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HOW TO | Use National Awareness Days the right way

For me, there's nothing worse than an organisation using an awareness day for using an awareness days sake. Whether this be content on the radio (it happens, soooo much), or on social media for a client, it should be used effectively! There's no need to be celebrating World Pen Day for your Mattress Client, but there are days which most brands get on board with - International Women's Day, International Day of Happiness and Bring your Dog to Work Day to name a few.

When planning social media content for yourself, your brand or a client it's important to stay relevant, interesting and informative. No matter what platform you're using it's always important to change up the content, a feed that's purely business focussed can seem too salesy and turn people away. Obviously you want to create leads to your business, but it's also important to show some variety by finding that content balance, you're also going to build brand awareness and likability by doing so.

With all this in mind, here's some ideas on how to use awareness days the right way to get the right coverage and interaction for your business or brand:


Plan, plan and plan some more

If you're planning on using a certain national awareness day, week or month in your content, it's so so important to plan ahead - as once it's happened it's gone. Often if an awareness day is linked with a charity, or another organisation, they'll send out suggested themes, socials and graphics which is good in terms of working in collaboration.

When running an awareness day campaign, planning is especially important if you want to target the print media that often work months in advance. Select the dates early that have the most synergy with your brand, as many may be related to your niche, or of interest to your audience. And don't forget to use social media analytics to help you understand what type of content your audience likes and responds well to, so you can do more of what works.

Get creative!

An awareness day is the perfect way to get creative with your PR, rather than just rolling out an unimaginative tweet using the awareness day hashtag, why not be creative and think how you can make it interesting and relevant to YOUR audience. For example, for take your dog to work day, why not try getting the entire office involved, make an infographic with photos and facts about the dogs or make a cute video to share on your socials!

Only take notice of the relevant days

As mentioned previously, there's no point in 'celebrating' an awareness day if it's completely irrelevant to yourself, a client or your brand. Although, they don't need to be directly linked, many can be used to highlight a key message or be used to have some light-hearted fun in the office - showing what you support as a business and adding some personality to your organisation.

Get yourself an awareness day calendar! (Or make one) 

I made one of these myself at work and I'm VERY proud of it, simply buy a cheap calendar from the pound shop (other stores are available), and take some time at the beginning of each month to note the time-worthy awareness days. Not only will this mean you don't miss any, you can also tailor it to each client or theme and it's helpful for everyone else in the office in terms of tailoring social media, articles and campaigns!



What do you think? Are awareness days a handy PR tool or a waste of time? For me the takeaway key point is that while awareness days are not a media story, they can provide an excellent 'hook' for one when used effectively! The more creative, the better. Let me know what you think below!

Beth x

Meet the PRofessionals | Arianne Smart, KOR Communications

Welcome to the third instalment of my 'Meet the PRofessionals' series! I've been really enjoying interviewing some amazing PR professionals from around the country to share their experience, opinions on the industry and words of wisdom - so keep your eyes peeled each week for new additions. This third time round, my PRofessional in the spotlight is Arianne Smart!


What is 'Meet the PRofessionals'? 

That's why I wanted to start this series, that I'll hopefully be posting a new addition to each week. A space where we can be inspired to learn and be successful like these people. I have asked those important questions to gain an insight into the industry of how these PRofessionals got to where they are today, and how as a PR student we can emulate their success.

Also, if you're reading this and in the PR industry please do get in touch! I'd absolutely love to hear from you and I'm sure many other students would benefit from the advice you have to share. But for now, let's get into it...

When I started studying PR I often found it difficult to find how other people got into the industry and have always found it interesting when speaking to professionals that everyone takes their own path, it tends to be that no two people got into the industry the same way.

Meet the PRofessional: Arianne Smart

Arianne is a digital PR specialist & account manager at KOR Communications and an award-winning blogger, having been awarded the title of Britain's best PR student blogger in 2016, she's now over on arianneonline.com and is one of my favourite blogs to keep up to date with social media and PR trends, I especially learnt a lot about Twitter from her recent posts! Since graduating from the University of Sunderland three years ago Arianne has went from strength to strength, which is why I wanted to learn a bit more about her...

1. How did you get started in PR? 

I studied PR with French at the University of Sunderland and fell in love with PR. After getting as much work experience as I could while at university, I was lucky enough to secure an account executive role at a PR and marketing agency in the North East after graduating, before moving back to my home county of Devon to the role I'm in now.

