Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Shortlisted for lifetime achievements as PR guru is in line to receive TWO awards in the South West Business and Community Awards

I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for two prestigious regional business awards. I'm in line to potentially scoop both the Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Lifetime of Achievement titles in this year’s South West Business and Community Awards. Being shortlisted reflect years of hard work for this industry innovator, who said she's delighted to even be in the running.

It's been an incredible journey and it’s wonderful to be recognised. Being shortlisted for the Lifetime of Achievement award is hugely humbling. It’s come as, this year, redheadPR celebrates 15 years in business. I have worked relentlessly for the past 30 years and it's been tough; from fighting to keep my business going through the 2008 crash, to moving back to Swindon from London. I'm truly amazed to be shortlisted for both of these amazing awards.

As you may know, I'm a business and organisational development expert with more than three decades of communications expertise in driving campaigns for brands such as BT, Thames Water and Green & Black’s. I'm an acclaimed top 500 international PR who was a finalist in the first Cosmopolitan Women of the Year Awards in 1999. My well-rounded resume also boasts Chair of Swindon Triathlon Club, Patron of Christ Church, and Vice Chair of Old Town Business and Professional Association.

Over 250 business people will be in attendance on 24 January 2019 for a fabulous evening of recognition and celebration at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Swindon. This event kicks off a great start to the year for all nominees, while winners will be able to proudly showcase their awards throughout 2019.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is for individuals recognised within their particular field as having made an outstanding contribution to the region.

Meanwhile, Female Entrepreneur of The Year award is open to any female within the South West. Nominees may have set up their own business, played a leading role within an organisation, or have had a business directorship or leadership role in the area.

Keeping ahead of advancing technology is indicative of redheadPR’s constant drive to improve the customer experience and the efficiency of their services. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Christmas 2018 - the year's roundup blog By Sara Tye

It has been an incredible year for everyone here!

redheadPR celebrated 15 award-winning years of media-shaping business this year. Throughout that time we've stood by our core passion for entrepreneurship, our ambition, and our ability to consistently deliver incredible returns on investment. 

As time goes on, we continue to hone our service, to offer our clients a level of individual attention we're positive they can't find anywhere else. It's what allows us to cultivate such lasting and rewarding relationships. 

What happens with Brexit?

With such media speculation running wild regarding the negative impact of Brexit in the coming years, we feel it's important to keep our heads while all around us lose theirs. If there is something we have consistently learned, it's how to continue providing excellent service in the face of challenging circumstances. 

If there's one thing you can always rely on, it's that business is never stagnant. The only thing you can be sure of is that no two days will ever be the same. As such, we've come to thrive on change, so we're looking forward to embracing the new opportunities that come our way. 

Everyone needs to adapt - keeping #Aheadofthecurve is beyond essential. 

Always changing

Technology has remained at the forefront of our ability to keep at the cutting edge of the industry. Over the last year, we have turned to app based tools to better streamline and project manage workflow. Our website has received a complete revamp, ensuring it continues delivering to its users. We strongly believe that websites should be continuously updated. Technology moves at a considerable speed, and it’s vital to stay ahead, or get left behind.

Off-page, high-ranking coverage from PR is absolutely crucial for our clients when considering online profile and SEO. Our digital capabilities means that we also work across all social media platforms, growing them organically and through bespoke methods that are geared towards specified audiences.

Keeping ahead of advancing technology is indicative of our constant drive to improve the customer experience and the efficiency of our service. 

Personal goals achieved

Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to take part in many sporting events. These have ranged from swims to runs as well as triathlons! In early November, I was honoured to join Ross Edgeley on the final mile of his swim - a 157-mile trek around the mainland of Great Britain.

redheadPR was also a large contributor to the raising of over £1,000 for Felix Fund as a part of the September Victory Swim. I’ve also taken part in the #runVEMBER campaign, running to raise funds for the homeless this November. 

Fitness and business have a lot in common. To be successful at both you need drive, determination, and a single-minded dedication to achieving your goals. 

The people who matter

Our clients are the lifeblood of our business. We're proud to say that we consider them a part of the redheadPR family - it's our pleasure and our privilege to work with them!

