Mental health in the workplace

Why you should address mental health in the workplace

In honour of mental
health awareness week, we at BlueSky are keen to raise awareness around the common
– but perhaps not as sufficiently discussed – issue of mental health at work – and
why it’s vital that businesses today address this.

Currently, with a whopping 70 million working days lost each year due to poor mental health, it’s clear that as well as impacting employees this can have repercussions for employers too. For example, a recent Deloitte report revealed that poor mental health can cost UK businesses an estimated £33bn-£42bn each year. On top

PR crisis

How to handle a PR crisis

If there’s one PR issue that recruitment agency owners are arguably most concerned about it’s what to do in a crisis. Whether this be a breaking news story about some less than scrupulous actions from an employee or potentially detrimental information about your firm’s finances being leaked, implementing a damage limitation process at this time is crucial for businesses of all sizes. But it’s not an easy task. So how should you handle a PR crisis?

Assign responsibilities

First and foremost, it’s crucial that you know who is
responsible for what to ensure

Employee advocacy: phones out sharing content on social media

How to and why you should encourage employees to share your business’ content

In the business world, and particularly in recruitment, people
are considered a company’s greatest asset – and rightly so. Not only do your
staff get the actual work done, they also hold the key to your very best
marketing strategy – employee advocacy.

Employee advocacy, the act of engaging staff to share their
business’ content, is known to be a powerful mechanism in boosting brand
awareness amongst new audiences, and should certainly be encouraged by every
business leader. However, while staff should be coaxed to share content and
promote the business, it should always be

PR plan

How to create a PR plan

When it comes to PR, sitting down and strategising before embarking on a campaign is essential. A well thought out, comprehensive strategy can often make the difference between success and failure. Correct planning will help you organise your ideas, make sure your core messages are congruent, work out your target audience and decide on the tactics that you will use to target them. While ‘make a plan’ might sound like the most obvious statement in the book, it’s something that often gets overlooked or doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. So, with that in mind – here’s

decline in organic reach on social media

How to Increase Your Recruitment Firm’s Organic Reach on Social Media

Have you noticed a decline in your recruitment firm’s organic reach across social media over the last few years? You’re not alone. Algorithm changes at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter have all negatively impacted the number of people that businesses are able to reach.

But what can you do about it? Here are five methods that you can implement to help your recruitment agency overcome the decline in organic reach and improve its performance across its social media channels.

Five ways to overcome the decline in organic reach on social media

ommunicate your message effectively: presentation skills

The PR toolkit to communicating and presenting

We often hear about the importance of having good
presentation skills in life. But while for some, the idea of presentations seems
exciting and a great way to communicate their thoughts – for others the idea of
public speaking and presenting can understandably fill them with dread. It can
be an utterly nerve wracking experience standing up in front of a crowd – no
matter what the subject matter is. However, presenting skills are crucial in
the art of communication, and particularly important when pitching for new
business, training a team or if you are involved in public speaking.

Hiring a PR agency: handshake

Should recruiters be hiring a PR agency?

It might sound a little biased coming from me, but I’m going
to explain why hiring a PR agency is worth it.

Of course, it is in my interest to persuade you to think
positively about PR, but the truth is, is that public relations is not necessarily
for every business. If you are comfortable with the level of brand awareness
that you’re currently at (remember comfort is the enemy of progress),
uninterested in attracting new clients and think your business strategy is the
best that it possibly can be, then no maybe PR is

Measure PR

How to measure PR effectively

Companies invest considerable time and money into PR campaigns. While PR measurement may be a chore to some, without it you won’t learn anything, and won’t be able to improve future PR efforts. Measurement is an integral part of communications, and something that pays dividends in the long run.  However, so many companies are neglecting it, with 50-60% of PR campaigns having no method of evaluation at all. Here’s how to measure PR effectively:

How to measure PR effectively: Goal-setting

Ultimately, the return on your investment depends on the desired goals of a

Starting a business blog checklist

5 things recruiters need to do before starting a business blog

You’re an excellent recruiter and you know it, but when it
comes to writing, perhaps not. Don’t worry though, this shouldn’t stop you from
starting a business blog that is packed with search engine optimised posts that
will keep customers glued to your page. Poetic writing may be a benefit, but
honestly, it all comes down to the content. Here at BlueSky PR we write quite a
few blogs which is why we have devised a checklist that will guide you through creating
your own.

Why you need to be starting a business blog

candidate personas - how to create them for recruitment marketing

How to Create Candidate Personas for Recruitment Marketing

In an increasingly candidate-led market, it is more important than ever that your recruitment firm’s marketing is as effective as can be. Candidate personas enable you to successfully target jobseekers and produce compelling content that resonates with them so that you can save time, money and resources on finding the perfect candidate for your client.

What are candidate personas?

A candidate persona is a fictional representation of your
recruitment firm’s ideal applicant for a specific job role. A persona is
created by defining the characteristics, skills and traits that make up the

maximising your brand

Maximising your brand through a winning PR strategy

Branding and PR are key
ingredients to the success of any business. Therefore, from the word go it’s important
a company has established its brand identity, message and image it wants to put
out there. Similarly, in order to maximise your brand, a PR strategy is a vital
tool for helping organisations grow an industry presence, communicate their
message and further their reach.

In essence, to get the most out of your business you need the two to work in tandem as they influence each other. With this in mind, here are three key ways

PR Skills Training - Never Stop Learning

PR skills training: why it matters

I’ve previously written on why public relations is an art, rather than a science. However, that doesn’t mean that PR skills training isn’t vital to the professional success of individual practitioners – and the media campaigns they develop and execute.    

The benefits of professional development

As a consultancy
which specialises in the recruitment and talent management sectors, we
often work with our clients to share stories around the benefits of professional

Research from Guidant Group, for example, recently found that almost half of businesses (47%) believe that

Hero Content: Recruitment Marketing

Hero content – a recruitment marketing dream

I recently contributed to a great initiative launched by Alex Moyle and Louise Triance called the A-Z of Recruiting success.  You can see all the contributors on Alex’s blog but my particular letter was H for Hero Content.  For me Hero Content really is a recruitment marketing dream because it gives you so much more to work with than one piece of content.

Content driven recruitment marketing

We all know that original content that adds value and addresses a particular pain point of your audience is likely to get more engagement than

PR Strategy: Chess Checkmate

Creating a marketing and PR strategy that really works

The New Year is always a great time for new beginnings and
new objectives. And for recruitment agencies, it’s a great time to plan for the
year ahead – and what a year it’s looking to be.

What lies in store for the UK economy is certainly unknown. Indeed, the only certainty is uncertainty. For every business, now is the time to look at how to weather the storm and, in my view at least, having a robust marketing and PR strategy in place will prove hugely valuable in the coming months.

BlueSky PR Fahida Begum

A new member of the BlueSky PR team: Fahida Begum

Hello everyone, I’m Fahida, the newest member of the BlueSky
PR team! I have joined the crew as a content writer and I’m very much looking
forward to getting stuck in!

A passion for writing

What lead me through the BlueSky PR doors is the same thing that lead me to study journalism at college and university: my passion for writing, media and researching everything. I’ve always known that I’d like a job that involves working with the press, building rapport and that encourages me to be creative. That makes being a content

2018 in numbers - BlueSky PR

2018 in numbers – BlueSky PR

More than

100 targeted press releases50 comment opportunities secured in The Times, FT, Telegraph and Forbes1500 mentions for clients in the recruitment and HR press7 winning award submissions written for clients

Sponsors of

The Recruitment NetworkOn The Edge Marketing ConferenceRecruitment Leaders Connect

Social media

Generated over 1.02m impressions for our clientsIncreased client followers by more than 400%152 client blog posts writtenOne LinkedIn campaign alone delivered leads equivalent to 192 x ROI based on average feesRegular engagement from publications including Accountancy Age, CSO Insights, Compare

Evergreen content

What is Evergreen Content? And Why You Should Love It

You may have heard the term before, but aren’t exactly sure what it means, how it can benefit your business, or why it’s named after a tree. So what is evergreen content? Evergreen content is content that is relevant now and long after it is published. It can show up in a variety of formats, such as ‘how-to’ articles, top ten lists, case studies, and much more.
Topics that work well for this are those that are part of our everyday lives, or relevant for everyone within a certain industry or subculture. Be it health, finance, careers, family, or

How to view competitors social media ads

How to View Your Competitors’ Social Media Ads

Did you know that you can see the Facebook and Twitter ads your competitors in the recruitment industry are running?
Earlier in 2018, Facebook and Twitter both announced that their advertising solutions would be made far more transparent in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and allegations of political interference. This has led to the introduction of tools which allow users of both platforms to view the ads companies have been running – regardless of whether they are the intended target audience or not.
Here’s how to view your rivals’ social media ads and gain insights that you can

8 overlooked ingredients of a successful blog post

In my short time at BlueSky, I’ve written a lot of blogs. This has meant a fair amount research on what makes a great post, and also reading some which aren’t very good at all! If my experience has taught me anything, by making sure you do these often overlooked things, you can take your blog to the next level. So, here’s my list of 8 overlooked ingredients for a successful blog post:
1. Making a point
This might seem obvious, but many blog articles have nothing to say. Well, they might have something to say, but they don’t have

Inspiring PR Strategies: Key takeaways from the Cision CommsCon event

Joining hundreds of PR professionals for a day of insight, debate and discussion, I recently attended the #CommsCon 2018 event hosted by Cision. Designed to inspire PR and comms strategies for the year ahead, attendees heard first hand from major brands and journalists, topics included: how roles in the industry have changed; what stories they want to hear from PRs; how to ensure your creating content with a purpose; and the best approach to crisis management.
Below are the key takeaways from the event to help inspire your 2019 PR strategy.
Purpose driven content … why does it matter?

What is PR? It's not all about the champagne

Is our PR the same as your PR? Maybe not…

“So, what is PR?” Sometimes I really dread this question when I go to networking events – it’s one of those things you know you’re going to be asked, but in many cases, my response is never quite believed. Whenever I explain what I do I’m challenged: “Well, that’s copywriting, isn’t it?”
“I thought that what’s social media experts do?”
“Isn’t that journalism – are you a journalist then?”.
And, of course, I will always at some point get the Absolutely Fabulous reference: “So you spend your time wining and dining clients and journalists?” (If only I had the

Think your office refurb makes for interesting PR?

No one cares that you’ve decorated your office: ways to find PR stories that are of interest

The disparity between what a business thinks is an interesting PR story, and the information that actually grabs the attention of target publications, is often vast. However, by viewing potential press angles through the eyes of the audience, brands can uncover stories which won’t fail to make headlines.
In reality, even the most niche publications are unlikely to have much interest in the fact that you have had an office refurbishment, refreshed your website or invested in a new coffee machine. That is, of course, unless you have a solid angle as to ‘why’ you have made those changes

Guy Fawkes Anonymous mask

Why Guy Fawkes’ flame won’t go out

The 5th November marks the 413th anniversary of the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Led by Robert Catesby, this group of Roman Catholic activists had suffered persecution during the 45 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Against all their hopes, Protestant King James I ascended to the throne and declared that Catholics were still not free to practice their religion.
So, the plotters laced a cellar in the House of Lords with gunpowder but were rumbled last minute when Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed by a group of guards. He was tortured

Build a killer social media strategy

Three social media hacks to increase the visibility of your posts

Social media continues to transform the way in which recruitment agencies are able to reach their target audiences, source candidates and showcase their company culture.
However, with organic reach plummeting due to algorithm changes and saturated feeds it can be extremely difficult to get your content in front of followers. To help with this, I have rounded up three of the latest social media hacks for recruiters to use to increase the visibility of your firm’s posts.
1. Add a URL to LinkedIn posts AFTER they have been published to increase views
Like other social media algorithms, LinkedIn

PR professional typing on computer

Why I decided on a career in PR

Hi there, my name’s Jake and I’ve recently become a member of the BlueSky team!
If you had asked me what I wanted to do when I was a child, I’d probably have responded by telling you I was going to be a footballer, rapper or actor. PR was definitely not on my radar. However, as I realised I couldn’t run with a ball, rap or act, I was forced to look elsewhere. In hindsight, I think the skills needed for a career in PR have been with me for a long time. I’ve always been an avid reader

disability in recruitment

Disability in Recruitment – what’s the next step?

We recently attended a roundtable hosted by The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), which aims solely to break down the barriers facing disabled people in the workforce. On the day, attendees came together to discuss the hurdles disabled individuals face and how the recruitment industry must work together to truly make a difference. The main theme centred on how we can enable technology for disabled talent and the impact it is currently having.
Attendees discussed the types of technologies available which are designed to help those with impairments and disabilities. Challenges voiced ranged from ways to alter the application

BBC’s The Bodyguard: the power of reactive PR

While expertly executed PR programmes, based on carefully constructed plans, are the bedrock of any successful PR campaign, reactive PR and marketing activity can offer brands a fast-track route to getting their voices heard.
And this technique was something that Counter Terrorism Policing UK demonstrated perfectly, when it capitalised on the popularity of BBC’s The Bodyguard: the most watched new British drama in more than a decade, with more than 10 million viewers tuning in to the first episode.
Demonstrable ROI
By creating a social campaign tagged to the hit show – which offered behind the scenes insight and

AI redundant recruitment

AI: A redundant human workforce in the recruitment sector?

This is a guest blog by Olly Dunn, a final year Business & Management undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University.
As I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed the other day I came across a video showcasing a self-driving bulldozer that digs trenches based on job plans. As cool (and scary) as it is to see how far technology has developed, it got me thinking about to what extent robotics, and AI in particular, could replace the human worker, and whether the ‘human touch’ could ever be taken out of the recruitment process completely.
AI, or machine learning and robotics

top tips for making the most of information

Sitting on a wealth of information? Here’s how to make the most of it

There’s no doubt that recruitment agencies are sitting on a wealth of important information, even if not all of them realise the full value of it. While recruiters will certainly be drawing on their own knowledge and the data in their CRM to help them source, shortlist, interview and place candidates, agencies will also benefit from sharing their understanding of the hiring landscape more widely. At BlueSky PR, we know that a great way for a business to position itself as an industry expert is by highlighting its unique insights into candidate and client behaviour. Here are our top

NFL player kneeling during national anthem

The Nike scandal – what can PR professionals learn?

