Book Review - The Jelly Effect

The Jelly Effect - Brilliant Communications Tips


The book I’ve read most recently in the The Jelly Effect - How To Make Communications Stick, by Andy Bounds


The first thing to say is that it’s the kind of book I like as you can dip in and out of it and read in detail the sections that apply best to you and your challenges.


The overarching theme is telling people a load of irrelevant information is like chucking a bucket of jelly over them in the hope that something will stick.

The next theme is the AFTERS - audiences don’t care what you say - they only care about what they are left with after you’ve said it.


What I will do is go through my favourite topics and tips here for you and leave you to go and read the book yourselves.


  • The aim of your networking is to arrange to have a cup of coffee with a big fish, on a subsequent date. Your big fish could be be potential customers, potential suppliers, potential recommenders and the guest list

  • The best question to ask at networking events is “what professions are good contacts for you?”

  • Prepare for presentations using the RAP method: Results - what do you want to achieve, Audience - what are they like?, Preparation - only do this once you know the first two areas

  • Every single product is bought because of what the customers are left with AFTER they bought it - e.g. you will buy a lamp because you want light

  • Your customers want problem solvers (not technicians)

  • A referral is a personal recommendation, to someone you don’t know but who is your target, that target is expecting AND is looking forward to it



That is a very quick pick of the best tips - for more info take a look at Andy’s website 

The CEOS Guide to PR - What the Hell is PR Anyway?

You may have a marketing department, and perhaps a social media and comms function too -  but do you need a PR?

 

First things first, what the hell is PR anyway? It’s all about building great reputation. Everything you say and do is PR. The steps normally taken are:

 

  • Deciding what you want to be known as/what you want people to talk about

 

  • Deciding who you want to see/hear this info (who is your customer)?

 

  • Work out the best way for that to happen – what do these customers read/watch/listen to?

 

  • Putting together a great story/angle/opinion piece

 

  • Getting it to the right journalist

 

  • Following up and setting up interviews

 

  • Making sure the campaign is featured on social media and in newsletters and other marketing communications by liaising with other marketing and comms staff

 

  • Measuring the results of a campaign and to be ready for future campaigns



 

Do you need a specific PR expert to work with you? You won’t be surprised that I think you do. You certainly need someone who has the right connections and who can see the right opportunities for your company. It’s not a "dark art", but it takes time to sharpen the conversational, observational and commercial skills that a good PR requires.


 

The CEOs Guide to PR - What makes a good news story?

What makes a great (news) story?

 

The first question to ask may seem obvious but it’s “Is it really news?”.

 

Put yourself in the place of the reader... is it something that will add to the life & knowledge of the reader, is it useful? Does it potentially solve a problem? Is it helping the community in some way?

 

Some ideas to help:

 

  • Hold a monthly/regular meeting with your department heads to find out what’s going on with them, their department and their staff that might that might turn out to be a good story. Remember it could be something in a staff members personal life that makes a story – such as a sporting or community project / achievement.
  • Task someone with the job of keeping an eye on a good story & news ideas within the company and flagging them. There is always someone in a company who knows what going on and all the gossip - it’s a fun role for them.
  • Remember that great stories can be just as useful for internal PR as for external stakeholders – they can keep everyone feeling involved in the company, brand & help them be great ambassadors for the company.

Good topics are:

  • New products
  • New staff
  • New facilities
  • Charity & community work
  • CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Events
  • Awards

 

  • If you are not sure if something is a good story – Google it & see if anyone else has promoted something similar.
  • If you have favourite publications make sure you read through some recent issues and check what types of stories are popular & what format those stories take.


 

Travel.....My Tips

Being a mum can turn into a huge list of stuff to feel guilty about. Being a working mum adds to this list for many ladies and I’d love to encourage you to ditch the guilt once and for all. We are all doing the best we can aren't we? Yes we are...

 

I love to travel and to meet people. It’s something I still do as part of my job despite 3 small people being at home. For me it's an important part of my job, and yes when I call home I do get a little twinge of guilt for leaving them behind but I think it does us all good. I make the most of my time away to have some space to think about work and home stuff and to plan - and I get A LOT of work done. The kids get to cope without me for a couple of days which does them good and helps them be a bit more independent. I feel I'm better when I get home as I've spent a bit of time away refreshing.

