What is it really like being a journalist?

There is a wonderful, romantic myth about journalism that persists. It involves well-seasoned (and possibly oiled) reporters sitting around in bars, spending endless hours speaking to contacts in order to ferret out a gem of a story. It may have been true once (if so, sadly I missed this golden age) but today’s journalists are a different breed. They have deadlines, and lots of them, in fact ... [More]

Social media: The Emperor’s New Clothes?

I was speaking to some successful business owners this week who confessed that while their company had social media channels, they had no idea what benefits they were getting from them. They were pretty well convinced the whole thing was a waste of time, but felt they had to be seen to be involved, because everyone else was. It al sounded a bit like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. I ... [More]

In praise of the local rag

The local newspaper – once a common sight on coffee tables across the UK – is starting to look as out of date as a record player. Not so long ago if you wanted to move house, needed a new job, wondered what the council was up to, or who had been up to no good, there was just one place to go – the daily or weekly newspaper. Now Facebook is the no 1 news referral website, 95% of all UK homes ... [More]

Story telling – the smart way to market

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin… I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture that makes our ears prick up at the hint of a tale, but there’s something special about stories, something that makes us pay attention. Great speakers and salespeople know that when they are trying to explain or sell something, the moment they relate that into a real life story, the audience or prospect will ... [More]

Social media: Plan your web of wonders

Have you ever tried to quickly check or post something on Facebook and caught yourself, 25 minutes later still stuck in the social media abyss? Something caught your eye, there was a comment that had to be made, a new friend added or… who knows?  We’ve all been there. This is of no great significance if you are using personal time, but if this is dedicated work time, then it can feel very much ... [More]

E-newsletter v paper newsletter: Which is best?

I overheard a conversation the other day between two very experienced business people about newsletters. One felt that e-newsletters were better, arguing that they are the way that many people prefer to receive information these days. The other felt that the rush to email meant that paper newsletters stand out more in these days of depleted post bags. Both felt that their preferred format was ... [More]

The business advantage every SME has over corporate goliaths

This weekend means yet another children’s party and yet another weekday lunchtime dash to get a gift. Usually this means a ‘grab what I can’ at the supermarket while picking up the office milk. This week I did something different… I went to the local toyshop. What a different experience! I was sorted with an age appropriate gift, wrapping and a card with the right number on it in five minutes ... [More]

Don’t let client ignorance rob your business

I heard an all too common story yesterday from a very established businessman: He’d lost out on tens of thousands of pounds (around £30,000 in fact) of work from a client. What’s more this wasn’t a disgruntled client, this was someone who liked, knew and trusted him. The reason he lost out on the work? The client didn’t know he could do it! It’s not a unique story, in fact I’ve heard ... [More]

Britain PLC is crying out for some positive PR

Great news, you would think. But the expert being interviewed said that a lot of this was down to the Olympics (yes the same event that was previously being blamed for slashing productivity). Now I understand that London had a whale of a time with that event, and it was truly spectacular, but for the rest of the country it was a spectator sport. Even accounting for  the electricity that fed ... [More]