• Why you SHOULD make an exhibition of yourself

    Nov 17 • PR Tips & Tricks • 49 Views

    I’ve just got back from supporting our new client, ValueLicensing at Smarter Business Tech Live – a major exhibition with nearly 200 speakers including my client.

    What stunned me was that I was one of very few people there from the marketing support perspective. Most exhibitors focused on getting there on time and standing on their shiny stand hoping people and prospects would drop by.

    That’s crazy, exhibitions can cost a fortune in both time and money.

    So here’s some tips about what you should or could be doing the next time you book some space.

    • Tell your prospects and customers that you are going. They might be too or they might want to join you. Use it as a chance to have a conversation. Send them an eshot, blog about it, share it across social, drop them an email directly. Whatever you do, make sure that relevant prospects know.
    • See if you can get a speaking slot. If you can, you need to push this HARD as it is gold dust. It is a fantastic profile boost which can lead to prospects on the day and a host of new opportunities.
    • Try and arrange an interview with the exhibition show guide, either online, in print or both. They are keen to have as much news as possible as it helps to keep the content fresh and the punters buying tickets.
    • On the day, arrange for one of your team to be a ‘roving reporter’ taking in the show and sharing it on social media. The organisers will thank you for sharing their show with social shares a plenty and you will be positioning yourself as an expert on the industry.
    • If you have got a speaking slot, be sure to take ‘action’ shots of you or your colleague addressing the crowd. This builds authority for later articles and blogs.
    • Be sure to write up a short piece for your website and newsletter summarising the key points for those that couldn’t make it.

    After the show is over, have an honest look at what worked and what didn’t from the stand and lead capture mechanisms to the PR and social element. Now is also a good time to pitch your expert speaker for some guest articles in relevant media. There should be list of reporters who attended that you can get from the organisers or at least the publications they work for. Pitch them first whilst the show is still fresh.

    I hope that helps, don’t forget, when it comes to exhibitions it really is SHOW time so don’t just ‘stand’ around.

    Sorry ;0

    PS if you want more free PR tips and tricks, just click here.


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  • Event – your chance to hit the headlines

    Oct 26 • PR Tips & Tricks • 145 Views

    Ever wondered what makes a great story or how to pitch to the media?

    Well, wonder no more.

    If you can get to Nottingham on November 21st, you can hear from a panel of local, regional AND national business journalists about how to take your PR campaign to the next level.

    If you’re a small business owner fighting for media recognition for the incredible stuff you do, there are some really simple steps to take to get noticed.

    We’ve organised the event with Enterprise Nation as part of Greg’s local champion role and he will be on the panel along with:

    • Andrew Lynch, assistant business editor at The Sunday Times
    • Sam Metcalf, editor, The Business Desk in the East Midlands
    • Kevin Stanley, BBC Radio Nottingham

    The event will be chaired by Enterprise Nation head of content, Dan Martin.

    Dan has 14 years of experience as a journalist, writing about small businesses and the issues that affect them. Among the people he has interviewed are Sir Richard Branson, Peter Jones, the Duke of York and Vince Cable.

    To find out more or to book your ticket, visit the event page here or drop Greg a line for more info on greg@pressforattention.com

    Fore more free PR tips and tricks, click here


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  • Looking for customers? It’s all about the rhythm baby

    Oct 10 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks • 149 Views


    What is a customer worth to you? If you’re a cafe, it might be £3.99.

    A restaurant, maybe £50.

    If you’re a lawyer, let’s face it, it is probably a tad more.

    What about me, the humble PR consultant…well, anywhere from £99 to £27,000.

    You see, I don’t see customers as a one-off transaction, I see them all as long-term clients in waiting.

    They vary from one-off strategy calls to help boost their PR campaign or recurring fees to work with them for a few months. It might be a blog or two, a press release, a mini-campaign or a retainer.

    The costs vary hugely. That larger figure of £27,000 isn’t a finger in the air guess or dream fee. It represents the average fee over the average length of a retainer contract.

    How did I get to that fee and so blinking what?

    Well, my average retainer is £750/m and the average client stays with us for 3 years.

    So, £750 x 12 = £9000. £9000 x 3 = £27,000.

    Wow Greg, I’m REALLY happy for you I hear you say. The next round’s on you.

    The point is, if I know the ‘lifetime value’ of a client is £27,000, I’m now armed with information that helps me make a decision about how much I could/should spend to snaffle that client. So if I’m aiming to win more retainers, I’m not thinking about £750, I’m thinking far BIGGER.

