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Who would have a dog in the office?
11/05/2016 01:56 PM

Our PR agency has a four-legged ‘employee’ and we couldn’t do without him.  PR Pooch (aka Cosmo) comes into work every day and our visitors are very happy to see him.  He's quite a remarkable dog and has just the right temperament for a office dog.  He came from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home four years ago and is a wonderful ambassador for that great institution.   However, having an office pooch is something that needs to be well thought through.  It's more than a novelty stress reliever - it could actually change how you run your business. 

So here are some things to ponder if you're thinking of implementing a pet-friendly office:

1.     Not every landlord is going to be happy with having a dog in the office.  Once you’ve got the pet and committed to having them at work, you’re also committing to staying in working premises that are pet-friendly.  Dreams of a super-slick, high rise city boardroom might be out of the question as they can be strict about furry staff.

2.     Not every individual likes – or can deal with - pets.  We realised that every person we hire from this point on has to be comfortable with a dog in the office.  People with allergies wouldn’t be able to work here easily and that could potentially limit our intake of talent. 

3.     Visiting clients and suppliers generally love the dog.  Although many organisations now have dogs in the office, it’s still rare enough that every visitor is surprised and usually delighted.  Our dog runs down the stairs when the buzzer goes and brings up guests.  It’s quite a helpful way for them to find our reception which is on the second floor of the building.

4.     Having a dog forces you to take a break.  In busy work spaces lunches can be forgotten – but you can’t ignore a dog who needs to go for a walk.  Forcing people away from their desk, whatever the weather, actually helps reduce stress on manic days and keeps people moving.

5.     When it’s cold, our dog's a living hot water bottle.

6.   Our office pet has developed his own reputation.  His twitter profile PRPooch has followers and his tweets on dog-related news have been shared by the likes of Battersea Dogs Home and Country Life Magazine which helps the business's own profile raising. Follow him @PRPooch.

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18/04/2016 01:22 PM
When is the right time to appoint a PR agent?  When is a retainer with a PR agency worth the investment?  Interesting questions that I’ve been asked more than once over the course of my career.  Let me be really clear, PR isn’t right for every company at every stage of their business.  If a PR agency says that they can make you a household name, but you are still working out of your bedroom, they might be more interested in taking your money than in building your brand.  Many bedroom entrepreneurs make it – Wordville itself enjoyed a few months in ‘duvet land’ before we got our office, built a team and created a proper organisational structure.  But start-ups survive or flourish because they don’t run out of money by spending their hard-earned pennies on things they don’t really need.

PR is not free/cheap advertising.  If you can’t afford advertising don’t think that PR is a less expensive alternative.  PR is a professional service and the skills of the agents, whether in a company or as individual consultants, are sold to you by the hour.  PR agents charge for the effort it takes to devise a plan, create content, find a suitable target and reach out to the press with consideration and persistence.

If you’re a young business and you really feel that being in the media will have an enormous impact on your business’s credibility and success.  Here are the questions to ask yourself:

1.     Do you have a website with contact details (email address and phone number) that people can find if they want to get in touch with you once they’ve heard about you in the press?  Seems obvious – but, believe me, lots of individuals put effort into launching a product or project without the wherewithal to record interest or sell.

2.     Do you have a spokespersonwho is available, lucid, well-informed and can speak to a journalist about your company, its products/services and its clients?  If you don’t have a spokesperson how are you going to answer a journalist’s specific questions?  A reporter is going to want to personalise any company news to appeal to their own audience and will very likely want a quote that touches on a particular topic that relates to their area of interest.  If no one has time to help with this – or no one is happy about ‘putting their head above the parapet’ – then avoid PR for the time being.

3.     Do you have a clientwho you can reference, name drop, or call in to support what you say?  Approximately 600,000 businesses are launched in the UK every year.  Many never win the clients they need to go onto their second year.  The press is understandably cautious about featuring any business that might not be around in a matter of months.  They like to see you have credibility and you get that from the people who buy your products/services. 

We love working with start-ups and always have.  We are inspired by the energy, sense of purpose and flexibility of small business leaders.  So we’re always intrigued when a start-up approaches us with a request.  But we’ve worked long enough with established brands and newly-founded companies to know that to succeed in PR you’ve got to have the basics or you just can’t get in the press. 

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘oh no, I was expecting PR to help me sell products’ – then you probably need to go back to your business plan and look again at your route to market.  Eventually PR will help you grow your business – it’ll will amaze you how much PR can help – but once your business is ready to be helped.  

by Lucy George, Mayor of Wordville

picture souce: Ryan Jorgensen 
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Wordville wins UK PR & Marketing Company of the Year 2016
13/04/2016 04:00 PM
Well, we're celebrating at the little village of Wordville after being told that we've won an award for outstanding work.  The bunting is out, the brass band is tuning up and the Mayor has had her hair done.  Thanks to all those who nominated us.  

Sponsored by the International Business Innovation Association, The Innovation & Excellence awards recognise businesses that have transformed over the past 12 months setting clear industry trends and advances.  

The judging panel at Corporate LiveWire considered the strengths of each shortlisted candidate, setting its sights firmly on the most innovative, groundbreaking and client-focused firms, teams and individuals who have transformed the way in which they do business. 

This year’s winners include Google, Uber, Airbnb Inc, Microsoft, and Wordville to name a few.

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If it's a Show-Off Society, how are you getting your share of the stage?
23/03/2016 11:03 AM
The business world, despite the best efforts of best practice, doesn’t always reward those who put their heads down and get on with the job.  The best can rise through the ranks, climb the corporate ladder or get picked for the dream job – but they have to be spotted.  It’s not just about being creative, hard-working, conscientious.  It’s about being all those things and being seen to be.

The Mayor of Wordville, Lucy George, has written a book with business coach Barbara Greeenway, that outlines some of the principles of PR that can work for anyone.  Called 'Don't Work Harder - Just Get Noticed', the book is for individuals who are looking to be promoted.  Jobseekers looking to be selected for an interview.  Hardworking folks who are getting a little bored of sitting around waiting for the break because surely ‘it’s their time now’.

Championing the unsung, who suffer colleagues taking undue credit, the book incorporates positive ideas, and motivational stories. Don’t Work Harder helps frustrated executives focus on what they want to be famous for, guides them to the evidence to support their personal brand, and offers tips on the next step. It’s not about burning the midnight oil, or suppressing your own beliefs. It’s getting noticed that makes the difference.

Lucy and Barbara will be giving a sneak preview at the IAM Group on Wednesday 30th March in London.  To buy tickets for the event visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charity-drinks-networking-dont-work-harder-just-get-noticed-tickets-18551354601

If you would like to pre-order Don't Work Harder - Just Get Noticed (published autumn 2016) please email dontworkharder@wordville.net

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Services include: Media relations, PR, Media training, Communications, Marketing, Crisis management, Presentation Skills, Internal Communications, Networking, Copywriting. Wordville provides a wide range of training courses including:
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