 

But travelling as a woman on your own can be lonely and a bit scary. I especially found this when I started travelling again once I’d had the kids. These are my tips for travel on your own - staying safe and happy.

 

Planning

 

  • I do invariably forget one small thing at home when I go away (normally to pack my toothpaste…) but I start prep a week in advance with lists, filling the freezer with food and checking the washing has been done (or leaving a note for what must be washed)

  • Make sure everyone knows where you will be and when

  • Make sure everyone knows where they need to be and when

  • Make the most of your time and plan your meetings/ work well


 

Choosing somewhere to stay

 

  • As a woman travelling on my own, I do tend to be careful where I stay. I am much happier in a nice environment and you will find your family are happier too. I need Wi-Fi that works brilliantly, flexibility, good locations and an upmarket ambience in case I need to meet client. If you are a regular traveller try staying in the same place as you start to get to know the staff - which makes it feel more comfortable if you are a little lonely. You might get regular stayer discounts too.

  • I recommend https://www.citizenm.com/ They tick all the boxes for me and even don't blink an eye when I walk around in bare feet to get my coffee early in the morning….

 

Take some time out to refresh (and have some fun!)

 

  • Make the most of being away and do take a little time out to refresh and relax - you know when you get home there will be a HUGE list of jobs to do so take a breather in between meetings (and you get to watch what you want on TV for a night too)

 

Enjoy your time away!

 

Everything You Say And Do Is PR

I went to a great awards dinner last week, but I do admit to having witnessed some PR blunders during the evening. Anyone who knows me will know that I like a party and love to chat and meet people. Awards evenings are great for catching up with contacts and clients, celebrating with your staff, and meeting new people. Yes, we should all have a great time - but we also need to be aware that it is first and foremost a professional event and EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND DO IS PR.

I don't like to be a party-pooper (I've always wanted to say poop in a blog - it will entertain my 6 year old)  but there is a time and place for everything. This is my (slightly tongue-in-cheek)  guide to how to deal with awards nights like a pro….

 

  • If you drink, please be careful! Make sure if you are nominated for an award that you are able to make a great acceptance speech that is short and to the point. It's polite to the organisers and the sponsors to be prepared and thankful. Save your extra beer for after ;-)

  • If you ask someone to attend on your behalf the make sure its someone who will represent your business professionally - they will be remembered as being part of your company

  • Be nice about other businesses, especially competitors. Be generous. You never know when a competitor might become a collaborator. 

  • Not everyone will share your sense of humour - if you are not sure, don’t say it. Or if you can't judge that then use the “if you wouldn't say it in front of your mum - don’t say it in public” rule

 

Dress up - be glam - have fun - represent your business professionally!

 

Know Your Worth

 

 

A couple of weeks ago I went to a panel discussion organised by the brilliant The Women's Chapter

The Know Your Worth event was hosted by Claire Cohen, Telegraph Women Editor @clairecohen, Emma Sinclair MBE @ES_Entrepreneur, Ann Franke @cmi_ceo, and Hannah Ford @stevens_bolton.

As can be expected there was a fair amount of discussion regarding gender pay gaps but I wanted to find out more about how you can #knowyourworth as an entrepreneur and business owner. These are a few of the gems I picked up on the night: 

- Think carefully about your tribe - there is strength in numbers (if you surround yourself with the right people). Can you have a WhatsApp group with other leaders? 

- Play the social media "game" and create a strong personal brand. 

- Fake it till you make it! Or in my mind, I prefer to have a vision of myself the way I want to be and I "act" that vision if I'm not feeling it - we all have days like that! 

- Keep an achievement log (this is very useful if you are in a corporate environment and want to negotiate pay and promotion).

- When negotiating - use silence. Say what you need to then shut up and let your statement hang, it's very effective. 

 

How do you #KnowYourWorth ? 

5 Minutes With...

Who are you and what do you do? 

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I’m Lauren Chiren, founder of "Women of a Certain Stage."  My personal experience of menopause was a rollercoaster; in fact until I was diagnosed I actually thought I had early onset dementia! I had concentration issues, sleeplessness and I just became very very emotional. It all left me wondering whether that could possibly be normal. Women of a Certain Stage educates organisations and women on all things menopause, provides pathways and programmes that businesses can put in place in order to support their female talent, and also works with women one to one and in small groups to ensure they thrive through this phase of their lives.

 

What makes you different?  

