Archive for August, 2011

Cardiff Breakfast Club Thursday 29th September 2011

Special Guest Speaker: Professor Robert Huggins,Cardiff University

Presentation Topic: Culture and the Economy

We are delighted that Robert Huggins has chosen the Breakfast Club as the platform to launch his latest research into Culture and the Economy. Using Wales as a case study he analyses the extent to which community and business cultures differ across the localities of Wales and between Wales and other regions and nations. This has significant implications for economic development and we will be able to see what the impact is upon Cardiff.

Having previously lectured at the University of Sheffield and UWIC, Professor Huggins was appointed as Chair of Economic Geography at Cardiff University and Director of its Centre for Advanced Studies in September 2011. His key areas of research include the study of competitiveness, innovation, culture, and economic development. He acts as a policy advisor and consultant to a range of organizations, and is committed to furthering research that informs corporate strategy and public policy.

The next Club Meeting will be held on Thursday 29th September 2011 at The St. David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff Bay.  As usual, we will commence at 7.45am and finish by 9.15am.  Breakfast will be served promptly at 8.00am.

We would be delighted if you were able to join us.  If you wish to attend, please  email Becci Gould, Account Executive on no later than Tuesday 27th September 2011. 

Please note, any seating requests should be made clear at time of booking.  The Cardiff Breakfast Club regrets there can be no refunds should you cancel after Tuesday 27th September 2011.  Should you be unable to attend, a substitute is welcome at no extra charge.

Please also note that the next event for your diaries will be held on Wednesday 19th October with guest speaker Lt Colonel David Wheeler, 2 R Welsh.

We hope you can find time to join us and look forward to seeing you.

By Rob Petersen, Managing Director

The famous cricketer Dennis Compton, my father and I at an agency reception some years ago

On 2nd September a blue plaque is to be unveiled in St John’s Square, Cardiff by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff to honour the achievements of my father, Jack Petersen, the famous boxing champion.

It would be wrong of me not to mention this on our company blog as so many readers know of my father’s sporting exploits and his love of Cardiff where the Council is kindly honouring him in this way on the anniversary of his 100th birthday.

His record in the Boxing ring cannot be equaled – achieving 35 wins out of 38 professional fights and becoming British LightHeavyweight and Heavyweight champion before the age of 21! He brought hope and pride to the whole of Wales in the dark days of the depression of the 1930s and it is therefore no wonder that over 40,000 people turned up to watch one of his fights in the famous Ninian Park against the German Heine Muller, whom he beat in two rounds!

Unfortunately at the age of 25 due to injuries to his eye he was forced to retire. However he maintained his association with boxing and was elected the President of the British Boxing Board of Control, an honour no other fighter has achieved. He was awarded the OBE for services to sport after serving on the Sports Council for Wales.

Born in Cardiff on 2nd September 1911, he would have been 100 years old next Friday had cancer not cut short his wonderful life at the age of 79. An amazing man and quite the best father you could ever have. He is an inspiration to many generations of Welsh Sports men and women.

I hope you will join me in commemorating this Welsh Sporting Hero.

By Matt Grindulis, Work Experience Student at Petersens PR

So, with all the trouble the streets of the  UK cities are facing at the moment, let’s take our mind off it all and enjoy a relaxing hike on one of the world’s top trails. No, I’m not talking about jumping over to Tanzania or Peruto scale Mount Kilimanjaroor walk the Inca trail. Instead, our own “Pembrokshire coast path” which has (by online travel advisor Cheapflights) been listed the third top hiking destination in the world!

Based on top of the limestone and volcanic cliffs of the west coast of Wales, the 186 mile long trail already makes a significant impact on the county’s economy, “generating over £14 million each year” (Charles Mathieson, head of recreation and tourism Pembrokshire).

The beautiful trail is made up of several trails from as short a 9 miles, and weaves in and around sandy beaches and fishing villages. Although it is the natural splendor of the area which attracts the millions of people who visit each year, its preservation is just as highly rated by locals especially in terms of the 2000 year forts and 400AD burial grounds.

