Events that shaped me | West Sussex Health PR Blog

 

I was in my early twenties when I first saw what professionally trying to ‘dodge the bullet’ looked like…

I was attending a meeting of very senior professionals (clients) in London, who following a serious failure in the system, were all in agreement that at the forthcoming public inquiry they would not give any media interviews and would literally stay quiet and disappear out of a side door at the end.

I can still remember not quite believing what I was hearing and willing one person to challenge the decision. You don’t have to be in PR to realise that you have to be accountable for your actions, especially in a position of seniority.

It was left to me, sweaty palms and all, to stand up at one of the largest boardroom tables known to man and explain why they should ditch their plan and instead prepare to do as many interviews as the media asked for.

Avoiding media suicide

After a bit of coughing and shuffling, they reluctantly agreed. I’m still proud of my younger self for that one – it was terrifying at the time, but I knew their plan would be media suicide and more importantly, it was fundamentally wrong not to take responsibility.

They got pretty fair treatment from the media. It was balanced reporting and even though it was critical, they were able to explain their position and comment on the report. They were also able to explain what measures they were introducing to avoid the situation happening again. Without giving a Press Conference they wouldn’t have been able to do that.

It was critically important for anyone affected by the incident, the organisations involved, their community, other stakeholders and tax payers that they were communicating and accessible. It helps to rebuild trust. It shows you appreciate the seriousness of the incident and you care.

Ultimately, we’re all accountable for our actions, or we should be.

The right approach

Not communicating would have been the very worst thing they could have done that day, even though it was difficult to face the media, it was the right thing for them to do.

In the run up the day the inquiry report was published, I made sure they received the right support, help with answering media enquiries, writing statements, arranging interviews for them to take part in, media briefing and training.

I’m pretty easy going but I won’t ever go along with something I feel is the wrong approach just to keep the client happy.  After all no one would thank me if I didn’t take pre-emptive steps to limit any possible negative coverage and to ensure both sides of the situation were reported on.

I learned that about myself three decades ago in a board room in London J

About you

Are you running your own business or important project and feeling overwhelmed by how to manage the communications?

Do you feel frustrated that your key news isn’t reaching your target audience?

Are you stressing that your communications are disjointed and that you’re missing valuable PR opportunities?

Are you worried that your tone and branding aren’t consistent?

Do you spend evenings and weekends trying to do your own promotion and need to reclaim your life?

Do you want your LinkedIn profile to help you to attract your ideal client? Do you want to get leads after people have read your posts, come across your profile or connected with you? Are you short of time or don’t have the expertise – or both? I can help you to reach your ideal clients by making your profile and summary resonate, by connecting and building your following. My LinkedIn development packages start at £250

Whether you need someone to write a Press Release, run your Communications function, deal with media calls, rewrite part of your website or write tailored social media, I can help!

This is Hugo Spowers, client, taking part in an interview after media picked up on the Press Release I wrote and issued.

About me

From monthly PR packages starting at £397 and Blogs costing £250, draft me in as your virtual communications and PR manager, I bring many years of experience and deliver a professional service to just a handful of clients at a time.

I offer:

✅   Professional, proactive and reactive PR and communications support?

✅   Help to raise your profile and content perfectly tailored to your audience?

✅   Valuable media coverage worth 2.5X advertising space?

✅   Increased credibility in your sector?

✅   A higher online profile through effective website, social media and media?

✅   LinkedIn Content to attract your ideal clients

Why me?

I love my job and when we work together I become an invested partner in the success of your organisation.

Since setting up my boutique agency in 2015, I have worked with several leading public and private sector organisations, managing highly-successful campaigns in the healthcare, social care, recruitment, education and sustainable technology sectors.

Drawing on my experience as a PR and Communications Manager and former journalist, I work with companies and organisations of all sizes, fulfilling their communication needs.

I have helped website traffic increase by 250%, gained national newspaper, magazine and television coverage and supported three successful crowdfunding campaigns with PR, raising over £2 million. I have provided Press Office cover, dealt with countless media enquiries, written publications and helped successfully manage negative online comments.

I provide a tailored service to just a handful of clients at a time, ensuring you have the benefit of my many years’ experience in the industry.

Are you in?

Book in for 15 minutes of my time to ask me anything you want about your PR, communication and marketing calendly.com/ckellypr

Still unsure?

