Marketing Exeter & Newton Abbot

The Devon Public Relations agency blog, near Newton Abbot & Exeter

New business? Want PR? Here’s a handy PR checklist

paperwithlogo

We have designed this PR checklist because often brand new companies will come to an agency with an idea that they “need some PR”…

However, very few people who have just set up a new company are 100% clear about what it is they are seeking.  This PR Checklist sets out to clarify their objectives.  Feel free to use it as a tool to support what you are looking for from PR and marketing.

  1. What do you understand by PR/Marketing? Why do you think you need PR?
  2. What do you understand about the difference between marketing and sales?
  3. Before you set up your business, who wrote your business plan? What are their ideas?
  4. As part of your business plan, you will have created a marketing plan… has that changed? If so, why?
  5. Who will be doing your sales?
  6. What would success in Sales/PR/Marketing look like to you?
  Sales PR Marketing
In terms of new customers?  
Increased customer spend?
Geographical reach?    
Your brand awareness?      
Brand sustainability?
Any other factors?      

 

  1. Where are your existing customers? How did you get them?
  2. Where will you find new customers? Where do they hang out?
  3. What will make them want to buy from you? What pain are you solving for them?
  4. What are your PR/marketing/advertising budgets?
PR – monthly fee + Photography costs Advertising – design costs, media booking, time, Marketing – collateral, design, production, time Totals – x 12 for a year+ 10% contingency
  1. How much new business will you need to gain in order to make this budget realistic?
  2. How are you going to measure your success?

 

 Was this PR checklist helpful?  Shall we talk?    

www.bigresults.co.uk   07772 333001

Big Results – 18 years on, the business says: “…

Hey everyone, thank you so much for congratulating my business, on its 18 years anniversary.
I’ve managed to track the business down and get a quote:
“It’s been a blast! I’m 18 years old, but feel more like 5. Every year has brought its own challenges. For my first 6 months, things were quite easy. I resided in the spare bedroom, was tended quite well, for a part-time business, and together me and the boss got every Friday off so she could spend more time with her two-year-old daughter. We had a couple of lovely, fun clients. One of which was a lingerie manufacturer, who furnished the boss with plenty of free knickers! We also got a client who made sun-tan lotions and anti-cellulite creams. You can picture the fun that was had.

sue pic2

The boss, when she, and the business was much younger…

“At the tender age of 12 months, I was moved into the garage. It was cold in winter, but we snuggled up to an electric heater. In the spring, the boss and I looked out over the garden, watching the rabbits hop amongst the strawberries, whilst on the phone to top newspapers and magazines. Quite blissful. Then the “big new client” loomed on the horizon and the boss took on her first employee. Linda. We liked Linda, who became instantly pregnant, and took great pains to cover the baby-bump with a huuuugge cardigan, when we went out to see clients.

“I have to say the boss was quite fun-focused, spending her time, meeting the media, networking and schmoozing, but clients loved the results she and Linda got, and soon, armed with clients like Central Trains, Cosmopolitan Licensed Products and the Lingerie company (free knickers for Linda too now!) it became time to move yet again!

“My next couple of years were still quite cold. Alongside the canal in Worcestershire, the boss hired a workshop with marble floors and towering ceilings. Impossible to get warm except by doing vigorous activity, and putting electric heaters under our desks. The lovely Katherine joined Linda and the Boss, and soon she too was pregnant! (What is it about working for this company!?)

“Well I grew and grew, at the age of five, I had two offices, and by six I’d consolidated again into one large office over two floors. And this time we had proper heating!!! Oh, and a toilet – indoors. For the first time. I didn’t mention that did I? See, PR isn’t always glamorous!

“At seven, we joined company with another PR agency, and called ourselves Haswell Holden, and at 11, we unjoined, and I went back to Big Results.

“And now, a veteran in my 18th year. I’ve settled down with Big Results as my grown up name. I’m expanding still – now we are offering training programmes in NLP, Stress Management, and of course PR & Marketing.

