My Work Happy – Rachel Bradley

This week’s My Work Happy profile comes from the original gossip girl, Rachel Bradley, founder of Gossip Girl PR. Her husband was photographing a GROW event nearly three years ago and he thought we’d get along… In that time, we’ve collaborated on events, clients and are working on a small passion project soon-to-be-announced.

Her energy, passion and sense of fun are contagious but I’ll hand over to her now.

Tell us about yourself, Gossip Girl PR
I’m Rachel and in July of this year I launched Gossip Girl PR.  I specialse in consumer led-PR campaigns for SMEs and start-ups. I trained as a journalist and went straight into PR as a 20-something back in the 90s.  My career was London-based, I was living and working in a city that I loved.  After years of working in the consumer hair, beauty and health sector I put it all on hold to go travelling.   When I got back I decided to go freelance.  That was over 15 years ago and I’ve not had a permanent job since.

Kids arrived and I was helping my husband run his business so my love of PR got put to one side.  But it was always there, waiting in the wings.  It’s now back in the spotlight and it feels good.

What’s the big plan right now?
I’d love to say I have a big plan but I’m not sure that I have!  I had no intention to launch when I did but clients seemed to fall into my lap so I just ran with it.  Right now I have no room to add extra clients so I’m just consolidating Gossip Girl PR.  But I suppose my big plan is to get through my first year with a full roster of clients.  I would be delighted if that happens!

How are you setting goals for your business?
Well my big goal for 2017 was to seriously think about launching myself back into PR. My goals this year have been very much client-led and I need to focus on my own goals for next year.  It’s important that my goals generally fit around the rest of my life.  I’m a mum of two crazily busy boys and I help run my husband’s corporate photography business which I’m hugely passionate about.

That business is successful but Jon’s work is hardly 9-5 to I’m mindful that I need to be around for the kids.  Plus I want to be around for them.  So my business goal is to have a successful, thriving business that can fit around my life.  World domination isn’t part of my plan!

What keeps you on track?
You just need to show up.  Put one foot in front of the other and crack on.  That’s how I say on track.  That, and lots of lists!  PR isn’t ER.  But it’s important to be organised.  If I’m organised I’m on track.  Chunking my time helps and celebrating what I have achieved daily rather than dwelling on what I’ve not managed to clear that day!

How do you celebrate your success?
Do little whoops of joy count?!  I’m not great at ‘celebrating’ the wins.  I don’t put time aside to go to the spa or take time out as a reward.  I think I’ve realized that I’m not very good at relaxing.  But I do talk to my husband about the successes, and the kids, and they’re always immensely proud of me which makes the successes even sweeter.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by my women’s business group, which I chair.  They are real women who I meet face to face with on a monthly basis.  My girl gang!  I think that getting together is so important, especially as so much of what we now do is online.  That said, I’m part of a great online community and I’m connected with PRs and creatives from all around the world.  I get a daily dose of inspiration from Instagram, that’s for sure!  My clients also inspire me.  They’re so passionate about their own businesses and that passion certainly rubs off on me.

How are you growing your community and audience?
I’m loving Instagram right now. I’ve always been a fan but since launching my business I’ve up-levelled my content to make it more business focused.  I love the community feel of Instagram.  Yes I know it can be a bit stress-y, people showcasing their Instagram worthy lifestyles but I’m over that, I think most people are actually.

I’ve also started to do a few talks at local business events and I’m always keen to visit events.  My networking group are always telling me I need to create some workshops so maybe I’ll turn that into a goal for 2018.

What’s exciting you most at the moment?
My business.   PR is a very different place now, not like it was 20 or so years ago.  And I’m welcoming the change.  There are so many opportunities for brands and businesses.  Journalists are crying out for content which is exciting.  And also I’m a big fan on insights, looking at the results of campaigns on social; measuring success, reach and engagement.  In the old days PR reporting was always so vague.  Now we have amazing data at our fingertips and that excites me.

Work-life balance – what’s the secret?
I’m still looking for if I’m honest.  I do love what I do so I have to be careful to not do it all of the time!  I am trying to be stricter on the time I spend working for my clients.  I make sure that from 5pm – 9pm I switch off and spend time with the boys (even if it’s chatting to them in the car on route to football, rugby or drama).  To allow myself to do this I tend to get up early.  I love the quiet time of the morning.  I get myself organized before everyone else is in gear.  If I can achieve one work thing before 7am I’m already winning.

What makes you happiest about your work?
My clients.  I love having their back.  They are busy doing what they do and I love being there to support them.  To work with them putting a fashion shoot together, creating a strong brand partnership for them with another business, writing an engaging blog post for them or getting them a great piece of coverage.  I love it.  So ultimately happy clients make me very happy!

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