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. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

How I've discovered the perfect work life balance

I'm excited and proud to say that I will be competing in this year’s IRONMAN Wimbleball 70.3 on 26 June. The event will be the culmination of my many months of hard work and training for 14 hours a week, at unsociable hours. 

The motivation behind all this exertion is my quest for the much vaunted work-life balance, the journey and experience by extending each day with quality training.

Throughout my career I’ve found that many business owners struggle to achieve this balance. Last summer, a survey found that a quarter of small business owners have fallen ill due to stress and overwork.

But the effects of overworking can extend beyond physical illness according to mental health charity Mind. One in four people experience a mental illness every year – and business owners are not exempt. This is why I urge my fellow business owners and employees to get active!

After working flat out for over 30 years, something had to change. I tried many things but exercise has really opened my mind. It’s reduced my stress levels massively and added a new dynamic to my life; I have extended my day and it’s helped me on the next phase of growing my business.

As well as being fitter than I’ve ever been before, I’m enjoying the benefits of a saner work life balance. Exercise also focuses my mind on wider health issues and, as a result of this, I’m focused on my nutrition and am wheat free.

I also encourage and include all the people at redheadPR in my fitness quest...which I’m sure they secretly love ;)

Mental wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and about the world around you. It means being able to live life on your terms. And there’s compelling evidence within the NHS that mental wellbeing is linked to a physically active lifestyle. Scientists believe exercise can help people with mild depression and that it helps protect people against anxiety. This is because physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can improve our mood. This enhanced wellbeing brings about greater self-esteem, better self-control and the motivation to rise to a challenge.

Get in touch if you want to find out more about my training and workout regime. Drop me a message on LinkedIn or Tweet me.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Is Facebook in decline?

Social media has undergone countless changes in the relatively short time it has been in our lives.

And I reckon the biggest is yet to come.

I’m predicting that in the course of this year, Facebook will switch from a social network to a sharing platform.

What would this mean for us, the users?

You’ve probably noticed that people are sharing more news, knowledge, inspirational postcards, quotes and memes* these days, rather than engaging with personal updates. 

Perhaps there only so many personal updates one can post before they become repetitive?

Or is it that there’s simply less enthusiasm now for the social networking elements of Facebook? Are people more interested in its sharing platform potential?

Are we changing the way we use Facebook?

Sky thinks so. It recently predicted that Facebook
could lose 80 per cent of its users by 2017.

Why? Because academics at Princeton University looked at the Google Trends data on Facebook searches and discovered that they peaked in December 2012. They used this statistic to foretell the demise of the world's largest social network.

This is because a similar thing happened to MySpace. Searches on its platform spiked in 2007. And then the decline started.  

The researchers compared the decline of social networks to the spread of disease, saying: “Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase. Users begin to leave and recovery spreads infectiously as users begin to lose interest in the social network."

So is Facebook’s decline coinciding with the growing popularity of Instagram, YouTube and Twitter?

With these networks, the emphasis is on sharing content such as images, videos and quotes, without the pressure to interact. Users can ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ as a way of communication, rather than leaving comments.

Instagram, the Facebook-owned platform, is growing at a rate of knots. Many people - myself included - believe it has the potential to take over the digital world. With more than 400 million active users and 75 million daily users worldwide, Instagram has exceeded the number of users Facebook had in 2009 when it was the same age as Instagram is today.

What do you think? Will Facebook be obsolete in a few years? Will we all be turning to  filters and hashtags as opposed to statuses and likes? What can Facebook do to reclaim its crown?

Share your views about Facebook with us on Twitter, by using the hashtag #DownfallOfFacebook.

* An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Inspirational CHOC indulgence this Mother’s Day

Looking for new ways to make Mother’s Day special?

Being a mother myself, I love getting the whole family involved and finding something that the kids can enjoy. This year I’ve decided that we’re all going to indulge in one of my new favourites – raw chocolate brownies.

