The year is almost at an end and what a year it has been.
Worldwide we have had a devastating earthquake in Haiti, volcanic ash causing havoc in Europe and Chilean miners showing immense bravery while stuck underground.
Politically we have seen the first coalition government for many years, students vocally showing their disapproval at the rise on tuition fees and WikiLeaks embarrassing all involved.
Royally we have had the engagement of William and Kate and in football we have seen England fail miserably both on the pitch at the World Cup in South Africa and off the pitch with the voting process for the 2018 World Cup.
In the public relations world we have seen gaffes from former BP chief Tony Hayward and Gap’s ill fated (and short!) change of logo. We have also seen online content for certain newspapers fall behind pay walls and the Newspaper Licensing Agency and Meltwater fight it out in court over NLA's web licensing scheme for paid-for newspaper monitoring.
Social media was one of the buzz phrases of the year with the merits of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iPhone apps and virals in PR being examined, explored and exploited. We started making videos for our clients – which you can see in the new resources section (thePipzz) of our website - and we have a very healthy Twitter account.
In the PR and marketing world, things do not stand still for very long and no doubt 2011 will be just as hectic as the year just gone. Many people will be going ‘Royal Wedding’ crazy and brands will be gearing up their communications strategies in the run up to the Olympics in 2012.
Here’s to a busy and successful 2011 for all our clients, customers and colleagues and all that is left to say is that I, and all of us at Ethos public relations, wish you a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year!
Posted at 3:22pm on 14th December 2010
To celebrate National Curry Week (21-27 November 2010), in true Ethos public relations style, we organised a fantastic feast of delicious authentic Indian cuisine to share.
National Curry Week started in 1998 to promote the cuisine and to raise funds for charities concentrating on hunger, malnourishment and poverty. During the week, curry lovers can get out and visit their local curry houses, but we decided to bring our homemade curry feast into the office!
Sarah was again our key organiser, and devised an inspired menu made up of Dahl, vegetable pakoras and onions bhajis to start, chicken tikka masala and aloo gobi for main and pineapple with bashed-up mint sugar and natural yogurt for dessert.
We were all given our preferred choice of dish to prepare and got to work! Sean and Shaun prepared the Dahl, pakoras and bhajis, I was responsible for the chicken tikka masala, while Sarah set to work on the Aloo Gobi and Rob made the pineapple with bashed-up mint sugar!
We also brought in poppadoms and mango chutney, and Rob surprised us all with some fabulous home-made Nann breads – they were delicious!
As our authentic Curry Banquet began, the Ethos public relations office was filled with a delightful aroma of mixed herbs and spices. Sean even managed to purchase a few nice cold Cobra beers for us all, which are specially brewed with less bubbles – to be the perfect accompaniment to such delicious Indian cuisine.
The verdict – it was a culinary delight yet again!! The Ethos public relations team excelled!
What’s next you may well ask? Well, all attention now goes on the next banquet, to celebrate the Chinese New Year - the year of the rabbit - in March 2011!
Watch this space…
Posted at 10:13am on 23rd November 2010
Recession, austerity, spending cuts, blah, blah, blah - perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised if the royal couple do decide to jump on the doom and gloom band wagon and have a wedding fit for a plumber rather than a prince.
However, I for one would not be happy to see William and Kate get married in a registry office followed by pork pies and sandwiches at the local Conservative Club – though I know a significant minority of the population would.
Sod the savings I say. Bring on a huge lavish extravaganza complete with horse drawn carriages, 40 bridesmaids and Westminster Abbey. I am sick to death of doom and gloom - I want to get caught up in the national fervour of a royal wedding and I will be suggesting that Ethos public relations has a day off to celebrate!
Let’s face it – we Brits aren’t very good at very much but we do exceed the rest of the world when it comes to putting on a show. Pageant, pomp, circumstance and ceremony – you just can’t beat it and nobody, but nobody does it better.
And if you think it’s all a waste of money – think again. You only have to Google ‘royal engagement’ to see how it has dominated headlines around the world – quite frankly we don’t have any other brand as big or successful as our royal family.
This news is going to do wonders for tourism, British merchandising and brand Britain. The wedding next year will be televised across the world to hundreds of millions of people and will show this country at its best as nothing else ever could or ever will. I can’t wait.
