Power Series: Loving PR with Natalia
My Beauty Squad has a duty to the community of women that want to uplift and empower each other. This Power Series showcases women of different backgrounds, talents and careers and shows how visions begin to come to life when you put your mind to it. This week we meet PR lover Natalia Pareja and her journey chasing her passion.
Tell us about your career?
From a young age, I was fascinated by media and communications. I loved all things pop-culture especially when it crossed over from Latin America to the UK. My father is a Latin American journalist and I always found his career so interesting. Watching him interview famous Latin American artists, footballers and going with him to cultural events, I knew I wanted to be a part of that world growing up. But instead of being in front of the camera like my father was, I enjoyed the concept of public relations in terms of writing, finding interesting angles to a story, reading magazines and newspapers, all of which is essential in PR.
I understood early on how public relations helped the biggest music artists to small business owners gain media exposure to showcase themselves and communicate their messages to their audiences.
Interestingly I started blogging years ago while I was at university and featured a close friend’s start-up business on my blog. I found that I had a passion for supporting peoples vision and learning about their journey to success. I just wanted to share their hard work and passions with everyone so that’s how I really started a PR career. For me personally, PR is about sharing the passion of the brand or the creator to support their goals and vision in connecting with their consumers.
How was the transition between working in a team to having your own company?
The transition from working in agencies to working alone was scary at first. I had to really psych myself up for going at it alone, especially after a long time of being in a PR limbo where unnecessary agency micro-management was too much to deal with. It has been so refreshing to be able to create and foster relationships with people, from journalists to other PR’s, amazing brands and CEO’s. Being able to manage my own time and have control of client relationships has been a real eye-opener. I’ve learned a lot more starting from scratch. I remember how much I used to dislike sales and pitching but I think when you know you are passionate and know your stuff, it’s easy. The admin side of things does take the fun out of everything though!
How do you juggle business and motherhood?
Lucky for me the age gap between my two children is super handy, so it doesn’t feel as hard. I also have the most supportive husband ever! He’s the one who pushed me to pursue a freelance PR career. It works out so well too as I tend to do a lot of my work in the evenings as its when I’m at my ‘creative and productive peak’. School hours are a huge blessing for client calls and Zoom meetings. I was also very grateful that my first two proper clients working for myself were so supportive of me and truly believed in me. Working with My Beauty Squad really was a match made in heaven!
What are the biggest misconceptions about PR and people’s expectations?
I would say one of the misconceptions I seem to hear lately on social media that PR is all about freebies and product giftings, especially in fashion and beauty. I created a post on Instagram which explains a little on what PR is because I was receiving so many messages on how people can get ‘PR’. However, they were asking about free products to test and trial for their social media platforms.
Don’t get me wrong, beauty PR does entail connecting bloggers and consumers with brands and products but there is so so so much more to public relations. There is a lot of planning involved, researching, targeting, testing and getting the communications right. Then there’s actually pitching it to journalists in a bid to have it featured in their publications. There is only so much space in a magazine. Thousands and thousands of brands and PR’s are fighting their way into
the pages of a publication. PR coverage isn’t guaranteed and we can’t control what the journalists write or say about a product so that’s important for brands to understand too.
You are really passionate about what you do. What advice would you give to people trying to find their passion?
Brainstorming ideas of what you love and like to do is a great first step. Using friends, family or people you have worked with in the past may help you match your qualities and strengths with certain career choices. Explore different avenues before you find what fits. I find that when you really like something, you are excited to work, you’re pro-active and even when things get complicated or hard, you’ll work through it without giving up.
What is your power?
My power is my passion and pro-activity. I am not one to wait for opportunities to happen or come to me. I love to go above and beyond for those who trust me with their vision.
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