How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Working in PR for over 10 years I saw startups and small businesses struggle to access the right kind of PR support in the early stages. Either they just felt PR was out of their reach and were resigned to not getting any coverage, or they were paying above and beyond for an agency with no real understanding of how PR works – which often led to broken relationships and them feeling disillusioned by what PR could actually do for their business.
I saw a market for a service that bridges that gap between starting out and having the budget to fully outsource PR. Companies are comfortable taking social media in-house but when it comes to the press, it can feel so mysterious – they have no idea where to start. Gone are the days of PRs being the gatekeepers to the media with a top-secret ‘little black book’ of contacts – journalists are happy to hear directly from businesses – and they want to be found! There’s so much that businesses can do themselves to start securing that initial media traction but there isn’t much information out there or access to the right training. I want to lift the lid on how the media works and highlight the opportunities for businesses to secure their own media coverage.
What do you think makes this company unique?
PR agencies and freelancers have done well at keeping their contacts and strategy tightly under wraps, but I work very differently. I want to empower companies to take control of their relationships with the press – and give them the tools and the knowledge to do that. My work is all about sharing the secrets that PRs don’t want you to know!
This model isn’t just about providing a more sustainable and cost-effective way for businesses to secure press coverage. By teaching founders and their teams what PR actually is, and how the media works, once they get to a stage where they want to outsource it, they’ll be more successful in finding the right agency – and have the knowledge to work with them closely and more collaboratively.
Passing the mic to a wider pool of businesses also helps to diversify the media landscape and the content we consume, which is something I’m passionate about.
How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
I started off with a model which was purely training, working with ‘solopreneurs’ and much smaller businesses – but I quickly realised that businesses further on in their journeys also needed support accessing media opportunities.
I also began to understand that while people want to take more ownership over their marketing and PR and bring some of it in-house, there is a demand for more support in getting started which is why I started offering press office set up, giving them everything they need to hit the ground running.
Pivoting to where I can add the most value, and getting the balance right between what companies need, and the work I want to do, has been key in my first few years.
What’s an interesting challenge you’ve faced while running the business?
This is quite a personal one but learning how to really bring myself into my business has been a challenge. Letting go of the corporate jargon in my marketing and allowing my personality to shine through has been harder than I imagined it would, but I’m finally letting go of the idea that there’s a certain way I need to present myself to be taken seriously as a founder. This has also led to me working with the people I really enjoy collaborating with, which means I love what I do even more.
What can we hope to see from Skye Ferguson PR in the future?
The media and PR landscape is changing all the time, I’ve seen that in just 10 years. For me, my focus will always be to create opportunities for media access where there is none, so I’ll continue to evolve my business in line with those values.