Posted at 10:06am on 18th November 2010
We support democracy at Ethos public relations, but sadly the elections in Burma yesterday (7 November) were neither free nor fair and were only designed to keep a repressive regime in power.
The two main parties which contested the polls are closely linked to the military and packed with their cronies. These parties benefited from significant advantages in the run up to the election such as access to state funding and the media. Only about a third of election candidates were from parties which oppose the junta, but with the ridiculous bureaucratic obstacles and prohibitive costs they had to overcome to even hold a meeting, this is hardly surprising.
In the run up to the elections, reports say that human rights abuses increased as the military clamped down on opposition – the number of political prisoners has doubled in the last three years, with longer sentences and harsher treatment for prisoners. In ethnic areas the number of military attacks has increased and elections in many areas with large ethnic minorities were cancelled because the military didn’t think the conditions were conducive to an election. This is thought to have disenfranchised 1.5 million people (over 5% of the electorate).
As if all this wasn’t enough, it is reported that many people were intimidated into voting for the parties which support the junta. Of course the scale of this abuse is hard to ascertain as foreign journalists were not allowed to cover the elections (openly) and independent observers were not allowed to monitor it.
However, as Burma Campaign UK points out, the elections could have been the fairest in the world but as the Burmese constitution enshrines repression it would have made little difference. All existing repressive laws will remain in place after the elections, which means no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly and no free media for example.
25% of the seats in the new Parliament are reserved for the military and as a majority of more than 75% is required for constitutional change they still have the casting vote. In fact, the military remain outside the control of Parliament and the courts, and have the ability to veto legislation on grounds of ‘security’, if they so decide.
Ethos public relations believes that the first step on the road to democracy in Burma would be to legalise the National League for Democracy (NLD) and release Aung San Suu Kyi, its leader. The military should then recognise the results of the 1990 election which the NLD won with an overwhelming landslide.
We welcome the international community’s rejection of yesterday’s election results and urge the UN to continue to pressurise the military junta to bring real reform, democracy and freedom to Burma.
Photo courtesy of Burma Campaign UK.
Posted at 9:48am on 8th November 2010
Recently I have been fortunate enough to indulge in a spot of ‘marketing’. Not marketing in the business sense - my marketing involved sampling the delights of various farmers’ markets across the country.
Farmers’ markets are a fantastic source of fresh, seasonal, locally produced food, and even better they are cropping up (get it?) in more places than ever.
At the Manchester Food and Drinks Festival’s food market in St Ann’s Square, my colleague Christina and I were overwhelmed by the variety of handmade local cheeses on offer – Mrs Kirkham’s, The Saddleworth Cheese Company and Bexton Cheese – to name but a few. We took great pleasure in chatting to the farmers who actually milked the cow that made the cheese we were sampling. After much deliberation we both decided on Chicken and Mango curry for lunch - mine was accompanied with a pint of Hydes locally brewed beer and Christina had a glass of locally produced wine. It was a great way to de-stress after a busy morning in the office.
At the weekend I tried the Covent Garden’s Piazza Food Market in London. In the hustle and bustle of tourists, I satisfied my hunger with a freshly made, hot, chorizo and halloumi ciabatta. However I was spoilt for choice, what with Mexican, Italian, English, Argentinean and French cuisines all crying out to be tasted - I was beginning to wish I had not eaten breakfast!
My ‘marketing’ expedition continued in my home town of Buxton at the ‘Great Peak District Fair,’ which celebrates the very best of Peak District food and drink as well as hosting the annual beer and real ale festival. Here I enjoyed an afternoon in the beer tent sampling Jaipuir beer, brewed locally at Ashford in the Water and Peak Ale, brewed in Bakewell – but at 5.9% vol. one or two was plenty.
This week you can find me at the Arndale Centre in Manchester (18 – 22 Oct) where there is an Italian food market, with everything from Parma ham, salami, Grana, Parmigiano Reggiano and amaretti biscuits to coffee. An Italian menu is definitely on the cards this weekend.
