We’ve been featured in The Lad Bible!

Most of you will be familiar with The Lad Bible. The platform on which you see British tradesmen playing pranks on their apprentices, images of angry looking watermelons, and scary type stunts to help launch a new horror movie.

Well, we were very fortunate to be featured in The Lad Bible recently discussing the ongoing burpee challenge for St George’s Hospital and Craig’s affiliation with Reebok. The piece can be found here and we are very very pleased with how it’s turned out. They even included the ’70s disco burpees’! Genius!

http://www.theladbible.com/community/inspirational-meet-the-burpee-guy-who-is-doing-2017-burpees-every-week-for-charity-20170127

The 2016 Autumn Statement – what we achieved

The 2016 Autumn Statement, the first made my Chancellor Philip Hammond, threw up all sorts of surprises, namely that this will be the last ever Autumn Statement…

We also learnt that the National Living Wage is to rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 from April this year; insurance premium tax is to rise from 10% to 12% in June; and we saw the introduction of a £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas.

However, from a press & PR point of view, it’s not just monitoring the announcements being made, but also keeping tabs on what’s not being announced. For example, our client Bishop’s Move, who the UK’s largest family owned removals company, desperately wanted to see more reform to stamp duty. As this wasn’t a main focus for the Chancellor, this gave us a platform on which to comment. This resulted in various high-profile articles such as in City A.M.; Londonlovesbusiness; and Startups.co.uk:

Autumn Statement 2016: Entrepreneur reactions

http://www.cityam.com/254236/planned-rise-fuel-duty-scrapped-philip-hammonds-autumn

http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/10-things-hammond-must-include-in-the-autumn-statement-2016/13242.article

But we weren’t done there. The Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rise came as a shock, particularly to those working in the insurance sector and who had witnessed not one, but two increases in the past 12 months. Our client, UNA, the organisation owned by 13 of the UK’s largest regional insurance brokers, found this latest rise hard to accept and felt this was punishing the good, honest consumer. A message that we conveyed to a nationwide audience with media coverage secured across the mainstream national media:

Autumn Statement 2016 – Insurance premiums to go up £51 a year on average after Chancellor announces two per cent hike in tax

http://www.cityam.com/254248/autumn-statement-2016-insurance-premium-tax-rises-12-per

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/your-car-insurance-going-up-9317814

Finally, Russell New – a West Sussex-based firm of business, tax, and charity advisers – wanted to see assurances from the government that they were going to ensure the UK remains an attractive proposition for investors.

http://smallbusiness.co.uk/autumn-statement-the-economy-2535387/

The firm was also featured in the live Autumn Statement text in both the International Business Times and the Daily Telegraph.

We look forward to securing such results again in what will be the first Spring Statement in 2017.

I’m doing something a bit crazy this year….

…over 67,000 burpees for charity. That’s right; over 67,000 burpees. What’s a burpee? http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/how-to-do-a-burpee/

georges

That’s not me in that video, by the way. that is me in the image above though rocking the pink St. George’s Hospital vest with the amazing staff there and the professor who saved the lives of our twin sons. I am also documenting all of my daily burpees each day on my Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages:

www.facebook.com/ForTheBoysTTTS

Twitter: @ForTheBoysTTTS

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd8IEQYhvrxD45UymzD5WvA

Although, the most important link is this one: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Craig-PetersTTTS

So what I am doing is adding one burpee on each day of the year – one burpee on the 1st January, two on the 2nd January, and so on. This meant that by the 1st September I went past the 30,000 mark. In December alone I will have to complete just under 11,000 burpees.

The motivation behind this challenge is to help raise money for the New Kit Appeal, which includes raising £25k for fetal endoscopic equipment at St George’s Hospital. My challenge has already captured the attention of many with various outlets covering the burpee challenge:

– Front page on the Worthing Herald: http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news…sons-1-7419192

– A full page feature and Q&A in Men’s Health magazine: http://www.menshealth.co.uk/fitness/…charity-closed

– A piece in The Brighton Argus: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/local…his_twin_sons/

– A visit to do burpees at Brighton & Hove Albion: http://www.seagulls.co.uk/news/artic…e-3141399.aspx

– A tweet and support from Team GB athlete Louise Hazel

– A live interview on BBC Sussex Radio – fast forward to 3hrs 41mins: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p040hh6f#play

