Marketing numbers will stop the misunderstandings

Marketing numbers will stop the misunderstandings

Write a blog post they said.
Introduce yourself as the newest member of the team they said.
Maybe share some of your top marketing tips they said.
I’ll start with the easy one. I’m Andy Jones, Marketing Manager and BlueSky PR’s latest recruit.
I’ve spent all my career in sales, marketing and communications in sectors as diverse as cars, policing and even netball. It’s fair to say I like variety. Away from work you’ll usually find me at the gym. You won’t though, find me pounding a treadmill or pumping iron. You’re more likely to find

how to write a pitch email to a journalist

How to make your email pitch stand out

Most journalists will receive at least 15 email pitches coming into their inbox on any one given day. Times that by five and you are talking about at the very least 75 a week – and that’s probably a minimum. So rather than let it put you off, here’s how to write a pitch email to a journalist that it reaches the top of their pile and makes it onto their editorial agenda?

Keep these tips in mind for pitching success.
Make your story relevant to the publication or media outlet
While the latest gizmo may be causing

increase social media shares for your content

How to get more shares for your content

What’s the point in creating wonderful blogs and providing insightful comment if no one ever reads it?
Incredible thoughts deserve to be heard! We deal with plenty of them from pioneering professors and ambitious students. We thought it would be great to offer up our ideas on how to increase social media shares for the great content that you put out.
I spoke with our resident social media expert here at BlueSky, Dan Stobbs, and he gave me his top four tips –
Use visual content to increase social media shares
Research shows that social media

Securing meetings for your faculty abroad

7 steps to securing meetings for your faculty abroad

As institutions strive to become ever more visible around the world and business education programmes become increasingly global in their teaching, business school faculty are required to spend greater amounts of time on the road.
Whether accompanying MBA students to emerging markets for international study trips, attending overseas recruitment events or speaking at industry events, such excursions provide the ideal opportunity for communications teams to raise the profile of their institutions – and their faculties – at a local level by sharing their expertise with local media.
But securing the chance for your professors to sit down with

Ingredients for a successful story

5 Ingredients for a successful story

Not all news is news.
And any PR professional doing their job properly knows that securing quality media coverage isn’t just about flinging every bit of information a client shares with them out into the world and hoping some of it gets noticed. We spend a great deal of time sifting through the information our clients share with us to find the stories that will make the best impact with their target audiences.
But sometimes those stories that can be media gold aren’t always the easiest to spot, or even the easiest to communicate clearly and convincingly to

pr challenges

Top PR challenges for business schools and universities

We recently ran a poll asking business school and university PR and communications professionals what the most challenging aspect of their job is.
The results – top PR challenges

Writing impactful press releases
Achieving top tier coverage
Pitching research
Arranging international meetings for senior faculty

Writing impactful press releases
Our top tips:

Have a clear objective when writing and distributing a press release
Where possible keep it under 400 words
Use a headline that grabs a journalists attention straight away
Don’t be afraid to be controversial
Ensure the first line relates directly to the headline

MaKi London 2017

MaKi London 2017 Business Media Conference

The BlueSky Education team were out in force at MaKi London 2017 this week at both the Imperial College London and King’s College London locations.
There were a number of excellent presentations and great take away tips from Media Panels including the likes of the Wall Street Journal, QS, The Economist, The Independent, The Conversation, The Times, CNBC, The Sunday Times, The FT, Times Higher Ed, Muck Rack, International Business Times, BBC Worldwide, Bloomberg and BlueSky Education’s own Ian Hawkings to name a few!
Ian’s presentation – So, the press release is dead?

Top takeaway

Winner: PR Champion

How to become a PR champion

You have to believe in it yourself before you can convince other people of the power of PR and become a PR champion.
And why wouldn’t you?
Bill Gates has been quoted in countless articles, publications, blog posts, graphic pull-outs and across social media for saying:
“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” 
And there is a very good reason for that – PR is the key communications medium because it has that third party credibility that any marketing or advertising, no matter how ‘clever’ or ‘targeted’

How to measure the success of PR: The Value of PR

How to demonstrate the value of your press coverage

For as long as public relations has existed, the industry has needed to demonstrate the value of press coverage – and that’s not easy.

There’s no accepted standard for PR measurement
AVE, a seriously flawed concept based on advertising value equivalency, has long since been rejected by the majority of reputable PR professionals. Its method is undeniably crude and inaccurate.
Then the Barcelona Principles, a set of seven voluntary guidelines established by the industry to measure the efficacy of campaigns, has been widely criticised for being impractical.
But we are still left with clients

The most hated buzzwords

Buzzwords: The most productive meeting in the world

‘You know what will make our meeting more productive? Buzzwords!’ exclaimed the millennial, accustomed to throwing disruptive innovation around the boardroom.
‘Buzzwords??’ cried the Generation X, lean leadership guru as he planned his exit strategy.
Tracey, MD of BlueSky PR, agreed with this 110%. She thought it was quite a unique idea. Not totally unique, you understand, just a bit.
‘Well let’s just be clear about one thing…” started Chris Johnson.
But before he could finish his thought process, Kerry had shelved his discussion. ‘I think the really important point is that we touch base on

PR and the news agenda

PR opinions on topics in the business press

Getting in on the conversation is a well-trodden means to gain media coverage. This piggy-back method by responding or talking about key issues on the news agenda can be a highly productive. It can help to enhance reputation or credibility by showcasing the client’s knowledge and expertise in fields at the centre of the news agenda.
The list of subjects and content is almost endless and can range across a multitude of issues in the news, from leadership and organisational change to cyber-crime and whether robots are taking over from us.
To achieve results and get the opinions

Fake news

What Fake News Means For PR

I’m already bored of hearing about ‘fake news’.
When Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, he brought with him a phrase that won’t leave us alone – fake news – and while many of his statements are controversial or false, they generate a staggering amount of free media coverage.
Still, many of us were left thinking that the lines between fact and fiction should not be blurred for the sake of exposure.
What’s more, we’ve seen that fake news spreads like wildfire. Social media users share in a frenzy which is further amplified

Skill Your PR Skills

A career in PR would be unsuccessful without….

Pinning down the exact qualities that make someone a success in PR is a hard task. Some bloggers don’t bother to delve deeper than the obvious; organised, good communicator, able to multitask. But I’m not sure that goes very far in demonstrating why you would be a great PR, rather than just a good employee, or the PR skills you have to offer.
Then there are those who are oddly specific, or even philosophical about the task, perhaps romanticising their own qualities or copying directly from their own CV when they recommend that you are able to synchronise swim

Why choosing the right image is important

What does your picture say? Why choosing the right image is so important

This post was originally published 23/01/2014 but after revamping the images we share via social media alongside our content this week, it occurred to me that it’s perhaps even more relevant today.
A picture is worth a thousand words – that old cliché just won’t sink beneath the myriad of professional advice
It’s the idea that a still image (or perhaps video lasting a few seconds) can convey ideas and emotions that would take streams of words. And it may be a well-worn saying but, the fact remains, a well-chosen picture can really boost well-written text.
There’s the classic

effective media spokesperson

How to be an effective media spokesperson

When you step into the role of media spokesperson, it is full of challenges and pitfalls that could prove costly. But rather than viewing the dangers, it should be seen as the land of opportunity that can take your organisation forward to enhance its brand and reputation.
Press and broadcast coverage in the media is one of the most powerful ways to build your professional reputation—and showcase your organisation.

What makes an effective media spokesperson?
It is crucial that you know your organisation, exactly what it does and how. You need to know your people and

Candidate attraction: How to attract faculty

How to attract faculty

Business schools and universities are successful for a number of reasons, their longevity, their location, their specialities, but their life blood is the quality of their teaching and research – and for this they need the best academics.  It’s a highly competitive global market and there are never enough good academics about – so focusing on how to attract faculty is key.
How do you optimise your chances of getting the best people?
Firstly, you need to get on their radar.  You need to be publicising your institution.  As we’ve discussed previously, PR is more effective than advertising

Bruce & Carly: Work for BlueSky Pr - PR Jobs

PR Jobs – Work For BlueSky PR

We’re hiring: PR Account Executive
BlueSky PR, a boutique communications consultancy specialising in the higher & business education, recruitment, HR and talent management sectors, is looking for a smart, ambitious graduate to join their growing higher education practice.
The ideal candidate will either be fresh out of a university degree or have up to a year of work experience. They will write well and be a strong communicator. Initiative, determination and a curious mind are essential.
We offer flexible working hours, a great team environment and have a supportive learning culture.
Our client-base spans the world – from

How to get attention: How to write a headline

How to write a headline

The art of writing catchy headlines is the difference between your article, or blog, reaching the eyes of your targeted readers – or disappearing into the ether as they scroll / flick disinterestedly past. Learning how to write a headline is key to both PR and content marketing.
Many a well-written article, even those with ground-breaking content, has slipped under the radar because the title didn’t entice readers.
So, how do you write a headline that gets clicked?
Pique an audience’s interest and grab their attention.
Headline dos

Consider your audience
Be bold – or even contrary –

Why journalists won't quote your client

Why journalists won’t quote your client…

Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put in, things just don’t work out. You might think your client is the ideal person to feature in a journalist’s article about the advancements of online education or the gender pay gap, you’ve swiftly pitched them to the journalist listing their various attributes, and you might have even submitted a comment or secured a phone interview. But, when the article is published your client has not managed to make it into the text – so why don’t journalists quote your client?
It’s frustrating? Yes. And it can happen for a myriad

Working with other institutions

How working with other institutions benefits all

Do you often find yourself missing out when looking to attract mainstream media attention with your school’s news?
Whether it’s the statistics surrounding class make-up, faculty research or a particularly astute comment from the Dean on the state of modern business education, communications staff are often faced with journalists turning their institution’s news down, or ignoring it entirely, regardless of how genuinely interesting it may be.
The grim reality is that the relevance, and thus the impact of the information they’re sharing with the media often decreases the further it travels outside of the school’s immediate community, even when these

PR vs. Advertising: Advertising and PR

PR Vs Advertising

Raising the profile of an institution, a professor, a new specialist centre, or the launch of a programme? You’ve probably thought about public relations as well as advertising.
Both have their place in the marketing world, but is one better than the other?
What is the main difference between advertising and PR?
“PR provides third-party advocacy for your product or service,” said Ian Hawkings, Head of Practice here at BlueSky Education. “It lends a credibility that advertising simply can’t.”
Essentially, this is the most important point.
Advertising is an organisation shouting about itself. Apply now!

Get ahead of the news cycle

Getting ahead of the news cycle

It is hard to remember a time when Donald Trump was not dominating the daily news cycle. Reporters at the NYTimes, BBC, Washington Post, and other media are working round the clock to share the latest pronouncements and orders from the Oval Office, or interpret the latest tweet.
Go back to last summer and the UK’s Brexit decision achieved similar media saturation. Looking ahead, elections this year in the Netherlands, France and Germany will keep the press busy, while the Communist Party in China organises its 19th National Congress in the autumn, which will confirm the leadership and political

Is the press release dead?

