The PR Guru

September 26, 2013


Here’s an oft-quoted fact for you: in 1984, in a New York Times survey on social anxiety, death was beaten into third place on the list of biggest fears. The top two were walking into a room full of strangers, and speaking in public. (Check out Andy Lopata & Peter Roper’s book …and death came third! for more info.)

So people would rather die than give a presentation in public!

Did you know that 74% of Americans owned up to a fear of public speaking in a recent survey by the National Institute of Mental Health?

If you suffer from glossophobia, you have my sympathies. It’s fair to say I had my share of public speaking disasters when I was younger – mainly due to bad decisions (I remember one particularly horrendous talk on Genesis – the band, not the book of The Bible – when I was at school!).

But you can overcome it, and if you’re in business you must.

Like a couple of my business contacts, Tony Altham and Nick Evans, I’ve found it to be a great source of enquiries. It gives you a chance to raise your profile, and present yourself as an industry expert too.

Yes, I still get nervous before I start, but if I plan effectively and practice enough beforehand, I seem to get through it ok.

I would urge you to look for as many opportunities as possible. You could speak at a local networking event, or an industry event, or organise your own – I know one will-writer who often speaks to charities like Age Concern and does not do any other type of marketing.

I will be practicing what I preach later on today. I’m speaking to a group of local small businesses and organisations about running their own PR campaigns, at the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

I’ll let you know how I get on! I can guarantee there will be no mentions of Genesis though 🙂


Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or


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