– The pinnacle was visiting the team and professor who did the treatment at St George’s Hospital and doing burpees with them: https://www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/newsite…ne-department/

So why? Why in the name of Mr. Burns am I doing this? Let me tell you…

In February 2014, at week 20 of our pregnancy with identical twin boys, me and my wife Kyrie, were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), something which occurs in just 10% of multiple pregnancies. TTTS affects only identical or monozygotic twins who develop from the splitting of a single egg during the first 14 days after fertilisation, and who also share a placenta – monochorionic twins. The placenta has a web of blood vessel connecting the twins with the mother and usually they allow an even flow of blood and nutrients to each of the embryos. However, in a TTTS pregnancy, the flow of blood in these vessels between the twins is out of balance resulting in one twin getting too much blood; this can put a strain on the heart and lead to heart failure. Whilst the other receives too little which can affect their growth and survival.

img_1743

As a result, we had to undergo emergency laser surgery – if we did nothing there was a 90% chance we would lose our boys. This technique developed by foetal specialists at St George’s involves a laser burning and closing the blood vessels on the placenta. With that said, by even going through the laser treatment there was still a one in three chance that both twins would survive; a one in three chance that only one would make it; and a one in three chance we could lose both. It was terrifying.

We appreciate we are one of the lucky ones but there’s families out there experiencing the roller-coaster ride of TTTS, sometimes with very tragic consequences. The burpees are obviously getting very tough but what’s driving me is both the huge levels of support I’ve been getting, the constant thought of what the hospital did for us, along with the thought of other parents going through TTTS. It is a heart-breaking disease and I just want to do my bit so the hospital can gain access to new fetal endoscopic equipment. We are eternally grateful to the doctors who saved the lives of our boys.

So, this is for all of you going through the horrible, confusing, and damn right heartbreaking disease that is TTTS. My heart goes out to each and every single one of you. We are eternally grateful to the miracle consultants who perform this mind-blowing operation to help save the lives of babies up and down the UK.

HOW TO WRITE NEWSLETTERS PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO READ

Too many newsletters are boring, preachy and inaccessible. The publishers assume people will read them because it tells them things they need to know about the organisation. But just because someone should read something doesn’t mean they will.

For newsletters to be successful, the target audience has to want to read them. That means the editorial team has to create interesting and relevant content, written in a compelling and engaging way.

But before you even think about content, you need to decide whether or not you even need a newsletter and, if so, what kind of publication you want – and are able – to produce.

Top tips on writing newsletters

1. Do ask what readers want from a company publication. Senior management might see it as a tool for “communicating important company information” but if it’s as dull as dishwater, no one will want to read it.

2. Don’t be unrealistic. A simple, well written weekly emailer containing interesting, relevant information will be more effective than a glossy 64-page magazine that takes so long to come out, no one’s interested in the content.

3. Do use your chosen medium to its best advantage. Online is best for speed, tracking and linking to further information. Print is best for big features, great photos and important stories and events.

4. Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself. Use contributors from other sites or departments to feed you news and (if they can) write stories. Even a badly written first draft (that you can re-work) is better than nothing.

5. Do consider guest editors. They bring a freshness to publications and demonstrate inclusivity in a company.

6. Don’t spend too long on first drafts. Most newsletter copy goes through several people and many changes before the delight of the final edit. Get the facts in the right order, write with sincerity and put most effort into a polished final edit.

7. Do leave LOTS of time for editing and proofreading. Create and stick to a Production Schedule that is weighted towards time at the end, not the beginning. Use the early stages to gather photos, liaise with contributors and chase approvals.

8. Don’t return edited copy to contributors, managers, clients, etc. unless you have absolutely have to. People love to make changes and the copy they “signed off” last week suddenly needs a “few tweaks” once they see it again.

9. Do ask people to attach approved copy to an email and not simply say “yes, it’s okay”.

10. Don’t forget that the word “publish” means “to make public”. Even a document clearly titled “for internal use only” can make its way out into the wider world. If you don’t want people to know something, don’t put it in writing.

Pitching to editors

Knowing what news desks and editors want is absolutely essential for anyone who wishes to use the media to convey a message. In whatever way your pitch is made – be it email, phone or indeed face to face – if you can persuade an editor to run your idea for an article you will be very well placed to get good coverage in that article and reach your intended audience.