2. What is your current job title and what do you love about your job?

I'm an Account Manager. It's so cliché but I love that every day is different. From corporate press stories to creative campaigns, from social media management to events, there is just so much variety. I learn something new every day (there you go, another cliché), whether it's something about the industry our clients operate in or how to improve my writing, I feel like I get a little better at the job all the time. I think people would be surprised to hear how challenging PR can be, but the rewards are so worth it. The buzz you get from securing a great piece of coverage or winning a new pitch will never get old (I hope!)

3. Why did you choose a career in PR? 

At school and college, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career so took a year out before university to work it all out. PR encompasses many of the things I enjoy, so I thought it sounded like the right career for me. Luckily, within the first few months of studying, I knew I was right!

4. What does your daily routine look like? 

I don't live far from the office, so after a quick commute, I start the day by checking my emails and then checking client social media accounts, responding to anything and sharing content for that day. From there, anything can happen - I've often got a press release or two to be working on, a blog post to research and write, perhaps some website copy to put together. We have regular meetings with clients or conference calls for those further away to establish priorities and stay up to speed with what's coming up. I like to check the newspapers over lunch - local or national - and will keep an eye on online news channels throughout the day too.

5. Can you describe your job in three words? 

Creative, strategic, challenging.

6.  Who has been your biggest role model in your career so far and why?  

That's really hard to say as there are so many people doing great things in the industry and I've learnt a lot from different people I have met throughout my (albeit quite short so far!) career. One person I have followed and admired since I started studying is Aliza Licht.  I read her book 'Leave Your Mark' whilst I was at university and, although she works in fashion PR, I found her creativity and drive to succeed really inspiring. Following her on Twitter, I get little doses of that every day. I also read a number of Professor Anne Gregory's books for university and she is an ambassador for professionalising the industry which I find inspiring. I have learnt a lot from her books.

7. What type of person thrives at your organisation? 

I don't think PR suits just one particular type of person, there's place in PR for people will all kinds of skills and all kinds of personality types and to be a good agency or comms team there needs to be a balance. 

8. What are three must-haves that are crucial for you to get the job done?

Good organisational skills - I know this is said for many jobs, but it is essential to keep yourself organised in an agency. You'll be working for a number of clients with differing deadlines, priorities and workloads, so knowing how to keep on top of that, manage your time effectively and make sure nothing slips through the net is vital.

Strong writing skills - might sound obvious but it is something you are going to be doing every day in some shape or form. Strong writing skills that you can adapt for different purposes are a must.

Curiosity - to get a good story and to make the most of opportunities, you need to be curious... and dare I say it a little bit nosey. Interviewing people and getting the story out of them can be a challenge, but being unafraid to ask questions (but of course, asking them in the right way) is so important. You need to want to know about everything and anything going on with your client, their industry and their peers.

9. What is the most memorable or meaningful moment in your career so far? 

I was awarded the CIPR Douglas Smith student award, alongside my fellow students Hannah and Lauren, in 2015 which was a pretty special moment. A lot of time, effort, research and creativity went into the campaign we submitted, so to know we were doing excellent work was really exciting. Landing my first ever piece of client coverage in print was very exciting too!  I graduated just under three years ago now, so I'm hoping there are plenty more memorable moments to come.

10. What do you wish more people understood about the PR industry? 

It's not all creative campaigns and champagne parties like Absolutely Fabulous and other such shows would lead you to believe. And we're not all spin doctors trying to hide the truth and mislead people.

11. And finally, what advice would you give to a PR student like myself that is looking for a foot in the door in the PR industry?

Get as much experience as you can - blogging, work experience, guest posts, internships - whatever you can do, do. Every job interview I've been to I've been asked for examples of my work, so generate these at any opportunity and keep track of them.

I'd also encourage students to engage with people who they aspire to be like. Follow PR people on Twitter to see what they do day to day, ask them about their role, ask them for advice. Or find out what events are going on locally that you could go along to. I've found it to be a very welcoming industry, fellow PR people have been more than happy to share advice, offer feedback or just chat about the job. But if you don't ask, you don't get!

Thanks Arianne! It's always great to see a Sunderland alumni doing so well!

The positive impacts of social media influencers

Is anyone else SO over the constant going at influencers? I do understand that many influencers over recent years have made mistakes - in terms of spreading fake news, not being transparent about ads and Logan Paul for one... but lets not tarnish all influencers with one brush! After scrolling through the #BBCPanarama hashtag during their documentary on influencers a few weeks back and all the Fyre Festival coverage, the amount of negativity concerning social media work was incredible when realistically these cases only concerned a handful of influencers. I almost feel like the mainstream media and potentially the older generation don't completely know how to cope with this new wave of online engagement and content so for most the instant reaction is to heavily criticise.