You may have heard about the bold move from global sports company Nike, selecting Colin Kaepernick, (ex-NFL player and US civil rights activist) as the new face of its global advertising campaign.
Since his refusal to stand during the national anthem, to protest his beliefs on the country’s oppression of people of colour and injustice, Kaepernick has been a prominent figure causing quite the controversy. But did Nike make the right choice in choosing him to celebrate its 30th anniversary?
Yes. Based on the overall success of the campaign and an examination of Nike stock after launching the advert

tips to secure social media buy-in

Three tips to secure social media buy-in

In this ‘always on’ digital age, social media has become incredibly important for recruitment agencies. However, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is securing buy-in from senior management who sometimes fail to recognise the value that social media has to offer.
Here are three tips for producing a successful business case to put forward to your firm’s executives.
1. Be Clear
Before approaching senior management, you need to have a clear idea in mind of what exactly it is that you are seeking buy-in for and the reasons why. Are you looking to address a problem you have

win back lost customers PR marketing

How to win back lost customers through marketing and PR

Given the very nature of recruitment, losing a client to a competitor is a tough, but rather common situation, particularly as prices become increasingly competitive. However, all is not lost. Rather than bemoan the fact that the client has moved on (even if you know they are prioritising money over quality), why not take a more strategic approach?
You’ll likely have plenty of other highly engaged clients who value your agency – use them to your advantage to not only win clients back, but engage with new ones as well. Produce case studies of the results you’ve delivered to

internal communication is a risk for your agency

Why angry internal communication is a risk for your agency

As all business owners know, your reputation is something which is carefully built and you want to avoid damaging that at all costs. However, there’s a recent cautionary tale for recruiters everywhere, which involves the boss of a Sydney-based agency causing his company to go viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. Marcus Wood, Director of Mars Recruiting, sent an angry internal all-staff email titled ‘Friday observation’ which was shared externally and quickly found its way online.
Suits, sick days and sackings
In the communication, the director lists a number of things which he says are “getting

PR key for candidate attraction

Why PR is key for candidate attraction

As partners of The Recruitment Network (TRN) we recently attended a Directors Briefing event where industry representatives came together to discuss the biggest hurdles firms face today in attracting talent. The main themes focused around sourcing new skills to pipeline future growth and where agencies are going wrong when there is the opportunity to get it right.
Challenges voiced by attendees ranged from how to creatively motivate existing employees, to attracting new skills and, looking at sourcing candidates in ways that differ from traditional methods.
With this in mind, below are some top tips to get the ball rolling

the power of polls

The power of polls

Positioning your brand as a thought leader in its field through PR takes not only a superior understanding of the market, but also time and dedication. However, while there is no shortcut to building a solid media profile, generating data through surveying your networks can supercharge a press release by boosting both newsworthiness and the potential to repurpose.
Flick through any national newspaper, or scroll through any major newsfeed, and you’ll find that a significant number use statistics as a hook. Thanks to the power of polls, we know that Magnums are the UK’s favourite ice cream, England’s progress

What can PR’s learn from England’s media strategy?

What can PR’s learn from England’s media strategy?

Rewind two years to a warm summer’s night in France, England have just suffered arguably their biggest humiliation at a football tournament, losing 2-1 to Iceland, a country with just over 300,000 population. Headlines across the nation read ‘national disgrace’, ‘not fit to wear the shirt’ and so on. The distance between the England national football team and the media and general public could not be further.
Fast forward to 2018, the scene could not be more different. A new manager and a new-look team which came so close to reaching a World Cup final. But, more extraordinary from

How does the Instagram algorithm work? recruitment

How does the Instagram algorithm work? What recruiters need to know

It has been almost two years since Instagram transformed its feed by introducing an algorithm and for the first time it has revealed the ranking factors behind it which influence what users see on the platform.
So how exactly does the algorithm work? And how can you use these ranking factors to increase your recruitment firm’s engagement on Instagram?
Instagram’s ranking criteria
Instagram stated that it uses machine learning based on past behaviour to create a unique feed for each and every one of its 800 million users around the world. This means that if a group of users

PR: Outsourced or in-house?

If there’s one thing we can guarantee to be asked in PR it’s this: why should I outsource to you rather than manage it myself? While it’s completely understandable that business owners will feel reluctant to put their reputation in the hands of others, my argument is that they should.
Yes, I’m sure many of you are thinking “well she would say that wouldn’t she” but let me explain why.
Let the experts be the experts
We each have our own job to do. For firms involved in the talent management arena, the focus of every member of staff

top tips for responding to negative reviews

They said WHAT? Top tips for responding to negative reviews about your agency

The concept of ‘word of mouth’ reviews has changed dramatically now that the internet is an integral part of our lives. Years ago, disgruntled clients and candidates would express their dissatisfaction by telling their friends and colleagues. Now, they tell the world via a frustrated tweet, withering Facebook comment or damning Glassdoor review. The speed at which these comments can be shared means that your business can suffer widespread reputational damage, which is why it is important to manage them with care. And, with a recent study of Millennials showing that they are used to looking at reviews before

women in recruitment

Women in Recruitment – what’s the next step?

As partners of The Recruitment Network (TRN) we recently attended the Women in Recruitment roundtable where industry representatives came together to discuss the biggest hurdles facing females in recruitment today. The main themes focused on why increasingly talented women are leaving roles early in their careers before they reach senior positions and the reasons behind this.
Challenges voiced around the table ranged from the gender pay gap in recruitment, potential discrimination such as age, and the lack of role models in the industry. In particular, we looked at whether the culture of recruitment means that women either leave the

PR is an art, not a science

PR is an art, not a science

I’ve previously written on the reasons why I believe that PR professionals won’t be replaced by robots, and it seems that recent research from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) confirms my suspicions.
The paper, Humans still needed: An analysis of skills and tools in public relations, concludes that the profession needs people to ‘think creatively and abstractly about problems to devise new and innovative strategies, test out different approaches and look to the future’.
However, unlike my own anecdotal musings on the same topic, this report clearly analyses where technology can pick up the slack – and

Why you should attend the Recruitment Technology Innovation & Social Media Showcase

The recruitment industry is moving fast. From automation through to machine learning and chatbots, technology is rapidly transforming every aspect of the recruitment process.
However, with so many different types of recruitment tech available how do you know what will benefit your agency and enable you to stand out in a saturated market?
UK Recruiter has pulled together a comprehensive line up of the best recruitment technology and social media companies and gurus to help you improve your skills and move your business forward, including Bullhorn, Volcanic and Firefish.
Here are my top three reasons why you should attend

Why your content isn’t working: the cardinal sins

Why your content isn’t working: the cardinal sins

Is your recruitment firm struggling to get candidates and clients interested in your content? If the answer is ‘yes’ you could be committing one (or more) of the cardinal sins of content production.
So what are the top reasons your content isn’t hitting the mark? And, crucially, what can you do to fix it?
You’re selling
This is a big bug bear of mine, and something that far too many companies do. They use their content – whether that be a blog, newsletter or white paper – to sell their services instead of demonstrating their expertise.  Potential candidates and

How can you tell which PR agency is right for you?

How can you tell which PR agency is right for you?

When selecting a PR agency – as with choosing any supplier – you want to know you’re not only working with the best-of-the-best, but also getting value for money. So, what should you be looking for when choosing a partner? Here are just a few of the key attributes to consider:
Connections, connections, connections
Find out which publications they have close relationships with. Note, however, that for any PR agency their contacts are their professional collateral, so they won’t cough up a list of names and emails or phone numbers. Instead, ask them to demonstrate which outlets they work

Three reasons why your recruitment agency should outsource social media

“Should we be outsourcing our social media?” That is a topic many recruitment agencies are currently having internal discussions on around the country.
And it’s not hard to see why – research from the Aberdeen Group shows that 73% of 18-34 year olds found their last job via social media, whilst Deloitte predicts that digitally savvy millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025.
With the number of social media users growing exponentially – currently sitting at 3.196 billion globally in 2018 – social media has the potential to develop your brand’s profile, showcase its expertise

Wetherspoons - can a brand survive without social media presence

Can a modern brand survive without a presence on social media?

When pub chain JD Wetherspoon recently announced its decision to shut down all of its social media channels – including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – with immediate effect, it raised eyebrows, not least from those who understand how a presence on those platforms can add value to a business, if they are used strategically.
Chairman Tim Martin said, in a now deleted tweet, “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business,” adding that the managers of its 900 pub branches agreed with him. He later told a journalist that, “On

shock tactics in PR

Do shock tactics in PR really work?

We know all too well; the same generic type of careers pages can sometimes fail to engage and attract the best individuals which can result in top-talent going amiss. For many businesses and marketing teams there is the challenge of being tasked to regularly provide informative, creative and attention-grabbing PR campaigns. And while this will often be tailored to certain objectives or showcasing new products which can affect how the campaign is executed – there are still key strategies to bear in mind.
Recently we have seen things going awry with big brands under fire for their somewhat suggestive

write winning award submission

How to write a winning award submission

Entering corporate awards can be a great way to gain exposure, enhance brand perception and validate your market position. However, for each category, there can be only one winner – here’s how you can stand out from the crowd and earn your status as an ‘award winning’ organisation.
Choose wisely
To be in with a chance of taking home a trophy, you’ll have to invest a hefty chunk of time and resources into collating the information needed. For this reason, taking the decision to enter awards shouldn’t be taken lightly – it has to be worth the effort.

Five simple Twitter tactics for increasing engagement

Five simple tactics for increasing your Twitter engagement

Is your recruitment firm struggling to get noticed on Twitter? With engagement a major ranking factor in the platform’s algorithm, it is essential that marketers understand how they can maximise this to help meet their objectives.
Here are five simple tactics that you can implement into your social media strategy to increase your engagement and visibility on Twitter:
1. Re-use and repurpose your top posts
With studies showing that the average lifespan of a tweet lasts between 18-24 minutes, it is important to re-use and repurpose tweets which have received high levels of engagement. This helps maximise the overall

piggybacking tips

The magic of ‘piggybacking’

Jumping on the latest news can be one of the most effective ways to generate content for your recruitment agency. Not only does it show that you are ‘on the ball’ and efficient but also dedicated to the client and their reputation. But in a digital 24/7 world, you have to act fast amongst the rest. Recognising the appetite for pressing subjects and topical events such as International Women’s Day and National Apprenticeship Week are great ways to keep you one step ahead and achieve prime time coverage.
So here are some top tips to maintain a rapid smart-proof

KFC: What can PR professionals learn from the Colonel?

As far as PR challenges go, a chicken shop running out of chicken is a pretty major deal. Which perhaps explains the furore which ensued when KFC was forced to close the majority of its 900 restaurants after bringing a new delivery partner on board.
The fiasco was covered extensively across the UK mainstream media, with the most influential outlets from the Sun to the Financial Times offering real-time updates on the situation. Social media, meanwhile, went into overdrive, with fans of the chain demanding, among other things, that the government calls an emergency Cobra meeting over the shortage.

top tips for dealing with a PR emergency

Crisis 101: top tips for dealing with a PR emergency

Most businesses will find themselves dealing with a difficult public relations event at some point and some may experience a full-blown crisis, such as data theft, cyber-crime or internal malpractice coming to light. In our digital age, news goes viral almost instantaneously, meaning that the implementation of a swift and effective crisis management strategy is essential. The wrong approach can irreversibly damage your brand and its relationship with clients and business partners.
One example of a PR disaster is the one which Oxfam currently finds itself experiencing. PR Week says that, “As far as communications crises go, the latest

traditional media important in PR

Why the Edelman Trust Barometer means traditional media is more important than ever

This year’s Edelman Trust Barometer – which measures trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies – reveals that social media companies have lost the trust of the public. In fact only a quarter of the UK population now say that they trust social media as a source of news and information. However there has been a huge increase in trust in traditional media (61%), reaching levels not seen since 2012, as well as a rebound in trust in experts and leaders. So what does this all mean for recruitment marketers?
Media coverage matters
Well first and foremost,

Facebook news feed changes recruitment agencies

How will Facebook’s news feed changes affect your recruitment agency?

In the early hours of Friday 12th January, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm that will have huge ramifications for every single company that uses the platform.
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Facebook’s co-founder wrote.
To combat this, Facebook will be showing less content from businesses, brands and media whilst prioritising ‘meaningful interactions between people’ – in essence returning the platform to its original goal. So, what do

Getting ROI from your PR: A round up from Recruitment Agency Expo

Getting ROI from your PR: A round up from Recruitment Agency Expo

Last week was the annual Recruitment Agency Expo at London Olympia, where recruitment professionals gathered to hear from industry experts, network with peers and get all the latest info on the UK’s staffing sector.
Among the many influential speakers stood BlueSky’s very own Managing Director, Tracey Barrett. So for those that missed out, here’s a roundup of Tracey’s presentation on Getting ROI from your PR.
Firstly let’s start with the basics, why does PR and marketing really matter in recruitment and why should you bother?
As Tracey discussed at the conference, it’s a crowded market out there. Last year

top 5 tips for engaging content

Top 5 tips for creating engaging content

Most firms understand the importance of having original content such as blogs, company news and professional insights on their websites. Firstly, if visitors to your site discover something useful or interesting, they are more likely to return. Secondly, it allows your firm to position itself as an authority and provider of relevant, engaging information. Finally, quality content gives you more material to share on social media, consequently creating wider exposure.  This is also important as research shows that social shares influence where your website appears in search rankings. So, here are our top five tips for creating material with

PR for start-ups what’s the point

PR for start-ups: what’s the point?

