Be Heard Blog

Three Lessons I Learned While Starting a PR Firm With My Husband

29 Nov 2012, by IABC Webmaster in Be Heard Blog, IABC/SD News

When my husband and I announced this summer that we were moving from Washington D.C. to San Diego to start a PR firm together, a lot of people asked, “Do you like each other that much?” We do, actually. A little more than a month ago, we announced the opening of our new company, Intesa Communications Group.

MargieThe response and support from our friends, family and clients has been tremendous. Here are three lessons I learned from hanging a shingle with my talented soul mate:

  1. Your own company is your first client: from the moment you announce you’re open for business, your peers, network and potential clients are watching. If you’re starting a communications firm with the hopes of helping others spread their news, you’d better be touting your own horn well. Be your own PR guinea pig; craft a communications plan and set goals of your own. To achieve them, set aside at least an hour a day to work on your firm’s marketing, communications and social media outreach.
  2. Productivity takes on a new meaning:  if you are starting your business after a decade of government, corporate and/or large non-profit work, your day is about to look and feel a lot different. The first few weeks at Intesa were tough for me, since I was used to a deluge of daily emails and countless meetings about meetings. When you’re working for yourself, you rarely have those meetings. Then, you realize, the meetings were eating up half of your day; without that filler, you don’t feel as productive. My husband had to remind me that I was entering a new normal—actual productivity, not just sitting around emailing and/or talking about it! It’s pretty fabulous, once you get used to it.
  3. A healthy partnership is key to a healthy start-up:  if you’re going to start a business with someone, it had better be someone you trust who can keep you grounded, motivated and laughing. My husband and I have always made a great professional team. In fact, co-workers and clients often referred to us as “Team Newman.” Who is your professional soul mate? It doesn’t have to be your spouse. For an extrovert like me who craves social interaction and relies on “talking it out” in the workplace, an in-office business partner is required for me to do my best work—for my clients and my company.  

Are you an entrepreneur? Share your start-up lessons learned in the comments!

By: Margie M. Newman

Margie M. Newman (@margienewman) is Managing Director at Intesa Communications Group, a San Diego public relations firm, serving clients coast-to-coast. More at and on Twitter @intesacom.