The PR Guru

December 10, 2010

Liz Thursfield

Struggle using the Internet? Want to know how to get your business online?

You’re in luck! The next session of our PR Coaching Programme will be here before you know it.

On 20th December at Lymedale Business Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, we have a great speaker coming along to give you advice on how your business can utilise the power of Facebook to bring in enquiries and for promotion.

There are currently more than 500 million people on Facebook and it is one of the most visited websites on the Internet, so getting your business a page/group on here is bound to get you noticed.

Not only that… our session is taken by a professional Social Media Advisor, Liz Thursfield, who has her own website Ariadne’s Thread.

Liz’ approach to consultancy is to concentrate on getting you the results you want and not imposing her own agenda. She is direct and straightforward, giving workable solutions!

When we did a LinkedIn poll, a lot of you said you would like more information on how to harness the power of the Internet, so why not come along and get some advice from Liz?

We hope to see you there.

If you’d like to join us, give us a call on 01782 472035/07880 733138 or e-mail

The two-hour session takes place between 12 and 2. Places cost £60 + VAT.

Our Coaching Programme consists of 12 sessions, each covering a different aspect of PR. These include organising local media coverage, using social networking sites, and putting together events on a limited budget.


October 27, 2010

The press reveal the horrific truth about what happened to Baby P and we show you how the press always report stories in different ways

Most newspapers have today revealed that information in a secret report showed how Baby P was abandoned by the police, social workers, doctors and lawyers, to be left with his evil mother and tortured to death. This information, as always, was kept from the media because it is incredibly horrifying for anyone to know that that sort of thing can happen to a child. The police should have taken action to ensure that this did not happen and quite frankly I am shocked that it was allowed to.

The media always manage to find out this information in the end and when they do they tend to try and find a way to report it in a different way. Our PR Coaching Programme, has been designed to help you tailor your press releases to match what the newspapers/magazines are looking to publish – just as a jobseeker should always adjust a C.V. to match a job specification. Different newspapers will always want to publish things from their own perspective.

So, it is no big suprise to see that they are all handling the news about the UK’s unexpectedly strong growth rate in different ways, as they struggle to make sense of it.

The Sun chose to compare the economy to an ill patient, saying there is a pulse but no room for complacency. The Daily Mail agrees that the situation is good but The Daily Telegraph cautions people not to be too optimistic and The Daily Express called it a relief.

Russia’s plans to play a role in supporting Nato’s mission in Afghanistan has also made headlines in several papers.

The Independent referred to it as a remarkable turn of events, pointing out that in the 80s Nato encouraged the mujahideen to drive the Russians out, whereas The Times says a return would be hugely emotive.

The Guardian chose to publish a horrific story, by reporting that brown bears in Siberia have been digging up corpses in village graveyards and eating them, whilst The Financial Times reports that supermarkets are offering cut price deals on Christmas food and drink weeks earlier than usual.

In other news, John Barrowman is to star in the Christmas Special of Strictly Come Dancing, alongside other major celebrities (including Fern Britton) who were unable to commit to appearing in an entire series. The episode will be shown on Christmas Day but will be filmed on 20th November.

July 9, 2010

Funding now available for coaching programmes!

Great news! We have tapped into some funding which makes our PR coaching programmes even more affordable!

You could be eligible for grants of up to £1000 through the Director Development Programme, which helps businesses up-skill their directors (as the name suggests).

So you could put this towards learning the skills you need to run your own PR campaigns – marketing your business more effectively and more importantly bringing in more leads!

We guarantee you will generate coverage worth at least 10 times your investment, and in at least one in ten of the media titles you target.

And best of all, you might not even have to pay for it!

 To be eligible for the grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have at least five people working within your organisation – this can include volunteers, directors and part-timers
  • And you must not have claimed funding through the DDP in the last two years

 However if you don’t meet those criteria, but would still like to be involved, we can still help you by spreading the payments.

 The Be Your Own PR Person coaching programme gives you access to the top media professionals in Staffordshire and helping you brainstorm ideas for stories and stay focussed on your campaign. The more focussed you are on your campaign, the more successful you will be.