    For smaller fees, I cut my marketing cloth accordingly but again, it is based on facts, not intuition.

    The key thing is, I know what I need and I know how to get it. It is then up to me to play with my marketing strategy to ensure those leads come in at the right rate in terms of time and value and crucially, at the right cost that is acceptable to me, with the knowledge that I convert 60 percent of my qualified leads.

    This is why it is all about the rhythm. It’s no good winning the odd bit of work as a fluke. You need to know your target, your conversion rate, your margin and your lifetime value. Then you can start to look at your marketing budget and how to spend it to get to that goal.

    If you’d like to have a chat with me about how to do this, you’ll be pleased to know there’s no fee for that. Yes, you can have a FREE strategy call with me, I might even buy you a coffee at £2.99 or a sandwich at £3.99.

    You see, I know I can invest this because I know my rhythmic acquisition of customers.

    The question is, do you know yours?

    Grab free PR tips and tricks here





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  • Quick Baldrick, the PM needs a cunning plan

    Oct 5 • Thought leadership • 214 Views

    ‘it started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better — but apart from that it was excellent’

    Not the words of the watching media, party members and viewers of Theresa May’s speech but one Captain Blackadder’s scathing appraisal of Private Baldrick’s attempt at poetry.

    The similarities are clear, at some turns political, at others comic and with an underlying sense of doom lurking on the horizon, the PM’s speech at the Tory party conference was memorable for sure BUT for all the wrong reasons.

    When the intervention of a comedian with a P45 turns out to be the least worse moment of your big comeback speech you know you are in trouble and there is no denying this was one set of unfortunate circumstances after another.

    Damned if she leaves, damned if she doesn’t

    If the PM leaves the podium amidst coughs and splutters, she is perceived as weak. She has to stay. If she shrinks from the P45 interloper she is weak. Remember, Europe and indeed a reinvigorated Jeremy Corbyn are looking on.

    I don’t tend to have much sympathy for any politician but did I feel sorry for her on a human level? Yes. I wonder, will this moment of weakness, this stuttering towards the finish line turn out to be a chance for a new start for Ms May?

    Whether she likes it or not, gone is the robot. Will this new vulnerable version of the PM, the leader who struggles to make the human connection her rival Jezza does with ease, turn out to be more of a vote winner?

    Will it save her or bury her once and for all?

    Time will tell.

    Grab free PR tips and tricks here


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  • John Lewis – won’t somebody think of the children?

    Sep 5 • Thought leadership, Uncategorized • 286 Views

    X Factor auditions, the return of Strictly, John Lewis adverts dominating social media…yep, the end of the British summer is right on schedule.

    Only this time, it seems we’re not cooing over Buster the Boxer, the Man on the Moon or Monty the penguin, this time, we’re worrying about labelling, and we all know that’s wrong don’t we children?

    It has ’emerged,’ as the media likes to report, that the nation’s favourite retailer, bastion of battenbergs, picnic baskets, meritocracy and all things thoroughly pleasant, has OUTRAGED the nation by harmonising their new children’s range under one label – Girls AND Boys or, for the sake of parity, Boys AND Girls.

    There is an equal split you’ll be relieved to read, gentle reader.

    Of course it may well depend on what media you consume about whether you are outraged about this. It also depends on how many clicks and sales said media wants to generate and your knowledge of your readers’ own politics.

    However, what does the retailer itself say? Well, apart from pointing out they did this last year, here’s their thinking behind the move.

    Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear at John Lewis, said in a statement on Monday:

    “We introduced new non-gender specific John Lewis stitched labels and combined ‘Girls & Boys’ swing tags to clothing for John Lewis own label collections in 2016.

    “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”

    Now, all good retailers know their customers intimately. John Lewis isn’t doing this as a publicity stunt or to APPEAR politically correct. It will be doing it because to them, it makes business sense. It may well generate a tonne of publicity, both positive and negative. It may well alienate some people, many of whom shop there now and many of whom have never shopped there BUT this will be a strategic decision based on risk v reward.

    The question is, is this a risk worth taking? For my part, I’m totally neutral.

    Hey Greg, I’d love some PR tips and tricks please.



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  • You silly sausage…we don’t know WHAT you’re selling

    Sep 1 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks, Uncategorized • 342 Views

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that marketing folk are so busy with buzz words that they forget to tell us WHAT they actually do.

    This actually makes it hard to buy what they sell. Not a good thing.

    Why? Well…it seems we often don’t know what it is we are trying to sell.

    We’ve all heard about features v benefits. People don’t actually want to buy a drill. They want a hole in a wall.