However, it is not easy to do well. You’ve got to have ‘a knack’. The vast majority of pitches that editors receive from PRs are poorly conceived, clumsily expressed, and very often a waste of everyone’s time.

This is a problem, not just for the PR but also for the editor. The first thing to bear in mind when pitching to editors is that they genuinely want to receive good pitches from PRs. They absolutely rely on them.

Why editors want you to succeed

Put yourself in their shoes. Their publication is well-targeted – perhaps on a trade such as retail, a business activity such as human resources, a geographical region such as Brighton, or a hobby such as running. Even if they work for a national newspaper they will have a section they edit, such as the arts, media, or personal finance. The point is that there is only so much you can say about retail, HR, Brighton, running, or the arts. These editors need to fill an entire publication or section every month, or every week or every day. That’s why, as a PR, your pitch has got to hit the nail bang on the head.

After a while every editor runs out of ideas. Unless they can find a good source of new ideas they will start repeating themselves, their publications will become stale and their reader numbers will fall. Once reader numbers fall so does revenue from subscribers and advertisers. It is a vicious circle that can prove fatal to any publication and many regional newspapers and magazines across the UK have succumbed to this unfortunate set of circumstances.

So, they need to find new ideas. They try everything they can to generate them themselves – brainstorming in editorial meetings, asking ad sales colleagues, scouring the Internet for ideas, networking at conferences, and so on. But no matter what they try they will always be reliant on third parties for fresh article ideas.

That’s you and me – PR professionals and freelance writers.

Without us, most publications you see on the news stand would rapidly become very dull. We play a vital role in giving the editors of those publications new ideas that will stimulate their readers and boost their advertising revenue.

So, they want you to succeed. When they open an e-mail from you they want to see a good idea that they can use.

However, this doesn’t mean that they’ll accept any idea you send. You are up against stiff competition – hundreds of PR professionals and freelance writers, to say nothing of the hundreds of amateurs who want coverage for their cause, story, or business. So, you need to know how to stand out from the crowd.

Next week – the ten elements of a good pitch.

SherlockPR shortlisted for prestigious Pride Award

PRide-2015-Shortlist-ButtonOn Friday 17th July I had the absolute pleasure of finding out that I have been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) South of England and Channel Islands PRide Outstanding Independent Practitioner Award. The CIPR South of England and Channel Islands PRide Awards cover Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Devonshire, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Somerset, Surrey, The Channel Islands, West Sussex, and Wiltshire.

Having gone through the panel of 22 judges, I am now shortlisted against one other independent PR practitioner and the winner of this category for the past two-years, Karen Tippett-Lehane of TippetPR.

The awards dinner will take place on 20th November at The Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre. The full shortlist can be found here: http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/awards-events/pride-awards/south-england-and-channel-islands/shortlist

Over the past 12 months I have secured over 600 pieces of media coverage for a mixture of retailed clients and shorter projects, such as the Sussex Sports Awards and Virgin Holidays. This includes aligning clients, such as Bishop’s Move and Retail Human Resources, with some of the most debated issues across the UK such as fuel duty costs, stamp duty, and the gender pay gap. Most important of all, the coverage I have secured has had a significant impact on both the performances and reputation of my clients clearly demonstrating what a tailored and highly creative PR campaign can achieve.

I am obviously thrilled with this news and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has played a part in the past unforgettable five-years since the foundation of Sherlock PR. Here’s to the next five!

How we positioned our client as a leading commentator on the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme

Faced with an unprecedented, unpredictable and opposing regional property markets, we saw an opportunity for our client to firmly establish itself as one of the leading commentators on the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Founded in 1854, Bishop’s Move is the UK’s largest family owned removals company and this year is celebrating its 160th year in business. With the UK property market evolving and growing rapidly in some parts of the country, we saw this as the perfect time to gain the perceptions of the Help to Buy scheme from homeowners and those looking to buy a property.

After setting up a survey of 1000 people, we simply asked; ‘What do you know of the Help to Buy scheme? Please tick the statement which best describes your view.’ We quickly noticed that astonishingly almost a quarter (22 per cent) said they had never even heard of the Help to Buy scheme and only three per cent had heard of the scheme and knew someone who had used it. After reviewing these questions, we wasted no time in speaking to the media about these results and in July 2014 alone, we secured 45 pieces of media coverage for our client in the likes of The Independent; the I; Independent Online; Moneyfacts; and Your Money.

http://moneyfacts.co.uk/news/mortgages/do-you-know-about-help-to-buy/

http://www.independent.co.uk/property/homehunters-still-dont-know-about-help-to-buy-9592307.html

305_110714_TheIndependent_HelptoBuy 306_110714_TheI_HelptoBuy

Overall, the 45 articles reached an audience of over 25m people along with a phone call from the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government who were looking to arrange a meeting with our client to see how we can work together in promoting the scheme to suitable audiences.

