• Jocelyne Simpson and Nik Robinson hope to boost the profiles of small businesses (SBS Small Business Secrets)Source: SBS Small Business Secrets
Two experienced PR professionals hope their business venture will empower small business owners to manage their own publicity.
Jessica Washington

SBS Small Business Secrets
12 Apr 2018 - 11:02 AM  UPDATED 23 Apr 2018 - 2:51 PM

Most business owners know the power of public relations, but not all can afford a PR agency.

For many small businesses, PR is seen as expensive and unviable, but the founders of I Do My Own PR want to change that perception.

Jocelyne Simpson and Nik Robinson have honed their expertise over two decades, leading PR accounts for major global brands, including Coca-Cola and Disney.

But, after years of boosting the profiles of international big players, the two entrepreneurs hope to use their knowledge to help Australian small businesses grow.  

“We want to help the little guy. We get excited by working with people who have backed themselves,” Mr Robinson said.

I Do My Own PR offers a range of services for small business owners, including a step-by-step process on how to get media attention, as well as access to media contacts and PR experts.

“A small business operator is tired; they are juggling many things, they wear nine hats and their head is a bit scrambled,” Mr Robinson said.

“It’s just the nature of small business. We want to bring a bit of serenity and calm.”

As the name suggests, I Do My Own PR aims to empower entrepreneurs to manage their own publicity and add PR to their skillset.

“We encourage them to talk to the media about their business because no one has the same passion, no one understands the journey like you did – and that’s where the gold is,” Ms Simpson said.

“It’s for people who genuinely want to take their business to the next level.”

The startup offers products for small businesses at all stages, including those that are speaking to the media for the first time.

One entrepreneur making good use of I Do My Own PR’s services is Julia Hill, the founder of bespoke wallpaper printing business Luxe Walls.

“We’ve been on TV, we’ve been on radio, and we’ve been I blogs, magazines, and newspapers. We’ve been well received so we’re very lucky,” Ms Hill said.

“As a startup, you don’t have a $2000 retainer to give to a PR company.”

The brains behind I Do My Own PR say it’s been personally rewarding to see how their professional skills have helped hundreds of small brands, including charities, understand how to gain and utilise good publicity.

“The biggest reward for us is watching a small business owner who has never done this before get confident and start to understand it,” Mr Robinson said.

“Our skill is to get them to feel they can do it, so it’s not outside their skillset.”

Watch this story at the top of the page, or catch the full episode on SBS On Demand.