Hello, Working Girl: Kate Marlys of Philly PR Girl
Meet Kate Marlys, founder of Philly PR Girl, a PR firm that specialized in publicizing high profile events, brands and businesses. Learn more about how Kate took the initial plunge into PR entrepreneurship below, as well as how she keeps her workflow streamlined and organized throughout the week.
Q: When did public relations and event planning first spark your interest, and when did it “click” that you wanted to launch and pursue Philly PR Girl full-time?
A: I like to tell people I was born with the PR and event planning bug. I’ve been planning and hosting events my whole life. Philly PR Girl was launched as a creative outlet for my friends and family in 2010. I was hosting networking events, blogging, and really enjoyed introducing people to each other (and always have!). For my events, I would study my attendee list so that I would know in advance who I was going to introduce to who. I was getting reached out to by a lot of potential clients and started freelancing. I knew Philly PR Girl was taking off and had to give it a shot, and I’ve never looked back.
Q: How did your professional background prep you for the fast-paced job that you have today?
A: I’ve always been the type of person who has at least two jobs. Whether working in promotions, at a radio station or planning tours, I’ve always been busy. My skills were best used during the seven years spent managing nonprofits and planning conferences, and that time gave me the experience to manage my team and run my company.
Q: For those new to PR, what are some myths or preconceived notions about the industry that you would like to debunk?
A: It’s not all fun and games. There’s long hours and it’s NOT a 9-to-5 job. And yes, most of us drink coffee, but that’s because we were working until 1 a.m. and have an early morning meeting to get to!
Q: Walk us through your workday! What is your work routine during the week, and what steps did you take to tailor it to suit you perfectly?
A: I wake up around 7 a.m., hit the gym, take my dog for a walk, and am at the office by 9 a.m. I use the morning to catch up with my team, scan the news, and review our clients’ and Philly PR Girl’s social media accounts. Every day is completely different, filled with client meetings, potential project calls, and brainstorming sessions. I usually have an event or two to stop by, if I’m not running one of my own or for a client. I live by my Google Calendar and would be lost without it.
Q: For fellow working women looking to take the leap into entrepreneurship, what would you best advice be?
A: Make sure you are ready. I launched the Philly PR Girl blog in 2010 and worked on building my network and brand until I felt like I was ready. I went to networking events every day throughout the first month that I took Philly PR Girl full-time. I took meetings upon meetings. Being your own boss is a lot of pressure and not always easier because you don’t have someone to report to – in a lot of ways, it’s harder. You have to hold yourself accountable and work hard every day. Leaving a secure full-time job is scary, but when you are confident in your brand, you just know that it’s right.