Ultimately, family is arguably all that matters in this life. Without them, what do we have? We know the importance of treating our family with the love and respect they deserve. We're also proud to say we show the same love and respect to our valued clients. Our dedication and commitment know no bounds. 

Other highlights this year include

Being named PR partner of Redhead Day UK and confirmed as the PR agency for the Common Sense Gardening Group, part of the Crop Protection Association (CPA).

We also started working with the wonderful Samuel Brothers (St Paul’s) Ltd, who hold a Royal Warrant as Tailors to HM The Queen.

redheadPR also exhibited at trade shows such as Introbiz which included an audience with Lord Sugar, the British business magnate, media personality, politician and political adviser, and Grant Cardone, bestselling author, world's #1 sales trainer, renowned speaker. We also exhibited at The South West Expo, in Swindon and Bristol.

I’ve also contributed to many media features and been published in outlets such as The Manager, Natwest Content Live and ResponseSource….amongst others.

It has been a truly incredible year for redheadPR - as we look to head into 2019, we can't wait to see the opportunities that await us. We're looking forward to sharing that journey with you!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

redheadPR offers top consultancy at Introbiz 2018

Leading digital PR consultancy redheadPR is exhibiting at Introbiz, the biggest business exhibition in Wales, on November 22 2018 on stand 209. 

The PR agency look forward to speaking to businesses and entrepreneurs at the one-day event in Cardiff ahead of the launch of its new offering for 2019. 
2018 sees redheadPR celebrate 15 years in business. As part of the celebration, Sara Tye, founder and managing director of redheadPR, is offering delegates the chance to win one hour of free consultancy with her. As a top 500 international PR, Sara helps many organisations and business transform. Visit stand 209 to find out more.

Legendary business icon, Lord Alan Sugar, star of the BBC’s The Apprentice, is giving the headline keynote speech at Wales’ National Business Exhibition at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. 
The British business magnate, media personality, politician and political adviser became a billionaire in 2015, According to the Sunday Times Rich List. In 2016 his fortune was estimated at £1.15bn, ranking him as the 95th richest person in the UK, proving entrepreneurialism at its best.

Sara Tye, founder and managing director of redheadPR, said: “We’re really looking forward to exhibiting in Cardiff. We’ve always worked with businesses in Wales and it’s fantastic to be able to showcase our services as such a leading business show.” 

As a key location for growth, Tye points to statistics highlighting the need for her firm’s services across Wales. Last year across the region, more than a third (38.3%) of private sector employment across Wales was in large enterprises (i.e. those with at least 250 employees) – while the figure for the UK as a whole was 39.8%. 

Indeed, Wales has become a hub for successful businesses, and in 2016 had the UK’s fastest growing economy. Clearly, its strong transport links mean Wales is ideal for commercial traffic, while the financial benefits to organisations being in Cardiff rather than London are clear. Wages are 70% of those for equivalent roles in the UK’s capital (i), and Grade A office space costs 40% of a similar offering in London (ii). 

Equally, the Welsh capital is one of just six UK cities with an internet exchange, providing data-heavy firms with word-class resilience.

Tye adds: “We’re always keen to champion enterprise in Wales, and we offer a wide range of PR services aimed at businesses keen to get ahead of the curve. We can’t wait to meet some of these organisations towards the end of November.” 

redheadPR offers tailored online solutions, as well as traditional methods, which are customised to fit each client's profile, needs and aspirations. Services available from the company include: SEO; Vlogs; online and offline media; social media as well as social media apps, blogs and forum articles; digital marketing; analysis reporting; and a selection of other services as required.
Visiting the redheadPR stand is a great opportunity for businesses to find out more about the benefits of professional PR to the sustainability and success of their operations.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

How prepared are you for Black Friday?

It falls on November 23 this year, the day after Thanksgiving in America, and has long been heralded in the US as the start of the festive shopping season – although the term ‘Black Friday’ has only been really widely used since the turn of the Millennium. 

In recent years, Black Friday has taken off this side of the pond, as a chance for retailers to make a big promotional push a month before Christmas. (Last year, online sales in the UK reached £1.4bn on Black Friday.) 