In this age of ready-made meals and mass produced food it’s easy to forget the tremendous pleasure and potential health benefits to be gained from rejoicing in quality, home grown, home produced, food. OK so you can get more for your pound at a supermarket, but you can’t trade the experience of chatting with the people who are so passionate about the food they produce for you.
So if you haven’t yet stopped by one of the many farmers markets operating around the country, then may I suggest you get thee to Manchester’s Christmas markets (18 Nov – 21 Dec). You’ll probably see one or two of the Ethos public relations team with a mug of Glühwein in one hand and a Bratwurst in the other! Delicious.
Posted at 2:39pm on 21st October 2010
The recent launch of Equalities and Human Rights Commission a 700-page report, How Fair Is Britain? is the latest in a line of news stories relating to fairness, equality and a Big Society.
Big Society is David Cameron’s contribution to a long raging debate on the extent to which humans need society – or put the other way round, to what extent we are individuals.
For many people this is the defining difference between left and right wing politics. In the UK, the ‘left’ have seen society and state as almost synonymous, while the ‘right’ have seen society as a collection of individuals and the state as a necessary evil to manage some functions of government.
But it seems to me the basic human traits of compassion and solidarity prove the existence of society. The miners stuck in a collapsed mine in Chile didn’t think – “oh dear, we’ll just have to sort this out for ourselves then!”
Politicians talk almost as if fairness is a new construct, something dreamed up by them to solve current problems. Thankfully, many of us have been concerned about creating a fairer, more equal or dare I say ‘better’ society for quite some time.
Personally, I don’t care which adjective is used before ‘society’ I’m just pleased that at long last it is high on the political agenda. But how should society look? What makes a good one?
Many of our clients can be seen as part of the Big Society, charities, co-operatives housing associations and social enterprises. But surely every business regardless of sector is part of society? If a big retailer decides to purchase cups and saucers from the Far East rather than supporting manufactures in the Potteries then they (and policymakers) need to understand that has a direct effect on the way our society develops.
I’m proud to have played my part in society. For example I was involved in getting fair-trade coffee stocked in a high street retailer some years ago. Not just because it ticked a CSR policy box but because it was the right thing to do.
Our mission statement has always emphasised that social objectives should work alongside business objectives. We have not come new to the fairness agenda - it’s our ethos (pun intended).
Posted at 2:55pm on 11th October 2010
At Ethos public relations one of our greatest assets is our willingness to help each other out.
A great example of our co-operative ethos took place last week. I headed out to east Manchester to produce a short video documenting the launch of FC United’s community share issue for a new stadium. We had been working with the club to promote the issue to the media and thought that the launch would make a good video for our ever increasing resources page – thePipzz.
So off I went with camera and tripod in hand and took all the shots I needed to make a video. I then came back into the office and this is where the rest of the team began to work their magic! In order to get the video out while the story was fresh and newsworthy Sean edited the coverage, Sarah used her technical nous to fine tune the video and Debbie and Christina drafted and edited the script which I used to voice over the finished product.
If I say so myself, the result is an informative video that was made live on the web just hours after the launch took place. Now if that isn’t what you call co-operation and working as a team then I do not know what is!! You can judge for yourself how successful I was by clicking here.
This got me thinking about local news coverage. There is much debate about funding for local news and I don’t think people realise how much time and effort goes into producing news reports. There are so many elements that have to be seamlessly blended together to get the finished product. I take my hat off to all the camera(wo)men and reporters who do it day in and day out! Let’s hear it for local news!
Posted at 12:15pm on 1st October 2010
Last week, we all headed to Oakfield House in the grounds of Chester Zoo for our first-ever staff conference.
The aim of the day was to share our knowledge and experience as a team and to plan for the coming year. The UK's number one charity zoo is a great place for a conference with a fantastic meeting room in beautiful surroundings.
The day started in great spirits with the odd sighting of a kangaroo or mongoose, but quickly turned to our business vision.
Ethos public relations has been an ethical business since day one and it was very interesting, especially for the newest recruits, to gain a greater insight into the whole ‘Ethos Philosophy’, and learn more about the thought process behind the business.
A session looking at the organisation as a whole, where we are now and where we want to be followed, and gave us all a better understanding of the finer details of the business and how we all contribute to its success and continued growth!