There are two options:

Option A (£1500 + VAT):

  • monthly one-to-one coaching sessions with an experienced PR professional
  • 12 sessions featuring presentations from local industry experts
  • help brainstorming ideas for press releases
  • support in setting goals and committing to your campaign

Option B (£500 + VAT):

  • 12 sessions with industry professionals
  • help brainstorming ideas for press releases
  • support in setting goals and committing to your campaign

 Give us a call for more info: 01782 472035 or 07880 733138. Or email

February 20, 2010

Coaching programme launches on Monday!

The wait is almost over people!

Yes, the first session of the Richard Swancott Associates PR coaching programme, known as Be Your Own PR Person, takes place at the Lymedale Business Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme on Monday (12pm-2pm).

Map of Lymedale Business Centre

Our first speaker is David Johnson, the Business Editor at our local newspaper The Sentinel.

David will be speaking on what The Sentinel wants from your press releases, which types of stories will be more likely to generate the best coverage, and most importantly what they don’t want in a story.

We are trying to rid the world of the rubbish press release!

We are still looking to line up further speakers, but we’ll be looking to bring in experts from local magazines and radio stations, and others to present on using social media, writing award applications, and finding public speaking opportunities.

Give us a shout if you would like more information. Don’t worry if you can’t make it on Monday – it’s a rolling programme so any sessions you miss will be tagged on to the end.

December 2, 2009

PR Coaching Programme – What Should I Call It?

I’ve had a fabulous response to yesterday’s announcement on the PR coaching programme.

I mentioned it at BNI this morning and three or four of my fellow networkers said what a good idea they thought it was. I may even have a couple of people signed up already!

And I’ve had some hits from the local media too. Six to be precise, including Midlands Business News.

So it’s encouraging, but I need to do what many PR agencies in Staffordshire fail to do – promote myself effectively. I should point out that I’m not suggesting this is just a Staffordshire problem! It affects PR firms everywhere 🙂

It’s bizarre and ironic that PR companies – the ones always telling other companies how to raise their profile – aren’t very good at doing it for themselves.

I am working on some coverage in The Sentinel, but they’ve asked me to come up with an idea for an image! Surely that’s their job? They are the photographers!

And I’ve done an interview with Staffordshire Life which should be published in a couple of weeks.

But I need to maintain that momentum and I’m thinking of organising a launch event for the beginning of January. What do you think? I’ve heard of (and managed a few) product launches – but service launches????

I’m also struggling for a name for it – what do you reckon? I’d welcome your suggestions…

December 1, 2009

Richard Swancott Associates – The PR Pioneers!

PR agencies are not often known as innovators. Many of them have the image of being set in their ways, relying on traditional methods of promotion and not opening their minds to future possibilities.

Not us. We always like to experiment and do things a little bit differently from other PR agencies in Staffordshire. Someone has to, I guess.

With that in mind I have an exciting annoucement about a ground-breaking new service Richard Swancott Associates will be offering in the New Year.

We are launching a PR coaching programme, which is unique, certainly in this country.

It will consist of 12 two hour monthly sessions, bringing businesses together to brainstorm ideas for press releases – and their PR campaigns in general – solve any problems they might be having with their campaigns, and introduce them to industry experts to help them make the most of their stories.

But more about that later. First, here’s the problem as I see it. Many PR firms in Staffordshire and beyond offer workshops on writing press releases and developing PR strategies. We are one of them.

While they are really good at getting people fired up and giving them plenty of ideas – or so our clients tell us – their enthusiasm quickly disappears when the workshop finishes. It’s natural in business, especially as one man bands – we always have the best intentions to put what we’ve learnt into practice, but something always crops up to distract us.

So how can we ensure our guests really drive it forward and avoid falling into that trap? The answer is our PR coaching programme!

We’ll be offering advice on what makes a good story, bringing in speakers from the local media, trade press and companies with track records of getting national media coverage.

We’ll give YOU the opportunity to pitch your ideas direct to your local media, and tell them what you want from them!

We’ll bring in experts who can tell you how to write winning award applications, how to write for the web, and how to organise events and publicity stunts.

And we’ll have words of wisdom from social media experts who can show you how to make the most of blogs, forums and sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Our goal is to turn Staffordshire’s small businesses into mini PR machines, who can generate great coverage – and as a result loads of enquiries – without having to turn to agencies.

Yes it may do us out of some business, but that’s a small price to pay to get some local businesses punching above their weight and competing on a national level.

So that’s it, let me know what you think! Would be happy to hear your thoughts…

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