PR – beyond the press release

The debate about whether the press release is dead or not has been raging for as long as I can remember.
I came across a Gorkana whitepaper this week discussing the issue – with various PR practitioners giving their opinion. Some were clearly big advocates of the press release, whilst others were more circumspect. But one thing was clear – all of those asked found them useful in one way or another.
So, is the press release dead?
PR means many things depending on whether you are promoting products, people, businesses or ideas. But the core function of

improve international student recruitment

How to use PR to improve student recruitment

It’s a given now that every business school wants a diverse MBA class and is presumably recruiting across the world.
The fall back thing that everybody does is to advertise.  The problem with advertising of course is that people are becoming more worldly and cynical about adverts.  Therefore, by comparison, PR is very powerful because it can tell stories and engage people, and has that third party seal of approval – it is not just you saying something, it’s a journalist writing about it.
What type of content successfully improves student recruitment?  What really works?
The voice

Get buy-in from faculty - faculty speaking at a business conference

How to get buy-in from faculty and how to manage internal stakeholders

How to get buy-in from faculty
Firstly, to get buy-in from faculty, it’s about building a relationship.  It could be by meeting up with them formally or in a social context.  Hear something they say in a lecture to develop into an article, use content from a book they’ve written, or spot a subject in the news that resonates with their sphere.
As a Communications and PR professional at a business school or university, the key is to network and get to know your members of faculty, understand their knowledge and research.  Get a sense of whether they are


Developing a PR strategy for rankings

Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. From the FT World University Rankings to the QS World University Rankings; from the Forbes MBA ranking to the FT Masters in Management, and the Executive MBA rankings. So, have you developed your PR strategy for rankings?
With so many rankings on offer, including the many national rankings that business schools and universities also face, the PR office is under increasing pressure to intelligently navigate this media minefield.  Deans and Vice-chancellors, faculty and coms staff, students and alumni are among the

MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award

Is an MBA is essential to entrepreneurial success?

It was for the Association of MBA’s MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award finalists.
As a judge for the award, I was fortunate enough to meet some fantastic contestants who demonstrated enormous levels of passion for their projects.  I was impressed by not only the quality of the business ventures each candidate presented but also the way their respective MBAs had contributed to their success.
So who were the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award finalists?

Natalie Cartwright & Jake Tyler – IE Business School –
Nikhil Hegde – Leeds University Business School – 6Degree
Andrea Rinaldo – MIP

Career in PR

Why a journalism degree is helpful for a career in PR

What do you get out of a degree in journalism that’s most useful when starting your career in PR?

How to write
How to conduct an interview
The demands on a journalist
How they like to be pitched to
What they want to read about
Considerations beyond the written word

How to write
The first and most obvious thing a journalism degree teaches you, which is essential for a career in PR, is how to use words effectively. You learn how to condense a story into a short pitch. When writing a press release (which is a bit

Tips on how to deal with a PR crisis

Most businesses will have to face a PR crisis of some kind eventually – here are four tips on what to do when that day comes:
PR crisis tip 1: Appoint a spokesperson
Decide who you want to speak on behalf of the company – make sure that they are the ONLY person authorised to do so and that everyone in the organisation knows this.
This can be difficult within bigger organisations with multiple senior managers, board members and high-profile stakeholders. But it’s the key to handling a crisis and sticking to your message.
PR crisis

James Turning: Business school student profile

Best business school student profiles of 2016

From the US Military to the MBA, to business school students’ fears about Brexit, and lessons from Chilecon Valley, we spoke to some fascinating students in 2016.
Some of the fantastic people studying at the schools and universities we’ve worked with this year
Charity Founder
Inspiring PhD student from the University of Edinburgh Business School, James Turing, set up a charity to send computers to African villages – all in the name of his great-uncle, Alan Turing, the father of modern computing.
The Turing Trust has installed more than 2,500 computers in rural schools across Ghana, Malawi and

Press coverage of academic research

Best research in the media 2016

From how to improve online dating success – top tip: forget the anonymity feature – to how to navigate retirement, 2016 was a varied year in the world of press releases and pitches for our clients here at BlueSky Education.  As another year ended, I looked back on the research I worked on during the past 12 months and highlighted some of my favourites.
When research findings go viral
This time last year, I worked on studies into ways to tackle obesity through increasing intake of pulses, such as lentils and beans, and why handsome men might struggle

Best PR Campaigns of 2016 & PR Predictions for 2017

2016 Best PR Campaigns & PR Predictions for 2017

The Best PR Campaigns of 2016
Citizens advertising take-over service (CATS)
A kick-starter campaign to get brands and agencies to think differently about the power of their influence.

Why does this campaign deserve a place on the best PR campaigns of 2016 list?
It’s visual.  It’s creative.  It’s unexpected.
Get fit with Kwik Fit
A new tyre based fitness program designed to engage female audiences with the brand.

Why does this campaign deserve a place on the best PR campaigns of 2016 list?
More than just a publicity stunt – actually delivered exercise classes.  Made people laugh

Media advice when a journalist says yes

Media Advice: Essential steps when a journalist says yes

You’ve spoken with your client and clued yourself up on the topic at hand, you’ve devised an appropriate strategy for press activity, you’ve created an effective pitch and researched the most appropriate press outlets and, finally, you’ve got the journalist to give your client the go-ahead. Job done, right?

Media advice: Managing the interview process
Though we’re told time and again that the difficult part of the job is getting your client in front of a journalist, in reality that is only half of the battle. The really tricky part, sometimes, is keeping the journalist interested

World Map International PR Strategy

How to develop an international PR strategy

Seven tips for developing an international PR strategy:
1.      Build a cultural bridge
The concept of Guanxi – building a relationship – is at the heart of media relations in China, and will require you to devote time, and often physical presence to nurture. What sets Guanxi apart from the types of networks we are used to in the West is the strong sense of obligation inherent within it. Favours are always returned, possibly in the short term, possibly much, much later, but the initial act is never forgotten.
2.      Find comparisons that resonate
How would you best


Why we should all be producing more infographics

Research suggests that articles that feature relevant pictures receive up to 94% more views than articles that are made up of pure text. So it’s pretty surprising that so much content is still posted without relevant visual aids, especially considering that just over 65% of us are visual learners. Ensuring that your content is accompanied by a relevant photo or graphic is also key for social sharing, where characters often limit your ability to communicate key messages.
Infographics are a great way to convey information in an engaging and memorable way, after all you want your audience to retain

like and share

Why and how to coax employees to share your content

Why should your employees be sharing your content?  What are the benefits to you as a business school, university or business?
Your office phone might go to voice mail after 5pm.  You might stop answering your emails.  But for the majority, prime social media browsing time is just beginning.  We browse during our commutes.  We browse while we’re watching TV.  We browse just before we go to bed at night and again when we first wake up in the morning.  Alerts come through on our phones the moment we receive a message or we’re tagged in a post.  Social


How business schools can engage with companies

There are various stakeholders within a target company with whom it might be appropriate to discuss the topic of business education. Those in the C-suite, for example, are likely to take an interest in the training of their managers and executives.  However, for the purpose of this post we are specifically looking at what is possibly the key group of stakeholders – HR.
Why HR?
HR is a logical place to start. This is because a large part of the HR remit is developing talent within the organisation and shaping an environment that is attractive for people to join. Every

PRvent Calendar – 24 PR tips for the festive season

We’ve pulled together 24 of the best PR tips from our blog, videos, press and social media to create a PR tips advent calendar for you.  Every day we’ll be adding a new PRvent calendar tip and sharing it across our social media channels.
Click the date below to see each days PR tip and read the associated blog post.

Is Trump’s presidential victory good for PR?

Donald Trump is an American businessman, a reality television personality and, now, he is President of the United States.
Trump’s victory in the presidential elections means many different things for the world’s people. He may have been the subject of much controversy but he will lead one of the most powerful countries on Earth from the Oval Office. Unsurprisingly, this is top of the news agenda.
But what does Trump’s win mean for PR?
We use the news agenda to tailor press releases and create timely pitches, but is there a risk of being associated with Trump? Or


New member of the BlueSky team

I’m Chris, the latest recruit to join BlueSky PR. 
Until earlier this year I was PR Manager at Ashridge Business School where over the course of nearly six years I substantially increased media coverage and brand awareness. I worked with faculty and business managers to source strong news lines as well as building a strong rapport with the business education journalists.
So when the opportunity to join BlueSky came along it was an ideal match to utilise my knowledge and experience gained in the business school arena.
Before that I worked in a variety of PR roles in both agency

Why compelling brand messaging is key to effective PR

Some business schools that are world-renowned – Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton to name a few – can rely on little else but their name. However, for the great number of other institutions operating in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is essential to promote what they represent.
Who are you?
Communication is now faster and wider-reaching than ever, yet, this also comes with the drawback of dwindling attention spans. Thus, getting your message across clearly has become more difficult. So, in an age where few are willing to accept that what you are selling is actually unique, how can you establish

Taylor Swift

What Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber Would Read if They Lived in the UK

Media consumption in the UK – what people are reading online and offline
Gorkana hosted an insightful webinar this week on what people are reading on and offline in the UK, based on their latest UKPulse media research, and this is what they shared…
What are millennials reading?

Sorry to break it to you Kim Kardashian but Gorkana says you’re too old to be a millennial… when Gorkana talks millennials, it’s thinking more Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber (if they lived in the UK), and what they’re reading might surprise you.  Millennials regularly read the Times, the

Washington DC

Donald Trump, Politics and PR

Washington DC; Home of American democracy. Seat of the US government. The Lincoln Memorial, the White House and Capitol Hill. And, of course, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business – the location for this year’s Business Access Media (BAM) conference.

Business Access Media Conference (BAM)
The idea for BAM is simple: PR and communications representatives from the world’s top business schools meeting with the top media in the US. Panels this year featured writers and editors from the likes of The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Aside from extensive discourse on how best

Rules of Engagement in a Digital World – Part 4 of 4

The third part of the blog mini-series, which is based on a recent white paper, focussed on measuring the ROI. This post, the fourth and final part will look at what the paper found in relation to social media policy and the right type of engagement. Check out parts one, two and three if you haven’t already and would like to before reading this.

Trust or control?
While social media has presented numerous opportunities to engage with a much wider audience, those opportunities have also presented threats. Firms often feel the need to exercise control over what is being posted on

Developing a PR strategy for business school rankings

Feeling under fire from a barrage of rankings? Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. The wide variety of published tables from a range of sources such as Forbes, The Economist and the FT means that many schools constantly see significant rises and falls. With so many rankings on offer, the PR office is under increasing pressure from Deans, Vice-Chancellors and stakeholders to intelligently navigate this media minefield, share the news of rankings success, and produce a solid defence when things go the other way. So what should your rankings

Why compelling brand messaging is key to effective PR

Some business schools that are world-renowned – Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton to name a few – can rely on little else but their name. However, for the great number of other institutions operating in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is essential to promote what they represent.
Who are you?
Communication is now faster and wider-reaching than ever, yet, this also comes with the drawback of dwindling attention spans. Thus, getting your message across clearly has become more difficult. So, in an age where few are willing to accept that what you are selling is actually unique, how can you establish

Getting the best out of a media conference – BlueSky Education’s top five tips!

Every PR professional welcomes the opportunity to get face-to-face with relevant journalists, building relationships and understanding what that writer is looking for with regards to ideas and material. However, against a backdrop of shrinking newsrooms, an increasing number of key writers are choosing – or being forced down – the freelance route, making such opportunities hard to come by. Thus, dedicated media conferences – bringing comms professionals and journalists together – have consequently become key dates in the calendar. But how do you successfully grab the attention of a key writer when everyone else is trying to do the same?

Video Marketing and the Curse of the Bad Directors

Business schools and universities seem to have finally started using the power of video marketing. It now has a leading role in their strategy when marketing their brand, student experience and vast amount of knowledge and learning they are sitting on. But not many are doing it right. So where are they going wrong? Here are the top four things to think about before you let your inner Spielberg loose.