“I’ve got a lot more choosy too – I will only work for clients that I like and that enjoy great results. Over the past 18 years, I’ve had to finish with a few of relationships that weren’t working out, and it’s never easy. But finally, I’ve grown up enough to decide who I want to work for and who I don’t.

“The boss is writing a novel now. Her first book, PR Superstar is still selling well. New adventures loom over the horizon, and I think, with 18 years of experience under my belt, I’m ready to tackle the world. In fact I’ve always been ready to tackle the world, it’s just that the world wasn’t ready for me.”

By: Big Results 10/2/15, aged 18 years and nine days.

This is why I LOVE my job

I’ve just received this testimonial from a client, and I thought I’d share it with you.  Not only because it’s really lovely and it makes me all wobbly-headed, but also because I thought it’s quite good to explain how I worked with Jason.

You can see why I love my clients!!!

 

Sue Haswell and the Big Results PR & Marketing company was recommended to me by a close friend; she had worked with Sue to develop her own business. My friend  knew I had a lot of ideas but was struggling to find the right start point and needed a coach and mentor to help lift the fog and bring clarity to my business direction.

 

Sue and I live geographically quite a distance from each other but this makes absolutely no difference in working together or the results that have been achieved to date. In the first two Skype sessions she has helped establish the start point for my business, my brand and the first product that I should start on; which was no mean feat as at the time I had around 30 pages of ideas!

 

In the four months since those sessions I have written the book, worked out and am implementing the marketing plan and identified the next product to develop, it’s not only quite simply an amazing journey but my new business is unfolding quickly in front of my eyes!

 

She is excellent at tailoring a plan in and around your business needs and constantly acts as the ‘voice of reason’ to challenge, check progress and make sure everything is on track. But it doesn’t end there as the support continues throughout the whole process whether developing the product, implementing or marketing it she is always on hand to give that extra piece of advice that makes the difference; not only in business but also personal matters too!

 

Her vivacious nature and ‘Big Personality’ is infectious and you cannot fail to like Sue as a coach but also a very warm and caring person. These attributes help to drive her creativity and ability to pick out and shape ideas quickly as she gets to know who you are and how you tick.

 

Sue has been quite simply the best recommendation I have ever received to help me develop my own business. I look forward to not only continuing but also building on the relationship I have with her and developing many more successful ventures.

 

Jason Scott Oakes

The Make It Happen Coach and Author of ‘Putting ‘The Boot’ On the Other Foot: Successfully Project Managing Yourself Out of Redundancy’  

 

Just saying…

Sue Haswell founder of Devon Public Relations Compan, Big Results PR & Marketing

Welcome to the Devon Public Relations blog. Views and musings from Sue Haswell, founder of the Devon based Public Relations and Marketing company, Big Results PR.

If you’d like to used any of these comments for articles please feel free to contact Sue Haswell for permission. Likewise if there’s a burning issue you’d particularly like to see covered from a PR & Marketing angle, please let us know.

You can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

 

Happy 16th Birthday Big Results

Woohoo! Congratulations to me! Sixteen years ago this month (2nd Feb 1997 to be precise) I took the heady step of setting up my own consultancy. I resigned from my old job on the 1st January, and I had enough cash to survive six weeks without a salary. I had a very old computer, and a second-hand desk. Oh, and a two-year-old toddler and a husband who was “between jobs”

Within a matter of six months I was earning more than ever before in my life! I’d won two fantastic new clients, and even taken on a member of staff  – the fabulous Linda Perkins!

With such fast expansion we decided to convert our garage into an office. Now Linda and I could look out over the strawberry patch in the garden, at the rabbits hopping on the lawn. It was freezing, and we often had to wear a couple of cardigans to keep warm, but we still managed to sound “sooo PR-darhling” whilst chatting to the editors of Cosmo and The Times. At first we had one telephone line between us, so we had to take it in turns to make calls.

