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Please don’t pull me out of my shell, I’m busy
30/01/2014 04:50 PM

Shy, sensitive, serious. These are all words perceived as, generally, negative attributes. But these are also words people associate with introverts. One in three people are introverts and society makes us believe that if you’re anything other than an extrovert you’re made to think something is wrong with you.

I've recently read Quiet by Susan Cain, a book about the power of introverts in a world dominated by extroverts.  It's an insightful read and one that has taught me that the environment we live in is not suited for introverts.

Take our schooling system, for example. From a young age we are taught to work in groups. Now you could argue that this is teaching us to communicate with others and build confidence, but for those introverted children it's incredibly daunting. 

Introverts are typically very intelligent but feel more at ease working individually or in pairs, and are more productive knowing they have a particular role – taking the notes in a group discussion, or feeding back their findings to the class.  In bigger groups there are always kids who have no problem taking charge and contributing ideas but, for those overwhelmed by the pressure to contribute, many introverted kids feel their views are insufficient.

Some people believe that introversion is something we grow out of when we get older, that it’s just a phase or a confidence thing. But the reality is it’s the environment we’re in that makes a difference. Once we can chose our environment, whether that’s our work or home environment, we come into our own.

Steve Wozniak, inventor and co-founder of Apple, was incredibly shy at school and hated small talk. He wasn’t a popular kid at school but was fascinated by engineering and electronics from a very young age. He spent most days working alone, even when he worked at Hewlett Packard, and believes this approach led him to creating the Apple I and Apple II.

“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me – they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone – best outside of corporate environments, best where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee...”

Whether you agree with Wozniak’s way of working or not, it’s interesting to note that in the same way school is not adapted for introverts, neither is brainstorming. In the workplace, brainstorming is a widely used creative tool. However, psychological research shows that enforced teamwork – like we experience at school – signals a fear of rejection in people (not just introverts) and discourages potentially valuable contributions.

In fact, brainstorming is guilty of three things; social loafing where people sit back and let the others do the work, production blocking by letting only one person speak at any one time and evaluation apprehension, the fear of looking stupid. Teamwork is, of course, a necessary part of business life but employers shouldn’t underestimate the creativity harvested by those who work individually – especially as a third of employees will be introverts.

So the next time someone calls you shy or quiet, just remember – without introverts the world would be missing the theory of relativity, the Civil Rights movement and Google. 

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Wordville is hiring
16/01/2014 11:07 AM

London-based PR agency, Wordville, seeks Account Manager

Imaginative, resourceful, talented PR manager wanted to join small international team that specialises in technology, travel and start-up brands.  With clients that range from beloved automotive brand Cosworth, to Dragon’s Den start-ups, to international NGOs, working for Wordville means you’re as likely to meet an astronaut as an ambassador, an entrepreneur as an engineer.  All our clients share one big goal - to become famous in the circles that count.  If you can help and have experience of delivering sensational PR campaigns then get in touch.  

Our office is relaxed but the pressure is on so enthusiasm is a must.  Exquisite written skills and journalist pitching prowess are essential – as is an insatiable appetite for bringing in new business and helping the company to grow. Wordville’s dog comes to the office so if you’re scared of or allergic to dogs this might not be the job for you.  Good salary based on experience and opportunities galore.  Full job description available on request.  Email info@wordville.net  with the reasons you’re perfect for the job.  We can’t wait to hear from you. 
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Travel – standing out in a crowded market
16/01/2014 11:09 AM

Travel, Travel, Travel – I love it. I’m the most renowned traveler of my friends, colleagues, peers and family and having worked in the industry for many years it’s easy to get addicted.

However making an impact as a travel business is not a straight forward journey. You’re competing against thousands of holiday destinations from Bournemouth to The Cotswolds, Brazil to Suriname; you’re up against travel agents and tour operators, excursions, escapes and experiences, online travel agents and member websites, plus all the gadgets, gizmos, and gear that go with traveling.

From a PR perspective most publications offer just a couple of travel pages, and often to a destination, and national press have their travel supplements.  It really does limit your PR options. To stand out in the crowded travel market you really need to do something spectacular and that really means thinking off the beaten path.

Gain genuine consumer media interest and you can ditch the supplements and travel features and work your way through the main sections of your target publications. And to achieve this you need to look way beyond your product, instead at the 1) experience you offer 2) the way you operate 3) who you work with and 4) who’s behind the company.