And while many shops dip their prices for 24 hours to get people splashing their cash in the run-up to the festive season, numerous retailers now spread their deals over a fortnight. 

Additionally, others focus on Cyber Monday, always the first weekday after Black Friday – so this year it’s on November 26 – as a great opportunity for massive online promotion. 

How ready are you? 

With such a great chance for serious sales, you need to be properly prepared in advance to maximise this opportunity. 

That means ensuring your promotions reach your target audience, and that you’re really thinking about what you’re offering, and to whom. It’s quite important that you aim at a specific customer, rather than being too generic or trying to please everyone.

Shoppers will be writing a list before the big day to be able to search and purchase as quickly as possible. This means that you can be more specific than you would be with general seasonal sales.

If you’re running a social media campaign, you can really hone in on your target demographic. For example, choose a geographical location, age profile, specify particular interests etc.

Don’t leave planning until the last minute. Given that Black Friday really does now go on for at least a week, be ready. For example, if you’re planning on running a different deal on each day for a week, think those through thoroughly and well in advance.

Consider how you will get your message out – will it be by blog, newsletter, social media or press release? And how far in advance are you prepping the consumer?

Remember, the more places that you Black Friday deal is featured online, the better this is for your search engine optimisation (SEO). This means that your visibility on online presence is increased.

You also need to know what you expect to gain from your Black Friday push. Set targets and measure the results. It’s best to set KPI’s before as a driver to achieve your objectives. 

Particularly with social media campaigns, not least those you’re paying for, you need to be sure you’re getting results. 

Finally, with an expected upturn in sales, be sure you can handle this increased volume. Make sure your team can respond adequately to social media comments, phone calls, sales handling and website traffic.

redheadPR help raise over £1,000 for bomb disposal charity

redheadPR was proud to be one of the sponsors of The Victory Swim, a fantastic one-day event, which raised £1094 for the Felix Fund, a charity supporting bomb disposal personnel and their families. The event saw participants of all ages and abilities experience an exciting open-water swim in the glorious Cotswolds Lake near Cirencester.

As well as providing £250 of sponsorship money, founder and managing director of redheadPR, Sara Tye, also took part in the event, which took place on Thursday 6 September 2018.
During the event, entrants were able to swim with Jack Cummings, a double-amputee war veteran who is an Invictus Games medal winner.

As well as being founder and managing director of redheadPR, Sara is also an award-winning entrepreneur, a business and organisational expert, a keen triathlete and chair of Swindon Triathlon Club. 

Sara said, "On a personal level, I love being involved in sporting events. This year alone, I’ve taken part in the Clevedon Long Swim, The Great North Swim 5K, a middle distance 70.3 triathlon in Exmoor, the Swindon Half Marathon, the Dursley Dozen, and the Tri Ferris Cotswold Sprint Triathlon….to name but a few.”

Sara goes on to say “The Victory Swim is a brilliant example of how sport can inspire people, and change lives. In terms of redheadPR, we love to give back to the community and sponsor events and initiatives that we think are particularly worthwhile. We hope that our involvement will encourage other companies to come forward and support this extremely worthwhile event."

Swimming success clearly runs in the family at redheadPR, as Sara’s two daughters also took part in The Victory Swim. Samantha, aged 12 swam 1,500 meters in the lake, whilst Amelia, aged 11 swam 750 meters. Samantha, is also an ambassador for HUP
™ Children's CyclingChildren's Cycling.

Sara and Samantha also took part in this year's Swim Serpentine on Saturday 22 September 2018. Together they both swam half a mile. This well-known open-water swimming event is held in Hyde Park in the beautiful Serpentine, the same stretch of water that was used for outdoor swimming races during the 2012 London Olympics. This year, Sara has already completed the Pier to Pier Bournemouth open-water swimming event, swimming 1.4 miles between Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier.

