BlueSky PR Blog

I'm billing time!

A bit tongue in cheek this but  those of you of a certain vintage will remember a song called Time After Time by Cindi Lauper.       There was a great parody of this called I'm Billing Time which was aimed at the Legal Profession but it also resonated ( just a little bit) with me.       Not with our lovely current clients I hasten to add but a few organisations who never became clients over the the years who haven't quite got what we do.   So all together now -  to the tune of Time After Time:   Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick and think of you Caught up in your campaigns insomnia is nothing new Downstairs at midnight - its coffee time Read a briefcase of documents - I'm billing time   Sometimes you call me up and beg me for free advice You're stealing from me and wondering why I'm not nice My mind, my time... are my merchandise Don't make me say this twice   If you come to my office or call my phone - I'm billing time If you stop me at parties to whine or moan - I'm billing time  

Is your story never ending?

I should start by apologising to everyone for trying to redeem myself through this blog post. I promise that by the end of it there will be some food for thought. So bear with me.   Yesterday, myself and a couple of my colleagues attended a training course on how to create effective presentations led by David Josephs. The aim of it was clear. At the end of the training we were given the task of putting together a three minute presentation on a desired topic. This was going to be a competition (so I put my warrior hat on).   We can present on anything? My chance to make everyone fall in love with… a fairy-tale (my friends will know this is very typical of me). There I was, a very competitive 5’5’’, well rounded, glasses on, PR professional presenting on… A Never Ending Story (Michael Ende). I was poetic and confident and had the perfect story to tell. I was also ranting, did not respect time and LOST.

If you want to use an intern - pay them!

The unpaid intern debate is back in the news this week with announcements that HMRC will be probing the exploitation of interns in the PR industry. This comes on the back of reports that, of the 100  firms reported by Intern Aware, an incredible 10% were either PR agencies or companies advertising PR roles. Now forgive me for potentially going off on a rant here, but is it really necessary for PR – and indeed any industry – to use unpaid talent? In my view, if an individual at any level, and regardless of their background, is doing work for a company which it deems necessary, that person should receive payment for their services. Yes an intern will require a level of training and perhaps even more hand holding than someone with more experience would, but they can also prove invaluable for the business.

Is there really a gender pay gap among female professionals?

  As it is International Women's Day - and never one to shirk controversy, I thought this may be an apt post for today.  It was prompted by some interesting research I came across from one or our business education clients which suggests that women are under represented in high paying jobs not because of discrimination - but because they are not applying for them. Professor Roxana Barbulescu, of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, says “Women are taking themselves out of the running for certain jobs. When they evaluate different possible career tracks they already have the assumption that their applications may be unsuccessful. This is combined with a preference for jobs with better work-life balances and a lack of identity with more stereotypically masculine jobs, such as you may find in the finance industry. In a sense they pre-empt what they think the employers’ decision will be, and opt-out first. ”

Why I wouldn't employ Adam!

I'm sure most of you are aware of the story about Adam, an unemployed graduate who has blown his last £500 on a billboard ad with a huge picture of himself and a link to his website  The Telegraph reports that, "The 24-year-old from the Isle of Wight is yet to be offered his much sought-after first job in television production."   Now don't get me wrong - I am all for innovation and enterprise - and I really do hope he gets the job that he wants but....   His on-line CV says nothing about what value he can add, and what his previous experience has taught him about the industry he is interested in - it's a wasted opportunity. He says he has sent over 200 CVs but that it is difficult to get across his talent on paper. So why not have a blog with examples of his work and send that instead?  Where is his LinkedIn profile? Why isn't he linking in with media production professionals? Why isn't he joining relevant LinkedIn groups and engaging with industry professionals?
Is our media sexist?

Is our media sexist?

For a long time, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not there is sexism in the media. The treatment of Meghan Markle and the press’ ability to turn a blind eye to Boris’ antics when they chose not to with Theresa May has brought this issue to the forefront once more.

Being a good employer - It's the small things that matter

I was talking to a fellow business owner the other week and he was bemoaning the fact that he couldn't afford to put a decent employee benefits package together.  "It's so difficult to compete with the big guys when they have their gym memberships, private healthcare and big employee engagement programmes."   I asked him what he did to engage  his employees - he said "well nothing - as I've said, I can't really afford it." This surprised me.  I'm not going to pretend I am some great benevolent employer but there are lots of small things a business can do to make their employees feel valued and engaged.  For one thing we always buy a birthday present and a card for our staff, we buy ice creams when it's hot; we are really flexible when it comes to people needing to come in late or leave early and when our four graduates passed their induction we bought them chocolate Olympic medals.   We also invited then all to dinner the day before they started so we could all get to know each other. We  close for Christmas week and   give away a few extra days of holiday rather then making staff take it out of their allowance.  We also give staff £50 when they join to buy a picture for our meeting room - so that there's a bit of everyone's personality in there - as well as something to remember people by if they leave.

