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

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

Making PR writing authentic

The 6th September copy of PR Week has been languishing on my desk since I returned from holiday. However, it includes a great article which looks at the lack of authenticity in public relations messaging. The article has a ‘top ten’ taxonomy of bullshit: 1. Use of adjectives and adverbs This is bullshit 101. If […]

Thursday, October 17th, 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

Master & Servant

I believe that enjoying what you do and getting on with the people you work with are the most powerful elements of a successful public relations programme. I therefore consider my clients to be part of my team and we enjoy working together (or so they tell me!). As we have an excellent relationship that […]

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A picture paints a thousand words

Good public relations is about more than words. Journalists are crying out for decent shots as it makes their publication/website look more compelling. However, in my world of B2B PR, there seems to be a dearth of decent images as PR people struggle to persuade their clients to invest in some photography. Photography isn’t just […]

Thursday, April 18th, 2013