Positive Story PR: Jane Griffin

Positive Story PR is a boutique PR company founded by Jane Griffin, an ex-BBC reporter. The company provides bespoke media training for technology and industrial clients, and specialises in launching new businesses.

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Name of founder(s): Jane Griffin
Age(s) of the founder(s): 51
Location: Framfield, East Sussex
Date launched: February 2021
Number of employees: 1

What does your business do?

My business is a strategic public relations consultancy focused on tech start-ups and industrial companies. It specialises in launching companies, their services and products. Core strengths are delivering successful national/global PR strategies, media relations, corporate communication and crisis communication. We also offer a ‘PR Power Hour' for tech start-ups, which provides strategic advice for getting their business story into their target media, and virtual media training.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The original idea came from a previous employer who suggested I set up my own business, but I have always wanted to run my own PR consultancy. It took Covid-19 to make me realise that having a business based outside of London wouldn’t be a barrier to success and would also allow me to spend more time with my three-year old daughter.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I was being approached by larger agencies to do PR for tech start-ups, so I knew there was a strong market for my skills and expertise in this area.

What were you doing before launching your business?

I am a former BBC and ITN TV and radio reporter with 25 years' experience in journalism, public relations and corporate communication. I have worked in senior PR roles for high profile companies including RBS Group, BAE Systems and Bechtel, Eurotunnel and Network Rail. My last role was at a London business and PR consultancy helping tech, mining and energy companies to launch in new sectors and geographical markets.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

Yes! I lived on a farm as a child and used to sell homemade lemonade at our gate.

How did you finance your business?

I funded the business using my savings.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

I provide my services on a project-basis rather than a retainer as this tends to suit my tech clients better. I also sell bookable virtual services, such as the Positive Story PR Power Hour, and bespoke media training.

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

Being able to meet and chat to potential clients during Covid-19. I recently joined a regional networking group for the construction sector which runs monthly networking events and this is proving to be invaluable.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

It's actually been really good. I think many firms are realising that their service suppliers can be based anywhere. Also, the pandemic has allowed me more time to think about my proposition and how to market this to my ideal client.

Describe your first breakthrough.

My first breakthrough was landing a contract with the technology start-up, Axora. They're a B2B marketplace providing digital technology solutions to help mining and metals and oil and gas companies become safer, more efficient, and more sustainable. They're a really fun team of people to work with and each day working with them is a real pleasure.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

Be really clear about your USP and your proposition. There is only one person on this planet with your unique experience and skillset.

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

To develop further online PR products for tech start-ups and industrial companies.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

I see half of my business coming from virtual project-based work and the rest through bookable online PR services.

If you're a business owner with a startup that's less than six months old, apply now to feature as one of our Just Started business profiles.

Helena is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has previously written for a popular fintech startup covering everything from money-saving tips to cultural reviews.

She is particularly interested in project management software and the films of Peter Jackson.

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