So, now with this new-found fame and exposure in the public eye, tourism and new business opportunities in Pembrokshire are looking very fruitful.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a refreshing walk or seeking an enterprise in a rural setting, remember the beautiful Pembrokshire coast and the possible influx of hiking enthusiasts wanting to visit the 3rd top hiking destination in the world.

By Becci Gould, Account Executive

On joining Petersens PR last summer, with lots of work experience but limited knowledge of the industry, I decided it was time to up my professional skill set.

After considering studying a masters in PR before finding permanent work, the thought of another year of study wasn’t something that daunted me. After years of analysing texts and writing essays, I think I was perhaps even a little reluctant to leave my academic skills behind me.

So in September 2010, I applied for a GOWales Graduate Funding grant to cover half of my course costs and enrolled on the CIPR Advanced Certificatewith Cambridge Marketing College based in Bristol.

The year-long qualification involved CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) affiliate membership, 7 tutorial days  throughout the year (on Saturdays much to my dismay!) and 3 independent assignments.

Initially it sounded like a lot to tackle in a year but as soon as I got started I found that because I was learning so much that I could apply to my daily work, it wasn’t such a challenge after all.

Yes it was difficult to balance work and coursework at times, particularly with the first assignment which involved researching and writing two essays in two weeks whilst still carrying out my day to day work, however looking back it was definitely worth the effort.

Taking the course lightly would certainly be a mistake as it often involved giving up my spare time in order to attend tutorials and carry out research. I was lucky enough to have a lot of  support from my colleagues which enabled me to complete some of my workload within the office, which helped a great deal.

Fortunately, not to blow my own trumpet but I have also always been extremely organised so every assignment was planned and executed to ensure I had enough time to complete it without the frantic last minute panic to meet the deadline.

Although 7 tutorial sessions may seem like you’re left to your own devices for a good part of the course, the support I received from both my tutor, Peter Brill, and course leader,Heather Yaxley, was fantastic and I felt comfortable to approach either of them with any queries regarding the course itself or my professional development.

Every session, although relatively informal, was clearly planned to ensure we were able to cover each element of the course in detail using practical examples in addition to the opportunity for questions and feedback.

Each assignment was unique and focused on a particular element of working in the PR industry, whether it be studying key theories behind daily practice or planning strategic and creative PR campaigns, and therefore I completed the course with a wide range of both theoretical and practical knowledge which I could apply to my day to day work.

Although it has only been a few weeks since I completed the course, I can already tell how much it has helped me in the early stages of my career. Not only do I now know why we carry out certain activities for example, but I have also noticed a dramatic change in my confidence. I can now speak out in meetings and present my ideas with the firm knowledge that there is clear practical and academic grounding behind the points I am making.

I would urge anyone who is starting out in the PR industry to complete the CIPR Advanced Certificate as it is a great supplementation to practical development, and if nothing else if you succeed it is a fantastic confidence boost!

I will receive my final set of results in October 2011 so I look forward to seeing if all my hard work has paid off…fingers crossed!

Becci Gould, Account Executive , 2011

LtoR Phil Hall, Site Director Tillery Valley Foods and Rob Petersen, Managing Director, Petersens PR

Petersens PR, the award-winning PR, events and marketing agency based in Pentwyn, Cardiff has been appointed by health, education and local authority caterer, Tillery Valley Foods to handle an integrated marketing and PR campaign.

Managed by Site Director, Phil Hall, Tillery Valley Foods, which is part of the worldwide Sodexo Group, employs over 350 local people in its food manufacturing factory in Abertillery. The company supplies nutritious meals to the healthcare and education sector, in addition to local authorities, whilst carrying out a sustainable and environmentally responsible business. Tillery Valley Foods has achieved a number of notable awards and accreditations including an Investors in People Award, an ISO 9001 (2008) accreditation for the development, manufacture and distribution of chilled and frozen ready meals and the Carbon Trust Standard (2010).

Tillery Valley Foods has selected Petersens after a competitive pitch on a retained basis to handle the company’s public relations, whilst also carrying out key marketing activities such as website development. Whilst delivering to 180 hospitals in the UK, with only three inWales, the food provider believes the strategy will boost new business, particularly in its home country.

