The PR Guru

September 5, 2012


Staffordshire Marketing Academy‘s inspirational event is back!

Action for Business Live 4 is returning to the Best Western Moat House, Festival Park on November 2nd, once again featuring a packed line-up of the county’s top marketing and business development specialists, dynamic entrepreneurs and amazing keynote speakers!

Our last event, back in March, was attended by more than 130 business people, who took part in Staffordshire’s first Twitterthon, discovered how Mo Chaudry had overcome adversity and controversy to become one of the UK’s top businessmen, and shed a few tears at the emotional story of Steve Cunningham, the World’s Fastest Blind Man.

Be prepared for another rollercoaster of emotions, as we motivate, educate and surprise – and more importantly give you the ammunition to change your business for the better!

We’ll be announcing our subjects and speakers over the next few weeks, so stay up-to-date by following this blog or visiting


February 12, 2010

Brad Burton interview coming soon!

Had a fabulous week! Hope you have too!

The highlight has been my interview with 4Networking supremo and founder Brad Burton, who certainly has some interesting – and pretty forthright – opinions on how a small business should market itself.

He’s also got some advice for aspiring authors, based on the success of his book Get Off Your Arse.

Some more info on Brad is available here:

I’ll be adding the interview in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on the site for details. You’ll be able to download it from iTunes too, as soon as I’ve sorted out all the techie stuff.

Be warned – Brad uses some pretty tasty language, in keeping with a fat Grant Mitchell lookalike (his words not mine!), so the interview is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

We’ll also be adding a reprised version of our interview with Mo Chaudry, featuring loads more advice on turning your company into the market leader, in due course too.

January 25, 2010

Mo Chaudry interview

Filed under: Uncategorized — richardswancott @ 8:15 pm
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We have resolved the technical issues which afflicted us on Friday, you’ll be pleased to hear, so here is the interview with Staffordshire entrepreneur Mo Chaudry.

Mo gives us a fascinating insight into:

  • what he learned from his father and the failure of his business
  • how he marketed himself at the very beginning, just after he’d launched his financial services business
  • how he has spent Waterworld’s marketing budget since buying the aqua park in 1999
  • which types of marketing have given him the best return on investment
  • the role of social media and how Waterworld will be using it this year

He also has plenty of advice for anyone with a small business, or just starting out in business, on how they should market themselves.

So here it is for your listening pleasure:

Mo Chaudry Interview Jan 21 2010

Hope you enjoy it! Please feel free to let me know what you think.


January 23, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — richardswancott @ 4:02 pm

…to anyone who has visited us looking for the interview with Mo Chaudry.

We’ve had a few technical issues but will sort them out this weekend and make sure it’s posted on Monday.



January 18, 2010

The PR gaffes just keep on coming…

Hello everyone and happy new year to all of you.

Well it’s been a great year already for PR gaffes. Snow has done its reputation no favours by making its presence felt over the past couple of weeks. And how many companies have shown how ill-prepared they are for a bit of the white stuff?

I won’t have a rant about snow though because the makers are unlikely to hire a PR man.

My favourite gaffes so far have come from the Government (didn’t they pride themselves on their presentation in the old days?) and the owners of Liverpool FC, who have shown between them how (not) to present a united front and how (not) to address your customers.

Let’s start at the top. Merely a few hours into the first working week, Labour MPs Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt joined forces to try and force good old Gordon Brown out of his job. I think the voters are about to make a pretty good job of that without your help, thank you very much.

They claimed their efforts to set up  secret ballot of MPs on the party leadership was not an attempted coup. Of course not! How could a vote on the Prime Minister’s leadership but anything but a vote of confidence?

All they’ve achieved is to drive more voters away from the party, and show how little they care about what’s going on in the real world. They would much rather fight their internal battles.

Shouldn’t Labour’s PR machine be showing us why we should vote for them at the moment?

So after that shining example of how to run a political party in election year, we turn to a classic demonstration of how a company should address its customers.

The relationship of Liverpool FC’s American directors, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, with the club’s fans has never exactly been harmonious. In fact it’s so bad the fans would rather stick with a clueless manager!

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Tom Hicks’ son (the imaginatively named Tom Hicks Jr) decided to launch a foul-mouthed rant in an email to a fan.

Now we don’t know what was in the original email, of course. Sender Stephen Horner has been described as ‘a fan with genuine concerns’ by his fellow supporters. Whilst that may be true, we have no idea how he expressed those concerns.

Whether he expressed them politely or not is not the issue though. For Tom Hicks Jr to launch into a tirade, and call Horner an ‘idiot’ and much worse, is unacceptable. Can you imagine a Starbucks or McDonald’s director abusing customers like that?

Liverpool’s directors need to appreciate there is no football club without its fans. Yes, football clubs are not like other businesses due to the loyal support they receive from their fans. But they are still businesses and fans are their customers.

Thankfully, Junior has done the decent thing and resigned, but the damage has been done and if it wasn’t irreparable before that incident, it certainly is now.

I’ll be back again next month with more gaffes.

In the meantime, make sure you tune in on Friday for our interview with Staffordshire entrepreneur Mo Chaudry, the man dubbed the Original Slumdog Millionaire after leaving humble surroundings in rural Pakistan and building a £40m fortune.

Have a great week everyone!

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