Find those special stories that make you stand out as a business, but also look at your core values and discover how you can represent these through experiential PR and events, partnerships and endorsements. When budgets are tight, always look to business partners and associates for support – working in collaboration can really help the budgets go further; and could deliver an exciting prospect to the consumer press.

HOW TO – tackle the media

Connect with the audience, appeal to the travelers you want most, and deliver the brand you want them to experience when they are visiting your destination. Help them breath, smell, and visualise where their travels will take them.

Travel businesses (Tour Operators/Travel Agents)
Demonstrate how you do things differently, communicate the experience, get your timing right when communicating to the media to optimise your sales performance across national and consumer press.

Online travel businesses
Keep the momentum going, be innovative with promotions, products, visuals and especially social media. It’s innovative and engaging content that will help you gain attention, even from the most skeptical journalists.

Timings for great travel exposure:

October – January:

It’s all about: summer holidays, weekend breaks/short trips, bargain deals, inspiration, winter vs summer.

Between Christmas and New Year the travel sales are in full swing and people plan and start booking their vacations for the next year. Take advantage of this time and make sure you’re as visible as you can be. If Boxing Day, 26thDecember, is the most popular day for travel search you need to start at least two months before, just so you can feature in the Christmas issues of glossy magazines. Drive your PR campaign throughout January and you are likely to pick-up a lot of traffic, especially as Europe is dull, grey and cold and people are keen to plan a warm getaway.

February – April:

It’s all about: early summer breaks, executive travel/non families.

Those families looking to budget and strapped for cash may have already booked their one holiday vacation a year, but you now have the chance to target the slightly more wealthy – those looking to do something different, which means you can avoid everything that was covered between October and January. It’s time to market for Easter, and appeal to the No Kids market with vacations before the schools break-up.

May – July:

It’s all about: Last minute breaks, kids’ holidays, quick escapes.

We’re back to the bargain hunters and families who are finally making up their mind for their summer vacation. On the other side you have the ‘power-couples no kids’ who want quick weekend escapes. This is your last chance to maximise the summer and get in those last minute bookings.

August – September:

It’s all about: Executive/non families, quick breaks, Christmas, the following summer.

More families are traveling at Christmas so do target this market, although on the whole it will be quiet for families. Instead remember the high-disposable income couples that want a quick break in the autumn and winter when other people’s children are at school. It’s also a chance to sell special offers for the end of Summer. Finally, incredibly budget conscious families will be looking towards next year’s vacation so they have a year to save – time to inspire them.

By Ryan C Haynes, travel media PR specialist
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Everything you wanted to know about SIX
16/09/2013 03:59 PM
It’s Wordville’s sixth birthday and we’re celebrating in the village.  

It’s been an amazing year - working internationally, helping start-ups become well-known, working with established brands to redefine their image and dominating the press across travel, technology, professional services and finance. We've been fortunate to be in a position to help shine some light on organisations whose innovation and flare deserves the attention. But it's the long shadows that they cast that have been most rewarding to be part of - whether it's bringing solar power to the developing world, influencing design or improving driving safety. 

And, as we’re all glowing with birthday spirit, it’s time to open Wordville’s PR Surgery.  Let the ribbons be cut and the orange squash be quaffed; the health of your PR can only get even better.  

PR ER – If you’ve got a question you want an answer to and you need it quick, then drop an email to info@wordville.net– our PR agony aunts and uncles are standing by to give you a free response to ‘who should I contact?’, ‘what’s the press day for that magazine?’, ‘why doesn’t the feature editor love me anymore?’

A Second Opinion? – You may be in the middle of an on-going PR campaign or reviewing your first draft marketing plan for the year ahead – we can offer another expert view.  We won’t charge you but will offer our opinion on the approach, the timings and the targets. 

Reputational Therapy – And if things have gone a little more pear-shaped then we’re sympathetic.  If you want to speak to a communication specialist who knows that the rough can come with the smooth, then drop in for tea and sympathy – and a plan for how to improve the word on the street if it’s not what you need it to be.

We’re only keeping Wordville’s Surgery open for our birthday month – it’s not that we don’t care but we’ve got work to do.  So get in touch and pick our brains this month. 

Birthday greetings and thanks to all for your support this year.

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