Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Your PR Emerging from Lockdown

The reputation of any organisation can be built on how it adapts to a crisis and how that organisation’s customers responds in the aftermath.

In my many years of working in public relations, I have been witness to many crises in global, national and local PR, and I have found that the key to emerging unharmed from catastrophe is to address the concerns of your audience directly while maintaining a constant stream of communication.

Stay in touch with your customers

The current government-imposed lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on businesses, but the way you handle the crisis now is crucial as it will have a direct impact on the behaviour of your customers in the future.

When consumers finally come out of lockdown and start spending money freely again, it's likely that they'll choose the businesses that have kept in touch with them during the quarantine period.

However, in order to attract customers to spend their money on your products and services, they need to be given a compelling reason to do so. Staying silent will not encourage them to take action, so it's essential to communicate with your consumers and keep them updated on what you're doing while staying relevant.

Start planning ahead now!

Your post lockdown PR needs to start immediately. One of the first things that you need to do is to re-learn consumer patterns as consumer spending habits are changing. Prioritising main concerns over ease of purchase, social distancing and hygiene and communicating this to your audience effectively is essential.

Always ensuring that you follow through on your promises. The lockdown regulations are also a fantastic opportunity for local and online brands to attract customers, as people are currently either reluctant or unable to travel long distances.

In fact, 60% of all shopping has moved online too and telling your customers and new customers that you are now selling on the internet is an ongoing piece of work.

Consumer behaviour can change in the blink of an eye, so after three months of lockdown and a slow transition period of easing restrictions, it's likely that consumer habits will have changed for good.

To be prepared for this change and get a head start on your business promotions, get in touch with our expert team at redheadPR today by filling in our online contact form or by dropping us an email at sara@redheadpr.co.uk

Don’t leave it too late to tell your audience what you are doing.  Regularly and correctly.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Winners of The Whitewed Directory Awards 2019 Announced

The winners of The Whitewed Directory Awards 2019 were announced at a glamourous Awards ceremony held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon on Thursday 6 February 2020.  
The winners are:
·         Business of the Year 2019: George Goes Out, based in Devizes
·         Start-up Business of the Year 2019: MK Hair & Makeup, based in Pewsey
·         Most Inspiring Business Person of the Year 2019: Fluffy Puffin, based in Calne
·         The Peers Award 2019: Wendy House Flowers, based in Lyneham
·         The Director's Award 2019: Holly Robinson Jewellery and Willoughby & Wolf, based in Marlborough
The judging panel, who had to make extremely hard decisions in choosing the winners, comprised of three highly respected industry professionals: Sara Tye, award winning, top 500 international PR, business and organisational development expert and serial entrepreneur, Ian Larrard, Director of Business West in Swindon and Wiltshire, and Emma Richards, Director of Sales of DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon.
Sara Tye commented: “A huge congratulations to all the 2019 winners. The standard of entries increases year on year and this year was no exception. I’m always delighted to help celebrate great entrepreneurship!”
 “I am so thrilled for our four Whitewed Award winners, they beat off stiff competition as the standard of entries was so very high. To win is a great accolade. Congratulations too, to those companies who made the shortlist. This was a great achievement due to the extremely high standard of all entries,” said Natalie Lovett, Director of The Whitewed Directory.
Shirley Ludford, broadcaster and station manager of Swindon 105.5, the community radio station, was the keynote speaker.
Over the last five years, The Whitewed Directory members base has grown, and so have the relationships within it. Many members recommend each other and are often delighted to find out they will be working with each other, as they know they’ll be working alongside a professional and quality peer.  
"All of the entrants demonstrated real business acumen, a knowledge within their specific sector and crucially, a determination to succeed. The judges were so impressed with the high-quality entries, it was really tough for them to choose the winners,” said Lovett.
“All of us would like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered and offer our congratulations to the winners.”

Thursday, 6 February 2020


Less than 50% of key business decision makers have commissioned research to help develop their business. This comes from the latest research commissioned by Independent South West based PR consultancy redheadPR and conducted by YOLO Communications.

