Today I want to share with you a little story.
It was about 9 years ago, and I’d recently moved to Bristol and landed the job of my dreams – PA to the CEO and Communications Officer of an international NGO. OK granted, I wasn’t great at organisation (I sent one poor CEO to the wrong venue at the wrong time), and I didn’t *actually know what a Communications Officer was… But it didn’t matter, I’m a fast learner ~ I was officially ON. THE. WAY.
2 days into my exciting new job, the CEO went on a business trip to London…
And never returned.
Now don’t worry, I’m not going all X-Files on you here, although I have to admit at first it did feel a bit like that!
It transpired that for one reason or another, said CEO and the charity had ‘amicably parted ways’.
All well and good, except for one minor problem – I was now basically PA to no one.
When I went to parties and people asked what I did, I’d shuffle about a bit and say: ‘Well I’m PA to no one.’
‘PA to no one?!’ they’d exclaim, and I’d shiftily look down at the floor nodding my head before making a swift exit to the bar.
You see I felt embarrassed, and that it was somehow my fault (a totally idiotic thing to think with hindsight). I was embarrassed about being 27 and still working in a job I didn’t love. I was embarrassed about being a bad PA at that (kudos to all the PAs/ VAs out there – it’s hard!), and I was even more embarrassed about being PA to no-one.
I felt utterly bewildered and lost.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it takes quite a long time to recruit a CEO, but the charity kept me on anyway as I was of course also recruited to be said Communications Officer.
The CEO who I was no longer PA to had said she was going to train me. Of course that hadn’t happened, so I was left floundering around pretending that I knew what I was doing, too scared that if I spoke up about my inadequacies, they’d sack me and frog-march me out of the building immediately, back to the job centre where I rightly belonged.
This carried on for a couple of months. I wrote a few disastrous press releases that went no-where. I drafted an article for a magazine that read like the most dull, uninspired piece of academic writing that ever existed.
And then, one of the directors must have realised I had absolutely zero idea what I was doing, and so they hired a Head of Communications.
The day she started, I was absolutely petrified. Of course SHE was going to realise that I was a complete impostor, and not only would I get the sack, they’d also demand every last cent they’d paid me over the last 6 months.
But then, something remarkable happened. Instead of being Cruella Da Vil, Kirsten turned out to be my Guardian Angel.
From our very first meeting, she took the time to get to know me and my specific skills. Instead of picking apart all my shortfalls, she painstakingly edited my articles and press releases, teaching me how to actually write in a way that would inspire instead of bore.
She took the time to teach me everything she new, to nurture me, and to become my biggest advocate.
It was because of Kirsten that the charity sent me on several invaluable training courses, and it was because of her that ultimately I landed an internship in a top PR agency in London.
Kirsten was my first ever mentor, and without her I would not be where I am today.
I’m sharing this story with you for several reasons:
Firstly, I want you to know that being good at PR is not a gift that you’re born with. It’s not a secret society and it’s not the domain purely of media luvvies.
With a bit of time, support, and the right training anyone can do it ~ and I’m living proof of that fact!
Secondly, I’m sharing this because I believe strongly in the power of having a mentor who has got your back, who is there every step of the way to support you in your business, and who knows how to bring out the best in you. This is especially the case with PR, and is exactly the level of support I will be giving to every single person who joins The Publicity Program. Because I KNOW that you can take hundreds of courses, and read thousands of how-to articles, but without the support of someone in the know to show you the way, it’s a whole lot harder to succeed.
This is exactly why I’ve created The Publicity Program ~ an online course and VIP members club where you’ll get access to a host of resources, trainings and templates. But perhaps most importantly I’ll be on hand to provide support, guidance and more every step of the way! Think of me as your PR expert, in your pocket to pull out as and when you need me! I’m excited to announce that doors are open, click the image below to find out more & reserve your spot:
Access The Free E-Guide