I can't remember the last time I saw any positive coverage concerning social media influencers, bloggers or vloggers so I decided to write my own and try to balance all of this negativity going around. These people are followed by millions of people - these people aren't going to follow someone they hate or are against for everything they stand for? I think a little perspective is needed in terms of online influencers. Here's a quick look at some of the positive impacts social media influencers can have:



They raise awareness

Bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers have millions and millions of followers across different platforms online and this is often an incredible platform to promote a product, charity or message, to start campaigns and share something they're passionate about and more. I'm sure instead of a news story about 6 or 7 influencers that have broken the rules, we'd rather read a story about how much money influencers have raised for charity and the change they've made (or at least have both).

They create communities

These influencers tend to have a niche, even within the PR blogging community everyone sparks conversation and learns from each other over a common interest. As these influencers are building communities over a common interest, their audience tends to be very niche and is the perfect way for brands to select which influencer to work with depending on their audiences and interests.

They're normally happy to chat!

My undergraduate degree is actually in Broadcast Journalism, and I've found one main crossover with that and PR is that when finding sources and people to talk to, social media influencers are usually happy to talk compared to your standard 'celebrity'. At the end of the day the world is a lonely place when you're working for yourself! The one perk of them working on social media is that they're ALWAYS online, there's always an expert blogger or vlogger on any topic, it's like having a whole host of experts at the click of a button!

They provide FREE entertainment

Free entertainment is often difficult to come by in this day and age. Unlike a newspaper, magazine or Netflix account, you don't have to pay a penny to follow a social media account, watch a YouTube video or read a blog, it's all completely free! There are millions of profiles from across the world providing tonnes of FREE content for us all to consume everything from the latest make up trends to holiday ideas. This is an element of influencer work that should be celebrated and in my opinion more credit should be given to all of those who share their passions online to help and inspire others.

It still to this day blows my mind that I can search a geotag on Instagram for a destination I'm planning on visiting and can plan out where to eat, what to see and where the best photo spots are at the destination, Instagram shows us much more than Tripadvisor or a holiday brochure ever could!

They're normal people

I think the one thing about influencers that most people forget they're actually just normal people (or at least they start out like that). Most 'social media influencers' juggle careers, life AND work hard on their blogs, vlogs and profiles because of their passion for it. I'd love to see more support for everyone and the fact that there are so many people worldwide working their socks off, being proactive because it's what they love to do - don't let a few bad eggs ruin the dozen!


What do you think? Do you think we need to be thinking more about the positive impact of these influencers? Let me know below!

Beth x

Meet the PRofessionals | Fran Ratliff, O PR

Hello and welcome to the second instalment of my 'Meet the PRofessionals' series! I'm interviewing some amazing PR professionals from around the country to share their experience, opinions on the industry and words of wisdom - so keep your eyes peeled each week for new additions. The second time round, my PRofessional in the spotlight is girl boss Fran Ratliff!

What is 'Meet the PRofessionals'? 

When I started studying PR I often found it difficult to find how other people got into the industry and have always found it interesting when speaking to professionals that everyone takes their own path, it tends to be that no two people got into the industry the same way.

That's why I wanted to start this series, that I'll hopefully be posting a new addition to each week. A space where we can be inspired to learn and be successful like these people. I have asked those important questions to gain an insight into the industry of how these PRofessionals got to where they are today, and how as a PR student we can emulate their success.

Also, if you're reading this and in the PR industry please do get in touch! I'd absolutely love to hear from you and I'm sure many other students would benefit from the advice you have to share. But for now, let's get into it...

Meet the PRofessional: Fran Ratliff

OPR are a PR agency based in Newcastle that have won over 50 industry awards in the last 10 years, making them one of the most awarded agencies outside of London! (They also have the cutest office dog ever - Beau, the Black Labrador). Fran oversees the account management team at O to ensure they deliver strategic integrated campaigns for all clients, providing an excellent quality of service and ensuring that everything happens on time.

It has been great to learn how Fran got into the industry and she has shared some invaluable advice on how to get into PR. As an established public relations practitioner with plenty of experience you can tell that Fran really knows her stuff, so let's find out a little more about her...

1. How did you get started in PR? 

I studied Geography at University, but had always liked the idea of travel writing. After graduating I travelled abroad for a couple of years and did some freelance writing, but didn’t really know much about ‘PR’ or how to get into it at the time. Back in the UK I saw a job advert for a PR assistant role in an organisation I really admired, got talking to the right people (there was an extreme element of luck and being in the right place at the right time as I had no experience!) and the rest is history.

