Posts Tagged ‘Becci Gould’

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a great holiday season, and are feeling refreshed and ready for 2012.

This new year sees some changes to the team here at Petersens. We sadly said goodbye to Account Executive Becci at the end of December, as she leaves Cardiff for an exciting new start inLondon. Many of you may know Becci as the coordinator of the Cardiff Breakfast Club, and we are sure you’ll agree she has done a fantastic job over the past 18 months. All of us at Petersens wish her success for the future – good luck, Becci!

All is not lost, however, as we have also welcomed a new addition to the team.  Becci was kept busy up until Christmas introducing our new Account Executive, Sally Taylor, to all the exciting things we have in the pipeline for 2012, and Sally is really looking forward to getting stuck in with everything coming up this year.

Left to right: Becci and new starter Sally

Speaking of upcoming events, places are still available for the Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting on the 18th of January. This month’s guest speaker is Rhodri Talfan Davies from BBC Wales, who will be discussing ‘creativity and opportunity in difficult times’. It promises to be an interesting and engaging discussion. Please email sally@petersensone.com for more information or to reserve a place.

We’d like to wish you all the best for the coming year. Happy 2012!

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After a very busy week here in the Petersens office, we are extremely pleased to have secured further coverage for our new client Tillery Valley in both local and trade press.

Our Account Executive, Becci Gould has been working very hard on a number of stories and is very pleased to see some results. We have also welcomed former employee Louise Yau to the team who will act as Account Manager on a number of our project-based and retained accounts. Welcome Back Louise!

South Wales Echo

South Wales Echo 6th October

Food Manufacture Magazine

Half Page Editorial in Food Manufacture Magazine October 2011

 

Other News…

  • The second edition of Living is now being distributed to 200,000 households across South Wales and other regions of the UK for our client Sigma 3 Kitchens (and County Kitchens). To view the publication, please click here.
  • Tillery Valley, national meal provider to the public sector, will be appearing at next week’s Care Show London Exhibition in Olympia. Members of the Tillery Valley team plus our Account Executive, Becci Gould will be attending the event on 11th and 12th October. Make sure you pop along and say hello if you’re in the area – stand C55!

 

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

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 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: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2011/08/04/smartphone-addiction-inflicts-uk-91466-29176471/

By Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens PR

This morning the members of the Cardiff Breakfast Club were greeted by a truly inspirational speaker – the multi-talented Chair of Sport Wales, Professor Laura McAllister who, although completing a PhD, writing a number of political texts, and becoming Professor of Governance at University of Liverpool, still maintains that sport is the greatest means of acquiring a sense of self-pride, ambition and inner contentment.

Addressing an audience of nearly 100 business people from around Cardiff, Laura explained that after experiencing its remarkable effects at grass-roots level, for her, it is time to put something back into the world of sport. And through the new Vision for Sport in Wales, she is able to do just that.

As a former Wales International Soccer Player and board member of Sport UK, it is no wonder that Laura has stretched Sport Wales to set some incredibly ambitious targets this year.

She explained that Sport Wales had two clear ambitions:

1. To get every child in Wales hooked on sport for life

2. To render Wales as a nation of sporting champions

 

Two very challenging targets that Laura assures us will not be taken lightly!

No, not every child will enjoy competitive sports such as football, rugby and netball but this does not mean their physical activity should be limited. Sport is as diverse as the children that play it – from cheerleading to table tennis – there is no doubt that any child can discover something that suits them.

Why is this important?”

 

Laura explained that being physically literate is as important as learning to read and write. It enables children to become aware of themselves and their abilities, to work with others and to learn how to conduct themselves appropriately. The benefits are endless – from personal development such as confidence building and motivation to education, not to mention the health implications such as tackling obesity, childhood poverty and social exclusion.  

 

But children will not encourage themselves to get involved in Sport. “

 

Laura explained that as adults and parents we too should be taking an active role in sport, whether it be joining a sports club or volunteering – we need to put sport back on the agenda and fully embrace its effects.

Sport has the power to bring communities together, to connect families and to create positive role models for children.  And it is through these amazing Welsh role models that Wales can be recognised as a nation of sporting champions.

