Too busy to blog? We can write them for you!

Blogging is a fantastic marketing and business development tool.

But blogs take time to write; time you probably don’t have.

Why not let us write your blogs for you?

The process is quick and easy:

  • A brief chat to share your ideas and expertise.
  • We research and write your draft blog.
  • You feedback your comments.
  • We finalise your blog and it’s ready to go live.

Surrey-based Claire Dee Communications is run by Claire Dee, a trained journalist and communications professional. Claire ghostwrites blogs for businesses large and small on everything from accountancy and engineering to learning and development and the law.

Please contact us to learn more – we’re happy to help!

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Rewarding awards

This summer I’ve been working with a number of clients on awards. From helping them with their applications, to promoting well-deserved nominations and wins.

And that’s the thing with awards; they’re rewarding on so many levels.

Yes, knuckling down to pen a piece about how great a business is and why takes time (and patience!), but it’s worth it.

  • Focus – if you don’t have a business plan before writing, you will afterwards, as award applications are great for focusing the mind on past achievements and future aspirations.
  • Objectives – trying to determine these why running a thriving business can be tough and lost in an already overloaded to-do list. But if you have to commit them to paper for an award application, you’re then committed to them for the long-term.
  • Morale – just being named a finalist can boost team morale 100%, and then if you go on to win it’s stratospheric!
  • Recognition – fundamentally, this is what it’s all about, as third party endorsement what you’re doing is brilliant is all the recognition you need. And this in turn will bring fabulous public relations, media, marketing and business development opportunities to help further grow your business.

So, next time a batch of ‘last chance to enter’ award emails come your way, don’t reach for the delete button as the rewards could make it well worth your while.

The power of PR

PR – public relations – means many things to many people.  But what does it really entail, and what is considered best practice to ensure the best results?

According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR): “PR is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.  PR is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.”

In other words, every organisation depends on reputation for survival and success.  Reputation with everyone: customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists, regulators, etc.

Effective PR also gives a competitive edge and helps those organisations manage their reputation by communicating and building good relationships with their stakeholders.  Absent or ineffective PR does the exact opposite.

There are many rules for good PR.  Here are my top five:

  1. Define your aims and objectives from the start and make sure you have a PR plan aligned with your marcomms strategy which should mirror your business strategy: they all go hand-in-hand.
  2. Know your stakeholder audience and target them accordingly.
  3. Use all the tools at your disposal – including social media – but don’t go overboard: less is more.
  4. Be proactive and bold!  It’s good in PR to have opinions and thought-lead.
  5. Monitor and measure: return on investment (ROI) is key.

And don’t just take my word for it.  Some wise words from Microsoft’s Bill Gates: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR.”

Now that’s the power of PR!

SMEs – the unsung heroes

According to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), small businesses are the life-blood of the UK economy and account for 99.9% of private sector companies while providing 60% of private sector jobs.

Credible data in a crowded information-overloaded world.

I have the pleasure of working with companies large and small, global and local, and am continually impressed in particular with the SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

While they’re all individual, they also have several distinct characteristics in common:

  • Ambition – they know what they want, are already on the right path to achieve it, and have no intention of stopping until they do.
  • Bravery – it takes guts to set up on your own and go for it and they have this in spades.
  • Creativity – smart ideas come from smart people who think way outside the box and beyond.
  • Drive – determination and hard graft is what turns a small business into a medium enterprise and the potential for it to be snapped up by a multinational.  Think Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
  • Energy – day in and day out they seem to have an insatiable appetite for what they do and maintain a consistent level of high energy.
  • Fun – and perhaps this is why all of the above is possible; they have fun!

It’s not all a breeze, however, with ever-increasing hurdles in the form of access to finance (or lack of), complex employment legislation, tax bureaucracy and red tape…  But as many SMEs prove, if you want to make a difference you will.

In the words of the late Apple founder and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”

So let’s hear it for our SMEs; the unsung heroes of the UK economy.

Age of entrepreneurship

Yesterday the Chancellor delivered his Spending Review speech and I watched with both my business owner and business adviser hats on.  It was painful viewing: necessary, but nonetheless painful.

And the key phrase of the day today?  We have now reached the age of austerity.  True.  But I also believe we have reached the age of entrepreneurship.

When I set up my consultancy business – Claire Dee Communications – just over a year ago most people thought I was mad.  A start-up in a recession: it’ll never work.  But it did, very well actually, and we’re already in profit.  Why?  Because not only is necessity the mother of invention, she is also the sister of entrepreneurship.

In a recession many organisations shed highly skilled people, but they still need to undertake highly skilled activity.  So they turn to small businesses and freelancers who ooze knowledge, experience and skill.  And so these acorns become young oaks and then woodlands and beyond.

An excellent example of business growth in difficult times was perfectly illustrated at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2010.  Earlier this week I attended their very glamorous ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London, and I came away feeling proud and inspired.

In particular, I recall the words of the overall winner Ayman Asfari of Petrofac: aim high.  I couldn’t agree more; and I will.