2. What is your current job title and what do you love about your job?

I’m Head of Client Services at O and have been in the role almost three years. I love that I get to do a bit of everything – look after our clients and our people whilst having a say in the decisions which are helping drive O forwards and shaping its future with the senior management team. It’s a great mix.  

3. Why did you choose a career in PR? 

It bridges content creation with people – two of my favourite things.

4. What does your daily routine look like? 

No day is ever the same but they always start with an early nursery drop off to send my two-year-old on his way, following which I usually head either straight into the office or visit one of our clients. We introduced Agile in early 2018 so the morning can be peppered with team Kanbans to see where client accounts are at, during which I’ll provide any direction or senior level support advice the guys might need to move things forwards. I line manage a number of people in the team so I’ll often have several one-to-ones with staff during the week as well as lead on any personal development sessions they might need as part of our in-house training school, the Ocademy

5. Can you describe your job in three words? 

Fast-paced, unpredictable, rewarding

6.  Who has been your biggest role model in your career so far and why?  

Without a doubt our MD and my mentor, Kari Owers – I was in the lucky position of working closely with her when I first joined O so I have definitely learnt from the best!

 7. What type of person thrives at your organisation? 

Someone who is curious and asks questions. It is a cliché but being a team player is a non-negotiable, we are all so busy there’s no room for ego here and we always have each other’s backs. Also, someone who is well networked.

Perhaps most importantly, showing you aren’t afraid to work really hard from the outset will put you in excellent stead.

8. What are three must-haves that are crucial for you to get the job done?

The ability to focus, multitask and excellent interpersonal skills.

9. What is the most memorable or meaningful moment in your career so far? 

Probably being offered the role of Head of Client Services at O – the role was created around me and my skill set, which has to be one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received.

I also have to add the more recent moment which led me to meet Trinny Woodall. We were supporting Fenwick Newcastle with the launch of her make-up brand and she was incredible – all I had hoped for and more!

10. What do you wish more people understood about the PR industry? 

That it is absolutely vital for a business – whatever the size. The comms advisor should always have a seat at the board room table and ideally next to the key strategy makers. When implemented well, PR can achieve incredible results which impact bottom line. We are lucky to have a client base which values our contribution and they involve us in top level business discussions, ensuring we can get under the skin of their organisation and provide meaningful counsel.

11. And finally, what advice would you give to a PR student like myself that is looking for a foot in the door in the PR industry?

Work experience isn’t enough these days – do try and secure placements where you can but also think really carefully about what can set you apart from your peers and use it to your advantage – from how you present your CV through to any unique interests or passions you might have. Also, network, network, network!


Thanks you so much for your time Fran – it's been great to learn more about you and the impressive agency that is OPR!  

5 reasons why brands should start a podcast 🎙️

Podcasting is now one of the biggest audio mediums, from personality and comedy to educational and horror, there really is a podcast out there for everyone and is a platform that over the past year brands have started to get on the back of and be really successful doing so.

Pretty Little Thing's podcast is now one of my current favourites - they've really hit the nail on the head for their target listeners. Guests such as Maya Jama, Sophia & Cinzia (YouTubers) and Megan Barton-Hanson (Love Island) means it's the perfect content for PLT's target audience and it shows in the ratings shooting up the iTunes charts every time a new episode comes out. Another branded podcast that I've enjoyed is #LIPSTORIES (by Sephora), the podcast that tells real "stories from everyday lives" of "influential female founders, creators and thought leaders", all while promoting the Sephora "lipsticks for real life" arm of the campaign and within the first 3 episodes they achieved a 5 star rating on iTunes. So why are these brands using podcasts to reinforce their brands...

1. It adds some personality to your brand and builds a relationship

A 30-second TV or Instagram ad is nice, but if a company has a larger message they want to convey and add some personality, a podcast is the perfect platform to tell a story and convey that over multiple episodes. Even though a podcast is a one-sided medium, it helps in building effective relationships with the listeners. People listen to podcast because they have something in common with the speaker and the brand or topic the speaker is representing, it gives the feeling that the listeners know the person speaking on the podcast after just a few episodes.

A good relationship between a brand and it's audience is key in building trust. This encourages listeners to be associated with the brand. Which, in turn, leads to improved conversation, people are of course more likely to buy something from a friend than a stranger.

2. They're easy and cheap to create!

Creating a podcast doesn't involve a lot of steps at all, the equipment needed for them are reasonably priced and easily available. A podcast can quite literally be created and edited down on voice memos  (or an alternative) on your phone, no audio experience is necessarily required to create a podcast. Once the podcast is created, getting people to listen to it is just as easy - there's free options such as PodBean and SoundCloud or for a small fee you can make your podcast available on all the major listening apps such as iTunes and Spotify.

