Cluster Tea-making Politics

Oli Bowen, account executive, Clarion Communications

Ah, tea. The nation’s favourite (behind water, that is).  Our nation’s go-to in an emergency, if we have a hangover and, well, for all those awkward silent moments where no-one has anything to say.  Other than ’tea anyone?’

It’s a Small World

Laura Nye, account manager, Clarion Communications

The internet has made the world smaller and more accessible in a relatively short period of time - when I was growing up if we wanted to speak with relatives in Australia or America it was either by phone (expensive) or by letter.  And the time it took to get a response could be weeks or even months.  Now, with the use of Skype and social media, the world has become an incredibly small and more accessible place - with communication from the UK to both Australia and the US taking seconds, not weeks.

What is it you do, dear?

Sue Roberts, board director, Clarion Communications

I sometimes envy teachers and doctors, not because I’d particularly like to work in either profession - although a teacher’s holiday allowance would be nice - but purely to avoid the awkward conversation that follows the inevitable dinner party question, “what exactly do you do?”.  Once the general guffaw about daily quaffing of champagne has passed, how do you explain in a nutshell the colourful and varied life of a PRO?

Jumping on the Brand Britain bandwagon

Rebecca Binks, senior account manager, Clarion Communications

I read an article in the Daily Mail recently about how Asda inappropriately complained to suppliers using the Union flag on their packaging amid fears it might offend customers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Er, hang on - aren’t both countries represented by the flag?  Like many of the manufacturers who received the crazy email, I was a little confused.

Is Creating New Content the Biggest Challenge Facing PR?

Katy Jameson, senior account executive, Clarion Communications

News is on a constant cycle - and in our fast-paced world, where we have access to both real-time updates online, as well as daily newspapers and both weekly and monthly magazines, I think it's almost irrefutable that every PR story has been done before.

PR Stunts – Are They Risky Business?

Kathryn Webster, account manager, Clarion Communications

When I began researching a career in PR there was one part that really excited me: the big PR stunt.  It’s the crazy idea that comes up in the brainstorm to which people don’t know whether to applaud or hang their head in shame. We all remember the classics - the polar bear on the Thames, Gail Porter on the side of Big Ben and most recently the Pimms giant deck chair on Bournemouth beach. Yes, ultimately some PR stunts do work in securing high profile national coverage but what about the rest of them that are long forgotten by the media and which brands have invested huge sums of money into producing?

The Power of the Brainstorm

Kathryn Platt, account executive, Clarion Communications
The good old brainstorm - or ‘thought shower’ as it should now be called if you’re being politically correct - is an essential technique used by PRs to generate creative ideas.  But is the brainstorm still effective within busy agency life?

You Are What You Wear?

Matt Stokoe, associate director, Clarion Communications

A suit and tie. The expected attire for any man attending a wedding, christening or funeral - but what role does it have in today’s world for creative industries like PR and marketing?

Secret PR Skills no.1 – Health & Safety

James Regal, senior account manager, Clarion Communications

Permission forms. Risk assessments. Method statements. Council permits. Hardly words that inspire one to push boundaries with daring PR ideas. That’s because cutting-edge consumer PR is sexy and dangerous, right?  Guerrilla stunts, giant outdoor installations and messing about with the general public are some of the mainstays of the best PR campaigns of the past decade.

The Things We Do For Coverage

James Fick, account executive, Clarion Communications

Most of my colleagues and clients view me - I think - as a confident, outgoing guy.  But when we proposed the idea of taking a group of eight ft-tall costumed characters on a commuter train route to be photographed, little did I know that both my colleagues and client would ask me to not just oversee the photos but take part in it as well (see above – I’m on far left studying the newspaper).

Twitter Snobs

Howard Bowden, head of news, Clarion Communications

Remember at school when you’d be the first to get into a band before anyone else?  And how rubbish it was when a bit later said band started having hits, and suddenly everyone else in your class was a huge fan?  So you’d look down your adolescent nose, and tell everyone how their earlier stuff was so much better…

Evaluating Social Media

Alison Crowley, senior account executive, Clarion Communications

How PR campaigns are evaluated is changing as quickly as new social media groups are being dubbed ‘the Next Facebook’. With the arrival of the likes of Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, traditional models for evaluating the success of an entire PR campaign are proving insufficient in dealing with the wide variety of digital coverage with which modern PR campaigns are generating i.e. ‘Likes’, ‘Retweets’, ‘Followers’ and ‘Repins’.

Jumping Through Hoops

Rachel McCartan, senior account executive, Clarion Communications

It’s a big year for Britain - and with the onslaught of the Olympics and the Jubilee, PRs everywhere are limbering up to get the ball rolling on their biggest news hooks of 2012.


Debbie Jackson, head of new business, Clarion Communications

Have my shopping habits as a mother changed over the past 12 months?  I can say a resounding 'yes'.  In fact I am responsible for most of the purchasing decisions in my household (with the recent exception of car tyres) - so what does that mean for brands trying to reach me and my family?

Clarion Helps Cleft Collective

Nicola Carroll, account executive, Clarion Communications

Recently I have been helping out with new Clarion client, The Healing Foundation - a UK charity that supports research into all aspects of disfigurement, scarring and reconstructive surgery, so a really worthwhile cause.

Face-to-Facing Facts

Maddalena Pinto, account manager, Clarion Communications

The world of PR is ever evolving with both journalists and PRs constantly changing their ways of workings, best practices and preferences. So is face-to-face time with journalists still the most effective way to achieve results for clients - or do the telephone and email work just as well, while being more cost-effective?

Making PR Accountable

Laura Jones, associate director, Clarion Communications

With all budgets under the microscope these days it’s essential that any marketing discipline can prove return on investment to survive.  But while Media Buyers have ‘opportunities to see', and Digital Marketers have clicks, likes and retweets, showing the true value of PR over and above advertising value equivalent (AVE) and number of cuts can be difficult.

PR: It Can Be a Bit Fabulous

Alexandra Gerolami, senior account manager, Clarion Communications

I started my first internship in PR at 14 - and preparing a catwalk show was at the time the most exciting thing I had ever done, even though the experience was far from glamorous.  I spent most of my time in an archive room organising dusty press books and franking mail (and there are a lot of envelopes to mail out when preparing a catwalk show) but the excitement and the non-stop buzz - and the fact that I was backstage at the show - got me hooked straight away.

Picture This

 Isobel Postins, senior account director, Clarion Communications

We all know this PR dream: check the papers first thing to find blanket coverage for a picture-led story dreamt up in a brainstorm months ago.  Everyone’s happy, especially the client.

Fab or Farcical?

Gary Freemantle, CEO, Clarion Communications

So since mid-April, BBC Breakfast has been broadcasting from MediaCityUK in Salford.  BBC Children’s, Sport and Radio 5 Live are also - or soon will be - at the shiny new offices, which along with other departments will bring numbers of BBC staff at the site to a massive 2,300.

Good PR Starts at Home

Philippa Wynn-Green, board director, Clarion Communications

Announcing his resignation in a letter to The New York Times recently, an employee of Goldman Sachs accused the bank of acting only in its own interests - and referring to clients as ‘muppets’.  The media, lapping up another negative banking story, gave this masses of space - and Goldman Sachs, usually accustomed to positive stories about its success, felt the full force of negative public opinion and saw its value drop by billions.