The conference concluded with an Action Planning session, which focused on how we can work together to build our business and deliver excellent client service.
It was a brilliant day, enjoyed by all, and a quick walk round the zoo to finish off brought home the fact that so many animals are endangered that conservation really is a priority for the world.
Here’s to the next Ethos public relations staff conference!!
Posted at 12:30pm on 27th September 2010
Recent reports about public sector pay have been a hot topic in the Ethos public relations office. As leader of the entire country should the Prime Minister (PM) get more money than say the leader of a large council? I think so yes. It would seem that whatever the challenges faced by any council leader they are surely magnified many times over by the leader of the country. Plus the latter also has to make life and death decisions. Not problems likely to keep the council leader awake at night.
Now then - should leaders in the private sector get more than the PM? In theory yes, I think private business leaders should be paid what they are worth - but sadly, it seems to me, private sector leaders are often over paid. How many have made appalling mistakes and misjudgements only to be paid off with massive pensions, bonuses and golden handshakes? That makes my blood boil.
However, the fact is we live in a democracy and I would not be happy living in a country where government dictates how much people, particularly in the private sector, are paid. That's not very democratic.
It would be so refreshing to see somebody become Chief Executive of UK Company PLC and say, “I'm going to take a modest salary but if I meet my targets like increasing company profitability and creating new jobs I am going to get a very nice bonus. If however, I lose the company millions I will walk away without a bonus, hang my head in shame and do community service for the next five years.”
If you do come across anybody like this – can you let me know? I’d love to meet her.
Posted at 2:31pm on 20th September 2010
The recent GCSE results highlighted the decline in pupils studying foreign languages. From a business point of view this is very worrying and, as David Cameron travels the world urging countries to “Buy British”, could prove to be detrimental to the economy as a whole.
Having studied languages, I realise how difficult they can be, and I’m sure many young people can find easier things to study. However, I believe that foreign language qualifications can really benefit a person’s career and I think young people should be encouraged to learn at least one foreign language to GCSE level, if not further. Of course, this also implies that schools should be able to teach foreign languages to the required standard and it is disappointing that some can’t.
These days, it is easy to assume everyone speaks English, and in my experience many business people from other countries have excellent English language skills. However, it is wrong to assume that this means English speakers don’t need to learn other languages and if, as a country, we want to sell our wares abroad, we need to make an effort to communicate in other languages.
As the world gets smaller, more and more businesses are inevitably working with companies and organisations overseas and, for British companies, I am sure there are many opportunities on our doorstep in Europe, if we have the language skills to exploit them.
At Ethos, we have international companies as clients and we work with international organisations on behalf of British clients, which makes the knowledge of foreign languages very valuable. Luckily we have French and German speakers in our team.
Even if you don’t use your foreign language skills on a day to day basis, having the skills in the first place can open the door to job opportunities and the skills are there when you need them. Knowing another language can help to break down barriers and increase your standing in the eyes of other nationalities. Besides, if you have studied languages, it also opens your mind to the challenges involved, making it easier to empathise with people who have learnt English and to appreciate the trouble they have taken to learn it.
Over the years, in many of the jobs I have had, including at Ethos, we have sometimes struggled to find suitably qualified people with language skills. So I would urge young people to stick with a foreign language at school, however hard it may seem, as the British economy of the future could depend upon it…
Posted at 9:33am on 6th September 2010
Just back from a two week holiday and already it’s almost a distant memory. I do have loads of photos to remind me of where I went and what I did (though a good picture editor would discard the majority) and of course there are the memories. Thankfully, the weather in the Baltic was fantastic and that memory will certainly stay.
As someone interested in good communications and the use of language, I always find it a challenge visiting countries where I can’t speak the language. I always hate having to revert to English (or occasionally German) but visiting six countries does make it unlikely that you can master every language necessary!
For those of you who haven’t visited Tallinn in Estonia, can I wholly recommend you put it high on your list of places to visit? If you have the time, try and learn some of the language first (OK, that might be too difficult for most of us – though I remember sadam is Estonian for port).
Walking through the old town area of Tallinn I happened across this car safety poster recommending the use of seatbelts. Although pretty graphic, it struck me as a great piece of communication. The message is clear, understandable to all and completely to the point.