“Leave politics alone, for your own safety!” A journalist in Kathmandu

Hi, I’m Freddie, the latest of the four new recruits to join BlueSky. The reason for my delayed arrival was due to a journalism internship I was completing in Kathmandu, one that represented a stark reminder to me that the health of the UK press is not in the terminal state of decline that many suggest. I returned from Nepal to news that David Cameron had been signing off his texts with the acronym ‘LOL’ to Rebecca Brooks (which he understood to be ‘lots of love’), further exposing the cosy partnership that exists between the tabloid press and politics in the UK. Of course we have every reason to begrudge this situation where politicians often pander to the attention of journalists, however some nations dream for a system where what the media prints has a genuine effect on government. Few places exhibit this better than Nepal where my experiences with the media were chaotic to say the least.
BlueSky's latest recruit - Kerry Gill

BlueSky's latest recruit - Kerry Gill

Hi, my name is Kerry and I am one of four new additions to the BlueSky PR team. This is my first venture into the world of PR, and despite having a lot to learn I’m looking forward to getting involved and showing people (including me) what I’m capable of… after I’ve finished the training programme that is! My ideal job hasn’t always been PR, and until recently I’d channelled my energies towards journalism. Writing has always been my passion, and as a student I ensured I found work with local radio stations and newspapers. I went on to complete a degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2008.
BlueSky's newest recruit - Vickie Collinge

BlueSky's newest recruit - Vickie Collinge

Hi I’m Vickie, the latest recruit at BlueSky PR. Having graduated in PR and Journalism nearly four years ago I jumped straight into the PR world with a graduate role in a communications agency, where I tried my hand at various PR elements in several industries. Since then I have narrowed down my interests to the HR and Benefits industry and have worked on PR campaigns with key industry leaders over the past two years. In my new role at BlueSky PR I will be bringing my background in the sector to new clients in the recruitment, RPO and benefits industry. My enthusiasm for writing and public relations started during my college years where an interesting combination of media studies and English literature introduced me to the world of creative writing and journalism. I’ve also recently completed a course in digital marketing and am a real advocate of social media as a PR tool – if you want to hear about some of the latest social media news, trends and tips follow my twitter account @VickieCollinge

Horrible Bosses

While recently watching the summer blockbuster Horrible Bosses, I began to wonder why I, and the cinema full of people, found the tales of bullying, sexual discrimination and law breaking in the workplace so hilarious. The story of three friends seeking revenge on slave-driving, egotistical bosses who regularly manipulate, humiliate and undermine them provides some very funny dark comic moments. However I soon realised that the audience were able to identify closely with the protagonists, leaving them thankful for the real life managers they have!

Why people power did not close The News of the World

I bought the last copy of The News of The World last Sunday. Not because I supported the paper in any way shape or form but, from a professional point of view, I wanted to own a piece of publishing history. I can't remember a time in my whole life ( almost half a century)  an instance of a newspaper closing down in the midst of such a scandal.


Having just heard the new phrase ‘Connectiquette’ I decided to look into the etiquette of managing connections online. Technology has brought us all closer together.  Social networks have provided platforms making it easy to connect with long-lost friends and family, new friends, business colleagues and other people who have similar interests, aspirations and goals. They have also become crucial in job search and career management.
BlueSky's newest recruit

BlueSky's newest recruit

Hi I’m Andie, the newest member of the BlueSky team. Having studied Public Relations at Bournemouth University for four years and working in industry for a further two, I can honestly say that I love the world of communications. I have been lucky enough to be involved in some interesting and unique projects in the past, and I will be bringing on board  all of the skills and lessons I have learnt along the way.

My first three months in PR

It’s been three months since I took my first nervous steps into the BlueSky office, and I have to say they’ve flown by. As a newcomer to PR, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. My

Career fears

At a recent presentation training course, run by the brilliant David Josephs, we briefly discussed our fears about presenting. After all, if we’re so nervous, we must be afraid of something!

Would you hire Charlie Brooker?

Reading through Andy Headworth's mostly fabulous 2010 PDF, '50 Top Tips for Jobseekers' this lunch time, I came across one tip in particular that, I'll admit, made my stomach lurch.

Is Max Clifford giving PR bad PR?

Those of you in the PR industry know that most PR companies are filled with passionate, intelligent people dedicated to helping great brands and businesses to communicate with their

What makes a great leader?

In my humble experience of the workplace I’ve already come across many management and HR styles. Some worked well for some personalities, some were great all-rounders and some proved ineffective. I can’t claim to be a manager or a leader, nor an expert on HR, but it’s rare to hear from a subordinate perspective, what makes a good manager. The best managers I’ve ever had all possessed the following qualities, and I’d even go so far as to assert that you can’t go far wrong if you’re:

The Daily Mail – pretty rubbish prose or PR pros?

There’s no such thing as bad publicity… right? The Daily Mail doesn’t seem to think so. In fact, it seems that every other day

Work vs the dinner party

  The latest headline to catch my eye was this: “Hosting a dinner party is ‘more stressful than going to work’”. Now, I can perhaps understand if you have a very easy job (was going to insert