Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sara Tye featured on Real Business - The biggest PR distastes in history

I was recently asked by Real Business to share what I believe to be one the biggest PR distastes in history.

For me, there was one disaster that stood out.

Here's what I said:

“One of the biggest PR disasters was the lack of comment and action from HRH the Queen after Princess Diana died. Probably one of the most high-profile news items and deaths ever – it was handled poorly by the Royals and by Buckingham Palace.

“There is a saying that ‘A gap left with no communication can be filled with misinterpretation, fear and dread’. We’ve all felt that at some stage in our lives, and the country felt this when the Queen left it days to return to London to mourn the death of Princess Diana with the people. She made a decision to stay with the boys in Scotland and unfortunately it was misinterpreted by many.
“This was the start of a profile/perception issue for the Queen. It took years to turn it around. It took films, documentaries, softening up, Prince William and social media to make sure our Queen felt more accessible. Could this have been mitigated? Of course. Better decision-making and discussions at Buckingham Palace on immediate and short-term PR actions, plans and outcomes would have helped.
“There was probably little communication of the reaction in London and at the gates of Kensington Palace until the family saw it on the news. Had someone been there and relayed the information correctly, then maybe a different decision would have been made. Also, the softening of the Queen could have started earlier. The approach taken now by the Royals in terms of perception is just fantastic and maybe it took a crisis to turn it around.”
For the full story, visit Real Business.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sara Tye appointed chair of Swindon Triathlon Club

Sara Tye, award-winning entrepreneur, top 500 international PR, business and organisational development expert and triathlete, is the new chair of Swindon Triathlon Club.

Sara succeeds Paul Cox, who steps down from the chair after two years. Paul said: “It’s been a real pleasure to serve as chair of the Swindon Triathlon Club. Throughout my term in the role, we’ve achieved so many milestones. The club has grown in membership, our members are in races all over the world and I’m now delighted to be passing the reins on to Sara. She’s a keen middle distance triathlete and proven businesswoman with a deep commitment to the town of Swindon.”

Looking forward to her new role, Sara said: “Paul has done a fantastic job as chair at Swindon Triathlon Club, so I’m delighted to be taking up the role with the organisation in such great shape. We have an amazing membership, which includes around 140 people of all abilities. My aim is to bring a dynamic new culture to the club and invest in our members. Working with Justin Robbins, our head coach, who is also a former GB triathlete, we’re implementing a sophisticated new coaching strategy. Other new developments include swim analysis, which started last year.”

Established in 1985, Swindon Triathlon Club is a British Triathlon affiliated and insured club catering for all abilities of triathlete, from novice to international Ironman competitor level. Swindon is one of the best training areas in the UK, with access to outstanding running and cycling routes, a great swimming pools and fantastic lake venues.

Flexible membership options allow joiners to focus on one or two training disciplines rather than all three, yet still have access to expert knowledge and advice. Swindon Triathlon Club is run by triathletes for triathletes with the aim in helping members to achieve and surpass their fitness goals and ambitions.

Sara Tye, Chair
Vince Knight, Treasurer
Mark Tredgett, Membership
Louise Wadsworth, Secretary
Felicity Westall, Social
Joanne Jackson, Communications and Welfare
Rosie Benson, Club development
Ben Walter, Committee member
Paul Cox, Committee member
Laura Rothwell, Communications and Welfare
Justin Robbins, Head Coach
Alec Cox, Website

Find out more about Swindon Triathlon Club at www.swindontriathlonclub.co.uk.

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 photoheads.co.uk