Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast


The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 88: From TV Reporter to PR with Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher 

Founder - Katie Gallagher PR & Media

March 12, 2024
Katie Gallagher shares her journey from a TV reporter to a booked out PR specialist, all while navigating the challenges of maternity leave and motherhood. With a desire for flexibility and balance so as not to miss out on her son's milestones, Katie reflects on how she transformed her career after becoming a new mum and how she built a successful business that allows her to design a balance for her work and family. Her story exemplifies the resilience and empowerment as a Mumpreneur. ‍


LinkedIn: Katie Gallagher | LinkedIn
Facebook: Facebook
Instagram: Katie Gallagher PR and Media (@katiegallagherpr) • Instagram photos and videos


Produced by - Lucy Kippist 

Edited by - Morgan Brown 
‍Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist 
‍Guest – Katie Gallagher

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    • Read the blog article
    • How a NSW mum went from TV Newsroom to a booked out PR specialist

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Episode 88 Transcript 

Carrie (02:20.648)

Katie,welcome to Mumbition. Now, you know that we love educating women on pitching with confidence. Can you please give us your best 30 second pitch?


Katie Gallagher (02:35.903)

Sure, my business is Katie Gallagher, PR and Media. I'm a journalist and PR specialist. And this means I work with my clients to help them find their unique story and share it with the world. I help my clients to get published in magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, and this boosts brand awareness, brand credibility, and hopefully translates into more sales.



Amazing, and extra points because you had your little son in the background seeing his song. You know, he's like bursting with happiness. I can hear in the background. We love it.


Katie Gallagher (03:15.221)

Yes, he's watching Blippi and really excited about whatever Blippi's doing at the moment.



Having two boys – I know Blippi was very cool at that age. And you started your PR business off the back of maternity leave. And interestingly, you know, we know that around 30% of women actually start their business on maternity leave. And then a further one in nine actually whilst pregnant, which is phenomenal. Perhaps your employer at the time wasn't able to provide the flexibility that you needed. Can you share a little bit about that experience? What flexibility do you have now and what it means with such a young child?


Katie Gallagher (04:02.439)

Yeah so I was working as a TV reporter and presenter and I had hoped that maybe I would go back part-time but when I broached this with my employer they said no it's a full-time position, and they weren't really prepared to negotiate on that and I wasn't prepared to yeah negotiate either really in terms of going back full-time. I really was so excited to be a mum and wanted to spend as much time as possible with my little boy. So we had this situation where, you know, my husband was working really long hours, interest rates, you know, cost of living. I needed to go back to work in some capacity. And I thought, well, I know about writing stories and I know how the media industry works. Maybe I'll just try my hand at doing some PR. I know what it's like on the other side. And so I just, yeah, picked up a couple of clients from a business Facebook group that I was in and yeah, and it kind of took off from there. I didn't expect it to be successful. I sort of felt like I didn't really know what I was doing. But I'd give it a crack and it's been wonderful. I have so much more flexibility now. You know, I am working, but sometimes it feels like I'm not because I can still go out and catch up with my friends for coffee. I can still go to play group. I can still bake in the kitchen with my little boy whenever I want and I can work my workaround his schedule and that's such a blessing.



It really is. And I wanted to ask you've answered the question, but what that flexibility now looks like for you. And you mentioned that it's, you know, the hours that you choose to be there at the times that are most important to you. And I know that you've been quite busy of late with your PR services. It's almost like you can't even take on any more work. You don't have the capacity to.


Katie Gallagher (05:48.467)

Yeah! Yes, it has been a bit that way. I'm still learning about finding the right balance, which I'm sure we'll get to later in the chat. But yes, I think it means for me that I don't have to miss anything important. I felt sad about the idea of having him in daycare full-time and potentially missing his first steps or when he says new words. And it's really precious that I can be there for all of it, and I can enjoy all of those things I enjoyed on maternity leave, well most of them, in terms of catching up with friends and being able to take him out on outings and cherish his littleness but still be able to work and bring an income in for my family and just choosing those hours wisely.



Yeah and that mum guilt is real. It does rear its ugly head every now and then, and it's because we care so much. But I hope, like we've known with our community of, you know, hundreds and maybe even thousands now of business owning women, it gets that little bit easier as you go along that journey too. So I hope we can give you that psychologically safe space for you to own that and be comfortable with that and get a rhythm that works for you and your family because we see that a lot of our community actually see it as being a positive role model for their children and they get great satisfaction from doing it. So that guilt is just that something to be kind of managed along the way and getting a bit more comfortable with it.