3. Why not video record it as well?

It's not that much more effort to set up a camera or even an iPhone camera and post your podcast to YouTube, it's all about maximising your audience and listenership and getting your brand out there.

4. Reach out to new, loyal audiences

Using podcasts can easily help you reach out to new audiences for any brand. No matter how big or small the brand may be, a podcast can help in building familiarity with a wide range of audiences. Once someone listens and likes a podcast, they send to subscribe to the series and regularly listen. As long as the series continues, the audience is likely to keep listening.

5. Podcasts are highly engaging

In this day and age we are no strangers to an information overload, with the internet being filled with an enormous amount of written content, an audio platform that attempts to engage with customers can be the perfect break from the norm - I always find with a podcast you can listen to it while doing something else and still enjoy them. This leaves enough room for the speaker to get the message across in a highly interactive, personal way which written content may not be able to provide.

In a recent survey conducted on 300,000 podcast listeners, it was found that 63% of respondents had bought what product the host had promoted. Suggesting that a podcast can be used successfully to engage the audience and influence their buying decisions positively!



Have you got any favourite podcasts? I'm always looking for new ones so let me know below!

Beth x

Meet the PRofessionals | Deb Sharratt, Deb Sharratt Communications

Welcome to the first instalment of my 'Meet the PRofessionals' series on this blog, see what I did there? I'm interviewing some amazing PR professionals from around the country to share their experience, opinions on the industry and words of wisdom - so keep your eyes peeled each week for new additions. The first time round, my PRofessional in the spotlight is Deb Sharratt.

What is 'Meet the PRofessionals'? 

When I started studying PR I often found it difficult to find how other people got into the industry and have always found it interesting when speaking to professionals that everyone takes their own path, it tends to be that no two people got into the industry the same way.

That's why I wanted to start this series, that I'll hopefully be posting a new addition to each week. A space where we can be inspired to learn and be successful like these people. I have asked those important questions to gain an insight into the industry of how these PRofessionals got to where they are today, and how as a PR student we can emulate their success.

Also, if you're reading this and in the PR industry please do get in touch! I'd absolutely love to hear from you and I'm sure many other students would benefit from the advice you have to share. But for now, let's get into it...

Meet the PRofessional: Deb Sharratt  

Deb Sharratt is founder and owner of Deb Sharratt Communications, an award-winning PR practitioner who also has her own blog and media space, My Boys Club, which is an integral part of the business. Deb is also a CIPR Council Member, PR lecturer and Vice-Chair of CIPR North East, and the 2018 winner of the 'Outstanding Independent Practitioner' category at the CIPR North East PRide Awards. With her extensive CV and years of PR knowledge I can't think of anyone better to launch this 'Meet the PRofessionals' series.


1. How did you get started in PR? 

I studied Media, Culture & Society as an undergraduate, however I then trained as a probation officer before a change in career and my first PR job was as Fundraising & PR Officer for Children North East. However as a student I'd been an elected student union officer on a platform of communicating and campaigning at the University of Birmingham, and spent lots of my spare time at University on the entertainments committee booking and promoting events, so I guess it was my destiny! I then took a professional PR qualification whilst working at Children North East.


2. What is your current job title and what do you love about your job?

I'm an independent PR Practitioner and have four different work strands. I work alone, but also with colleagues as an associate for other agencies. I teach at Newcastle University and Sunderland University and also professional CIPR qualifications for nesma; and I write a family lifestyle, travel and food blog.

What I have always loved about PR is the flexibility and unpredictability of everyday. And that through PR you can support an organisation, business or individual to achieve their objectives and contribute to their purpose, and really make a difference. I also love the many different people I get to meet, life is about relationships and PR is definitely a job where you get to develop relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.


3. Why did you choose a career in PR? 

Thirty years ago I don't think I really 'chose' a PR career. It wasn't mentioned as a career at school, it wasn't an academic subject that could be studied easily, there wasn't much written about PR as an industry outside of London, and when it was the focus was very much on media relations. I chose the role at Children North East because I liked what the charity stood for, its values and thought I could help them to achieve what they were trying to do. This approach has influenced my career ever since.

4. What does your daily routine look like? 

No two days are the same I know that. If I don't have any urgent work or an appointment or meeting before 10.30am I try and swim after taking my kids to school, but I will have already checked the news, emails and social media before and after breakfast.The rest of the day is a combination of planning, research, meetings, phone calls, admin and evaluation unless I am teaching. I take a break, if possible, when my children finish school and then I'm happy to work into the early evening or attend evening events. I set my own hours and this works for me, but you do have to be very organised and disciplined to work independently.