Read some of my testimonials:

“Gaining features in relevant and well-regarded publications helps to build trust in our business and therefore encourage new customers to try our products. This was OjO’s first ever PR campaign and Cathy was an extremely reliable and invested partner in our success. Ultimately, we successfully funded our crowdfunding campaign and we believe that getting PR coverage early on in the campaign was a key driver of the success of the campaign.”

Freja Smith, Learn with OjO Marketing Manager

“When we wanted to publicise the launch of our new company, Cathy was my first choice as she’d previously been my global PR manager, was extremely capable and good to work with. Thanks to her experience and skills, we gained some fantastic national coverage within our target industry and were offered a valuable speaking opportunity at a prestigious event.”

Tim Richards, CEO, Future Resume

“Working with Cathy on various communication projects within West Sussex County Council was an absolute pleasure. Her knowledge, professionalism and skills allowed us to create positive key messages and quality items for publication and printed resources. I would recommend her to anyone needing a consummate professional to deliver both strategic and operational projects, effectively communicating with different stakeholder groups throughout.”

Sarah Dimmock, West Sussex County Council

“We engaged Cathy recently to provide extra support to our company whilst staff were on holiday. She was previously employed by us for a couple of years, so we knew we could be assured of a high standard of work complemented by a pleasant, efficient demeanour; she is a pleasure to work with.”

Stephanie Lee, Jonathan Street Public Relations, London

I’ve been working with Cathy for nearly 1.5 years, after she was recommended to me.  She writes and manages all our social media, advising on the best channels and specifically focuses on LinkedIn and writing our Blogs. She is experienced and knowledgeable, especially about using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, which is a big plus.  She also advises how to best use our marketing budget and which activities to focus on. She regularly steps in with an expert perspective on specific projects, such as content for adverts and helping us to overhaul the website – rewriting key pages and advising on the best design. She’s kept up to date with the latest marketing tools, which is good news for her clients. She’s proactive, professional and provides an excellent communications and PR service.  “

Dermot Kennedy, partner, Giltinan & Kennedy LLP

“Cathy helped us to reach new audiences and build SEO backlinks around our Kickstarter campaign. On top of this, she provided invaluable expertise for how to choose the right images and messaging, and emphasised the importance of having research and evidence to back the PR story and help increase our chances of success.”

Freja Smith, Learn with OjO Marketing Manager

“Since starting work with Catherine Kelly PR our media presence has jumped about 10 fold. Cathy is able to advise on how to go about securing the best coverage and has used a variety of channels, resulting in both print and radio coverage. She also set up and established our social media presence which has grown in a short space of time – giving us valuable extra exposure.”

Ian Inglis, Bluebird Care

“I worked with Catherine Kelly PR and was exceptionally impressed. I had attempted to use a couple of other PR services, but the results were disappointing.  During our first three months,  she secured a number of PR opportunities, including several newspaper articles, radio interview, monthly column and a large magazine feature.  Not only this, but she is knowledgeable about social media, blogging and speaking engagements.  She listened carefully at our first meeting and assessed my needs – and then drew up a tailored plan to meet them.  Our budget is fixed, with the opportunity for flexibility where required, so I have peace of mind.  I would not hesitate to recommend Catherine Kelly PR.  She is a delightful person with whom to work and a total professional.”

Miranda Banks, Director, Smartivate and Excel in Exams

“I know the wellbeing team are really pleased with the coverage they are getting and it’s great to see the Health Champions name in the press so much. People can see the good work that is going on.  You have made such a difference to raising the profile.  I only wish we had you on board sooner!”

Karen Dennison, Director, Health Champions Training

“I have found Catherine Kelly’s PR service invaluable. Catherine quickly understood my business requirements; produced a plan to meet them including an agreed price and delivered a high quality product, to budget and within the agreed timeframe. Throughout the process Catherine was great to work with; and I would definitely recommend her work to others looking for a professional, high quality, PR service.”

Nikki Gibbins, Director, Achieving Together

Let’s chat, calendly.com/ckellypr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events that shaped me | West Sussex Health PR Blog

How do you measure Public Relations & Media Coverage?

Public Relations used to be notoriously hard to measure. It was a crude tally of circulation x column inches and wasn’t a comprehensive reflection of the true value of PR.

 

Fortunately technology has changed all that!

 

When I’m running a campaign or providing ongoing PR and sending out Press Releases, I use software which displays coverage in an electronic portfolio – great for the client to use in pitches, to help attract investment and on their website.

 

More importantly, it provides us both with great data and third party metrics. It shows the number of times the article is likely to be viewed in its lifetime, what influence the websites have on search engines, how many times the article has been shared on social media, how many backlinks have been created from articles to the client’s website and how many visitors the sites have each month.

