Monthly Archives: June 2011

What does she do all day?

I am always telling people that they should share more of themselves online.

Successful businesses on Twitter let us into their lives in the most fascinating way with behind-the scenes snippets of the world they inhabit. I love hearing about menu meetings with chefs and chats with wine suppliers or tales of wonderful new product discoveries.

So – deep breath – I thought I’d tell you a little bit about me and what I get up to all day.

So much of my working life is spent in front of the computer that I have decided to use my time out in the world to really challenge myself – so I have signed up for a half marathon. The increasingly painful running sessions give me the chance to explore the lovely Berkshire countryside where I live and exercise the dog at the same time – what’s not to like?

The downside is that I am knackered and now have to find time to schedule a nap after my long runs! Today I did 9 miles and am sitting a little gingerly on the chair, but I am nevertheless refreshed and raring to go.

Most of my work at the moment involves social media of one sort or another and I am thrilled to see many of my long-term goals paying off. As a one woman band I often have to decide on the best way to do things by myself so I am delighted with this success. I have discovered that it really is possible to base your entire PR effort on social media and the more people who realise this the better! No need for horrid cold calling and spray and pray press releases. Over time you can make the contacts you need to succeed using social media alone.

When I am not running and performing social media magic I have been known to get involved in other writing projects, including blogs, copywriting, editing and other forms of intelligent and imaginative tap tapping on the keyboard (tell me what you need and I’ll tell you if I do it)

And then there comes a time in the day when I close it all down and dedicate myself to my kids (although they need me less and less). When they come home from school they are invariably grumpy and want feeding, feeding again and taking to things – and who can blame them, I wouldn’t want to be at school all day – been there and done that.

I am delighted to be able to be there for them – my proper career was as a BBC newsreader and journalist, which I adored, but it would not have left me any time to be the mum I want to be. I do sometimes regret that they never got to hear me on the radio – but I do voice overs sometimes and they are not that interested, so maybe I would have been disappointed?

And then it is time for DH to return – the life of the commuter is a hard one and so it’s best smiles on and a freshly cooked dinner on the table – perhaps a well deserved glass of wine? (if he sees this he will smirk as 1950s housewife I am not, but I am a decent cook)

That’s me then –  how about you?

P.S. I positively welcome new projects so if there is something you think I can help you with, do give me a shout!

Why you can’t count on the media to play your game.

It is tempting to think that when we need publicity or a few new customers, all we need to do is open the PR tap and out they come.

But or course good marketing and PR doesn’t come with an on/off switch – it’s a lot more complicated than that. For a start you can’t bank on the media playing your game.

I was reminded of this the other day because someone I know was involved in a big publicity launch and while they got some very high quality coverage the overwhelming vibe was pretty hostile. The Times was given the exclusive and was consequently pretty favourable, but the BBC and the papers that followed it up decided to take a fairly critical line.

Journalists will rarely run a story straight off the bat unless they are getting first crack at it – they will be looking for the angle and will want to test the arguments with well-informed critics. This is not because they are a stroppy bunch but because they don’t want to be seen giving out free passes. If you want your product/service publicised you have to be prepared to see it put under public scrutiny.

TIP :- If you want to insult a journalist accuse them of running stories which amount to little more than publicity puffs. Journalists really can’t stand the idea that PRs might want something for free.

The upshot was that the story got out there and under the mantra that all publicity is good publicity they succeeded – but novices to the game might be surprised by the roughness of the ride.