Thursday, 18 December 2014

Merry Christmas from redheadPR

Christmas and New Year is the perfect time to reflect on what we've done and achieved this year. And at redheadPR, 2014 was a year to remember.

A big highlight for us was  working with UTC Swindon. We amassed over 6,000 Facebook likes for the college, which was opened by none other than His Royal Highness, The Duke of York. UTC Swindon is now thriving in the heart of Swindon, inspiring the next generation of engineers who will go on to uphold the town’s great tradition in the sector. 

We secured fantastic coverage in some top publications. These ranged from The Independent and Daily Mail to Marie Claire and OK! magazine. We also secured prime TV and radio coverage for clients in the consumer sector. 

In the horticulture industry, we grew again. We joined the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA) and I had the honour of presenting the Best Blog award at the Garden Media Guild Awards at the Savoy Hotel in London.

redheadPR won several new clients, such as Renée Maguire, a pioneer of the raw food movement, and Kelkay, the market-leading manufacturer and distributor of aggregates.

We hope you too had a fantastic 2014. Here’s to 2015!

From all of us at redheadPR, Merry Christmas and very happy New Year.  

Friday, 5 December 2014

We’ve joined GIMA

We’re thrilled to have become an associate member of GIMA, the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association.

GIMA is an astounding organisation. It promotes members’ activities, connects industry colleagues and customers, represents suppliers’ interests and provides business intelligence. In short, GIMA helps its members build their businesses with the garden industry.

It’s great to work alongside other associate members such as The Garden & Home Press Event and Garden Trade News. We’re looking forward to sharing our industry knowledge, experience and expertise with our fellow members and GIMA – and learning from them, too.

Joining GIMA was a natural development for redheadPR. We’ve worked with many clients in the gardening and horticulture industry over many years. These include Anthony Tesselaar International,, John Woods Nurseries, Mattocks and grow-your-own specialist, Stewart Garden, together with the popular gardening broadcaster and writer, Pippa Greenwood, who supported the Stewart Garden Schools campaign.

Most recently we have worked with Briers, the design-led gardening products specialist, and Kelkay, the market-leading manufacturer and distributor of aggregates.

We understand this market and we’re looking forward to working with GIMA. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Local businesses come together for Win sWINdon

Win sWINdon, a key B2B networking event, took place on 8 October at New College in Swindon. I was delighted to co-organise the event. 

Win sWINdon brought local business people together to network before guest speakers, James Phipps, CEO of IT consultancy, Excalibur Communications, and Ju
stin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, took to the stage.

First up was James. A successful entrepreneur and a big name in the Swindon business community, James won Wiltshire’s Business Person of the Year in 2012. He sits on the Swindon Influence Board and provides financial support for Wiltshire Young Enterprise, Swindon Town Football Club and Swindon Supermarine FC.

James answered the bold question: ‘How do you take a business from £50k profit to £2million in three years?’ His answers, full of great ideas, were received with enthusiasm by the crowd.

It was fantastic to hear from such a high profile MP such as Justin Tomlinson too. Justin was the first local resident to win the North Swindon parliamentary seat and is the small business ambassador for the Conservative Party. As such, he understands the importance of the small business community to Swindon. He captivated the audience and spoke passionately about our area.

After speaking, Justin and James took questions from business owners in attendance.

It was great to see everyone engaging with each other, swapping business cards and really making the most to this networking opportunity.

Thank you Read BNI for sponsoring the evening.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I have recently been interviewed by Swindon Business News for their ongoing series of features, The LAST WORD. Have a read of below!

What was the LAST: 

Film you watched?         
Noah. I loved it. Loved the messaging throughout and the complications and conundrums posed. As a CSR and sustainable PR, it struck a chord with me.

Book you read?                               
Can’t Swim, Bike, Run by Andy Holgate. The story of a man who went from nothing to Ironman triathlon. I love all the ups and downs. Hoping to learn something for my first Ironman one day.

Music you bought?       
Michael Jackson, XSCAPE – it’s from the Quincy Jones era which I loved.  Nice to still hear albums from a great artist, even though he is not around anymore.