    I had a good think about this the other day and came to a similar conclusion about PR. Marketers are not actually desperate to sign up a PR consultant or agency. They want the result of that purchase. They want coverage and awareness.

    All too often when I come in for a brief with a potential client and ask them what they do and for whom, they really don’t seem to know.

    They talk about “best practice”, “robust strategies”, “whole of market offerings” and “holistic approaches”.


    couple waffles being soaked in syrup.


    WHAT do you do? What actually changes once you are hired or your product is sold? What is the tangible ROI?

    My colleague, Martin Rockley, will head up our new copywriting service, ‘Press For Copy’, from September. Martin lives by the mantra “sell the sizzle, not the sausage”.

    Benefits. Results.

    So I asked Martin (or in current marketing phraseology I “reached out” to him) and asked him what he does.Here’s his reply worked through to the end:

    “Does a copywriter write copy? No. A copywriter sells stuff by using written words. We are the print or digital equivalent of the door-to-door salesmen we have replaced – we reveal how we can improve lives rather than describing the product features.

    “Nobody employs me because I’m an advertising Dostoevsky. They employ me because I can help them sell their products or services. I’m a problem solver. Someone who knows what buttons to press and how to press them.

    “So I’m a problem solver, salesperson and button presser – or copywriter for short.”

    Before anyone begins a marketing or PR campaign, they need to know their audience (their who) and their message (their what). So, can you tell me yours?

    What do you actually do? What changes once I make a decision to buy from you?

    Nail that and then we can talk about how I can help you tell other people that.

    I’d love some free PR tips and tricks please







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  • Stop selling vitamins, start curing headaches

    Jul 1, 17 | PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks

      Imagine you’ve just had a really stressful meeting. Your head is thumping. You’ve got 20 minutes until your next one. What will you do? You’ll find some paracetamol NOW. You’ll leave the office if need be. You’re curing a problem and you NEED...

  • General Reflection – which party has won voters’ hearts and minds?

    Jun 8 • Politics, Thought leadership • 438 Views

    Or should that question be which person has won hearts and minds?

    Now more than ever, politics is about the people behind the policy and by that, I don’t mean the voters, I mean the leaders.

    For many of the people stood at the polling booths today, the names on the ballot paper will be barely recognisable. Most UK voters do not really vote for their local politician or party, they are just not well known to them – that said, mine is a certain RT Kenneth Clarke QC.

    They vote based on their political standpoint and also, most crucially, on who they want to lead the country. That one thing can often change their decision as they step up to the booth. It is a strategy that the Conservatives have played to the max – Theresa May v Jeremy Corbyn.

    Their theory is that the floating voters, the ones that don’t really have their political colours nailed to the mast, will plump for the “stability” angle, the known factor. That is why they have hammered the “strong and stable” message. Even the suggestion that they are “strong and stable” conjures thoughts that the other parties can’t be. Therefore, they must be weak and unstable.

    They’ve even gone so far as to make it a vote for Theresa May, rather than a vote for the party. This is almost a US Presidential Election campaign. Take a look at their election battle bus…it is all about the leader, not the party.

    Contrast that with Labour. Here we have a man who divides the party, never-mind the voters. In some quarters, MPs have openly suggested that JC, just like Ed Miliband before him is the problem with the voters. So, they have tried to focus on the idea and possibility of change. His name is nowhere to be seen.

    Pundits are already calling a Tory landslide, however, on the last day that new voters could register, a record 622,000 applications were sent to the government’s Individual Registration digital service, exceeding the previous record of 525,000 applications on a single day ahead of last year’s EU referendum vote.

    Who are they? Who do they support? Have they been motivated by May or captured by Corbyn?

    PR Week has been featuring a panel a of expert Public Affairs advisers throughout the campaign, they conclude overall, our panel has judged Labour to have run the best political campaign, with the Conservatives and SNP in joint second place, while the Lib Dems and UKIP trail in third and fourth place respectively. But will the party that ran the best campaign be the one in power tomorrow?

    Or will the person?

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  • PR – more than words

    Jun 5 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks, Uncategorized • 655 Views


    Cue the guitars, the gentle beat, the smoky bar room set. It’s time to realise that PR is so much more than words, it is relationships…

    I speak to a lot of different people about what I do and essentially, it boils down to “I put you in the papers”. The questions that follow are invariably “how do you do that then?” and “how much do you charge?”

    In any service business, these can be tricky questions as briefs are so varied, but our offering is off the shelf or retainer so I can normally give a ball park figure, even for just one story, there and then.

