Ten reasons to hire a journalist – The Poynter Institute

  1. Journalists will improve the writing, photography or design in your organisation.Their writing is clear and succinct; their photography and design skills make whatever they’re working on look more polished and professional. They’re sticklers about copy editing and will raise the quality of even your internal memos.
  2. Journalists deliver on deadline.Their work lives have been defined by deadlines. Blowing a deadline is a cardinal sin in the newsroom culture. Tell them when something is due and you’ll get it unless of course illness is involved
  3. Journalists are multi-taskers.In recent years, journalists have been required to do more with less. Reporters and photographers took up videography, editing and blogging. They file stories for print, broadcast and online, as well as on social media channels.
  4. Journalists are quick at studies. Imagine a job in which you have to learn things every day, then turn around and teach those things to others. That skill set demands that journalists take in and process information with extraordinary efficiency and clarity, a benefit in any line of work.
  5. Journalists are critical thinkers. They’ve been trained that “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Journalists know that asking why and why not, looking at multiple perspectives, digging beneath the surface, challenging conventional wisdom, discerning patterns, finding context and thinking about “what’s next” improves any story.
  6. Journalists get answers faster than most. Even in social situations, you’ll find friends rely on their journalist buddies to gather information. Get the background on the car you’re thinking of buying. Vet the new school head. Help find the best doctor for your condition. Journalists know how to do research — fast.
  7. Journalists know how to use the Web.Your organisation may or may not have embraced all of its online opportunities, but journalists know firsthand why the Internet matters. They’ve been brought up to speed in the past several years as their newsrooms expanded their horizons.
  8. Journalists have a great work ethic.If you’ve ever complained that your team has a 9-to-5 approach to the job, hire a journalist. Some may think they’re crazy, but they’ve often followed stories, not schedules. They’ve dropped everything for breaking news. They’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to catch a perfect picture of the moon or listen to a source who could talk from the other side of the world at 5am.
  9. Journalists have a solid moral compass.Imagine signing on to a job where you promise not to accept gifts that others could, must take pains to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest, should keep your opinions to yourself, are expected to question authority while respecting the law and to recognise that your work carries the opportunity every day to do good or harm. Journalists didn’t just sign some statement saying they’ll comply with the organisation’s policies, file it and forget it; they chose a profession that embraces a code of ethics and wrestles with its obligations daily.
  10. Journalists are loyal. The journalists you may hire have been faithful to their vocation, even when the going got more than tough. They’ve adapted, learned new skills, added duties, taken pay cuts, mourned the loss of coverage, and kept on doing work that mattered. What does that mean to you? Hiring journalists presents you with a terrific opportunity. Give them a job they believe in and they’ll work like hell to help you succeed.
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Kilts and Caber tossing in the Czech Republic – and a luxurious bolt hole on the doorstep

SINCE the 1960s an appreciation for all things Celtic has been growing in central Europe and today the region holds the biggest Highland games outside of Scotland itself.

The Sychrov Highland Games are held in the Liberec region of the Czech Republic every August and can attract up to 10,000 people per day.

The games are completely authentic and traditional and include the usual mix of kilts, archery, toe-dancing, falconry and of course bagpipes, haggis and whisky – a lively celebration of all things Scottish more than a thousand miles away from the country itself.

Set in the grounds of the stunning 17th century neo Gothic Sychrov Castle, the event originated 12 years ago as a celebration of Celtic history and culture and is the only traditional Scottish event in central Europe.

It attracts both traditional and modern Scottish and Irish bands and professional Scottish sportsmen with whom visitors can participate and compare their strength. There are also country dancing, fencing and falconry displays, as well as plenty of activities for children.

One South African couple, Linda and Andrew Philips, who own a traditional but luxuriously renovated chalet nearby the venue, described a visit:

“You really could be in the highlands of Scotland when you’re there – apart from the fact that the weather’s generally better!

“We loved the feel of a foreign culture immersed in a part of the world which is not really associated with Celtic traditions and we now try to visit every year if we’re there because the children also love the atmosphere and have a great time with all the music and dancing,” said Linda.

As the games are extremely popular and held in high tourist season, for visitors wanting to stay nearby, the Philips’ chalet – called ‘A Peace of Eden’ after the area’s name known as the CzeCottagech Eden – is available to rent.

