Category Archives: PR

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies

Indigo Red will be moving offices in the next couple of months.  My husband, who works for a removal firm, came with me to the office on Saturday to work out how much the move is going to cost us (his labour is free, but I’m not sure I could pay his work mates in kind). In a minor panic that he will realise my work life is not quite as organised as my home one, I had a bit of a tidy up of my desk on Friday.  Among the old interview notes and endless business cards I found a copy of The Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for, 2007.  It’s been lurking there since March as I had intended to blog about it, and somehow had slipped between an old pile of payslips and some HR trade mags.

So anyway, only a mere 5 months late and here I am ready to write about it.

I thumbed through it once more and scanned the list for PR companies.  Only 1 PR agency made the top 100, Hill and Knowlton, who scraped in at number 91.  Scanning through the piece on them there are some things which are unsurprising; the male/female ratio is 36:64 – still a considerably better distribution of the sexes than some agencies, and the average age of an H&Ker is 32.  There is considerable attention given to the free scoff and booze you can get there – free breakfast and free food after quarterly meetings, plus an onsite bar.  However, they score some of the lowest scores in the 100 in terms of work life balance, as nearly half the staff said they felt they spent too much time working.

Still, I wonder what the 88% that said they have fun with their colleagues are up to?

On a slightly different tangent, I also looked for recruitment consultancies.  There are a whopping 14 recruitment companies in the top 100, with Hill McGlynn & Associates topping the list at number 12.  Impressive numbers from the recruitment industry.

As these Best Company rankings are voted for by the employees, it begs the question are recruitment companies better at their own employment PR than the PR experts?


Filed under PR, Recruitment

Fullrun’s Blogger Roundtable


I went off to the swish Soho Hotel last night as we sponsored Fullrun’s Consumer Blogger Roundtable.  The boss is  always up for sticking a bit of money behind a bar. 

The event kicked off with a panel of five, Michael Parsons from CNET, Chris Price and Katie Lee of Shiny Media, Mat Toor of Dennis Publishing and James Rivington from, and was hosted by Peter Kirwin of Fullrun.

There was a run down on how each of the sites likes to be pitched to (send an email, don’t phone them – especially if it’s just a standard pitch, include quotes and unique pictures, use an interesting subject header), followed by a lively discussion on whether there is a difference between bloggers and journos (some of the panel felt bloggers had more principles than journos…. they shall remain nameless) and how the immediacy of blogging requires a good wireless connection and the press releases to be held off until after a press launch.  Don’t forget to provide some food at a launch either, Michael Parsons is particularly keen to fill his tummy and stop that free champagne from sloshing around his insides.  His poor liver is suffering.  Of course, that’s assuming that you can get a blogger to a launch in the first place – they are self confessed un-socialites. 

"Is blogging dying?" was a question that reared its ugly head once more.  As the panellists work for blog sites, it was unlikely they’d say yes, but there was a general consensus that the blogosphere is platauing (80 million blogs – the vast majority not regularly updated) and as huge amounts of information hit our RSS feeds, as consumers we’ll become more selective about what we’re reading.

There was lots of nodding and muttering among the delegates when the subject of measurement came up.  "Clients aren’t convinced by the audience numbers, or how they’re measured" was the cry from the audience.  On the contrary, said the panel, metrics are now easier to measure than ever.  Unique users and page view stats can be made available to PRs and they can be much more reliable than some of the more measurements used by more traditonal media.  Can they be fiddled?  Probably.  Can traditional media stats be fiddled?  Most definitely. 

So off we trotted to the fabulous Swirl Room for drinks, courtesy of Indigo Red, and some light banter.  I bumped into one of my PR agency clients who is "new to this blogging stuff" and asked me to recommend some PR related blogs to have a look at, so off the top of my head came Drew Benvie, Simon Wakeman, Stephen Davies, The PR Monkey, Strumpette and The World’s Leading.  Those are the blogs that are obviously stuck in the forefront of my consciousness, so sod what Technorati says, they rank highest in my little world and don’t look to be dying any time soon.


Filed under PR, Social Media


On Tuesdays, I work from home.  This means I don’t spend 3 hours of the day in my car (hurrah!) and getting work done in a quiet, uninterupted environment – unless you count the cats fighting for space on my lap.  My boss is convinced that I spend every Tuesday in the pub, but my local doesn’t move with the times enough to have a wifi broadband connection so alas, I’m sat at my dining room table with my laptop and a pile of paper. 

It’s a great place for me to work on my latest projects – all will be revealed soon – which has resulted in me spending hours trawling through the internet looking at how social media has been used for marketing initiatives and recruitment solutions.  I’ve seen some really really bad examples, and some really really good ones, but this in particular made me smile:

Well done Focus PR!  Engaging and light hearted, eyecatching vlogging at it’s best.