Make no mistake, getting any fledgling business off the ground is tough, regardless of the founder’s skills, experience and level of dedication. And despite the huge potential rewards associated with setting up your own company, it’s a sad fact that around half of new start-ups fail in the first five years.
The recruitment sector is particularly competitive. According to Companies House data, over 9,000 recruitment consultancies set up shop in the UK during 2017. That’s an average of 818 new agencies being registered every single month. Each of these businesses will need to make important decisions around premises, the

PR for start-ups what’s the point

The H&M nightmare

Unless you’ve been hidden under a rock for the past week you’ll have heard of H&M’s recent marketing campaign which saw a young black child wearing a hoodie which reads ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’. And in the days since the backlash has been huge – not only has the fashion brand lost celebrity endorsers, but huge swathes of customers have also pledged to boycott the business.
The H&M fiasco is not the first time a global brand has come under fire for seemingly racist campaigns. It was only recently that Pepsi was widely criticised for its ad showing

Social media trends

The top three social media trends to prepare for in 2018

Social media dominated the marketing and communications landscape in 2017 – platforms rolled out a host of new features, the number of global social media users exceeded 3 billion for the first time and President Trump cemented his position as the world’s most famous tweeter by using the platform to create a number of international incidents.
But what will this year bring? Here are my top three social media trends for 2018 that marketers should be prepared for.
Paid social will become an essential part of social media strategies
Since 2013, businesses have experienced a rapid decline in their

All I want for PR 2018 – the good and the bad

New Year, new start and a new world of PR?
In the ever changing society we live it can be hard to keep up. But let’s face it, scarily 2018 is fast approaching us and many are unsure of what the New Year might bring.
Far from finite, it seems the pace of new innovation is rising at an alarming speed and if we aren’t careful, soon we may find ourselves wading through a haze of advanced technology and myriad of creative innovations for the New Year. But what about PR and marketing? Erring on the side of caution,

The biggest PR fails of 2017

The biggest PR fails of 2017

So, we are almost in 2018. Depending on the year you’ve had, you may be sad to leave 2017 behind or, quite frankly, be glad to see the back of it. In the PR world, there are definitely some people wishing that they could go a step further and get in a time machine to restart 2017 from scratch. Here are five of the biggest PR fails of 2017.
United Airlines goes into freefall
United Airlines had a serious problem on its hands when footage circulated of a passenger, his face bloodied, being dragged down an aisle and forcibly

Blurred lines: Differentiating marketing and PR

Blurred lines: Differentiating marketing and PR

In a world where the lines between advertising, marketing and PR are becoming increasingly blurred, it’s little wonder that some business leaders struggle to see where one function ends and another begins. Add in the role played by social media and it’s easy to see why there’s so much confusion.
It’s a hotly debated topic. Should the boundaries be that clear cut? Does it really matter as long as the right result is achieved? It’s important though, to understand what PR does that marketing doesn’t, to achieve a comprehensive communication effort.
In simple terms, the fundamental differentiator between marketing

How LinkedIn can make you a better PR Person

How LinkedIn can make you a better PR Person

LinkedIn boasts an impressive 500 million users, so surely presents an opportunity for the savvy PR? However, like most social networking sites it’s overcrowded and noisy, making it difficult for anyone to make a real impact.
But there are still ways to utilise LinkedIn, for the benefit of both you and your clients. Here are some top tips from the BSE team.
Sharing Coverage
Every PR person knows that sharing client coverage through your own social media channels is a must to increase visibility.
However, it is vital as a PR advisor to encourage your clients to share their

PR pearls of wisdom

PRs, if you had one pearl of wisdom – what would it be?

Avoiding disaster, navigating networking, and pitching like a pro – what advice would our BlueSky team have for the world of the PR professional?
“Don’t cut corners on the quality of anything you write,” says Ian Hawkings, Head of our Education Practice. “Every note, email or tweet – both internal and external is a tool that can either help build, or destroy your brand.”
It’s something simple that goes a long way, but keeping your writing to the highest standard can get other people to see things the way you’d like them to. Whether that’s proposing a new idea

Why you should be using the ‘rule of thirds’ in your social media strategy

One of the most common dilemmas facing marketers when it comes to producing a social media strategy is deciding on the content mix. What should you be posting? How many job posts is too much? Should you be sharing third-party news?
This is where the social media ‘rule of thirds’ comes in. It is a simple model used to ensure that your content is balanced and doesn’t lean too heavily in one direction – after all would you like it if your social media feeds were full of sales posts?
By implementing the rule of thirds into your social

Following a passion

Following a passion

Hello all, my name is Zahra and having recently graduated last year, I am Bluesky’s newest recruit!
To give a brief background, from a young age, the theme of career and what I would pursue had always been at the forefront. When it comes to the taboo on career paths and pressure to succeed, there are many reasons we factor in. They often say it’s never too late to follow your passion and to choose something important to you. If you pick something you enjoy you will only work harder to achieve and excel, which is why I knew

A new ember of the BlueSky Team

A new member of the BlueSky team: Helen Edmundson

Hello, I’m Helen, a new recruit to the BlueSky team and a career changer.
After graduating with a degree in English Literature, I spent the last fifteen years as a Teacher of English, working my way up until I became a Head of Department.
The fields of English teaching and Public Relations may seem fairly disparate to many but they share a lot of common ground.
One important skill that you develop as a teacher is the ability to take what can often be complex specialised material and find a way to make that interesting and accessible to a

How diverse is your recruitment firm?

How diverse is your recruitment firm? #RecruitmentMeansDiversity

I’m delighted to have been invited to contribute to The Recruitment Network’s new initiative #RecruitmentMeansDiversity which has been designed to shine a spotlight on how the recruitment sector attracts, retains and treats its talent. We are already working closely with The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative to help to break down the barriers faced by the millions of disabled people who are entering or progressing through the job market and having recently received a highly commended award by ENEI for a diversity and inclusion campaign, it’s an issue close to my heart.
It’s not a tick box – and it’s

5 tips to make your pitch stand out from the crowd

5 tips to make your pitch stand out from the crowd

Journalist’s jobs are becoming more and more time-pressed, with their inboxes increasingly flooded with PR’s pitches. Now more than ever, for a journalist to buy into a pitch, it needs to capture their attention. But how as a PR can you make your pitch stand out from the crowd ?
Make sure it’s newsworthy
Journalists are inundated with pitches daily, so ones that are boring, uninteresting, and un-newsworthy are destined to fail before they’ve even been sent. ‘The 5 best paints to watch dry’, for example, will never get coverage no matter how amazing your pitch is, or how

essential steps when a reporter says 'yes'

Essential steps when a reporter says ‘yes’

You’ve identified the ingredients for a perfect story, fired off a killer email pitch or picked up the phone and articulated your client’s experience, expertise and angle. The editor or journalist wants to cover the story Result! But where do you go from here? What are the essential steps when a reporter says ‘yes’?
Be clear on what the publication needs from you
It may sound obvious, but be sure that your expectations are aligned. You may have thought that you were setting up an interview, while the commissioning editor had a 1,500 word, Harvard referenced, by-lined article in

3 stories PRs shouldn’t miss this weeK

3 stories PRs shouldn’t miss this week

Weinstein and the power of the media
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will have heard the Harvey Weinstein story. For obvious reasons, the scandal has been well covered by the media, however in the age of instant news, some people are already bored of it. In fact, I overheard someone in my local coffee shop opening a newspaper and sarcastically saying “oh look, more about Harvey Weinstein, it’s like there’s no other news”.
I’m sure there are some PRs who are worried that this story will overshadow their current publicity campaign

3 reasons why your CEO should be using social media

3 reasons why your CEO should be using social media

Whilst getting social media buy-in for your brand can be a challenging experience, one thing that is often much more difficult is persuading your CEO to create their own social media accounts. Common objections often include being too busy to post on social media, not being digitally savvy enough or not having anything interesting to say. And this attitude is reflected in research from America which has revealed that 60% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no public social media presence. So how can you get them on-board?
Here are 3 reasons why your CEO should be using social media.

How to be an effective media spokesperson.

How to be an effective media spokesperson

We’ve all been there. You turn on the TV or open the morning paper only to see a story which is centred around your business sector splashed everywhere. You knew this story was going to hit the headlines months ago – why aren’t you being interviewed along with the other experts? Here are our top tips for becoming an effective media spokesperson:
Be visible
Becoming a thought leader takes commitment. If a reporter or researcher is looking for insight on GP shortages in rural Essex, for example, the obvious place to begin their search is online. Make a habit

Why Twitter’s Move to 280 Characters is a Bad Idea

Why Twitter’s Move to 280 Characters is a Bad Idea

Updates to social media platforms are becoming a far more regular occurrence these days, as the companies behind them roll out various tweaks and new features in an effort to increase the number of active users on their sites. And the last 18 months has already seen three major updates with Instagram emulating Snapchat’s Stories feature, Twitter changing its timeline and Facebook rolling out chatbots for Business Pages.
However, it looks like we are about to experience the biggest social media change in years with the news that Twitter has begun trialling a new 280-character limit – double the

how to use social media for brand building

How to use social media for brand building

Last week I hosted a webinar with BlueSky’s resident social media guru, Dan Stobbs, on our top tips on how to use social media for brand building. And at a time when the number of global users now exceeds 3 billion, it’s perhaps more important than ever that agencies are using the correct platforms to engage with their target audiences. So here are our top five tips for how to use social media for brand building:
Don’t ‘spray and pray’
Too many companies adopt this approach with their social media activity and, put simply, it doesn’t work. Take the

share content

How to encourage your employees to share content

On average, employees have 10 times more followers than their company’s social media accounts.
We recently shared our 10 top tips for social media success. In the post we stressed that encouraging employees to post and share content about your organisation will increase your reach beyond your own channels, while simultaneously building potential leads and brand perception.

Sounds simple – but in our experience, recruiters have a habit of protesting that they’re too busy getting on with the day job to prioritise social sharing. Here’s how to make them change their minds:
Ensure your content is worth sharing

Sniffing out a story. Why news sense is important

Sniffing out a story. Why news sense is important.

Over time many PR professionals or media relations specialists cut their teeth on local papers. And if as a young journalist you didn’t have a news sense it was quickly and often quite ruthlessly drilled into you.
Covering court cases and council meetings, doing police and fire calls and covering tough and sometimes horrid assignments became part and parcel of learning the trade – and at the same time all working to high speed deadlines.
When the agenda was slack and news was slow, you had to go out and find news. Building contacts and sniffing out a story

5 myths about PR

5 myths about PR

Not many people outside of the industry know what PR actually involves. That means that fallacies and myths about PR are bandied around, often by advertising firms worrying about their ever decreasing market share. But what are the top 5 myths about PR?
It’s all about the press release
A quick search reveals that a worrying number of people think PR actually stands for press release, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, a release is an effective way of getting your brand name out there, but what if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader

3 social media tips you should ignore

3 social media tips you should ignore

Social media as a communications channel continues to grow, with a recent report undertaken by Hootsuite and We Are Social revealing that the number of people using social media around the world has exceeded 3 billion – increasing at a staggering rate of 1 million new users per day over the last quarter.
And with this growth showing no signs of slowing, it is crucial that you are able to cut through this ever-increasing noise to reach your target audiences. However, how do you know if you’re doing this right?
A simple Google search on the subject will bring

In it for the long-haul: why short-term marketing doesn’t work

In it for the long-haul: why short-term marketing doesn’t work

Building a brand takes dedication. As well as a great product or service, you need to invest time and resources into spreading your message. There is no quick fix – success relies on a sustained approach. Short-term marketing initiatives are quite frankly, pointless.
Of course, there is a place for dedicated campaigns to promote a time sensitive event or initiative, but this should be contextualised within a programme of ongoing communications. You wouldn’t expect to get fit by visiting the gym once – however hard you pushed yourself during your single visit – so why should the results of

How to get more shares for your content on social media

Get more shares for your content on social media

Social media is everywhere in the modern world and if you don’t like it…well, you haven’t got much choice. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many others have infiltrated into the modern world and changed it dramatically. For businesses, having a presence on at least one channel is an absolute must and any organisation that doesn’t is likely to be seen as outdated and behind the times in all but the most traditional industries. So it’s important to get more shares for your content on social media.
Engagement is the word of the moment, however there’s nothing worse than setting up

Get much more out of a press release

Get much more out of a press release

When many think of PR, they instantly think ‘press release’. Well, yes they certainly do form part of the public relations mix, but there is so much more and companies need to be looking to get much more out of a press release and make the most of their PR activities.
Is it newsworthy?
First and foremost, if you are going to put the time and energy into writing a press release, it really must have a news angle. You might consider the fact that you have launched a new website or refurbished your office is fantastic news, but

SEO Tips for Recruitment Agencies

Three Simple SEO Tips for Recruitment Agencies

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often seen as a daunting and complicated subject. However, it needn’t be that way. Here are three SEO tips for recruitment agencies of all sizes that can be used to increase search rankings:

Research your keywords

Although obvious to some, keyword research is often overlooked due to factors such as time constraints. The easiest way to research potential keywords for your content is to create a keyword list by using Google’s autocomplete function. To do this, simply open and start typing the subject of your page in the search box and

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

sharpen your pr writing

Seven top tips to sharpen your PR writing

I recently blogged on why PR professionals are unlikely to be replaced by robots in the near future. One of the reasons why is the human ability to craft copy to create impact at a time when content can no longer demand attention.

Here are my seven top tips to sharpen your PR writing:
Get to the point quickly
Whether you’re drafting a pitch, press release or article, ensure that your intended message is clear from the outset, or you’ll swiftly lose your audience.
Cover all bases
PR professionals should always attempt to

PR or advertising?

PR or Advertising?

It’s the age-old struggle. In the left corner we have advertising, represented by Mad Men, while in the right we have PR, represented by Absolutely Fabulous. Obviously, in my eyes there’s one clear winner, however it’s probably fair to say that I’m ever so slightly biased. But what is more powerful, PR or advertising?

