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!



A new business name for 2017

So, I finally decided to change my business name from that of a freelancer to a small PR consultancy. And so, Carolyn Hughes Communications Ltd became Breathe PR at the end of 2016, which was timely for a fresh January start.

The name Breathe PR reflects a way of life that is probably opposed to the way most PR agencies work. As a former stress-head, my new business name is a reminder to just breathe. And as stupid as it may initially sound, sometimes we all need to remember to just breathe in these stress-filled office-based lives.

I initially set up as a freelance PR consultant in 2008 and since then I have run my own business and worked for quite a few PR agencies on long-term contracts, which has meant some very busy and stressful times. I then had two children in quick succession so the busy times got even busier.

I feel that the new business name reflects a shift in mindset to remember to enjoy life instead of being stuck in a head-down work mode. This can be hard when you enjoy your work and really enjoy getting stuck into a project. But I’ve (finally) realised that it’s better to be fresh and work smarter having taken a proper break from work at the weekends and evenings.

The name Breathe PR also takes into account my love for nature, gardening outdoors as well as growing indoor plants, so I used a terrarium shape for my new logo to reflect that part of my personality. I have also decided to specialise in doing PR and marketing for environmental, horticulture, interiors & homes business, independent businesses as well as arts organisations and charities.

I work with all kinds of clients, and also do some white-label work for some larger PR agencies and digital agencies. Although I’ve named my business as a PR agency, I actually have just as many copywriting, SEO and social media clients as PR.

Follow me on my new business pages for updates and over-sharing on growing a small business.