Journolink: Gemma Guise

Gemma Guise shares why a love of challenges and a gap in the market pushed her to launch her "no nonsense" media start-up on a tiny budget

Name: Gemma Guise
Company name: Journolink
Number of Employees: 7
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 1/2/2014
Website:www.journolink.com

Tell us what your business does:

Journolink is an interactive PR platform linking businesses of all sizes and sectors to journalists, broadcasters and bloggers. Affordable for the businesses and at no cost to the journalists.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

When businesses told us that they wanted to get media coverage but didn’t have the know how or the budget, and journalists told us that they wanted more entrepreneurial business stories and spokespeople but struggled to find them – we scratched our heads, sharpened our pencils and built Journolink.

How did you know there was a market for it?

We know there was a market after businesses and journalists specified they needed a facility like Journolink, so we took the plunge and started the business.

What were you doing before starting up?

Before starting Journolink, I was running a media training company called Primedia Solutions.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I have always loved a challenge and I thought starting a business would satisfy that ambition!

How did you raise the money?

I used money from my previous business to invest in Journolink.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

The business is a no nonsense online service that links the businesses and their news directly to the journalists who want to write about them. We charge £12.99 a month to businesses, this will enable them to send out three press releases a month.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The key challenges have been mainly financial. Having only a certain amount of investment has meant we have had to rely on ‘friends’ to help out. This has made it especially hard to advertise Journolink to journalists and business as we do not have a marketing team or a marketing budget.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Our big breakthrough was launching in Birmingham at a trade show in February. The feedback was unbelievable and gave us a platform to really work off.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Recognise that starting a business is incredibly hard and it takes dedication and lots of motivation.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

In five years time we hope to be the UK’s most recognised online PR platform for the small and mid-sized business market.

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