Recently Handle Your Own PR customer, Phoebe Olsen from MyFavourite.com.au went along to Sue Papadoulis’ DIY PR 2 day course, on our recommendation. We thought we’d pick Phoebe’s brain about the experience.
Phoebe firstly tells us a little about MyFavourite.com.au.
My Favourite is a re-brand of the successful children’s and Mum’s store, Mummy’s Favourite which I purchased in August 2010. Having lived in London for the last 10 years I felt that there was a real need for a really slick gift website that specialized in design led gifts for all ages and occasions (not just Mums & kids of which there are so many out there these days!) and decided to relocate back to Melbourne to launch MyFavourite.com.au. Australia is at least five years behind the UK/US in online retail and I wanted to be able to bring to the market a lot of my own online shopping experiences from the UK together with my experience in Marketing from my previous corporate career.
MyFavourite.com.au is the place to find gift ideas for absolutely any occasion. If you’re stuck for a birthday present, an unusual gift or something to simply say ‘I love you’, then you’re in the right place. From birthday presents to baby showers, My Favourite has a variety of gift ideas, which makes buying presents for the special people in your life even more enjoyable! Shop by a person, age, category, budget or occasion!
In a nutshell what was the course about?
Sue’s course was about how to generate your own PR through all PR channels. We learnt the general public relations formula that can generate plenty of media coverage on TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines, earning you instant credibility and increasing sales. We also learnt how to find journalists who are interested in what I have to say for both my website and the industry.
Sue Papadoulis has been both a journalist and a PR exec in the past. How did her ‘insider’ knowledge help you?
Whilst I have a good knowledge about PR and marketing in general I wanted to understand more about what the Australian market expects and demands as my knowledge was pretty UK centric.
What are the three main things you learnt from the course?
1. Whilst I sell products the PR doesn’t always need to be about the product, it can be about me, about what is going on in the e-commerce industry and other related areas such as social media.
2. I learnt how to structure a press release for the Australian PR audience and what their expectations and requirements were.
3. I learnt more about all the areas of PR i.e. TV, radio, magazine, newspaper etc.
What were the practical things you took away?
We were able to write a few press releases that Sue then reviewed and made appropriate changes to, which allowed us to not only walk away with press releases ready to go but a better understanding, first hand, about how to best structure a release so that it is actually picked up and used by the journalist. Once I had seen the changes Sue had made to my releases I really had the ‘light bulb’ moment of understanding it all and now chuckle when I read an article or see an interview on ‘Today Tonight’ for example as it has been structured the exact way that Sue has taught us!
Has it inspired you to start generating your own publicity? Have you had any success yet?
Yes, I have used some of the releases that I worked on with Sue and as a result have been interviewed for a social media story by the Herald Sun (there was consequently an almost quarter page photo of me that appeared in the Technology section’ with the interview!) and I have been actively using the media contacts lists that I purchased through ‘Handle Your Own PR’ which are quiet simply invaluable!
Was the course worth the time and money you invested into it?
Initially, I was really skeptical and actually pulled out a week before the course and then Sue called and we discussed it all and I committed to it again. It was a huge outlay for me as a small business only just starting out but I have started seeing the benefits of it and would recommend it to anyone.
Would you recommend it to other small business owners? Why?
Yes, absolutely. If you are unfamiliar with PR and the way that the Australian market likes to work than it is extremely valuable way to go. You also get to work with Sue one on one and she helps you develop at least one press release ready to go (I managed to do four in the time I was there!) and you also walk away with all the templates you would ever need for all PR channels together with a healthy discount to buy media lists from the ever impressive ‘Handle Your Own PR’!
If anyone else is interested in doing the workshop you can find out more here.