Because of my own experience, and the sheer mental anguish that coincided with my menopause, I've now got a real passion for helping other women to avoid going through that. I've got background in psychology, nutrition, training, health assessment, stress management and coaching and I've also held senior level roles in industry. All of that means I'm perfectly positioned to understand what it's like to be a working woman in a demanding job, going through peri-menopause. I'm a member of the British Menopause Society and I keep up to date with all the latest information, tools and techniques to manage it. It’s not all about HRT!

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

Oh dear...I’m not much of a historian, so I hope you'll allow me a little bit of leeway here. There's a scene I love in the film Rob Roy… do you know the one? Where Robert says to his wife "You know how fine you are to me Mary McGregor." It's set in the 1700’s in the Scottish Highlands, and they're just living off the land and looking after each other and their clansfolk. It's a tough but simple life. The scenery and the simplicity definitely appeal to me.  

 

What's your superpower?

Blimey - It’s got to be inspiration! I get crazy ideas all the time - like setting up a business to support people through menopause! It may not make sense to anyone else, but if it works in my mind, then I’m up, up and away making it happen. Nothing can deter me once I get going.  A few years back my son became critically ill, so I decided to raise funds for the hospital and challenge myself at the same time. I entered a marathon, even though, at the time, I could barely run to the bus stop. Somehow, slowly, despite having no training at all, I managed to run it.  I was so inspired, and so determined to honour my sponsorship for the hospital that I couldn’t and wouldn’t give up!

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

If you are not happy with a situation, you have three choices.

  1. Try to change it
  2. Put up with it with a good heart and carry on
  3.  Walk away

It's tough advice for sure, but when you think about it, incredibly powerful.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

Informed Touch, A Clinician’s Guide to the Evaluation and Treatment of Myofascial Disorders. It's great wee book. I used it all the time when I was a sports therapist and I still refer to it all the time. It’s beautifully laid out and easy to follow and it helps clients to understand why you might be treating a completely different area to the one they came to see you about.

Why Timing Can Be Key - The Art of PR and Trust

 

 

Recently I've had a couple of projects where time has been short and the pressure of getting the right publicity has been high.

 

I have to be honest that I’ve discovered I don’t enjoy these types of situations. Unfortunately, I can’t control the news and what is being covered by journalists – with luck behind us there is a space available to cover my client’s stories but more often than not, we have to wait for an appropriate slot/space to come up in a magazine or an editor to commission a certain themed article from a journalist.

 

If we give a project more time, then we have the chance to be agile if a big news story hits the country. 

 

These are my tips for having a fantastic campaign experience.

 

  1. PR can take longer than you think – add 2 months on to any project at the beginning if possible and bear in mind there might be 4-6 weeks of following up and chasing up of results at the end of the campaign.

  2. What you think is news might not be suitable for coverage – a good PR will find a different angle. Trust them – if they need to do this it’s for a good reason. Sometimes “plan b or c” will bring you better coverage.

  3. PR is a subtle art. It’s a gradual way of building reputation. If you want a quick, sharp shock & exactly what you want to say you might be better to spend some money on an advertising, or advertorial campaign.

Good luck with your planning & campaign – enjoy the fun you can have with them.

5 Minutes With... Ruby Soho

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name is Ruby Soho. I'm a self employed artist and maker of large-scale props and crazy machines and vehicles. I co-run an arts company called liberty productions, creating things like art cars, and circus sets for performances. We've got a show we're touring at the moment, created to raise awareness about displaced people and featuring a stegosaurus that has morphed with the refugees' luggage. It's built on a golf buggy and it has a very strange personality. I also make things on commission for other companies - like Gail  - a giant snail based on a mobility scooter.

 

What makes you different?

I make other people's ridiculous ideas a reality. I can and will create whatever crazy idea the client wants and quite often make it significantly more practical in the process. I'm known for making really unusual things that other people maybe can't make, and I'm willing to make mistakes. People underestimate how important that is, but it's part of the creative process. In my line of work, every project is completely different, so you never know for sure if something's going to work. You just have to say yes to it and then find a way to make it happen.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

I reckon I would go to ancient Egypt, around 2500 BC. I’d love to find out how they managed to engineer those pyramids.

 

What’s your superpower?