The 2019 Victory Swim promises to be particularly special, with advanced swimmers having the opportunity to attempt a Channel swim, either solo or as part of a relay team. If you are interested in swimming or sponsoring the event, please contact pr@redheadPR for more information.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

redheadPR stay #aheadofthecurve as they launch new Website

Leading digital PR consultancy, redheadPR launch their new website which offers an exceptional user experience that excites, entertains and informs all at the same time.
This is ahead of the launch of the PR agency’s new offering launch in 2019.
The site has been designed to showcase the South West based agency and the wide range of PR services it offers businesses who want to get ahead #aheadofthecurve. Dynamic, vibrant and easy to navigate, the site makes a powerful statement about the forward-thinking, committed nature of the company. redheadPR's website has a powerful online presence.

Speaking about the site's launch, Sara Tye, founder and managing director of redheadPR, said, "We know how important a good online presence and website design can be in attracting and retaining your customers. In fact, you only have 2 - 4 seconds to engage new visitors. This is why we are so excited by the re-design and launch of our new site. We are an experienced PR agency that uses both digital and social methods to help our clients engage and build a successful business; putting their message across through content strategy, publishing and social media integration. We love to engage a variety of applications to get the most out of your networks, to impress, attract and convert the maximum amount of prospects."
redheadPR knows the importance of a fully responsive website, as nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device. It comes as no surprise that mobile devices are projected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018.*
The website was created by digital experts, Digital Trading, a web development house, excelling in all things web-based for business and organisations. Their client experience includes Capita, Siemens, University of Oxford and Achilles to name but a few.
Full suite of online PR services from redheadPR

redheadPR offers tailored online solutions, as well as traditional methods, which are customised to fit each client's profile, needs and aspirations. Services available from the company include: SEO; Vlogs; online and offline media; social media as well as social media apps, blogs and forum articles; digital marketing; analysis reporting; and a selection of other services as required. The launch of redheadPR's new website is a good opportunity for businesses to find out more about the benefits of professional PR to the sustainability and success of their operations.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Collaborating with bloggers

I was recently asked for my views on collaborating with bloggers for a piece on Productive Blogging. 

You can read my thoughts below and read the feature here.

How bloggers can best work with PRs and brands on sponsored posts/collaborations

What do you look for when choosing bloggers

Bloggers contact us for different reasons. To review products, which mean we have to send the clients product to them. Generally this is not returned. Or the blogger may need comment for an article or a regular column. Choosing to work with a blogger can be for many reasons.  

The amount of pages viewed on a blog is essential and one of the first things we look for – there is no point having great content if no one sees it. Great bloggers normally have great stats.

A large social media following is a must. Like anything these days, social media presence is crucial for promotion. From a PR point of view, we provide a blogger with content or a product and we need it to be visible to as many of the correct audience as possible in as many places a possible. The blogger should share the story more than once on their social media pages for us and our client to engage with.

Good content is always crucial. The blogger needs to be able to write engaging copy that’s well written. We would also expect a backlink to the relevant website to be included. It’s the new journalism and we hope that bloggers understand that.

The website has to look appealing with high resolution and quality images. The website also needs to be easy to navigate. Without this, people will drop-off the website without giving the content a chance.

Do you encourage bloggers to contact you directly with a pitch? If so how do you suggest they do that? What would you like to receive from them?

Yes, we’re always interested to hear from bloggers – existing and new.

For us, email is best, or phone, but we need the information to make a considered decision etc. so email can do that.

We would always like to see a media pack, links to example features & their success.

What do you want to see in a media kit from a blogger? And what do you really NOT want/need in a media kit??

Keep it short, visual and factual.

Key information:
·       who you are
  • demographic
  • page views
  • average entries for competitions & third party data permissions
  • links to feature example

We don’t want to see the following:
  • the bloggers life story or personal information 
  • poor images – resolution, lighting etc.
  • poor use of language
  • poor or no examples

What can a blogger do to make themselves be more likely to be chosen for a paid campaign?

Be higher profile.

We would probably know them already as they would be a key figure in our industry.

Offer as many statistics and data as possible, we like to see proof of deliverables.

Investigate the products/feature their looking to promote so they know what they’re talking about before making contact with PRs.

Offer a thorough review/feature with a minimum word count, number of images and backlink to the relevant website.

Guarantee regular engagement on social media, using the right tags and hashtags.