Just a 15 minute drive from Sychrov Castle and set in a three and a half acre meadow near woodland, it sleeps eight people in four bedrooms.Bedroom

There are two identical main suites, each with access to a large bathroom with bath, toilet and walk in shower – making it perfect for families, extended families and groups of friends to share.

There are also two twin rooms with access to a large family bathroom.

The lounge is the oldest part of the house with brick walls and a beautiful brick vaulted ceiling. It is cool in the summer and very cosy in the winter with central heating and a wood burning stove. Lounge

It’s the kitchen which is at the heart of the home, with a large dining table and additional seating for long, lazy meals. It is very well kitted out with all the mod cons including double oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher, as well as a traditional wood stove.Kitchen

The house was renovated by the Philips, who fell in love with the area while visiting on business.

Just an hour from the ever popular capital city of Prague, it makes a desirable alternative holiday or short break destination with a range of activities available all year round.

A wealth of tourist information is at hand and English speaking guides are available. There are supermarkets nearby for both traditional Czech as well as western foods.

For more information on the house and region go to www.peaceofeden.co.uk

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Experiencing Peace of Eden

Award winning travel blogger and international travel writer Zoe Dawes – aka The Quirky Traveller – experienced her very own Peace of Eden on a trip to a little known part of the Czech Republic.

Zoe, writer of one of the UK’s TOP 10 UK travel blogs stayed in the luxury holiday home, Peace of Eden in a beautiful part of the Czech Republic known as the Czech Eden or Bohemian Paradise.

Just an hour from the eternally popular and stunning capital Prague, the Czech ECesky Rajden or Cesky Raj is set in a UNESCO Geo Park and area of outstanding natural beauty.

There are many activities to experience all year round and it is a must for lovers of culture and history as well as hikers, ramblers and mountain bikers owing to its rocky outcrops, wooded trails and rolling countryside with swimming-friendly lakes.

“The area is beautiful, especially during the peak of autumn when I visited. It’s great for the outdoors for mountain biking and walkers of all levels and what I also loved was the area’s amount of history and culture. There’s so much to see and there’s a definite gothic feel to it,” said Zoe.

During hTrosky Castleer stay, Zoe did gorge valley walks and visited four of the region’s many medieval castles including the famous Trosky Castle and the fascinating rock villages of Hruba Skala and Mala Skala.

Hruba SandstoneHruba Skala Castle

She added that the local tourist board provided a wealth of information on what to do and where to go but advised that a Czech guide book with English translations would be important, as she found out when dining at a local traditional restaurant where there was no English translation of the menu – making the experience truly authentic.

Zoe stayed in a traditional but luxuriously renovated Czech chalet called the Peace of Eden by its owners, who refurbished the property into two separate bedroom suites with an additional two twin suites with separate bathrooms, sleeping up to eight.   Cottage

There is a large, fully equipped kitchen diner, lounge area with a wood burner to keep visitors cosy in colder months and a brick vaulted ceiling to keep out the heat of summer.

The accommodation is perfect for families, extended families, groups of friends and retirees looking to explore the area’s culture and history. The chalet is set in three acres of meadow near forestland, making it also an ideal escape from the rat race and somewhere to completely relax. English speaking guides are also available.

BedroomBedroom 2KitchenBathroom

Zoe concluded: “The house is really beautiful and has everything needed for a great stay, including tourist information, well stocked kitchen and cooking and dining facilities. Visitors will definitely need to hire a car, preferably with sat nav as the signs are in Czech, but I would recommend it as a destination in its own right or a relaxing break after a weekend in Prague.”


ZD Kost CastleZoe Dawes is a multi -award-winning travel blogger and writer and is rated in the Cision UK top 10.

She writes regularly for a variety of online travel websites and her articles have been published in The Guardian, Psychologies Magazine and The Cunarder among many others.

In her travels she looks for the more unusual, curious and inspiring.