Finally the day came when we hung up our double-cardi-garage-glam-style, for new offices in the countryside. We’d found a beautiful canal-side office, with high beamed ceilings, marbled floors and our own courtyard. This was just the place to entertain clients, and we won enough business to take on several new members of staff.
Kathryn Watts was our first choice – she’s such an amazing and positive person, and great fun to work with. We were delighted when she joined us.

We moved around that little business park, snapping up each new office as it became available. In 2003 I took on a business partner, and by 2007, after employing over 12 people, we took over two floors in one large office building.

A major move was next on the horizon. I’d always wanted to live by the sea, so we decided to expand the business and open a Devon office. After much commuting, I now operate predominately from Devon with links to the Midlands.

Today I look out of my office window, over Devon hills and greenery. This time it’s warm enough, and I don’t need to double-up with cardigans, my computer is a lot newer, and I have two phone lines. I have a brilliant line up of clients who I adore, and a fabulous network of resources. I’m still in touch with Kathryn and Linda, and many of my other staff.

It may be 16 years old, but my business has made me feel like I’ve never had to “work” for a single day – I’ve enjoyed it so much. And I’m going to celebrate my 16th birthday of my business, by putting on two cardigans and going for walk on the beach with the dog and a few friends … because that’s what being in business is about. Freedom to do what you want to do. And being with friends.

 

Creativity and Conscious Thinking

One of my areas of work is in Laughter Yoga, which I often use to support creative thinking and training.  Just recently I’ve been doing some training using laughter to support organisations with their stress-management, and I’ve been consistently impressed at the benefits that laughter offers.

Smiling laughing and creative womanOne of the biggest issues with stress is that the logical left brain thinking that accompanies the feelings of overwhelm, tends to focus purely on  analytical processes.   This leads to circular thinking, with the problem and issue just going round and round.  The issue can then remain unresolved, because it needs some creative input – but logical thought processes simply won’t allow for the creative juices to flow.

One of the great benefits of laughter, is it offers a release from this analytical thinking/dwelling, and allows us to access that creative right side of our brain – the very place we need to allow creative solutions to appear

You can evidence this yourself – after all how often do you just dwell on a problem and get nowhere, but as soon as you stop thinking about it, the solution appears?

Creative Laughter and Laughter Yoga are fabulous tools in life, and of course in marketing.  For more information, please visit our other site: www.creativelaughter.co.uk

Article by Sue Haswell, you can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

 

“Your Easy-Peasy (and mainly free) Devon Public Relations & Marketing Checklist”

The basic premise of all advertising, marketing is to sell more and gain awareness. After all nobody is going to use a business they have never heard of.

And whilst there are plenty of marketing tools, there is always room for something that’s FREE! The reason PR is so popular is that four-lettered word, lovely isn’t it?
So here’s a no-nonsense PR checklist. Most items on it are free, and if there is a cost, it’s usually very little.

When you have your head down, working harder than ever, it’s easy to overlook the amazing – and free! – tool that is PR. Unlike advertising, the newspapers aren’t going to phone you to remind you of your deadline for a press release. In fact, nobody is going to nag you for your PR. So it’s important to set some time aside and be pro-active about it.

Now that’s all fine, if you know exactly what you’re being pro-active about. If you have a strategy and a schedule, and you know what releases are going out, and where to upload your latest article… but let’s face it, most small business owner are not strategic about their advertising, PR or networking. “It’s just stuff we do and ultimately it works”. Even larger companies freely admit that they know that some of their marketing works, but they don’t know which bit!
But the basic premise of all advertising, marketing and PR is to sell more and gain awareness. After all nobody is going to use a business they have never heard of.

Of course, I utterly recommend a strategy when it comes all marketing. Identifying key audiences, key messages, best timing, etc… these are all vital steps. But before all that there needs to be a loose idea of what can be achieved and what needs to go into the strategy.