Dai Greene celebrates after winning Gold in the Mens 400m Hurdles final

Although winning an impressive 19 medals for Wales in last year’s Commonwealth Games, Laura argues that our true potential as a nation has not yet fully been realised, and thus advances our targets for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to 35 medals!

 

And why shouldn’t we be ambitious? “

 

We’ve got some remarkable sporting figures, fantastic coaches and great facilities – not to mention the support of leading businesses who are willing to invest both time and money into Sport.    

However, Laura emphasised that we do need volunteers such as parents and ex-competitors who can help to fully realise Laura’s dream.

Laura concluded her presentation by explaining that investing in sport is a win-win situation – by enlisting ourselves globally as a sporting nation we can firmly put Wales on the map, in turn providing positive results for all aspects of the economy.

 

The power of sport should never be underestimated…”

 

For further information on Sport Wales, visit www.sportwales.org.uk.

The next Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting will be held on 30th June with guest speaker Mark Hopwood, MD of First Great Western Trains. For further information or to join our mailing list email bec@petersensone.com.

By Becci Gould, Account Executive

Edd Gould (18) 26.2 miles later...

Yesterday, like 20,000 others, my brother completed the London Marathon. Taking to the streets of the big city, after 3 weeks of no practise following an ankle injury, Edd Gould powered through, finishing in 4 hours 28 minutes.

I can’t even imagine the endurance both physically and emotionally that is required to not only run 26 miles but to run with an injury that began to resurface at mile 2! But, I think Edd’s determination had something to do with the great cause he was running for – knowing that if he completed this giant task, he would be raising more than £1000 for Motor Neurone Disease, a cause so close to the hearts of our family.

As explained by the MND Association, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. Degeneration of the motor neurones leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.

Having witnessed these devastating effects first-hand when our uncle was diagnosed with the disease in 2000, eventually losing his mobility (but amazingly not his spirits) and passing away on New Years Eve soon after his 50th birthday in 2005, I am extremely proud that my brother has completed this mammoth task in his memory.

Needless to say, as the image above suggests… I don’t think he’ll be doing it again!!!!

A big congratulations to Edd from the Petersens team!

For more information on Motor Neurone Disease, visit: http://www.mndassociation.org

By Becci Gould, Account Executive

When beginning my career in public relations and events, as an ex-English Literature student relatively new to the business world, I felt completely out of my depth when thrown into networking situations.

With experience in events management already under my belt, I had no qualms about single-handedly organising the Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting only two weeks into my time at Petersens. However, outside of the comfort zone of the Cardiff Breakfast Club, I felt like a lost puppy, inexperienced and out-of-place. 

As a concept networking is unusual:  a group of people gathering together with the aim of acquiring information from each other, whether it is advice, business or contacts. Although on the surface the upfront selfishness of networking appears strange, is the concept that different to the interaction that takes place in other situations?

Presumably many of the relationships we build and maintain outside of business have benefits to us personally, whether it be friendship, enjoyment, support or advice – we all want or need something from our friendships even if it is to feel better about ourselves by offering our own support or advice. The difference is we are just not that upfront about what we want from the relationship.

In simple terms, networking is just a shortcut – and in the business world this works.

Once you can get your head around the fact that people are talking to you because they need to rather than because they want to, networking can actually be quite an interesting and enjoyable experience. Nevertheless in my opinion, it is certainly an acquired art…and presently one I am yet to get the hang of.

In a quest to conquer the lost puppy feeling that usually overwhelms me in networking situations, yesterday I decided to attend a workshop specifically designed to improve networking skills.

The free workshop presented by Tim Campbell, winner of the first series of the Apprentice, and organised by Cardiff Council and South Wales Chamber of Commerce was aimed at those taking their first steps in business whether it be starting up a business or beginning a new career.

The workshop began with a short game of musical chairs, where we were asked to leave the comfort of those we had dragged along with us and brave the array of unknown faces that filled the room. Once acquainted with our new ‘friends’, we were asked to tell them one thing that we needed in business in order to practice being open and direct.

Although sat by music students, who unfortunately informed me that they could not teach me how to play the tuba in ten minutes, I did discover that networking isn’t just about getting what you want but also about helping others as, in this case, I was able to offer one student career advice and work experience in event management.

Was this successful networking? I think so – even though I didn’t get what I had needed, I had got our name out there and gained comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only one who was daunted by the prospect of networking!