It was also found that only 41% of senior decision makers had commissioned research with their customers to help drive sales within their organisation.
“Data and information are the foundation of decision making. Without it, it’s harder for your stakeholders or customers to believe in you. For me and my business, it’s vital to have this data to be able to grow successfully.” said founder and managing director, Sara Tye, the award-winning business and organisational development expert, and a top 500 international PR and serial entrepreneur.
The Daily Mail recently reported that small firms are losing sales to rivals due to fake news.

“The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) stated within the Daily Mail report that small firms are reliant on online platforms to succeed. Something we can all relate to. With fake news rife in today’s news and social feeds, it can be hard to determine what to believe. Without the credible data to back it up, these articles can quickly have a damaging effect on any business.” continued Sara.

Other results found that senior decision makers commissioned research:
·         With their customers to help develop their business – 38%
·         With their target audience to produce competitive analysis - 28%
·         With their employees for internal feedback on their organisation - 28%
·         With a general audience to create content for PR, marketing and social media - 21%
It was also found that 15% of decision makers had never commissioned market research for their organisation.
“We also learned that only 33% of decision makers had commissioned any research to help them understand their key market. This means that much of their current understanding comes from opinion or anecdotal research, which could result in false and untrue information, leading them down the wrong path.” continued Sara.
Founded by Sara in 2003, redheadPR is a dynamic and independent public relations market leader and social media agency based in Swindon, Wiltshire that celebrated 15 years in business last year. 2018 saw the PR agency voted one of the top three marketing agencies in Swindon. The company manages the profiles of blue-chip corporations, products and well-known individuals, blending established and ground-breaking digital techniques for effective, compelling and brilliantly bespoke campaigns for clients.
To find out more about commissioning research, contact redheadPR: pr@redheadpr.co.uk.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Real Business asks Sara Tye what PR mistake stands out in her mind

The PR gaff that stands out in my mind, which took years to rectify, was the lack of comment and action from HRH The Queen post the death of the late Princess Diana. 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 communications 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 comment and return to London, and mourn the death of Princess Diana with the people.
The Queen made a decision to stay with the young boys in Scotland and unfortunately it was misinterpreted by the British people. 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, Princes William, social media to make sure our Queen is much more accessible. An accessibility that Princess Diana started.
Could this have been mitigated. Of course.
Better decision making and discussion at Buckingham Palace on immediate and short-term PR actions, plans and outcomes would have helped. Maybe the Royal household went into melt down at such an awful accident. It was huge! But it looked like it took too long.
What would have been the outcome of The Queen saying something quickly. Nothing but positive reaction. Sometimes emotions and feelings stop us doing things. But this was, in the end a ‘Royal Business/Organisation’ decision not just a personal one.
There was probably little communication of the current reaction in London and at the gates of Kensington Palace until they saw this themselves on the news. Had someone been there and relayed the information correctly, then maybe a different decision would have been made. London activity becomes national/international activity.
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. Or maybe it took the Duke of Cambridge and the effect on him and the way he carries himself.
The Queen was and is a professional and global ‘PR Maven’ and had an impeccable record before this incident and does now. It demonstrates how one decision can cancel out years of work.
Whenever a calamity hits and PR is at the forefront of the action, acting and making decisions are crucial. Sometimes they can be the wrong choices. But if you have great credibility in the first place, then turning this around into positive action and perception is not difficult. But saying and doing nothing is worse.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Top Swindon PR confirmed as judge in industry awards for the third year running

