Friday, 20 January 2017

Top PR tips from top PR

The other day someone asked me what advice I would give if they embarked on their own PR

I said;

  • Do it consistently and for the full life of the brand, organisation or individual
  • Always produce brilliant content
  • Engage with people properly

Start as you mean to go on. If you develop a presence on social media, keep it there all the time your brand is active, especially if that brand is you. Intervals of silence don’t go down well as they’re not consistent with best practice customer engagement. Worse, you’ll lose your place in the front of people’s minds and, eventually, be forgotten.

The same applies to journalists. Once you start sending them information, don’t suddenly stop. Also, make all the information you send excellent in every way. Position yourself by using vivid photographs, producing engaging films and writing compelling copy. In the end, content is everything: it’s you, it’s your business and it’s your brand.

Finally, always, always reply when people engage with you, even if it’s late in the evening. If you start a conversation, be around to keep it going. Be privileged when people show an interest in you and repay it by being courteous and curious with them. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

You never fail - you just carry on

When signing up for Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball, I knew it would be tough and I knew exactly what I was committing to.

It’s an immense challenge and when I tried out the cycle route and saw the lake for the first time, I knew that I’d need to be really good to get round it. It soon became a personal challenge of mine to complete it.

I have turned down many other challenges before I began taking up triathlons. This is because when I commit to something, I give it my all. I readily sacrificed parties, holidays and many other things when I was getting my business off the ground.

But when Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball was explained to me, I knew this was the race I wanted to complete. If I completed it then I would be an athlete, not just any old sportsperson or someone playing at triathlon, but a strong, proven triathlete.  This has become something that I really want to achieve.

Cycling, swimming and running are all different in technique and although I knew nothing about gears, road cycling, open water swimming or hill reps, I knew I was going to need determination, motivation and organisation; because when it comes to it, they’re the same in that you can’t give anything less than 100 per cent if you’re going to master them.

I’ve attempted Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball twice now and was unable to finish both times, once due to weather and once down to time, but I will do it.

It’s taking me longer than I expected, but that doesn’t matter because when I do complete Ironman Wimbleball 70.3, I know I’ll have arrived. 

It’s been one hell of a journey already and my original target was probably unrealistic. Being a mother of two small girls, a businesswoman, a property owner, a mentor and a philanthropist who juggles every day.  It’s a lot to take on.

I’m staying fully focused on this goal. I have my food planned, my training planned, my rest planned and the rest of my life planned. LOL.

I know why I didn’t complete Wimbleball 70.3 – I was just not quite ready, but I will be.

If you would like to learn more about my training routine and how I prepare for triathlons, then feel free to tweet or message me on LinkedIn.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Why photography is so important for your content strategy

This guest blog is the first of many! Photographer Paul Tschornow has been kind enough to contribute a post which discusses the importance of imagery and the huge impact it can have on the growth of any business. Imagery is an important factor when it comes to representing your brand. Read on to see what Paul has to say, including why social media platforms such as Instagram have been so successful.

Why is photography such an important part of your content strategy? Because people have short attention spans. As media consumers we’re exposed to so much noise. Social media feeds are constantly updating, emails are pinging and binging, we’ve reached and exceeded data overload. As business owners, brands, publishers or however you categorise yourself, you’re competing in a crowded arena so you need to find a way to win the race for people’s attention. And guess what, the answer isn’t difficult, all you need is killer headline and a stunning picture.

Let’s face it, this isn’t a new approach, newspaper front pages have been doing exactly this for decades. They scream at you from the newsstands with their photographs and headlines. Yes, papers are in decline, but this is because of the shift to online news delivery. Now publishers compete on different battlegrounds such as SEO and social media. Therein lies the problem – SEO. Marketers are so caught up in the SEO mindset that when it comes to their content strategy they’re not focused on the quality of the content. Instead of creating compelling copy with catchy headlines and beautiful images, content producers are trying to tick the SEO boxes. They’re making sure the blog post or article reaches 300 words and the relevant keywords are contained in the first couple of paragraphs and headlines blah, blah, blah.