Their videos are too long
Average attention spans have reduced from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds since 2000 and are only getting shorter. The optimal video length is between

Top 3 tips on how academics can get the most media coverage for themselves (and their school)

In the last blog the focus was on Henry Mintzberg of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and his unrivalled profile within the management academic world. But not every professor will be willing to take his fiercely critical approach. Sir Cary Cooper is a US born professor, who has adopted the UK as his home and, in doing so, has helped to dramatically raise the profile of his parent b-school at the University of Lancaster. Although he is not beyond the occasional biting of the business education hand, this is most certainly not the basis of his ubiquity

Top 4 tips for academics and their business schools on using the media

Henry Mintzberg of Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University has been shaking up the world of business education for decades – perhaps most spectacularly with the publication of ‘Managers not MBAs’ in 2004. Although aged 76, when many might be more interested in the garden than the boardroom, he certainly isn’t done yet. So what can biz ed’s top maverick teach his fellow academics (and the in-house comms professionals wary of loose cannons on the deck) about how best to use the media for the benefit of themselves and the schools they work for?
Say something clear and

On the back foot – BlueSky Education’s top 3 tips to turning around your school’s bad media coverage

In 2010, the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Canada decided to break free of Quebec’s taxation-funded model in order to self-fund, and significantly raised its MBA tuition fees. The government did not like this and not only fined the school $2million but also forced it to sacrifice a further $1.2million in subsidies. Peter Todd, the school’s Dean at the time (now at HEC Paris), had to come forward and deal with the inevitable press queries, and did so with some aplomb. In almost every piece of coverage he came across as thoughtful, understanding and having the school’s

Developing a PR strategy for business school rankings – BlueSky Education’s top 5 tips!

Feeling under fire from a barrage of rankings? Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. The wide variety of published tables from a range of sources such as Forbes, The Economist and the FT means that many schools constantly see significant rises and falls. With so many rankings on offer, the PR office is under increasing pressure from Deans, Vice-Chancellors and stakeholders to intelligently navigate this media minefield, share the news of rankings success, and produce a solid defence when things go the other way. So what should your rankings

BlueSky PR is hiring: Marketing guru needed!

An exciting new opportunity has arisen in the BlueSky headquarters for a keen, mean, marketing machine to come and whisk our fast-growing business into its next chapter.
You’ll be in charge of content marketing for lead generation; media relations and blog outreach, the management of the company’s social media channels and event management.
You will be our first team member responsible for marketing, so some previous marketing experience in a B2B or professional services environment, a sound grasp of social media platforms and an aptitude for writing great content are crucial. If that sounds like you then this


A lesson in poetry with John Byrne

When Poets & Quants launched, it may have seemed like just another business school website covering campus news, rankings views and admissions advice for would-be MBA hopefuls. But the Editor-in-Chief of the site was none other than John Byrne, former editor at Bloomberg Business Week, who introduced the first MBA ranking back in 1988.
So it should come as no surprise that Poets & Quants is now among the most influential and widely read sites in the business school world, attracting over 2 million page views each month from around a quarter of a million unique users. If you

Food for the mind and body

Latest PR initiative offers food for the mind and body

The idea is simple. A member of the team hosts a session to teach the rest of us about a particular topic that’s relevant to our roles in public relations. This person may have been on a training course, and tells us all about what they’ve learnt, or the subject might be based on something that they’re already an expert in.
It’s food for the mind, as well as the body.
For the inaugural lunch, I shared my experiences on a recent training course called ‘Planning and Managing PR Campaigns’.
I enjoyed leading this session and I


How not to do it – lessons from Volkswagen six months on

What comes to mind when I mention ‘Volkswagen’? No doubt your initial reaction would be to associate the car manufacturers with the not so little mishap they encountered last year. The recent edition of Wildfire discusses how Volkswagen (VW) have become the perfect example of how not to do public relations, and the practical lessons to be learnt from the company’s faults. To be more specific, I am referring to last September when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Volkswagen had been misleading their consumers into trusting that the car engines were environmentally friendly. The unfortunate reality revealed itself


Attention education PRs: Don’t send that press release!

Perhaps your school climbed one place in the latest ranking. Should you send out a press release to tell the world, or hold off because next month you might drop in another ranking?
Bear in mind that reporters and editors receive a tsunami of emails announcing the latest rankings successes, so you are more likely to secure local editorial coverage, but beyond the numbers there might be an underlying reason for your strong performance.
An editor is far more interested in a wider trend that explains the results, or the return on a particular strategy that your school

Why Ronaldo is wrong and you should get on with your colleagues

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the news this morning, for once not due to his goal-scoring exploits, but for highlighting that he doesn’t think it’s important that professionals get on with their colleagues. The Portuguese footballer stated, “When I was at Manchester winning the Champions League with players like Giggs, Ferdinand and Scholes our discussions were limited to ‘good morning’ and ‘good night. But when we were on the pitch together there was total understanding. I don’t need to go out for dinner with Benzema or Bale. What counts is what happens on the pitch.”
While it would be remiss to


Turning a crisis into valuable media coverage

The knowledge of how to navigate a PR crisis is unquestionably a tool that every communications department wants to be armed with. So here it is – we’re giving you gold dust, as our recent edition of Wildfire features three key pieces of advice on how to turn a difficult political situation into a valuable piece of media coverage for your business school. The expert giving the insight is the current Dean at HEC Paris, and the former Dean of Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Canada, Peter Todd.
In 2010 Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill

Free PR

Helping people in need? Why we’re offering free PR for student projects

After Typhoon Haiyan devastated areas across the Philippines, a project spearheaded by MBA students from The National University of Singapore set to restore clean water to those worst hit.
Sounds like a project worthy of publicity, right? We thought so!
BlueSky Education has developed a dedicated service to provide pro bono PR support to a business school in our ‘give something back’ project. The winning NUS initiative from the first competition has since featured in a wide range of media across the world, including The Atlantic’s City Lab and The Times of India.
Now we’re looking for


Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR

Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR. Volume1, Issue 3. To download the full report, please click here.
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Developing a PR strategy for rankings
Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. From the FT World University Rankings to the…

Growing Our Own

‘Growing our own’ in more ways than one

At BlueSky we’re all about ‘growing our own’ in terms of talented people. It’s a concept that is integral to who we are as a company, and now it would seem that thanks to those same talented people the BlueSky family is growing in numbers once again.
Upon the receipt of the first of what we’re sure will be many baby photos, we’d like to congratulate Steph King, head of our recruitment practice, on her lovely new arrival. As well as taking the time to wish her luck for the potentially or rather, unquestionably, hectic months to come.


Halloween: a lesson in bad taste

Oh Halloween, a time we’ve all come to love, cherish and totally misunderstand the origins of. Unless, that is, you are one of those October scrooges who announces that they “don’t do fancy dress” and puts apples in children’s trick-or treat baskets. Or, you know, a druid. Then you can cancel out at least one of the above.
One thing we should all be thankful for is that Halloween is an excellent practice in identifying bad taste and, in fact, allows you all to see a tiny glimpse into the world of PR. So when you remind your


When will words die?

If we are what we read, we are not well today.
I felt like decreeing the death of news when I opened The Times this morning. I was overwhelmed by the negative headlines (some listed below). I woke up in a great mood – it all went downhill as I got up to speed with the horrible things happening around us.
‘Women don’t understand fracking’
‘Talk Talk site breached in cyberattack’
‘Father of three shot dead by police after family row’
‘Cruyff has lung cancer despite kicking the habit’
‘Sausages are major cancer risk’

Roger Tweedy Q&A

The press release: much maligned but still important

Some say the press release is dying. Judging by the amount of awful examples peddled to journalists and editors daily many would argue that it’s not dying quickly enough.
But I still love the humble press release. Written correctly, it is still an efficient way to get key information to a target in an unfussy and readable way. Done right, a press release can be a thing of real beauty.
Problem is, it’s not often it is done right.
And this is the thing – you can often get better results from a direct email pitch, a good phone call

Bold Tweets

Should we be proud that our tweets are bolder than our talk?

Social media has bred a culture where it’s become far easier for us to express our opinions and impose judgement on others. Whether this is a positive or negative change is debatable, however it’s undeniable that the power social media can have over corporate behaviour has created a shift in our culture.
The past few weeks have presented something of a soap opera in the business sector as the villain of the pharmaceuticals industry that is Martin Shkreli eventually backed down following the backlash of the media after raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5000%. In case

Silly Season

A last hurrah to summer… BlueSky’s best bits of silly season.

So, it’s almost Autumn.
Along with the return of the miserable weather (although let’s be honest, that never really left), the hordes of kids heading back to school (my morning commute has never been slower) and the annoyance I feel at that one shop that insists on putting up a Christmas section (does anyone really need to buy mince pies in September?!), the one good thing that Autumn is bringing with it is a return to sensible, impactful news reporting.
The summer months are typically blighted by what’s become known as “silly season”, where actual news is so


Is PR an alien topic?

Reputedly slower for news are the long, hazy (we wish) summer months. Not only are 99% of the workforce on holiday, but school traffic is a distant memory and we have all just rediscovered Pimms – hardly factors leading to increased crime levels. It just seems that there isn’t much happening. Well, so we thought…
I can’t help but notice that in the last few months, I have increasingly been disgruntled by more and more news articles purporting to let me in on a little secret – aliens exist, they are here and they have always been here.

Why we work more

In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by now, we would only be working 15 hours per week. Though, Keynes never said what we would do with all that leisure time. He was an aristocrat, he would probably want us to write poetry, dance and play the violin. Keynes once said “My only regret in life is that I didn’t drink more champagne”.
Sadly enough (or quite fortunately), his prediction never came to life.  But why exactly is this? His logic at the time made a lot of sense; the economy will grow, employees will become more


3 Personal PR Tips From a New Starter’s Perspective

There’s no perception you should be more aware of than your own. All it takes is Googling a name to get an insight into your character or about seven seconds on average in person before someone has summed up a judgement of your character. Having joined BlueSky PR this week it’s fair to say making a strong first impression has been something of a priority, as it would be for any new starter!
These three tips are yet to fail me when in the pursuit of creating a positive perception:
Awareness of Your Online Image

Degrees For PR

What degree do I need to get into PR?

Which degree is best for a career in PR? There’s no definitive answer.
The PR industry benefits from variety – BlueSky PR certainly does! Languages, humanities, social sciences. We’ve graduated from an array of subjects, and our diverse experiences have all helped us in our careers.
Take BlueSky’s Natalie Bishop who graduated from the University of Sheffield in English and Philosophy. She says her degree taught her there are always alternative ways of phrasing something.
This helps Natalie in PR today, like Steph King, Head of Recruitment Practice at BlueSky, who learnt how to express things clearly

When marketing goes rogue

Earlier today I was sent this fantastic review of a legal firm’s new branding and marketing that is about as off-message as you could possibly get. While you’re perusing photos of hot rod races, yachting and what looks like a man who has been knocked unconscious, remind yourself that this is the website for a legal firm you’re looking at. And that’s not even mentioning the deep philosophising (how does a butterfly feel when it’s in love?)
We don’t expect all advertising, marketing and branding to perfectly replicate what a business does, there has to be some creativity

Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR

Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR. Volume1, Issue 2. To download the full report, please click here.
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Client Q&A with Patricia Rousseau, Communicat…
Patricia Rousseau is the Communications and PR Officer at the Vlerick Business School in Belgium. In this Q&A she discusses her role at Vlerick, w…

NHS Great PR

Why the NHS is showing us how great PR can be

As, Os and Bs are disappearing from our Twitter names, street signs and most recognisable brands to encourage more people to donate blood.
As National Blood Week starts, NHS Blood and Transplant have launched an impressive PR campaign that centres on the hashtag #MissingType.
In an effort to replace more than 200,000 donors who cannot give blood any more, the health service have prompted removing the letters that make up the blood groups. The likes of book retailer Waterstones, chocolate company Green & Black’s and cinema chain Odeon have all dropped their As, Os and Bs in support.