5. Can you describe your job in three words? 

Communication. Challenging. Creative.

6.  Who has been your biggest role model in your career so far and why? 

I think you always learn a lot from your first employer. At Children North East my boss was the CEO and was very inspirational in relation to what she had achieved but she always put people first, listened to and guided people no matter who they were.

7. What type of person thrives at your organisation? 

Me! But someone who is willing to learn, share, grow and is organised and disciplined but also willing to help others to be the same. More interested in the collective success than individual egos.

8. What are three must-haves that are crucial for you to get the job done?

A professional approach, knowledge, skills and expertise and a willingness to really listen.

9. What is the most memorable or meaningful moment in your career so far? 

Winning Independent PR Practitioner in the CIPR PRide Awards in the North East for the second time in 2018 was a very special moment. Working independently can be difficult and challenging but recognition from your industry and peers is a very welcome confidence boost. But equally so is also the moment when you step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Personal development however achieved is meaningful and memorable.

10. What do you wish more people understood about the PR industry? 

That PR really can make a difference. That it is not just about writing a press release or a tweet. That it is integral to the business or organisation and has a worth and value to society as a whole.

11. And finally, what advice would you give to a PR student like myself that is looking for a foot in the door in the PR industry?

Lots!
  1. Have conversations and ask questions both in person and in the virtual world.
  2. Take advantage of technology and learn how to use it for good not evil.
  3. Expand your networks and reach outside of your own bubble, to further your understanding and knowledge.
  4. Always have a willingness to learn. Read books, watch and listen to video, podcasts to help you form your own opinions about things - don't rely on what someone else says.
  5. Challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. 
  6. Offer your opinion when appropriate but also learn how to listen.
  7. Join the CIPR - and not just join but participate - you really do get back out what you put in.
  8. Know your own values and try to live up to them. 
  9. Learn from mistakes but don't punish yourself.
  10. And finally above all else be kind.

Thanks for your time Deb – you're one of the reasons this blog was born and you’ve shared some great advice to go forward with! 

PR Lessons you can learn from your younger self

Family days really are the best sort of days, every single week without fail we'll go and visit both sets of grandparents but today has been especially family orientated, it's been one of those days where the parents get out the old *usually embarrassing* photo albums and even some videos of my childhood, which has been lovely to sit and reminisce on. But today has got me thinking, I worried a lot less as a child, you're care-free and without the responsibilities of uni, work and the only social life you had to worry about was the kids at the soft play. Here are some of the things we can learn about PR from our younger selves:

We couldn't do a post about child me without a throwback photo now could we! 

Don't be scared to try new things 

So what if it doesn't work out the first time? You'll never know until you try and that doesn't mean it should stop us trying new things. There always has to be someone who does something for the first time, whether it be a new strategy or a campaign idea, speak up! Especially if you think something is not going right or could be done better then say so - don't just watch your team fail in silence and then lay blame.

Be creative

So what if that toilet roll tube isn't an aeroplane/rocket? We can sure make it be one. Using your imagination is key in PR but some practitioners forget this in favour of old habits and the same routine. It's cliché to say, but remember to think outside the box, creative solutions are our thing.

Dream BIG and don't limit yourself

Following on from being creative, make sure you use your imagination, we can always do what we put our minds too. 'I want to be an astronaut! A singer! A fireman! A doctor!' These are all things we hear little kids say and they're all possible. We are never too old to dream a new dream, why not create something that's never been done before? What's the point of building a lego tower three blocks high? Personally, I want my tower to break through the ceiling. As they say, go big or go home.

Look at things from a different perspective

Things look a lot less scary when you're three. You're in your own bubble and this got me thinking a lot about public opinion, it's so important to put yourself in other people's shoes when working in PR and tailoring any campaign work and key messages.

Be honest

Kids always say it how it is no matter how awkward they might make situations... but it's an important trait to have! Take responsibility for your actions. Don't beat around the bush. Don't care so much about what other people think. Also, be honest about yourself, there is a very very thin line between creatively promoting yourself and completely lying about your experience. Make the most of your achievements but don’t lose perspective. Writing a food blog, is not the same as having professional catering experience. Honesty is always the best policy and especially in the working world, it only takes a phone call or two to quickly reveal the truth!

Ask questions

Kids want to know everything. Whether it's in regards to their surroundings, what someone has told them, or what they are watching on TV. They have extremely curious souls and are always pondering, so why stop when you grow up? Just because you've graduated, or settled into a career, doesn't mean you need to stop learning, you never know what could come from it! As they say, every day's a school day!