The ability to survive (and work) on less than 4 hours sleep a night. I wasn't born with that one, I've developed it over the last year or so, aided by my night-owl toddler - or the 'rave baby' as I call him. I'm actually looking forward to the time when I can hang up my cape and become an ordinary mortal again.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

Choose your jobs wisely. That gets easier with experience of course - I've learned over the years which projects to say no to; which ones are going to be doomed from the start. You have to learn to play to your strengths and the things you know you can do, but it's also important to expand your skill base and keep trying and pushing. Don't undersell yourself - (That's one I still struggle with to be honest)- but also don’t panic about when the next jobs going to come in, because it always will.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. Why? It’s just a great book - It's got everything - Dark humour, raw sex, smelly ancient Gods... not to mention the secret of immortality. And of course, lots and lots of beetroot. I love beetroot.

5 Minutes With... Julia Cawte

Who are you and what do you do

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I'm Julia Cawte, and I transform people's relationship with public speaking, helping them to get over their fears and to shine when they deliver a presentation or speech.  I work with individuals, groups and teams, and my goal is, ultimately, to enable them to enjoy speaking in front of others.

 

What makes you different?

I use an integrated approach in my work, so I help my clients to explore and develop many aspects of themselves - mindset, body, voice and energy. I work intuitively from the heart, creating a safe and supportive space so that everyone feels nourished and able to be the best they can be.

I'm trained in drama, so I use a lot of techniques from that to help people to build a strong connection with the audience and to speak with impact and gravitas. I mix these with Qi Gong relaxation techniques - which ground you, and reduce the adrenaline response, and I also work with clients to help them build an empowering mindset. By exploring all of these areas, people are able to walk confidently into any public speaking situation.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

Rather than go back in time I would go into the future, where women are stepping into their own divine female power. This will be beautifully balanced with male energy so it will be a truly egalitarian society.  

 

What's your superpower?

I am a Ninja Warrior; small in height, but big in power and presence. I encourage people to step up into their own power, to love the audience and to allow the audience to love them back.

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

A good friend once told me to remember that life is a journey. You just move forward and get on with it - you don't have to have it all figured out in advance.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

The Purple Cow by Seth Godwin.  It's all about being remarkable and using that to transform your business. It's something we all need to think about these days, what with social media and the ever increasing pace of life - how are we going to stand out from the crowd? It's a very optimistic book really, and I love it for that. The idea is that you really can succeed and compete with the giants, as long as you start with a great idea and carry it out creatively.

Having said that, I think it's easy to spend too much time with your nose inside a book. It doesn't really compare to learning from experience. 

5 Minutes With... Dani Hall

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name's Dani Hall and I'm the owner and founder of The Literary Gift Company. which specializes in book-related gifts and its spin-off sister site Present Indicative, which sells academically themed gifts.  We buy some of our products in, but we also produce quite a lot of them ourselves. We often use work by local artists and designers - including my husband, Geoff, who's worked on quite a few of our literary products. I met him while I was working on the till at Waterstones, and now we work together on looking after our 3 children and running the business.

 

What makes you different?

I’m not sure how different this makes me, but I seem to be good at seeing the big picture and making connections. I have a hyperactive brain and a lot of notebooks full of ideas for products, websites, and DIY projects. I’m currently finishing an M.Ed. for fun, too, although I’m still not sure how I managed to carve out time to do that.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history, where/when would you go?

I definitely wouldn’t want to back to any time prior to the invention of anaesthetic; that would be crazy. I'm not sure about the exact place but It would have to be a long sandy beach with the right sort of waves, at the right sort of temperature with just enough infrastructure to provide a regular supply of good friends and chilled wine. I’d want something to do though; I couldn’t just sit around... although that does actually sound tempting for a while.

 

What's your superpower?

That's a hard question. I think I'm good at creative problem solving, but there are still loads of unsolved problems so I can’t be that super at it. I do have the ability to cook the best cheese straws on Earth, so maybe that could be my superpower.

 

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Quiet leadership can be powerful. The focus is on action instead of words, which can generate excitement, encourage ownership and develop loyalty in unique ways. Quiet leaders lack something that is stereotypically present in good leaders – an exaggerated ego. When you think “leader,” you may think “loud,” but those two words are certainly not synonymous. Many times the volume comes from overconfidence, a competitive nature and an inherent need to feed the ego.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

I’d recommend Not Now Bernard by David McKee, just because it's bloody brilliant. There are only a handful of words in the whole book, and yet it manages to question everything you ever thought about anything. It's profound, informative and darkly funny.