For more about Peace of Eden go to:



linda@peaceofeden.co.uk     andrew@peaceofeden.co.uk

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“The lack of foreign exchange programmes in the UK is a real talking point which should be addressed from my experience”

“The lack of foreign exchange programmes in the UK is a real talking point which should be addressed from my experience” – QA Education Magazine

A MOTHER who took her teenage daughters out of school to live in Spain for three months argues why this is a benefit to a child’s life, not a ‘safety risk’ or being an irresponsible parent. In fact, in response at the time to being called ‘pushy’ by another parent, Jo MacGregor, of St Albans, said the whole experience had offered her daughters a safe adventure, improved their confidence and independence, as well as enabling them to take and pass with A*s in their GCSEs.

She said: “I heard about this exchange programme whereby school students went to live with families based in France, Spain and Germany then hosted back and ran the idea by my daughters. They thought it sounded really exciting and were keen to give it a try. After researching the company thoroughly we thought the benefits totally outweighed the fact that they would be living abroad for a few months.

“Their school was also totally supportive as they would be going to school full time while they were there.

“It is also totally different to a school exchange as the families are carefully matched in a very thorough vetting process as the aim is that lifelong friendships will be struck.”

But not every parent had that opinion. Jo explained: AbbyriaattheOlympicPark-225x300

“I was called pushy and irresponsible by other parents and the general feeling was ‘nice idea but not for us’. Of course it pushes you slightly out of your comfort zone, but whether your child wants to study languages or not (mine are more scientists) the experience is unique and truly inspirational for all the family.”

When they returned, Jo’s older daughter Abby caught up quickly at school and passed both French and Spanish with A*s and younger sister Louise hopes to do likewise.

“It wasn’t just the language skills which benefited them, they were immersed in and learnt about a whole new culture, became more independent and experienced many new things. It was for them I would say a life changing experience and they want to do more of what some parents would call ‘scary’ things like this in the future. I will never regret the choice we made,” Jo went on.

She is now the UK rep for the programme called Adolesco, which places school students aged 11-17 with families in France, Spain and Germany from three week to three months, giving families more flexibility and enabling them to go in school holidays if they so wish.

A recent survey of headteachers carried out by YouGov for the British Council has revealed that only 39% of the country’s secondary schools take part in foreign exchange trips which involve a stay with a host family. State schools are half as likely as private schools to offer such schemes.

The survey also revealed that one in four of the schools where there are no exchanges, heads have organised them in the past.

There is probably no surprise then that the drop in exchange trips has also coincided with a period where fewer and fewer pupils have been opting to study languages for GCSEs and A-levels.

Last year a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research revealed that students in England reached the lowest level of language competence in foreign languages out of 14 European countries surveyed.

On top of that, of those students still going on to study languages at university, almost two-thirds said they had first been inspired to take them up by an international exchange.

And MPs have also warned that the drop in language skills could result in the UK economy suffering and young Britons being unable to compete for international jobs.

An All Party Parliamentary Group report has since called for a “national recovery programme” aimed at boosting the number of people with a second language.

In February the Economist also ran an article warning of the consequences if the trend continued.

Jo concluded: “I genuinely think, given all the evidence, the lack of opportunities for UK students to live and study abroad at a younger age is a real talking point in terms of their education and future prospects. AbbyIriadressingup-150x150I don’t think we should still be relying on the fact that English is the Global language anymore, especially if it’s going to be to their detriment and our economy’s.”

Students’ language skills in the UK are faltering – but how far would you as a parent go to enhance your child’s cultural experience and enable them to learn a new language quickly and easily?

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“Fin ‘late’ Quaye is not our uncle!”

Magicians NephewUp and coming little rockers – the Magician’s Nephew Band – were not impressed with award-winning artist Finley Quaye borrowing their drums for his own performance.

Following Brit and MOBO-award winner Finley Quaye’s reported dramatic booting off the stage at the weekend’s Convent Netgig, the team behind a kids’ rock band from St Albans – the Magician’s Nephew Band – has clarified how their drum kit and logo ended up being used on stage during Quaye’s latest live performance.

Quaye’s band failed to turn up for the sound check, arriving six hours late shortly before the gig was due to start. The band also managed to overlook a small detail – they didn’t have a drum kit.

Fans were waiting around the venue for some time when event organisers decided to ask for help from the Magician’s Nephew Band who had been booked to perform their own Netgig the next day.