Lessons from fabulous Frankfurt

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl
The words of American Chef Rachel Reichl could have been the ones of MaKi Conference hosts as we walked into a bright lecture room at Frankfurt School of Management and Finance in Germany. The room vibrated with enthusiasm and good will. It was to become to home of some of the greatest PRs in the world for the coming days.
Last week I attended one of the global MaKi Conferences. MaKi brings together communication professionals in the business education sector

writers' block

Writers’ block: turning digital

With the rise of social media, workplace email and hand-held devices, it would appear that we are writing more frequently than ever before. Well, typing I suppose. But is this digitalised change in medium resulting in the rapid modification of our language that we have seen in the last few years? And what lies ahead?
I’m not suggesting that in twenty years’ time, we will worship a giant, all-seeing yet half-eaten apple in the sky whilst we quietly whisper old wives’ tales to each other about pens and paper. But what I am suggesting is that the way we


BlueSky PR is hiring!

That’s right! It’s that time again! Form an orderly queue! BlueSky PR is hiring and we’re looking for the best and brightest graduates to fill an Account Executive position in the Education team.
If you’re a smart, engaging, curious and ambitious recent graduate with a desire to work in a dynamic and growing PR and communications business, we want to hear from you. Excellent writing skills are a must, the ability to pick up the phone and talk confidently is highly desirable and if you have any languages – then that’s a plus too.
We’re a small team

S Club 7 & PR

What PRs can learn from S Club 7

I’ll be joining thousands at The O2 this weekend to relive school discos spent head to toe in sequins and roaring the lyrics to ‘Reach’. I’ll still be word-perfect, trust me.
As S Club 7 hit London on their reunion tour, I know by Sunday morning I’ll have lost my voice and be yearning for studded jeans, but I’ll have been reminded that the oldies are often the goodies. We all need little reminders like that.
In fact, leaving behind purple hair mascara and body glitter spray, there are lessons that PR professionals can take with them from

Pro Bono

Giving something back – the value of pro bono

The recent story of Richard Ross falling off the Sunday Times Rich List because he gave away 25% of his wealth to good causes should be a lesson to us all.  Giving makes you feel good and while many will say that he could well afford his philanthropy, everyone has the ability to give something of value – even if it is just a good deed.
At BlueSky, we like to feel good – and we like our staff to be able to feel good which is why we have decided to undertake a certain amount of pro bono work.

Protein World

What Protein World can teach us about ourselves

Often, on our Facebook page, we jokingly point out our “PR fails” of the week, which have so far included the overhaul of the Conservatives’ #SameOldLabour campaign, and Lego’s off-topic haircut advice for little girls. But the one that has really stood out in recent times is the case of Protein World’s “Are you beach body ready?” campaign.
Unsurprisingly, yet in all probability in keeping with the kind of establishment that has relished recent comparisons of their company to headline-grabbing, boat-burning figure of controversy Katie Hopkins, the “beach body” in question isn’t exactly a body that is representative

Digital advertising

Will digital advertising survive?

There have been long debates on the fate of print papers in the digital age.  But we missed something vital. If consumers have the choice of blocking online ads, will digital advertising survive?
The argument goes like this: as modern society consumesinformation differently (digitally), news, and implicitly advertising, moves online. The business model is changing – the internet gave users unrestricted access to news and information which in turn put a lot of small papers out of business, while some moved all of their content online. Some newspapers will safeguard their precious content under a paywall but the


How to become a CEO by going to the movies  

Did you know there are 400 people in the world who can’t feel a drop of fear? Did you know there is a blind person in the USA who rides a bike everywhere?
I tend to not read business books – they seem to be carbon copies and rather dull. However, I did buy one recently, as its table of contents intrigued me. One chapter title in specific: “How to become Global Chief Executive by going to the movies more often”.  Is that possible? In what world?
In his book, The Rule Breaker’s Book of Business, Roger


How PR can help save the news…

A large amount of the stuff that fills our papers and news sites these days is PR. Even a good proportion of so called opinion pieces are driven by PR agencies.
It’s a bit of a shame that news organisations are struggling to pay for themselves these days – but it aint half a boon for us PR folk.
As a result of this, we have a responsibility of sorts – and one that makes good business sense. So much PR is noise – but let’s do the kind of PR that creates genuinely interesting reads. For one,

Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR.

Wildfire – the regular guide to best practice in b-school marcomms and PR. Volume1, Issue 1. Please click here to download the report in full…
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Why journalists won’t quote your client…
Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put in, things just don’t work out. You might think your client is the ideal person to feature in a journalis…


Lessons of womanhood for those contemplating becoming – or continuing to be – a woman.

Sandwiched as we are between International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, my mind has been dwelling on questions of what, exactly, it is to be a woman in 2015. Try as I might, I can’t seem to put my finger on it – is it an instinctive, maternal compassion for others? No, I am not delusional. Is it a pride in our long struggle for equality? No, that isn’t what we are, it’s what we have already achieved. Ah! So is it long, glossy blonde hair and a fabulous pair of heels? No, unless you are looking at the

Social Media

The things nobody tells you about using social media to enhance your business

Like it or not, we live in an age where social media plays a huge part in both our personal and professional lives. A simple two seconds could seemingly tell you everything you need to know about how to use social media as a tool to enhance your business, but after reading three or four pages of the same “direct your basic content at your clients’ demographic” advice, you will probably have zoned out mentally, or maybe even literally by clicking some page-side link to an interesting and very relevant article. So rather than repeating what everybody is


Not just a company. More like a family. Just not in a ‘Godfather’ sort of way

Every company has its own, individual identity and BlueSky is no exception. All that good stuff we’re proud of like being the leaders in PR for recruitment, HR and the business and higher education sectors, not just here in the UK, but in key markets around the world. Like our funky new office, our eclectic art collection and the stuffed elephant perpetually emerging from the kitchen. But the best companies are not just about ‘brand’, they’re about people. Which is why, in a way, they are also like families.  And right now BlueSky couldn’t be more like a family

Social Media

BlueSky’s Top Tips for identifying successful social media platforms

Social media plays a huge role in our personal and business lives, but how can you ensure you’re using the right platform in the right way for your company? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Get your ‘home base’ in play first. Whether it be a blog or a careers site, your ‘home base’ is where you are directing the traffic you pick up across other platforms. So make sure it represents your brand effectively.

Do your homework to get to know your audience. Research what platforms they are likely to use and the


Give yourself some head space!

I had a day of meetings today and, as usual, I went off to London armed with my gadgets. My tablet, for taking notes, writing draft pieces while on the train and surfing the web, and my phone for checking emails and social on the go…and sometimes even making the odd phone call! One of my meetings was at The Honourable Artillery Company. The person I was meeting was a member there and suggested it as a good place for a coffee and private chat.
Upon arriving and having been signed in, I was surprised to find that I

New Recruit

A new addition to the team!

Hi, I’m Natalie and it is with great enthusiasm that I write this blog to say hello as the newest member of the BlueSky PR team. I will be working on the recruitment side of the business as an administrator and am keen to learn as much as I possibly can to lay the foundations for a future career in PR here at BlueSky.
Just over a year ago, I graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Sheffield and set my heart on a career which would combine my love of writing and creativity


Financial crises shorten your life

In our line of work, and especially here at BlueSky PR, we have the pleasure of working with some great minds from the higher and business education arenas. All of these people strive to make the world a better place and they employ different methods in achieving this aim. Whether they engage in research, projects or just teaching, talking to them is always revealing.
In the past couple of weeks I have been working on a piece of research from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). The study looks at the impact of financial crises – not

MBA Rankings

The wranglings of MBA rankings

The BusinessWeek MBA rankings came out last week to the usual hubbub about what they mean, how accurate they are and what their limitations may be. This year commentators were talking about how BusinessWeek had changed their methodology – and how this had led to some surprising results. Chief amongst these being Harvard’s relegation from second place two years ago to eighth this – the first time the venerable Cambridge institution had dropped out of the top five.
It’s undoubtedly true that you have to take any biz-ed ranking with a pinch of salt – and also look at

Baroness Karren Brady

Can we celebrate Karren Brady joining the House of Lords?

Karren Brady had a great hair day yesterday. Oh, and she also became a Baroness.
She is first-and-foremost a business woman, as well as an author, a columnist and a TV personality. Brady is now in the minority in the House of Lords for both her gender and her youth.
According to Official House of Lords statistics in 2012, there were 775 peers able to sit in the House of Lords. Including Members on leave of absence, disqualified from sitting or suspended, total membership was 816. Out of this, in October of this year, there are just 192


Creativity lies in questions

I don’t hold very many answers but I have a mind full of questions.
Radio host Julie Burste talks with creative people for a living. In one of her TEDed talks  she shares the story of novelist and Pulitzer Prize recipient, Richard Ford. One of the great wordsmiths of modern times is, in fact, dyslexic. In a press interview, Ford talks about how slow a reader he was as a child and how frustrated that made him. However, the minute he chose to embrace dyslexia he discovered a new universe – he could now hear the music in


BlueSky is hiring

Are you looking for an administrative position in a busy PR company? Do you want to avoid the daily commute into the ‘big smoke’ but be rewarded as if you were? Do you want to work for a business which is passionate about developing its employees?  If the answer to all these questions is yes, you’ve landed in the right place!
BlueSky PR – the specialists in providing recruitment agencies, talent management organisations and international business schools with PR and marketing communications services – is looking for a PR administrator to join its growing recruitment practice. We offer a


How to effectively engage with a journalist

As most of you will know, I recently presented at the Recruitment Agency Expo in Birmingham. It was here that I was asked a question many recruiters want to know the answer to: how do I effectively engage with a journalist? For us here at BlueSky PR, we deal with journalists on such a regular basis that it is second nature, but what can you do if you’ve never spoken to one before? Here are a few tips to consider:

Identify the right person: It’s vital that you approach the right individual straight away – you don’t want to


It’s not all about the quick hits

They say good things come to those who wait, and a recent piece of coverage has proven to us here at BlueSky that they might have been right…
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How to develop an international PR strategy
Seven tips for developing an international PR strategy:

1.      Build a cultural bridge
The concept of Guanxi – building a relationship – …


The one thing every PR consultant should remember

Results are all that matter. Really.
You can be great in meetings. You can sell your product better than anyone else. You know your market. You’re good on the phone. You can write a press release (there are still many, many that can’t). Your pitches are dynamite. And you’re cosy, cosy with all the right journalists.
But unless you get the press coverage that your clients pay for, all of the above becomes immaterial.
This might sound obvious, but I hear too many stories from clients and others in the industry about how they paid for


On the beach

Every year the PR industry looks for ways to piggy-back the holiday season. And every year for as long as I can remember one of the chief ways of doing this has been by banging out press releases that warn how burned out we become by not taking our full ration of vacation. And, of course, it’s not just good enough to take your leave entitlement – you need to switch off completely by turning off your data, ignoring emails, not looking at the news, spurning calls, etc, etc.
Now while that sounds great advice in theory


Wombats, llamas and Victor Meldrew: PR professionals’ top stories from the silly season

Perry is on the front page of The Times today. He is one of the few to make it to the revered printed paper and he will never care that he was there.
That’s because Perry is a llama.
It’s silly season at the moment in the UK; the period when our media spends a few summer months producing rather frivolous news stories. As it’s not just us, the French call it la morte-saison – ‘the dead season’ or ‘the dull season’, Germany have the Sommerloch – ‘summer [news]hole’, and the Swedish have nyhetstorka – ‘news drought’.