5 Minutes With... Allie Astell

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name's Allie Astell and I’m a Squarespace and social media marketing specialist. For those of you that don’t know, Squarespace is a cloud hosted web design platform, which enables millions of people to build their own websites or summon help from people like me to build it for them.

 I founded my digital marketing agency, 'Manage My Website'   back in 2009, and we're approved Squarespace specialists and trainers.

 

 

What makes you different?  

I would say it's my strong work ethic and high client service standards. Nothing is too much trouble because I genuinely enjoy what I do, and I rarely take a holiday. Does that make me a workaholic? Possibly!

I’m a real people person too, so many of my clients also become friends. 

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

I'd love to have witnessed the Pyramids of Giza being built. I'd be intrigued to see exactly how they did it and what was involved. I share my time between the UK and Dahab, South Sinai, so Egypt has a place very close to my heart. 

 

What's your superpower?

 Multi-tasking to the extreme! I can be on a phone call, chatting to someone on Facebook Messenger, updating my Accounts, and Googling the best brand of hair oil while eating a Krispy Kreme donut, no problem. 

 I also once went to a Superhero fancy dress party as ‘Tena Lady’ but that’s a whole different story for another time.

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

 My beloved Grandma Hilda, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 95 taught me:

”Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”

 and

 "You pass this life once. Enjoy yourself while you're passing.”

 Both of these are philosophies I try to remember and live by every single day. 

 

What book would you recommend and why?

 My favourite book is definitely ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini, based in Kabul under Taliban rule. . I’ll never forget the first time I read it as I literally couldn’t put it down. When I finished it I felt as though I’d lost a close friend. Highly recommended.

How does PR Fit in with.......Marketing Planning?

Who ate too many Terry's* Chocolate Oranges at Christmas - just me? 

Anyone who has been to one of my talks will have heard me equate your business marketing plan to a chocolate orange. The whole orange is your marketing plan and each of the segments is one of your marketing "aspects". PR can be one of these aspects. Your orange will be unique to you and your business. 

Let's use my business as an example. Much of my work comes from word of mouth so my orange is made up of marketing activities that support that:

  • Networking
  • Visiting industry events
  • Visiting trade shows
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Newsletters
  • And 2 PR segments - speaking at events and magazine columns 

If you want to run your "orange segments" past me then get in touch via the email or Tweet me @ASextonPR

*N.B. No one paid me to mention this brand - though they can if they like.....

5 Minutes With... Sarah Skillin

Who are you and what do you do?

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I'm Sarah Skillin, and I'm a business improvement, marketing, management and social media specialist.  My company, EquiConsulting, works with businesses and brands in the equestrian industry to optimise their customer experience by using a range of traditional and digital marketing techniques. Working with me, brands can not only enhance their customers' experience (which of course helps them to attract new customers and keep existing ones) but also become more efficient and profitable.

 

What makes you different?

I think what makes me stand out, in the equestrian world, is that I really do understand, and focus on, true customer experience. Before EquiConsulting I worked with a company called Oracle - a global leader in customer experience. That means I come armed with a lot of techniques and approaches from the corporate world, which are equally useful when applied on a smaller scale within my niche market.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

That's a hard one! I'm so fascinated with history; it's very difficult to choose. My university dissertation was on the history of crime and punishment so I think I'd most like to visit the Tudor times. Obviously I'd have to be a very rich lady, very much favoured by the rulers...for fear of losing my head!

 

What's your superpower?

It's got to be speed tweeting - it comes in very handy as part of the ERM social media team!

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

Again, a hard one as there are so many. A previous boss once told me: 'remember tits and teeth, as sex sells.' That piece of advice always stands out; it's applicable to so many things. Well, ok, maybe not the 'sex sells' bit but 'tits and teeth' really does work. When you walk into a meeting for instance - put your shoulders back and smile... and even in dressage - stick your chest out and smile.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

I love a good dose of Jilly Cooper. I just lose myself completely in all the glitz and glamour. I think out of all her books, Polo is my favourite, so that's the one I'd recommend

5 Minutes With... Bini Ludlow

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name is Bini Ludlow and I run Sweet Cumin Indian cookery school and Bini Fine Foods Ltd in Somerset. I teach people of all ages to cook authentic Indian food, mainly from the Gujarat - the region my family originate from. Traditional techniques and recipes are the ones that my Mum and Auntie taught me from the age of 8 (to prepare me for marriage!) so it's real Indian home cooking. It's all about loving the ingredients and not rushing the process.