Despite being really excited about the fact they were able to help out such a prestigious artist, the boys’ good will gesture backfired as their prominent logo is stuck to the kick drum and after Mr. Quaye being booted off stage went viral on YouTube, national papers and social media, the kids were disappointed with his performance.

Noah Lima, nine, who plays the alto sax, expressed serious concerns by commenting: “Dad, is Mr Quaye going to ask for our drum kit again?”

And Lex Woolf, the band’s own drummer, who has achieved grade six drums at the age of 10, added: “How can you turn up to a gig without a drum kit? It’s like Harry Potter trying to cast a spell without his wand!”

Fortunately fans waiting to see the gig were able to enjoy the stunning Convent venue and the warm hospitality shown by owners Matt & Charlotte Roberts while the whole ordeal was running in the background.

The Magician’s Nephew Band performed on the same stage during lunch time the following day completely oblivious of what had happened the previous night.

And some of the audience quotes included:

“The boys were very entertaining and charismatic. I can’t believe how young they are”

“It was amazing, they were upbeat and full of energy on stage”.

The band also managed to get people dancing while performing their original songs and classic covers.

“We had a blast, this is a magical place we want to keep coming back to”, said Euan Campbell, 11, the band’s keyboard player.

Front man, Joshua Lima, concluded: “Every band has good days and bad days but most bands have drum kits these days. I think I will write a song about this…”

About The Magician’s Nephew Band:

The Magician’s Nephew Band are talented and dedicated songwriters who  have emerged from their basement recording studio and are now ready to share their music.

So far this year has seen them shake the foundations of the historic St Albans Cathedral and rock the local sweetshop during the filming of their latest video and they are also booked to perform further gigs.

They perform an accomplished pic’n’mix of classic rock and roll alongside their own material, leaving audiences tapping their feet.

When you have an average age of nine and three quarters they use lyrics that represent all that matters – including Ice Cream, Super Heroes and the dreaded Monday Mornings.

Despite the ‘worry-free content’ all of their tracks endorse, don’t be lulled into anything cosy until you’ve experienced the energy, sound and pure talent the Magician’s Nephew Band can deliver.

The Band has officially released the latest single “Dinner Lady” which is now available on their website and will be available for download on iTunes and all major digital stores by the end of this month.

Visit www.magiciansnephewband.com for more info about the band and to listen to their original tracks.


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How to work with the press to everyone’s advantage

Working with the press is a skill every smart business owner should seek to develop, especially nowadays as access to the press has never been easier. It really doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, the press can make you or break you when it comes to getting the word out about your products and services. Here are a few suggestions on how you can create a positive relationship with the media.

Know Their Deadlines

Learn the different deadlines that your contacts in the various press organisations work under and always seek to meet these deadlines. The press generally work to very stringent deadlines and if you want to be really involved you’ll need to know them and make it easy for your contacts to meet these.

Return Calls from the Press

If the press contact you and you miss the call, always return calls or emails in a timely manner. Even if you can’t be of help at that particular time, you might be able to point them in the right direction and sometimes just being willing, is all it takes to get quoted.

Build Relationships

Learn that relationships are a two way streak and don’t just reach out to contacts in the press when you want them to do something for you. Reach out when you can do something for them too.

Answer Their Questions

When the press does call you about something, be sure to answer their questions or try to send them to someone who can, so that you can be known as someone who is willing to be available to them and to help them.

Be a Willing Resource

People are typically lazy and the press is no different to you and me there, they like to take the easiest way to get the information they need to do a story. Be the resource that is always open to giving them the information they need and they will always turn to you.

Do Your Research and Know Your Stuff

It’s important to do enough research about the press to know exactly who to talk to and when. Also, it’s important to understand how they like to receive their news items and the right people to send your news to.

Learn Sound Bites

The trick to being quotable is to learn to think and talk in sound bites so that the press can easily package your quotes and use them. The less they need to edit what you say, the more likely they are to use your quotes.

Don’t Exaggerate or “Spin”

While some puffery is expected in marketing and advertising, it is not something you should participate in when dealing with the press in terms of building a positive relationship with them. The best advice is always to be open and honest and if you’re like me you call a spade a spade, in other words just be yourself.

