Charlie Laidlaw: Staying Small but Always Giving Value for Money

Charlie Laidlaw

Charlie Laidlaw of David Gray PR.

Where in Scotland are you located?

East Lothian

Tell us about yourself?

I am a PR professional with many yeaars of experience.

I am also the author of five traditionally-published novels. My PR website is and my author site is

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

To be open and transparent with any prospective client. Too often, agencies over-promise and under-deliver. I try to do the opposite!

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Have a very clear idea of the services you offer.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

It’s a difficult balance to achieve, particularly when starting out. Like most, I did struggle with that balance.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The ambition to work for myself.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

Huge experience. If a client needs something that I can’t deliver, I have other experienced freelancers. In other words, only experienced people who deliver a quality service.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales inevitably fluctuate. The key is tenacity and to keep plugging away.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Early on, I was charged by two clients to implement international programmes.

However, I quickly recognised that if you have a story to tell there are people around the world who would like to read it. The challenge was to devise ways to connect with media outlets in different world regions.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Scotland?

The media landscape has changed completely. Social media gives everyone the opportunity to be a publisher. Likewise, the internet allows us to work with clients from anywhere.

In recent years, I have have had clients in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands – as well as across the UK. Modern communications has made the issue of place irrelevant.

What if any are weaknesses of operating your business within Scotland?

I don’t think there are weaknesses because it no longer matters if a client is in Scotland. The world is now a very connected and inter-connected place.

What influence does being part of the UK have on your business?


What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?

To maintain the quality of what we do. That means staying small but always giving value for money.

How has Brexit impacted your business (if at all)?

I lost a major client because of Brexit, and Covid-19 was also a challenge.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Simply email me at [email protected]

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