Concert you went to?   
It was so long ago. Would have to be George Michael.  I love him.

Sporting event you attended?  
The only events I attend are the ones I compete in. A Local Sprint Triathlon in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Holiday you went on?   
I have two small children so it’s is either Butlins or the seaside. North Devon is a passion as we can surf, walk, run and cycle.  Plus eat lots of clotted cream and ice cream.

Restaurant you ate in? 
The Ivy. I always go there to meet clients and journalists.  It’s easy to get to, the food is wonderful and they are so efficient. Plus you can sit next to top celebrities

Thing that annoyed you?
I never really get annoyed. I am black and white about most things and much more patient now.  I get frustrated by poor service or disorganisation but rarely annoyed.
Thing that made you laugh out loud?     
My experience swimming in the infinity triathlon pool in Bristol’s The Triathlon Shop. It’s hard and you don’t go anywhere! 

Piece of good advice you were given?
Work as hard as you can for as long as you can when you are young and then reap the benefits in later life.  I have followed this advice and I am reaping the benefits now. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Learn how your business can utilise PR through my 11 video tutorials

I have recently had the fantastic opportunity to feature in 11 video tutorials for the Smarta Business School.

The video tutorial collection, PR for Start-ups, provides a guide into public relations. It explores the differences between businesses that thrive and those that fail and show the benefits of PR. As well as explaining how to manage a PR strategy, I relate it all to various incidents and projects that I have worked on throughout my career.

The Smarta Business School video tutorials show business owners how to maximise their PR by covering topics such as:
  • Foundation principles of PR
  • How to generate PR with no budget
  • Credibility PR versus Sanity PR
  • The difference between Revenue Generating PR and Profit Generating PR
  • Creating long term leverage out of short term PR
  • Timing your PR to leverage national and global events
  • How to incorporate PR into your everyday business strategy
  • What to look out for when sourcing a PR agency
I’m always keen to share my knowledge of the industry I love, which is why you will find me at speaking engagements across the country, covering a wide variety of topics. This time it was especially exciting to put together something digital that will have wider reach and can be used time and time again.

I wanted to create something engaging, informative and inspiring and with the help of the Smarta Business School I have achieved that. So, if you are a small business owner looking to enhance your PR activity visit,

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

CIPR the Value of Social Media - Working out the ROI, Swindon

On Thursday 4 September at the Campanile Hotel in Swindon I will be talking at the Charted Institute of Public Relations event ‘The Value of Social Media - Working out the ROI’.

This speaking opportunity will allow me to demonstrate how I and the redheadPR team use social media and online content to enhance consumer engagement in variety of recent, successful PR campaigns.

It is always good to share knowledge and insight at these events. I’m a great advocate of social media and take time to convince my clients of its benefits. As an early adopter, I could see its potential to businesses from the early days of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ etc. I’m looking forward to helping people better understand how the social media platforms can help them build their brands and online reputations.

The Value of Social Media - Working out the ROI takes place at the Campanile Hotel, Delta Business Park, Great Western Way, Swindon, on Thursday 4 September 2014 from 10:15am to 13:45pm. I would love it if could attend. Simply visit

Monday, 14 July 2014

Generating new opportunities for the businesses of Swindon

As a director consultant at BNI, I have recently had the opportunity to launch a new chapter, Excel BNI, in my hometown of Swindon.

Launching with a Visitors Day breakfast meeting at the Campanile Hotel, we invited a range of local, talented professionals, from many differing industries, to learn more about the organisation and how you can generate a steady stream of business referrals.

BNI meetings are proven way to discover fantastic business opportunities through "word-of-mouth" marketing, Last year, with members of BNI passing on more than 6.9 million referrals which generated more than £2 billion worth of business for its members.

The Excel BNI chapter is the latest addition to the 6,000 chapters already thriving in the UK and across the world.

We have been working hard behind the scenes in the run up to launching Excel BNI, so it was very gratifying to see a fantastic attendance at the breakfast meeting, with all visitors engaging with each other, swapping business cards and discussing their business and how they are looking to grow it.