I've recently expanded into producing a range of home cooked ready-meals, which have already won several national food awards.  They're really taking off so that's a very exciting development for me.

 

What makes you different?

I trained, originally, in textiles and visual design, so I love fine art and fashion and use the same creative flair in my cooking. I love spices, and creating flavorful food with simple ingredients... and I believe in using the best. I think it's essential to support local businesses, and I try to source everything locally, although these days I am growing my own vegetables and herbs to 'grow my own curry' from scratch. I know it's going to be a challenge however I want to see what can and can't grow. There is nothing better than picking my own vegetables to use in my cookery school.

Personally I'm very positive and passionate, so when I set a goal I really go for it! I always see the good in other people too, as well as in life, and I enjoy seeing others succeed.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

Leonardo Da Vinci fascinated me as a child; he was so inventive, creative and artistic, and hugely influential in so many of the arts and sciences. I'd love to go back to fifteenth century Italy and work alongside him as his apprentice.

 

What's your superpower?

I am the invisible woman. I can go to places without being seen. I'm a petite person anyway, which helps...

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

I think the best piece of personal advice I've ever had was that your school days are the best days of your life, so you should enjoy them.As far as my business goes though, the best advice has been to plan all of my days and have a detailed to do list; crossing items off as I go along. Completing that makes me feel really fulfilled.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

Long road to freedom by Nelson Mandela. It's a really inspiring book, which reminds us that we should be strong and stand up for our beliefs.

5 Minutes with... Stephanie Betschart

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Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a solution focused hypnotherapist and mind-body therapist, and I help people get back into the driving seat. People come to see me because they’re stuck in some way, or don’t feel like themselves:  Like the artist who wasn’t able to enjoy art anymore, the woman who felt lost when the kids left home, or the young adult struggling with moving away to uni.

Solution focused dialogue helps people to imagine how life would be without the current block or illness, and starts the process of moving forward into the future, rather than delving into the past for the cause. I believe we all have the ability to make changes to our lives and be resilient - we just need a hand sometimes, and that’s where I come in.

With hypnosis I can bypass the conscious mind, remove barriers, and embed the client’s vision, so their natural resources and abilities can start to come forward and help them to realise it. I use other tools too, like resilience training and mindfulness. And I give them homework!

I love my job.  I love to see people getting back to their own truth and growing from that healthy place.

 

What makes you different?

I’m a Buddhist. I was ordained into the Triratna order in 2009, at a mountain retreat in Spain, although I’ve actually been studying Buddhism and practising meditation for 22 years. I practise Qigong too, which coordinates body posture, breathing and meditation and I’m training to become a teacher.

Oh, and I’m French, so I occasionally have French clients. It’s a stretch out of my comfort zone, but I can do the session in French if needed!

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

I know this is going to sound trite and boring, but I’d choose right now. To be really and fully present would be completely amazing and liberating, especially if I was sitting by a lake with some trees!

For us women, this is the best time in history. We have more rights now in Western Europe than we’ve ever had, although of course there’s still progress to be made. It would be great to go back to the Buddha’s time, hear him teach, and hang out with him, but I’d have to be a man to do that.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

To breathe from my lower abdomen. To be honest, at first, I thought it sounded a bit naff - certainly not an earth shattering revelation. But even though it may sound easy, if you don’t know how to breathe properly it affects both your physical and mental health. Back then I was a constant nervous wreck, partly because I used to breathe up in my chest. Now I feel much calmer, much more myself. Grounded, you might say.

I’ve since found out it’s because deep abdominal breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which controls the ‘rest and restore’ function of the body. And that’s where we should be functioning from most of the time - unless we’re being chased by a tiger!

 

What’s your superpower?

My superpower’s silliness, and people in the know have confirmed that.  At work it manifests itself through lightness of touch and a good sense of humour. It helps my clients not take themselves too seriously. It’s helpful when I work with teenagers too, and I usually give them really silly homework; then it becomes fun for them to engage in their own growth. 

When I channel it in a more serious way, my silliness lets me be creative and even take more risks in my hypnosis and trance work. Then I can give my clients a space to explore those qualities in themselves.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

My favourite book is “the little prince” by Antoine de St Exupery. I grew up with it, and it’s a wonderful book full of wisdom and innocence and beauty. It’s bound to warm the heart and make you smile and wonder

 

5 Minutes With... Regina Carbonell

 So who are you and what do you do?