However, we didn’t stop there. We saw this as another opportunity to ask yet another question which was perhaps a bit more “on the nose”. With the Help to Buy scheme aimed at first-time buyers, we simply asked ‘What is the Help to Buy scheme?’ and gave the respondents a list of five options.

We found that 16 per cent of those aged between 18-24 and 11 per cent aged between 25-34 thought the Help to Buy scheme was a recently launched face-to-face shopping service at mainstream supermarkets. Needless to say, coverage continued to roll in after that too and our clients’ reputation on the subject has shot through the roof.

Celebrating 160-years in business

To celebrate its 160th year in business, our client Bishop’s Move – the UK’s largest family owned removals company – has re-traced its historic steps at the Westminster Archives and published its transformation in pictures. The company, which is currently run by the sixth generation of Bishops, was founded in 1854 by Joseph James Bishop, a labourer from Norfolk who came to London to join Robert Peel’s newly established police force.

J.J. as he was known, left the police force after a short time and opened a green grocers in Elizabeth Street, London SW1 from where he developed the business to include moving household furniture and effects. This soon evolved to become a general cartage and removals business, with a small yard in what was then the village of Pimlico, SW1.

Amongst the archives was a press clipping from The Brighton Argus from 1983; a 1939 press clipping from what was then, the Evening Standard; and numerous images including these below which show the parked Royal Carriages outside its original Pimlico branch in 1972. At Sherlock PR, we have ensured Bishop’s Move’s key messages and historic tales have been featured in The Brighton Argus along with the original 1983 press clipping, as seen below.

Royal Reception 1972 Victoria

292_100614_TheArgus_160Years

Bishop’s Move now employs 350 staff and has a fleet of 150 removal vehicles. It has 25 Branches across the UK with 2 European branches, in Gibraltar and Spain.

At Sherlock PR we consider ourselves very fortunate to work with such an esteemed and established business such as Bishop’s Move, who have withstood the test of many generations. We wish them the very best in their 160th year.

 

 

 

Vote now for your Sussex Sports Awards ‘Club of the Year’

Votes are now open for The Grand Hotel ‘Club of the Year’ Award – the only category to be decided by the public vote – at the 11th annual Sussex Sports Awards. East Grinstead Meads Football Club, Brighton Phoenix Basketball Club or Selsey Football Club will all fight out for this prestigious award which was last year won by Uckfield Grasshoppers FC.

Readers are encouraged to cast their votes by Friday 15th November 2013 at www.activesussex.org/sportsawards.

–          Selsey Football Club has worked with Selsey Seals FC to move football participation in the area to a new level. Between them the clubs have worked hard to achieve the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award. They currently have a combination of nineteen adult and youth teams covering all age ranges and encompass a welcome and friendly attitude to the delivery of grassroots football within the area.

–          Founded in 1997, East Grinstead Meads FC achieved Charter Standard Club Award in 2006 and Development Club Award status in 2009 and is run completely by volunteers and parents who, without their hard work and dedication the club, would not have grown to be what it is today; the largest youth club in East Grinstead.

–          Brighton Phoenix Basketball Club’s disability group has this year travelled for competition in London, Chichester and the Isle of Wight – winning the Annual Challenge Trophy. England Basketball also recognised Phoenix in the National Membership Incentive Programme where it was placed 11th in the National Top 25 list. It also boasts 484 members, helping the South East area break the 3,000 member barrier for the first time.

The 11th Sussex Sports Awards will celebrate the achievements made by the county’s most talented sportsmen and women and also the volunteers and coaches who give up their hours each week to ensure the county remains a hub for developing the nation’s next generation of sports stars.

Sadie Mason, Active Sussex Chief Executive said: “I encourage everyone to set two minutes of their time aside to cast their vote for the Club of the Year. It’s a prestigious award to both be shortlisted for and of course, win. Whilst last year was all about preparing, approaching and enjoying the London Olympic Games, this year has been all about keeping the momentum going and ensuring that sporting legacy continues throughout Sussex. The awards ceremony will reward quality, achievement, determination and commitment to those involved in sport across the county – something that is clearly evident in the three terrific sports clubs.”

