• Peter Andre v Jordan – I’m a celebrity PR me out of here

    Aug 11 • Celebrity • 3497 Views

    Granted, I haven’t had the “celebs” beating a path to my door during my 10 year PR career but I have to say I would run a mile from Jordan’s briefs even if they did (was that a Freudian “slip”?).

    Katie Price plus wedding ring with her new cage fighter chap

    Katie Price plus wedding ring with her new cage fighter chap

    The latest tabloid battle between these two “estranged” former darlings of the media has now descended into all-out war and I fail to see how it helps either of them in their personal relationships….oh, wait, maybe it is a more cynical ploy. Could it be that one of them has a book/single coming out? Oh yes, there it is, Peter has a new single out this week.

    When this “story” about their split first broke I was one amongst many who raised a cynical eyebrow. It would have been a pretty hard-bitten strategy for most folk I know but in the world of Price and Andre it could quite conceivably have been a PR stunt.

    Now it seems that their relationship is over, it seems even sadder to me that they continue to use the break-up as a vehicle for their careers. None of my business but I wouldn’t want to be their PR today, yesterday or any day in the future if that is the brief from the client.

    Even worse, imagine if that brief comes from the record company or publisher. Talk about pressure but I would hope I’d be able to walk from that sort of nightmare.

    Oh well, just another day in the world of celebrity PR.

    2 Comments on Peter Andre v Jordan – I’m a celebrity PR me out of here

    Read More
  • That Friday feeling

    Aug 7 • General business, Inspiration • 1601 Views

    Phew, what a day (hmmm, sound like Tommy 2 Days from the Direct Line insurance ad there). Great meeting with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, the genuinely genuine Jeannie Packer http://tinyurl.com/lstdzx and her colleagues at Nottingham City Council.

    I went with the Blak Pearl team to see if the Mayor and the council would get behind the ILSG 2010 event in London next year http://www.blakpearl.com/events/ and the answer was an emphatic YES!

    It was great to see their enthusiasm in supporting Vishal in his business venture and I hope that once we get this show on the road we will be able to demonstrate that Nottingham has a heck of a lot going for it, especially with regards to innovative businesses and student enterprise.

    Credit must go to the Enterprise Lab at The University of Nottingham http://tinyurl.com/kkg7qk for their support in getting Blak Pearl started but much of it is down to sheer force of self belief, probably engendered by exactly the sort of speakers we expect to see at ILSG 2010, Brian Tracy being the keynote.

    Brian Tracy sales, management and personal success guru.

    Brian Tracy sales, management and personal success guru.

    I’ve already heard a few people question how well this style of event and coaching technique will go down in the UK but it has to be said, no negative feedback has come from entrepreneurs and that is the attitude we need to foster here in the UK as we battle our way out of this recession.

    There’s always something to learn from every situation, you just have to use it if you possibly can.

    No Comments on That Friday feeling

    Read More
  • Taking the Michael…Ryan Air standing room seats a PR stunt?

    Jul 6 • General business • 4096 Views

    I often wonder what it would be like to work on some of the trickier PR campaigns. Politicians trying to change their public image, failed pop stars seeking another comeback etc but I have to say, there’s never a dull day in the Ryan Air press office.

    Michael O’Leary’s gift for getting media attention (or one of his very smart colleague’s gifts) is incredible. There was the mooted “Fat Tax” which was met with extreme hostilty, a plot to remove the number of toilets and now we have them floating the idea of a standing room only seat. These will be cheaper and maybe even free.


    It was communicated (as ever by O’Leary) in simple, dynamic, “what’s wrong with that?” style and I have to say the idea appeals to me. As a taller gent of around 6ft 4-ish I regularly feel uncomfortable sitting down/hovering between the armrests and would love to be able to stand up, I can almost feel the threat of DVT retreating as I type.

    So, is this a genuine offer, designed to cut costs and reduce the fares even further or is it a PR stunt? O’Leary spent nearly as much time on-air (Sky News) talking down British Airways as he did talking about this latest scheme which seemed at first glance a gimmick to allow him to announce Ryan Air’s continuing surge in sales.

    Whatever it was, I’m sure there’s plenty of folks right now talking about it, once again ensurring that Ryan Air and their maverick boss get their share of media attention and even more.


    Standing room only with Ryan Air

    Standing room only with Ryan Air

    Ryan Air’s Michael O’Leary plans standing room only

    No Comments on Taking the Michael…Ryan Air standing room seats a PR stunt?

    Read More
  • The Apprentice – lesson 1, deals just fall into your lap…

    Mar 26 • Uncategorized • 1468 Views


    Seconds into the opening titles and I’m already cringing about the future for the British economy. Where do they find these self-styled “business leaders of the future”? The great book of business cliches?

    “I’m a fighter”, “I’ve got a mouthy personality”, “I take no prisoners”, “I love money more than anything”, “winner takes all” etc etc. Yawn, they were just one more stereotype away from “Lunch is for wimps” or, I don’t know, “You’re fired!”. No, wait.

    I tuned into the first ever series intrigued to find yet another reality tv show (for this is what it essentially is folks, no matter how you style it) but one that was going to reward skill, effort, creativity and business acumen. You didn’t even have to like the participants. Excellent, could be interesting.

    Sadly, no. My interest waned as the show became more about re-working Alan Sugar’s damaged public profile post-Tottenham Hotspur and less about engaging the young fertile minds of Britain’s new business world order.