Katie Gallagher (07:48.963)

Yes, yeah, no, that's so true and that is such a good point and it's lovely to be able to set an example for our children and, you know, we can't have it all ordo it all, but it's lovely to be able to show them that you can work and still be, you know, as present a parent as you can be and juggle those two things. Yeah, it's great.



So that idea of being able to be present and being able to have this flexibility, I suppose the other component of that is having a really good support structure around you to ensure that those things can still coexist as well. So at Mums& Co, we talk about that being our co, which is obviously part of our name. So the friends or the partners, the family members, the local community people that support you to be able to have that flexibility. Can you describe for us or just share a little bit about who makes up your co in your life to help you support the business and your little boy as well?


Katie Gallagher (08:48.003)

Absolutely. I think this is a bit of a tricky one for me because I don't have any family in my city. My family all is scattered around the place in Queensland and Tasmania predominantly and I'm in New South Wales. So that has been a real challenge. But I have a fantastic husband who takes on lots of the housework and chores and eases that burden for me because I just...can't get around to it and I'm a terribly messy person at the best of times anyway. So he's wonderful, he's a huge support and then we've got some really great friends, Alex's godparents, they're fantastic, you know they took him on the weekend so Joe and I could have a date night which was something really lovely and we go to Wollongong Baptist Church and they've been so yeah, pivotal I guess in our parenting journey right from when Alex was born, bringing me meals and helping me fold my clothes. And now as he's grownup, you know, they're there for me with their mum's groups and play groups and yeah, just having a beautiful community of mums and parents that I can talk with. So they're probably our biggest kind of community in terms of being hands-on. And then of course my family is all wonderful and they all help in various ways from afar certainly provide a lot of emotional support.



That's wonderful. And it's great that you mentioned that because not everybody does have their, you know, their immediate family in such close, you know, close tothem or where they're living, especially with little ones, it's really common. So it's good to be able to explore those other options as well. Now, taking things to...the more serious inverted commerce side of business and business life. You're obviously in PR, so visibility is absolutely crucial to the service that you're offering your clients. But what have you found that's worked for you in that area in terms of, so the business, your business now is about 12 or 18 months old. What's something that's been really pivotal to helping you get more customers and be more visible?



Katie Gallagher (11:01.595)

Yeah, so yes, this month - August is 12 months since I stumbled my way into my little business. And yeah, look, the biggest thing for me has been word of mouth. I have really not done so much advertising or marketing. It's one of those things I've had in my mind to get around to, but I've been really fortunate that I honestly haven't needed to. I'm booked out for a couple of months in advance and that really has just been working with a client, getting some great results. They tell ten people, I work with them, they all tell ten people and it's just snowballed. It's been really wonderful and my clients, some of them are very kind to give me a bit of a shout out on their social media when they get published. Sorry about Alex very excited in the background there. Yeah, and that's a really been a really great way for me to get some exposure as well. All their friends and business and followers see that and then they message me on Instagram and say, oh hey, I saw you got, you know, xyz in this publication, do you think you can help me? So yeah, that's been the biggest thing for me.



Lucy, can I just make a mention of no apology needed? It's working from home. They are kids. So I think it's it always and we launched Mumbition during Covid. So if you stay on and if you're a regular listener, you'll hear some of our little co asking their questions as well. But no apology needed at all.


Katie Gallagher (12:19.521)

Thankyou, Carrie.



Now,so recognizing that you are in the early stage of your business, and how would you describe your relationship to risk as a micro business owner? Is there anything that you wish that you had more of?


Katie Gallagher (13:07.319)

Yeah, look, it's a tricky one. I hadn't given this a whole lot of thought. PR in general, you have to be mindful of things like defamation, and certainly if you're doing PR for a big business and then they have something not so positive happen and you've got to be in damage control. You know there's a lot of risk involved in that side but because I'm generally working with small businesses and doing proactive media and sharing really positive and good stories that's not something that I'm too worried about. But there is a risk financially in that I don't have stable work, regular hours, a regular salary. If something was to happen and my clients dropped off, if the financial climate as it is, if people decide PR is not something they can really afford, that puts me in a tricky position or like everyone who owns their own business, if I was to become sick or something was to happen, I had to stop all my work, I've got no backup or anything there. So I guess that's the thing I think of the most, how to try and cover myself financially.



