Whether you have worked in the field of public relations, or just have a natural flair for finding unique aspects to promote products, starting a PR consultant firm may be an ideal fit. You have the option of starting your business online and working as a virtual consultant, or you can start the business in your own area and work with local consumers. Typically, a mix of the two will help get your consultant firm off the ground quickly.
Get a business license. Whether you will be operating your PR consultant firm out of your home or from an actual office, you need to have a proper business license. Most states require a license for tax purposes, and you can get your license through their business licensing division. Some cities may also require an additional license. Check with your city’s business board to determine what your local requirements may be.
Purchase the necessary reference materials. If you don’t already have copies of your own of industry publications, such as Cision, MediaFinder and Media List Online, these sites offer online subscriptions. These publications contain current media contact information that you can use for your future clients. Also, gather your local media’s information to help your client’s locally.
Put together your marketing materials. Aggressively market your services as a PR consultant. Put together brochures, a portfolio of your past work, case studies from past clients and business cards. You will also need a website to market yourself, and it should contain these case studies and your past successes.
Promote yourself. The way that you promote your new PR consultant firm helps your clients see your innate talent for PR. Be aggressive. Contact your local media and let them know you are starting your own business. They may be willing to do a human interest piece on your business. Utilize social networking to promote your services online. Network with local business owners and attend community events so that your face becomes recognizable.
Build your client list. If you have relatively brief experience in PR before opening your own firm, you may need to offer your services at a greatly reduced rate for your first few clients. While you may not make much money, you’ll be gaining powerful word-of-mouth advertising and you will establish yourself as a high-powered PR consultant.