The PR epidemic – forgetting video

Video-sharing websites such as YouTube and Vimeo have made it easy for companies to have a dynamic presence online. Despite this, many companies still don’t use the medium to its full potential.
A good example of an organisation using video to attract stakeholders to their platform is Digg. Digg is a technology news aggregator that aims to feature the best videos the web has, to share with its audience. But Digg also has a blog and a content-rich website that attract an audience to their products. The Diggnation show is a weekly ‘’tech/web culture show’’ hosted by Alex Albrecht

Engaging Social Media

Social media is a two-way conversation

I thought I would use this week’s BlueSky blog as an opportunity to talk about some social media issues experienced by my local pub, which I won’t name as I would still like to be welcome there in the future.
Having previously been reluctant to enter the digital arena, the pub was finally persuaded by one of its eager gap-year bar staff to set up a Facebook page in order to promote a “battle of the bands” competition that was happening earlier this year. The staff then religiously posted adverts on the page for the next month almost


The power of Twitter

For some social media enthusiasts it may seem unusual for someone to say this, but there are still the nay-sayers out there who do not recognise the real power of Twitter. Indeed, I often find myself explaining why this social media platform is such an incredible tool to engage with audiences across the globe. In order to really prove the point I want to refer to a very unusual example: Sharknado 2: The second one.
You may think that the heatwave has finally affected the team here at BlueSky PR, but bear with me. For those of you that


Right to be forgotten – the thin end of the wedge

Having listened to the latest instalment of the “right to be forgotten” debate I am beginning to think that I have been transported to Orwell’s 1984 and a world controlled by The Ministry of Truth. You will all be aware, I am sure, of The European Court of Justice’s decision that links to data that is irrelevant and out of date should be removed from searches on request.
But who decides what is irrelevant – surely that’s a very subjective area? And if links that are supposedly out of date are removed does that mean we are beginning

gender diversity

Gender diversity: Let’s talk about progress

It’s been an interesting week for British women. Not only has the Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops for the first time in its history, David Cameron’s reshuffle has doubled the number of women in Cabinet to eight.
This has seen an influx of articles that insist progress is forging new pathways like never before, yet others that argue change is still desperately needed and, in a way, they’re both right.
Which isn’t surprising when you consider that gender equality is a topic that remains high on the news agenda – inextricably connected


Down these mean streets…

This week The Guardian managed to get hold of the writing style guide that’s issued to its employees by the CIA.  Not all of them are out doing the Jack Bauer stuff, you know. Some just tap keyboards for a living.
Perhaps not surprisingly it seems that ‘The Company’ (as the spooks refer to it) seems to tolerate, if not downright encourage, the sort of corporate jargon that its counterparts in the business world glory in. We may live in the age of communication, but it doesn’t mean we’re actually any good at communicating.
So it was

PR Quotes

Top 3 PR Quotes

Over a century ago Alvin Adams said: “Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.”
Adams was an American businessman who pioneered express shipments by rail in the US – his words are as relevant today as they were then.
PR is still considered vital for many figures, corporations and industries. Quotes about the field emerge almost daily – you only have to glance at Pinterest to see that – but who is hitting the mark?
A quick survey at BlueSky HQ revealed which were

PR Fail

A PR lesson from Yaya Toure’s birthday own goal

On the BlueSky PR Facebook page we have a feature called PR gold star and PR fail of the week, where we identify those who have had a particularly good week in PR terms and those who have committed a major public relations own goal. Almost every week, many of the contenders for the PR fail prize are from the world of football. But it’s fair to say last week the bar was raised quite spectacularly by Manchester City’s midfield maestro Yaya Toure.
Having scored 20 goals in City’s title winning season, Toure may seem an unlikely character

We want you

We want you

Today four members of the BlueSky team attended the 2014 University of Hertfordshire Careers Fair.
Kerry, James, Bruce and Alex manned the BlueSkyPR stand (in apparently rather hot conditions…) and spoke to current students at the University’s Hatfield campus about working for BlueSky and the world of PR more generally.
What are we looking for?
We are always on the lookout for bright graduates, as well as those with relevant communications experience – and as BlueSky’s dual practices in Education and Recruitment and Talent Management continue to grow we’ll be on the look-out for talented candidates with strong writing skills,

bad press releases

7 tips for writing a press release that won’t generate coverage


If you have spent any time on LinkedIn recently you may well have noticed the sudden influx of top tips guides which have been dominating your news feed, some of which are interesting, some generic, and many that offer blatantly obvious advice.
However, this is one that appealed to us here at BlueSky, written by McKinsey & Company’s Glenn Leibowitz called 7 tips for writing a press release that won’t generate coverage.
We always stress to our clients the importance of producing content that is relevant and interesting to their target audience rather than simply putting

Monday Blues PR Crisis

Is PR to blame for the Monday blues?

Rush hour traffic, an overflowing inbox and the working week ahead. Yes, it’s Monday again.
But did you know, you might hate Monday because of a PR stunt?
‘Blue Monday’ was a name given to a date in January to be the most depressing day of the year – and it was all part of a publicity campaign. It was included in a press release by the public relations agency appointed by Sky Travel.
My colleague, Alex Dobocan, said: “Blue Monday came about as a PR stunt but it seems to have had success and made us

Social Media Noise

Story-telling madness

We all love modern communications channels don’t we? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc, etc, etc – fantastic. The only slight problem about them is the sheer amount of noise they produce. The fact that, at least, sometimes, you feel you are spending your life in a room of very opinionated and, all too often, boring and ill-informed people shouting at the top of their voices.
What we seem to be losing is the real art of engagement. Which is a bit of a pity because any channel of information is only as good as the way it’s used.
So how

Cutting through the noise: Quirky PR for Business and Higher Education

Business Education is a mature market, and with so many programmes out there and relatively few publications writing about them, there is a constant competition between schools for worthwhile coverage. On the other side of the fence, journalists are under considerable pressure to deliver news from education institutions in a new and engaging way.
With every school looking to share information about their new programmes, their faculty research and attempting to add their voice to wider industry debates, it pays to take the time to look at how you can make sure your opinion stands out from the crowd.

How will PR look in 10 years?

I remembered reading an article published more than 100 years ago which summarised different views of the future – the one we are living now. I must say that most of those predictions were spot on! People living more than a century ago expected technological advancements but the way things were going back then it was not too hard to predict that after Thomas Edison had invented the first viable light bulb in 1880, the product will only improve.
So now, out of a desire to be a step ahead of the game and also test our ability to


Congratulations Alex!

This week’s blog is in honour of our very own Alex Dobocan, who – after months of working for BlueSky by day and hitting the books by night – graduated from the University of Bedfordshire today, with a Masters in Cyber Stalking.
Though she should be busy celebrating, she took the time to send us this photo of herself in her cap and gown. In her email she remarked, “My hair looks like someone took an axe and chopped half of it off!”
Of course, we’ve all assured her that she looks lovely – but the picture has got

career choice

Have you thought about your career options?

I am not a career adviser and whilst I cannot tell you what to do, I can tell you what I did and how it worked.
I am writing this blog for undergraduates from all backgrounds who might need an inspirational speech or some guidance.  Here are three ways to get the most out of your university years and potentially the great job you want.
Network. A lot
I think I spoke with more people during my university years than I have spoken with in my entire life. For real. Being at university is a

Favourite News

PR Professionals’ favourite news stories

Disappearing planes, the evolution of apps and female empowerment have all been discussed at BlueSky HQ this week.
Here in the office we love to share the news we find interesting. We also like to share our successes and keep each other updated with the coverage we achieve. And on top of that, we’re always reading the news that’s relevant to the industries we work in. Now that’s a lot of news.
So we thought we’d share our favourite stories of the week with you.
Here are the choices from our BlueSky PR professionals –
Vickie Collinge


We’ve lost all comms!

I’m sure you’ve all been there; that moment where you’re on the phone to a call centre trying to get through to the right person, amend a policy, or claim through your insurance and the frustration starts to set in. You’ve given your details more times than you can remember up to the point where you almost forget what you were really calling for. And all the while you’re talking to someone who, albeit better than the initial computer you’ve had to speak to, is clearly reading from a script and subsequently unable to really answer your queries.


Why WhatsApp’s no-nonsense approach is PR gold

Being someone who has always been more interested in sport and music than computers and technology, so far the world of phone apps and gadgets has passed me by. However, like everyone else it did catch my attention that the sale of mobile application WhatsApp to Facebook had generated a staggering $19 billion.
Having seen my friends’ endless streams of pointless gossip on the app, I have until now vowed to remain WhatsApp-less, and when I heard of the lucrative Facebook sale, I naturally assumed that this was another Silicon Valley sell-out story.
But then I heard about

What Robin Williams taught me about PR

Sometimes you’ll be reading a book or watching a film and something rings so true with you that you could have written it yourself – or you’ll wish you had.
It’s part of the magic of the creative industries – tapping into the way you feel and, all of a sudden, that emotion you thought was exclusive to you is no longer solely yours. You realise that an idea you had dismissed as ridiculous or irrelevant might actually have some value.
As a lover of language, there’s a particular quote from Robin Williams in the 1989 film ‘Dead

tube strike

Please stop moaning about the tube strike

With all the bleating and whining on social media about the tube strike you’d think half of London’s commuters have to walk across the Arctic tundra to make it to work rather than find an alternative method of transport for two days. The moaning has reached breaking point for me, particularly when there’s an incredible amount of transport options available to commuters.
They could get a bus, which should be close enough to a cylindrical metal tube to fool many commuters. They could get the over ground train which travels through 22 of London’s 30 boroughs and is within

Business in Football

Should football be run more like a business?

Working alongside recruitment firms and getting to know the world of HR in more depth has alerted me to the fact that, for many UK organisations, talent management is crucial.
Which is why I find it so surprising that football clubs pay no attention whatsoever to this. The recent  firing of Malky Mackay as Cardiff manager means that currently, 13 out of  the current 20 managers in the English Premier League have been in their job for under a year. This isn’t a new phenomenon,  seven managers were sacked before Christmas in both 2004 and 2007 which realistically

Social Norms and New Year’s ‘Revolutions’

Since we are still in January and not enough has been said about resolutions here at BlueSky, I would like to bring this topic up, but perhaps with fewer platitudes this time.

In my experience, New Year’s Resolutions are heavily exploited by vendors and not so much by people. There is always a gym that tries to sell you a membership because it’s that time of the year. And there is always some sort of diet you should follow to lower your cholesterol which the radio stations advertise every half an hour. On one hand, corporations decide what


The importance of fresh content

The dawning of a new year may signal a fresh start for most Brits: the time when they finally put into place that one resolution that will change their life for the better. But for me, 2014 could not have started in a more typical way. Having started the year full of energy and optimism I turned on my car radio to find that the BBC had committed yet another sin in the eyes of the public and was being heavily criticised on every social media platform. The source of people’s anger this time was the overexposure of musician Gary


Day two. Write a blog post.

