Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Day in the life! #lovegorkana


PR is always perceived as quite glamorous but my day involves a lot of tapping away at my computer and is more "tea" than "par-tea".

7am Run to newsagent to get daily newspapers before everyone leaves home for the day.

7.30am Commute to office (also known as the kitchen table), check emails, cuttings and read newspapers. Send out cuttings to clients and deliver hard copies where possible, along with evaluation. Make note of news opportunities and opportunity for expert comment.


8am Check social media and schedule blog posts, tweets, Pinterest posts, and FB posts for the day. We’ve just started Instagram too which lends itself well to what we do!

9-12pm Content creation; writing press releases, interviewing customers and case studies, sending out releases to customers for approval. I spend a lot of time organising photoshoots, selling in stories and briefing journalists – people always think PR is glamorous. It makes me laugh as I make another cup of tea.

12pm Networking or swimming or yoga depending on the mood, the weather and the timetable!

2pm Coffee with a client to set out plans for the next few months and discuss their news and the basis of a media plan.



3pm-6pm More writing of press releases, tip sheets or media calls. Constructing press lists and press packs. Not to mention lots more tea drinking. I also read clients’ reports, websites and blogs in particular for background information. I write a quick list of things to do for tomorrow and then when little one arrives home, take him out for a walk, bike ride or a game of football!



#lovegorkana

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

Thanks Stevenage Comet!

http://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage_badly_beaten_box_in_need_of_a_hit_1_4127013

Clever headline!

www.herts.beatthestreet.me

Thanks Lowestoft Journal who are also taking part in the walking challenge!





www.lowestoft.beatthestreet.me
www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk

Monday, 22 June 2015

Lowestoft’s Beat the Street challenge officially gets underway with early morning walk!



Lowestoft’s four-week long Beat the Street challenge is officially underway after being launched on Monday morning with an early seaside walk led by Lowestoft Rising and Sentinel Leisure.







A group of people enjoyed the walk along the promenade to Pakefield which was organised by Phil Aves from Lowestoft Rising. He said: “Thanks to everyone who got up early to start Beat the Street the right way! We had a lovely walk and ensured that everyone who took part got their bonus points!

“There’s still time to sign up for the Beat the Street initiative so if you feel you, your family or your workplace could benefit from developing a habit of doing more physical activity, then come and get involved. We’re also grateful to Waveney District Council for supporting Monday’s walk with free parking.”

Beat the Street is a real-life walking game taking place in Lowestoft from Monday 22nd June to Tuesday, 21st July. Anyone from Lowestoft is invited to sign up and find maps and card distribution points at www.lowestoft.beatthestreet.me. Players are invited to join a school team that will be linked to a charity. It is completely free for residents to take part.






The Beat the Street initiative is supported by Lowestoft Rising, in partnership with Suffolk County Council’s Public Health and Health East, as part of Suffolk’s desire to become “England’s most active county” and to encourage people to be more physically active.
Players must tap their smart cards on special sensors called ‘beat boxes’ which are attached to lamp posts approximately half a mile apart around Lowestoft; players simply tap two of these within an hour to record their journey and score points.

The school team or charity who travels the furthest can win up to £1,000. If Lowestoft reaches the collective target of 25,000 miles (the distance around the world), the organisers will make a £1,500 donation to a charity pot for the Lowestoft Summer Festival, which in turn will be shared with a number of local charities who can apply for a share. There will also be cash prizes for the runners-up.

There is a grand prize draw with two great prizes for everyone who taps 100 different beatboxes; Sentinel Leisure Trust has donated a week’s hire of a beach hut and Excelsior Trust has donated a day’s sailing for two. There is also an extensive range of ‘lucky tap’ prizes including free swims, Fitbits, photo-shoots, meal vouchers, cycle accessories and water taxi trips which have generously been donated by Lowestoft businesses and can be won simply by taking part.






More information, as well as rules, maps and a list of card distribution points is available at www.lowestoft.beatthestreet.me as well as on Facebook (Beat the Street Lowestoft) and Twitter @btslowestoft

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Athena Network - expert speakers for July include social media, decision-making and addressing old beliefs that hold you back





Business topics including social media, decision-making and expanding your mind are all on offer for West Berkshire businesswomen, all combined with a delicious lunch.

The Athena Network’s speakers for July include Lis Allen from The Vagina Dialogues, who will speak to the Hungerford group at Audley Inglewood on Friday, 10th July, on how to address old beliefs and habits that hold people back.

In the meeting’s networking strategy training, Debbie will be discussing return on investment and how you can measure what you’re getting back in terms of your networking investment.