    The response is then based on one crucial factor – perceived value.

    You see, some people will say “hmmm, I don’t think we’d outsource that, we can write pretty well so we’d do it ourselves” and others will say “that would be really handy for us as it would free me up to do X”.

    That’s a time v money debate for some but what it should really be is a value debate. Press for Attention PR writes dozens of stories a week. We’re not just good at it, we’re great at it.

    We know what makes a story versus what is glorified ad copy, and here’s the crucial bit: we know how the press thinks and we know them personally. We send them stories on a range of clients and topics. We help them meet deadlines and fill features. We help them construct panel debates, find venues and source interesting photography.

    In short, we are an asset to them. When you buy any service, you aren’t buying time, you are buying expertise. That’s why we don’t charge by the hour, the half day or the day. We charge by outcomes.

    If you are a service provider, start thinking about how you can make your outcome tangible to your customers. If you buy in services, look beyond the fee and examine the value.

    Sure, you could “save” money by doing it yourself but would you get the same results? Value your time, and leverage the time of the experts. You’ll soon find we do so much more than words. Now, try getting that song out of your head…

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  • United Airlines – don’t come fly with me!

    Apr 12 • Crisis PR, Thought leadership, Uncategorized • 911 Views

    A guest blog from our consumer PR expert Lucy Capaldo on this PR crisis.

    It started badly, trailed off in the middle and the less that can be said about the end…

    This week United Airlines has been globally vilified after aviation police officials violently removed a man from a plane at Chicago O’Hare international airport on Sunday.

    In an incident captured on smartphones by passengers and posted to social media, the video went viral and suddenly the PR disaster is a global talking point. 

    Airlines are legally allowed to deny ticketed passengers travel if a flight is overbooked. Passengers are entitled to either cash compensation or a similar flight landing near the same time. However, the (literally) heavy handed approach that United employed had far ranging consequences, not least an initial near $1 Billion dent to its share price on Tuesday.

    In a perhaps ill thought out and knee jerk move, CEO Oscar Munoz praised employees following the incident:

    “Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.”

    He also described the passenger who they forcibly removed as ‘disruptive and belligerent’.

    Of course, this letter was also leaked to the media which further exacerbated public feeling toward United. In a quick about-turn, Munoz released a public apology, calling the incident “truly horrific”.

    Later that day, Munoz said he was committed to “fix what’s broken so this never happens again”. He pledged to review the company’s policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold flights and for partnering with airport authorities and local law enforcement.

    So, what should have United done differently?

    It is sometimes easy to forget the simple fact that brands need to be transparent, especially when there are customers with smartphones itching to document your every move! On the United website it states its purpose as ‘Connecting People. Uniting The World’.

    It then goes on to say “Every day, we help unite the world by connecting people to the moments that matter most. This shared purpose drives us to be the best airline for our employees, customers and everyone we serve.”

    This purpose that isn’t ringing particularly true currently. The whole point of this is that a company’s behaviour needs to match its corporate values. It needs to be authentic, today’s customers are cannier and PR departments can’t control the messages in the way that they could 20 years ago, social media has meant the public can report news in real time and there is nowhere to hide now.

    Munoz needs to step down as CEO. This could potentially be the only way that the brand can start to rekindle its brand reputation from the ashes by having a fresh head at the helm with a different perspective on things.

    United’s initial reaction was a rookie mistake, when a passenger is injured and roughly man-handled off a plane in a shocking display of force the first response should be a deep and authentic apology. Regardless of whether this chap was a stubborn and slightly awkward passenger, the show of force was shocking and unjustifiable. In this situation, United should not have been pointing fingers and criticising the customer. It was its policy of overbooking seats that created the situation in the first place.

    Next should come a clear explanation of what the company will be doing to prevent this from ever happening again. What procedures will be reviewed and changed? Is staff training required? Will United change its policy on overbooking from now onward? The public are not idiots, they want strong and firm action and changes to culture if they are going to consider travelling with United again.

    Finally, PR disasters like this will take time to recover from, hence why a clear long-term PR strategy needs to be developed that puts customers at the forefront of what United does and how it operates as a business.

    Interestingly I was thinking about airlines and how Ryanair manages to straddle that fine line between providing a no-frills service and making a profit, no matter how much we moan about the brand, its flights are always on time and cheap (if you travel light and don’t book extras).

    CEO Michael O’Leary was well known for his blunt often hilarious quotes. However much his PR team have attempted to silence him in recent months, there was always something authentic about Ryanair- it does what it says on the tin and makes no apology for that. After all, today, brand transparency is key!

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