Leading Swindon PR consultant and award-winning serial entrepreneur, Sara Tye, is to judge The Whitewed Directory Awards 2019, for the third year in a row.
Sara Tye commented: “I’m honoured and excited to be asked back to judge these awards. The standard of entries increases year on year and I’m looking forward to the winners being announced in February 2020. I’m always delighted to help celebrate great entrepreneurship!”
Sara is an award-winning entrepreneur, top 500 PR, coach, speaker, mother and 70.3 triathlete. She is an acclaimed top 500 international PR who was a finalist in the first Cosmopolitan Women of the Year Awards in 1999.
Sara has joined some of the most influential people over the last three years as part of the judging panel. Now the PR is looking forward to repeating the experience in 2019 as the directory of recommended wedding suppliers across the south-west stages its third awards ceremony, launched to highlight and support the region's best wedding industry operators. 
This year, Sara is joined by director of sales of DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon Emma Richards. A key voice for businesses in the South West, Ian Larrard, who is director of the Initiative in Swindon and Wiltshire, completes the judging panel. 

The Whitewed Directory founder and managing director, Natalie Lovett, said, “A big thank you to 
Sara for joining our professional judging panel again this year. Her business acumen and experience means that she is rightly positioned to judge the entries and choose the very best applications to be put forward to the final.”
The shortlist has been revealed as:
Business of the Year 2019 Finalists:

Start-up Business of the Year 2019 Finalists:
Holly Robinson Jewellery
MK Hair & Makeup
Willoughby & Wolf

Most Inspiring Business Person of the Year 2019 Finalists:
Fluffy Puffin
MK Hair & Makeup
The Prosecco Party

The winners being announced at an Awards Ceremony on 6 February 2020 to be held at, and sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Understanding how leading and managing a business needs different skills and approaches

How do you define the difference between leading a business and managing it?
Leading is realising the vision and taking all stakeholders with you.

It’s about knowing how to take calculated risks and then getting everyone on board to move with you.

Knowing where to invest resources for growth, whatever that growth is.

Leadership is about ensuring the company is a good business – that it’s ethical, the right people and plan are in place to take the business where it needs to go.

Managing is making sure that the resources deliver a good return on investment and realistic goals are achieved i.e. time, machinery, people etc. A lot of these resources will soon be outsourced in businesses of the future.  Best supplier management understanding will be needed to fulfil this.

Is leadership and management mutually exclusive? Should small business owner/managers attempt to combine the two or excel at just one?

Sometimes, by the nature and size of business, the leader is the manager.  As organisations become smaller and flatter, then the leader/leadership team will have to manage.

There are, of course, pros & cons to that in itself.

But management should become easier as jobs/roles/functions are outsourced.  The outsourced function is managed in its own right.  It will be quality control/assurance that grows.

Should good leaders always surround themselves with excellent managers?

Why would a leader surround themselves with managers who don’t perform or deliver?
Managers of the future will need to become very solution driven to ensure continued performance.

Has the culture of business today meant more leaders or managers are needed to ensure commercial success in the marketplace?

Yes and No.

One leader can make the most commercially successful business in the market place.  But there will be smaller businesses doing many more outsourced activities so in affect more business leaders.
I’m a big advocate of technology and strongly believe that technology today enables you to do more with less people.  So yes more leaders and no.

What do you think the future of business leadership and management looks like?

I believe that businesses are going to become smaller and that they’ll be based on the theory of a shamrock organisation, which was predicted over 30 years ago.

The term was invented by Irish academic and management author/philosopher Charles Handy.

I studied management for six years, and as part of that, I read ‘The Age of Unreason’ by Charles Handy in 1990, and I’ve lived by his views the whole of my career. The book is more relevant today than it ever was. It’s hugely progressive, as was my management thinking at the time, I was only 21 when I read it.

We will not survive unless we adapt to the way the world is changing. This book is an inspiring vision of an era of new discoveries, new enlightenment and new freedoms.

Leadership will be about the disruption of where to take these smaller companies; taking the best ideas and then how to deliver it.

Managing will be different because more of resources will be outsourced, and probably across different continents

Are there any tools that leaders and managers can use to improve their skills?
Yes. Many.

I regularly help businesses declutter and process map, become objective and goal driven.

Stop wasting time on superfluous activity.

Invest in:

Self-development through
Other peers

Any other comments you would like to make?

You can learn a lot from great leaders.