Hello 2019!

Well, Christmas and New Year are well and truly over. After a quiet Christmas break with loads of much needed rest, I’m now looking to the year ahead, and counting down until our days get longer and warmer.

Having re-read my Hello 2018 blog post, my first thought is that we still haven’t finished our house renovations but at least we’re just (still) painting and all building work is in the past.

2018 was a busy one for work here at Breathe PR, which included working on some really breath-taking art exhibitions for Manchester art gallery Contemporary Six; working on a large RHS Tatton show garden with garden designer Warnes McGarr & Co (pictured) and continuing with PR and marketing work promoting the amazing work of Arc Centre & Gallery in Stockport.

I also started working with a new retainer client, InTouch Ltd, which does some fascinating Internet of Things technology work and has a number of diverse products with very niche markets.

Through last year and continuing this year, I also do project work with brilliant charity City of Trees, which combines my passions of horticulture and the environment, the city of Manchester, as well as working with charities.

Social media management is still a large part of my job, and I am a retained social media manager for a large listed business, which has multiple accounts, as well as posting across all social media channels when required for all of my other clients.

I also started my second horticulture course at Cheadle College in September which gives me a much-needed break away from the laptop and learning new skills. Over Christmas I decided that my garden just wasn’t big enough to grow as many vegetables and fruits that I needed so I managed to bag an allotment plot just around the corner from my house.

In terms of getting out of the home office, I’ve also taken on a part-time office in nearby Levenshulme which means a two mile round trip to get that step-count up and some extra fresh air.

So, 2019 is shaping up to be another busy one and my tenth year as a self-employed PR and marketing consultant, so let’s see what the year brings.

Image: The Poisonous Garden at RHS Tatton by Warnes MccGarr & Co. Copyright: Carolyn Hughes/ Breathe PR.

Hello 2018

Well 2017 was an extraordinarily busy year. After setting up my business trading name as Breathe PR at the very end of 2016, I didn’t quite stop for air in 2017.

One of my largest projects was working as a horticulture freelance PR for the award-winning garden design consultancy Warnes McGarr & Co. The design and build duo had exhibited a show garden at RHS Tatton for the previous two years, but in 2017 they were widely tipped for a much coveted gold award, which they then won – and some. A more detailed case study on this will follow.

I also work as a freelance social media manager for an international company, managing a number of Twitter accounts, a Facebook page, Pinterest account, as well as advising brand managers on running their own sub-pages. This keeps me very busy, and, of course, I have to stay well up-to-date on frequent changes to social media platforms.

I also completed a LOT of copywriting projects, most of them with SEO as a strong focus, as I do a lot of website writing for various agencies and organisations.

One of the biggest difficulties in working as a freelance PR consultant is scheduling work – you need enough work to cover bills, but enough flexibility so that if an amazing client comes your way you have the capacity to say YES please! After nine years of working an independent consultant, I’ve got a lot better at this.

On the other side of life, I also took a bit of down time in the Autumn to project manage a new kitchen diner extension at my home. For someone who usually works alone, having a house full of loud builders was unusual, and at times, difficult. But that’s the beauty of managing your own workload as a freelance PR and marketing consultant – you can take it up and down for completely flexibility on your own terms.

And the plus side for 2018 is that now I have a completely renovated and dedicated home working area. I tend to work from home around 50% of my time, with the other half being based either in a workspace in Stockport or an office in the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre. I also spend a fair amount of time finding the best coffee shops for the perfect freelance working set-up.

Looking ahead to 2018, I’m happily very busy at the moment getting booked up with projects that I’m 100% passionate about. I specialise in working with lifestyle and interiors, horticulture, arts and events and charities PR and marketing, so have some very exciting clients about to be signed off.

I think I’ve almost recovered from the Christmas break, although I do miss eating Terry’s Chocolate Oranges for breakfast. Anyway, hello 2018!