At the Thatcham group on Tuesday, 14th July at the Regency Park Hotel, writer Toni Kent will advise on using a simple decision-making matrix can help you make important decisions quickly. In the meeting’s networking strategy training, Debbie Miles will be talking about the ‘Ten Commandments of Leading Ladies’.

The Newbury group will meet on Wednesday, 15th July where Claire Burdett from The Media Marketing Co will be explaining how social media enhances SEO and gives your business increased traction. There will also be tips on how to get your website to the top of searches for you key terms just by using social media.

Debbie Miles, regional director of the West Berkshire Athena Network, said: “As ever, we’ve got a varied, yet useful range of topics from expert speakers who are also members. We look forward to seeing members and guests at the July meetings for more nurturing and support to help you grow your business.”

All meetings take place from 12pm to 2pm. For more information, contact Debbie Miles on debbie.miles@theathenanetwork.com

ends

Friday, 19 June 2015

Hemel Gazette!

Thank you HG for running this update!

www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/more-news/healthy-hemel-is-walking-its-way-to-a-streetwise-success-1-6807801

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ladies' Day at Ascot





It's ladies' day at Ascot! And if you, like me, aren't going, then check out this piece from Emma Moscow, a milliner who has made many of the amazing creations you'll see in the next couple of days!

Royal Ascot takes place in June and with unpredictable weather and the need to balance making a statement with sticking to the rules, it can be hard for first-timers to know what to wear.

As hats must be worn at Ascot, Boxford-based milliner Emma Moscow believes that your headwear is the key to success and adds that there are some key points to remember.

She said: “If you get your outfit right, then you can concentrate on having a great time at this prestigious event. Royal Ascot is an opportunity to wear a statement hat and pretty much anything goes as long as it’s within the rules, especially on Ladies’ Day. However I think it’s worth remembering that it is a formal occasion and that style and elegance should not be thrown out of the window in favour of standing out.




Susie Freeman from Susie Freeman Travel wearing an Emma Moscow hat.






“Remember that there are strict rules over outfits, particularly for the Royal Enclosure and the grandstand. The rules state that formal daywear of modest length must be worn; midriffs must be covered and trousers must be full length. Many people don’t realise that spaghetti straps and strapless dresses are not permitted either, even under a jacket.

Emma says that you should
1. Choose your outfit first as it is easier to match a hat to an outfit than the other way round.

2. It’s a daytime event and people often wear jackets or coats. A more substantial hat or headpiece looks more balanced with a tailored outfit.

3. It is often windy at Ascot so make sure your hat fits well and is securely fixed to your head. Avoid any hats that are too tall and will catch the breeze! Hair grips can be useful for securing a head piece – it might be worth stowing some spares in your handbag!

4. Choose a hat that fits well and flatters you. You will feel more confident if your hat is unique, comfortable and made-to-measure. Don’t be afraid to try everything on, as they can often look very different on the wearer than on the stand.

5. Pay attention to how you wear your hat. There is a tendency for people to push their hats too far back. Generally they look better tilted forward and if you are wearing a hat or headdress designed to be worn on the side, they look very chic angled over the eyebrow.

6. If your hat is not exactly the same colour as your outfit, then it’s probably best to choose a complementary or accent colour. I think it can work really well to use a contrasting colour somewhere in your accessories, even if it is just a splash.

7. Unless you are going to be in a private box, you will probably be on your feet for a lot of the day and if you like to go to the parade ring before a race then there is a surprising amount of walking to do, so wear shoes that are fairly comfortable. If you have bought new shoes then try and wear them in a little at home. I’ll never forget the first time I went, I didn’t wear a very high heel but my shoes were new and by the end of the day my feet were agony!

8. It is also worth remembering that you will be on grass some of the time so stilettos are not ideal, a thicker heel or a wedge works much better, especially if it is wet.

“Above all, make sure you’re comfortable so you can enjoy this very special event and concentrate on the day’s racing!”

For more information visit www.emmamoscowmillinery.co.uk,




#ladiesday #royalascot #ascot

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Ten things small businesses should think about before embarking on PR #lovegorkana

All too often, businesses come to me and ask for PR without really understanding what it is and why they need it. I frequently hear people say things like "our local paper is rubbish - I sent them a release and they didn't use it" or "they used my release but I didn't get any business from it."

PR is a marathon - it really is a case of the tortoise versus the hare. If you send in regular, consistently high-quality releases and are prepared for the fact that not all will be used, then the journalists will retain your name and turn to you when they need a story. Remember that it's a privilege to be featured in the press, particularly when you consider that advertising in the papers can reach into the hundreds of thousands, so make sure your story is of interest to their readers; not just advertising or self-promotion.

Here are some things that should be considered before you start to use PR to put your business name out there.

