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Training for in-house communications professionals

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Two-day intensive public relations workshop

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Useful career tips and suggestions for building your skills in the industry.

Techniques for Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Part 1

Posted by Emma Ewing on February 18th 2020

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent," - Eleanor Roosevelt
Isn’t that the truth? I love to apply this quote to imposter syndrome. If you can accept that the feeling of inferiority comes from the inside, then it follows that you can overcome it from the inside, too.

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How to Find the Source of Your Imposter Syndrome

Posted by Emma Ewing on February 4th 2020

There was an incredible response to the photo I posted on LinkedIn last week that alluded to my own struggles with imposter syndrome. Let me tell you, it’s way more common than you might imagine. Even the people you meet who seem outwardly confident probably worry privately about being outed as some sort of fraud.

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Give Yourself the Gift of Reflection

Posted by Emma Ewing on January 21st 2020

I love our industry but life in the PR, comms and marketing world can sometimes feel rather like being on a treadmill without being able to reach the controls: running as hard as we can at a speed dictated by someone else, but feeling like we are getting nowhere. We are always waiting for someone else to turn the speed down, tell us we’ve reached our goal and reward us accordingly with a promotion, pay rise or even just a “thank you for your hard work”.

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Ten Questions to Future-Proof Your Career

Posted by Emma Ewing on January 8th 2020

Happy New Year! Who's made New Year's resolutions? And stuck to them so far? I confess - I really enjoy being inspired by other people's new starts, but it's not for me! I rebel against the pressure to make sweeping changes in what's typically a grim, dark and anti-climactic month.

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Four Steps To Fruitful Client-Agency Relationships in 2020

Posted by Emma Ewing on December 16th 2019

We've made it to the final furlong of 2019! It feels like we should be winding down as the year draws to a close but, by all accounts, there are still a lot of briefs to tackle, and pitches to get through before we can down tools and usher in the next decade.

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How to write quotes that journalists will actually want to use

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on March 28th 2019

If you find yourself writing the words “We’re delighted/proud/passionate” in quotes, delete them. Journalists don’t give two hoots about how pleased you or your clients are. All they want to know is what you’re doing to please or support their readers.

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The 5 most common proofreading mistakes

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on April 26th 2017

There are ten deliberate errors in this article. See how many you can spot.

The human brain isn't geared to notice detail. It's very good at spotting what it needs to see — a mate, food, danger (not necessarily in that order) — but unless told otherwise, it tends to miss the little stuff.

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5 Time Management Tips That Have Little To Do With Managing Time

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on March 10th 2017

When everything in your life is screaming "I NEED ATTENTION NOW!", no time management tool, mobile app, project management system, wall planner, organiser or 'to do' list is going to help. What you need is a reality check.

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Is it a crisis, or a client panic?

Posted by Emma Taylor on May 10th 2016

After nearly twenty years working in public relations, I've seen my fair share of crises. From websites getting hacked to staff leaking internal emails, from companies caught up in the dot-com crash to health concerns over parabens in cosmetics.

I've also seen my fair share of panics from clients and from internal stakeholders.

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PR Evaluation — You are as good as people think you are

Posted by Emma Taylor on February 26th 2016

PR Evaluation. Groan. It's so dull, isn't it? Counting clippings, managing spreadsheets of coverage from multiple media sources, generating coverage reports, chasing down elusive coverage hidden behind paywalls. It takes a great deal of time and organisation — and that's before you factor social media coverage into the mix.

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How to write about dull subjects (in an interesting way)

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on January 25th 2016

Of the three main reasons people cite for attending my writing courses, 'how to make dull subjects interesting' comes a pretty close top. ('How to get started' and 'how to be concise' are the other two.) So let me say here and now what I tell all my students — there's no such thing as dull subjects; there's only dull writing.

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Is online writing really that different?

