After working in the hustle and bustle of journalism for the past six years, Amy and Sophie Taeuber have dealt with their fair share of public relations firms. Both the good and the bad.
After endless discussions about their future, they decided they weren’t fulfilled in their jobs and wanted to branch out and do something they were passionate about. The concept of The PR Bible was born and they haven’t looked back.
Read Amy’s interview with Mamamia below.
What is the PR Bible?
What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?
We both worked as TV reporters. I worked at Today Tonight for around four years, before working as a news reporter at Channel Seven.
Sophie previously worked as a reporter at Ten Eyewitness News and also a newsreader at Hit 107, before freelancing as a reporter at Seven News and Today Tonight.
Sophie went on to work as a PR executive and I worked in commercial radio before launching The PR Bible.
What made you want to start your own business?
We had had enough of working for other people and wanted to experience what it was like being our own boss.
How did you come up with the name?
There was a lot of debate about the name. We’d thrown around a few names, including our last name, but realised not many people could spell or pronounce it correctly. So, we finally decided on The PR Bible as we agreed it explained simply what we did.
Describe the staff/ownership structure of the PR Bible.
It’s a partnership between Sophie and I. We hope one day that our triplet sister, Kate, will join the team but she’s having too much fun working as a media and marketing manager at the Adelaide 36ers. We also have some contractors working for us.
Did you require investment to start your business?
No, we didn’t.
What’s the single best piece of advice you got?
While at a PR conference run by Roxy Jacenko, Sophie was inspired by this advice, “No matter how many people want you to fail, you get up and keep going and success is the best revenge.”
What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?
Start sooner. While it was important to get ourselves into a position financially where we could take the risk, it’s been an incredible journey growing our business and we wish we’d done it sooner.
At Mamamia we have an expression “flearning” – failing and learning. What have been your biggest flearnings since you have started your business?
The biggest flearning has been valuing our services. When you first start off it’s easy to fall into a trap of just agreeing to do something at a reduced price as you want the business. While we’ve done our fair share of free or reduced work, we’ve learnt to not undervalue our services.
What’s the smartest thing you’ve done since starting The PR Bible?
It might sound lame, but the smartest thing we’ve done since starting our business is we’ve never stopped trying. With PR you’re faced with setbacks daily. We’ve learnt that if you get knocked back for one thing, try another angle and keep trying until you succeed.
Are there any pieces of technology or software, apps or systems that have made it easier to do what you do?
As we offer videography services, one of the most important pieces of software we own is Final Cut Pro.
Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are also just as important.
How many hours a day do you work on your business? Has this changed?
Our hours vary from week to week. Most weeks we work a 45-50 hour week, but that can quickly blow out if we’ve got an event coming up or a big project we’re working on.
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What are your non-negotiables?
Staying committed to other projects we are passionate about. We’re in the early stages of working on a documentary together examining diets made popular on social media, to discover what they’re really doing to our bodies. We plan on being the guinea pigs, so we are preparing to put our bodies under the microscope.
What’s the biggest misconception you had about starting your business?
Growing up we loved the British TV Show Absolutely Fabulous. As working journalists, we joked that that’s what PR was like. Sorry to burst the bubble, but it’s not. There’s so much hard work that goes into PR that people don’t often see. There’s a lot of planning and strategy that goes into executing a media campaign.
Tell us about your proudest moment.
Our proudest moment to date has been doing the PR for our first music festival, The Handpicked Festival. It’s the festival’s fourth year and it’s never sold out. Our aim was to make it sell out.
We managed to get Handpicked unprecedented coverage in newspaper, online, radio and TV and are proud to say the festival finally sold out this year.
How much sleep do you get every night?
There have been many sleepless nights over the past year, from interstate trips to late night editing and brainstorming sessions.
News is 24/7 so we find we never limit ourselves to working nine to five, so sleep isn’t always a priority.
What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?
Go to an accountant and make sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s.
Choose something you’re passionate about because it makes work so much easier.
Don’t be scared to go for it and don’t be held back by other people’s expectations of you.
Also, while most people’s dream is to quit work and start up their own business, you need to make sure you’re financially stable to be able to take the risk.
Do you have a mentor?
Our former news director, Terry Plane. He is widely respected in the industry and truly is the best of the best. He gave me my big break and is always just a phone call or email away to provide help and advice.
Since we’re in the #LadyStartUp spirit, which Lady Start Ups do you recommend?
A client of ours, former netballer Nat von Bertouch, has just launched her own mummy blog, talking about her journey as a mum of two and sharing her healthy recipes.
We also love Cleverhand by Emily Beaton. She creates amazing custom lettering and does heaps of things from posters, to invites, to large pieces. It is all so beautiful and she’s just designed our news logo.