Meet Rachel Bradley - Gossip Girl PR

Rachel Bradley - Gossip Girl PR

Did you enjoy IT at school? 

No I hated it!  We worked off BBC Micro computers and I honestly didn't have a clue what I was doing. I had a total lack of interest, granted, but I don't totally blame myself.  My teacher was so uninspiring, so much so that I can't remember his name!  It was only when I got to Uni and they had Apple Macintosh computers that my excitement for computers reached new levels!

Do you consider yourself to be digital savvy?

Not especially.  I know what I need to know and the rest, no chance.  I try to keep up with Wordpress as that's my website software and I love all things digital when it comes to communication and social platforms.  Other than that I feel out of my depth.

How does digital tie into how you’ve grown your business? 

As an old-style PR I have had to master the new rules of PR and communication and that's involved my becoming an expert when it comes to social platforms.  They are very much the basis of the work I do for my clients and they are also vital channels for me to reach potential clients.  I've used social in a community building way, getting involved with online groups and communities to network and share my expertise.

What are your favourite social platforms and why?   

I've always loved Facebook and have used the platform to grow some incredible community groups.  I still think Facebook is great for groups but I'm now loving Instagram.  It's certainly the new darling of social media platforms and with far less users than Facebook it's much easier to get standout.

What do you see as the barriers in digital in businesses? 

The obvious barrier is meeting real people and seeing them face to face.  This is vital to developing relationships and trust.  I think it's also hard to keep up to date with tech, it changes constantly and that in itself makes it time consuming.  

Why do you believe programmes like Digital Gum are vital to the region’s success? 

The workplace is changing.  Flexible working, remote working, start ups - that's where it's at and that's so exciting.  Exciting for people returning back to work as it's not the same as it was for them.  Exciting for newbies entering into work, as it can seem overwhelming.  Giving young adults a taster of skills and strategies is just brilliant.  And for small business it's vital.  Without a full team doing everything for you, you need to understand the basics and have a range of skill sets.  Digital Gum is addressing all of those things and the fact that it's doing it in Reading makes it even more exciting as it's where I am!

Where do you go for career or business advice?

I use the web a lot.  I read blogs and there's some great content out there (as well as a lot of dross!).  Instagram is a great place for support and advice, I'm in some great groups and know some fab people who really support my growth.  And most importantly I get out there and meet with people face to face.  I have a monthly group meeting with my #girlgang and they're amazing, for support, advice and accountability.  

Who’s your inspiration when it comes to your business? 

My dad inspires me.  He's 73 and still works with my brother on his business, a business he set up when I was a young teenager (a long time ago!).  I chat to him about Google Analytics and he gets it which is bonkers.  He doesn't actually understand it but he gets it.  He gets that digital has made a massive difference to his business.  He is constantly learning, investing, pushing the boundaries and has more energy than me most of the time.  He has taught me that loving what you do and having the drive to achieve whatever it is you want to get out of your business keeps you young and energised.  Compared to him I feel positively young launching my business at 45!