The evening kicks off at 6pm with a ‘Wave Leisure’ VIP Reception: followed by three-course meal, awards, and entertainment – including a dramatic Parkour performance by the Brighton-based Urban Playground Team.

Tickets are now on sale and cost £40 inc. VAT (these are subsidised tickets for community sports groups, teams and individuals). Corporate tickets are also available at £65 exc. VAT, with corporate tables of 10 for £600 exc. VAT. Buy tickets online at www.activesussex.org/sportsawards

Contact: Craig Peters on 0844 826 3136 or craig@sherlockpr.com.

 

Notes to editors
Hi res photos of Gail Emms and past Sussex Sports Awards winners are available on request.

Media invitation:
To attend the event as a member of the press and to arrange interviews with the winners on the day itself, please contact Craig Peters on 07746 923470.

 

Sussex Sports Awards

Now in its eleventh anniversary year, the Sussex Sports Awards, organised by Active Sussex, is the most prestigious award ceremony of its kind in the region. A judging panel of sports professionals drawn from national, regional and community levels, judge 13 separate awards. The 2013 event will take place at The Grand Hotel, Brighton on Friday 29 November.

 

Gail Emms MBE

Gail Emms is a British badminton player who has achieved international success. Together with her partner Nathan Robertson, she has been number one in the world at mixed doubles, All England Champion, Commonwealth gold medallist and Olympic silver medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Since retiring, Gail has presented on sports shows including Channel 4’s 4Sport, Radio 5 Live and A Question of Sport.

 

Active Sussex

Active Sussex is the brand name of the Sussex County Sports Partnership Trust, a not-for-profit organization and registered charity dedicated to the support, promotion and development of sport and active lifestyles throughout Sussex.

Active Sussex is one of the 49 county sports partnerships across England supported by Sport England.

 

The Urban Playground Team
The Urban Playground (UPG) Team blend authentic French ‘Art du deplacement’ with urban and contemporary dance in a unique language known as Performance Parkour. The Brighton-based team tours nationally and internationally for clients including the British Council and the National Theatre. Since 2007 they have worked in partnership with co-creators of Parkour ‘Gravity Style’, (France) – appearing in their feature film ‘Come Fly With Us’. Prodigal Theatre’s UPG Team is the UK’s original Parkour Performance company – Prodigal Theatre & The UPG Team are an associate company of the Brighton Festival & Dome.

Previous Sussex Sports Awards winners

Silver London 2012 Olympic Medallist (Eventing) Tina Cook (Findon, West Sussex)

World Judo champion Ben Quilter (Brighton)

Paralympic athletes Sophia Warner (Hove) and Sascha Kindred (Crawley)

Triathlete Olly Freeman (Eastbourne)

Decathlete Sebastian Rodger (Eastbourne)

For more details about the Sussex Sports Awards please contact Joanna Savage on 01273 644153 or

jsavage@activesussex.org or Craig Peters on 07746 923470 or craig@sherlockpr.com.

Internet Nostalgia – what Facebook and other sites USED to look like

Can you remember the days when dial-up was considered great? You know, when you couldn’t use your land-line and PC at the same time? The days when you had to sit and watch  how much internet you used like a petrol metre? When websites with flash images seemed awesome?

I was thinking about those days a short while ago and it got me thinking about how some of our most popular websites looked “back in the day”.

Remembering the first time Facebook was mentioned in the UK, a reporter for BBC said that the website was revolutionary and so slick and easy to use. When you look at the original image now, you may be inclined to disagree. Facebook was introduced (properly anyway) shortly after I returned from my travels –  a year long stint around the world when I had to make-do with sharing photos on Photobox and friends and family had to purchase images just to make sure I wasn’t dead. Even the email back then was a sheer wonder.

It has been fun re-living how these websites have evolved – try and enjoy it as much as I did. So let’s see how the following sites looked when they first started.

Google; Facebook; Twitter; Wikipedia; BBC News; Apple; and Amazon

Google in 1996

Google

Facebook in 2004

FB

FB1

Twitter in 2006

twitter

Wikipedia in 2001

wiki

BBC News in 1997

bbc_news

Apple in 1996

apple

Amazon in 1995

amazon