Friday, 15 January 2016

It’s 2016 – and we’re getting instantly social

So here we are in 2016. Like so many New Years, it seems to have come round in an instant.

Speaking of instant, I think immediacy will be something of theme for the way we communicate this year, and beyond.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger are changing the way we connect. Not only socially, but in business, too. As if to confirm this, Twitter lifted the 140 character limit on its direct message facility last year.

Simple to use, available across multiple platforms and free of charge, these apps are overtaking email as the go to channel for realtime communications.

Not only do they let you ping images, video and text, they let you share links to content directly from webpages. You can see when specific people are online and available and, thanks to voice over IP (VoIP), you can have good old telephone conversations with them, too.

Such is the reach of social media now that a complete stranger on the other side of the planet can become your technical support hero, newest client or forum buddy within minutes.

This is great for building networks, winning new business, supporting clients and sharing ideas. And, remember, it’s not just about you doing all the talking. It’s your opportunity to listen, too. To take the temperature out there, find out what people really want and be alert to buying signals and new business opportunities.

These days, I learn so much by following links on social media, They take me to news and analysis in both new and traditional media, including the websites of respected magazines and newspapers. It also means I’m on top of the stories and issues that really interest people. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s all there in a single device.


A smart phone, for instance.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

#CheapestChristmasEver – makes for success


With the big day almost upon us, shoppers up and down the country are rushing to the shops to get their last minute Christmas presents. 

But for me the preparation for the 25th December started months ago.

I hear people moaning left right and centre that they haven’t got the dreaded Christmas shopping done, and how they wish they’d done it weeks ago instead of leaving it until the last minute to buy gifts.

Of course I've been told I’m mad to plan so far ahead, (my mantra for everything especially in business) but I’m the one getting the last laugh as usual.

For me, Christmas is about putting that extra bit of thought and feeling into creating something different. From homemade jams and chutneys, to bath salts and infused oils, I love to create that special gift for my friends and family. And it has certainly gained a reputation among them. There is no better feeling than heading into the Christmas holidays than knowing they’re excited to receive gifts from me.

The best part is I spend a lot less money instead of shelling out each Christmas – I reckon I saved about £500 a year since I began making my gifts, which is certainly helpful!

When the dust settled on Christmas last year, I was already on the lookout for ways to save money. In January you’ll find me rifling through the Christmas cards and wrapping paper during the sales (at about a quarter of their pre-January price!), and then stashing them away for the following year.

Upcycling is a trend that has really taken off in the last few years and it can be easily applied to the build up to Christmas. For instance, pine-cones are a fantastic way to bring a delightful rustic atmosphere to your Christmas decorations. When you’re out bring a bag with you to collect some, then pick up some glitter and glue from an arts-and-crafts store. After covering them with a layer of sparkly Christmas frosting, you can string them up around the home with some thread to create some authentic-looking decorations.

Of course, all of this thriftiness does require a bit of forward-thinking. On Christmas morning too, if you can remember to get out a pair of scissors before ripping into your Christmas presents, cutting them open makes it a lot easier to recycle wrapping paper for next year!


From me and everyone at redheadPR, we hope you have a fabulous Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thank you

Thank you. Two words, zero cost, incalculable value.

The importance of thanking people in business and personal life can never be overestimated.

Which is why we’re so looking forward to Christmas, that special time of year when the joy of giving far outweighs that of taking.


It’s also a good excuse to get everyone together and celebrate. And, #aheadofthecurve as always, we at redheadPR are getting in early with our Christmas drinks reception this year. We’re taking the opportunity to express our appreciation and offer our thanks to everyone who has been part of our success this year before the party season kicks off in earnest in December.

It’ll be a great chance to network with some extremely talented people from Swindon, our home town, and beyond. It’ll also get us in the party mood, ready for what promises to be a busy month of celebrating, reflecting and preparing for next year.

If you’re coming tomorrow, we look forward to seeing you. If you can’t make it, hopefully next time.

To all of you, thank you. 2015 has been a great year. Let’s work together to make 2016 even better.


Cheers!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Your brand – 4 reasons to make it personal

It was great to be interviewed by Total Guide to Swindon this week.

It’s a great online publication and it asks really relevant questions to get the best possible interview. The experience made me realise that I need to keep banging on about how important it is these days to build a personal brand.

Why? Four main reasons:

People buy from people
Online marketing is critical. It opens doors, tells your story, puts your point of view across. It builds trust, even sells products. But it’s the human touch that cements your business relationships and makes them last.

You’re unique
Your personal brand is your way of showing how and why you’re different to everyone else, or in my case, #aheadofthecurve. Your beliefs anchor you. And they draw people who share your beliefs towards you. But, you need to show – not just tell – what those beliefs are.

Your brand is an ice-breaker
Being recognised and having a good reputation makes networking so much easier. When I started out, I’d approach people gingerly, business card at the ready. Today, more often than not, people say, ‘Hey, I know you – you’re Sara, aren’t you?’  

It leads to surprising opportunities
If you’d told me two years ago, that today, I’d manage three exciting businesses and cycle alongside a former Tour de France winner in Switzerland, I’d have laughed at you. But that’s what’s happened, thanks in no small part to the path my brand has taken me along.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Riding the smooth roads of Grindelwald with Cadel Evans

At Etape Suisse we’re currently putting the finishing touches on the upcoming three-day festival of cycling and fine dining in Grindelwald, and we’re delighted to announce that Cadel Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France, will be riding with us.

Le Tour de France 2012 - PreviewsThe event is taking place from 10 – 13 September; our guests will have the opportunity to ride alongside Cadel, picking up tips and tricks from one of the most successful riders of his generation. Cadel is a four time Olympian and the first Australian to win the UCI ProTour (2007) and the UCI Road World Championships (2009).

Everything is in place for this to be the most spectacular event Etape Suisse has ever hosted. Grindelwald, just two hours from Zurich, is surrounded by stunning scenery. With super-smooth road surfaces, this three-day event provides the perfect break for anyone who enjoys cycling. The accommodation and food will be second to none and the networking opportunities at the highest level.

Our guests in Grindelwald will stay at the luxurious Chalet Rotstocki. Following a Champagne reception, they’ll be fitted for a BMC carbon bike or a power assisted Stromer e-bike.

http://www.hotel-schweizerhof.com/winter/EN/chalets/chalet-rotstoecki/index.html

Over the following days, they’ll enjoy guided rides around Grindelwald, a choice of cycling challenges, fine dining experiences and full mechanical support.

Are you an enthusiastic cyclist with a taste for the finer things in life? If so, visit www.etapesuisse.com to keep up-to-date with all our exciting plans.