How to Work in Public Relations | 1099 - Mom
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How to Work in Public Relations

Today's "I Want to Be" series features Heather Holtschlag, who is a work at home mom in the field of healthcare public relations.  Heather is married and mom to two young boys, ages 4 and 2.  Her husband owns a franchise business, and they live in Pennsylvania.  Find out how to connect with Heather at the end of this article.

How long have you had your business?

I have had my business for about a year and a half.

What led you to pursue it?

I have nearly 20 years of experience in health and fitness PR/marketing in the full time office setting. After becoming a stay-at-home mom, I wanted to do something for myself. I started doing various freelance projects, and after the birth of my second son in 2010, when we decided we were not going to have any more children, I decided to make a go of launching a freelance business. I wanted to have something to call my own, and what better kind of business to launch and grow than a business in which I already had the skills, expertise, and experience.

Are you full time or part time?  If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?

I am part time now with flexible hours. My plan is to continue growing my business and become full time when both of my kids are in school all day. 

How do you market your business?

Right now, I depend primarily on word of mouth. I post profiles on various freelance websites and network with people in my community and have advertised with sites like As I continue to grow my business, I hope to develop an advertising budget that will allow me to place ads in appropriate outlets and maybe even sponsor local events. 

What is your favorite part of the business?

My favorite part of my business is doing work that I love within industries I am passionate about. I am an exercise enthusiast, so work that I do for fitness clients is not like "Work." And I have always been fascinated by medicine--surgical techniques, clinical trials, research studies.  I am always learning new things thanks to my clients. I am very lucky.

What one question do you get most from people about your business?

What is the difference between PR and marketing? And...when do you have time to do it all?

What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about the work you do?

There is much, much more to public relations work than paying for and placing ads in newspapers. In fact, there are ways to promote and publicize your work for free!

What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity? 

Do your research. There are tons of websites available for freelancers, including job sites. But know when to say no. If a project doesn't feel like it would be a good fit, then it probably won't. If you want to start your own business, set short and long term realistic goals of what you hope to accomplish. This will help keep you on track. Seek out the expertise of a business coach who can offer guidance and assistance along the way.

What is the first step? 

Decide what you want to do, and just do it. Don't worry about what others say. If you know that you can do it, then go for it.

What websites or books do you recommend for tips?, and . ..I also seek out "mompreneurs" on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to follow. They often post links to helpful blogs and offer tips to get you going.

You can learn more about what Heather does at her website, Heather Holtschlag Public Relations.  You can also follow her on Twitter.


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Thanks for Reading!

Linsey Knerl (the "1099 Mom") is a professional blogger, public speaker, consultant, and mom of 6!
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