1. Customer service

Your customer service must be impeccable. All staff should be aware of the company's aims and any special offers that you're trying to promote. There is nothing worse than the media doing your promotion and telling their readers that you are offering this and that, only for a potential customer to walk in to your shop and for the person there to proclaim they know nothing about it. Ditto customers who make a special journey to see your offering only to be on the receiving end of rude staff.

2. Know your message

Keep things simple - one message at a time. Don't overcomplicate stories by trying to include too much.

3. Read the papers

If you want to appear in the press, then you need to read your local papers to get a feel for their style and to know what kind of stories they use. You also need to see what the competition is up to! Reading around your own trade is essential too and only takes a few minutes a day. It's also a good idea to know what's going on in the national news as this will help inform your writing and keep it up-to-date. It will also provide great ideas on which you can piggyback. As a former journalist myself, I felt it was quite disrespectful when people phoned up asking us to use a story and then ask for copies when it's in print "because I don't ever read your paper."


4. Prepare a bio

Always have a short piece ready on your work achievements, awards and anything else that highlights your expertise. It's also worth including your age plus anything quirky you do outside work.


5. Make sure you have a good quality headshot ready.

"Yes we'd like to use your release! Have you got a photo please?" Don't say "help yourself to one from my website or Facebook page" - it shows you're not interested, plus will be entirely too small for print. Try not to send a picture from your phone. Or one with your dog or one where you've hastily chopped someone else out! Ask a professional photographer - preferably one who understands what you do and can reflect this in the pictures.


6. Make time to brainstorm.

Set aside some time every week, with your team if you have one, to find out what's going on and what they're up to. You'd be amazed at what you find out!



7. Follow newspapers on Twitter.

Also follow your favourite journalists. They often will post queries on Twitter and if you can help, your name will be the first they think of when they need an expert in your field.


8. Know who does what.

Familiarise yourself with various publications and make sure you don't send motoring stories to the sports editor.



9. Know the deadlines.


Make sure you're not calling at a bad moment as this will get you remembered for the wrong reasons. Weekly papers tend to be slightly less busy at the end of the week and daily papers are busy in the evenings. Check before you call!


10. Case studies

Always ask your customers whether they're happy to be quoted as it gives credence to the service you offer. When someone gives you a testimonial, ask if you can use it, plus their name, for your media activity.



Margaret #lovegorkana





Tuesday, 16 June 2015

MItchells refurb in the Waveney Advertiser



Well worth a trip to Lowestoft yesterday!

"Let's walk around the world, Lowestoft!"

Thanks Lowestoft Journal for this piece here plus the front page of the Waveney Advertiser!

http://www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk/news/let_s_walk_around_the_world_lowestoft_residents_set_beat_the_street_challenge_1_4111489

Monday, 15 June 2015

"Ace" photo

Just thought I'd share this as it shows that it pays to have a bit of fun with your photography...we served up a line-up pic at the launch of the newly-refurbished courts at Hungerford Tennis Club, but then borrowed some ace racquets to set up this shot which we love! *




*apologies for the terrible puns.



www.hungerford-club.co.uk/index.php
www.greenham-common-trust.co.uk

Around the world in 30 days!



3,2,1, go! Lowestoft is now on a mission to walk around the world in a new walking challenge called Beat the Street.

The four-week long competition was officially launched at Northfields St Nicholas Primary School this week by pupils from the school, as well as East Point Academy, Poplars Primary School and the Ashley School Academy Trust. In attendance was the deputy mayor of Lowestoft Nick Webb, Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and other representatives from the community.

Anyone from Lowestoft is invited to sign up for the challenge at www.lowestoft.beatthestreet.me and can join a school team that will be linked to a charity. It is completely free for residents to take part.

To play, residents pick up a Beat the Street card plus a map from local libraries, GP practices, leisure centres and local businesses which will all be listed on the website. Schoolchildren will receive a card through their school.

Special sensors called ‘beat boxes’ have started to appear on lamp posts around Lowestoft; players simply tap two of these within an hour to record their journey and score points.

The school team or charity who travels the furthest can win up to £1,000. If Lowestoft reaches the target, the organisers will make a £1,500 donation to a charity pot for the Lowestoft Summer Festival, which in turn will be shared with a number of local charities who can apply for a share. There will also be cash prizes for the runners up.

The Beat the Street initiative is supported by Lowestoft Rising, in partnership with Suffolk County Council’s Public Health and Health East, in a bid to encourage people to be more physically active. Lowestoft has been set a collective target of 25,000 miles which is the distance around the world, so the more people that sign up and take part, the better!

Beat the Street takes place in Lowestoft from 22nd June to 21st July and is being delivered as part of Suffolk’s ambition to become “England’s Most Active County”. To kick off the exciting challenge, a special “first walk" launch event is being held on the first day of Beat the Street Lowestoft, on Monday 22nd June.