Dated concept
It would be unfair to say that advertising doesn’t have its place in the modern world, however to most commentators it’s seen as less effective than it once was in the past. If we rewound to even as recently as

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

press release

How to write a press release

A press release is the most basic and most important tool for communicating with the media. Why? Simply because journalists and editors have become used to them and know how to deal with them or, in the majority of cases, how to delete them from their inbox.
So, how do you write a press release?
A good press release encapsulates a story to gain media attention – a bit like a good mailshot in the recruitment sector. As with a mailshot it needs to be targeted, be relevant and communicate quickly and clearly. Here’s an example of one

Social Media Tips

10 tips for social media success

Our new social media executive
Hi, I’m Dan and I’m a new addition to BlueSky PR. I’ve joined the team as social media executive to help develop our clients’ social media presences on the recruitment, HR and talent management side of the business. Up until now, my career has seen me spend almost four years in the not-for-profit sector where I worked for two children’s charities on a national and international scale. These were varied roles which saw me assume responsibility for marketing activities, including brand development, press releases and social media management. I’m really excited to start

General election and other content sources

The General Election and other great sources for content ideas

6 great sources for generating content
1.      Your recruitment consultants
They talk to candidates and clients on the phone every day.  They will certainly have some quirky human-interest stories – they type of thing that they may not even realise is content but actually makes a really interesting story.
They are talking to clients about trends in the market; they are talking to candidates about salaries – so use your people.
They are also having questions asked of them by clients and candidates, so they know what kind of information is being sought and what

ROI from PR

Getting ROI from your PR

PR absolutely can and absolutely should be measured.

Know what your objectives are.  You need to have something to measure against – and so you need context. Do you need more candidates or clients – and where? In a particular sector or geography. Do you need more people to work for you? Do you want to raise you profile as a thought leader?
Don’t just share the same message across all channels, think about what you are looking to achieve and the best way to do this using each channel.
It might be that your

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

How to measure the success of a PR campaign

One of the major gripes that many people have with PR is that it has historically been seen as overly fluffy and often challenging to prove a direct return on investment. For the financial professionals amongst you, that’s probably the number one thing you look for when investing in a service and admittedly, it has been one of the industry’s biggest weaknesses. Historically, the field has been more about creating positive sentiment and raising brand awareness rather than proving direct and measureable financial return from your PR investment.  So, how do you measure the success of PR?
Different channels,

Artificial intelligence technology

Why PR professionals won’t be replaced with robots

A new report from PwC suggests that robotics and artificial intelligence could affect almost a third of UK jobs by the 2030s. However, while the rise of technology is increasing impacting the way that organisations hire – PR professionals won’t be replaced by robots.
A recent blog on PR Daily highlights the four crucial skills that PR professionals will always need (and our blog post last week discusses the skills a PR professional would be unsuccessful without). These are writing, research, project management and presentation.
Looking at writing ability specifically, the ability to craft copy to create

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

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

biggest threats to recruiters

The biggest threats to recruiters

We recently surveyed recruitment directors to find out what’s keeping them awake at night.  It turns out their biggest fear is the threat both internal recruiters and RPOs present to their market share.
Download the full report
Time to hire was also a key concern for both internal and external recruiters and should therefore be a key area both sides work on together to reduce. Recruitment processes need to be well thought out and fit for purpose so that your candidate experience can be one that you can hold up to your clients as an example of best

measure recruitment PR and marketing

Recruitment PR and Marketing Tips

I recently ran another hugely successful edition of our fantastic recruitment marketing masterclass with the lovely Lisa Jones of Barclay Jones.  After the session Lisa and I caught up to put together a list of our top recruitment marketing tips for email marketing success. If you’re interested in attending our next session in September you can register now.

I’ve also been talking a lot recently about how to get ROI from your recruitment marketing, at Recruitment Leaders Connect, in Only Marketing Jobs, in Recruitment Grapevine, and in a hugely popular webinar with APSCo where over 80% of attendees said they weren’t confident that their PR

the value of content and PR

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 money from PR,” followed by an afternoon of roundtables where we discussed the value of PR and content.
So what did we discuss?
Why aren’t more recruiters appearing in the press?
Often the answer was that they hadn’t been asked and don’t know how to approach the press themselves.  But pitching a journalist a story is no different than pitching a client a candidate – the worst they can say is no.
However, one of the key things we

Content Marketing

Top tips for effective content marketing

I was kindly asked to take part in UK Recruiter’s latest live webchat on content marketing for recruiters. A few technical blips from my end meant it didn’t really go according to plan – so for those of you who are interested in how to create effective content marketing here are my top tips:
Have a strategy
It’s essential to determine who you want your content to reach and what the objectives are. Do you want more candidates, clients or even staff for your own business? Do you want to build up talent pools that you can demonstrate

Win the war for talent

Using PR to win the war for recruitment talent

Unless your organisation is an Instagram or a Snapchat and you’ve developed some as yet unidentified method of apparently creating huge amounts of revenue, it’s pretty clear that people are the key to any business.
Your employees and what they know are generally what differentiates you from the competition and as much as you might think your fancy CRM, or the PlayStation you have in the kitchen make your company what it is, it’s actually your employees.
This makes winning the war for talent – your own talent – absolutely critical and, as we all know, the

Write about what you know

Press releases: It’s about what you know NOT what you do

Why write about what you know when you want people to know what you do?
All too often companies approach PR thinking their agency will write press releases explicitly about what their organisation does and who they are, but the fact of the matter is journalists don’t care about who you are, or the services you offer – they care about what you know, and in particular the things you know that they don’t.
What do you know?
Regardless of what sector you recruit into, you know all about one thing – the people agenda. Which means you can

email marketing tips for recruiters

14 email marketing tips for recruiters

Are you struggling to produce email marketing campaigns that generate opens and clickthroughs? Here are 14 of our top email marketing tips for recruitment success:

Where are you getting your data from? DON’T just buy lists and then get blacklisted! Use your CRM and ideally go for opt-ins!

What is your goal for your mailers? Ideally to generate leads – not just brand and clicks… create call lists for your recruiters and you’ll have lots of fans!

What is the content of your mailers? A candidate is more likely to open a mailer if

5 things to stop doing with your recruitment marketing

5 things to stop doing with your recruitment marketing

Missed our webinar with Barclay Jones earlier today on 5 things to stop doing with your recruitment marketing?  Watch the video.

5 things to stop doing with your recruitment marketing

STOP looking at PR as a vanity project – have objectives and measure outcomes
STOP creating content and not marketing it
STOP writing crap job adverts and blaming the advert and the talent who applies
STOP sending out press releases about what you do… no-one cares
STOP using billers to write blogs

Tracey and Lisa’s top recruitment PR and marketing tips from

Start an executive search firm

How to build a profitable retained executive search offering

Next week marks the launch of the Future Search Network – hosted by BlueSky PR and Trinity Scott – an exclusive invitation only network focussing on strategies to build an effective and profitable boutique retained executive search offering to complement your contingent recruitment service.
Want to find out how to start an executive search firm?

Members will get the opportunity to discuss how to start an executive search firm with industry experts and experienced executive search professionals.
Members will get the inside story on how to build an effective research function.
Members will discover the benefits

fake awards

Beware of fake awards

Awards – it’s great to be a winner! But… because we all love to win, scam artists have cottoned on and now bombard you with opportunities to show the world that you are the number one …as decided by… hmmm… who exactly?  Beware of fake awards.
Let’s name and shame a real illustration of how daft this whole fake awards merry go round has become.
I get an email from European Manufacturers 2017 Magazine entitled “An invitation for Tracey at BlueSky PR Ltd.” It’s very exciting. It says:
” I’m following up to see if you received my previous

leverage your PR coverage

Recruiters – do you leverage your PR coverage?

Investing in PR is key for recruiters who want to boost their brand in the eyes of their clients, candidates and even potential employees for themselves – however that’s really only half the story. What should recruiters do to really leverage your PR coverage and make sure that great article isn’t quickly forgotten?
Got press coverage? Use it.
We’re always saying to our clients that using PR coverage is essential. Why make that investment if all you do with the coverage is send it to your proud mother or maybe tuck it away in a folder on

Being a thought leader: it’s more than just a statement

It’s fairly common these days to see terms such as ‘industry’ or ‘thought leader’ used to describe a brand as a growing number of agencies seek to stand out from the market place and demonstrate that they truly are the best at what they do. But, with so many firms making the same claim, how can one business position its brand as a true thought leader?
Here are just a few ways to achieve this through PR activity:

Be publically opinionated: If you truly are a ‘thought leader’ you need to have an opinion that is

Recruitment Blog

Making the most of your recruitment blog

It’s almost impossible to find a recruitment agency that doesn’t have a blog these days. Most recruiters are well aware of the many benefits of having a recruitment blog, however few know how to use it properly.
So how can you maintain your blog to the best standard without a huge impact on your time? Here are a few tips:
Keep it short and sharp:
The simple fact that the word ‘blog’ is the shortened term for ‘web log’ highlights that readers expect snappy articles, rather than lengthy analysis pieces. Keeping any copy short and on point

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.

Recruitment Website Design

Building a new recruitment website that delivers ROI

Having a beautiful design is great.  A recruitment website that delivers on its key objectives is even better.  An amalgamation of the two is the dream but takes a clear plan from the start to achieve.
When most recruitment firms begin a website upgrade project, their main motivation is the desire for a fresh, new design that better represents their brand – which is clearly important.  Their priorities might include improving the way the site performs across the latest browsers and mobile devices, which is fantastic.  But neither of these consider what recruitment firms are looking for their

attract candidates, clients, and recruiters

How to attract candidates, clients, and recruiters to your business

Recruitment businesses need three things in order to be successful.

Great candidates
Great clients
Great recruitment consultants

So how do you attract candidates, clients, and recruiters to your business?

Job adverts
Content marketing
Direct marketing
Media coverage

Attracting candidates with job adverts
Who writes your job adverts?  Your clients?  Your consultants?  Your marketing department?  An external supplier?
Do they use the job description as a starting point?  Is there a standard template you use as a business?
Do you know who your ideal applicant is and what they’re looking for from

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

PR – It’s all about the timing

Recruitment firms can sometimes find it a struggle to achieve press coverage in the national and vertical specialist press – and often that’s down to two things: not understanding what it is the media are interested in – and not being quick enough off the mark. Too often I see recruitment firms blindly sending out press releases talking about what they do – rather than what they know.  I know this may come as a shock but unless you are a publicly quoted company, many journalists really don’t care about what you do / how successful you are /

Candidate attraction: How to attract faculty

Recruiters: here are the top five candidate attraction mistakes you don’t know you’re making

Using PR to attract and engage with candidates is a tactic that many recruitment agencies and in-house hiring teams are implementing, but it’s not as simple as just pushing out marketing messages. In fact, there are some common candidate attraction mistakes made:
Candidate attraction mistake 1. Talking at people:
When you speak to someone on the phone or in a face-to-face environment, you would think it very strange if they simply talked at you, rather than actively engaged with you. Indeed, it’s highly unlikely that you would simply stand in front of a candidate and reel off key


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

Brexit Trump Bake off

Why share your opinion on the news?

Few people hold back from airing their opinions on current affairs in person. And let’s face it, 2016 and 2017 have been particularly easy years for making small talk. However, while I’m sure you will have shared your firm thoughts on Brexit, Trump or The Great British Bake Off to anyone within earshot, for the majority, this insight will never be broadcast more widely.
However, publicly sharing your viewpoints on relevant news stories online can be a fast-track to building your personal brand and, by association, your company’s corporate identity.
You can’t become a thought leader without saying what

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.

The impact of social media on your employer brand

As recently as a decade ago if you wanted to find out what it was like to work at an organisation you’d have to track down someone who worked there, or hope that the firm had a particularly proactive marketing manager who uploaded information about the employer brand on to the company website.
However, times have changed.
Now, company information is everywhere and if platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter aren’t enough, then firms also have to contend with portals like Glassdoor, which can give the full ‘warts and all’ story whether the company wanted it or not.

Love You

Why love your marketing department?

Time and time again I hear recruitment marketing professionals tell me that they don’t get buy in from their recruitment consultants and are often perceived as a cost to the business rather than an investment in it.
So why should you have to like and share all the content your marketing team produces on LinkedIn? And why do they nag you to write blog posts and get involved with the market updates and client collateral they produce? It’s really quite simple – all these activities will help you make more money.
Businesses are looking for recruiters who

Recruitment Award Winner

Why should you enter a recruitment award?

To blow some cash
To give you a reason to lose weight and get into that little black dress
To waste some time
To increase your already busy workload
To create stress for yourself
To demoralise your team

Or, perhaps some hard figures as to why you should enter a recruitment award?

To increase sales (37% / 77%)
To improve your stock price (44%)
To influence your buyers (80%)
To improve confidence in your supplier status (49%)
To outperform award “losers” (17% for sales and 36% for share value)

Things to do before entering a

How to get attention: How to write a headline

Adding PR into your Marketing Strategy

We all know that content is king and that everyone should have a content marketing plan – and that is very much part of a PR and communications strategy but I would argue that media also needs to be part of that strategy.
If you are regularly appearing in the media that your clients and candidates are reading, that content has real credibility – and because 99% of publications are now online, it means you have third party endorsed content to share.
Writing a blog post is great – repurposing media coverage into a blog post that

Halloween Recruitment Horror Stories

Halloween Recruitment Horror Stories

As it’s Halloween it seemed an appropriate time for the team at BlueSky PR to ask recruiters for their scariest candidate experiences.  Who knew how frightening it would get… from assault, to lies, to criminal activity.
Following the piece in the October issue of Recruitment Grapevine where Clayton Recruitment told tales of non-violent confusion and inappropriate attire, and One Way talked of outrageous excuses, turtle trouble and false teeth, here are a few more stories we’ve been permitted to share:

Halloween Recruitment Horror Stories: Spooky
“We had candidate come in for interview once who

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,

BlueSky PR

26 Recruitment Marketing Tips, Quips and Queries

Takeaways from the Recruitment PR & Content Workshop with BlueSky PR and Barclay Jones

Getting ready to kick off the @bluesky_pr & @barclayjones #recruitment #marketing workshop – #RecruitmentMarketing #content #PR # work #workshop
A photo posted by BlueSky PR (@bluesky_pr) on Oct 19, 2016 at 1:46am PDT

Staff leave – when you buy a business you’re buying the marketing footprint and the data.
Figures from APSCo show 61% of recruiters believe next year will be a nightmare for recruiters to hire for their own teams.
How do you show your


CSR – Nice To Have Or Business Critical?