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Along with my husband, Ryan, I own a non-binary fashion brand called Milk Originals. All our clothing is unisex and our mission is to change the social vision of gender roles through fashion.

All our lines feature Ryan's artwork. In fact, one of the reasons we started the company in the first place was to prove to him that he was 'good enough.' That was in May last year, and we're already worth £3 million! We're looking for more investors at the moment, so we can open a showroom in Miami. Ryan is evolving as an artist, getting better every day, so we're really going from strength to strength.

 

What makes you different?

Both Ryan and myself are gender fluid, which means that we don't believe in assigned gender roles. We think people should be able to dress however they feel most comfortable and be socially accepted that way. Everything the company does reflects that ethos so, for instance, we work with a gender equal manufacturer in India, and we're an LGBT friendly company.

We are passionate about society and about equal rights; In fact the name, MILK, stands for Meaning In Living Kindly. It's the way we run our company and the way we live our lives.

 

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

I think I would like to have lived in England in the Victorian era. I would have probably have been a romantic writer like Shelley... or maybe an adventurer. Mind you, if I'd ended up in the U.S I might've been burned at the stake. What can I say? I'm just too much of a feminist!

 

What's your superpower?

If you asked Ryan he'd say it was mind reading! I think it would be emotion related as I easily pick on other people's emotions and understand them. I'm pretty good with animals too.

 

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

When I was a teenager my Mum told me that my problems would follow me wherever I went. I couldn't run from them, so I should deal with them, and that the best way to do that was to love and know myself. It seemed like grown up crap at the time, to be honest, but now I recognise it's one of the best bits of advice I've ever been given.

 

What book would you recommend and why?

I've got two really. The first is Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. I read it when I was 12 and it helped me to keep a child's view of the world. I love Jostein Gaarder; his books make you think about life and the world and the way people live their lives. I'd also recommend Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It really helped me to change my views on finances and money.





 

5 Minutes With... Kayleigh Steadman

Who are you and what do you do?

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I’m Kayleigh and I’m the director of KayleighAlexandra Ltd. I’m a high performance coach for business owners – I work with clients to help them significantly grow their business in a way that supports and enables their ideal lifestyle.

What makes you different?

I think what makes me different, as a business coach, is my focus on lifestyle and work-life balance for my clients. I do help them to grow their business and earn more money but my primary concern is making sure they build a business that supports and enables them to live the lifestyle they really want. I don't want them to miss out on it because they're so busy working.

 

If you could visit any time/place in history where/when would you go?

I’ve always been fascinated by Tudor history so I’d probably go back to the reign of Henry VIII to experience life at court. I’d like to meet Catherine of Aragon because she was a strong, female leader who was trusted to act as Regent and command the army in the king's absence. I’d also be fascinated to see Anne Boleyn come onto the scene and change English religion and politics. I’m not sure I’d want to stick around too long though – I imagine the smells would be pretty bad, and there seems to be a pretty high chance of getting beheaded!

 What’s your superpower?

I’m a master planner! I’m a really goal-oriented person and ever since I was a kid I have always (weirdly) loved to plan. I think it's because I’m also a bit of a dreamer so I love to imagine how it’s all going to play out. I’m really great at taking a big goal or project and breaking it right down into a clear, specific action plan. I have “project plans” for almost every area of my life, which baffles my boyfriend, but for me, when I make a plan I really tap into my creativity. It really calms me down, too, so it's my “go to” if I need to chill out and be happy. It also means that I track and record most of my key actions, which I love, as I’m continually looking for ways to refine how I do things.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was by one of my mentors when he advised me to go into coaching. I was working on a different business and not feeling particularly passionate about it, and he just asked “Have you ever thought about doing what I do? I think you’d be great at it” That changed the whole course of my career - It was my lightbulb moment. I realised it’s exactly what I wanted to do and within a month I’d shut down my previous business and moved into coaching. I've never looked back.

What book would you recommend and why?

That's a tough one - there are so many! One of my favourites is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It’s packed with lots of great strategies and advice for achieving your goals, and there’s a lot of synergy with what I teach my clients around high performance. I’m a firm believer in small, consistent changes in behaviour that layer up over time to create your desired outcome. The book talks about that a lot, as well as the importance of measuring where you are right now. It's much easier to see the impact of change if you know exactly where you're starting from.