These brownies are just one of the delicious recipes from our client Galia Orme, the amazing founder of CHOC Chick. She’s also a speaker, an entrepreneur and above all, a mother!

Since we started working with Galia in 2015, we’ve become immensely proud of her as she continues to achieve so much. CHOC Chick was recently shortlisted for the FreeFrom Food Awards and been featured in a fantastic Telegraph article. All of CHOC Chick’s kits and ingredients are gluten and dairy free, which makes it suitable for everyone and a great alternative for those with celiac disease and who are lactose intolerant.

Raw cacao is set to be one of the biggest raw and clean eating trends for 2016. It is free from all the additives that we’re so used to finding in our food, such as sugar, which makes it comparable to dark chocolate with its moreish bitter flavour.
With all that in mind, these raw chocolate brownies are a great way to introduce your kids to raw eating and teach them good habits that will last a lifetime. Enjoy Mother’s Day and getting messy with this quick and generous recipe, which makes around 10-12 brownies.

Raw Chocolate Brownie with Creamy Dairy free frosting

• 240g walnuts or mixed nuts (I used 2 packets, 120g each, of mixed nuts that included almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts with walnuts)
• Pinch of salt
• 12 pitted medjool dates, un-soaked
• 6 tbsp CHOC Chick raw cacao powder
• 3 tbsp Sweet Freedom or agave syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
• 3 tsp water


1. Blend nuts and salt in a food processor until finely ground
2. Add dates, raw cacao powder, agave/Sweet Freedom and vanilla, process until mixture begins to stick together.
3. Add the water and process briefly.
4. Line a tray greaseproof paper and leave extra paper on the sides to cover the mix. Add the mix and even out till about 1 or 1 and a half inch thick. CHOCTip: cover the mix with the extra greaseproof paper and use to smooth the mix out.
5. Place in the freezer for around 20 minutes to set.
While it sets happily, you can now make our delicious CHOCfrosting. We’ve simply added cream to our Simple Raw CHOC Recipe to make a creamy chocolaty frosting that children and those who prefer a slightly more milk chocolaty taste absolutely love.
Creamy CHOCfrosting

• 25g CHOC Chick raw cacao butter
• 2 tbsp CHOC Chick raw cacao powder
• 1-2 tbsp Sweet Freedom or agave syrup(to taste)
• ½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract
• ¼ cup coconut cream
1. Melt the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
2. Once melted, turn the heat off and add the cacao powder, agave syrup, vanilla and mix well.
3. Once blended add the cream and mix again. The consistency will become thicker as the cream is added. Leave for a few moments to thicken.
4. Spread evenly over the brownie mix
5. Place in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
6. Enjoy!

Can be stored in the fridge for around 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 10 days; of course you don’t have to wait and can enjoy them all in one sitting! J

Friday, 15 January 2016

It’s 2016 – and we’re getting instantly social

So here we are in 2016. Like so many New Years, it seems to have come round in an instant.

Speaking of instant, I think immediacy will be something of theme for the way we communicate this year, and beyond.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger are changing the way we connect. Not only socially, but in business, too. As if to confirm this, Twitter lifted the 140 character limit on its direct message facility last year.

Simple to use, available across multiple platforms and free of charge, these apps are overtaking email as the go to channel for realtime communications.

Not only do they let you ping images, video and text, they let you share links to content directly from webpages. You can see when specific people are online and available and, thanks to voice over IP (VoIP), you can have good old telephone conversations with them, too.

Such is the reach of social media now that a complete stranger on the other side of the planet can become your technical support hero, newest client or forum buddy within minutes.

This is great for building networks, winning new business, supporting clients and sharing ideas. And, remember, it’s not just about you doing all the talking. It’s your opportunity to listen, too. To take the temperature out there, find out what people really want and be alert to buying signals and new business opportunities.

These days, I learn so much by following links on social media, They take me to news and analysis in both new and traditional media, including the websites of respected magazines and newspapers. It also means I’m on top of the stories and issues that really interest people. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s all there in a single device.

A smart phone, for instance.