Natalie Trice is an author and PR Director based in the UK. From the CEOs of international TV channels and Finance Directors at IT companies, to entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industry and ambitious start-ups, Natalie has worked with them all, and many more.
Today, as well as retained clients, Natalie mentors people around the world and gives them the PR skills and confidence to go out and talk to the press. With her ideas, contacts and cheerleading approach, her clients secure the column inches and airwaves that will help them to stand out from the crowd, and shine.
On 29th November 2019 her second book, PR School: Your Time to Shine was launched, it went to number one on the Amazon hot new releases list a week before it came out and is now being read everywhere from England, France, Dubai and beyond.
Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH was Natalie’s first book and sits alongside her charity, DDH UK, which supports thousands of people around the world dealing with hip dysplasia, a condition one of her sons has been treated for over the past decade.
When she isn’t working you can find Natalie on the beach in Devon with her husband and two sons as well as their dog and if she isn’t there, she’ll be drinking coffee somewhere and reading a magazine.
Where did the idea for your book come from?
In 2011 I reached a turning point in my life and closed the PR agency I had built up and loved.
After spending years working for major companies like Epson, CNN and the Discovery Channel, I set up Tally PR so I could be a working mum on my terms. The business was growing, I was working with bigger brands and considering taking on a junior team member, but I also had two little boys, Eddie and Lucas.
Lucas was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) when he was three months old, and while this isn’t a life-threatening condition, it has certainly been life-changing for us. Overnight we went from soft play and baby massage, to hospital appointments, X-rays and operations.
My business needed me to be in London several times a week, but my son needed me to be at home with him while he was recovering from surgery. He was stuck in casts and pretty immobile, when he should have been running around with his older brother.
I thought I was superhuman and that I could do it all, but during a rare weekend away with my husband, I finally admitted that I was just one woman with too many plates to spin and something needed to give.
I made the heartbreakingly difficult choice to stop working for a while, close the business I had worked so hard to build, and give my family the time and support they needed.
I went back to the office the following Monday and spoke to my clients, who were amazingly supportive. Final reports were written, journalists and contacts were emailed, files were packed up, and while my out of office was switched on, my passion for PR didn’t ever turn off.
Without my business I felt as if my identity was slipping away from me. It soon became clear that while being a stay-at-home mum meant I could navigate the murky waters of DDH for Lucas, I missed my work and I simply wasn’t fulfilled by going to soft play sessions and hanging out in coffee shops. I needed something more, so I started a blog and that’s when I thought about writing a book. I did my research, took a course, sent out emails to publishers and secured a deal that led to me writing Cast Life.
Today, we live by the sea and that first book, and my son’s bravery, see us in a very different place, with him playing football and surfing with his brother, and my building my PR business again. My second book, PR School: Your Time to Shine is now out and selling all over the world and that is great.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up at 6.45, shower, make coffee and watch the news before I wake the rest of house.
Our school run is along the coast road and each day it’s a different view and a reminder to be thankful that we live somewhere so amazing.
I tend to work from 9.30 to 4.30 but break to take the dog to the beach as many days as I can.
I sit facing the sky so the day isn’t lost on me and I listen to the radio – I can’t work in silence.
I try not to work in the evenings but with a book out that hasn’t been possible so I am looking forward to taking some time over Christmas to recharge.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a very visual person and so I use a lot of vision boards, be that for clients or my work.
I have a lot of Post It Notes in my office so I can create ladders that are my thoughts.
I then just go for it – be that a blog post, client campaign, new book or setting up a charity as I did with DDH UK.
We only get one life and I am so determined to make my count.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Oh good question, but I am not massively into trends.
I know what works for me and am like a sponge when it comes to learning and making the most of opportunities that come along, but trends come and go, and so I tend to stick with what I know.
That said, when it comes to bags and shoes, I might be swayed to go with the flow.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I stay in my own lane.
I know how easy it is to look at what other people are doing and start to worry you aren’t good enough. We all bring something special to the table and we all do our think in our own way. If you stop worrying about what the others are doing, you become much more productive and confident.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Worry gets us nowhere, it simply slows us down, so go your own way and you will be fine.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That peanut butter and marmalade are good on toast!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I have my dog and as well as being great company, she makes me leave my office, get outside and walk.
This means I clear my head, have time to think and reflect and get back to work feeling refreshed.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I would say that being flexible is important.
We all change and grow and what might seem like a great idea at the start of the year, could have become old news by December.
If I see a gap in the market or notice that my clients, or potential clients, could benefit from a new offering, then it’s time to rethink and do some planning.
You need to see where things take you and don’t worry if you don’t follow your first path, but do follow your instincts.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not a failure, but having to close my business to look after my son was hard. I loved my career but I love my sons and family more.
So, I took that time to regroup, get him better and see that things can wait.
I always tell my clients that PR is a marathon and not a sprint, and I have to use that for myself sometimes!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you hang around then either your idea will be old news or someone else will take it.
If it feels right and you think you can make it work, give it a try and you never know, it could be the best thing you ever do.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A thermal wetsuit so I can get in the water in winter!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I have started to use Airtable for my reports and time keeping and it is amazing!
It keeps me organised, I can track media opportunities and it exports to create client templates.
It’s a winner.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It would have to be my new book, PR School: Your Time to Shine.
It is a masterclass in publicity, aimed at small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs with a story to tell and a voice to be heard and is pretty much the distillation ofmy 25-year career making brands famous and people known.
The simple, but effective guide to PR comes with a side serving of my signature cheerleading approach and I hope it gives readers the confidence to put their learning into practice and start securing the column inches that are there for the taking.
Lesson by lesson, I share insider knowledge and each page illustrates my willingness to help others to grow and means success is within the reach of every reader.
What is your favorite quote?
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
- Have self belief.
- Take a walk once a day.
- Get a dog.
- Go your own way.
- Have fun and smile.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.