I have had the honour of being on the judging panel for this year’s APSCo Awards for Excellence and one of my categories was CSR Initiative of the Year.  It was a really tough category because, while to the outside world recruiters may often have the reputation of being sharper than a Stanley knife, I was genuinely overcome at the generosity of spirit displayed by all of the contenders – and there were a lot!
The Business Case
Of course there are some compelling business reasons to get CSR right.  Adding social value is an element that many organisations

You’ve almost missed out on how to make money from PR & marketing!

We’ve been running our PR & Content workshops with Barclay Jones twice a year for the last couple of years and they just get better and better.  The next one on October 19th in London but you need to get your skates on as its’ almost sold out!!
Tracey Barrett and Lisa Jones will be running a fun and interactive one day workshop covering a whole host of things to help you use your marketing to generate real return in investment – yes money/fees/business/candidates – what’s not to like!
What will be covered?

Tips, Tricks …and lots of Biscuits! A PR and Content Workshop for Recruitment Marketers

The all-day interactive event, priced at £399 will take place in London on Wednesday 19th October. It will develop your skills towards implementing a successful PR, Brand and Content strategy for your recruitment business and help you attract more clients and candidates.
It will be delivered by Tracey Barrett, of BlueSky PR and Lisa Jones, of Barclay Jones, two marcomms experts who have years of experience within the recruitment sector.
Just some of the topics covered will be:

PR basics and how to create and plan compelling content that will get used, read and shared.

Rules of Engagement in a Digital World – Part 3 of 4

Part two of the blog mini-series, which is based on a recent white paper, looked at the content mind-set. This week, the third part will focus on what the paper found with regards to measuring the ROI. Check out parts one and two if you haven’t yet and would like to before reading this.
Getting your content shared
So your marketing department has been carrying out a great deal of social media activity – but what are the tangible benefits of this and how is it measured? First of all, getting buy in from consultants to like and share the

Rules of Engagement in a Digital World – Part 2 of 4

Last week’s blog based on the recent white paper looked at strategy and goal setting. This week part two will focus on what the paper discovered in relation to the content mindset. If you haven’t read part one and would like to first, click here
Quality, not quantity
It is widely agreed that high quality content is the only real differentiator from the rest of the noise out there. But curating authentic content is another matter completely and bridging the gap between sales and marketing is really important. The problem however, is that recruitment firms are full of sales

A crash course in PR and Content strategies for recruiters!

The pair will be covering:

How to create and plan compelling content that will get used, read and shared.
PR basics and toolkit including press releases, and pitching to journalists.
How to use PR and content to win more business.
How to use blogs to promote your firm as thought leaders.
How to integrate PR & Content into your social media to create engagement.
…and much, much more!

In addition, you receive a course manual with tips you can take away as well as breakfast, lunch and of course, lots of biscuits – all for a great

getting PR for your recruitment firm

Want PR for your recruitment firm? It’s about what you know – not what you do!

In my (far too many) years in recruitment, I have read hundreds of press releases written by recruitment firms – and nine times out of ten they are about what the firm  does – not what it knows! Journalists don’t care about what you do – they are interested in what you know.
So, what do you know?
The people agenda – that’s what! You know about whether pay is going up or going down and why.  You know about skill shortages – and what’s driving them. You know about talent pools and where to find them.  You know

Rules of Engagement in a Digital World – Part 1 of 4

In a recent white paper we discussed how firms use social media channels, how they track and measure success and the social media policies that firms have in place. The paper highlighted the key areas where recruitment firms were falling short of what’s required and proposed possible solutions and improvements that could be undertaken. This week’s blog will be part one of four and focus on strategy and goal setting.
Choosing the right channel
While all recruitment firms recognise the importance of building up engaged audiences, some are less aware of the significance of strategic goals and measurement. A

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

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


Step away from the email!

In an ever connected world it is all too easy to send a press release to a journalist or email them with an idea for an
article. Indeed, I know from the many journalists I’ve built a rapport with that it is a common occurrence for internal marketing, communications and PR teams to fire across multiple emails in the hope of a quick hit.
But I implore you, please think before you email that journalist! There are so many considerations you have to ask yourself; is this the right journalist? Is this the right story for the publication?

Could apprentices influence the Brexit referendum?

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) – a week that aims to highlight the skills gaps many British sectors are already facing and to encourage businesses to draw on talent from a larger array of sources. The Government is aiming to place apprenticeships within businesses’ growth strategies by highlighting the support available for those that choose to employ through this method. The scheme’s recent successes are impressive, with 19,800 apprenticeships filled in 2014/15, a 115% increase from the previous year.
Interestingly, National Apprenticeship Week has fallen amidst the Brexit debate. Critics of a British exit from the EU are emphasising

Engaging in an increasingly digital world – the rise of new age social media.

The recruitment industry is all about connecting with people. And with a constantly evolving digital landscape understanding the best ways to communicate with the various talent pools you want to engage with can be challenging.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the way in which we communicate with each other is shifting rapidly. New social media platforms are constantly emerging and in their infancies it can be difficult to establish their business potential, but staying ahead of the curve, or at least following it, is important in staying current.
One thing that’s key is establishing strategies


Using the press to reinforce your brand

With the New Year now upon us, one thing is clear, that the skills shortages experienced across a number of sectors over the last 12 months are likely to continue well into the coming year. Shortages across key economic sectors will undoubtedly continue to present significant opportunities for recruiters, but how can businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors to attract candidates and win assignments?
In one of our recent think tanks, ‘The Challenge of Marketing in Today’s Recruitment Sector’, all of the delegates agreed that the nature of the profession means there is little opportunity to establish a

Social Recruitment

Social Recruitment – a shifting platform?

LinkedIn has long been viewed as the social platform of choice for recruiters, but in a shifting global market sites such as Twitter and Facebook are beginning to contend with the company that once monopolised social recruitment. And with 86% of recruiters saying they expect the competition for talent to become even more fierce in the next year industry professionals are looking to get the competitive advantage by engaging with candidates across a wider variety of platforms.
The perception of LinkedIn as a ‘holy grail’ is a risky one. With 94% of recruiters globally saying they use

Marketing Tool

Using Media Coverage as a Marketing Tool.

The constant evolution of social media means the way in which we communicate with each other is changing at an accelerating pace. And while traditional media continues to maintain its standing in the industry landscape, sites such as Twitter and Facebook can now boast the advantages of being more up to date and considerably easier to access.
Brand Communication
As a result social media has become a key pillar of brand communication. On these sites content is often targeted at a specific audience and active engagement is facilitated by the ability to easily share and respond to

Rules of Engagement in a Digital World

How are recruitment firms dealing with the challenges and opportunities provided by the myriad of social media channels through which we can now all engage? How are they tracking their successes, and what measuring tools are they using? The findings presented here are the results of a think tank that brought together brand managers, marketing managers and directors, who shared their own personal insights into the ways in which we can engage with an increasingly digital world. Click here to download the full report.

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


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

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

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

Bored of Diversity?

Are we bored of diversity?

I’m pro-diversity, but I’m sick of hearing about it.
We’re told that women, ethnic minorities, those living with disabilities, and many others, are underrepresented and get the worst deal in the workplace. Yet the issue has been raised so many times that the message is fading.
With the debate about underrepresentation feeling endless, the need for change remains as vital as ever, but do the arguments need refreshing? Is it time that media found a new way to bolster the cause?
I asked our BlueSky opinion panel if it was time to press the reset button.

Bsky/Barclays Jones Mash Up

A must-read for recruiters in the north west!

So the Content and PR Workshop we ran in London a few months ago with the fab Lisa Jones from Barclay Jones   was so successful that we have decided to do it all over again – this time in Manchester on November 17 – and you won’t want to miss it.
This is an action packed and fun filled interactive one day workshop covering:

How to create and plan compelling content that will get used, read and shared
PR basics and toolkit including press releases, and pitching to journalists
How to use PR and content to win more

Dress Code at Work

Does it really matter how we dress at work?

There’s been considerable debate in recent weeks over how we choose to dress ourselves. Much of this has been led by Jeremy Corbyn’s (apparently outrageous) decision not to do up his top button or to dress in the same way that all other politicians do. And outside of politics there have been numerous debates about how professionals are expected to dress at work. But does it really matter?
Aside from being told off for not doing up his top button, Corbyn has also been accused of “looking like a hipster’s ghost” by some commentators. It’s hardly surprising, you

No USP In Recruitment

Do you think there is a USP in Recruitment?

How can a recruitment company differentiate itself – and is there really any such thing as a USP?
That was the question I posed at a recent round table event with a group of Marketing and Comms specialists from the recruitment sector. All of the delegates agreed that recruitment is a process and consequently there is very little – if anything – that is unique within that process. So isn’t it time we all stopped talking about USPs and begin to talk more about how the way we go about our business actually adds value to our

The LinkedIn message we all know about

You probably hadn’t heard the name Charlotte Proudman until this week. And if you still haven’t it’s a sure sign you don’t read the news – she’s been all over it following the apparent ‘sexist’ LinkedIn message she received from solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk. You may sense that I haven’t particularly warmed to her. So what are the facts and why has she got under my skin?
Following a LinkedIn invite from Proudman, Carter-Silk sent her a message saying: “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture.” Followed by “You definitely win

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


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

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


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

Social Media & Reputation

Recruitment firms – think social media – think reputation!

As recruiters you have undoubtedly all utilised social media tools to help build and engage with your current and potential client and candidate communities – but how many of you have thought of it as a key element of your reputation management?
Let’s take the example of a disgruntled or extremely happy client – if they communicate their experience to others over a coffee then the spread of that message will be quite slow. But with social media those messages can be amplified on an exponential level. If you doing nothing else with social media you should at

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

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

PR Tips

Five top PR Tips for Recruiters

If you are  looking to invest either time or money into your first PR campaign then here are my five top tips to ensure that you get the very most out of that investment.
Set Objectives
What do you want to get out of it? What’s the business case? Do you need more clients, more candidates, more people to work for you? You need to have a clear understanding of what you want to get out of PR so that your strategy can be aligned with the right audiences.
Have a Plan
Results won’t happen overnight and

The future of leadership selection: horses

You read it correctly; horses can be instrumental in the assessment of leaders. Well that’s according to The Leadership Whisperers – a company which works with organisations to do just this. I can’t say I’m particularly sold on the idea, but is there any genuine evidence behind the claims?
The company’s founder believes the reason why horses are so useful is simple. They mirror our non-verbal communication and respond to our energy, emotions and intentions, unlike humans who tend to focus on each other’s words. And at a recent event with recruiters, we are told that horses demonstrated


How diversity in the workplace is failing its final challenge

Most informed people seem to have finally got the message that diversity in the workplace is a good thing. Not just a nice thing or a PR stunt but something that fosters innovation and progress and that helps organisations better understand and engage with their customers and clients. So, with varying degrees of success and commitment, businesses and institutions of all types and sizes have set about workforces that ignore ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, etc. in favour of those attributes that really count – namely ability, enthusiasm and application.
However, when  I walked into the BlueSky

Give Graduates Credit

Let’s give graduates some credit

I read with interest a recent article which proclaims that corporate culture captures and destroys our best graduates. Particularly as PR – alongside finance, advertising and management consultancy – was listed as a pointless and destructive occupation.
While I don’t dispute the aggressive recruitment drives that multi-nationals employ to extract the brightest talent from top universities, I think it’s a little strong to liken the annual milk round to a kamikaze mission.
Having never worked for a large corporate firm, I can’t authoritatively comment on whether they habitually use the military style ‘Build them up and break

BlueSky PR featured in Career Builder on how to get a job in PR

BlueSky PR has been featured in an article in Career Builder on “5 ways to land a job in PR”. With tips on how to wow potential employers as well as insider information on what recruiters will be looking for in candidates, this article isn’t to be missed if you want to pursue a career in PR.
To read the full article, please click here.

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

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

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

Physician heal thyself? The recruitment sector employer brand challenge

Why is the recruitment sector historically so bad at hiring its own talent? Are internal recruiters working together with marketing – and should they? The findings presented here are the results of a think tank which brought together a number of senior managers and directors responsible for marketing, internal recruitment and the employer brand to discuss the challenges of developing that all important employee value proposition. Please click here to download the report in full.