If you are on holiday soon, have a great time. And remember clunk, click, every trip!
Posted at 11:09am on 19th August 2010
A recent survey says that PR agencies should not believe the hype surrounding social media, considering less than half the population uses them. Well said!
We must of course recognise social media as an important part of the communication mix but PR practioners should not get caught up in the social media hype – and we should persuade clients who have been caught up in it to regularly review what is working and what isn’t.
For example, many businesses are keen to have a Facebook page, however, Facebook may be totally irrelevant and while it can be a great business tool – it is not for ALL businesses. Unless you can really populate a Facebook page with users/friends and interesting articles your organisation will look rather sad.
I always point clients to really successful Facebook business pages and tell them if they can’t do it like that – don’t do it at all.
However, some social media applications are universal. A web site is a must for any business regardless of size or sector and the website should include some basics like a blog or twitter.
At the moment only one third of the population uses social media - your customer base could be in the two thirds that doesn’t. As with any element of the marketing mix – the golden rule is use the best medium for your customer base and don’t be carried away by hype.
Posted at 1:56pm on 2nd August 2010
Many people in the marketing and PR world are waiting, almost with baited breath, to find out what the Government’s spending plans will mean for them.
Recent reports that up to 1.3 million people might lose their jobs don’t seem to sit well with Chancellor Osborne’s Budget speech which talked about people coming off benefit and taking up jobs.
I’m not the only one to ask where these new jobs are coming from. Stopping a few skilled (non-EU) migrants won’t do it, that’s for sure.
Just like environmental scientists talk about the nitrogen or carbon cycles, maybe we need to consider the 'money cycle', with an emphasis on manufacturing.
Much as PR and marketing are essential – well we would say that – we can only promote goods and services that someone else has created. In this industry, our jobs depend on others producing something we can sell. We then need people to buy those goods and the more those products are conceived and ‘made’ in the UK, the more money will be retained in the economy creating and sustaining jobs - only then can more people move from benefits to a properly paid job.
This virtuous cycle is certainly more environmentally friendly than sending container loads of goods across the oceans and it shouldn’t been seen as some form of a ‘Little Britain’ mentality. Indeed, I’d say if we need more workers from outside the EU to make these products or to deliver the services, that’s fine by me.
There needs to be a fundamental shift in thinking amongst consumers, away from cheap goods, often from the Far East to products made at home. Now surely that’s a message for all marketeers. Call it enlightened self-interest.
Posted at 9:47am on 1st July 2010
I doubt it has escaped your attention that the football World Cup is taking place over the next four weeks – and I for one am extremely excited about it (much to a certain director's annoyance).
The anticipation, the hope and the belief that comes round every four years for the World Cup is something that is great to be part of - especially for a Northern Irishman who has little chance of seeing his country taking part in the World Cup!
One thing that I find interesting is how suddenly so many shops, companies, pubs, etc are feeling patriotic and decking out their premises in the St George’s flag in the run up to the tournament. It is also funny to see how brands create adverts, posters, etc which try and link their brands with the World Cup in the most tenuous way. No wonder non-football fans suffer from football fatigue!
But I, for one, am loving all the adverts and it makes me even more excited for the next four weeks. I will enjoy watching New Zealand v Slovakia with a football decorated beer can in my hand. I will enjoy watching Nigeria v South Korea with a pizza that I have ripped out of football themed packaging. And I will enjoy watching Ghana v Australia eating some crisps and chocolate bars that come in football decorated wrappers.
Here is to the next month of football, football, football!
Posted at 12:17pm on 10th June 2010
In this new era of political consensus, co-operation and talk of a big society, I’d certainly like to see the coalition Government put ethics and concern for the community at the heart of its policies. As a co-operative business, Ethos public relations recognises the importance of supporting the communities we live and work in, and all of us should be doing our bit.
Every year Ethos public relations gives at least one per cent of its pre tax profits to charity. In 2009-10, we donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Haiti Earthquake Appeal, Parkinson’s UK, Orchid – Fighting Male Cancer and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Our charities are generally chosen on the basis of an annual staff ballot and those employees whose names are drawn decide which charities they would like Ethos public relations to donate to. However, this year there was also an immediate consensus amongst our team that we should donate to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal, which we did within a couple of days of the earthquake striking.
