Updated: Feb 19
Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a journalist 📺 📻. From a young age, she was thrilled by the idea of reporting on exciting happenings and sharing good news with others. Growing into a young fearless woman and an impeccable writer, she decided to try out freelance journalism whilst also studying her BA in Communication and English at the London Metropolitan University. When the opportunity to attend a prestigious awards ceremony in London came up, she seized it. “I remember calling📞 the offices of the organisers and saying that I was a freelance journalist and that I would love to cover the story for my local newspaper.”
Michelle was over the moon 🤩🤩when they allowed her cover the event. Her dream was turning into reality! In her ballgown, she found herself in the company of seasoned journalists from The Times and the Daily Mail. She also got the opportunity to interview the then Foreign Secretary of the UK, Mr. Jack Straw, and the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell. “I feared nothing back then. I remember holding my Dictaphone and notebook📖, asking them relevant questions about politics.”
Unbeknownst to her, covering the event was a precursor for her journey into communications. A week later, when she rang the organisers to thank them for sending her a press pass, she learnt that the lady in charge had since left the organisation. In a show of bravado, Michelle stepped up and asked if she could take her job. That is how she became the press officer for the Ethnic Multicultural Media Awards (EMMA); organizing events that went on to be broadcast by the BBC.
She remained in communications until life threw her a curve ball which made her transition into her current love♥️, Human Resource consultancy. Being employed at the time, she was unexpectedly made redundant while pregnant🤰🏾🤰🏾. She was not consulted prior to this decision being made, nor was she given other job options. While this neglect left her stranded, it also ignited a fire🔥 in her.
“I promised myself that I would read up, study and learn as much as I needed to learn so that no one else would be in that position again.”
When she had collected herself, she did the necessary qualifications and ventured into HR; a new field, but one she nevertheless felt drawn to. She remained employed in the Human Resource field for 12 years, until it was time for her to expand her horizons and go it alone as a HR Consultant.
In running her business, ‘The People’s Partner’, she has managed to blend her experience in PR and communications with her expertise in the HR field. She is now a HR Consultant and Visibility Strategist. Together with her team of trained NLP practitioners, they coach and train businesses on how to transform the skills of their employees and also on how to raise their visibility and profile so as to land media features.
Since starting her business more than four years ago, it has grown from a one-man band to a team of five people working on the business and a further four HR associates. On a monthly basis they support businesses through their innovative HR solutions which are:
1. Their newly formed HR membership: The HR Partner Portal which provides monthly access to templates, HR documents and guides, legal documentation, HR policy implementation advice, employee or business support and online training to small businesses that are unable to afford outsourcing a HR consultant or hiring a HR person.
2. The HR Concierge which is targeted at medium and larger organisations that have some internal HR presence but may require some external HR support on projects and employee relations issues such as disciplinary cases and grievances. The People’s Partner is well known for dealing with complex employee cases.
3. On demand and live training. This includes training on typical business areas such as leadership, team building and emotional intelligence. They have found the ‘People Strategy Days’ to be most popular, as they have been instrumental for companies or departments that have gone through a period of change and want to redefine their business culture, rebuild trust, re-establish boundaries and build in new work ethics.
After successfully running her consultancy for more than 4 years, Michelle shares the following 5 tips for those following suit:
1. Build a team of trusted advisors: people that have the capability and desire to open 🔐doors for you and tell you what you need to hear👂 for growth and not want you want to hear.
2.Level up your mental🧠 game: strengthening your mindset to deal with negative thoughts; 🎭negative feedback from others and distractions will be the ultimate game changer for your success.
3. Stop❌ taking opinions from people who have not accomplished what you want to accomplish. They will only dampen your dreams.
4. Make yourself visible ☀️ in your network, in your industry and in your niche. People buy form people they trust. It may sound superficial but visibility = trust. If people see you in action, hear great things about you, this increases their trust level.
5. Finally, trust the process💯. Sometimes it will challenge you to the core, but always remember why you do what you do and follow through no matter what. It will soon pay off!
It was great doing a blog exchange with The People's Partner if you're interested in doing a blog exchange with GuidedPR, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, read many more insightful articles on our blog, click here.
Start creating compelling content to share with journalists and on your social media channels. Try for 30 days for free! Sign up with one click!
Wanja is an avid reader and passionate writer, living and working in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has accordingly worked within the print media industry and in academia. When she's not researching current affairs and millennial trends, you'll find her on social media, keeping up with what's hot! Find Wanja on LinkedIn.