When you’ve just started a new job and you’re asked to write a blog post it could be a good idea to introduce yourself, but it isn’t very original. Background is boring. Or is it?
I could say that I was once in a submarine that sunk. I could tell you that I visited five countries in the same number of days last summer. Maybe you’d like to know that I trained as a journalist.
I’ve spent countless hours watching criminals being convicted, spent too much time attending village fairs and writing up copy to be cut to a paragraph

Social Media

There is nothing really social about social media!

There is nothing really social about social media!
I usually have many opinions but every now and then, I need to see how many other people might think alike – in the hope of proving that no one really does and I am the most extraordinary being. What is social media perceived to be and what it is in fact?
If we ask anyone what they think about social media, they will say it is a great way to stay in touch with the world around them (friends mostly, news and quotidian events).
But just how social


What is business school PR really about?

Managing your relations with the press and shaping your image in the competitive world of business education involves many activities. Which aspects of this process you place the greatest emphasis on can influence how well prospective students view your institution.
So what types of PR activities should business schools focus on? Should you be sending out press releases saying you’ve just appointed a new dean, set up a new chair or announced a new partnership? Well if you’re process driven then yes, but if it’s real results you want that can drive up application numbers, then the answer to


Client Q&A with Patricia Rousseau, Communications & PR Officer at the Vlerick Business School, in Belgium

Patricia Rousseau is the Communications and PR Officer at the Vlerick Business School in Belgium. In this Q&A she discusses her role at Vlerick, why she feels the use of PR to be important for business schools, and any advice for those looking to introduce PR to their institution.

• Can you give a brief outline of yourself and your role at Vlerick?
My name is Patricia Rousseau, new mother of a 6-month old baby girl and living in Ghent, Belgium.
At Vlerick Business School I’m responsible for press relations and content management for our four campuses


A lesson in PR from Brand Vs Paxman

Always conscious of adding to an overly saturated discussion, I couldn’t help but comment on the on-going furore over Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand’s latest exchange.

In recent years Russell Brand has taken the route many well respected entertainers have gone down, becoming somewhat disillusioned in their own self-worth, thinking that the fact they sell out stadium size venues means they have the know-how and duty to solve the world’s problems. Granted they have a platform to influence like few others do, however when they are declaring such orders as refusing to vote in general elections, their privileged


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).

Relevant Content

If it’s not relevant, they won’t read it

© depositphotos/Samantha Craddock #13721767
There is an old saying that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, and perhaps years ago, when communication was more difficult than just clicking a mouse, there may have been some truth there. However, whilst today’s ever-developing technology allows us to put out a message to the entire world, it has also made customers much more wary that many of those messages are not worth reading.
An example of this occurred to me when I was looking for a job after finishing university. Having been told that recruitment agents were my


Want 10 more years? Play games

Business on the rise or fall, wobbly education systems, healthcare and the USA Government shutdown, I get it! We are all really busy and rightfully so, but is there any time to play games these days at all? Extensive research points out that games can actually increase life span!
I am not a big gamer, in fact, other than my sporadic ‘board game nights’, I do not play games at all. But should I?  Jane McGonigal (author of ‘Reality is Broken; Why do games make us better and how they can change the world’ ) strongly advises that games

Getting Heard

Getting heard. Or going bananas


We’ve got more media, more communication channels today than we’ve ever had and it seems that barely a day goes by without another adding to the list. Which should mean that getting your message across to your target audience ought to be easier than ever too shouldn’t it? With all those websites, online magazines, blogs, etc, etc, a reasonably well trained chimpanzee ought to be able to do it surely.
If only…..
Simply getting your message out into the big, bad world simply isn’t enough. What counts is getting it out in the right place and

Women in business

Women in business – less talk, more action please!

The gender balance debate is clearly a hot topic in the BlueSky PR offices if our most recent blog posts are anything to go by! But as someone who is embedded in the HR and talent management arena I couldn’t help but put forward my two cents on this issue.
Diversity has long been a desire most – if not all – HR professionals and even some business leaders strive for. But no one seems to know how to make it happen. I’ve been privy to numerous conversations among senior HRD’s from across the globe and the general

Work Ready

Should businesses expect students to leave school ready to work?

Once again the debate surrounding school leavers employability skills has hit the headlines with business leaders warning that schools have turned into nothing more than exam factories. Now I don’t necessarily disagree with this comment – in fact I would have to say I do think this rings true. But not because schools aren’t developing the business skills in students. No, I believe this is true because the onus is actually on organisations to develop this in students.
I for one am of the opinion that if there is a problem that needs fixing, fix it! To change the


Silly season – a great opportunity for good PR’s

Silly season. Every July it rolls around and every year there’s a fresh batch of ridiculous stories that would never make it into the papers in the other months – this year has already given us the Barack Obama broccoli scandal and previous years have given us such delights as ‘Victor Meldrew is found in Space’ from the Sun (would you believe it?) and ‘Squirrel’s on Crack’ from the South London Press…
Flicking through the papers in July and August is all good fun – but there’s a definite opportunity for PR in these months that I’m not sure


Do you want a career in PR?

Are you looking for an entry level PR job? Do you want to avoid the daily commute into the ‘big smoke’ but be rewarded as if you were? Do you want to work for a company which is passionate about developing its employees?  If the answer to all these questions is yes, you’ve landed in the right place!

BlueSky PR – the specialists in providing recruitment agencies, talent management organisations and international business schools with PR and marketing communications services – is looking for account executives to join its growing team.
Each year we bring new


“Facebook To Disappear in 4 Years From Now”…Should Mr Zuckerberg be worried?

Last week Forbes writer Eric Jackson published an article titled “Facebook Still Seems On Track To ‘Disappear’ In 4 Years From Now”. He suggests that in the next four years it could follow the same fate as Yahoo! and MySpace into the ‘has-beens’ section of the world-wide-web. Since Mark Zuckerberg carried out Facebook’s IPO in May 2012 and the collapsing share price that followed, we have seen much discourse as to the company’s future direction and success.
Related Post

Switch Off

Should we be taking the time to switch off?

Like many people, I spend a lot of my day connected to the internet. Everything from my work responsibilities, to keeping in touch with the family and sourcing recipes for dinner is done online. I hadn’t really thought about the extent of my internet reliance before, but an article I read recently online got me thinking, do we depend on it too much?
Related Post

Why compelling brand messaging is key to effective…
Some business schools that are world-renowned – Harvard,


BlueSky’s bloopers

Just for a laugh – here are the out takes from BlueSky PR’s YouTube channel:
Related Post

BlueSky PR is hiring: Marketing guru needed!
An exciting new opportunity has arisen in the BlueSky headquarters for a keen, mean, marketing machine to come and whisk our fast-growing business int…

Case Study: Twenty

leverage your PR coverage

Lessons in PR – what I’ve learned during a year on the job

Last week BlueSky PR directors Tracey and Adrian Barrett kindly treated the account executive team to lunch to celebrate our first year with the company. As we reflected on the highs and lows of an incredible twelve months, it dawned on me just much I’ve learned during my time at BlueSky.
Related Post

The value of PR and content for recruiters
BlueSky PR’s Tracey Barrett recently presented at the Recruitment Leaders Connect conference on “How to make


Working at BlueSky PR

BlueSky’s four Account Executives (Freddie Isbister, Kerry Gill, Carly Smith and Hannah Jones) discuss the pros and cons of working at BlueSky, the training structures in place, and their PR evaluation project.
Related Post

Should businesses expect students to leave school …
Once again the debate surrounding school leavers employability skills has hit the headlines with business leaders warning that schools have turned int…

PR Success

Want to be successful in PR? Then READ!

There are a number of core skills required to be successful in the PR game. I’d say being able to identify a story when you see one and who might be interested sits quite high on that list – along with being decent on the phone, understanding your market and being able to write.
Related Post

Why WhatsApp’s no-nonsense approach is PR gold
Being someone who has always been more interested in sport and music than computers


How to do business school PR

Any business school can do it’s own PR. But how do you do it effectively?
Related Post

How to demonstrate the value of your press coverag…
For as long as public relations has existed, the industry has needed to demonstrate the value of press coverage – and that’s not easy.



End of civilisation

End of civilisation as we know it

I love the German language. Some might give it a hard time – the medieval emperor Frederick said it was only of use for talking to horses – but, for me it nails down ideas and feelings like no other. Take, for example, my newest discovery – weltverbesserungswahn – otherwise known as ‘the sneaking feeling that the world ought to be better than it actually is’. But my favourite still has to be schadenfreude – that uncomfortable, guilty pleasure we get when learning of the misfortunes of others. And let’s face it, there’s plenty of it about at the moment


Making research press friendly

BlueSky’s Freddie Isbister discusses his role as part of the Business Education team and how to communicate academic research to the wider media.
Related Post

Best business school student profiles of 2016
From the US Military to the MBA, to business school students’ fears about Brexit, and lessons from Chilecon Valley, we spoke to some fascinating stude…

No Secret

There’s ‘no’ secret to being a successful PR professional

There are many skills that will help you on the road to PR super-stardom; being able to talk on the phone convincingly and the ability to boil a whole lot of information down to the salient points are two of the most important from my point of view. Looking at things from both your client’s perspective and that of the journalist (and their audience) is another essential attribute.
But if there is one thing that I think will boost you from decent agency plodder into a trusted business advisor and consultant, it is being able to say ‘NO’ (I


Quirky PR for higher education

BlueSky’s Kerry Gill discusses her role with the business education team, and how she goes about getting the right coverage for her clients.
Related Post

Developing a PR strategy for rankings
Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. From the FT World University Rankings to the…

Oscar Wilde Twitter

Would Oscar Wilde be on Twitter?

It may be surprising to some, especially to the media savvy world of PR & Communications, that the power of Twitter is still yet to be universally accepted. For many it is hard to accept how it has transformed both the business and media landscape. The new opportunities it has created strike fear rather than excitement in some (just watch the BBC 4 documentary on the New York Times if you want evidence for this).  Those who are yet to be convinced of its value seem all too keen to criticise its growing popularity at any given opportunity. A recent


Introducing the BlueSky Metior

The lack of effective measurement and evaluation in PR has become the proverbial albatross hanging around the neck of the industry. It’s not that nobody believes a system of evaluation is needed; rather that no method has really been put forward or agreed upon.
As Freddie pointed out in his blog last November, the absence of an agreed measurement system has led to almost 60% of PR campaigns not being evaluated at all. This not only means that clients do not get a realistic idea of the value of their investment, but also it can appear that PRs do not feel it


How can you benefit from online media?

PR is not simply about having an article in the press anymore. As technology continues to develop, and more and more individuals and businesses are on social networks, the value of online media is increasingly being recognised. This isn’t to say that being featured in a newspaper or magazine isn’t useful anymore – it is. But it’s important to use all of the communication channels at your disposal, and having an article published online can be of real benefit.
Perhaps its most obvious advantage over a print article is that it is there on the internet forever. Individuals from all


So…what is quality coverage??

Related Post

Developing a PR strategy for rankings
Barely a month goes by without a media league table of the world’s top universities and business schools. From the FT World University Rankings to the…

How to do business school PR
Any business school can do it’s own PR.

No ham

Saying no to Ham

‘Tis the season……to be called 200 times a week about Ham, apparently…. something to do with us having a very similar telephone number to a well-loved Christmas ham company.
Here at BlueSky towers we do our level best to please and are responsive to most new business enquiries – but, after extensive cost/benefit analysis and consulting with the top industry experts, we have decided to draw the line at requests for Christmas hams.
And don’t think we haven’t looked into the potential upsides:
1: Studies* have shown that ham is good for office moral.
2: Ham in the office would


Measurement: the final frontier for PR.