 

Digital and the PR Industry - thoughts for the coming year

On Thursday evening I attended the Bristol launch of the PRCA Digital PR and Communications report

http://news.prca.org.uk/prca-digital-pr-and-communications-report-2017-launches/

An interesting look at the current digital trends and the likelihood of new trends for 2018.

What was clear was PR agencies need to keep on top of digital trends and be able to offer digital content as part of the overall PR mix.

I maintain that my background in strategy and "traditional" PR is helpful as it provides the skills to oversee a whole campaign from all angles. Bringing in young digital talent to my agency has been a priority for the past 6 months and has been the right thing to do.

"Agencies have seen a general rise in their usage as content-creators this year. The purchasing of video-based content has risen by 10% to 13%. The purchasing of image-based content has risen by 5% to 11%; and the use of text-based content has risen by 7% to 11%.

The other leading services clients purchase from PR and communications agencies are social influencer outreach (13%), and paid social media activity (13%)."

One of the surprising stats from the report was the apparent decline in Instagram usage - I know the PRCA will look into this as in the room on Thursday night most of us disagreed with that stat. The announcement of potential  alterations (again!) to Facebook for businesses might alter this hugely in the next 6 months. I'm looking forward to seeing the 2018 results already! 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-news-app-ios-mobile-feed-test-organisations-newspapers-pages-reach-organic-a801664

My social media tips remain the same: Decide why you want to use social and use the channels that will reach your customers strategically. You don't need to be everything to everyone.....

5 Minutes with... Robyn Harris

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Robyn, and my work is all about energy, and its relationship to wellness. I work with two types of clients - Horses and their owners (well, any animal really, but horses are my main passion) and women who are suffering from stress and overwhelm.

I help the horse owners to explore their horse’s physical and emotional needs, and address any issues they might have, which improves the owner's wellbeing as well as the horse's. It deepens the human-horse bond, too, and helps the person to become more aware of his or her own health and self care.

I help women to reconnect with their decision-making power and discover that they have always had choices. It’s wonderful to see them step out of their shell and into their authentic Self.

It all came from the realisation that my own career was making me ill - I was running a successful sign language interpretation business at the time - so I looked around for ways to support my own wellbeing, and now I want to share what I learned.

What makes you different?

I'm a practitioner in META-health, an analytical tool that's used to identify the original cause of a dis-ease, so the person can find ways to address it and allow their natural healing processes to function. It's quite different to a lot of western health systems which focus on symptoms and how to reduce them, rather than removing the original trauma. I combine this with a range of therapies including EFT ('tapping'), Reiki / Energy Healing and some nutrition and lifestyle advice. I'm the only person I know that offers that particular combination.

In my work with horses, again, I don’t know of anyone else doing quite what I do - energy healing / reiki, nutrition and horse care advice, workshops and soon, equine massage. I love seeing the horses and owners become even closer and start to work more effectively as a team.

If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?

Ooh - that’s a tough one - too many to choose from!  I'd probably visit the Native Americans sometime in the 1700-1800s, to learn more from them about their relationship with our amazing planet and the plants and animals that share it.  I’m fascinated by the many health benefits that are available to us from the Earth's natural resources.

What’s your superpower?

Energy.  It's what I work with every day.   I’m a strong believer in this quote from Einstein:

"Holding a peaceful energy and vibration encourages everything else around me to vibrate with that same energy.  This in turn allows the body to come out of ‘fight / flight’ and into ‘rest & repair’ - the parasympathetic nervous system - where we are able to better digest our food, repair any damage and recharge our batteries."

Best piece of advice you have been given

Be true to yourself.  Don’t try to be a copy of anyone else.  Allow your own voice to be heard and your light to shine.  That is why the Universe created You.

What book would you recommend and why?

Another toughie - there are way too many to choose from!  These days I seem to read more articles on horse care or on health and wellbeing than I do books, but one book that really spoke to me was Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.  So much of modern life seems to revolve around busy-ness and stress but Tolle is looking at a different way of being in which we can start to let go of fear and anxiety and live with openness and freedom. I'm passionate about the importance of play and I seek to practise the art of Being rather than Doing.  We don’t find happiness by searching for it; we experience happiness by living in the moment and realising that all is well.