As long as you seek to make yourself a resource to the press, rather than to seek to use them for your own benefit, the press will be there for you when you need them. Creating a positive relationship with the media requires very little additional work on your part and will pay off in big ways, remember a television interview is only ever a call a way if you’re known in the right circles and if you learn to work with the press.

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“Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one less travelled and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost

czech eden“I’m a completely different person when I’m in Eden”

The owners of a holiday home in the largely unknown ‘Czech Eden’ explain why they want to open the eyes of UK tourists to the hidden gems of this part of Eastern Europe

Just 20 years ago the mysteries of the Czech Republic lay behind the iron curtain and today, although many UK tourists have visited Prague, the hidden gems of the wider region remain largely undiscovered.

One part of the Czech Republic has been revealed as just this by businessman, Andrew Philips from St Albans, who found the location rather by accident following a business meeting.

He explained:

“In the early noughties everyone was pushing holiday homes in the sun, particularly places like Spain and France and at the same time Eastern Europe was just starting to open up.

“We wanted to invest in a holiday home but at the same time didn’t want to be part of the ‘Costa Crowd’.

At the time Andrew was doing business with a Czech client and while at a meeting in Cardiff he mentioned he wanted to invest in a property in Eastern Europe. The client suggested a region in the north east of the Czech Republic toward the Polish and German borders called called ‘Cesky Raj’ – pronounced Chesky Rye – otherwise known as the Czech Eden or Bohemian Paradise.

czech1Having only ever been to Prague, Andrew, who grew up in Cape Town, went over for a look at the area.

“Having grown up in an environment with cliffs and forests I felt an immediate connection to the area and fell in love with the surroundings. It is so peaceful and unspoilt and there’s also the historical interest. Only 25 years ago you couldn’t be there as a westerner and it still has the sense of communist era to this day,” he said.

Andrew found a traditional Czech style chalet and said he immediately saw its potential.

He and his wife pulled it apart to renovate and update it but then the recession hit.

“It was a white elephant for a few years but I think of it now as a Phoenix out of the flames and we’d very much like to bring the potential of visiting this area to the attention of more people in the UK,” he added.

The Czech Eden is a year round destination with each season offering a different set of attractions for all ages.

Spring and Autumn are best for forest walks, mountain hikes and road and mountain biking. During the summer there are several safe lakes to swim in or kayak and canoe on the rivers. The region also boasts a variety of castles and other historic houses – some of which have provided settings for film locations.

For the more adventurous the rock formations are perfect for climbing and abseiling and during the winter there are opportunities for both skiing and toboganning.

At Christmas, the markets of Prague and Dresden are perfect for day trips.

There are local English-speaking tour guides available if visitors would like to be shown around the area with tailored outings according to the size and ages of the groups.

When it comes to food, there are supermarkets but to break from the usual food, fresh authentic Czech cuisine can be bought locally, as well as internationally renowned local beers.

All of this can be enjoyed from the peacBedroom suitee of the renovated country house which is set in a three and a half acre meadow and sleeps eight in four bedrooms.

There are two identical spacious main suites with en suite bathroom and walk in shower, perfect for sharing for two families or for an extended family holiday. In addition there are two twin rooms with a large family bathroom.

The lounge has a brick vaulted ceiling which keeps the room warm in the winter and cool in the summer and is fitted with a wood burning stove.

It’s the kitchen which is at the heart of the home, with a large dining table, double oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher. There is also a traditional wood stove.

For more about Peace of Eden go to:



linda@peaceofeden.co.uk     andrew@peaceofeden.co.uk

Public Relations by The Laura Berrill Agency

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“Hoarding is a form of child abuse – our home descended into squalor and filth”

hoardingFOLLOWING a successful career in the City, the daughter of a compulsive hoarder has penned a novel reliving the effects of growing up with her mother’s illness.

As the author Rose Edmunds explained herself: “Now is the right time. I’ve had a successful career and I no longer feel weighed down by the secrets of my past. This is the book only I could write – a coalescence of my professional, personal and private life.”

Concealment tells the story of high flying Amy, a partner in a top global accountancy firm.