So, here’s my list of “easy-peasy” PR tips.

Chances are, you’ve already achieved quite a number of them, but if you’re starting at the beginning, or just want a complete refresher on fabulous free ideas you can max up, then here you go…

– Be the best NOW – look after your own customers before you look for any more.

– Be nosy – find out what your clients think about you, and act if they have any issues. Take an interest in your customers and…

… Be a luvvy. Make sure you pay attention to the niceties – make every client or customer feel like a million dollars and they won’t want to go elsewhere.

– Be positive – when customers pick up the phone, they don’t want to be reminded that it’s been a tough week at work. So stay positive, upbeat, lively and focused on them. When you are talking to customers take every opportunity to be positive about your business, but remember to listen first.

– Be the first. Make sure that your business is the first one they think of. Look at the various ways of promoting your business. Leaflets, letters, emails, website, word of mouth, etc. If people think of you first, then you’re more likely to get the order. Of course, if they don’t think of you at all, then you’ve no chance.

– Be different. Consider things that you’ve not done before, especially if they don’t cost too much to promote your business. Eshot campaigns, surveys, etc.

– Be loud. If you’ve won a new client, achieved something (10, 20 years in business, an award etc) invented something or just done something that you think is worthy of the media’s attention, then write that press release and get it out to the local papers. There are plenty of guidelines on the web about what to write and how. If you really can’t bear to write, then pick up the phone and talk to the press.

– Be beautiful online. Have a gorgeous website and make sure it works to promote your business. Ask customers what they think and listen to them.

– Be savvy. Embrace social media, online forums, networking, etc. Of course make sure they are relevant – and never, never say anything in print that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

– Be a friend – Friends know about each others’ businesses and needs. They know when times are tough, and they spot opportunities for each other. So if appropriate, be a friend to your customers and contact them when you see an opportunity that would be good for them. Recommend them wherever possible.

– Be talked about. Do something different to set your business aside and promote it. What can you do that will differentiate you? Think back to your research and talking to customers – what are they saying?

– Be available. Make sure your details are readily accessible. Make sure your website has your telephone number loud and clear. Check the online and offline directories you are with – have they got the right details?

– Be realistic. Ask for an appointment at your local Business Link. Get involved with your Chamber of Commerce, and look up the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Often these organisations are in the know when it comes to grants, funding, loans, etc. They are set up to help you with your business, so when things look a bit rocky, get in touch with them and make the most of their expertise.

– Be Brilliant. Go the extra mile, make sure your business is brilliant, because if it’s great now, imagine what it will be like when times get better!

Article by Sue Haswell, you can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

 

 

“Social Media for Social Businesses and Tourism in Devon”

Devon is a tourism hotspot – and if you’re in the tourism or hospitality industry –  (Devon or elsewhere!) you know that word-of-mouth recommendations and public relations are vital for business success.

Cogs in the wheels, Devon Public Relations is part of the wider pictureOnce upon a time… people used to phone each other, or even meet up to discuss things, with a friend or two.  Of course the conversation may have been overheard by a few more people, and it might have been passed on as hearsay, but in the “Olde Worlde” (pre-2002 AD) you could be certain that people’s conversations were mainly limited to their friends and friends-of-friends.

Now fast-forward to the present day … no longer are people just talking to each other – they are communicating directly with the outside world with their Androids, Blackberries and iPhones.

Suddenly cosy conversations are being heard by hundreds if not THOUSANDS of their contacts, immediately, via Social Media.

And whether you like it or not – they are telling their contacts EXACTLY what they think of YOUR establishment, bar or venue!

“Great food, beautiful scenery”

“Slack service, don’t bother coming here”

“Fab new barman, great coffee plus wifi. New fave place in town.”

 

Wow! Imagine having the power to get your message out to people who want to know. Imagine all that “word of mouth” activity, being influenced.