    I’ve skipped it since but I came back to it last night, encouraged by the promise of a more realistic, sober, credit-crunch conscious approach. Once the posturing was finally over, it looked promising. “Get out there and clean things” boomed Sir Alan or “SrAln” as the apprentices seemed to call him. That’s more like it, get out there with some raw materials,a bit of charm and turn some hard graft into hard cash.

    Unfortunately, that hard graft seemed conveninently glossed over. Now, I’m sure watching cold-calling sales patter is about as exciting as watching 10 strangers in a house arguing but it seemed rather too easy for both teams, despite the in-fighting to secure major potential contracts right off the bat.

    In the twinkling of SrAln’s eye, the boys had tracked down one of London’s biggest mini-cab firms and the girls had got hold of a luxury car dealership. Naturally, both businesses were happy to drop everything to have them pop over to negotiate terms as they happened to need their entire fleets cleaning.

    I can imagine the conversation amongst the directors…”Sorry? BBC prime time wants to come over to our lot and film a load of oiks cleaning our cars? For free? When? Sure, where do we sign? Make sure you’ve all had your hair cut and you’re dressed smartly guys – ooooh, who’s gonna play bad cop and who will be good cop? Our usual suppliers who we pay a retainer too? Oh, we’ll be ok, who needs to watch their costs? We’ll just absorb it.”

    So it was clearly all a set up. The BBC’s done the ground work, setting up potential gold mines for the teams to exploit and yes, I realise that is what is required to make the programme instantly compelling rather than seeing the teams pound the shoe leather and the phones searching for clients. However, that hard graft done for them, the tasks decended into a popularity and shouting competition.

    Who would emerge as top dog, or perhaps more fittingly, top bitch? Both the boys and the girls spent more time running eachother down, questioning leadership and style over outlining the business plan. As a result, lots of mess, a few tears (ok, I imagined that but they’ll be there next episode) and a spot of personality clashes.

    Is that business? Maybe. Is it reality? No. Is it reality TV? Yes. It did give nod to these more challenging economic times until the teams retired after a hard day to their luxury penthouse apartment complete with cocktail team and the real fun and fighting could begin. How long before we’re asked by Radio 1 who we think fancies who or which apprentice is the hottest? Important questions I’m sure.

    Anyway, I’m off to find a bucket, a sponge and Nottingham’s biggest cab firm. By my calculations I can make £200 profit by 7pm. Thanks SrAln.

    No Comments on The Apprentice – lesson 1, deals just fall into your lap…

    Read More
  • Crisis? What crisis? PR in a tight spot.

    Feb 10 • Crisis PR, General business • 1563 Views

    Ok, you’re going to need to take a look at your crisis communications plan. You have got one haven’t you? You haven’t? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Let’s take a look at what you SHOULD have done before this all kicked off.

    PR and handling the media is about relationships. You can’t expect to just waltz up to a journalist “delighted” with your good news if he/she doesn’t know you or your company from Adam/Eve.

    Well, you can, but you’ll have a far better chance of a positive response and some quality editorial if you have bothered to do some groundwork, found out what they want, when they want it and begun to build a two-way relationship.

    Relationships in business are crucial, whether it is with clients, suppliers, employees or the media. Journalists need stories. Good news stories make great copy but unfortunately so do negative stories. Journalists deal in news. Your bad news is just as important to them as your good news.

    So, what can you do? Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away because the deadline for comment will pass before you get back to them. There really are two sides to every story and you need to ensure you get yours over. If it involves you, or your business, you really should be on top of the facts. If you are still looking into the situation or are legally shackled, say so, but clarify any information that you can and don’t leave things open to speculation. If you ignore or shun a journalist, speculation is all they have to go on and any relationship built up to date is ruined or scuppered before you’ve even begun.

    If you do go down the “no comment” route, you don’t look like an iron-willed corporate shark, you look ill-informed, unprepared and sometimes, unsympathetic. There is only one thing you can control in a crisis – preparation. If you work in a more high risk environment consider the “what if” scenarios.

    What would you do if X happened? What are your processes for clarifying the situation, communicating it to colleagues and then the media? In that order? Yes, I think so. Your employees deserve to know the facts from you and not from tomorrow’s papers. Also, if you do go for the “no comment” approach, guess where the journalist is heading next?

    In conclusion, journalists are not out to get you, they are out to get a story. Make sure at least half of it is yours.

    No Comments on Crisis? What crisis? PR in a tight spot.

    Read More
  • Gordon Bennett! Brown in black and white.

    Sep 23 • Politics • 1429 Views

    Gordon Brown Labour Party Conference

    Gordon Brown Labour Party Conference

    I’ve just spent an hour watching Gordon Brown deliver his crucial speech to the Labour Party Conference. For a man who struggles with what his media personality actually is, he did very well. Why? Well, he was himself. I think.

    Gordon admitted he has been criticised in the media for being too serious. His response? “These are serious times.” He then softened his delivery using real-life anecdotes to describe his passion for a strong NHS. There was tub thumping but equally there was admission of mistakes made, notably in relation to the 10p tax debacle.

    He attacked the Tories, his party craved that and he did it pretty well. However, he didn’t get too tempted to launch into what they can’t or won’t do and concentrated on what Labour will do.

    Standing ovations greeted him a number of times as he delivered a strong performance but I wonder if his wife Sarah, who actually opened the conference and introduced him, will receive just as many plaudits in tomorrow’s tabloids?

    He also managed a sly dig at those questioning his leadership credentials. “These are no times for an apprentice,” he joked. Which David was that aimed at I wonder?

    No Comments on Gordon Bennett! Brown in black and white.

    Read More