The walk will be led by Lowestoft Rising and Sentinel Leisure and is open to all. It starts at the South Pier (box number 6) at 7.30am and be a gentle walk along the prom and sea front to Pakefield. The full walk will take about an hour but participants needn’t do the whole walk. There will be free parking for the hour at Royal Green Car Park, supported by Waveney District Council, and bonus points for taking part!

Veronica Reynolds from Intelligent Health, the company that is running the Beat the Street challenge, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching Beat the Street in Lowestoft. It’s a very popular scheme that has had real results in other towns across the UK. We’re keen for everyone in the community to get involved and hope the competitive element will inspire people to get walking and tapping!”

Mayor of Lowestoft Stephen Ardley added: “It’s great to get behind Beat the Street which is a positive and engaging way of encouraging the community to get active and combat the growing threat of obesity. Come on Lowestoft!”

Ollie Winram, a PE teacher from Northfields Primary School which hosted the launch, added: “I think it’s an amazing project and great for the children as well as for the local area. It’s a brilliant way of involving the whole community and getting everyone more active.”


ENDS

Lowestoft Rising aims to integrate public services in a unique way, bringing together Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council, Suffolk Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner's office and Health East (CCG) together with the Voluntary Sector in order to address a range of social issues.

Health East is the local Clinical Commissioning Group for Waveney and Great Yarmouth responsible for Health care needs of the Community. They are part of the #Lowestoft Rising partnership and as local commissioners keen to see the community being more active and healthy.

#BeattheStreet is run by Intelligent Health. Intelligent Health are experts in physical activity strategy and delivery. Intelligent Health creates high quality, innovative products which combat physical inactivity across communities and improves health and well-being. Beat the street is fun, inclusive and engaging. For more visit www.intelligenthealth.co.uk


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Beat the Street Lowestoft

If you know anyone who lives in the most easterly point in England, then please let them know about this exciting initiative to get people walking! It starts on 22nd June and lasts for four weeks. As well as getting people more active, there are great prizes to be won.

The Lowestoft Journal is behind it!



www.lowestoft.beatthestreet.me

Monday, 8 June 2015

Walking, cycling and running!

The response to Hertfordshire's @BTSherts and www.facebook.com/pages/Beat-The-Street-Herts/834439346623550 is tremendous having got going last Wednesday.

Lovely coverage here from the Comet and the Hemel Gazette today!

www.thecomet.net/news/people_in_stevenage_urged_to_get_active_and_help_raise_1_000_for_charities_1_4101800

http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/community/race-to-space-in-county-s-beat-the-street-challenge-1-6773778

Thursday, 4 June 2015

"Happinez"

Happinez magazine stands out amongst the crowd of celebrity and diet obsessed publications aimed at women, but then so does its price tag. At £6.95, it's almost three times more expensive than other titles - this of course, is what piqued my interest!



The magazine has been going for some years now in its native Holland, as well as Germany but the current issue is the first one in the UK. It's got a definite spiritual vibe, and caters for those who love mindfulness, yoga, wisdom and inspiration. If you're wondering why it's spelt with a "z"; it's named after its founder Inez van Oord - hence "happINEZ" which irked me at first.

"I'll stick to Hello magazine", was the verdict of the lady in the supermarket who heard me shouting "£6.95?" repeatedly. In my defence, I said this was me being mindful...of my wallet. As well as the price, my other quibbles are that there are one or two slightly over-posed photos and the occasional caption lost in translation.



However, it is truly thrilling to see a magazine promoting fair trade products and incentives that give real benefit to communities in developing countries. I love that Happinez isn't frightened to do a three-page spread on magnesium. Their celebrity interview isn't with an actress or reality TV star, but a spiritual teacher; interior design takes the form of a wobbly, but stunning glass house on a lake. The photos, particularly the ones of nature, are uplifting.

There's a healthy recipe section that contains properly healthy recipes, not just slightly recued fat, and there's a section on yoga poses. The magazine closes by asking you to share some inspiration tags, as well as an invitation to enjoy the next edition (albeit without saying when it's due out.)

I love that my job allows me to sit in outside in a field reading a magazine such as this and call it work - I love being able to identify magazines that will be likely to accept my articles and interviews; I love reading through wondering if any of my clients fit the bill as a possible subject. I love finding a publication that speaks to people like me - people who think a bit differently, who question things, who aren't interested in what someone from TV is up to (OK - perhaps a few exceptions here), and who want a little bit of inspiration now an again. While it's not for everyone and I don't think they'll be publishing anything by me any time soon, I think I've found something to read in a field.

On that note, I'll leave you with this: