PR Strategist and Founder of PR Mit Perkes Laura Perkes talks about her new book How To Get PR and how it is helping her readers.
I interviewed Laura Perkes about her life and career in public relations, what inspired her to start writing, and how her new book How To Get PR is helping her readers.
Tell Author Laura Perkes who you are:
My name is Laura Perkes, I’m a PR Strategist, Brand Storyteller, and Founder of PR at Perkes. I live in Hertfordshire, UK with my old man Hayden and our three Franco bulldogs. I studied Public Relations – She studied Media at university and graduated from the University of Exeter in 2004.
From 2004 to 2013, I worked for two medium-sized PR agencies working with specialists in fitness brands such as Power Plate, WaterRower, and Star Trac, as well as private labels such as BIC, Beefeater, TGI Friday, and Costa Coffee. In 2013, I decided to leave my full-time position as Senior Account Manager and start my own PR company, LKB.
I would never call myself an entrepreneur, but as I approached my 30th birthday I began to question how connected I am to the brands I work with and I realized that the brands I represent affect my reputation. So I decided to start my own business, driven by a passion to support innovative new health and wellness brands that couldn’t justify the price tag of a PR agency. In 2018, I decided to rebrand my business and have since worked with an eclectic mix of clients, from sole proprietorships and startups to multi-million dollar companies.
When did you decide to start writing?
For years, mentors have told me I have a book inside me, but the timing has never been right. I didn’t feel like I had anything new to say and I didn’t think I had the time or space to write a book. However, in October 2021, I saw a Facebook post from a friend of mine who runs his own hybrid self-publishing agency Authors & What. In her post, she detailed the income she was able to generate at the back of her book to show how the investment can pay off.
I’m very detail oriented so I woke up when I saw these broken-down numbers. At that moment, I knew it was time to put pen to paper and get my words out into the world.
How tall did it take thou for thine first book, from idea to publication?
In October 2021 I joined The One, an Authors & What. It was an eight-week live course that took me through the book writing and publishing process. I have set my desired release date for January/February 2022 and physically started writing the book in March 2022. But I knew this book deserved more time, focus, and attention. I knew this book would help me leave a legacy that can still be claimed and practiced after leaving this mortal earth.
Overall, the whole process from joining The One to getting my book published takes 13 months, but you can do it in less time if you want.
What prompted you to write How to Get PR?
To be honest it was partly frustration. Too few entrepreneurs understand what PR is or the role it plays in business development and as a result are frustrated or disappointed that they are not seeing the results they want, even if they don’t fully understand what PR does. Or when entrepreneurs see their peers sharing their PR stories online, they want to get in on the action but don’t know why, so invest in the PR thinking opportunities that present themselves immediately. That will not do. So I had to ask myself; “Do you want to continue to fret over a lack of courtesy and understanding, or be part of the solution”
Of course, there’s also the credibility that comes with being an author and the greater impact that can be made. My mission is to give entrepreneurs a platform to present themselves and share their message with a much larger audience, but I’m only one person and I can’t reach as many people as possible with my current business model, so I knew a book would help me reach more people, impact their lives and create the change they want to see in the world.
What were your biggest challenges writing How To Get PR?
The biggest challenge was time management. As well as running my own PR agency with the clients I am tasked with servicing, this year I started a hybrid group training program to teach entrepreneurs how to get PR but also coach them along the way. Of course, behind the scenes are all the other things entrepreneurs need to do to keep their businesses running smoothly.
I took five days off each month to focus solely on my book. It didn’t always go as planned, but overall it was a process that worked for me.
Halfway through I began to wonder if this book was any good and if I was writing in a way that would appeal to the reader. The book brings everyone back to basics by explaining what PR is, how it works, and what to expect when you invest in it. It’s s regards laying a solid foundation to build on. Each chapter describes each phase of the PR process, from the resources you need to the mindset you need to be successful.
The self-publishing process was also brutal. I was warned it was going to be difficult, but I figured I’d make it because I worked through each chapter before starting the next. The team’s writers & I are going to teach you a four-step process and suggest you go step by step. I initially ignored this advice, but soon realized there was a reason. At the end of the process, I had to ask myself if I’m a perfectionist or if it really requires extra work.
How was your research process for How to Get PR?
The book is based entirely on the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the last 18 years, so I didn’t have to do much research. One of the chapters deals with the state of mind and describes the different types of impostor syndrome that can occur when traveling. While I experienced this myself, I wanted to include information from a more qualified source, so this section has been carefully researched to ensure I am not providing misinformation.
How did you design the structure of How To Get PR?
Putting the book together was probably the easiest part! As part of The One, we were taught how to build a book and what journey the reader should take. At the start of the show, we were asked to write a draft book and share it with the team to get feedback so we can stay on track and stay focused. We were encouraged to put everything on paper and then focus on getting more specific. So if there were similar topics, we could combine them and cover them in one chapter.
We were taught to use the traffic light system, so green was important information, yellow was information that could be used in the book, and red was irrelevant or extraneous information that didn’t add value to the book.
Because my book is a practical book, I’ve only shared the process I use when working with successful clients and what I teach entrepreneurs in a hybrid group training program.
Did you fall support with editing, and much editing did How To Get PR need?
As part of The One, our introductory chapter has been read and edited by an editor to get you on the road to success from the start. At that time, I was leading the self-publishing process, which was divided into four phases. After the self-publishing phase, the book was read by a proofreader who made further corrections. I was then able to accept the revisions and make final changes before the final version of the manuscript was sent to the trainer.
The book didn’t need a major revision after it was sent to the proofreader, thank God! Although I had to redo the first few chapters during the auto edit process. My writing style changed so much throughout the book that I wanted to feel as much energy in the first half as I did in the second.
What is the maiden piece of writing advice you would give away to someone that inspired you to write a book?
Have a Fettle plan and stick to it. Writing the roadmap for my book has allowed me to be very clear about what I want to achieve with this book in terms of the reader’s experience and the results it will bring. If I ever had any doubts, I would go back to the plan and go back to the present moment.
During the writing process, it is easy to speak fluently and move forward. I did this in one of the sections I was writing. Instead of following the plan, I figured I should just sit down and write whatever I wanted. When I finished writing I realized that what I had created wasn’t really relevant and therefore a waste of my time and energy. I still have the copy I wrote, so maybe one day it will be made into a blog, but I learned a very valuable lesson that day: Don’t deviate from the plan!
Can you bestow me a hint about any further books you dodge to write?
I vowed never to write another book, at least not until 2024, but last week I had an idea for a whole series of books! The next book will probably be How to Start a Business and the next may be How to Promote Your Business.
And, finally, are thou proud of the accomplishment? Was it value the effort?
It was really worth it and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved. I see so many people online writing books that the brevity of writing a book is often lost, or maybe it’s just meant to be because everyone else is doing it! However, in the offline world, writing a book is big business and a big deal. It was interesting to see how my network reacted to writing a book compared to my friends and family.
At the time of writing this book, the book has not yet been published, but I believe it will have a major impact on my business. I don’t yet know what it is or how it will play out, but I have a feeling that something spectacular is about to happen and I can’t wait to welcome it into my world.
Exoteric all Laura Perkes social media and book, website links here so the readers can find you:
How To Get PR – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BGPXDWDN
PR with Perkes – www.prwithperkes.com
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/howtogetpr