Set-up in 2003 by Rob Petersen, Petersens is a small successful agency offering a number of key services including public relations, marketing and events management. In addition to Tillery Valley Foods, the company has succeeded in a number of notable client wins this year, including Newport-based engineering firm Cintec International and Llantrisant-based Sigma 3 Kitchens and Bedrooms.

Managing Director, Rob Petersen, says:

“We are delighted to be working with Phil and his talented team and are confident that a successful relationship will develop over the coming months. As the largest employer in Abertillery, Tillery Valley clearly has a unique and worthy story to tell, and we are excited to begin raising its profile, both across Wales and within the catering industry.”

Phil Hall, Site Director, Tillery Valley Foods, says:

“We believe we have an excellent business here in Abertillery, our food is delivered on time and to an extremely high quality and above all our staff are happy and enthusiastic about their part in the process. However, our problem lies with telling people about our success and this is where we trust Petersens can help.

He continues:

“We are very much looking forward to working with the agency and are excited to see some positive results over the next few months.”


For further information please contact:

Rob Petersen, Managing Director, Petersens:, 02920549597

Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens:, 02920549597

By Becci Gould, PR Account Executive

Today PR Moment posted an interesting article about whether it is possible to truly ‘switch off’ whilst on holiday, particularly when you work in one of the busiest and time-sensitive industries.

Although working for a small independent PR company in Cardiff rather than a large London agency, I can definitely understand why people find it necessary to monitor emails whilst supposedly ‘relaxing’. It is sometimes more stressful to not know what’s going on than to be oblivious for a week or two and return to an inbox full of confusing emails.

However, for many (myself included), the annual summer holiday is the only 7 days in 365 where one can truly chill out, forget about your worries and lie back with a cocktail (or 6) – surely we are therefore entitled to a little bit of a break from the stresses of working life?

Before the days of smartphones, this dilemma may not have even existed. Going on holiday meant actually leaving the office and overflowing inbox behind, and not having the option to monitor emails removed the guilt of feeling as though you should be on top of things.

I’m sure for some, it might be calming to know everything is still running smoothly in your absence – but what happens when something goes wrong and you return from an early evening dip to a series of panicked emails?

Trying to catch up on what’s happened whilst endeavouring to solve the problem amongst the inevitable time difference confusion, can often cause you more stress than its worth, whilst also muddling up a situation that has usually already been solved.

In fact your colleagues have now probably all gone home and are settled down in front of the TV with a glass of wine – ie. actually relaxing – and by the sounds of it, it’s time for you to do the same!

Employers should, and usually do, have the relevant cover arranged for you when you jet off, so if there’s a problem – it is now their responsibility, not yours. That said, if there really is a problem that can only be solved by you, let your employer know that in emergencies you can be reached by text or phonecall. It is therefore a more conscious decision to make contact rather than automatically copying someone in on an unimportant email without realising they are 5000 miles away and actually couldn’t care less.

In an industry as busy as PR, surely it is important to give practitioners the break they deserve?

Plus the pressure on the company to cope without one key practitioner is a vital test which every business large or small should pass.

Therefore, when I go to Majorca in 3 weeks time, I’m afraid my emails will not be monitored from my sun lounger. I will leave a contact number with my colleagues should I be needed in an emergency, but rest assured I will be using the time to actually relax and rejuvenate after an enjoyable yet exhausting first year within the PR industry.

Au Revoir!


By Rob Petersen, Managing Director

I fully support Sion Barry’s comments on Cardiff Airport in his Friday File piece today in the Western Mail.

As someone who has both travelled from the airport on many occasions and helped with numerous marketing and public consultation projects over many years, I do sympathise with Patrick Duffy and his team.

The airport must have real support from its stakeholders if it is to breakthrough and become a real transport hub for South Wales which is so necessary if we are to be a true International City Region.

The Welsh Government must find a way to prioritise funding support for the Airport to develop links with International Carriers such as Delta.

Every business in this world needs investment to grow and the Welsh Government must take the initiative and put money on the table. When it does, I am convinced the Airport can truly deliver for everyone’s benefit!

By Becci Gould, PR Account Executive

Today Wales Online reported that new research by Ofcom has shown that smartphone ‘addiction’ is affecting the way we behave in Britain. With over a quarter of adults owning a smartphone in the UK, it has clearly become a national phenomenon but what effect has this had on the nation?