Be willing to negotiate on price. Smaller clients don’t always have a large budget and product offerings can be pricey for them.

Include engaging imagery in blogs/posts. If it’s a product and you can’t take good photographs, ask to be supplied with imagery to use.  

What advice would you give bloggers in negotiating the best fees for a project?

Know your PR and the clients you want to work with. Generally the fee will be relevant because you know your audience and what you are writing about.

There is an art to negotiating, but the outcome needs to suit both the PR and blogger.

There is often a lot of frustration in the blogging world about lack of fees/low fees. How can we work together to best improve that situation?

Fees in traditional media came from advertising and the two rarely crossed over. Editorial was about a good story.

Everyone wants value for money and the above and below the line has become blurred. A PR knows when they should be paying for something because they will see the value.

PRs get approached several times every day and many bloggers are happy to feature for free if the content is good and will get them good engagement.  This is because in the end it is win win. 

Offer a series of features over 12 months – a long term partnership will have ongoing engagement is the way we like to work.  As its relevant for all.

We get asked for a lot for paid for entries, but the bloggers statistics just aren’t big enough to warrant our clients paying for a feature.

Invest the time, resource and relationships to get a great looking blogs and increase your social media following before asking for paid for activity.

What do you like about working with bloggers?

That they’re open to ideas and features opportunities. It’s great to work together on specific angles.
What would you like to see more of in the blogging industry?

Bloggers coming back to PR’s every quarter to see if we have any news to share. We try and keep our contacts updated with all the latest news, but it’s great to touch base and check in every now and then. It also strengthens the relationship.

More thorough features/reviews, not just one or two sentences. It’s very disappointing to see, especially when there has been an investment, either in a fee or by sending a product to the blogger.

Better quality images. There are no excuses these days. Mobile phones and Instagram filters means that anyone can have great images.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

How to get the most out of meetings & make them productive & useful

Organisations, businesses and individuals need to have meetings.  Sometimes face to face is the only technique to build relationships with your peers gets things moving.

Why do you think so many people feel meetings are a waste of time?

  • Because they are generally not ran properly, they do not keep to time and nothing really gets actioned. 
  • People don’t turn up on time or have to leave early
  • Some people don’t respect the other participants which leads to problems
  • There are too many of them
What are the most common mistakes made in meetings?

  • Actions from meetings are not made accountable i.e. people think they can get away with not carrying out their agreed task and wait until the next meeting or a meeting after that to give a reason why.
  • Late to meetings.  Participants don’t realise that actions are actually taken and given without them.  If the meeting starts on time and is ran correctly then no one should ever be late.
  • Meetings starting late.  This is disrespectful to the participants
  • Don’t stay on track and move off the subject being discussed
  • Running over
  • Travel it takes to get to them not considered

What can be done to make meetings more productive and useful?

  • Agenda one week beforehand so people can be prepared
  • Minutes from the last meeting attached
  • Get things sorted outside the meeting.  Small details can be ironed out and sorted before a meeting so you only confirm what is to be actioned inside the meeting.
  • Only discuss a certain amount of points and keep to time and don’t run over
  • Only have the necessary people at the meeting

Can you give any personal examples of good and bad practice around meetings?

  • I have been involved in hundreds of meetings and one good practice that the late Dame Anita Roddick  had was to lock the meeting room door if people were late.
  • She would then proceed to give all the actions to that person.  No one was ever late to a meeting with Anita.  Her time was to precious anyway.
  • Where a meeting lasted 4 hours.  No one can sit there for 4 hours and concentrate.

What tips would you give for making meetings productive and relevant?

  • The first thing you must always do with a meeting is get someone to chair it/run it and someone to take actions Keep them short and to the point.  The meeting will be well managed  
  • Some actions can be taken offline before the meeting ensuring that only the really important things that need a big discussion by the group get air time.
  • Use technology to get things sorted quickly outside of meetings – WhatsApp groups, messenger to get group agreement before a meeting
  • Don’t have so many so things have to be carried out between meetings – 4 a year
  • Get actioned confirmed by email on a regular basis.  Trello is a great PM tool.  My company use it and it’s very effective at getting results