 

By linking the PR to social media activity and Google Analytics you can also see what affect the coverage has on website visitors and when you share the article across your social media channels, you get even more value out of your PR efforts. 

 

Discuss your PR needs by getting in touch on 07704 130226 or cathy@catherinekellypr.co.uk

 

How To Use Great PR To Persuade

No matter what size your organisation is, my latest Blog ‘How To Use Great PR To Persuade’ – will help to set up your project for success.

 

Adopt my principles to communicate your BIG NEWS and reap the benefits.

Clarity of message, targeted PR, delivered consistently = a dream combination.

Maybe I’m a bit of a communications nerd but I still love ‘turning something around’, making it easier to understand and more accessible for the audience.

There’s an interesting story in most things…you’ve just got to look.

What is PR?

PR is not limited to crisis management or firefighting. PR is an overarching communication strategy that builds brand awareness, establishes valuable relationships and builds trust.

And having trust in an organisation is key. The success of a new service launch or campaign relies heavily on how and when information is communicated to its staff, patients, investors, customers and stakeholders.

I’ve seen throughout my career, how organisations which are transparent and who communicate regularly are (in the main!) trusted, respected and well-treated by the Media. If a ‘situation’ does occur, it’s far easier to manage and any subsequent stories are reported in a balanced way.

You’ll be relieved to hear that the vast majority of reporters aren’t out to ‘do a hatchet job’! They are just doing their job. I should know, I used to be one.

Mastering your message through the effective use of PR will have a positive impact on the success of any projects or campaign.

And well planned communication strategies enable organisations to manage their relationships with all key stakeholders.

PR is about effective communication and every organisation, regardless of size, depends on its reputation for survival and success.

By incorporating a strategic PR approach into everything you deliver, you will increase public understanding of what you are trying to achieve, build support for your project and help to influence the opinion your audience has about you.

In order to deliver a successful campaign or project you first need to master your message and then deliver it effectively. In this post, I’ll outline the three key steps which will help you establish and maintain this mutual understanding and goodwill between your organisation and your key stakeholders.

Master Your Message

  • Write your key messages (clear statements of fact)
  • Make them interesting and unique
  • Be consistent in your messaging – whether it’s a video, Press Release or social media message
  • Get clarity on your story – effective PR is about telling a story
  • Be clear – define the end benefits of your activity
  • Identify your audience and how to reach them
  • Be clear from the outset what it is that you are trying to achieve
  • To measure PR results, take a snapshot of your current vital statistics – monthly website visitors, social media followers, any media coverage, number of phone and email enquiries, click throughs etc, audiences and brand mentions – then compare at the end of the PR activity.

Planning

Many projects fail or are not as successful as they might have been because they were not communicated clearly or planned properly, with enough lead-in time.

If PR is an afterthought or bolted on at the end of the project planning process, the success and reach of your campaign is going to be limited.

Including a communication strategy at the outset and incorporating it into every stage of the project, shares your key objectives, messages and activities to ensure the whole team understands and ‘buys into it’.

This helps to ensure consistency, reduces duplication and audience misunderstanding, promotes stakeholder buy-in, staff ownership and commitment.

One of the simple steps I’ve always taken is to communicate outside news with staff first so they hear about developments from their employer. That helps to foster a culture of mutual respect and loyalty. Your staff can be your biggest advocates if you treat them properly.

Delivery

Where you deliver your message is a key factor in determining your reach and visibility. Find out where your audience are hanging out?

Are they on social media? Probably. Which platform? Does your news warrant a Press Release?  Do you want local, trade or other media coverage and what would help you in sharing your story?

Are you communicating in the most accessible ways? Can the key stakeholders access the information and understand it? Talk to your patients, customers and target audience to see how they most like to receive information. Adapt your communication style and method to suit the different groups in your audience.

Could you host a conference or an event which would enable you to raise brand awareness and develop partnerships? A great way to increase your reach is through collaboration and leveraging the audience of your partners.

Good PR is the key to delivering any successful campaign. Taking control of the way your story is communicated from the very beginning allows you to manage and influence your reputation and relationships.

Investing in PR for your project increases the likelihood of success and has many long term benefits. See some of my examples of coverage here to give your some ideas for your project.

If you want to take control of how your story is told, drop me a message.

P.S – I’m also experienced in blog writing, drafting fresh content for your website, preparing key documents and dealing with media enquiries. When you’re ready, get in touch.