My first year owning a PR firm

The author has run his agency for seven years. The first 12 months were rough. He reflects on some wild moments, which hold lessons for others considering the leap.

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The PR industry can be nonstop, so it’s a foreign concept to stop and smell the roses. You’re constantly thinking five steps ahead, and considering what you can do for your clients and how your firm can grow.

Recently, I spent some time recalling the early days of my PR firm and some of the challenges. From working 60-plus-hour weeks in a frigid basement to conducting a radio media tour from the ER, the first year was interesting, to say the least.

Seven years of business later, I recognized that it was many of the choices I made in that first year that fueled the company’s future success.

If you’re thinking about making the leap and starting your own agency, or you already have, here’s a primer on what to expect.

When an email must get through

The first year in business can make or break you, and you’ll need to overcome a number of obstacles. One occurred on a Friday afternoon, a beautiful spring day.

The Internet went out.

Normally, such a short-term outage wouldn’t be a big deal, but it coincided with an important email to a client that had to be sent that afternoon. This was before my BlackBerry had been surgically attached, even before I had a laptop, so wi-fi was not an option.

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