Yeah, and that concept of single woman risk is real when, you know, many of us are actually sole traders or freelancers, or as we said, by virtue of being a microbusiness, you don't have big teams that, you know, you can, you can palm off things too. And, uh, you know, work around, um, it's, it disposes an interesting idea because I feel like a lot of women are very collaborative in how they work. And, you know, there's always been this magic that happens with our meetups that women can actually even share, like, I'm, you know, I'm thinking about this instance where one woman was actually going to go on holidays with her family. So she actually kind of teamed up with another business owning mum and, and kind of passed on her work and they were like kind of covering for each other and, and they do that for, for situations where you can't plan for as well and that you just have to take some, take a day off or something.


Katie Gallagher (15:09.503)

Yeah, that's a great idea.



We love talking about the daily striving of managing it all, competing priorities in both home and on the business front. We love to think that we can create harmony across our ambition, livelihood and wellbeing identities. Can you describe the shape of a good life for you?


Katie Gallagher (15:38.319)

Yeah, it's certainly something I'm still trying to master and perhaps will spend my whole life trying to master. But I think for me, as much as you know, I think TV and stuff are great tools for the short term. I want to be able to be able to manage my work and still be able to prioritise my time with Alex. So yeah, having a good balance for me, I think, is being able to have a steady work and a relatively steady income, but still have plenty of time to do activities that fill my cup, to spend time with people, to have my evening still to spend time with my husband, and hopefully, you know, prioritise some of my physical health and feel like I'm still able to yeah, enjoy my work and using my mind in that regard, but not at the expense of my health or my family.



Katie what I really loved about what you said at the beginning there of that answer is that this is a lifelong quest for you and for all of us it's not like there's you know an end point to this is there where we get a little certificate and told you know yes you mastered life today you know it's an ongoing journey so I really I really loved that answer thank you so much for sharing.


Katie Gallagher (17:25.299)

And I think, just on that as well, I think it changes. And why it is a lifelong quest is because it changes so much as our children grow. And you know, it was a lot easier 12 months ago when I started this and my son, Alex, wasn't really moving. I could just plonk him somewhere and I could work away or I'd sit and play with his toys. And now he's almost two and he wants my attention a lot more. I'm finding it so much trickier. And then they'll become a stage where he'll be a little more independent and things will be a little easier again. So I think yes, as the seasons of motherhood change, we're forever adapting what our children need and our work demands. So yeah, it is ever evolving.



That's a great reminder to, and I will probably temper this with the stages that you're at. And it changes if it's the first child or the second child or the third child, what you're actually willing to do. And I remember with my first child, I was completely there. Like I was completely there. And gosh, I hope my little second child doesn't listen back to this episode thinking that, oh my gosh, she's such a second child. Butit's, I was much more prepared to work more when he was actually younger, the second child was younger because you're right, they're sleeping more. And they aren't as you don't need to occupy their time that you know that intense time when they're a toddler and you have to protect them from every single danger known to man and woman. And then they start primary school and you can change that window between9.15 and 2.45, and then you might have another window before dinner again. So it's really important to know that it'll ebb and flow, and you might have like sort of different levels of comfort in terms of how you work and the cadence of your work pattern.


Katie Gallagher (19:27.08)

Yeah,so true. Very wise.



Yeah,so just to draw on your wonderful reference before about your incredible wordof mouth referral network and all the women in there, just inviting you to shoutout to any business owning woman in your circle who you'd like to say hello totoday.


Katie Gallagher (20:57.211)

Yeah,absolutely. I owe so much of my success to Laura Campbell from Hackerlily. Shewas one of my first really successful clients. I started this about 12 monthsago but for the first few months I didn't have many clients and I was just kindof finding my feet. And I came across Laura towards the end of last year andthen in February we did her PR campaign for the Hackerlily Hip Surfer.

Itwas a roaring success, which was fantastic. And Laura actually introduced me toMums &  Co. And she did, I just can'tthank her enough for the way that she shared my business with every woman inbusiness and man, her husband included. And yeah, so I really, so much of mysuccess and work comes from Laura. So big shout out to her. Penny Weber fromthe Shapes United and Recoverware. I've been working with her and we've done acouple of great media releases and had some wonderful results and she's abeautiful and inspiring woman. So shout out to Penny as well.


Child Question (22:11.193)

What is your number one tip for writing an email that a potential client or customer will actually read?


KatieGallagher (22:36.359)

My number one tip for writing an email that a customer or client will read, I think is to proofread. And I can't say that I follow this advice myself as much as I should. But I think proofreading what you read, checking your spelling and grammar is super important because it just helps you come across as polished and like, you know what you're talking about. So yes, that's my number one tip.