Tuesday 18 March 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Marianne Miles, Founder of Merité Public Relations

In this 2Inspire Network Business Profile we meet Marianne Miles, Founder of Merité PR. Her determination to succeed has led to the growth of her flourishing PR agency, which represents some the UK's fastest rising stars of Stage and Screen.
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
No day is typical!  I could be inside all day answering emails, writing press releases biographies, pitches or planning campaigns or I could be out at events, photo shoots or interviews with clients. 

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I was made redundant in 2008, then worked freelance for a few agencies. Ultimately I was tired of being told I was over or under qualified for roles I could do with my eyes shut and then being restricted within the positions I had obtained.  In 2011 a friend asked me if I would do PR for their self-published book, I accepted and loved every minute of that assignment, hence Merité PR was born!
Tamar Braxton meets Marianne Miles

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
At this stage of business each new client we obtain is an accomplishment because we do not promote our business, we have no web presence, much of our results and communication with the world is achieved via social media, mainly Twitter & Instagram.  Just being able to sustain a business so far and attract great clients has been the best thing for us.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Positioning ourselves above the many PR Companies that have been set up and battling with clients who do not know your skill set.  Coming from a PR & Corporate communications background I know PR, I’ve done PR for many years I know how it works.  My outlook may different from many, I want to change things, shake things up a bit.  So my approach maybe untraditional for some, but it gets results.  It’s hard to explain to people who think they know what PR is.  But we have happy clients and slowly but surely our reputation will precede us.

What are your future plans for the business?

I will continue with the PR side, expanding with more staff and bigger client accounts, but I will also be adding a production company and a charity foundation which will help to bring out the best in kids who have been let down by the system.  I think it is important to inspire and give back no matter how little you have achieved.
The Team: Tyrell Miles Brown (PR Assistant) - Denisha Watson (PR & Events Manager) -Joanne Watson (Events Assistant) - Marianne Miles
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Chucky Venn and Marianne
Nothing!  I never regret anything I do in life, I believe our outcome is ordained.  I’m happy with where we are right now.  We have just started a great campaign with Domestic Violence UK with some of the Strictly Come Dancing stars involved, we recently co-ordinated a successful charity event, which has led to more work in that sector, and we continue to work with up–coming actors & presenters like Remel London who has a big year coming up.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that is because of the work we have done so far, good or bad.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

Traditionally women have not been allowed to dream of business success or riches in the same way as men, thankfully attitudes are changing but it is still important to let all girls know from a young age that whatever they can dream can be achieved.  We have many examples of women who have obtained success without using their sexuality or feminine wiles; Oprah Winfrey is a prime example.  The foundation I’m starting will be all about tapping into the inner–self, letting young people dream and believe it can happened for them, but most importantly, showing them how to achieve success and guiding them along the way.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

PR is a saturated market.  Everyone thinks they can become a publicist without knowing how much Public Relations covers.  It's not just tweeting and sending out mail chimp blasts.  You have to have a lot of extra skills to survive.  Writing skills are all-important, as well as networking and maintaining your contacts at all media outlets.  The more skills you have, the more services you can offer.  I have just completed Photoshop and In Design training and am currently undertaking videography and editing.  Make sure you get some training and keep updating your skills.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

From the sly, cut throat nature of Mark Zuckerberg to the honesty and integrity of Oprah Winfrey, to the innovation & daring or Steve Jobs, the belief and faith of Lisa Price (Carol’s Daughter) and the ability to grow and evolve like Jamal Edwards. All of these people inspire me in their own way; I hope to have a little bit of each in me one day.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
As I’m approaching 40 time is of the essence, but this Chinese proverb recently reminded me to live for now:  The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, The second best time is now!

Twitter: @MeritePR

Instagram @MeritePRGirl

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