Blog posts

Smoke and Mirrors

In PR Week’s Agency Doctor column, Richard Houghton questions ethics in the public relations industry. It struck a chord with me, as one of my friends often refers to my job as ‘smoke and mirrors’, and the first paragraph of Richard’s column refers to peoples’ perception of PR consultancies as being a ‘black art’, ‘spin […]

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Public relations – the cost effective alternative?

Big brands spend cash on the full spectrum of marketing activities, from advertising to direct mail, and from events promotion and sponsorship to PR. That’s marketing utopia – not reality for most companies. Public relations is often more cost-effective than other marketing tools. The price of placing an advert in a trade magazine would buy you […]

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Phone phobia

I’ve just read a PR Week article which looks at phone pitching to journalists, and it seems that things are getting worse in the media relations business. I’ve run my own company for five years now, but before I left my last agency I had noticed that junior staff were becoming increasingly reluctant to pick […]

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Good restaurants in Hampshire

In my ‘formative’ PR career years I worked and socialised in London. However, since I moved down to Hampshire seven years ago I’ve realised that there is life outside both the City and the Homes Counties. I also often notice that restaurant reviews in the national media are focused on London. As I adore good […]

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Throwing the lamb to the lions

In the latest issue of PR Week, its editor (Ruth Wyatt) makes a very good point about agencies that rely too heavily on junior staff. Poorly briefed and with little or no experience, juniors are often thrown to the lions when they are asked to call journalists. Ruth gives an example of what she says […]

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

A strategic strategy

The CEO of Dunkin Donuts referred to a “strategic strategy” on BBC Breakfast this morning. Isn’t that like having a “planning plan”? Surely you’d expect a strategy to be strategic? I thought it was a nervous slip of the tongue, but have subsequently found out from an American friend that it’s quite a popular expression […]

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Marketing utopia vs affordable impartial editorial

Big brands spend cash on the full spectrum of marketing activities, from advertising to direct mail, and from events promotion and sponsorship to PR. That’s marketing utopia – not reality for most companies. Public relations is often more cost-effective than other marketing tools. The price of placing an advert in a trade magazine would buy […]

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Body Talk

I read recently an article in PR Week that covered five tips to engage audiences. The first tip was ‘use your body to make a first impression’ and this reminded me of my old boss and his mantra that “the first few minutes of a meeting are what counts”. A few years ago, Carol Kinsey […]

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The Old Ones are Always the Best

A recent article by Sir Richard Evans in PR Week ow.ly/m8EK0 looked at how Basil Clarke’s (a pioneer of British PR in the late 1920s) five principles for effective communications still hold strong today. They are: Claims in press releases should be sourced – Clarke said that all press materials issued by his public relations […]

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Slave Labour

Apparently the Public Relations industry is one of the worst offenders for employing unpaid workers, despite the existence of the PRCA’s Intern Programme, which commits members to paying interns working for longer than a month at least the national minimum wage. A PR Week article in April stated that ten per cent of the 100 […]

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013