So how do the professionals do it?

Here are some tips I picked up from the workshop:

Before the event

  1. Prepare your pitch – What is it that your organisation does? What is the idea behind it? What are the benefits? Where’s the proof? What do you want?
  2. Ask the organisers for an attendee list – study the list, determine who may be useful to you and what you want from them.

At the event

  1. Swap your name badge for a business card – this is about you and your company not the organisers
  2. Scan the room, warm your hands (no-one likes a cold hand) , locate the bar (very important), take a glass in one hand and transfer to the other to avoid clammy hands, scan the room
  3. Locate your first potential connection – usually someone standing on their own
  4. Approach with a smile, ask permission to join them, then introduce yourself
  5. In terms of body language – keep an open stance so people can approach you at any point

Moving on

Networking is a dance not a marriage”  – Tim Campbell

  1.  Don’t spend all your time with one person – once you’ve got what you want from them or exhausted the conversations, don’t be afraid to move on
  2. If you haven’t connected with a person– begin looking over their shoulder for your next target, pretend you’re going to the bar (ONLY if his/her drink is still full), then politely move on
  3. If the conversation has been successful or you got on well with the person – offer to introduce him/her to another connection then leave the conversation yourself (sly but not so offensive)

Business Cards

  1. If someone gives you a business card, it is polite to give them one back – keep business cards in your jacket pocket if possible
  2. Keep all useful business cards in one pocket and any you don’t need/want (but were too polite to tell them) in the other pocket

After the event

  1. Redeem your new business cards – check they all make sense in their respective piles – discard of any you really don’t need and store useful contacts in a safe place or transfer details to a database
  2. Follow up any successful connections with a thank you email
  3. Relax

Petersens’ Tips

  1. If you’re on Twitter, why not see if the event has a specific hash tag e.g. #cardiffbreakfastclub so you can join in any debates and interesting topics that may be going on before, during and after the event.
  2. Arrive early – people will then have to approach you rather than the other way around
  3. Ask open-ended questions to avoid short ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to prevent that dreaded awkward silence
  4. Don’t drink too much – pretty hard to go wrong at the Cardiff Breakfast Club with orange and cranberry juice but good to remember
  5. Don’t talk about yourself too much or be too negative (nobody likes a misery guts) – try to remain positive and interested at all times 
  6. 

Seem Simple? Try it yourself by attending a Cardiff Breakfast Club business networking event…just email Becci Gould on bec@petersensone.com for details.

By Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens PR
  

Yesterday evening I was lucky enough to attend the Cardiff Bloggers meet-up, an event that occurs every month or so at Pica Pica on Westgate Street in Cardiff.

Usually the meetings focus primarily on blogging, with, as expected, the majority of attendees being bloggers themselves. However, yesterday’s event was an exception, with the room being almost dominated by an array of PR people from Cardiff, eagerly

Cardiff Bloggers Meeting April 2011 (Image Hannah Waldram, Guardian)

 awaiting a long-anticipated live debate between key representatives from the PR industry and a number of influential bloggers from the Cardiff area.

After following the recent incident between Cardiff Arcades Blogger (http://cardiffarcades.wordpress.com), Amy Davies and Golley Slater, the PR company behind St. David’s, regarding a inaccuracy in Amy’s blog that caused ‘quite a stir’ to say the least, it was obvious why a live, face-to-face and most importantly, open discussion was needed between bloggers like Amy and those protecting the reputation of leading organisations.

Despite being a journalist used to dealing with PR people on a regular basis, as a blogger, Amy explained that she felt ‘scared’ when approached by Golley Slater. Blogs are personal and without the support of an employer behind you, it is often difficult and indeed daunting to stand your ground when approached by PR people.

However, as Matt Appleby of Golley Slater PR explained, in this particular instance, the situation could have been dealt with differently and more appropriately by his colleagues who admittedly saw Amy within her journalistic capacity, forgetting that this was a personal blog. With all issues now resolved through face-to-face meetings, Matt and Amy both agreed that a simple phone-call to a blogger, is the best method of approach for PRs.

PR V Bloggers Panelists (Image from Hannah Waldrom, Guardian)

Despite one issue being settled, this last comment opened up a new debate – how do bloggers like to be contacted, if at all, by PR people?

