SPOTLIGHT BLOG

Producing quality content has never been more important — as witnessed by the phenomenal growth of online streaming media platforms like Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes. These mega media entertainment giants have gone far beyond simply showing films and TV shows of other producers; they are commissioning and making their own award-winning products. The drive for original product is mirrored in the business world where numerous social media and business networking platforms are content hungry. The benefits of generating great content are clear; creating and sharing your own builds confidence and starts conversations with the people that matter to you. However, one of the biggest challenges for busy small […]

When I first started out in public relations and communications in Manchester I handled the Boddington Pub Co account, a mixed bag of 500 pubs and pub restaurants in north-west England. Back then promoting an individual outlet was not only a tough time-consuming ask, it was also expensive.  Media platforms to reach customers were local daily and weekly newspapers, leaflet drops, on-site posters and banners or brilliant PR stories. I once relaunched a pub in North Manchester. Loads of great coverage but it cost a small fortune for an actress to play Elizabeth 1 to knight the new landlord in front of his regulars. Fast forward a decade or two […]

We live in fast moving times where instant satisfaction has become the order of the day for many, especially in the services sectors where decisions have to be made in a matter of seconds. One leading restaurant operator once said his staff had about 10 seconds to resolve a customer’s complaint before they had lost them for good. This is increasingly the case for others, such as printers, technology providers and creatives, who have traditionally enjoyed longer timeframes. However, nowadays people are demanding faster turnarounds than ever before. For some this is a lot easier than done. Others rise to the challenge. I was talking to a couple of authors […]

As a writer, I am always looking for ways to improve my skills and my ability to communicate effectively.  And I am not alone, judging by the proliferation of ‘how to’ writing books and websites over the last decade. You can always learn from these books but nothing in my personal and professional opinion beats the late great Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. Elmore wrote 60 or 70 books and nine screenplays and was still prolific into his late eighties! Here is an abridged version of his ten tips that first appeared in the New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.”  My comments, explaining how they apply to copywriting, […]

On a purely professional level, Donald Trump winning the election to become the 45th President of the United States of America provides us with a fascinating case study. Trump is nobody’s fool and throughout his election campaign he cleverly and successfully positioned himself as the ‘politically incorrect candidate and became the first reality TV President’. However, what worked for him then is unlikely to work for any of us (unless our strategy is cause controversy and chaos and deliberately alienate people from our brand). I explain why in my white paper ‘Why Fake News is good for him but not for us’. The publication explores  10 reasons why your PR […]