Publicist Rockstars: “Look around and see what’s out there” with Natalie Trice

There is a massive world out there and the internet and social media have made it even smaller. I remember going to Japan on my own at 22 and while it was hard (forget mobiles and tablets) I wasn’t only immersed in a whole new culture, but I really had to stand on my own […]

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There is a massive world out there and the internet and social media have made it even smaller. I remember going to Japan on my own at 22 and while it was hard (forget mobiles and tablets) I wasn’t only immersed in a whole new culture, but I really had to stand on my own two feet, navigate the unknown (include the subway in kanji) and it was one of the best experiences of my life in terms of learning and growing.

I had the pleasure to interview Natalie Trice. Natalie is a PR Director based in Devon and brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the Family Friendly Working website. From the CEOs of international TV channels such as CNN and Discovery Channel to the directors of IT companies, entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industry and ambitious start-ups, Natalie has worked with them all and many more. Today, as well as working with premium one to one retained clients, Natalie also teaches and mentors people around the world the fundamentals of PR and gives them the skills and confidence to go out and talk to the press. With her ideas, contacts and cheerleading approach, her clients are now going out there and securing the column inches and airwaves that will help them to stand out from the crowd, and shine. Cast Life — A Parent’s Guide to DDH, was Natalie’s first book and sits alongside her charity, DDH UK which supports thousands of people around the world dealing the hip dysplasia, a condition one of her sons has been treated for over the past decade. This December will see the launch of ‘PR School — Your Time to Shine’ Natalie’s second book and one which promises to take readers from zero to hero so they can do their own PR and feel as if they have their very own PR ninja sitting alongside them.

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?

I kind of fell into PR after a year of teaching English in Tokyo. I had a graduated from university and didn’t know what to do next, when I came back from Japan I was still no the wiser and it was a chance temp role that sealed the PR deal for me. I started off working in a consumer division, then feel in love with IT PR and then had a successful career in the broadcast industry working with the likes of Animal Planet, CCN, Boomerang, TCM and Discovery Channel.

It was the birth of my second son, and a hip dysplasia diagnosis, that slowed down my PR career but also leads me to my first book, Cast Life. I did all of the PR for this, and our charity DDH UK, and saw things from the other side. Her I was, a mum on a mission to make a change, and I was putting myself in the spotlight and telling our story, and that was a very different proposition. Ten years on, DDH UK is thriving as is my business working with companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups who want to shine.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

Back in my TV days, a party with Steve Urwin at London Zoo was pretty awesome!

Overall, being an ambitious PR professional who has had to take a back seat at times with my career has been interesting. There have been opportunities that I haven’t been able to go for but I believe that we take the path we are meant to and that means I really have had some incredible experiences and opportunities and being able to stand in front of a room full of medics and talk about my hip work has given me even more confidence to talk to the media and get results.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Funny mistakes, there have a been a few and they make me really cringe. What I would say, is get people’s names to write, make an effort to know the publications you want to be in and target your emails and calls accordingly.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Yes, at the end of the year, my second book, PR School, Your Time to Shine, will be released in Q4 2019 and I am so excited. This is a masterclass in publicity for you and your business and will give people the chance to use PR to take their business forward.

If you don’t have a team of publicists to talk to the press for you, no one’s in the office running your social media and your friends often take photos for your website on your iPhone, this book is for you. Following each lesson and every exercise, your business will be in the spotlight, just like mine and my clients. I hope PR School will inspire people to think bigger than ever and empower them to take their business on an exciting new adventure.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Be brave

When I started out in my career I was pretty shy and would keep my head down, not wanting to look too keen or appear to be a suck-up. Today, I am far braver and will go for what I want and make it happen. Do I get it every time, no? Do I try every time, yes I do! You only have to scroll through your social media feeds to see what everyone else is doing (I know, don’t believe the hype) but be inspired by what you see and go for what you want. We have one life and we owe it to ourselves to live it the best way we can.

Look around and see what’s out there

There is a massive world out there and the internet and social media have made it even smaller. I remember going to Japan on my own at 22 and while it was hard (forget mobiles and tablets) I wasn’t only immersed in a whole new culture, but I really had to stand on my own two feet, navigate the unknown (include the subway in kanji) and it was one of the best experiences of my life in terms of learning and growing.