Business Lessons From GoT

5 business and HR lessons from Game of Thrones – WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

I’ve recently started watching Game of Thrones after months of being told how good it was, how much I’d like it and how much I was missing out on by not being a regular viewer.  Well, everyone was right – it’s amazing. Any fans don’t need me to tell them that the combination of power struggles, violence and dragons is practically unmatched on TV. However, while developing an unhealthy fascination with the series, I’ve also noticed a few key lessons that all businesses could learn from.
Build strong pipelines – Nobody liked Joffrey but at least he

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

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

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

Toughest Interview Questions

The toughest interview questions and how to answer them

Last week, the media was hit with articles professing to know the “10 toughest interview questions” of all time, rendering offices everywhere pensive, interviewers inspired, and jobseekers mildly nauseous. We all like to think we’d be ready for any interview, poised, brimming with knowledge and somewhere on the spectrum of a highly caffeinated cross between Legally Blonde and Rain Man. So how do potential employers catch us off guard? How best to respond to questions designed to catch you out? And, when the going gets tough, “WWBSD?” What would BlueSky do?
As hard as it may be at


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,


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


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

Romanian Folk Tale

How telling a Romanian folktale supports diversity

If it rains on Sunday I might have a bad year.
It’s because of an old Romanian tradition that encourages women to pick a day from the first nine of March and, if the weather that day is poor, that will characterise the rest of the year. But if it’s a fair day, the rest of the year is said to go well for you.
Alexandra Dobocan, my colleague, grew up in Romania and explained that they do this every year. She chose today, and the weather is glorious.
The tradition comes from Romanian mythology that tells


How movies can influence careers

It won’t have escaped your attention that last Sunday night was the annual Academy Awards where the great and the good of Hollywood lined up for their annual back-slapping and selfie festival. I didn’t watch the whole event – I made that mistake a few years ago – but it was splashed all over Monday’s press. Indeed, it was hard to avoid photos of Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear and John Travolta leering uncomfortably in the background.
However, one thing that did strike me, and strikes me every year, was the lack of accurate representation of the

Graduate Jobseeking

Plenty more fish with a CV | A Valentine’s guide for graduate jobseekers

Speaking as a 20-something graduate with big aspirations but limited experience, I think I represent a huge demographic of people searching for their “big break”, or even for their first step onto the career ladder. There is nothing romantic about trawling through reams of job adverts, filling out countless application forms, or the terror-inducing sound of your alarm clock on an interview day. In fact, it can seem like the world is out to get you, or at least have a good laugh at you, when applying for a (usually unpaid) placement in order to land your first

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


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

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

Roger Tweedy Q&A

Q&A with Roger Tweedy, Head of Communications at APSCo

Why do you use PR?
·         Public relations is the art of engaging stakeholders through the media and influencing opinion. This makes it an essential part of the marketing mix for any trade body.
·         In today’s socially connected world, public relations is more important than ever before.  A single well placed tweet can be worth more than an entire advertising budget.
·         Public relations is usually our most cost-effective form of marketing.
What would your advice be to anyone looking to introduce PR into their business?
·       It’s usually a good move – especially if


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

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


Why 2015 will see greater collaboration between PR and HR

In the PR world we’re used to working with a range of disciplines and departments. In fact, in the BlueSky PR offices alone we can find ourselves collaborating with the directors of a small regional recruitment agency, talent representatives from a global RPO or even an academic from an international business school.
However, there is one discipline that I would say many PR professionals have less contact with than they perhaps should: HR. The reason for this is simply that there is little recognition of the benefit of PR for human resources. Too often it is seen as

The Challenge Of Marketing In Today’s Recruitment Sector – A BlueSky PR Think Tank Report 2015

How can a recruitment company truly differentiate itself – and is there really any such thing as a USP? The findings presented here are the results of a think tank that brought together a number of senior managers and directors responsible for marketing to discuss whether a USP can ever really exist and what the real marketing challenges are for today’s recruitment sector.
Please click here to download the report in full


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 –

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

Horror Interviews

Halloween horror stories

With it being Halloween it seemed to make sense to do this week’s blog on a relevant and often terrifying subject. That’s why I’ve asked the BlueSky team for their worst, scariest or weirdest interview or employment experiences:
Tracey –
“When I was in recruitment some of our interview rooms had sofas. One of my candidates was early so he was shown into the interview room to wait for me. When the allotted appointment time arrived I entered to find him fast asleep. I thought he had passed out but it turned out he just had

Artificial intelligence technology

Is technology taking over industry and who is really taking our jobs?

This is a guest post by  18 year old Olly Dunn who is currently a sixth form student. He is undertaking work experience at BlueSky and is hoping to study business & marketing at university next year. Do leave a comment and let him know what you think of his first ever blog…
A recent article in the business section of The Times focused on Nescafé’s introduction of a new humanoid robot in Japan named Pepper, whose purpose is to sell coffee machines. It is able to read people’s facial expressions and emotions and can respond to questions


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


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


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


The top five PR and marketing tips your recruitment business shouldn’t ignore

The top five PR and marketing tips your recruitment business shouldn’t ignore
Whilst the recession certainly reduced the size of the UK staffing sector, today’s market is crowded and full of agencies vying to compete with and overtake their competition. Despite this, however, too few look at PR and marketing as a tool to not only differentiate themselves from their competitors, but to also position themselves as the ‘go to agency’ for clients seeking staff and for candidates looking for their next role. There is perhaps a tendency to view marketing and PR as a time consuming and


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


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


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

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


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


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


Do in house resourcing teams face too many channels to market?

See what Gary Watson of Investigo and others  thought at a recent round table we ran


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


The recipe for a monster marketing campaign

As a communications professional for the recruitment industry, I’ve followed the new marketing campaign with interest.   Ask any journalist the recipe for a compelling and engaging story and nine times out of ten they will tell you it needs a human interest angle. No matter how dull the subject matter, if a story talks to real people about issues that affect them, they will a) want to know more and b) want to share it with their friends too. Throw in some interesting statistics and a few celebrities and it becomes even more of a talking point.


Why do recruitment consultants move in-house?

See what the participants in our recent round table thought when they were asked why recruitment consultants want to move into in-house resourcing roles.  Is it because they want to be in HR? Are they trying to legitimise their careers?  An interesting discussion ensued between Chris Herrmannsen, Executive Vice President at Cielo; Adrian Kinnersley and Paul Marsden  of Twenty Recruitment and  Gary Watson of Investigo. The round table brought together a number of recruitment industry heads to talk  about themes that included globalisation, RPO, in house resourcing and technology. The results have been brought together in a white paper

power of social media

Blood donors for cats, Batman and the real power of social media

Working in a content-heavy industry I tend to make extensive notes and scribblings. Last week I was working on a press release and looked down to my notepad to see the phrase ‘blood donors for cats’. I had no recollection of writing this and it wasn’t relevant to anything I was working on but it caught my eye and I had to investigate further. It turns out that this was related to the program, Supervet on Channel 4, that my colleague had watched that highlighted the true power of social media.
The program had reported the story

What to expect from your first job interview

Last week my sister, who is still a student, walked into an interview room for a summer job – she was completely terrified. She rang me up to say she had got the role. It came as a surprise – I could hear it in her voice, as she said she could not answer some of the questions that had been posed.
I guess we all have moments of self-doubt and perhaps the younger and less experienced we are the more we feel the stress of a job interview. But sometimes we’re good! And we should own

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

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

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


Today’s Recruitment Sector Challenges & Opportunities – A BlueSky PR Think Tank Report 2014

The recruitment sector is evolving. Employers have a choice of more routes to market than ever before and so adding value – and being able to demonstrate that value – has become business critical.
The findings presented here are the results of a think tank which brought together a number of industry heads to discuss how the recruitment sector’s challenges and opportunities could be faced in the years ahead and to give a clear picture of the current issues affecting the industry.
Please click here to download the report in full

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

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.


Forget the internship, bring on the returnship

As a woman who took a relatively lengthy career break to care for my children, I was interested to learn about the launch of a new scheme by Credit Suisse in London to help senior professional women re-start their careers after taking time out of the workplace.  Dubbed the “returnship”, the Real Returns programme is the first UK example of an idea which has been gathering pace in the US over the last few years.  The scheme involves returners taking on CV-worthy projects that draw on their existing skills and experience and being paid accordingly.  It’s effectively putting a

Client Q&A

Client Q&A with Elsa Perez, Sales Manager and Media Liaison at European University Business School

In this Q&A, Elsa discusses her role at European University Business School, 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 European University Business School?
I’m Elsa Perez, Sales Manager for the Mediterranean Region, Sales Manager for Online Programs and Media Liaison at European University Business School, Barcelona campus.
I’m one of the few Spaniards in a truly international team of over 40 nationalities. I’ve been with the

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


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


Diversity in full swing

It was in the news this week that the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) in St Andrews has decided to let its members vote on whether women should be allowed to join the historic club for the first time in its 260-year history.
As a big golf fan one of the things that’s annoyed me about the sport is the well-documented sexism that still lingers in the corridors of some of the more old fashioned clubs. However, it’s not as if this has been limited to a couple of the more isolated and rural institutions. Only

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

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 –


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.


North America or Asia Pac – which way for recruitment

See what Adrian Kinnersley of Twenty Recruitment thought at a recent round table we hosted. The round table brought together a number of recruitment industry heads to talk  about themes that included globalisation, RPO, in house resourcing and technology. The results have been brought together in a white paper – for your free copy simply leave a comment below


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


What’s the future of a recruitment consultancy that’s part of an RPO?

See what Gary Watson of Investigo and Chris Herrmannsen of Ochre House thought when they discussed this issue at our recent round table event which discussed challenges and opportunities facing the recruitment sector. The discussion covered RPO, In house recruitment teams, globalisation and technology.

A white paper: Today’s Recruitment Sector – Challenges and Opportunities” was produced with content from the round table.  For your free copy simply leave a comment with your contact details and check back for more from this series.


The negatives of RPO?

BlueSky recently hosted a round table discussion with a selection of industry leaders  to discuss how the recruitment sector’s challenges and opportunities could be faced in the years ahead and to give a clear picture of the current issues affecting the industry. The discussion covered a number of topics including the RPO challenge. Here’s Adrian Kinnersley Global Managing Director  of Twenty Recruitment giving an example of when RPO goes wrong.

A white paper: “Today’s Recruitment Sector – Challenges and Opportunities” was produced with content from the round table.  For your free copy simply leave a comment with your

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

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

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

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


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


Snotty stereotypes – why must we use them?!

Apologies in advance for a potentially un-festive blog post, but I have something I’d really like to get off my chest. I’m very anti-stereotypes, whether they are personal or industry related. One negative action from one individual or business should not, in my mind, impact the reputation of the masses.
The PR and recruitment industries are prime examples. For public relations, the perception that all PR’s are involved in spin-doctoring (we’re really not) or spend their time wining and dining journalists (I wish!) is simply untrue. Likewise, the recruitment sector is often considered as a bullish industry focused

Billing Time

I’m billing time!

A bit tongue in cheek this but  those of you of a certain vintage will remember a song called Time After Time by Cindi Lauper.

There was a great parody of this called I’m Billing Time which was aimed at the Legal Profession but it also resonated ( just a little bit) with me.

Not with our lovely current clients I hasten to add but a few organisations who never became clients over the the years who haven’t quite got what we do.   So all together now –  to the tune of Time After


Q&A with Tony Goodwin, Chairman and Founder of Antal International

Antal International is a global executive recruitment organisation with 110+ offices in more than 35 countries. We caught up with Chairman and Founder Tony Goodwin to see how they use PR to achieve their recruitment goals.
Why do we use PR?
“In the B2B market it’s vital to place yourself as a thought leader in your industry. A good reputation comes through well considered and thought out views on the marketplace which is exactly what PR gives us. Advertising can often fail to hit the mark, I think it was advertising guru, David Ogilvy who said “50%


BlueSky’s Top Tips for creating valuable content

We live in a world where it’s never been easier to quickly access and share information. This has meant that it’s vital to make your organisation’s voice heard to your clients and candidates through the wall of noise. So how do you create content that stands out from the crowd?
1) Make it engaging
Hundreds of HR and recruitment firms will be making their presence felt in the same arenas you would expect to be battling in. One thing you can do to get ahead is make your content interesting to the audience it’s supposed to

media relations

Media relations are important, whether you like it or not

There was a time many years ago, prior to the intrusion of the media and, more recently, the rise of social media, when business leadership was a purely internal affair. Managers had to earn the respect of their workforce, but any criticism or praise was kept largely in-house.
Things, however, are not the same today. The business environment is transparent and leadership styles are open to criticism both internally and externally, particularly in the case of big brands. We have seen from the recent PR disaster involving Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers, that when things go wrong, the

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


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


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

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

Spotlight On London

Do we give London too much attention?


One of the first things that attracted me to the Blue Sky job advertisement was that it was a PR job outside of London, an unknown entity on most job boards. The vast majority of graduate positions in PR and in most other professions seem to be based in the capital and having experience of commuting in from Hertfordshire in the past, I decided this wasn’t for me.
Don’t get me wrong, my feelings for the city haven’t quite reached Alan Partridge levels yet; London is an incredible place with amazing opportunities and diversity. But so are


What has happened to intimacy?

Photo: © Jean_Nelson 
No – I am not after marriage guidance but I felt compelled to write about an experience I had last night ( stop right there – that is NOT what I mean).  No –  last night I went to see one of my musical heroes Peter Gabriel at the O2.  And perhaps this is a tell tale sign that I’m getting on a bit but I just wanted people to stop concentrating getting their camera settings on their phones just so in order to take endless pictures and video to share with their friends –


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


Is PR a must have or a nice to have? Attend next week’s Recruitment Agency Expo to find out!

We all know that the recruitment market is crowded. In order to keep up with, and overtake your competition, you need tools to help differentiate yourself. And one tool at your disposal well worth considering is PR. Now you may be reading this and thinking that a professional working in this area telling you you need PR is nothing more than a sales pitch, right?  Well in an era where PR is not just simply about getting press coverage, but rather creating compelling and original content that can be disseminated through your available channels, there is so much you

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

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

Gender equality

Women at the top – are we still on this?!

I came across a card in a shop recently featuring a ‘Punch’ cartoon and it made me chuckle. It depicted a typical boardroom scene with a handful of middle-aged executives deep in discussion. One of the executives is a woman. The line reads “That’s an excellent suggestion Mrs Triggs, perhaps one of the men would like to make it.”

This cartoon, I later discovered, dates back to 1988. And yet it still rings so true.
Currently, only 21% of the world’s senior management positions are held by women. And you might think that this global figure


Slavery in the city, or a quest for profits?