I was shocked to read earlier this week that an estimated 50 to 60 per cent of PR campaigns use no method of evaluation. Considering that most businesses are obsessed with evaluation and analysis, why has the PR industry struggled for such a long time when it comes to measurement? Luckily a news item that came through this week helped give me the answer.
Gorkana reported that for the 2013 CIPR Excellence Awards, any entry which includes AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent) will be given a score of zero for the measurement and evaluation section of the judging. It appears to


Do PRs know enough about social media?

When reading through posts in a LinkedIn group, I came across a survey which has found that the majority of PR professionals have not made a concerted effort to know enough about social media.
The survey, carried out by StevensGouldPincus, asked the heads of 116 PR companies in the US about their social media usage. Almost all respondents agreed that it was important to be able to offer social media services to their clients, and recognised they risked losing business if their company was not up to speed in this area. However, only 25% of those surveyed admitted they had good

Sexist Media?

Is our media sexist?

For a long time, there’s been talk of sexism in the media, and the current Leveson saga brought the issue to the forefront once more. Charlotte Church expressed her disgust, and said that the presentation of women in the UK press “erodes everything that women have been trying to build for years”.
And now it seems that there’s data to support this view, as latest research reveals that the front pages of British newspapers are dominated by sexist stereotypes, humiliating photographs of women and male bylines.
According to the investigation, which was carried out by the industry body Women in

Mitt Romney

A lesson in PR for Mitt Romney…….

Over the past three weeks it has been near impossible to watch, read or listen to anything that isn’t in some way Olympic related. All the usual news sources were dominated by the vast array of Team GB’s successes. However whilst we were being dazzled by the growing array of Olympic coverage, other equally intriguing news stories were being overlooked.
One that particularly caught my eye, from a PR point of view especially, was that of Mitt Romney’s recent and at best calamitous international tour. His ‘insult-the-world-tour’ (as the Guardian described it) was a repeat candidate for BlueSky’s dreaded PR


Are we a nation of pessimists?

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last week, you’ll have noticed that there is some kind of big event going on in the UK. Yes, we are more than half way through the Olympics now, and the nation is gripped with Olympic fever!
Well, most of us are any way.
While watching the Olympics this weekend I found myself screaming at the TV screen (much to my neighbours’ annoyance I’m sure!). No I wasn’t shouting at them to row faster or jump higher. Instead I found myself yelling at sobbing athletes to be proud of their silver

Olympians & Social Media

Will Social Media Become a Hurdle for Olympic Athletes?

Tonight the London 2012 Olympic Games finally get underway with the opening ceremony estimated to attract 4billion viewers worldwide. Many of these viewers will presumably take to various social media outlets to share their thoughts, and send messages of support to their teams. Unfortunately, the athletes probably won’t respond to it.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a four-page social media policy for competitors, instructing them on how they should use the likes of Twitter and Facebook during the games. Under the guidelines athletes are banned from uploading posts about the games as they happen, cannot publicly comment on the

optimism vs pessimism

Is it really as bad as we think?

In Britain, we always love to see the negative in things don’t we? When it’s raining, we’re complaining, but when it’s sunny we’re too hot. Instead of being excited that the Olympics are on home ground, we’re moaning about the chaos it’s going to cause. And as much as we look forward to going on holiday, there’s always so much to do before we go, and loads of washing when we get home!
The newspapers seem to reflect our pessimistic view. If we think back over the last few weeks, what do we remember reading in the headlines? Europe’s in

no sport

The tyranny of the majority

Sometimes democracy doesn’t work. No I’m not talking about the result of the Greek election and the fact that we now need to live yet more ‘will they, won’t they’ as the country wobbles between drachma and euro and the great and good wring their hands about some unspecified apocalypse awaiting us (can anyone really tell me what will happen if the Greeks did default?). No, I’m talking about something much more invidious, sport. Yes, I’m a bloke. And no, I don’t particularly like musicals (OK, ‘Cabaret’ is pretty good, but we’ll let that one go). But I never have


I went to a conference – the sandwiches were rubbish, but I’d go again next year.

Bluesky recently sponsored and attended the 2012 London MaKi conference – a two day event that brought together communications people from the world’s leading business schools and journalists from top international publications. The panel discussions were incredibly informative, interesting and varied, the presentations (one given by our very own Adrian Barrett) were insightful and the medieval banquet that took place on the Thursday night was, erm, interesting!
Industry conferences get a lot of flak – and in many cases it is justified. But I feel the MaKi event was truly valuable, and judging by the various comments from


The politics of Twitter

I overheard a discussion around Twitter this week which really struck a chord with me. The issue was essentially how to use it correctly. The usual questions cropped up; “How do I know who to follow” “If someone follows me should I follow them back” and so on.
The question that really jumped out though was “Who should I follow to get more people to follow me back”. Now, if like me you use Twitter every day, you might understand why having heard this question I couldn’t resist jumping into the conversation.
As with any other social media tool, the

google +

The Google+ ghost town

Google’s CEO Larry Page has announced this year that Google+ has crossed over the 100 million user mark. But am I the only one who is wondering who these users are, and where they’re hiding?
Apparently not. Software developer RJ Metrics has conducted a study into public interactions on Google+ and has published some less than flattering results.
After reviewing the activity of 40,000 users, RJ Metrics reportedly discovered 30% have only made one public post. What’s more, there is a 15% chance users will only ever post five times. On average there’s a gap of 12 days between posts,


“Leave politics alone, for your own safety!” My experience as 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


BranchOut – Facebook’s missing LinkedIn?

At BlueSky PR we recognise the value of social media and are constantly looking at opportunities with emerging platforms. We know how important it is to utilise new sites, but we also need to remember that the ones we already have are constantly evolving, and we have to keep up-to-date with any changes.
One such example is BranchOut, which has grown into the largest professional networking app on Facebook. After launching in July 2010, it now has around 25 million users. So, how can it benefit you?
If you upload your CV you can search and apply for jobs from

new recruit kerry

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


BlueSky’s Latest Recruit – Carly Smith!

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Carly Smith, one of the lucky four chosen to join the team at BlueSky as an Account Executive. I will be working on the recruitment side of the business. I graduated from the University of Bedfordshire last year with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations.
Since then I have spent time interning at Cirkle Communications and worked as a Marketing Assistant at Eshop Retail Group where I commissioned a brand new ecommerce website and introduced the company to the wonderful world of social media.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about


BlueSky’s latest recruit – Hannah Jones!

Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m one of four new members at BlueSky PR.
As a recent Geography graduate a career in PR is perhaps not an obvious choice. However, my degree has provided me with a love and knowledge of international issues, as well as transferable skills in research, writing and communication.
I am passionate about international development and, during my second year at university, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to Kenya on a field trip. This really opened my eyes to the complexities of poverty, and I went on to carry out an internship

Stressful jobs

Feel sorry for us

You very likely think it’s an easy life in PR don’t you. Bang out a few press releases, schmooze at events, lunch with journalists and clients. Piece of cake. When do I start? But nothing could be further from the truth. According to new research (or perhaps it should be ‘research’) by a US website, CareerCast, PR comes in at number 7 in the list of top ten most stressful jobs. The number 1 slot has been taken by serving soldiers (OK, we’ll give them that one – no-one has actually shot at us lately). And I don’t think we

Apprentice lessons

The Apprentice Watch: Lessons in damage control

The Apprentice is back on our screens for another episode tonight, and I hope they’ve learnt from last weeks’ dismal performance. The first episode provided enough examples of how not to run a business to fill many blogs, but the key lesson I learnt is how not to handle damage control.
Both teams were guilty of potentially damaging their reputation. For the boys it was the quality control disaster with their product. Several members recognised the ‘It’s a Bus’ bags were of poor quality, yet they chose to hide them in the bulk order with a retail outlet. The result?


Social Media Tips: Google +

In our last newsletter, we handed out some tips on how to use Facebook as a great way to find and engage with both clients and candidates. This time we’re looking at how Google + can help to grow your recruitment business.
There’s little doubt that Google+ has had a phenomenal start with over 90 million members and it looks like it’s set to stay. With the launch of Google+ business profile pages, all companies from small start-ups to large corporations will be utilising these profiles to build their online connections. The latest social media contender gives companies a platform to share


PR, bloody hell….

The title of this piece paraphrases (kind of) Sir Alex Ferguson’s initial response when asked his thoughts on Man Utd’s miraculous 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. It’s also a rather weak attempt to segway into a piece on how football generally seems not to get (or care about) PR.
The FA, not to mention UEFA and FIFA, consistently offers cock-up after cock-up when it comes to presenting themselves in a positive light. And Twitter has given the players the perfect platform with which to embarrass themselves on a regular basis. Honestly, the stupidity of some of them


Don’t follow leaders

As Bob Dylan once said in ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and perhaps he was right (mind you he also said not to wear sandals and I’ve never quite got to the bottom of that – perhaps there was another bit to the line which said ‘with socks’ but it got edited out). Anyway, let’s focus, even i
f it is the first day back in the office after all the festive fun. The point is that the media always seem to be full of some rent-a-mouth who is apparently an expert on something or other and consequently much better qualified to

PR Works

PR works. End of.

PR works. Here’s an example: We secured an article in The Times featuring Antal International, a recruitment client of ours. The story
was on corporate giving and discussed their work with Chance UK, a children’s charity. Our client was naturally very happy.
You may think that’s where the story ends. But it doesn’t.
Chance UK got in touch with us recently to say that as a direct result of the article in The Times, they had received three new corporate donations totalling over £100,000.
From our point of view, it’s another example of how high quality PR work really can


Give them what they want

Monday 14th November saw members of the BlueSky team groping through the early morning gloom to the latest Maki conference – a get together of communications professionals from major universities such as Oxford, Princeton, UC Dublin and New York State and top international journalists. So what did we learn from the experience? That most of the things we tell our clients are right (which was obviously something of a relief….). Ok, smartass, share it with the class then. Rule1 – don’t say anything to a journalist you can’t defend. If your new product or service is ‘unique’ , ‘innovative’ or


Twitter: Uniting a nation

Today marked the 93rd anniversary of the the first Armistice Day, and as people across the UK prepared to pay their respects in the annual two minute silence, I found myself asking colleagues a rather odd question: will there be a Twitter silence as well?
To find the answer to this question I turned to Twitter itself and less than a minute later I had found the Twitter silence hashtag along with various supporting account profiles. Reading through the discussions I found people across the UK pledging a Twitter silence, and the BlueSky PR team did the same.
I was amazed

bonfire night

Remember remember…

This weekend, many people across the country will be celebrating bonfire night. This got me thinking about how communications can be explosive.
On Nov. 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar of the House of Lords guarding barrels of gunpowder, exposing a plot to kill the king. The Gunpowder Plot was foiled due to poor communication amongst the plotters. One of the conspirators, Francis Tresham revealed the plan to the Catholic nobleman Lord Monteagle in an Oct. 26 letter warning him not to attend the opening of Parliament (oops what a giveaway!) This communication error resulted in Fawkes

new tricks

Old Dogs and New Tricks: my take on social media in recruitment

I have attended two recruitment in social media events recently and although I thought I was fairly social media savvy – I definitely learned some interesting new stuff showing that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks!
The first was the UK Recruiter and  HB RIDA Directors’ Networking Event. The first presentation was from Sophie Relf the Head of Marketing Strategy at Guardian Jobs.  While I didn’t actually agree with a lot of her comments (‘social media is a walled garden, for example’ – don’t get Andy Headworth started on that!), there was one phrase she did


Blackberry comms leave a bitter taste….