·    How many more people can you attract into your venue?

·    How much more profit can you make?

·    How much can you slash your advertising costs by?

And there’s more….

All this “instant” social media, the iphones, etc, this is only what people are saying in REAL time. They are also talking about you HISTORICALLY!Pasting up information on facebook, openly arranging meetings at YOUR place – or at your competitors???

 

Master the power of social media

Work with Big Results the Devon Public Relations company to  take control of your social media

Review stage 1 (telephone or face to face)

·    Appraisal of your business and what social media can do for you

·    Review your competition – what are they doing?

·    Review your clients – where are they to be found in the social media world?

Action stage 2

·    Setting up your key social media tools – we’ll do it all for you, based on the review, so it’s all ready to roll.

·    Training on how to use the tools on a one-to-one basis, helping you to get the most out of them.

Costs: The cost will depend on what tools we choose and what you already have in place. There may be a need for photography, extra copy, logo’s etc.

 

Why charities are missing out on Public Relations

No matter how financially secure your business or charity is, chances are the current economy is biting – and hard!

Whether you’re a charity losing out on grants, or whether your donors have tightened their belts… perhaps your funds are stretched to breaking point – with more and more people calling on your services.

Maybe you’re finding it more difficult to gain the funding you normally would be offered – more competition, greater demands on your time, more onerous bidding processes, and far more good causes competing in a smaller arena.

Whatever the situation, you’re in a tougher place than you were a few years ago – so what on earth can you do about it?

I believe that Public Relations could be the perfect tool to put your charity or tourism business in the lead when it comes to funding!

As a charity, you’ll probably be helping people every day, so your organisation is likely to be swarming with great news stories, things that the media would simply love to hear. Unfortunately, very few of these stories tend to see the light of day, simply because the charity is too busy, or people within just don’t have the training to realise they are sitting on a potential gold mine.n excellent way to ensure potential funders hear about you, it’s also a fantastic way for charities to get their point across.

The other great opportunity provided by Public Relations is to work closely with your funders.  Public Relations can be the perfect vehicle to promote your charity’s work and, at the same time, showing your funders you are actively appreciative of their support.  This can help to create a long term partnership approach, with a win-win scenario, and even access to further funding.”

And finally, let’s not forget that Public Relations is free of charge when it comes to media cost.  Unlike advertising, which comes with a price tag, the “cost” of Public Relations, is in the time to write and issue it to the media.

As funders are demanding more and more of their charity pound, I urge all charities to become more media-savvy and to make the most of PR.  Unlike many businesses, the good-news stories are available in abundance and the long-term impacts can be tremendous.

Article by Sue Haswell, you can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

 

What is the price of fame?

Public Relations in Devon and costs.

Public Relations is such an amazing tool – it can generate interest and awareness of your company with no media cost.*

Added to that, the perceived endorsement can provide exceptional results. Some brands have soared from obscurity into sell-out successes, based on just one media mention.

Amazingly, given the fact that many Public Relations campaigns can cost less than just one advertisement, there are still some costs associated with it – costs for PR materials, products to give away/test, consultancy fees, etc, people are still concerned about the cost of it.

That’s why Big Results, the Devon Public Relations agency, has launched a “Fixed Price” Press Release deal, to help make your business BIG news – but keep control of the purse-strings.
• Have you got a great product or service?
• Want to spread the news?
– then hand the job to professionals who specialise in catching attention.
Once we know a little more about your business, we can provide you with a *fixed price PR solution*. For example, in our fixed price press release package, you’ll get:
• Consultation with an experienced, trained PR professional
• A press release written for your comments and approval
• The opportunity to change and discuss the release
• A final press release written and sent out to the best publications for your story (we do all the research)
• Telephone follow up to the top 10 media titles in the media list.
………AND you look forward to the phone ringing more often.
All this for just a pre-agreed FIXED PRICE – keeping YOU in control of the budget.
Call us on 01626 864458, or email us for more information
* No cost for advertising, or taking media space.