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Filed under PR, Social Media, Vlogging

PR Job Watch takes off!

Pr_job_watch Our Facebook group, PR Job Watch, is really taking off.  We now have over 100 members and with recruitment consultants and PR agencies signing up to advertise their jobs there there may finally be an easy place to see what’s happening in the PR job market.  You don’t have to join if you’re worried about your boss seeing you belonging to a job focussed group – just bookmark it and come back when you need us. 

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Filed under PR, Recruitment

PR Job Watch

As reported in PR Week last week, there is an every growing PR community on Facebook.  As a recruiter who is always interested to hear what’s going on in the industry I’ve joined lots of the PR related groups, including Alain Desmier and Alex Pearmain’s PR and Communications Network – the fastest growing PR group on Facebook.

Today, I created the group PR Job Watch.  A free and easy to use space for recruiters to advertise their jobs and for PR professionals to keep an eye on the job market and ask for career related advise.  It’s the first PR job group on Facebook and I’ve let lots of our competitors know that it’s there.  It’s about time there was somewhere that PR recruiters can debate the issues of the industry and collaborate -and it’s cheaper than advertising in the back of PR Week, who have had a monopoly on PR job advertising for at least as long as I’ve been recruiting in the industry.

Come and join us, you don’t have to be looking for a new job – it’s a great place to network with other PR folk and pick the brains of PR recruiters.

Join Facebook (if you haven’t already) and search the groups for PR Job Watch.  See you there!

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Filed under Internal Comms, PR, Recruitment

Harveys Hell

I am losing my patience with the furniture store, Harveys.  I’ve just sent them this email:

"Order 72724xxxxx

I am writing to complain about the appalling customer service provided by Harveys. We bought a sofa back in 2006, which we took delivery of in June 2006. In Dec 2006 the sofa broke. After numerous emails and phone calls an engineer was sent out to take a look at the sofa and took a few pictures, and we never heard anything again. We called the store we bought the sofa from (Hounslow) repeatedly asking when we would have a replacement, to no avail. Eventually we had to contact one of the Directors of Harveys who immediately authorised for us to go into store and pick another sofa. So we did that. Over 14 weeks later we are still waiting for delivery of said sofa.

It was due to be delivered on Saturday between 11am – 2pm. We waited in all day, until 3pm, before we had to leave the house to attend an appointment. At 4.30 I had a phone call from the driver to say it wasn’t being delivered. Really. Like we hadn’t noticed!

I called the number provided (08700 663853) to arrange redelivery today (as it’s not open over the weekend or holidays). The customer service representative who I spoke to at 9am promised someone would ring back by the end of play today to arrange redelivery. At 5.30pm when still no one had called me back I phoned again. I asked for redelivery this Saturday and was told no, there are no slots available. I asked to speak to someone more superior and Camilla, the customer service representative, refused.

I wasted a whole day on Saturday waiting for a sofa to be delivered – with no notification that it wasn’t going to arrive until after the delivery time had been and gone. We have waited MONTHS for a sofa we can actually sit on. It is not our fault that the driver was unable to deliver this weekend.

The next available Saturday slot, I was told, is Saturday the 9th June which is absolutely no use to me as we’re at a wedding that day.

I NEED OUR SOFA DELIVERED ON SATURDAY 2ND JUNE. If you are not prepared to arrange delivery for this Saturday, we would like a refund, IN FULL.

If delivery cannot be arranged for this Saturday or a refund be arranged, I am prepared to stand outside your Hounslow store and tell everyone who passes the door what absolutely shocking service we have received from Harveys from start to finish, and if necessary remove the display model of the sofa we have purchased. I am also prepared to call the local press to watch me do it, and every consumer watchdog I can think of to warn other people of the shoddy merchandise and useless service.

I expect a reply to this message by 10am tomorrow morning.

Mrs S"

Hands up who thinks I’ll get a reply?  Hands up who thinks I’ll be searching for the name of the Head of Communications tomorrow to let them know the local press are about to be informed of my protest this coming Saturday?

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Filed under Personal, PR

My Life is an Open Facebook

My online social network is continuing to grow.  I’ve now joined Facebook.  Added to my online presence on Faceparty, Linked In, WAYN, Viadeo, Friends Reunited and of course this blog it will now be impossible to hide from anyone.  Not that anyone in particular is seeking me out. 

That said, an old work colleague of mine contacted me today.  She’s married to another old work colleague and they have two children – last time I saw her they were still snogging in the local pub toilets.  You know who you are.  Who else will crawl out of the woodwork?

Maybe I should check out Twitter next – there are plenty of bloggers talking about it but I’m not sure I actually *get* it.  If you have a Facebook account, feel free to add me.  I figure there must be lots of PR people on there just dying to be headhunted!


Filed under Personal, PR, Social Media