Public relations

The Public Relations Consultants Association say that PR is all about influencing opinion and behaviour for the success of your business.

PR is much more than issuing press releases, everything you say and do communicates about your company. PR is essentially the groundwork for building a relationship with your target audience. A good reputation is something all companies big and small strive for, but like earning trust, it can take some time to achieve.

PR offers an opportunity to shine a spotlight on your freelance company where your name is currently unfamiliar. It's a chance to road test your creative skills. Think about what's newsworthy, innovative, imaginative or credible about the work you do?

Similarly, you can actively manage the perception of your company, by being seen to be associated with, or supportive of, certain values, skills or people you can actively change the way the public and your prospects think of you. You might be the first freelancer to follow certain green initiatives or contribute in some way to a charity, secured a prestigious contract with a company or been involved in developing ground-breaking games software. All will highlight whatever favourable elements of 'who you are' and what you do best, that you would like the public to be made more aware of.

Efforts to bolster and sustain the image of your company can be made via a newsworthy editorial in your local press or relevant trade websites and magazines, speaking as an authority in your field at events and local radio interviews, to name just a few examples.

PR is not 'free' as such, even if you're not planning a big product launch, time needs to be spent writing press releases or attending events to give talks or researching the right journalist to contact about your story. Certainly, a trained PR freelancer will have a healthy contact book that could be the key to your PR success, so considering bartering on Freelance Alliance to see how you can mutually swap skills to assist one another.

More on sales and marketing as a freelancer.