Troubled by the thought of receiving constant phone-calls from PRs, Cardiff Blogger Rachael Phillips, quickly jumped in to inform the audience that email was her preferred method of contact. She also added that she likes to receive an entire press release rather than a ‘would you be interested in…’ email.

It was refreshing to hear that some bloggers have thought out the relationship they are willing to have with PRs, rather than, as one blogger implied, worrying that using information from PRs will turn their blog into a generic copy of popular media rather than a personal take on a niche subject.

To this point, Kate Sullivan of Equinox Communications, explained that PR people understand and respect that bloggers have their own niche subjects and personal opinions, but sometimes access to additional information through PR companies can help to support and strengthen one’s opinion…and who knows, as a blogger, you may even need help from PR people in the future!  

Clearly, bloggers’ thoughts on PR people are as individual as their blogs, a difficult challenge for the PR industry but one we should welcome and nurture in order to reach a positive and beneficial relationship built on two-way communication. As panelist and Art’s Marketer for St. David’s Hall, Jen Thornton remarked after the meeting ‘Moral of the Story…PRs and bloggers can all be friends, easy. 

Personally, I found the debate extremely interesting and useful – Beforehand I had always assumed that bloggers wouldn’t want to know us PR people but as the meeting proved, in an age of the social media revolution, the relationship between PRs and bloggers is one that often cannot be avoided and it makes sense that we embrace this relationship and, most importantly, respect what each party is trying to achieve.

Many thanks to all the panelists for some great tips, the hosts Hannah Waldram and Ed Walker and to Warwick Emanuel PR for sponsoring my free glass of wine!

 

by Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens PR

This morning’s Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting boasted an audience of just under 100 business men and women from a total of 57 different businesses – a turn-out that could not only be attributed to the beautiful March morning but to David Anderson, Director General of National Museum Wales.

To a community used to hearing primarily about economic and business matters, David’s presentation was a breath of fresh air, providing the audience with an insight in how Welsh history is, and should be, presented within the 7 museum sites that form the National Museums of Wales.  

As a national of Ireland, Mr. Anderson’s speech on the significance of Welsh history on St. Patrick’s Day was somewhat ironic. However, after attending university in Edinburgh, and working in England before beginning his role as director general, David assured us that his loyalties (in rugby at least) lie with Wales (until indeed they play Ireland). In fact David informed his audience that, after studying Irish history at university, he developed a fascination for national culture and it is through this interest that he aspires to dramatically improve Wales’ National Museum.

History, David suggests, has a close impact on modern society and people are continually addressing and rethinking their relationship with the past. It is therefore fundamentally crucial to have a national museum that reflects the diverse, rich and ever-changing culture of Wales.

The development of the St. Fagin’s site, therefore, not only hopes to appeal to a wider range of audiences but will also merge archeology with history in order to represent a longer history.  Displays will reflect key debates amongst historians such as ‘When was Wales’ aiming to engage new audiences in the key conflicts and exchanges of culture and history whilst providing a better education to its many visitors, both young and old.  

As Mr Anderson suggested, museums such as St Fagans National History Museum are often criticised by scholars for being too entertaining and accessible, but he argues that history is something that should not only be visually appealing to everyone but actively engaging. History isn’t just about material elements but personal experiences and active participation: We all participate in making history so why shouldn’t we all be able to have access to it?

The St Fagans museum aims to embrace the opportunity to offer this level of understanding to its visitors through displays and experiences that step away from traditional visual exhibits, and instead engage our other, often-forgotten, senses.

David Anderson’s innovative forward-thinking and enthusiasm in developing the National Museum of Wales certainly convinced his audience that we greatly need a museum that takes a long, hard look at the history of Wales and that says something to the rest of the world about who we are now and where we have come from.

We therefore cannot help but support David in his quest for the National Museum of Wales to become a showcase for new thinking and a centre for engagement in a national history so close to our hearts.  

The next Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting with guest speaker Dame Gillian Morgan, Permanent Secretary of Welsh Assembly Government will take place on Thursday 28th April 2011. For more details contact Becci Gould on bec@petersensone.com.

Join Cardiff Breakfast Club on LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=3821602&csrfToken=ajax%3A3082159379138751238