Entrepreneur Sallie Boyce, 26, is the founder of The Startup PR Academy which launched this week. She recently shared her story with WeAreTheCity, from her initial idea through to launch.
Boyce launches The Startup PR Academy during Global Entrepreneurship Week (week of 16th November) which is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups.
The Startup PR Academy offers online classes, downloadable workshops and master classes for startups seeking tips and advice on how to get their business off the ground with little budget.
Entrepreneurs gain access to support, resources and advice for getting targeted media coverage for their company. The Academy is aimed at micro businesses, solopreneurs, high growth startups, bootstrappers and companies in co-working spaces.
Boyce said she started the business in her spare time thinking she could cope with working on it evenings and weekends only, but soon realised she needed to devote all of her time to her business idea: “I started it in my spare time and thought I’ll do it weekends and evenings and that I will launch it one day.
“Setting myself the deadline of Entrepreneurship Week was my changing point to get it ready for launch.”
Based in the Cotswolds Boyce has a background in PR working for agencies “large and small”. She specialised in mortgages, pensions, investments and financial services PR.
She said: “During this time I worked with lots of startups and incubators. I got to speak with a lot of entrepreneurs who are passionate about their idea, but said come back when we have some budget for PR.
“I showed some of them that if you do this, this and this it will increase your profile. I was thinking how to do PR for startups without bleeding them dry. PRs normally charge about £1,000 a month, which is something a lot of startups can’t afford.”
Boyce explained that she is working with several startups to give examples of companies that have been successful in their PR: “I’m also working with some superstar startups on how they use PR themselves to give an insight into how they used marketing and PR to show what worked and what didn’t.
“I started the business after doing some research myself and finding there was a lack of resources for startups. There is a DIY movement at the minute, as paying out for a PR campaign is expensive.”
Boyce aims to have 2,000 startups as part of her academy in two years’ time and “I plan to hire someone who will help me to create the content.”
At 24, she founded Communica PR, working with a broad spectrum of retail, consumer, B2B, energy and engineering companies.
Boyce said she learnt the necessary skills to launch a company from the Female Entrepreneur Association, which is run by Carrie Green: “They have been the biggest help to me on how to launch.”
She added: “You have to stay strong to your own beliefs – listen to other people but don’t be too blown in the wind.”