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Posts from September 2010

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Stars in our Own Right



We have had a lot of laughs on the way to the launch of Refresh PR, whether it's been in meetings with our solicitors (who we would highly recommend by the way) to the phone calls with our web agency Fat Media.  But they all pale into significance to the photoshoot we had to endure undertake earlier this week to obtain a decent pic together to send out with our launch release.

 

Being in PR has a few perks, one of which is consistently putting our clients up for photoshoots while we stand behind the lense and 'direct' the perfectly qualified photographer.  Having photoshoots of PR people is quite a rare occurrence, and one a lot of us (including both of us in particular) dread!

 

Paul Francis - www.picturecoverage.co.uk - is someone we've worked with for years now and we've always enlisted him for our clients, but never ourselves.  Having recommended the Park Inn - www.parkinn.co.uk/hotel-manchester - for the venue at what could be the last time he ever had full functional use of his camera lense, Paul was there before us scoping out the bar area...so he said...for the photoshoot location. 

 

And with a mixture of different poses we did indeed manage to get a shot worthy of placing in our own marketing material.  Mind you, it did take three hours pulling our best Agnetha and Frida impression back to back (no, not Bjorn and Benny!!!), doing the 'serious look' (it didn't work - just not us) and then trying a change of clothing.  But we got there - and Paul was fantastically patient with us too.

 

We thought we'd share with you all some of the gems that didn't make it over to the Manchester Evening News - which we dragged from Paul before the words photoshop could come out of his mouth...after all if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?


 

 Refresh PR photography

 

Refresh PR photography

 

Refresh PR photography

 

Refresh PR photography

Tagged with: PR, Public Relations

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Would you pay to view news online?



Refresh PR went to a conference recently where the topic of paywalls - paying to read newspaper content online - as a business model came up. The question of whether The Times, Sunday Times and soon to be News of the World websites will be able to sustain this model online in the future with so much competition out there was raised.

The event was North West Business Insider's 'Business for Media' conference at the Lowry in Manchester. The room was full of around 100 PRs, designers, marketers and business leaders, and yet only four people in the whole room put their hands up to say that they subscribed to these newspapers online. And I'm pretty sure at least two of those were for PR purposes rather than to actually read the content.

What made it even more interesting was that a talk earlier in the morning from Deloitte had suggested that there's been a recent upsurge in people in the UK wanting to read their newspaper in print rather than online. People want to sit at home on the sofa, away from the computer, and relax. The same, Deloittes said, applies to magazines too.

So I guess the progress of Rupert Murdoch's business model will be watched by a lot of people over the next 12 months. What content are the papers going to generate that will be so unmissable - and unique - that people feel the need to pay to read it? Will the News of the World move its 'shocking' undercover investigations online only - and will people care enough about another England footballer having an affair to fork out to read all about it? Not so sure - meanwhile I'll be getting my celeb fix from the MailOnline and my newsfeed from twitter thank you very much.

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The Special, Please?



My understanding of the specials board in a restaurant is that it is just that 'special'.  It's when the chef creates dishes using leftovers still good enough to eat and fresh produce which has generally been sourced locally to offer diners something additional to his/her regular menu.  It changes quite frequently according to market availability and what needs using in the kitchen.  Correct me if I'm wrong please.

Recently Refresh PR was dining at a restaurant and public house in Norfolk (which had been highly recommended by the locals I hasten to add).  This restaurant markets itself as serving 'seafood specialities' so when in Rome and all that, I ordered the fresh tempura prawns to start and a salmon steak for main with locally sourced veg from the specials board.

Imagine my surprise and disappointment when my 'tempura prawns' turned up looking like mush rolled up in very tightly thick batter - the type you'd buy from those stores which only sell frozen foods and are promoted by struggling celebs.  Having thought I might be wrong, as I endured a mouthful, I realised I'd been too optimistic - they certainly lacked taste and in fact everything else.  Best use for them, doorstops. 

Then onto my next course - the salmon - which I have got to say wasn't much better and that too had been hanging around for a little longer than I'd care to think about.  My 'fresh' garden veg - the peas - were out of a tin!  Needless to say, my guests were equally put out by their very 'unspecial defrosted tinned specials' too.

Now I'm very much looking forward to meeting with some of the world's most celebrated chefs at The Restaurant Show in October where Refresh PR will be working with the organisers and asking them to explain if I have in fact misunderstood the meaning of the specials board.

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Things I'm loving this week...



I've never really looked forward to Monday's before now until the Inbetweeners hit our screens last week and I ended up actually laughing out loud in my living room, on my own, for a solid 30 minutes, and I still can't decide if that's ok or just tragic.  Everyone I've spoken to who loves this fab show, which is fast becoming a TV classic, thinks the series got off to a belter and I'm sure the rest of the episodes are going to offer a lot more. 

 

Then, having been persuaded to buy a copy of TV Choice by my very excited cousin who was on the front page (and page 5 too) celebrating Corrie's wins at the magazine's annual awards, I got distracted by a write up on the brilliant Spooks. Cannot. Wait.  I'm still banking on Harry having a few flash backs to the series with Rupert Penry-Jones though...either that or I'll have to spend more time down at Refresh's London base as he lives just around the corner!

 

Now all I need is for Shameless to come back for another series, Sky Sports to come back onto Freeview and any (Freeview) channel to take up Entourage season 7 and my winter TV indulgences will be complete!   

Tagged with: Leisure, Lifestyle

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Spreading the wellbeing message



Refresh PR works with Health and Wellbeing companiesIt's not long before the clocks go back (already - eeek!!) and we all need something to cheer us up when those winter nights draw in.

With this in mind Refresh PR is working with our client Alexandra Worsley to help the team over there launch Wellbeing Wednesdays for women (and men!) across South Manchester and Cheshire. On the first Wednesday of every month customers - old and new - will be invited to come into the store for different events. The first one, which is completely free of charge, will be held on 6th October and focuses on skincare. Everyone who comes to the shop between 6.30 -8.30pm will get time with Liz, the Dr Hauschka expert. They'll also get to try out new products that the therapists have all given a thumbs up to.

I can't wait to get along to this event - and this is just the first of four that are planned before Christmas too. Maybe I'm a little biased as Refresh PR has helped to plan it (and clearly therefore tailored it around things we want to try out!!), but fingers crossed the events will go down really well - particularly with this plug on the blog too!

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, PR, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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Doing a bit for charity



Refresh PR Laura MashiterLast Sunday Refresh PR spent the morning helping our client Easy Access Self Storage in Heaton Moor raise funds for some worthwhile local charities. The company held a family fun day earlier in the year (which we got some great coverage for) and this time it was The Big Charity Car Boot sale.

We promoted this through the Facebook page (Dan the Super Storage Man), the twitter feed, on the website and in online directories, and through editorial on the community pages in the Stockport Express. The team spent days delivering flyers and posters around the area too.

Stockport's Pure Radio was fantastic and brought a DJ down from 9am-1pm to entertain the car booters and shoppers, plus gave us plugs on air and on the Pure Facebook page leading up to the event. Needless to say everyone got into the swing of things. In total the company has now helped to raise well over £2000 for Rachel's Wish Lanterns (affiliated to The Christie), MacMillan Nurses in Stockport and St Ann's Hospice in Stockport. Well done to all of the team and here's to more events soon!

Tagged with: Home Interest, PR, Public Relations