As well as annual donations, we do a range of other things for charity and the community.
On a day-to-day basis, we do things like collecting stamps for charity, recycling our ink cartridges and buying charitable Christmas cards. We also try to use our American Express “RED” card for business purchases as the “RED” scheme supports children and young people with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
As part of our commitment to national children’s charity Action For Kids, we provide them with one day’s PR per month free of charge.
We contribute to the community in a number of ways and our staff undertake some activities during the working day in support of a range of local community and charitable causes.
We have a policy of buying fairly traded products and we proactively aim to avoid purchasing products from oppressive regimes, preferring to buy products made in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth whenever possible.
Finally, we believe we should make our voice heard on certain important issues – for example, on our website there are links to campaigns that we promote and support such as Amnesty International, Make Trade Fair and the Free Burma Campaign.
For Government I think a "big society" should include implementing ethical procurement policies such as local sourcing, giving more charities and community businesses the chance to tender for Government contracts, and not buying from oppressive regimes. For the rest of us it should mean making informed choices to help create a better society for all.
Posted at 2:54pm on 18th May 2010
David Cameron and Nick Clegg shook hands on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street today before getting down to the business of running the country in a historic Tory/Lib Dem coalition government.
Regardless of how you voted, a key question will be - what will this mean for me? Personally, I am still not sure how this will impact upon important things like my mortgage repayments, education for my children or even whether reducing public spending will mean the hard work of community caretakers in my beautiful local park will mean they do less hours or even nothing at all.
Ethos public relations’ clients have also been following the ups and downs of the week’s events very closely. Many of our co-operative clients will be interested to see if the pre-election multi-party rhetoric around co-operation actually comes to fruition – though one could argue a coalition government is co-operation of sorts.
Our social housing clients have, to date, been distinctly unimpressed with the fact that social housing has not really featured high on the agenda and, at the time of writing, we still don’t know who the new Housing Minister will be. Housing issues on the Conservative and Lib/Deb Manifesto’s did not seem to have much in common and so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.
Of course, if the coalition is not workable in practice we could find ourselves back at the ballot box in a few months anyway! Beam me up Scotty.
Posted at 3:23pm on 12th May 2010
As I write this, we're still in a strange political limbo, waiting for our politicians to work out an agreement to govern the country. No doubt a deal is imminent, but it will be fascinating to see how things pan out in the coming weeks and months, as avowed political enemies are transformed overnight into political bedfellows (...or not!).
Like many others, I watched the election night coverage and stayed up until 6am waiting to find out who won - and we're still waiting...! Although it took me about two days to recover from my all night session, at least my involvement in the election was then over, unlike the politicians wrangling to do the post election deal - they've probably forgotten what a good night's sleep is!
In what was initially billed as the first internet election, but turned out to be the UK's first proper TV election (only about 50 years late!), from a PR point of view I was surprised how little impact all the media coverage had in the end. From Cleggmania to bigot-gate it ultimately seemed to have little impact on the result. "Great entertainment but meaningless" might sum it up - a cross between the X Factor and Coronation Street. This is a shame, as I still think a lot of people feel disenfranchised from politics and much more needs to be done to restore trust in and respect for our elected representatives.
This is the first general election I can remember where none of the main parties really got the result they wanted - the Conservatives failed to secure their majority, the Lib Dem surge didn't materialise and Labour lost its mandate to govern. But then, in some ways, perhaps this is the best result all round. Maybe confrontation will finally give way to consensus and our politicians can come up with the best policies in the interest of the whole country - not just their supporters.
During the campaign, Ethos public relations invited the local candidates of the three main political parties to contribute a guest blog to our website, outlining their policies that would affect small businesses and the creative industries in the North West. Sadly, none of them took us up on the offer. I'm sure they were much too busy, but you'd have thought they might have wanted to promote their policies. Maybe if we were located in a marginal constituency, things would have been different?
The result of the election opens the door for co-operation and collaboration amongst the parties, and as a co-operative organisation ourselves, we certainly recognise the benefits of working together. We hope the politicians can put aside their differences and work with each other to establish an effective, stable government at this important time, in the interests of everyone in the UK.