Article by Sue Haswell, you can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

Social Media for Social Businesses and Tourism in Devon

Devon is a tourism hotspot – and if you’re in the tourism or hospitality industry – (Devon or elsewhere!) you know that word-of-mouth recommendations and public relations are vital for business success.

Once upon a time… people used to phone each other, or even meet up to discuss things, with a friend or two. Of course the conversation may have been overheard by a few more people, and it might have been passed on as hearsay, but in the “Olde Worlde” (pre-2002 AD) you could be certain that people’s conversations were mainly limited to their friends and friends-of-friends.

Now fast-forward to the present day … no longer are people just talking to each other – they are communicating directly with the outside world with their Androids, Blackberries and iPhones.

Suddenly cosy conversations are being heard by hundreds if not THOUSANDS of their contacts, immediately, via Social Media.

And whether you like it or not – they are telling their contacts EXACTLY what they think of YOUR establishment, bar or venue!
“Great food, beautiful scenery”
“Slack service, don’t bother coming here”
“Fab new barman, great coffee plus wifi. New fave place in town.”

Wow! Imagine having the power to get your message out to people who want to know. Imagine all that “word of mouth” activity, being influenced.
· How many more people can you attract into your venue?
· How much more profit can you make?
· How much can you slash your advertising costs by?

And there’s more….
All this “instant” social media, the iphones, etc, this is only what people are saying in REAL time. They are also talking about you HISTORICALLY!Pasting up information on facebook, openly arranging meetings at YOUR place – or at your competitors???

Master the power of social media

Work with Big Results the Devon Public Relations company to take control of your social media
Review stage 1 (telephone or face to face)
· Appraisal of your business and what social media can do for you
· Review your competition – what are they doing?
· Review your clients – where are they to be found in the social media world?
Action stage 2
· Setting up your key social media tools – we’ll do it all for you, based on the review, so it’s all ready to roll.
· Training on how to use the tools on a one-to-one basis, helping you to get the most out of them.
Costs: The cost will depend on what tools we choose and what you already have in place. There may be a need for photography, extra copy, logo’s etc.
Article by Sue Haswell, you can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus

 

 


What is the price of fame?

PR is such an amazing tool – it can generate interest and awareness of your company with no media cost.*

Added to that, the perceived endorsement can provide exceptional results. Some brands have soared from obscurity into sell-out successes, based on just one media mention.

Amazingly, given the fact that many Public Relations campaigns can cost less than just one advertisement, people are still concerned about the cost of it. Granted there are still some costs associated with it – costs for materials, building press packs, events, products to give away/test, consultancy fees, etc, but pound for publicity point, Public Relations is one of the most cost-effective routes to your business promotion.

Transparency and fees

One thing that’s frequently a concern when it comes to marketing is the fees.  We believe in total transparency, so that’s why Big Future has launched a “Fixed Price” Press Release deal, to help make your business BIG news – but keep control of the purse-strings.

• Have you got a great product or service?

• Want to spread the news?

– then hand the job to professionals who specialise in catching attention.

Once we know a little more about your business, we can provide you with a *fixed price PR solution*. For example, in our fixed price press release package, you’ll get:

• Consultation with an experienced, trained marketing and public relations professional

• A press release written for your comments and approval

• The opportunity to change and discuss the release

• A final press release written and sent out to the best publications for your story (we do all the research)

• Telephone follow up to the top 10 media titles in the media list.

………AND you look forward to the phone ringing more often.

All this for just a pre-agreed FIXED PRICE – keeping YOU in control of the budget.

Call us on 01626 864458, or email results@bigresults.co.uk for more information

* No cost for advertising, or taking media space.
Article by Sue Haswell, Google+

Sue Haswell founder of Devon Public Relations Compan, Big Results PR & MarketingYou can contact Sue Haswell through GooglePlus