Outwardly, Amy projects herself as a confident professional, but she is haunted by the legacy of her traumatic childhood. She manages to hold herself together until a new bully-boy boss shows up and a young colleague is murdered – at which point her fragile equilibrium is shattered.

Caught in a tangle of business and personal connections, Amy’s past starts to catch up with her as she struggles to expose the truth.

Rose is only too happy to reveal the true inspiration behind the book is her childhood and adolescent years coping with a dysfunctional and chaotic home environment which arose as a result of her mother’s hoarding.

Rose and her sister grew up in a middle class household with an academic father and a teacher as a mother, who, curiously, was always immaculate in her appearance at work. She emphasises it is not just a trailer park issue, which is mostly what is conveyed in television shows.

It was when her father died suddenly when Rose was just 10 that her mother’s problems really started.

Rose went on: “People may have seen the TV shows or read various magazine articles, but that doesn’t mean they understand the full effects of the disorder on children forced to live with a hoarding parent.

“It’s not just a matter of having a messy house. I was a twelve year old child carrying pans of boiling water upstairs to the bathroom because when the plumbing failed my mother refused to let anyone in to fix the problem.

“The fridge was filled with rotting food covered in fruit flies and we had to walk through so-called ‘goat trails’ between piles of years-old newspapers.

“Hoarding is form of child abuse.”

Even now, there is little awareness of the damage that hoarders do to their children, but at the time Rose was growing up there was no knowledge of the disorder itself.

She said: “As far as I can ascertain, the first major research paper on compulsive hoarding was published in 1987 and it was not until 1996 that the term was fully defined.

“As a child of the 1970s, this work lay in the distant future. All I knew was that after my father’s sudden death, our home descended into squalor and filth.

“And not only were there no words, there was no internet or support groups – only secrecy and shame. I thought we were the only family in the world to live this way and felt sure the mess was my fault – that was what my mother told me after all. It seemed like my whole teenage years were spent making excuses why friends couldn’t come over, and hiding the ‘Big Secret’ from the rest of the world.

I left home as soon as I could and spent the next twenty odd years frenziedly trying to prove how little my upbringing had affected me. I was the classic workaholic overachiever – a paragon of corporate virtue.”

In 2007 Rose decided to jump off the corporate hamster wheel and began to write thrillers set in the business world.

After her first book, Never Say Sorry, was published in 2012, she found the courage to speak out via Concealment about the mental illness which is compulsive hoarding.

Rose’s mother is now in a care home where, (in final irony), the newspaper is thrown away daily.

Rose concluded: “Ultimately she has been the loser in all of this, not me. Mental illness has wrecked her life.”

Rose is now trying to raise awareness of the problems children of hoarders face and have to deal with and is a moderator in the Yahoo group ‘Children of Hoarders’.

Half of the profits raised by book sales will go directly to Children of Hoarders Inc, a US-based not for profit organisation.


About Rose Edmunds:


In 2007, after more than 20 years in business, Rose jumped off the high-flying corporate hamster wheel and now writes financial thrillers with a strong ethical theme.

Her writing draws heavily on her considerable insight into the business world and in particular the uncomfortable conflict between individual and corporate objectives.

Concealment is Rose’s second novel. Her debut thriller, Never Say Sorry, about a big pharma cancer cure conspiracy, was published in 2012.


Public Relations by The Laura Berrill Agency

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Why PR & Publicity is a vital part of your marketing strategy

When you start out in business, you know that there are a range of actions you have to take to get you started and up and running.

You know, get an accountant, a book keeper, a webs designer, SEO, etc etc…
One of them is also advertising. I bet you’ve all been told, from one channel or other (probably from websites and ‘business coaches’) that you have to advertise.

Where that may be true for some businesses, in reality, advertising can be and often is, a total waste of time and a hell of a lot of money – although the ad rags, many papers and magazines as well as other media will not admit that.

In fact, they will insist you part with what little money you have at the start of your venture to do just that.

Why? For a start, adverts are guaranteed in the press. Your ad will definitely be used in the paper or magazine you have agreed to pay. That’s why they are expensive.

Also, advertising is the lifeblood for basically every newspaper, magazine, broadcast station or website. Just look at Sky News. They don’t ask us for a TV licence. That’s because they have commercials and the BBC doesn’t. That’s why we pay a TV licence to the BBC!

