Archive for April, 2013

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan celebrates on the pitch

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan celebrates on the pitch

Sometimes a city needs some good fortune. Without doubt the success of our wonderful Bluebirds in reaching the football Premiership will as Councillor Russell Goodway says in today’s South Wales Echo put Cardiff ‘on the global map’.

The Bluebirds have been so close to achieving this dream over recent years, and have at last done so through excellent management, investment by the new owners, and the dedication, belief and talent of the squad themselves.

The opportunity that this news provides all those involved in promotion of the city must be grasped, and a strategy put in place to maximise the profile which has suddenly been given to the city.

Very well done to all the managers, the team, back room staff, directors and investors, who have made it happen!

Today is GO Wales Placement Student Eros’s last day with us at Petersens! We asked him to write a post about his time with us. Thanks for all your help, Eros!

Eros2On my first day at Petersens, I did not know what to expect and had very little experience in Public Relations. However, I could not have found a better team to work with than the one at Petersens.

I felt immediately welcome and was even made a cup of tea. I was instantly eased into my role and was introduced to Petersens as a company. I examined various projects that Petersens had worked on and through this learnt a vast amount within a short space of time.

What I particularly liked about my taster at Petersens was the fact that even on my first day, I was not left to sit by myself doing nothing. I was instantly assigned a task to research various company profiles and to glance at an assortment of press releases.

As the weeks progressed, after each task I completed, the team at Petersens would give me constructive feedback on how to improve on what I had completed. This is a rare feature that only a minority of work tasters/internships seem to offer, especially due to time constraints. The team at Petersens always had time for me and constantly made sure that I was not disinterested.

One week I was able to attend the Cardiff Breakfast Club at the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, where I helped the Petersens team organise the event and even networked with a few guests. It was an extremely insightful event which I was glad I had the chance to attend.

I would like to thank Petersens PR for making my time at the company extremely enjoyable and stimulating and to Go Wales for giving me this fantastic opportunity.

In a nutshell: My work taster at Petersens PR has been exciting, insightful and intriguing. The team never makes you feel like an intern, you are essentially a part of the team. I would highly recommend Petersens to anybody wanting experience in PR; it is the best experience that anybody could wish for.

Breakfast ClubFrom today until Sunday Cardiff will be filled with a flurry of green-fingered enthusiasts, as the RHS Flower Show Cardiff kicks off the Society’s annual show season. Sue Biggs, Director General of the RHS, joined us this morning to discuss how a business-like approach is often necessary when running a national charity.

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening society, and has been promoting excellence in horticulture since 1804. As a show of hands this morning demonstrated, very few people are actually aware that the RHS is a charity, yet the Society funds everything from maintaining its 4 stunning  gardens, to botanic art and literature collections, community education schemes and horticultural research. This work is achieved without any Government funding; it is the funds generated through the Society’s commercial side that enable its charitable side to continue.

Sue joined the RHS in 2010, after nearly 30 years in the tourism and leisure sector. An RHS member for 18 years, Sue had never worked for a charity nor trained in horticulture. It was the lessons and approach learned from her experience and success in the business world that have helped the RHS reach a record membership of over  400,000.

The Society was previously very internally-focused, with little emphasis placed on commercial activity and a lack of communication with potential partners in the business world. While the charity is dedicated to its charitable aims, they are impossible to achieve without the funding brought in through its shows, publications, products, partnerships and attractions. To this end, one of the 10 key targets Sue outlined was for the RHS to have ‘efficient business practices, that deliver maximum income for our charitable purposes’.


The RHS Flower Show Cardiff kicks off today.

Sue has implemented dramatic changes to the Society’s culture, achieved through ‘leading by example’ and working from ‘individual up, not top down’. The organisation’s operations have been restructured, moving away from divisions working individually towards a new and engaged strategy, with everyone understanding their role in the bigger picture. Establishing such a complex process highlights one of the key differences between the charity and business worlds: timing. The direction and implementation of decisions in the charity world is, Sue said, ‘more a country road than a motorway’; it takes a lot of time, with many different groups to influence in order to progress.

Sue has big plans for the RHS’s future, with a wide range of projects planned. This will be partly funded through the sale of the lease on Lawrence Hall last year to Westminster School, which generated £18million, and partly through a £9million fundraising drive. The extensive botanical art collection and library at Lindley Hall will be opened to the public for the first time, more PhD studentships will be introduced, and a 3.5acre Urban Garden will be created in a major UK city centre, ‘somewhere you would never expect’. There are also regional plans being piloted in Scotland and Yorkshire; while an RHS garden in every region would be unfeasible, an RHS centre could provide exciting opportunities to link with local businesses across the country. There are a wide range of ways the RHS and businesses could work together, through CSR projects, sponsorship and support.

While the business and charity sectors are often perceived to be dramatically different, there are unexpected similarities – and, as Sue has found, much that each can teach the other. By enabling the commercial and charity sides to sit together, Sue is confident that the RHS will be leading the way in horticulture for another 200 years.

The RHS Show Cardiff 2013 is the Society’s first major show of 2013, and regularly attracts over 20,000 visitors from across the UK. It will be held in Bute Park between the 19th and 21st of April. For more information, please visit


The next Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting will be held on the 24th of May with guest speaker Paul Fisher, Bank of England. For information or to book, please contact Sally Taylor on 02920 549597 or at 

cardiff cityThere will only be one place to be in Cardiff this evening; the Cardiff Stadium as our City team take on Charlton Athletic to gain that crucial one point to take them into the Premier League.

As Swansea has shown, the economic benefit for Cardiff could be truly immense, as well as placing us on the global map.

I read in today’s South Wales Echo that Professor Tom Cannon estimates City’s promotion would generate up to an additional 5000 jobs and a £120 million bonanza for Cardiff!!  What a wonderful prospect for the capital and its residents.

Good luck Cardiff, we are backing you all the way! Pob lwc Caerdydd!

Keeping Wales open for business: reports this week of an M4 relief road have caused much debate.

Keeping Wales open for business: reports this week of an M4 relief road have caused much debate.

I am no politician, and the cynics among us may see yesterday’s announcement of the Treasury’s backing of a M4 relief road as another pre-election tactic. However, it has major consequences for the future growth of Wales.

Unless we, the business community, not just the politicians, produce a comprehensive plan to improve our transport infrastructure we can never expect to satisfy existing business transport needs, let alone attract inward investment into our area.

It is wonderful news that Cardiff Airport is now under our ownership, and the recent announcements on a possible Metro system for South East Wales together with the electrification of the main line to Swansea all point in the right direction, but I fear that a joined up transport plan does not yet exist.

We must put more freight and passengers on to our existing rail network and encourage more use of rail for work, business and pleasure. There are numerous disused rail lines and stations which could be reopened to take the pressure off of heavily congested roads.

The predicted 3% increase in congestion on UK roads by 2025 is said to be likely to cost the Welsh economy around £1.1 billion a year in lost business and productivity.

Finally, while I do support the idea of a M4 relief road I do fear that it could take too long. Perhaps the cheaper option of upgrading the A48 as preferred by Professor Stuart Cole of the University of Wales Transport Research Centre is the one we should adopt, in order to give some valuable breathing space and keep Wales open for business.