Always say yes!

Even if you don’t think you can do something 100%, say yes to all opportunities that come your way. If someone asks you to do something, go for it, you can ask for help along the way but you might not get asked twice, so do it.

Don’t standstill

If you don’t like where you are, move. I was quite a job hopper back in the 1990s when many people would stay where they were even if they hated it. I wanted to progress, learn and move onto something new and looking back, I am glad I did. I think that today there are more opportunities than ever and with side hustles and internships being the norm, you really can pick and choose what you do. I really love my clients and work, but if I didn’t I would look around, do my research and work out what would make me happy and go for it.

Take time out

We aren’t superhuman — there we are, I have said it. About eight years ago I was totally burnout and had to admit that I couldn’t do it all. My son was in and out of the hospital, his brother needed some love as well, and juggling this with a busy business and a marriage, oh and friends too, was impossible. I closed my business, took some time out, nourished myself and my family and today I can say that while I wrote a book and setting up DDH UK, admitting I needed to take time out was the best thing I could have done. Your business and career can wait, your health and mental wellbeing cannot, so if you need to take time out, do it.

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

When it comes to networking, it is all about relationships and this is something I think that people can easily forget.

For me, it’s all about the relationships I have with members of the media that make my job not only easier but also more enjoyable. It has taken me years to build up these relationships and I really do treasure the trust that has been created between us.

When it comes to general business networking, I do a lot of mine online because that is where the majority of my clients, contacts, and cheerleaders hang out. These days I go to less face to face events but have a much stronger tribe that ever and this has all be created in the virtual world.

I think it comes down to knowing what you want from networking, what you enjoy and get the most from and where you want to spend your time and resources and for me that is online.

That said, when I go into London I love meeting up with clients and the press, as well as members of my PR School community and am really happy talking at events, but again, a lot of this was born online.

Be true to yourself and you will find networking is easy.

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?

For me, word of mouth is very much at the heart of my business. I have been working in this industry for over two decades and a lot of my work comes from past clients, people I have taught and mentored, as well as those who have followed my journey. While I am based in the UK, I have worked with business all over the world, that is always from word of mouth.

It is of course very true that social media plays a massive role in this today.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IG allow you to be your own media maker and tell the world your story, and I fully embrace this.

I tell my clients to go out there and shine and I certainly practice what I preach which is why I am writing this today.

I think it is very important to be clear about who you are talking to and who your target audience is, because if you aren’t then you will be talking to avoid and your efforts will be waster.

Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?

Oh gosh, where do I even start with this?

I was late to the podcast movement (I know, I know) but these days I listen as I walk the dog on the beach and find them to be a great way to learn something new, find an angle for a story or just chill out because we all need to do that!

For me is it Get Your Glow Back with Madeline Shaw, Ruth Kudzi has some fab guests on her Path to Successpodcast and a real favourite is the Prosperity Kitchen with Gemma McCrae. I am always looking for podcast opportunities for my clients, and for me, and love coming across something new and inspiring, so shout if you listen to something cool.

I am a real book worm and have just finished reading Just F******g Do It by Noor Hibbert and it was exactly the book I needed to kick me into action with some new work projects that are going on. You can’t go wrong with Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jefferes, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincerro is incredible and for something low key, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic will do the trick.

I am really hoping that my PR School book will inspire people to step out of the shadows and own their space so they can shine and I really think 2020 has sparkle written all over it.

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?

I like to think that I am already doing this with my charitable trust, DDH UK. When you are told your child has a chronic condition and they face endless surgery and a tricky future, it totally knocks you for six. When Lucas was first diagnosed at three months, I felt scared, lonely and isolated wishing all we had to worry about was weaning and teething rather than operations and body casts.

Via DDH UK we now support and connect thousands of people around the world and offer them hope when before there was nothing but an empty space. We aren’t medics, but we are parents, and patients, who know what it feels to deal with the unknown, to be caring for a child in pain and not knowing if what we are doing is for the best.

I now work with Cardiff University, Southampton University Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Orthopaedic Research UK, as well being on the advisory board for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute in the US.

What does this have to do with PR and influence I hear you think?

This all came from something that could have broken me and my family, but instead, I decided to channel my energy into ensuring my son was OK and that no one else had to feel the despair I did, and PR has played a big part in making our voice heard.

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