If you are interested in joining Excel BNI, please visit the website - - to find out how to get in touch and see how our chapter can grow your business. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Learn how to start your own business

I am to be a panelist at the upcoming O2 Smarta 100Startup Secrets: How to Launch a Profitable Business’ event in Bristol, on Wednesday 11 June 2014.
I'll be discuss her experiences of building redheadPR and other previous companies. She will give advice to new business owners and people who plan to launch a new enterprise.

Smarta is a terrific organisation to be involved with. It’ll be great to share my knowledge, help promising entrepreneurs build thriving businesses and network with interesting people

Also speaking are Ed Brown, co-founder of Friska, the quality, value led food outlet, and Esther McMorris, founder and director of business transformation experts, Nine Feet Tall and Smarta COO, Matt Thomas, will host the event.

Startup Secrets: How to Launch a Profitable Business’ Takes place at the Watershed, Harbourside, Bristol, on Wednesday 11 June from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Tickets are free, yet spaces are limited. To secure your place, visit  

The art of storytelling

Stories can change what you do, how you act and what you think. So it’s not unreasonable for great leaders and CEOs to use storytelling to inspire, persuade and motivate. Storytelling strengthens communication and makes complex ideas understandable for us all. It put things in context and helps to explain and educate. It can enhance the relationship between teller and listener, feed the imagination and strengthen belief.
Storytelling can create legends.

One great storyteller was the late Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. Anita was a legend and an amazing entrepreneur. She travelled the world listening to stories from tribes, communities and employees. 

Anita listened and talked not just about skincare and cosmetics but about human rights and environmental issues. She used these stories to show how to do business, sell innovative products and help consumers understand what they were buying into.

With Anita, customers could be part of a movement. They could change things. Anita believed in the power of words, images and action. She inspired and mobilised people through explanation and education. 

The Body Shop was built on communication. Internal communications were as important as external and every available space, from bags to windows, was used. Anita was a pioneer of activism PR at just 17 years old. She wrote books and used PR for everything she and her company did. Nearly everyone knows the story. 

The importance of the press release

The press release is a traditional PR tool which, when well written, is a vital part of your storytelling. The key elements here are an attention-grabbing headline, a concise introductory paragraph and, of course, a great story. Up-to-date background information is then used to position the right elements within the press release and give the document the critical mass needed to satisfy even the sternest of journalists.
Journalists are inundated with press releases every day so don’t let copy with mistakes fall into their hands. This is key to building relationships with journalists and being seen as a reliable and professional source.

At redheadPR we generate comprehensive lists of journalists for every client. For example, the media database for one of our fashion clients that works in the gardening industry covers both the clothing and gardening sectors. When creating the database, we developed lists of relevant fashion and garden journalists and made sure we knew the best way to contact them. 

Client backgrounder and biographies

Backgrounders and biographies need be produced quickly. They are vital when seeking editorial coverage for clients. Journalists want extensive background information for potential features. Information has to be both relevant to the journalist and central to the client’s message. Biographies should provide substantial information about the achievements of individuals you want to arrange interviews with.

The spine of the backgrounder and biographies will remain relevant throughout the duration of your business. They should, however, be easily adaptable as it is important to keep them up-to-date.  

Once the client is embedded, press releases will need to be created. It’s a good idea to set a definitive plan of all the copy you are going to create, then get it written and signed off early by the client. This shows you are proactive and ahead of the game. The Christmas period is a key opportunity for exposure, for example, so I get all our clients’ seasonal copy written by September.

I cannot overstate the importance of this type of planning. It will prevent problems and stress, so do yourself a favour and make a comprehensive blueprint for every client you have. 

Networking and being the face of your company

Networking is a key skill in PR. Being able to network successfully will help win new clients and keep existing clients.

There are many networking events relevant to business and PR across the country. I regularly speak at I AM WOMAN events and give talks on ‘How to do Great PR’. Through networking, I have developed my personal brand as well as that of redheadPR. Speaking engagements are a fantastic way to attract new clients. When a potential client sees you on stage, exuberating confidence and talking about something you are passionate and knowledgeable about, it is only a matter of time before they want to talk business with you.