It is a recurring theme across all industries that it often takes something so shocking and so tragic, that an industry will wake up to the need for change. One such example of this was the news last week of a 21 year old Bank of America intern who was found dead after reportedly working several all night shifts in the space of two weeks. Questions remain as to the previous health of the individual, but rightly so Moritz Erhardt’s death has placed the culture of banking in the spotlight yet again.

Most people who enter the


Is 13 too young for LinkedIn?

This week, LinkedIn announced that in September it will open its doors to 13-year-olds, in a bid to encourage them to start thinking about their futures. Along with this announcement came news of the recently launched university pages on the networking site. The premise is simple; adult professionals can stay connected to their alma mater, and teenagers can brush up on their uni research and career prospects.
Though I applaud the good intentions behind this idea, and agree that information on how to get into certain universities and occupations should be more readily available, I can’t help but feel

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

Post-A-Level Options

University isn’t the only option

Last week, thousands of students up and down the country received their A-level grades, with many now looking towards starting university in the autumn. However, results day has brought up much debate on the value of a degree versus other routes into employment. Skills minister Matthew Hancock, for instance, has said that apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who are looking for an alternative route to university. And who can blame them when tuition fees are now around £9,000 a year?
There’s real value in getting hands on experience learning on the job, and it’s


Your reputation – how to create a brand – and how to keep it!

BlueSky PR’s very own Stephanie King will make her speaking debut at Recruitment Agency Expo North on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2013.
Following the huge success of Recruitment Agency Expo in London over the last two years, recruiters now have the chance to network with peers and potential suppliers at a brand new, midlands-based event. Recruitment Agency Expo North will take place on 2nd and 3rd October 2013 in the Pavilion Hall at the NEC, Birmingham.
Steph will be talking on the importance of creating, protecting and maintaining your reputation as a recruiter. The


Are brainteasers beneficial in the recruitment process?

At BlueSky, we’re recruiting and are looking for account executives to join our growing team. But it wasn’t so long ago that I myself was applying for the role, in April last year. Our current hiring process got me thinking back to my first impressions of the company, colleagues, and the interview procedure in particular.
And interestingly, the structure of interviews has hit the headlines recently with Google making changes to its assessment. The corporation famously incorporated complicated brainteasers as part of its interview process, asking questions such as: ‘You are shrunk to the height of a nickel


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


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


Knowing the right media for your message

The crux of our work here at BlueSky is to get the right message out to the right people through the right channels. And for those of you who really get the importance of this, you will understand why I was seen shouting at the radio today when a caller rang in to propose to his partner.
Now I’m not a hopeless romantic and I’m sure said partner was over the moon at the proposal, but was this really the right platform for sensitive communication on this level? The announcement was open to a number of possible flaws:

Rec. Gurus

BlueSky PR’s list of recruitment industry gurus

As part of UK Recruiters 600 useful things series, BlueSkyPR was asked to contribute their top ten recruitment industry gurus you should know about. Read the full article here


“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.

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?


BlueSky’s bloopers

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


Is your organisation really diverse?

We heard this week that SAP, the enterprise software company, is introducing an initiative to recruit more employees with autism. It recognises that they can bring great benefits to the business – commenting that ‘innovation often comes ‘from the edges’’ – and is looking to hire individuals with autism to work as software testers and developers.

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.


Case study: From Company Blog Post to Sky News

The company
Twenty Recruitment is one of the world’s fastest expanding independent recruitment businesses. In January 2009 while the recruitment sector was suffering from the effects of global financial meltdown, it was rewriting the rule book and setting up the next generation of recruitment business. From a standing start in the very depth of the recession, the company is profitable, has multiple business streams covering 7 industry sectors, a global client base & offices in London and New York.

ochre house

Q&A: Simon Lythgoe – Head of Marketing at Ochre House

Why do we use PR?
The nature of our work means we are naturally a very content orientated company, which we use to position ourselves as thought leaders and to get our brand in front of industry spokespeople.  We use PR as one of our primary channels to disseminate this material and expand our proposition in order to support networking events, think tanks and to build our business development tools.


Five steps to building an effective online brand

Having a powerful online presence means more than simply investing in a snazzy website. Evolving client and candidate behaviour means that it is now more important than ever to build an authentic and recognisable presence across an ever-expanding range of platforms. In order for your brand to resonate with your target audience, it needs to instil confidence and trust. Here are our top tips for building an effective online brand:

Business Partner

Is trial by TV the best way to pick an employee or business partner?

So it’s that time of year again and Sir Alan is back on our screens with The Apprentice together with his motley crew of helpers and a bunch of fame seeking upstarts many of whom couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag. So although this is entertainment and many of them deserve everything they get, is trial  by television really the way to recruit a business partner or employee? I think not.


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.

top 5 tips

Top five PR tips for recruiters

As recruiters look to maintain a competitive advantage, get in front of key clients and attract some of the best candidates, many will turn to PR for support. However, it is all too common to find organisations jumping head first into PR without the necessary in depth planning. Any communications activities such as this are strategic, long term investments which will require a level of forethought in order to be truly successful. So, if you’re looking at PR as an option, what do you need to consider? Take a look at our top five tips we shared with TIRA

Pay Interns

If you want to use an intern – pay them!

The unpaid intern debate is back in the news this week with announcements that HMRC will be probing the exploitation of interns in the PR industry. This comes on the back of reports that, of the 100  firms reported by Intern Aware, an incredible 10% were either PR agencies or companies advertising PR roles.

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.

Press Embargo

‘Things can only get bitter’ when you breach a press embargo

Could there be a worse time for a London Newspaper to get it wrong?
The 21st March saw the arrival of the much-anticipated Budget for 2013 – though some managed to see it sooner than intended, as shortly before the Chancellor’s speech was due, the details were revealed on Twitter by the London Evening Standard.
The paper had been given details of the Budget’s main themes prior to the speech under a press embargo until later that afternoon. The embargo was still in place when the Standard tweeted a picture of its front page to its followers – a

The Budget

The Budget 2013 – what does it mean for recruitment?

This year’s Budget wasn’t without its hitches, and The Evening Standard’s premature publishing of the results will lead to a review on how information is released in the future. It’s clear that George Osborne brought some welcome news to Britain though; September’s 3p fuel duty rise is to be scrapped, beer duty will be cut by 1p, and a 20% tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child is to be implemented from 2015. But how have the outcomes affected the recruitment industry?
Well, one of our clients – giant group – welcomed the promise of a clampdown

Social Media

Recruiters – are you using social media effectively?

Earlier this week my colleague Hannah Jones and I attended a workshop: Social Media Content for Recruitment.


PR for in-house recruiters

How the use of PR can help in-house recruitment departments develop effective talent pipelines

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

Gender Pay Gap

Is there really a gender pay gap among female professionals?

As it is International Women’s Day – and never one to shirk controversy, I thought this may be an apt post for today.  It was prompted by some interesting research I came across from one or our business education clients which suggests that women are under represented in high paying jobs not because of discrimination – but because they are not applying for them.
Professor Roxana Barbulescu, of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, says “Women are taking themselves out of the running for certain jobs. When they evaluate different possible career tracks they already have the assumption that their

Winner: PR Champion

And the winner is…

Thank you to all those who came to see us at last week’s Recruitment Agency Expo. If you visited our stand, you’ll be aware that we were offering attendees the chance to win a theatre trip and hotel stay for two in London.
The draw has now taken place, and we’re pleased to say that the prize is on its way to Laura Paterson, PR and Marketing Manager at Cedar Recruitment. Congratulations Laura!


How to best leverage your brand: a BlueSky presentation

The BlueSky team was out in force at this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo and for those of you that attended I’m sure you will agree it was a resounding success.  Our Managing Director, Tracey Barrett, took to the stage on both days to share her advice on how recruiters can best leverage their brand.  For those of you that didn’t make it here are a few top tips:
Content is king
It’s important to bear in mind that creating original content, and then distributing it through all the channels available is vital. In an age where the majority


Q&A: Ann Swain – Chief Executive of APSCo

Why do we use PR?
We are a very busy trade association and consequently have a lot of interesting things that we feel we need to communicate out to the wider world.  APSCo is also a brand that our members are proud to be associated with and so it is important that we are seen to be participating in, and in many cases leading, the conversations around issues affecting the professional recruitment sector.  That on-going recognition of our brand is important to us – and important to our members.
How do you measure ROI?
Obviously we look at the

top 5 tips

Five top PR tips for recruiters

At BlueSky, we’ve been specialising in PR for the recruitment industry since 2002. In this time, we’ve seen how our clients really get the most out of our services, but PR is only of benefit if used in the right way.
Are you a recruiter looking to invest in PR? Here are some top tips to get the most out of your money:
1.       Set objectives – Before you invest in PR, it’s important to really think about what you want to get out of it. Is it that you want to get more clients? Are you looking for


Is 2013 the year of the quitter?

Talent attraction has been top of the HR agenda in recent months and perhaps even years. As organisations look to expand into global markets, maximise business offerings and in some cases branch off in to new industries, getting the best talent on board was a vital strategic move. But could 2013 be the year where this shifts to talent retention?
At a recent JobPost event – Future of Talent, Technology & Social Recruiting – Nina Bosco, Head of Sourcing Intelligence at Alexander Mann Solutions, referenced an interesting survey from Glassdoor. The results revealed that for 2013, one in three


How PR can give HR a boardroom voice

The HR community has often struggled against the tide when it comes to securing the boardroom voice it deserves. With a degree of education needed at management level as to the key strategic role the HR function plays in business development, PR can be a valuable tool for HR specialists. Find out more in our latest video.

Find out more about our HR practice today, or contact our practice head, Vickie Collinge, on +44 (0)1582 790705 or at

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’

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


My five top PR tips for recruiters

When it comes to using PR: set objectives. have a plan, include consultants, use your PR, and measure ROI


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


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

employ Adam

Why I wouldn’t employ Adam!

I’m sure most of you are aware of the story about Adam, an unemployed graduate who has blown his last £500 on a billboard ad with a huge picture of himself and a link to his website  The Telegraph reports that, “The 24-year-old from the Isle of Wight is yet to be offered his much sought-after first job in television production.”
Now don’t get me wrong – I am all for innovation and enterprise – and I really do hope he gets the job that he wants but….
His on-line CV says nothing about what value he can add, and what his previous experience has

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


2012 – The year of change

I think it’s fair to say that 2012 has certainly been an interesting year! We’ve come together as a nation to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, the world has tuned in to watch the UK successfully host the Olympics and Paralympics, and today we even survived the end of the world…. again.
But one of the biggest developments from this year for me is rather simple; we’ve all started to cheer up a bit! Around this time last year, BlueSky PR MD Tracey Barrett wrote a blog asking everyone to start being a bit more positive, a sentiment the whole


Recruiters: are you leveraging your brand effectively?

Following on from the success of this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo, the BlueSky PR team will not only be exhibiting at the 2013 event, but will also again be presenting on both days.  The Expo is an ideal opportunity for agencies to network with fellow professionals, receive advice from industry experts, and meet companies exhibiting services relevant to their business.  And you can sign up, for free, right now.
Our MD, Tracey Barrett (Dunn), will be sharing her pearls of wisdom on ‘How to create a brand – and keep it!’   We all know how crowded the recruitment

LinkedIn Updates

How to utilise LinkedIn’s new features

It can be difficult to keep up with the changes in social media – just when you think you’re getting used to it, a new development comes along! LinkedIn, for example, has recently undergone a makeover, with a refreshed layout and updated features. But how valuable are these, and what can you to do maximise their potential?
If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, you’re probably aware of endorsements. Perhaps you’ve been endorsed yourself, or maybe you’ve seen them on your homepage. They might not have as much value as recommendations, but if others are utilising them, you should


Does HR need a re-brand?

Last week saw the human resources and talent management community gather for the annual HR Performance event and – in true HR fashion – the conversations were dynamic and insightful. As usual, there were too many seminars to choose from, though they all had some fantastic feedback on twitter – especially Dave Ulrich and Jon Ingham.
However, one of the presentations which I was privy to and particularly intrigued by was a lunchtime debate featuring Martin Tiplady of Chameleon People Solutions, Therese Proctor of Tesco Bank and Norman Pickavance from Morrisons.
Martin kicked the debate off with a particularly


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


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

Young Apprentice

The Young Apprentice – experience v education

Last week we saw the Young Apprentice back on our screens as twelve young candidates compete to impress Lord Sugar and win a £25,000 prize. The first episode, which aired last Thursday, saw the 16- and 17-year-old students split into two teams – girls and boys. They were tasked with making a profit from other people’s cast-offs, which involved sorting through bags of unwanted clothes and picking out the ones to sell at a car boot sale or a shopping mall. Not only did this involve washing them – which proved a challenge in itself – but decisions had


Recruiters – if you are not with the REC are you dodgy?

According to an article I read today on the Recruiter website, Kevin Green is attributed with a quote I had to read twice to make sure I had got it right. Speaking at the Institute of Professionals’ annual awards he apparently said: ” So from tonight we say firstly to all the payroll, umbrella companies and the dodgy non REC recruiters, we are going to shine a bright light on your dubious practices and expose you to the world.”
Hmm – so if you are not a member of the REC you are dodgy.  I’d be very careful Mr Green. We are not at the

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


And the winner is…

Business awards can boost both your business credibility and employer brand but what is the best way to maximise your chance of success. Read on for our top tips to getting on that shortlist:
• Consider the categories: Really think about what your achievements have been and choose the category that will best showcase them.
• Stick to the word count: Most awards have a strict word count per answer and running over can disqualify you before anyone has even read your submission. Be concise and use bullet points to maximise your message.
• Answer the question: This may


Q&A: Antal International

Why do you use PR?
We use PR to help get our name in front of clients as market leaders and thought leaders on a range of topics from hiring outlook, salary surveys to general trends in sectors and geographic areas. It is about promoting ourselves intelligently using the massive intellectual property our people have access to. We are specialists in international markets and we use that to educate clients, and as the basis for PR and marketing activities.
How do you measure ROI?
It is hard to see a direct link so our people are always asking new

LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn: recommendations vs endorsements

“Nothing says you rock at your job like a LinkedIn Endorsement” was a recent headline in the Chicago Tribune. The article, as the headline suggests, rates the company’s newly launched endorsement function. But is it as good as it’s hyped up to be? Or are recommendations a far more credible addition to a person’s profile?
Those of you that use LinkedIn on a regular basis will know all about this new feature. Even if you’ve not been endorsed yourself your news feed – if it’s anything like mine – will be full of posts about so and so endorsing


What next for Facebook?

