What does a typical PR Coaching session “look like”?

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Good question.   If you’re asking “What can I expect to experience”, you’ll find that information here .      

But if you’re asking what my PR Coaching service looks like compared with others, I can tell you that mine looks and feels way different to anything I experienced when I did my own research in 2020 and again earlier this year. 

I have a lifelong love of learning and considerable “form” when it comes to experiencing, developing and delivering all kinds of professional development and CPD learning materials. I’ve sat in the audience of many PR webinars and “how to pitch to journalists” Q&A’s, I’ve watched interesting online lectures, presentations and academic masterclasses about the latest marketing theories and The Next Big Thing in PR.   I’ve tried out the self-study PR courses with downloadable workbooks.  I’ve watched “how to” seminars on how to build a valuable brand, how to understand Comms Strategy and Crisis Comms, had a go at using various free online templates for media releases and social media content planning.   It’s been what is often referred to in telly-speak as “a journey of discovery” (a long, sometimes frustrating and exhausting journey!).

Long ago all the evidence made me conclude that whilst some people can thrive in “chalk and talk” style traditional learning environments and do ok with “cookie cutter one-size-fits-all” learning material, many of us struggle with it.  Some people do ok with self-study, in groups and learning via webinars or presentations.  But plenty of us learn best in a one-to-one setting, when we can ask questions, pause when we need to take a break and regroup, and query anything that doesn’t make sense. 

Which got me wondering.  Could I help other individuals who need to learn how to do their own PR (for a variety of very sensible reasons, which I explain in this short video)?  Perhaps I was uniquely well placed to help the people who want to reach their full PR potential but in a one-to-one setting, those who want specific PR advice relevant to their business rather than generic tips, theory and templates.   Where they can learn how to achieve a specific PR goal, via a pay-as-you-go service that is paced to suit them. 

That is when I knew I had pioneered a uniquely accessible and useful PR Coaching experience that would appeal to other unconventional learners and creative thinkers of all kinds.  The “chatty introverts” and those of who need to apply the PR learning to a project, rather than talking about theoretical points. 

Put simply, we creative thinkers are wired differently and that is why we organise our information and ideas in non-linear ways.  Generally preferring a mind map, doodle, sketch, animation, illustration, mood board or story board to any Report or spreadsheet.  We build understanding through storytelling, analogies and visual concepts, rather than ploughing through detailed technical documents.  Conversation on a one-to-one level is productive because it allows us to explore and test our ideas.     

If you recognise yourself somewhere in my descriptions above, you’ll thrive with Affinity PR Coaching. It took a year to design, pilot, review and perfect the unique process that I now use with clients. My coaching is one-to-one, with all the guidance and learning specific to your type of business and industry.  It’s done in live Zoom calls, which enable us to get straight to work, wherever you are in the UK.  I hear about “Zoom fatigue” and I smile, as that is what has enabled me to maintain such high energy and focus (I waste no time on commuting!).  It offers a pleasant informality too, which stimulates good conversation. Meetings with clients soon feel like meeting with friends.

In their testimonials some themes emerge from my clients in 2020, such as feeling fired up, excited about their project and clarity about the PR or messaging way forward. 

I love doing this work because it helps all kinds of people make progress quickly and affordably.  Plus it’s satisfying work, because it unites all the learning and skillset I’ve gained throughout my diverse career over 30 years. 

Whilst I’ll never say I’ve “seen it all”, I have experienced so much in my 55 years, including living through major business successes (and one major failure), relocating and switching careers.  I’ve campaigned and lobbied, been a presenter and a media spokesperson, run a 24/7 press office, coached and mentored small and large teams (volunteers as well as employees).  I’ve pitched and won new business for so many organisations, managed crises and steered organisations through major operational and strategic change.   I’ve worked closely with all kinds of stakeholders (media, Trustees, Boards of Directors, donors/funders and investors, clients, volunteers, service users, staff and VIP supporters).   On top of that, I’ve managed many budgets, people and projects.   

So, back to answer that original question, what will a PR coaching session with me “look like”? An infusion of all the above, with my energy and attention focused on helping you to achieve your PR goals.   The exact tools, references and influences used in my PR coaching sessions will vary according to your interests and needs.  No workbook, I promise you!

I ask lots of questions and when I fully understand exactly what makes you “you”, and what it is about your own work that excites and delights you, a whole world of PR potential will be revealed, which we can explore together.  The energy and ideas we generate will be powerful. 

Of course, now more PR Coaches are popping up, so specialist services will also emerge (and good on them, that’s entrepreneurial spirit in action!).    It is an exciting time to be a pioneer in this niche profession.

To book your session with me, go to https://www.affinityprcoaching.co.uk/booking-enquiries/

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