Up and Running0

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 in General, slider

Up and Running

Here it is then. My website. Or, rather, the website for Dave Allan Communications. It’s been quite a journey getting this far and it’s just one small but important step along the road for my business.

Getting this far has been an adventure. I’m going to come clean with you and admit that Dave Allan Communications is not the fruition of a long-held dream of mine to run my own PR business. I’d always liked the thought of working for myself but, deep down, I knew that I enjoyed my job too much to make that leap out of my comfort zone into a new unpredictable world.

Working for a football club does that to you. Well, that was my experience of working at Middlesbrough Football Club anyway. As a lifelong Boro fan, it was a dream job, second only to playing for the team. That was never going to happen, on account of me being useless (one substitute appearance for St Michael’s, possibly the worst school team in Middlesbrough, is testament to that).

Even when the club’s well-publicised financial problems resulted in me joining the Riverside exodus, I still wasn’t convinced. It was my long-term friend Mike McGeary, editor of the MFC website, who first made the suggestion in the strongest terms. “If anyone can do it, you can,” he insisted. And he seemed to mean it. Those are persuasive words, but what did I know about running a business?

Well, not a lot, if truth be known. Every day is a steep learning curve. What I do know plenty about is PR, communications, media relations and how to get publicity for an organisation. Which is why I decided to give it my best shot and I believe why it’s a case of so far, so good.

It’s taken hard work, long hours and much angst and deliberation but I’m enjoying the self-employed life. No day is the same as the last, each one brings a different challenge. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but, in a tough economic climate, there have been far more ups than downs so far. I owe a debt of gratitude to those who stood by me and gave me advice, not least my wife Bernie, but also my brother Doug, the directors at my associates, DTW, and my many good friends, particularly Paul Farrer, whose photography features on this site.

One of the hardest decisions was what to call the business. Should I go for the clever or the straight-forward? Get Promoted PR and Phoenix Media were just two of the names I considered, as nods to my football past as well as my future.

Friends and other experienced PR experts convinced me that my name was “a recognised brand”, especially on Teesside, and I should use it. But was it to be Dave Allan PR, Dave Allan PR & Media or Dave Allan Communications? The verdict was not unanimous but, as you’ll know as you’re reading this site, the latter got my vote. Ultimately, whether it’s PR, media, copywriting or marketing, communications is what I and this business is all about.

By then, my first clients had already signed up. Mark Page’s Garrison Radio and Paul Kerr Associates were the first to put their faith in me, closely followed by the Heritage Lottery Fund-backed Middlesbrough 86 project. Then came the wonderful news that Middlesbrough Council had appointed me to carry out the PR and marketing for the Transporter Bridge centenary and I was truly up and running.

All that remained was promoting the business. Another of those expert friends offered up the solution. “Have you thought about hiring a PR consultant?!”

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