Katie Quirk

Before having my daughter Madeleine in January 2018, I thought I'd be a PR agency girl for life.

However, I found with motherhood came a distinct desire and need to find a way to better my work-life balance and have the ability to commit as much dedicated, quality time to my little girl while she's still young (I know in the blink of an eye she'll be skipping off to school and leaving me to hold her backpack at the gates - I'm already working hard to keep up with her independence and "busyness").

In saying that, I have discovered that freelance work not only allows me the flexibility I'm after and a greater choice when it comes to the amazing people I collaborate with, but it's 100% made me a better mum. And I genuinely believe that becoming a mum has made me a better PR professional - I've always been good at multi-tasking, managing my time efficiently and effectively and being hyper organised and reliable, but I have found my work ethic has actually improved to new levels.

When it comes to clients I work with, I'm a natural communicator and have an innate drive to connect with people as people. For me, it's about investing the time and energy to build genuine relationships that go beyond the brief and scope of work. In this day and age of emails and internet, it's so easy to overlook and lose that essential human connection which I think is so important in the success of most PR/social campaigns.

I'm an incredibly passionate, driven person and I always endeavour to deliver above expectations. You could definitely say I'm an A-type personality who puts my heart and soul into whatever I touch. I'm never comfortable with just being comfortable; change and challenge don't intimidate me - I just grit my teeth and dig deeper.

And what do I love about working in PR? I love that I can wear so many different hats and that no day is ever the same. I love that I potentially have the power to influence and even change people's opinions on a person, brand or business. I love the little wins and the big ones. I love seeing work that I do or contribute to make a difference in the community. I love the ebbs and flows and having the ability to pivot when necessary.

As a journalism grad, I've always said PR found me and I'm so glad it did.

my core skills

PR/Media Relations

Social Media

Content Creation

Editing

Writing

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Other than deciding to bite the bullet and do the "wild" thing of leaving agency PR to embark on a freelance career, I'd definitely say my time spent at HotHouse Media & Events was the best thing to happen to me to date.

Not only was I mentored by one of the most incredible publicists and all around amazing business woman and person, Michelle Shepherd, I had the opportunity to work with amazing clients across a myriad of industries.

From events and expos to retail and hospitality to government and tourism, I feel like the projects and campaigns and long standing clients I had the pleasure of managing at HotHouse really evolved my skill sets and offerings.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

I work Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from home or the local cafe (if Madeleine is being particularly mummy-centric and stalking me into my office) and take Wednesdays and Fridays off to spend with her.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

You can take the girl out of the agency but you can't take the agency out of the girl.

I have a desk space which mirrors what it used to look like before I started freelancing - lots of notepads, an odd amount of highlighters and pens, magazines, colour coded manila folders, photos of family and friends and there's always music playing (which is anything from Taylor Swift to Billy Joel).

I concentrate better and work more efficiently when things are organised, visually appealing and definitely NOT quiet.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

Being new to the freelancer game, I'm really hungry to establish myself as someone that people, brands and businesses genuinely enjoy working with. I also think having been entrenched in agency PR for the best part of eight years means I've worked with a multitude of clients across various industries, whether that be B2B or B2C.

What are the tools of your trade?

If I had to list the top five tools of my trade they would be:

1. The ability to really connect with people and build genuine working relationships, which equates to results and success

2. A profound love for the art of communication and the power of words to transform and transcend

3. An unbridled desire to always feel challenged and to work collaboratively as part of a bigger picture

4. The ability to take a step back, reassess and pivot if necessary to get desired campaign/project results

5. An absolute love and passion for writing - whether that be business proposals, strategy, op-eds, press releases, blogs, pitch emails...I live for it...

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

Absolutely. Since starting my freelance work in January 2019, I've worked with other sole operators who are establishing/have established their own agencies.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

As an extrovert, I really need to refuel myself with human interaction. I've found it really important to connect with the people you are working with in person and also attend client meetings when appropriate. Freelancing can sometimes feel a bit isolated and lonely so I think it's imperative (for me at least) to still feel like I'm working within a team.

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