Last night I attended the Oxtweetup at the Big Bang restaurant in Oxford. It was a great event for all the avid tweeters of Oxford to meet in the real life! The event was organised by Oxford listings site, Daily Info, and the owner of the Big Bang, Max Mason. It was a wonderful and fun event, more coming up about it on Monday’s Love Oxford, but now back to shoe phone …..
I have found the most willing participants for shoe phoning tend to be bloggers or tweeters. They are never ever shy about a little bit of silliness on the internet. So last night was the perfect opportunity for me to go out and about with the shoe phone. Orla and Anaïs from Daily Info did not fail to impress me with their willingness to partake in this impromptu shoe phone photo shoot.
Today’s Shoe Phone Friday song comes from the Naked and the Famous, the title ‘Young Blood’ seemed appropriate for Orla and Anaïs.
If you are in Oxford and you haven’t heard of Daily Info you really need to head on over and find out about what is going on in the city.
Love and shoe phones,
So here it is, part two of the roundup of Tuesday night’s Word of Mouth: Make the media work for you. Yesterday I told you all about Jo Thoenes’ talk about radio and today I am going to tell you about Catherine Warrilow’s talk about PR.
Catherine runs her own PR agency, Seriously PR and their tagline is to find a better way to do things. Catherine started her talk by describing a little bit about her background, how she joined the Newsround press pack at the age of seven and stalked people around her neighbourhood to find a good story. She really wanted to be a journalist but despite this early promise when it came to leaving school the options given to her by her careers advisor were nurse or join the army.
Catherine was non the wiser at this point about what she wanted to do and tried various things, but nothing seemed to stick. She came into contact with a PR agency when working for a large corporate company and although she enjoyed the banter that they brought to the office, the work that they did was a bit fluffy with little substance.
Catherine started to find her feet in the world of marketing and PR when she went to work for a toy company, she liked the company because she was starting to feel the benefit of working for a company that she wanted to promote. She realised the fluffy PR offered by the external PR company was not going to cut it to get the company noticed.
After the toy company and gaining some marketing and PR experience Catherine went on to work for a PR agency. This left her frustrated as the internal structure for creating campaigns left the clients and the staff frustrated. It was at this point that Catherine realised something needed to be done! She had been a disappointed client and a dissatisfied member of staff and decided that there must be a better way to do PR and Seriously PR was born.
Catherine describes PR as the use of the media to give people a voice, whether that is radio, TV, blogs or social media. She told us that to be successful with your PR you have to generate a story. You have to build PR into your business plan and keep at it, as sending a press release, ticking it off the do list and forgetting about it will get you nowhere.
Catherine’s other top tips for creating the perfect PR campaign:
Plan out conversations with journalists. They are time pressured people and you have to get your elevator pitch just right.
Do not be more than one person, be yourself.
Personal touches are important, people buy from people.
Don’t try and emulate the person you are meeting, dress as you.
Journalists are always right.
Strike when the iron is hot and piggy back big news stories in the press.
Forget the press release and get on the phone.
I really enjoyed Catherine’s talk and as a marketer I related to and agreed with what she said. I can completely understand how she felt when she found a company that she was excited to promote, it makes a massive difference when you do what you love. I liked what she said about forgetting the press release too and getting on the phone, never underestimate the power of asking!
Also the fact that I know Catherine all comes down to the third bullet point above. Catherine is married to a man from Stoke (my home town) and I went to school with one of his friends, Katie. When I first started Fe-line I posted about it on my own personal Facebook page and Katie contacted Catherine about Fe-line. Catherine introduced me to Jo Thoenes, who wrote a wonderful article about me and Fe-line for a Canadian magazine and the rest is history! My point here is that you never know how someone you meet will be able to help you. Ultimately PR and marketing is common sense: be yourself, tell people about what you are doing and share your story any way you can! Oh and there is always a random Stoke connection involved.
I am also loving Catherine because she bought me this:
Love and random Stoke connections,