powerful PR course!
I’m a mum and it’s important for me to finish work at 3pm and be with my family, which is why I created this course just for mums who want the same.
PR can be accessible to all, you can do it yourself and you can even work it into the tightest schedule!
That’s what I teach — that’s what I love!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’ve just been part of an amazing launch with Lisa Johnson. Lisa’s the queen of online courses and memberships and I took her signature program last year — which lead to the creation of my Powerful PR course.
I’ve since partnered with Lisa and been part of her most recent launch — which took £1 million in the first 24 hours! I think she broke the internet!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- “You’ll get there” — It took a long time for me to work out what I wanted to do and at times I felt like I’d never get there. I wish someone would have told me, in those times, that I would get to where I needed to be, eventually.
- “Work for yourself” — It’s not something that suits everyone but it really suits me! I like to be in charge of my own schedule and earning potential.
- “You don’t need to hire a PR agency to get great coverage” — Gah! There, I said it! It’s true — it just took me a while to realise.
- “PR is a lot to do with you and your personality” — A lesson I teach is centred around being authentic. Let yourself be seen and be authentic and that will take you far.
- “You can have it all” — There’s this thought process for many that as mothers, we can’t have it all — it’s either a career or parenting (not both). It’s total nonsense — I work from 9 to 3 and I don’t miss a thing!
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Many modules in my course are taught by a social media pro and she’s SERIOUSLY good! From this, I have learned the technical side of being seen in the right places, at the right time and in the right way.
This is teamed with my natural tendency to be totally and wholly, myself! I spend time in my free online community (The PR Powerhouse) giving value, helping and listening — nothing gets rolled in glitter and they are my tribe.
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
Networking! I spend more time online, giving value, than anything else!
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I have to confess that my reading preferences are more with fiction but I really find it helpful to follow a few different YouTube accounts and one of my favourites is Lisa Johnson’s. I find her advice fabulous and she delivers it in a very no-nonsense way — we’re quite similar in that respect so it works for me!
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d like to see more confidence-building work done in schools and higher education — I see many ladies come through my ‘virtual’ door with real imposter syndrome.
They don’t feel confident positioning themselves as an industry expert in the media and we often have to work that out because it holds them back.
Social media has a lot to do with this and it’s important that we don’t allow it to skew the ideas that young people have about themselves.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.