PR advice for Small Businesses & Therapists

Did you know that all members of our mastermind group can write for our blog free of charge?

We love this opportunity to share in more detail what business men and women from around the UK (with members in Spain, France, Dubai and South Africa too!) do and how they can help you.

Jo Hanby joined us late 2022 and has attended a few events. An expert in PR and working with therapists we couldn’t miss this opportunity to share the interview that Jo provided to Holistic Therapist Magazine , The Industries Number One Business Guide for professional therapists.

Over to you Jo…

Jo Hanby has 20 years’ experience running businesses in various sectors, including beauty and holistic therapies. She is a Reiki Master Practitioner/Teacher, Master NLP Practitioner and Spiritual Life Coach. Jo also supports small businesses with marketing, PR and business coaching. Contact

  1. What is PR and what benefits does it offer to holistic therapists, many of whom have micro-businesses?

PR stands for “public relations” and refers to the strategy of communication between a brand and the public. It can be used for brand awareness, (to bring a brand into the eye of a potential consumer), to maintain a positive image of a brand, (to keep the brand in the mind of the consumer and to encourage them to stay loyal to the brand). A PR strategy can also be used to respond to any negativity associated with the brand (telling the brand’s side of the story and to put together a crisis communications plan).  

Having a successful business means you are likely to be wearing many other hats too. There is only so much one person can do outside of the time spent working “in” their business – which means that working “on” your business, with PR and marketing, can slip backwards on your “TO DO” list. Outsourcing your PR and marketing to a dedicated team or a consultant ensures completion and continuity.

How can a PR consultant get you brand awareness? They can seek to get your service/product reviewed – the general public love a real and honest review (even if the reviewer isn’t an “influencer”). FOMO (fear or missing out) also comes into play – if your audience is seeing your brand or service talked about in the media, they will want to try it themselves.

Are you an expert? PR consultants want to elevate the consumer’s perception of their client so positioning them as an “expert” who can offer tips and advice shows your potential customers why they should use you rather than AN Other.

Getting to know the brand and the people behind it PR consultants can show the public the people behind the brand, with real-life stories, features and interviews, or by adding some comments from their client. They will be aware of requests for stories that may fit your personal or business experience and can then present a tailored pitch.

  • Explain the expected returns, why editorial is more valuable than advertising and why a PR can help your pitch stand out amongst the hundreds received each day.

Many years ago, when I owned a media agency offering website, design and print, I was featured in an article about businesses owned by couples who were in a relationship too. It was published in a very well-known national women’s weekly magazine. A few weeks later I was contacted by an English lady who lived in France with her French husband. They needed a website revamp and some design work. She said she wanted to use us as she liked the article and identified with us as a couple who owned a business!

This is an example of why editorial works – the consumer resonated with us and our interview. She got to know a little about us, to like and feel a sense of trust towards the brand and the people behind it, without feeling “sold” to.

If I had taken an advert out, would this lady have got the same impression and feeling about working with us, as she did from reading the editorial feature and seeing the faces behind the brand? I doubt it. Also, the price of a half page of advertising in this magazine cost thousands, yet I didn’t pay anything. Fortunately, the journalist called me, after seeing my marketing of the business.

Getting your pitch to stand out PR consultants tell the media about you and your brand. They can talk to trade, national or local press, as well as relevant online media. PR consultants know what the media are looking for and can craft copy that reads well and meets the pitch requirements. Journalists work on deadlines so will often dismiss emails that haven’t got the correct info and assets, aren’t supplied in their preferred format or arrived too late.

  • How should people select a PR person? For example – they get you and what you’re doing, they have a good track record and media contacts

Your PR consultant should have a good understanding of you, your brand and your goals and make you feel that your business and its’ success is important to them too.

A good PR consultant will take the time to form a relationship with relevant media for their client, will be quick to respond to both media and client, and give the media what they need, in good time.

PR consultants have media contacts they know and trust and the relationship works both ways. When a PR has built up a professional reputation, their media contacts are more likely to work with them again and actually open their email pitch, because they know the PR sends them clients and news that are right for the media’s target audience.

  • Advantages of working with a sole practitioner rather than a bigger firm

Budget might dictate the type of PR consultant you work with. A smaller agency or sole PR consultant may be more flexible to your needs if you are a micro business or sole practitioner. You may be able to negotiate shorter retainers, perhaps seasonal contracts, or even flexible allocation of hours each month. You could get a more personal service as you are dealing with the same consultant, rather than working with a team at a bigger agency.

  • How to be clear about what you want from a campaign or ongoing work – creating a brief and measuring results

It is important that your PR consultant is clear on what you want from a campaign or any ongoing work but do be realistic. Also, be aware that they cannot guarantee coverage nor what is printed and when, as they don’t have control over what the media will publish.

Don’t forget, if you only work with your PR for a few weeks, they may not be able to show you much coverage, as often the results are yet to come. Media work weeks, and often many months ahead.

  • How expensive is hiring a PR person? Can a low budget campaign work?

Compared to advertising, PR can be significantly cheaper. Even a low budget campaign can offer great results, and local and/or national coverage can be gained for a very reasonable monthly sum. Every client varies – your consultant will be able to give you a realistic overview once they understand you and your brand and know your goals.

  • How to avoid mistakes

Ensure your PR has the correct information and assets (images). Carefully check copy they prepare on your behalf before you sign it off – the shine and feel-good glow from a fantastic piece of coverage could be dulled if there are errors within the feature. Check copyright on photos, that the right photos are being used and any dates or statements are correct.

Great advice from Jo. As an Insider it means Jo is on hand to share her knowledge 24/7 and at our events – virtual networking and face to face.

We have experts in every field you can imagine and we would love to welcome you too.

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