If ever there is a time for a company’s comms machine to prove it’s worth, it is arguably when something goes wrong. It’s all very well pushing out self-congratulatory messages and engaging anyone who’ll listen whilst everything is ticking along nicely, but when the proverbial hits the fan? That’s when you earn your money…especially in the hyper competitive tech game. How Steve Jobs must have been looking down from his iCloud and laughing at the debacle of the Blackberry outage this week.
The whole sorry affair was a seriously unfortunate event for RIM and left many of its users in

A lot to be learnt from Rugby

If you hadn’t already heard, the Rugby World Cup is in full swing and so far the England boys are doing quite well.
The English team have performed at their best during the competition when a mixture of ‘old boys’ and new talent have been working hand in hand.  This got me thinking about how businesses use age diversity in the workplace.
Organisations in the UK are increasingly looking to blend youth with experience in order to safely negotiate the current turbulent economic condition. Embracing diversity in the workplace is therefore a must.
However old perceptions and generalisations remain common.


Come and join us

As Barbra Streisand says in the song ‘People’, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” Yeah, right – try telling that to our HR manager. But come on, this is good news for someone. BlueSky is on the look-out for a new team member and it could be you. So what are we looking for? Well of course we want all the usual stuff – great communicator, creative, good juggler of several projects at one time, a driving licence (there is a bus service that passes our office but you’d be better off walking). But the


BlueSky’s newest recruit

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

social media

There’s a drumming inside my head …and it’s social media

I have just returned from just under three weeks away.  I had a great time travelling around the States.  And as I always do when I am on holiday, I take my blackberry but I turn off data roaming. No e-mail, no Twitter, no Facebook…. and definitely no logging on to free wifi ..nothing.  And it was soooo liberating.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am a huge fan of social media and you’ll regularly find me tweeting away, ‘working’ LinkedIn and checking in on Foursquare.  But just recently I have begun to think about all the ‘noise’ and

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.
However, I have heard a lot of people talking about how we should celebrate the fact that  ‘people power’ and public opinion closed a newspaper.  In fact on Friday’s edition of Newsnight, the founder


Superinjunctions and ethical journalism – is it really in the public interest?

I believe in free speech. As a PR, I know that journalism is my bread and butter and as a human being I know that a free press is vital to any democracy.
Lately journalists have been up in arms over the use of superinjunctions. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be clued up on the latest drama over the cover up and eventual illegal revelation that Ryan Giggs had an affair with ex-Big Brother nobody Imogen Thomas or his brother’s wife.
Journalists claim that superinjunctions are a way for the extremely wealthy to hide their misdemeanours from


The Apprentice 2011: Episode 1 Recap

Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit
Lord Sugar’s carnival of corporate caricatures rolled into town last night for a seventh series. This time around, the glittering carrot at the end of the stick is a £250k investment from Lord Sugar and the promise that he’ll be lurking in the shadows as an equal partner to remedy any rookie mistakes, like some Death Star incubator. Lord Sugar is not looking for a silent partner – and he’s in luck. There’s nothing silent about this bunch.
The ego-fest started with the impeccably made up Melody, a sort of terrifying fembot with


Au revoir but not goodbye

I’m not very good at these things, but let me give it a go anyway…
Some of you know and some of you don’t, but tomorrow marks my last day at BlueSky and the end of an era!
Almost four years ago I started my journey at BlueSky HQ as a fresh-faced graduate knowing not very much about the world of recruitment, or PR. Fast forward to 2011 and well, I still look as young as I did back then, but like to think that I’m older and wiser. It has been an interesting few years – we’ve had the


Universities decide they’d like more rather than less

Is this a surprise? Given the choice would you rather have more money or less money? Fact is, you’re not often given the choice. But the universities have been, and three quarters have voted for ‘more, please’.
This is despite that fact that many of the institutions in or close to the £9,000 bracket have different reputations, locations, facilities, etc.
And the number of schools applying for the maximum will obviously be an embarrassment to the government, who had initially said that £9,000 fees would be exceptional.
But the worst thing is surely the impact this will have on levels


I couldn’t agree more, Mr Sartre

When well-known Gallic philosopher/writer, Jean-Paul Sartre, came up with the phrase, “Hell is other people” , he very likely wasn’t commenting on the problems of talent planning in an SME. Far too busy quaffing red wine, smoking Gauloises and womanising was good old Jean-Paul. But the famous phrase does strike a bit of a chord in sunny Hertfordshire. Here we are in a rapidly growing PR company doing some really good work with great clients, both in the UK and overseas, yet finding the right people is a constant, migraine level headache. PR companies in London seem to be falling


Great opportunities at BlueSky PR!

The search is on…
A fantastic new opportunity has opened up at BlueSky PR for a great writer, account handler or media relations bod to take on a new challenge!
Who are we?
We’re a niche PR agency with clients in both the recruitment and business education sectors. On the recruitment side, we handle a variety of multi-sector recruiters at all levels and, on the business education side, we cater to the press needs of some truly prestigious, global schools.
We’re a small but busy team, with a good balance between heads-down work and focus and having a laugh. We’re

Daily mail

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 Twitter explodes with furious comments about the Daily Mail’s latest controversial rant, the latest of which being Melanie Philips’s abhorrent and rather absurd diatribe about “the gay agenda” taking over society and brainwashing our children.
The editors of the Daily Mail surely realise that by publishing gaspingly controversial articles, they will cause a massive uproar. So why, when articles such as Liz Jones’s insensitive ramblings about Joanna Yeates’s final movements and Jan Moir’s sickening analysis of


There’s no PR in Politics

Here’s a fact, true of any company. If you employ press advisors and comms people, but get zero good press, somebody is not doing their job properly.
So, today we learn of Alan Johnson’s unfortunate personal problems and resulting resignation. And Andy Coulson resigns as head of comms for David Cameron in one of the most drawn out and predictable stories of the political year (I didn’t need to tap any phones to be absolutely sure he would resign over this sooner or later). Another day, another raft of broadly negative press for British politics.
Is it just me, or

end is nigh

The end is nigh….again

I was listening, as usual, to the Radio4 Today programme the other day as I was getting ready for work.  I had risen with a feeling of positive anticipation for the business year ahead.  We’d had to work harder than ever in 2010 but our turnover and profit were up on 09 and our work pipeline was looking good with a number of new retained contracts being signed.  And then on comes the grim reaper himself  Robert Peston ( who I am convinced really works for the CIPD).  There then  ensued a diatribe of  depressing predictions – pay squeezes, pay freezes, job losses, VAT rises, unemployment

murder mystery

BlueSky’s 1920’s murder mystery!

The Christmas party season is in full swing, and here at BlueSky we have already had ours! We had our very own 1920’s murder mystery party and here are some of the pictures from the night. Enjoy!
[cincopa AoEADbKZUwIA]
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Do Recruiters give themselves negative PR?
I am new to working within the recruitment sector but getting here hasn’t been the best experience, and I have to admit that it left me feeling somewh…


The changing nature of PR

What is your definition of PR? In our monthly team meeting here at BlueSky we discussed the various clients we have and what level of PR support we provide them. One interesting question that was raised was do our clients, and do people on the whole get PR? If you asked 10 people how they defined PR I am pretty sure that the vast majority would say it was getting an organisation’s name into the news.
This might be a part of PR but is it really all about that? No! The truth is PR encompasses so much more and

BlueSky PR needs YOU!

Further to our recent post Working in PR for Grown Ups, we had lots of response from some great freelance journalists – the problem was they wanted to stay as freelance journalists and what we need is someone who can not only write – and write well –  but who can also account manage.
We’ve had a lot of new business wins recently – and have a raft of potential client meetings stretching into the autumn.  Clients we already work with include Antal, Aquent, CBSbutler, Twenty , Advantage Professional, Handle, Lander Associates,, HB RIDA, Ochre House,  Arrows, ……and thats just

Roger Tweedy Q&A

Working in PR for grown ups

Might you be interested in working in PR if you could spend a big proportion of your time writing about interesting stuff and dealing with intelligent, informed people? If so, perhaps we should be talking! We’re looking for new people to join us – ideally with a background in journalism.
And why are we so interested in journalists? Because much of our time is spent in taking the knowledge inside our clients’ heads and turning it into written interesting, authoritative material for publications, both print and online, around the globe – precisely what you’ve been doing in your career to

New Recruit

Another new face at BlueSky

Here’s another quick entry with a big hello from BlueSky’s latest ‘newest recruit’. As Stephanie has established a tradition of new faces introducing themelves on the blog, it’s now my turn to say hi.
I’ve just joined BlueSky from a four year background in PR and marketing for the toy and gadget sector. This might sound like fun, and it was, but it’s also big business and the gadget news sector in particular is at the forefront of new media and social networking, which means that it was also excellent transferrable experience.
Before this, I got my break into PR working for

New Recruit

BlueSky’s New Recruit

Just a quick entry to say hi to readers and introduce myself as the newest recruit here at BlueSky. I will be a regular blogger so thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself and what I will be doing.
Prior to joining BlueSky, I spent three years working as a  Marketing Manager for a Legal Support company in London –  responsible for all marketing communications.
With the recession (we hope) now in the past, and the boom in Social Media, BlueSky has been very busy and seen an increase in clients. This is where I come in – I will be assisting with the PR activites for

social media gurus – tru or false!

I was motivated to write this by reading some tweets from @mattalder – always an insightful tweeter and blogger, a true social media expert and occasionally grumpy old man ( no offence matt – you are probably younger than me!) He has been commenting recently on the amount of ‘social media experts’ there seem to be out there these days – but as he quite rightly says – to quote him word for word : “It’s doing my head in, so you can use Twitter, big deal what value have you created for companies with your “expertise”?
Matt has absolutely

Fancy joining BlueSky?

It looks like 2010 will be a busy year for us here at BlueSky. With a number of new clients this month and lots more potentials in the pipeline we’re pleased to say that it looks like the recovery may be underway. We’re even moving into a new office – and we’re looking to take on someone new to help us fill it.
The role remains title-less at the moment but will be something along the lines of Digital PR Executive. With the boom in social media, we need someone to support the PR activity we’re doing in this

Happy Christmas from BlueSky

Just a quick post to wish all readers a very happy Christmas and New Year from the BlueSky team. Today is our last day in our office as we move to pastures new (only up the road, but still it’s a new start for a new year with lots more room for us to grow). We’ll be taking a well earned break over the festive season to eat, drink, relax and all the other things you do over Christmas, as long as we don’t get stuck in the snow (fingers crossed.)
It’s been a tough year but thankfully one


The power of the tweet

Twitter – it’s like Marmite. It seems that you either love it or you hate it; or maybe more accurately you either use and benefit from it or you’re confused / uninterested / sceptical (perhaps all three.) I have certainly come across people from both camps, however the majority of recruitment professionals that I meet and talk to about Twitter give me that ‘look’ as if to say “I’m not convinced by your ‘Gen Y’ ways”. They just can’t see the value in using a tool made famous by Stephen Fry and Lily Allen in a viable way for


Twitter – why bother?

A new week, a new rant. (Except it’s my turn this time!) Times columnist Sathnam Sanghera has written another piece which will undoubtedly attract the attention of many businesses and tweeters. It was only a few weeks ago that the HR community was up in arms over his article entitled “Human resources departments – what’s the point?” and I expect that he’ll create controversy once again with a piece that (in a nutshell) says that Twitter is a waste of time for businesses.
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…to our new and improved blog. We’ll be blogging soon so be sure to come back and have a read.

Posted by: Sam Woodward

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