Newspapers, especially locals, rely on ads to keep them going. They will always ask for an ad payment as opposed to an editorial if you don’t get your PR and press right.

And here’s further news: Ads that you have paid for (even ‘Advertorials’ which will feature some copy from you and a pic) will be placed wherever the ad people want it to go; often towards the back of the publication (unless you are prepared to pay quite a bit more for an earlier page). The date of the ad will also be random.
In addition, there will be a clearly visible line stating that it is an advertisement, not editorial.

Why does that matter?
Hmmm.. well, anyone can place an ad. That does not mean in any way that what you do is good, original, worth buying, worth investing in or worth taking any notice of at all.

Do you read ads? Do you take any notice of ads in the media? When is the last time you remembered one and bought from the advertisers as a result?
Now let’s compare this to editorial, articles and features in the press – by paying a professional and experienced PR and publicist rather than a salesman.
Do you buy a paper or magazine? Do you watch the news or listen to the radio?
What kind of stories, facts and commentary do you take notice of? Which do you remember?

Editorial coverage, in whatever shape or form, be that a NIB (news in brief) article, feature, online presence, or a slot on the radio or TV will immediately give you credibility.

That in effect means you are worth mentioning and therefore you are good at what you do and are of interest to the general public. And that means people will read about you, remember you and ultimately more than likely buy from you.

The general public, who have not been a 20-years’ professional journalists like myself – and rightly so, have no idea how competitive this market is. It is swamped by people like you – as well as huge companies – hoping their releases will be used.

You can’t write a ‘press release’, send it off to a generic email and expect anyone to use it. It just doesn’t happen. I have binned thousands of so-called ‘press releases’ in my time after about 20 seconds – that’s about how long it takes a journalist and news editor, as I was, to decide.

So get the help of a PR pro. It’s an investment in your business and one which could really help you raise your profile with credibility and get the public, your target market and potential buyers to stand up and take notice.

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Passionate supporter of the arts launches global directory exposing original works to the world

A BUSINESSWOMAN from Hertfordshire has set up the only worldwide directory of artists and their work to help showcase their talents in an affordable way.

‘Artists Info’ showcases a wide range of art and styles, from ceramics to jewellery, paintings and photography. It charges artists just £49.99 a year to have up to 12 pieces of their work shown on the site, which they can change when they want to, plus a direct link to their own websites.

Buyers can contact the artists directly, can commission work or buy and there is no commission charged. The price is invested back into the website for further development and optimisation.

Currently it features around 300 artists from 17 different countries, from the very professional to good quality amateurs and the creators are looking for more artists from all over the world to join up.

The idea for the directory came from Jean Dennis, most of whose career has been based around the art world. She currently runs a framing business and gallery in St Albans.

Jean said she came up with the idea while putting together an art expo a few years ago.
“I knew the names of the artists I wanted to attract and because of this expected to be able to find them quite easily. However after trying I realised I’d have to be Sherlock Holmes to track down people I even knew well,” she said.

So Jean spent several months researching old and new contacts and created the website with the help of a friend, Melanie Burnell, who had also run her own art gallery in the past. Together they designed and launched the site.

“There are a whole range of reasons why this site is beneficial to everyone involved in the art world – it’s for anyone who wants to buy an original piece of art for home or office, publishers can find work suitable for greeting cards or book illustrations, interior designers can find artists they want to work with and licensing agents can find artwork suitable for merchandise printing.”

“Also with many retail galleries closing due to ever increasing overheads, there are less opportunities out there for the artists to exhibit. Self promotion and marketing can be expensive and more difficult for artists, so for many of them this is a very affordable way to promote their work. They deal directly with the public, so the maximum amount of money goes to the artist involved, and at the same time the customer gets the best deal as there are no gallery commissions payable,” she said.

“I’ve always very much supported the arts as much of my career was involved with sourcing it. I’ve had a wealth of experience in manufacturing and retail within the art world so this is my way of giving back and helping artists to help themselves as well as the art community.

“Overall, Artists Info is giving a global platform 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a very affordable price,” she concluded.

Public Relations by The Laura Berrill Agency

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