As a ‘proud’ owner of a Blackberry for over a year now, I can definitely see where they’re coming from. Research by Ofcom suggests symptoms of such an addiction include rarely switching off ones phone even when in the cinema, continuing to use ones device during social occasions such as meals, and even taking ones smartphone to the toilet!

Although I have never done the latter (admittedly anyway) , I can certainly see signs of a smartphone addiction in myself. Sadly, I rarely turn my phone off, even at night when all I receive is spam emails and junk mail. There is clearly no real reason why I refuse to switch off my blackberry when I ‘switch off’, but evidently something is preventing me from doing so – is it addiction?

A pet hate of mine is people playing with their mobile phones during social occasions, but I’m ashamed to admit my peeve is a little hypocritical. Only yesterday when out for dinner with a friend, I found myself leaving my blackberry on the table and picking up my emails and text messages as they flooded in. I even felt a pang of guilt when trying to read them but I couldn’t stop myself – a sure sign of addiction if ever I heard one!

In my defense the messages were relatively important – blood tests results from my brother who has recently been diagnosed with hepatitis for example, but it still felt rude and I can only place blame on the smartphone culture whereby we can have access to almost any form of incoming communications at any given time.

Nevertheless, although I clearly have a problem with smartphone addiction (albeit minor compared to many others

Glastonbury 2011

I’m sure!) I have to admit on a recent trip to Glastonbury, I was extremely happy to leave my precious blackberry at home and revert to an ‘old fashioned’ device. It was nice to have only a select collection of telephone numbers and therefore to receive only a limited amount of phonecalls and texts rather than an endless stream of emails where only about 1 in 50 is actually useful.

I was even a little sad when I returned to the real world and had to insert my simcard back into the all-encompassing blackberry but 6 weeks later, I once again can’t imagine being without it! This in mind, would I class myself among the 37% of adults, who refer to themselves as having ‘high addiction their smartphones? I’ll have to get back to you on that one…

Information taken from:

By Matt Grindulis, BSc International Management undergraduate

Matt Grindulis on a GOWales WorkTaster at Petersens

After finishing the first year of my ‘BSc International Management’ degree, in which I was introduced into many parts of business (including PR) I thought I should probably start putting the theory I was learning into practice.

When I signed up for the work tasters with ‘GoWales’, I was half expecting the classic ‘work experience’ role of filing and making cups of tea every 2 minutes. But Petersens showed me immediately that they were willing to get me involved in their work and operations. In fact, within 2 hours of arriving at Petersens I was driving the Managing Director, Rob Petersen, and Becci (Account Executive) to ‘Spindogs’, a web development company. Once there, I was encouraged to sit in the meeting between the company’s directors and Rob, who, with his real accommodating nature, even involved me in some of the discussions.

If this wasn’t enough for a first day, I was then given the responsibly of writing a press release for one of Petersens’ long standing clients for the appointment of a new employee. For this I was given expert advice from Cerys Palmer (Senior Account Manager) and a template to work from. Even with no journalistic experience, I felt prepared and was encouraged to ‘give it a go’, which is not a common feeling I have had on other work experience placements I have done.

Now, I am onto my second day of this work taster and have once again had a new experience. This morning was the

Professor Amanda Kirby addressing the Cardiff Breakfast Club

‘Cardiff Breakfast Club’, an event for businesses to network, listen to a guest speaker and possibly most importantly; enjoy an excellent breakfast!

The speaker today was actually extremely interesting for me, talking about disability in the workplace, and being dyslexic with a successful academic career I was enlightened to the idea of expressing the disability to employers from a positive viewpoint (An idea I would not have come across if it wasn’t for Rob and Becci allowing me to come along and participate in proceedings).

So, as you can see I have done more in 1 and a half days at Petersens than I realistically saw myself doing for the 5/6 week taster period. In fact, as I write this, I have just been asked to help out this afternoon with research and making phone calls to media contacts linked with an exciting new client win.

Petersens is a public relations company, and they are clearly doing a very strong job all across Wales, and I think Rob might just know every contact in the country! Nevertheless, I am hugely appreciating the experience and advice I have received so far, and look forward hugely to what lies in the weeks ahead…