Posted at 2:31pm on 10th May 2010
Many environmentalists have said that having almost a week of no flying has been a good thing – not least because it has provided an opportunity for us to explore our own lovely country.
The past week, the sun has been shining and there is no doubt that people have been a lot brighter and happier. Ethos public relations' clients are scattered across the country and often I spend more time out of the office than in it - visiting clients, attending meetings, doing site visits, etc.
A couple of days ago I was with Frith Rugs which has its head office in North Wales.
As I tootled down the M56, the radio was blasting, the sun roof was open and the roads were clear. Coming back I decided to take the scenic route passing through glorious, lush green countryside and even stopping for lunch by a deserted beach. On days like this – you can’t beat the open road and enjoying our beautiful land.
So if you are a business located near the coast or in the heart of the countryside and you are looking for PR – give Ethos public realtions a call and we promise to visit you every week – we’ll even bring our own packed lunch and a flask of tea (offer ends October!)
Posted at 11:13am on 27th April 2010
The volcanic ash, which grounded hundreds of flights and thousands of passengers, has knocked politics off the front pages for the last few days.
The ash has also started a debate over whether we really need so many flights. This debate is argued quite well in this BBC Magazine story. It points out that: “at the moment air travel is virtually all by engines powered by kerosene. One day kerosene - like every other fossil fuel - will run out” and poses the question “Could we live without flights?”
I am sure football teams like Liverpool and Fulham would argue that we do need flights as they face trips of 1,200 miles and 600 miles respectively over land to compete in their European games this week. Musicians will also agree as a few have missed foreign gigs due to the now lifted flight ban.
Many people who live near airports were happy with the ban and Visit Britain have said that they ”hope that people would take the opportunity to visit the whole of Britain in a way they wouldn't consider doing normally”.
One way that this could happen soon is with the help of Go! Co-operative. As I write this they are having a series of public events to discuss with people the in and outs of their proposal for co-operative trains.
They want to run services to places that have been neglected by current train services. Initially they want to run services that will see Oxford and Banbury linked with Swindon, Chippenham, Westbury and Yeovil, with some trains running to Birmingham and Weymouth.
The UK has for too long been neglected as a holiday resort for its inhabitants. What better way to see the beautiful scenery it has to offer than to take a trip on transport that is run by a co-operative with a great business model.
Posted at 9:20am on 21st April 2010
We have had a very exciting start to 2010 here at Ethos public relations, as we continue to raise the profile of one of our clients, Co-operatives UK – the national trade body that campaigns for co-operation – and highlight the importance of co-operatives to our economy across both national media and within government.
It has been a busy time, but we are reaping the benefits for our client, as not only are we raising the profile of co-operatives with media coverage across the board including most recently the BBC, The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian with stories about co-operative pubs and football club ownership, but our work is also being recognised at the highest levels within government.
The recent announcement of a £4m government package to help save rural pubs from closure has been music to our ears and just this week, the news that football fans could get the opportunity to buy their clubs under radical Labour plans is fantastic and something we have been campaigning for on behalf of Co-operatives UK.
We have got much more to do throughout the year as well, as momentum is really building for the first-ever Co-operatives Fortnight (19 June to 3 July 2010) – themed - There is an Alternative.
The Fortnight, is a major campaign to spread the message about the co-operative alternative, with a dedicated website – www.thereisanalternative.coop
By joining in and doing something during Co-operatives Fortnight, co-operatives will not only be able to promote co-operation as a better alternative, but will also be able to raise the profile of their own organisation.
People can go to the website, share ideas, follow Co-operatives Fortnight on Twitter, download resources and tell the team what they will be doing!
In addition, excitement is also building for the co operative event of the year - Co-operatives 2010 - the UK's biggest and most influential gathering of co operatives which, this year will be in Plymouth (25 and 27 June 2010) and not only will it celebrate the 150th anniversary of co-operation in the city but it will be the flagship event of the first-ever Co-operatives Fortnight!
It is fantastic to be part of such important developments and to see that the time really has come for co-operatives and a new agenda of co-operation! We are helping to make a difference, and it’s brilliant!
Posted at 5:52pm on 30th March 2010