Just go for it 

Kids really have no sense of fear. Do now, worry later was very much my thinking as a child according to my mam and that's really a lesson we can really take into our PR lives. If you're not brave enough to go for the big campaigns, jobs or clients you might find that your PR world stays very small.

Brands Get Mushy for Valentine's Day 2019 ❤️

Valentine's day is one of my favourite times of year when it comes to PR campaigns, it's a date that every brand gets on board with (or should be) and has brought out some brands best work. However, in my opinion, the build up to Valentine's Day 2019 hasn't been as 'extra' as last years, think Greggs' Valentine's 2018 campaign. As you probably already know the big day falls this Thursday so I've highlighted my favourite 2019 brand contributions to the annual celebration of love (so far)... 

Marks & Spencer's Love Sausage

This has been widely spoke about across national media for obvious reasons, because of course what says romance more than a giant, heart-shaped, bacon-wrapped sausage? The £5 sausage is "lightly truffled" and M&S suggest you serve it with two fried eggs in the middle. 


The usually conservative brand announced the launch in a tweet, and the people of the internet judging by its replies were both shocked and appalled by the retailer's bold innuendo that's certainly got people talking! This special offer has been so popular online that they've now sold out in most stores across the country and people were asking for a vegan opinion - so M&S introduced their heart-beet burger! Made with roasted beetroot and sweet onions, there really is something for everyone this Valentines over at M&S.

KFC's Popcorn Chicken Flower Bouquet & Colonel Sanders Rug competition

KFC really have went all out this valentine's in an attempt to stand out from their competitors from chicken bouquets to a Colonel Sanders bear rug! They've already supplied the scented candles, so it only makes sense for KFC to have partnered with Reddit to host a competition to giveaway a Colonel Sanders Rug to complete the 'perfect' Valentine's Day night. (See below, it's actually quite scary)

To enter the competition, fans simply need to pick one of three ways to play, including a 'photoshop battle' where competitors must transform the image of the Colonel Sanders rug "into a humorous, outlandish or romantic digital masterpiece" - I bet they get some interesting entries! The Valentine's Day prize package also sounds like a dream, it includes two fried chicken onesies, a gift card for a two for a year, and a yearly subscription to an online streaming service - completing the perfect KFC Valentine's night in!


Roses are red, violets are blue, here's some flowers with fried chicken in them too...? The one day a year you are encouraged to show your favourite person just how much they mean to you and according to KFC, nothing says true love quite like a bouquet of chicken! Another way KFC are celebrating the occasion is by revealing the "Bouquet de Poulet", featuring luxurious red roses, intertwined with Hot Wings, Popcorn Chicken and tender Fillets - all in one infamous KFC bucket! Sadly, these aren't available in stores but it's encouraged to buy your loved one some roses and why not add some KFC chicken... right? 

Aunt Bessies Heart-Shaped Yorkshire Puddings 

This is a great idea if you ask me, the way to a girl's heart is most definitely though a Sunday dinner and why not add some extra looove with a heart-shaped Yorkshire! Aunt Bessies have decided to make a limited edition version of their classic treat for Valentine's Day, so you can jazz up your romantic roast this Thursday. It's the same 1995 recipe as the original and they'll be available until March - spreading the love throughout the full month of February! These come in a pack of 6 and cost just £1.50, which is a steal when you think of the usual prices of Valentine's products.

Poundland's Engagement Rings

As you've probably heard by now, Poundland have started selling engagement rings just in time for Valentine's Day - it's a much cleaner bit of promotion than the brands previous campaign with the naughty elf! They announced their new 'bling' engagement rings a few weeks ago, which are all silver (stainless steel) and feature a gemstone of some kind. These Poundland rings have of-course had the entire country talking with even Piers Morgan "proposing" to Susanna Reid live on Good Morning Britain last week.

All at just £1, Poundland have said that this is the perfect 'placeholder' and that these Valentine's Day gifts give people the perfect opportunity to propose 'before the need to invest in the real rock', which if you ask me is a really sweet idea!

Morrisons' Rainbow LGBTQ+ Roses

If you're looking for a valentine's gift that's a little different to the traditional, Morrisons have launched rainbow roses, and they're seriously pretty! As part of the Morrisons' The Best range, the Rainbow Roses were released on February 11th and they come in partnership with LGBTQ+ youth homeless charity The Albert Kennedy Trust. Each limited edition rose costs £4, with 50p from each sales being donated to the charity, Morrisons really have hit two birds with one stone with this amazing charitable collaboration.