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on February 9th 2015

Type the words 'writing for the web' into Google and up will pop around 739,000,000 results in 0.41 seconds. I didn't get beyond the first 30 or so but it was clear from those that just about every academic institution, training course provider and professional writer has an awful lot to say on the subject. But is all of this special attention really necessary? Surely good writing is good writing. Is online writing really that different to writing for any other medium?

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How do you create an atmosphere of Trust?

Posted by Helen Isacke on September 30th 2014

Trust is a core value for many people, transcending through all contexts of life; at home, socially and at work. But what does the word Trust mean to you?

For me, in terms of trusting other people, it is the reliance on the integrity of a person to deliver on a promise, consistently, demonstrated through their behaviour, or ability to perform a particular task.

We would like to feel we are trusted by others, yet how do we create that trust? How easily do you trust those around you, and what do people have to do to gain your trust?

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Why Cameron and Suarez need to learn to say "won't" rather than "can't"

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on June 26th 2014

In a week in which David Cameron has been rebuked by Mr Justice Saunders for talking about Andy Coulson before the trial had ended and Luis Suarez is condemned for allegedly biting Giorgio Chiellini, I'm reminded of the benefits of saying "won't" rather than "can't".

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Ten ways to beat writer's block

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on June 9th 2014

Even the best of writers experience writer's block from time to time when they cannot think of anything to write - or they ditch what they have written believing it to be 'rubbish'. So here are ten ways that could help you beat the dreaded ailment.

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Why 'to do' lists don't work... as well as 'done' lists

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on April 15th 2014

I'm a very sad person. I love ticking things off my 'to do' list. I love it so much that I actually add things to my list after I've done them just so I can tick them off. It turns out that I'm not alone in this self reward behaviour. There's something in the satisfaction of ticking things off (or, in my case, putting a wavy line through) that makes us feel in control of our workloads and good about our achievements.

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"If your dog does a poo, please put it in a bin."

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on February 7th 2014

Have you ever wondered why we often meet people we recognise but can't figure out who they are? Sometimes it's even people we know pretty well, but we still can't remember how we know them. I call it the 'out of context syndrome'..

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Is something broken when it won't stop working?

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on January 15th 2014

My washing machine is broken. It washes, it drains, it spins and the clothes come out clean. So what's the problem? It takes far too long to do it! Until recently, my washing machine had various cycle options, including the so-called 'quick wash' (which took the best part of an hour), the 'normal wash' (over two hours) and the 'if you've got nothing else to do with your life wash'. Now my 'quick wash' takes so long I have to do an emergency 'stop and drain' if I want to keep my sanity. But what has all of this got to do with PR?

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Black Friday? It makes you want to Laugh Out Loud

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on December 5th 2013

When I first saw the words 'Black Friday' in an email from Amazon last week I immediately thought of 'Black Wednesday' (16 September 1992 when the UK pulled out of the ERM) and other equally 'Bad Days' in history. Several 'salemails' later I worked out that 'Black Friday' is yet another import from our US cousins - as if we need any encouragement to spend money this time of year. But it did get me thinking about language and how we use it in PR.

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Stand up for what you believe in

Posted by Lorraine Forrest-Turner on November 29th 2013

I'd like to think that I'm relatively open-minded and willing to embrace change in business (you can feel a 'but' coming on, can't you?) but there is one old rule I refuse to bend on - I insist on standing up when presenting. Sitting down might feel more comfortable but effective presenting isn't about feeling comfortable; it's about persuading a group of people to agree with you. And if you're not prepared to stand up for what you believe, why should anyone else?

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Why on earth do PR consultants want to learn to be more assertive?

Posted by Emma Ewing on November 26th 2013

One of the things I enjoy about being a trainer is that I occasionally get to send myself off for training. It's fun to swap tips, share knowledge and meet people who have a similar obsession with whiteboards. On one such recent course we were chatting about what we'd been up to the previous week. One of the courses I'd given was 'Becoming Assertive for PR Consultants'. On hearing that, one of our little group almost choked on his coffee as he gasped: "Why on earth do PR consultants want to learn to be more assertive?"

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