At the end of 2015, I co-founded The Dorset Freelance PR Consortium – a free networking group for self-employed PR professionals in my local area.

Here’s the story of why.

Freelance life

I setup Sixth Sense PR back in July 2013 and, in doing so, became a freelance PR consultant.

It was a big step. I had been employed for the previous ten years. But it was the perfect solution for balancing my desire to continue working with managing the demands of my young family.

Almost three years on and I love freelancing!

I’m passionate about what I do and genuinely look forward to my work days – in fact, it’s easier than being a stay at home mum!

The ‘commute’ to work is literally a few steps down my hallway and I can work to a schedule that suits me. Being my own boss is brilliant in many ways.

Networking for Dorset freelance PR consultants

But working as a freelancer can also be quite isolating. Which is why The Dorset Freelance PR Consortium came about.

It’s a small networking and social group for local freelance PRs which I co-founded with two close friends of mine.

Small beginnings

Towards the end of last year, we were catching up over coffees at my house and trying to talk ‘work’. But with seven pre-school age children between us (three of them mine!), and all of them causing chaos in the background, it proved extremely difficult!

The chance of us actually having an in-depth chat, about our shared interest of working as a PR freelancer, was pretty remote in this kind of setting.

So we decided to start a regular PR-themed group. Initially, it was just us three, plus one other freelancer two of us already knew. We met in the evening and, if we are honest, it was also an excuse to get a child-free night out!

It was great! We all really enjoyed the chance to chat about our projects, discuss any challenges we were facing, and swop contacts and PR tools. So we soon decided to open it up to more people.

Free, friendly meetups in Bournemouth and Poole

So now the Dorset Freelance PR Consortium is growing steadily. We meet every six weeks and chat all things PR.

All freelance PR professionals in Dorset are welcome.

The Freelance PR Consortium group

As all the current members live in either Bournemouth or Poole, we choose a local venue and therefore don’t need to travel too far (a similar group does exist but they meet in Winchester).

We visit a different venue each time (the new Bournemouth Hilton SkyBar was our last stop).

We all have a chance to meet up with like-minded people and talk shop in a friendly and informal setting. The best thing is, there are no pre-school children running around our feet. Bliss!

All freelancer PRs in Dorset are welcome!

With a bit of a push, via the local media and social media, hopefully, the group will rapidly grow into a thriving network of PR freelance consultants, and the benefits will be felt by all who attend.

It is open to men as well as women; it’s certainly not just for working mums and the chat is laser-focused on all things PR. It doesn’t turn into a mother’s meeting, I promise!

We all get a lot out of it and long may that continue.

So, if you’re a fellow PR freelancer based in Dorset and you’d like to get your fix of PR chat, do join us! Appy to join the group here