This week Facebook announced it had reached an incredible milestone, and with one billion active users each month it would normally be something shareholders would celebrate.  However, with share prices dropping and investors asking where the next billion users will come from, the question on everyone’s lips is ‘where next for Facebook’?
We’ve seen the social network grow from strength to strength, shared Mark Zuckerburg’s wedding and we’ve watched the movie. We’ve been there, done that and even bought the t-shirt!
So to stay at the top of the social networking food chain, it seems the site is moving


Is there too much focus on technology in recruitment?

I recently attended a meeting with one of our clients where a group of boutique and specialist recruiters were discussing changes being seen in the sector. They highlighted the importance of building relationships with employers and candidates, and how simple things, such as picking up the phone instead of emailing can really make a difference.
However, they recognised that recruitment is constantly evolving. There used to be much more of an individual service, for instance delivering CVs personally, but now there is a greater focus on process and efficiency. It’s often more about finding candidates matching the job description

employee engagement

Being a good employer – It’s the small things that matter

I was talking to a fellow business owner the other week and he was bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t afford to put a decent employee benefits package together.  “It’s so difficult to compete with the big guys when they have their gym memberships, private healthcare and big employee engagement programmes.”   I asked him what he did to engage  his employees – he said “well nothing – as I’ve said, I can’t really afford it.”
This surprised me.  I’m not going to pretend I am some great benevolent employer but there are lots of small things a business can do to make their employees feel valued and engaged.  For one thing we always buy a birthday present and

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


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

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

age discrimination

Too Old to Rock?

Now don’t get me wrong – I am no fan of Chris Moyles – I think he is a loud mouthed self-publicist. But, the decision to replace him based on the fact that the BBC wishes to attract a younger audience for the show concerns me on two levels.
First – the BBC seems to be exempt from the laws of age discrimination that apply to every other business in the UK.  While the official line is that Moyles quit, Radio One Controller Ben Cooper said that the decision had been made after a ‘private conversation’ and that

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


How to use Pinterest to add value to your company

In April we offered tips on writing a press release and, this time, we’re going to look at how Pinterest can add value to your company.
Pinterest, which launched in 2012, is now the third most popular social network after Facebook  and Twitter, so it’s perhaps not something you should ignore. It doesn’t work in the same way as most other networking platforms as there is no direct communication. However, it is becoming increasingly popular with businesses as a new platform for engagement.
So how does it work?

Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can ‘pin’ (post)

Q&A a&dc

Recruiter Q&A: a&dc

Why do you use PR?
At a&dc we are seen as leaders in the field of behavioural assessment and development, and our clients look to us for the latest thinking and research. In order to really portray ourselves as thought leaders, we feel that PR is absolutely critical.
We have been working with BlueSky since September last year, and have come to rely on PR. We are now able to seek out opportunities within industry and national press, both in digital and in print, reaching a much wider audience.
Social media is also important for us, and we now

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


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,

rec expo

Are you going to the next Recruitment Agency Conference? We are!

After the success of February’s event, our MD Tracey Dunn will be speaking at the next 2012 Recruitment Agency Conference in September.
The event is designed for professionals in recruitment who are responsible for growth and change in today’s challenging economic climate. Is this you? No matter what your position in the industry you are sure to find the conference valuable.
In her presentation, Tracey will be focusing on PR and branding, exploring why you need a brand and how you can use PR to help build it. She will also be looking at the different PR channels and

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


“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


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


Have You Taken an Interest in Pinterest?

Launched in 2010, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network worldwide after Facebook  and Twitter . Unique users doubled from 2m in January 2012 to 4m in March 2012 and Public Relations is number six in the top ten audience interests. So can this fresh new platform add value to your business?
You may wonder if you have the time and resources to manage another social media account but Pinterest seems to have many unique attributes. Unlike other platforms, Pinterest doesn’t allow direct contact which positions it as a ‘buzz-building’ tool rather than a direct networking device.

Surveying Clients

Why survey your clients?

When you buy something online from eBay or Amazon, use an online help desk or even when you get your car serviced, you will, more likely than not, be sent a questionnaire asking you to rate your experience.
I never tire of these questionnaires because, after years of evaluating customer/ client satisfaction surveys, I am always pleased to see a company that understands the value of feedback on its service delivery and performance.
However, client/customer satisfaction surveys should not be the exclusive domain of the online or B2C community. The feedback these surveys can provide is just as essential

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


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


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

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


Recruiter Q&A: webrecruit

For some recruitment businesses the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely results driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different and can take some time to see results. This month we speak to Lucy Heskins from webrecruit about the value of PR.
Why do you use PR?
PR is an effective way to get our brand out further. We recognised that in order to build our brand and communicate with publics we wouldn’t have reached otherwise, PR needed to be a key part of our strategy.
The Web has helped us to

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


And the winner is….

At the recent Recruitment Agency Expo we ran a competition to win a remote control helicopter. Thanks to everyone who popped by our stand and entered their details. We have now picked the winner at random and are pleased to announce that Kay Ajayi from Quant IT is the lucky recipient.
We’ll be in touch soon to arrange delivery of your prize, Kay. And to everyone else, thank you once again and if you didn’t manage to see our presentation on building your brand and reputation you can still view it here.

building brand

The role of PR in building your brand – a BlueSky presentation

Our own Managing Director, Tracey Dunn, appeared on stage at the Recruitment Agency Expo today to talk to the crowded theatre about the role of PR in building and communicating a brand and its evolving nature. Her points were certainly well received, but for those of you who couldn’t make it, here are a few of her key recommendations when it comes to building your brand profile:

A good brand grows your reputation and trust, making your organisation more attractive to not only potential clients, but also some of the best talent in the industry who you might want


Where have all the grads gone?

We’ve read a lot of news stories lately saying that levels of graduate unemployment are high; it’s difficult to get a job as a graduate; or there are no opportunities out there for recent grads etc. In response to this, and as an organisation looking to grow and bring in new skills, we thought we would target the graduate audience with some new job opportunities.
So, over a week ago we started posting out adverts for three graduate recruits to come and join the BlueSky PR team using various graduate jobs boards, expecting a barrage of CV’s and applications.


Case Study: Twenty Recruitment

Media Relations in Action
The company
Twenty Recruitment was formed in January 2009, in the depths of the recession, by Paul Marsden and Adrian Kinnersley who were responsible for the rapid growth and sale of Astbury Marsden. The company specialises in mid to senior level appointments within the professional services, financial services and commerce & industry sectors across technology, finance and IT.
The challenge
While the company had recruited a number of senior consultants who were real experts in their field, in early 2009 Twenty as a brand was still a relatively unknown quantity in the market.  They


Recruiter Q&A

For some recruitment businesses, the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely results driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different, and it can take some time to see results. With this in mind, we thought we’d feature a Q&A in each newsletter with a recruiter who uses PR, and why they do so.
This edition we speak to David Press, Director at DMJ Recruitment.
Why do we use PR?
We use PR for a variety of reasons but a key motive is that it places us as experts in the market place


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


Recruiters – The client experience – will anything ever change?

I attended an APSCo members meeting last week and one of the items under discussion was a survey of 173 end user clients of APSCo members undertaken by Innergy.  The survey, ‘Raising the Bar’ asked a number of questions around the reasons for using recruiters, what they wanted to see from recruiters and how they viewed them.  The results of the survey showed that most organisations viewed recruiters somewhere between toleration and disgust. Hmm.
So what is the industry doing wrong – well according to the survey, end user clients want recruiters to:

Provide innovative  pricing models
Be more customer led
Employ better people
Provide technical solutions


Crisis Communications: Rule Number 1 – Communicate!

It seems like an obvious rule, but all too often we see examples in the news of companies failing to implement the most important factor of any crisis communication: actually communicating.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship incident has been plastered all over the news this week and with the ongoing debate of how this disaster happened continuing, I have been eagerly looking at the reaction of the cruise ships owners, Costa Cruises.
So what have I found? Truth be told, the answer is very little. There seems to be few, if any, statements from the company in much


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


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

Can everyone please cheer up

I’m on on of my rants again I’m afraid.
OK so the euro zone is in chaos, the economy isn’t great and it looks as though we will have a few tough years before things get better.  But do you know what?  That’s life. In the good times, every person, every company and every country spent too much. Fact. So now we all have to take a bit of a hit and pay it back.
And while we’re about it I have to say that not every market is in the doldrums.  There are pockets of really positive activity out there. Several of our clients

LinkedIn Updates

Using LinkedIn? Then use it properly!

It’s all very well registering on LinkedIn, but if you don’t use it correctly then you may as well have saved yourself the time and not bothered at all.  It still amazes me how many people fail to spend the time filling in their profile properly.  So why is it so important?
If you want to appear in searches, be accepted as a group member or connection then an incomplete profile is not the answer! It’s that simple.  Take for instance a group. You find one, it has people in it that you want to connect and discuss industry


Social Media Tips: Facebook

In our last newsletter, we handed out some tips on how to use Twitter to help grow your recruitment business. This time, we’re looking at how Facebook can also serve as a great way to find and engage with both clients and candidates.

When setting up your Facebook page, make sure that you create a company page rather than a group. This will allow you to gain likes for your page and more importantly a page enables greater interaction with your followers, and the ability to add applications (jobs and Twitter feed for example) that a group cannot.


Recruiter Q&A

For some recruitment businesses, the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely results driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different, and it can take some time to see results. With this in mind, we thought we’d feature a Q&A in each newsletter with a recruiter who uses PR, and why they do so.
This edition we speak to Maggie Berry, Managing Director of Women in Technology.
Q: Why do you use PR?
A: We use PR to make female technologists aware of the opportunities available to them in the sector, as well


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’


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

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

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

Is good customer service dead and buried?

You only have to glance online to hear nightmare stories of poor customer service, and like most of us I have had my fair share. Only last week I had the ‘pleasure’ of flying Ryanair and experienced its awful service. Whilst I understand the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ – surely speaking to customers with no respect, or worse still, rudely shouldn’t happen regardless of whether you are flying on a low cost airline?
On my way on to the plane, I was forced to prove that my hand luggage bag was the right dimension – fair


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

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


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

first impressions

Social media and the death of first impressions

Having spent my first few weeks in a new role meeting new colleagues and clients I have had a lot of time to think about first impressions, particularly the old saying “you only get one first impression”.  In the business world first impressions are vital, mess that up and you could lose important opportunities in the future.
What I hadn’t thought about until recently though was how my social media footprint may affect my opportunity at a first impression. During a social media marketing course earlier this year my lecturer said 5 simple words which drew a chorus of


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


Recruiter Q&A

For some recruitment businesses, the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely results driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different, and it can take some time to see results. With this in mind, we thought we’d feature a Q&A in each newsletter with a recruiter who uses PR, and why they do so. This edition we speak to David Leyshon, MD of specialist technical and engineering recruiter, CBSbutler.
Q: Why do you use PR?

A: We use PR as a key element to achieving our ultimate business goals: namely to promote the company


Social Media Tips: Twitter

In our last newsletter, we handed out some tips on how to use LinkedIn to help grow your recruitment business. This time, we’re looking at how Twitter can also serve as a great way to find and engage with both clients and candidates.

Fill out your Twitter bio and upload a picture. A profile with no information can put off potential followers. People like to know they’re communicating with a human being, so it’s important to say who you are and what you do. It also helps to link to your website in order to instantly build traffic

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’


When PR is more important than principles

This week, David Rowat was fired from his job at Argos for taking to Facebook to have a moan about a bad day at work.
Now, we don’t need to tell you that it’s inadvisable to badmouth your employer on social networks. It’s about as subtle as writing “I hate my job” on your forehead and even if it doesn’t get you in trouble, it certainly won’t single you out as an ideal candidate for promotion.
Under normal circumstances I would argue that, assuming a company has a proper social media policy in place, bringing your employers into disrepute


Horrible Bosses

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


How to look more professional in one easy step

I have a personal rule. No matter what my role in any organisation, I always make sure that I do one thing exceptionally well: I always do my best to get back to people.
It goes without saying that everyone can become very busy at times. It’s not always possible to return emails or phone calls straight away, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of neglecting the odd response, but it makes a world of difference to your professional reputation if you do reply swiftly.
Here’s an example: if I email a supplier asking about their services, and I’m

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



Having just heard the new phrase ‘Connectiquette’ I decided to look into the etiquette of managing connections online.
Technology has brought us all closer together.  Social networks have provided platforms making it easy to connect with long-lost friends and family, new friends, business colleagues and other people who have similar interests, aspirations and goals. They have also become crucial in job search and career management.
However good etiquette is still essential. Its infuriating when you get inundated with asks and requests from people you don’t even know.  A simple please and thank you also goes a long way. Social


Recruiter Q&A

For some recruitment businesses, the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely result driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different, and can take some time to see results. With this in mind, we thought we’d feature a Q&A with a recruiter who uses PR, and why they do so. This edition we speak to Adrian Kinnersley, MD of multi sector professional recruiter Twenty Recruitment Group
Q: Why do you use PR?
A: We use PR to reach our three main audiences – clients, candidates and potential employees, Without having a PR strategy in

LinkedIn Updates

Social media tips: LinkedIn

Social media can be daunting if you haven’t used it before, but it can be a great tool for recruitment businesses looking to engage with both clients and candidates. We’ll be running our ