Parents in Business featuring Tribe PR

Parents in Business featuring Tribe PR

This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Holly who has created and set-up her own PR business; Tribe PR. Tribe PR is a business that Holly had always wanted to set-up to escape the larger in-house and PR agencies. It was a bold move that has turned into a huge success for Holly, and has allowed her to be more present with her family.

Reading this I love her honesty with her clients saying that she may not always respond to an email instantly, or she may send an email in the early of the morning. It doesn’t matter just as long as the work gets done which is the beauty of running your own business and being able to work flexibly. 

For anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business, or who simply wants a good positive working mum story, please all have a read of Holly’s story, and how and why Tribe PR came to fruition…

Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?

I’m Holly Pither, MD and founder of Tribe PR, mum blogger at PitterPatterPither, novice mummy to baby Amelia and doting wife to a police man.

I run Tribe PR. Tribe PR is an independent communications agency, specialising in earned media to help organisations of all sizes increase their brand advocacy. We work in partnership with both B2B and B2C brands, earning them reputation, helping them understand their audience and deepening their media relationships.

What were your motivations for setting up your business?

I’ve worked both inhouse at HSBC and agency side for over 10 years now and it just felt like the right time to start my own agency. I had thought about it for years, but never quite had the courage to go it alone or felt like I was ready. In addition to that, being my own boss and working more flexibly made more sense personally too, given my husband’s role and his shift work. I felt I was losing about two hours a day just doing my commute and was desperate to get that time back and spend it with my baby daughter. Plus it meant I would have more headspace to be there for her rather than worrying about office politics at a bigger agency. So as 2018 drew to a close, I just knew I wanted to start 2019 doing what I loved, but doing it on my own terms. Tribe PR was therefore born.

Any why the name Tribe.. well increasingly these days the gap between B2B and B2C communications is narrowing. This means that instead of focusing on one discipline or the other, we help our clients reach a far more essential audience; that of people. And people don’t just buy brands, they join them. ​This means that good brand communication is about engaging directly with people, understanding what makes them tick, responding to their needs and turning them into fans. These people then become brand advocates and tell the brand’s story for them. Hence the word tribe! Plus it describes how I work too – if I can’t do something here at the agency, then I will look to my tribe or likeminded people to help. This means we can do everything from video to website design but all with one brand guardian delivering one set look and feel. The other advantage of working within a tribe is that it allows you to make the right connections and be surrounded with like-minded people. Creating a conversation with other entrepreneurial minds helps to refine ideas, inspire creativity and ensures greater knowledge.

I guess I have always grown up knowing I wanted to be my own boss. I come from entrepreneurial parents who always ran their own business, so in many ways I just feel like I was meant to do this. When I was a child, I spent many a dinner time listening to my mum and dad talk about company financials, sales, staffing and so forth. From then on it was always something I aspired to do.

The best thing about running your own business is doing things on your own terms. I don’t have to ask permission, apologise if I’m late or double check it’s ok to leave early to collect my daughter. I do things on my own terms and I love that feeling of freedom. The other thing is the fact I get to (to an extent anyway) work with the right kind of clients. Clients who I am passionate about, clients who want to make a difference, clients who want to grow their brand fans and don’t just want PR for PRs sake. This is a fantastic aspect of the job as it means we all put in double the effort and my clients treat me like a partner, rather than a mere supplier. I can’t tell you how good it feels. Ultimately, I probably work harder than ever before with Tribe PR, but the work feels so rewarding and I’m so passionate about my clients, it makes everything worthwhile.

How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?

As I now work from home, it’s generally so much more manageable. But there are of course times it can be tricky, especially if I need to be in London for a meeting late afternoon. Luckily I have an amazing childminder who lives just across the road who is open to flexing the hours here and there if we need it. I think the key is that I’ve never taken the p*iss. I only ask her when it’s really necessary. My family aren’t very close by, so I really don’t have many options if I’m late home and James is on a shift. The other thing I always do is switch off when I do bath time and milk with Amelia in the evenings. I’ve always seen this as sacred family time (same with mealtimes) and if that means someone gets an email response later on then so be it. Honesty is key here. I always explain to my clients that if I send emails after hours, I don’t expect them to reply and that on account of having a baby I tend to work unusual hours. They all seem fine with this. For me it’s about doing the work, not when you do it.   

Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?

Well this feels a little early to celebrate given I am only really three months in, but I think it has been the quality of press coverage I regularly get for my clients. Seeing their names in the Telegraph, Forbes, The Times and so forth, along with the industry publications is amazing. And then hearing that they are happy with the coverage and that it is actually leading to new business makes everything worthwhile.

What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?

Get an accountant as early as possible. Before I started up, I was most concerned about the financial side of things. I was worried about learning and fully comprehending all the financial jargon from ‘dividends’ to ‘net profit’ to ‘depreciation’ and being able to talk about them with any kind of certainty. But in actual fact the financials are just a very small part of running a business and like all things, the moment you start doing it, the moment it becomes a whole lot less intimidating. With a good accountant from day one, you need not feel out of your depth.
 
Thank you so much Holly for being part of my series, I wish you all the best of luck for the future. 
 
You can find out more about Tribe PR and Holly by visiting the website, Twitter and LinkedIn.
 
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: thepramshedblog@gmail.com. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Gemz by EmzLID Project, and Parents in Biz.
 
Claire x

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