Name a cockroach after your Ex - Hemsley Conservation Centre

Okay, this is an amazing idea and a bit of a different way to go about a Valentine's Day promotion! I'd never heard of Hemsley Conservation Centre until this week and I can guarantee thousands of people around the country will be the same. Just in time for Valentine's Day, the centre launched a campaign where you can name one of the cockroaches after an ex-partner - ideal for those still feeling bitter after a break up! People have the opportunity to pick and name a cockroach after whoever they consider appropriate - and it costs just £1.50 for the pleasure of doing so!

The name will be displayed at the exhibit, so you can always pop in to visit the insect version of your ex-partner to say hi and see how they're doing. Also, if you take part, you'll be sent a gift certificate as a keepsake - but the name won't feature on it as the centre doesn't want to 'fuel fires'. But you can of-course add their name to the comments section as a reminder of why breaking up was really a good thing!


Royal Mail Romantic Post Boxes 

Royal Mail have been celebrating Valentine's Day by decorating some post-boxes around the country with romantic quotes from famous English authors. Especially in an age of social media and online messaging, Royal Mail are doing something different and are hoping to rekindle the joy for the handwritten love letter this Valentine's Day. Romantic quotes from works by John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Robert Burns and many more will be decorated on red postboxes in locations across the country including London, Lichfield and Dorset.

Heinz Ketchup Caviar

If you've ever been to a really fancy restaurant and wanted to ask the waiter for ketchup but felt the shame, Heinz have the answer for you this Valentine's Day! They've launched the first ever Ketchup Caviar, conveniently debuting just before Valentine's Day, it's exactly what it sounds like: ketchup, shaped like caviar. No fish eggs included, just a way to make your burger look extra pretty this Valentine's. Unfortunately, there's only 150 pots available, as they're also celebrating the brand being 150 years old!


Those were my highlights of the Valentine's Day campaigns so far... What's the most memorable Valentine's day campaign you can think of? I'm definitely looking forward to see what Greggs get up to this year... Let me know below!

Beth x

Beauty and the Influencer Beast

The beauty industry is ever-changing alongside the growing amount of social media influencers. YouTubers and Instagram stars have quickly become the only voice that really matters for consumers in the beauty industry. The amount of beauty-related content created by influencers is increasing exponentially, and the industry is seeing more growth than ever before the further we get into 2019.

In 2018, beauty-related content generated more than 169 billion views - with popular types of videos including tutorials, DIY videos, reviews and make-up haul videos produced by beauty 'vloggers'. YouTube is the perfect platform for brands to get involved in because it allows them to get their products out there in full, videos allow influencers to visually display how products can be used, with what to put them with and to they're able discuss the benefits. Influencers through YouTube serve to millions of people as a credible source of information as when looking to buy new products, consumers want a trusted recommendation and what's better than seeing someone physically using the product you're about to buy? A beauty influencer with a large following is bound to be knowledgeable on the industry and should offer their audience with a reliable opinion.

The amount of 'brand x influencer' palettes, lip sticks and full ranges of make-up coming out now are more than ever before. Brands teaming up with YouTubers is the perfect way to reach younger consumers, who make up the largest section of beauty consumers. According to the Office for National Statistics, young women aged 16-24 are the most likely to buy make-up. Brands are noticing the huge impact of social media influencers and have since adopted their PR and marketing strategies to reach younger consumers through social media.


YouTube videos are the earned media that today's make-up brands need to survive. These channels that are posting regular content with reviews and tutorials are providing consumers with real, *mostly* unbiased opinions that they want before making a purchase decision. If an influencer doesn't like a product, they tell you! More often than not a poor product can be as talked about as a great product so it's often a risk for any beauty brand, it's essentially allowing consumers to ignore advertisements for new products and base their decisions on other people's opinions!

Paid media is also increasingly a major part of Instagram and YouTube with the laws and regulations of disclosing the payment being ever-changing for influencers. This happens with beauty sponsoring videos, where the influencer is asked to use and promote a new product, or they are sending them new products for free to review. This is one thing that I always forget online, that these people are more often than not now, getting these products for free and even promoting said products for a fee.


YouTube and Instagram have really changed the game and revolutionised word-of-mouth communication, where we can now search a specific trend, brand or product and instantly have thousands of posts, photos and videos showing me the pros and cons of the product, and how to use it! Online we have access to thousands of opinions of people of all different ages, skin types, genders, countries, makeup artists, now any opinion a consumer could possibly need can be found with the click of a button.

I'm currently following over 30-40 Instagram and YouTube influencers who are far more influential on my makeup decisions than any traditional advert. Ultimately, Urban Decay and L'Oreal might promise a 'perfect finish' with their new foundations, but until Hannah Renée or NikkieTutorials tell me it's amazing, I won't be convinced!

Beth x