Let’s try mixing things up a little. Much like redheadPR, you must create more content targeted at real human people instead of bland copy designed for the Google web crawlers. Make content for social media instead. As we know from the success of Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, people love pictures. Photographs tell half of the story before you’ve even written a word. As people have such short attention spans, a great picture and a little bit of text goes a long way. Image led tweets, Facebook updates and LinkedIn posts get more attention because your audience doesn’t have to invest much time in them. Once you’ve got people’s attention and they’ve clicked the link that’s when you expand with the written form. Remember, strong images are more likely to be ‘liked’, shared and engaged with, so let’s forget about the word count and focus on the photograph instead – picture first, then add some text.

Paul Tschornow is a commercial photographer and the owner of

Thursday, 26 May 2016

HM The Queen gets serious about social media

For ten years now, I’ve stressed the value of social media and an online presence.

Now, Her Majesty The Queen has come to the same realisation.

It’s a big year for The Queen. As well as turning 90, she’s hiring someone to run and manage her social media accounts for an annual salary of £50,000.

Based at Buckingham palace, The Queen’s Head of Digital Entertainment will manage all the Royal family’s social media accounts. These include a verified Twitter account, an official Facebook page and The Queen’s own YouTube channel. The main objective of the role is to increase The Queen’s presence on social media.

My only question is why has it taken so long?

The Queen has always been at the forefront of technology. She sent her first email in 1976 and started her own website in 1997. Her twitter account was established in 2009 and she joined Facebook in 2010. Until now, however, she’s never been involved in social media to the extent that she needed full time help. Perhaps she felt her role and position precluded such intimate engagement with the public?

In all, 2.22 billion people across the world use social networks. There are 1.59 billion active Facebook users worldwide – that’s 38.6 per cent of the global online population -  and 310 million of us are on Twitter.

So why isn’t every public figure using social media?

Some celebrities and high profile individuals could argue that social media invades their privacy and invites unwelcome gossip. However, our Queen has been in the public eye for over 60 years now and it’s apparent that she’s mastered social etiquette.

Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Michelle Obama launched the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. To mark the event, The Queen, Prince Harry and Barack and Michelle Obama appeared in an Invictus Challenge video. The 35-second-long clip has been viewed and shared by tens of thousands of users since it was posted on Twitter on 29 April. This shows how fast – and how far - information can travel on social media.

So should we look out for a stream of Royal selfie’s in the near future? I’d definitely advise Her Majesty to invest in a selfie stick – I love mine! 😉 📷

If you’re interested or just a little bit nosey, check out the job ad here.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Gstaad here we come!

There’s less than a month to go now before I’m off cycling in beautiful Switzerland with the amazing Michael Vaughan OBE, captain of England’s 2005 Ashes winning team and ambassador for the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation.

For the second year running, Michael’s joining Etape Suisse Gstaad, our luxury sportive taking place from 16 to 19 June 2016.

Also coming are cycling enthusiasts, high net worth individuals, business people and others who simply fancy a luxury break in the picturesque west side of Switzerland.

It was great to cycle with Michael last year. He’s passionate about the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation and really supportive of the Etape Suisse ethos. He’s an amazing cyclist, too.

When we get to Gstaad next month, we’ll be riding in teams led by pro-cyclists and celebrities.

We’ll enjoy 5 star luxury accommodation at the Grand Hotel Park. Non-cyclists are catered for too, as the hotel’s spa is the perfect place for tranquillity and relaxation.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Join me. Email Emma or call 07921 160134 and we’ll get the details over to you.

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation raises funds to provide financial and practical support to more than 150 projects through the power of sport. Providing coaching and education to young people, the charity helps those in some of the most challenging and deprived environments around the world.

Etape Suisse was established in 2013 as a response to growing mediocrity in the UK sportive scene. The company spotted a niche for luxury cycling events in which riders of all levels and their friends and families can enjoy challenging rides in inspiring surroundings.