Posts from May 2012

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10 days at Refresh PR - My Work Placement


After meeting with the team I was excited to see how life working in Manchester city centre would be. By the tenth day I was pretty astonished by the amount of work I had been involved in. It’s been a real learning curve in understanding the effort that goes into running a PR agency and developing a career in this field. The rest of the team were very welcoming and it’s been great getting hands on experience in a fast-paced environment, rather than being sent to make coffee all day!

It’s been all systems go since entering the building here at Refresh PR. Our clients received a lot of coverage in May so one of my first tasks was to create coverage boards for their offices. This seemed fairly laid back and I wondered what all the talk of PR not being for the faint hearted was about - I was then warned ‘wait until you come back tomorrow.’ I also began updating the social media sites and it showed me the importance of social networking. Just a day or two later someone had commented on how impressive the coverage we had received was, and how they had seen it on our Facebook page.

Early on in the placement I was speaking with well-known tabloid newspapers, magazines and websites. By doing this, hopefully, we will have some great coverage for one of our clients, fingers crossed. This has taught me the importance of excellent communications between the PR team, the media and prospective clients. This process, and what the Refresh team do, demonstrates that building and maintaining good relationships in PR is highly important; this was then emphasised in some meetings I went to.

On my first Friday afternoon I shadowed Anna at a business meeting where we discussed an exciting festival event for one of our clients. There were fun and innovative ideas proposed which gave me insight to the work that goes into festivals and product promotion behind the scenes. The following Friday I was taken along to an interview and photo-shoot for one of our clients.

All of this in just ten days- I think I’m getting to grips with why PR isn’t for the faint hearted! With the team expanding and more work on the horizon it’s going to be interesting to see what more I learn over the rest of this placement.




Tagged with: Manchester, PR, Refresh PR, Work placement

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Latest Twitter Updates

New things are always happening at Twitter HQ and a recent email issued by the company has let us know about the latest developments. Twitter’s commitment to simplicity, transparency, and reaching every person on the planet continues – and here’s what they had to announce on Saturday 19th May:


·         There’s a new weekly email that delivers the most interesting news and items you might have missed from the people you’re connected to on Twitter

·         Now Twitter is in more languages than ever. You can check for your preferred language and change your setting

·         Download the latest Twitter mobile apps at

·         There's more to Discover on - try out the new Discover tab


In addition, Twitter has made a number of updates to its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Here are some of the main changes to the Privacy Policy, with links for more information:


·         Twitter has provided more details about the information it collects and how it uses it to deliver its services and to improve Twitter. One example: its new tailored suggestions feature, which is based on your recent visits to websites that integrate Twitter buttons or widgets, is an experiment that Twitter is beginning to roll out to some users in a number of countries

·         The Twitter team has noted the many ways you can set your preferences to limit, modify or remove the information twitter collects. For example, it now supports the Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions

·         Twitter has clarified the limited circumstances in which your information may be shared with others (for example, when you've given Twitter permission to do so, or when the data itself is not private or personal). Importantly, its privacy policy is not intended to limit your rights to object to a third party's request for your information


In its Terms of Service, Twitter has clarified how your relationship with Twitter works and made a number of small changes and formatting improvements, such as new headings for easy reference and updated descriptions of its service.


Read the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service – and make sure you follow Refresh PR @Refreshpr


Tagged with: Manchester, Marketing, North West , PR, Public Relations

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Blog from Grand Designs Live: Green building for all - Seminar chaired by George Clarke in the Grand Theatre

For the first time in 50 years, the government has updated the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to make it compulsory for Local Authorities to address the needs of self-builders. This is a major benchmark in this market, and it’s mainly down to persistent lobbying by the likes of the National Self Build Association (NSBA) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Around 10% of the homes built in the UK are built by self-builders, but up until now, they have had very little recognition or assistance from the government. Finding land, getting finance and tackling all of the red tape that building regulations can throw up are amongst the common issues experienced by self-builders, and due to the lack of guidance in these areas, it seems that here in the UK, this market has been unable to grow to its full potential.

Successful self-builders in the UK are currently saving around 25% on average on the cost of buying a house by building their own, meaning that instead of buying a three bedroom home, they can afford a four bed or use the extra budget to kit out a smaller home with any additional luxuries.

Going down the self-build route is an affordable option for aspiring homeowners, and a budget of £150,000 is adequate in most instances, to build a three to four bedroom home. The average cost of a ready-made home is now over £232,000, so that’s a dramatic (and very attractive) saving.

These substantial savings can open the doors to many who are trying to climb the property ladder and by updating the National Planning Policy Framework, it looks as if the government is finally recognising the opportunities this can create.

Changes that have been made:

·         The government has completed research into the self-build market and has passed this on to UK banks – this research supports the success of the self-build market in the UK and will have a very positive impact on lending – mortgage lending to self-builders is now set to increase by 141%


·         On the back of these changes, The Homes and Communities Agency has recently identified five sites where up to 70 properties could be built by self-builders and more sites are being lined up by the government especially for self-builders


·         Planning rules have been reformed to make it much easier for self-builders home building plans to receive approval – the local authorities must now process every application from a self-builder


·         More government approved information online to help self-builders


Last year 14,000 new homes were built in the UK by self-builders- a relatively small amount compared to the rest of Europe.  In Holland and Germany self-building is far more common place and self-building is now as common in these countries as buying ready-made homes. Groups of people can invest together and create new communities, and houses are also built with more design freedom while still meeting building laws about sustainability.

Now the UK government has recognised the self-build market as an important growth area, it looks like positive changes are ahead for people wishing to build their own homes.  It looks like the UK could be given the chance to catch its European neighbours up!

For more information on self-build in the UK, visit the self-builder portal:





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