In conversation with

Rosie Davies-Smith

Founder at PR Dispatch



Rosie Davis-Smith is sticking it to the PR man. Because 20 years of agency PR has taught her, you don’t need one. It’s why she launched PR Dispatch, a platform Sonder & Tell recently repositioned around the idea: PR is done best by people closest to the product. Now they’re empowering e-commerce brands to do just that. Rosie talked us through how to make PR work and your job work for you – from defining pitches to four-day weeks and budgets for long lunches.

Question and Answer

What's the fire in your belly that gets you out of bed every day?

Our members get it. They understand that PR is a crucial part of their strategy and that they can do it in-house really well. I think they’re grateful that we offer a service that allows them to do it, see themselves secure coverage, and love what we offer – we’d be on the wrong path if they didn’t. We’ve tried to disrupt the PR industry and our members are quite vocal about it. They’re happy that we’ve done that.

We recently collaborated on repositioning PR Dispatch, setting you off in a new direction. What impact has this had on how you operate?

It’s completely transformed the business. As a team, we’ve got clarity on what we’re saying, who our customer is, what’s their issue, their pain points, and what makes them happy. We had customer profiles but it was just too complex and we were overcomplicating everything.

It’s also changed our platform. Before working with Sonder & Tell, I thought: ‘We’ve done a good job’ and it’s not going to change. Actually, it made me realise that our internal messaging, products, and communication were mismatched with our desired customer base. This shift wasn’t just about changing our tone of voice; it impacted navigation, user experience, and overall engagement.

Relationships are at the heart of what you do, and what you coach your clients to do — what makes a good one?

PR is all about relationships. When our members pitch the press, we highlight the importance of understanding what resonates with journalists or editors. For example, if a publication frequently covers women in business and their challenges balancing work and family, then find that part of your story that’s going to be relevant to them.

If you can understand what’s in it for both parties, you’re going to build much better relationships. Understand that not every pitch will result in coverage. Timing and relevance are everything when it comes to PR. What may not fit now could be perfect six months down the line.

“Having a clear identity has revitalised us. It's given the team real fire in their belly. The document Sonder & Tell provided is basically our Bible. The last six months have been a tough business period for us, and doing this has been a huge boost.”

How did you know it was time to invest in a rebrand?

Running a PR agency alongside PR Dispatch meant our time and energy were always stretched thin. We’d winged it up until this stage and during COVID, PR Dispatch exploded and the agency closed. That was the first time where I thought: do we need an identity? But as always, you don’t want to spend money, so you put it last on your priority list.

In 2022, growth stagnated and we found ourselves coasting. That’s when I realised we needed help, leading us to Sonder & Tell. It took a year to make the decision to go ahead.

My advice? Do it as soon as you can. I wish I’d done this a year into the business – it would have provided clarity when revenue started to decline.

Having a clear identity has revitalised us. It’s given the team real fire in their belly. The document Sonder & Tell provided is basically our Bible. The last six months have been a tough business period for us, and doing this has been a huge boost.

How does your fully remote office set-up and four-day workweek influence your team’s productivity, collaboration, and overall work culture?

We’ve embraced the four-day workweek for a few years now. Initially, we experimented with half-days on Fridays but found it counterproductive as everyone continued working. It did take time for everyone to adjust and switch off, but I’ve seen a noticeable increase in productivity and collaboration throughout the week. Plus, having a quiet Friday to tie up loose ends, especially as the founder, is invaluable.

Generally, we work nine to five, but I encourage the team to go for a long lunch or a gym class if they want to. I know that remote work can sometimes feel isolating, so I provide budgets for co-working spaces to combat this. I believe in encouraging everyone to get out and about for a healthier work-life balance.

Looking ahead, what are PR Dispatch's plans for the future in light of the repositioning?

We’re gearing up for an exciting platform update in March, and our clear vision has enabled us to pivot the brand quickly.  Within a few weeks, we’ve revamped our website copy, overhauled our marketing strategy, and are excited to roll out our latest feature.

Thanks to our clear vision, we’ve been able to pivot our brand quickly, revamping our website copy and refining our marketing strategy in just a few weeks. The update will introduce a game-changing new feature: in-house teams at e-commerce brands will be able to track and manage their press outreach directly from our platform. We’re always committed to streamlining our members’ workflow and maximising efficiency.

Working with Sonder & Tell has shown me we need to be very focused. As a result, we’ve made strategic adjustments to our marketing efforts, scaling back on channels like Instagram while increasing our presence on LinkedIn.

To position ourselves as industry leaders, we’re launching quarterly workshops featuring guest speakers. Our first one is with Lucinda from Sonder & Tell on the 20th March, 1pm. Attendees can expect insights into crafting a compelling story that resonates with journalists, the significance of understanding customer personas and brand positioning for a successful PR approach, integrating storytelling into your overall brand strategy, common storytelling misconceptions, and more.

Quick fire: three top tips you think can help anyone with their PR?

Number one: imagery. It might sound basic, but it’s crucial. Strong imagery is key to capturing press attention, regardless of your industry.

Number two: define your angles. Identify three angles related to the business, product, or service that will pique the interest of the press.

Number three: being personal, pays off. As a founder, the more I’m willing to open up about my personal life (talk about mental health issues, child care juggling or pay equality gap), the better press coverage I’ll secure.

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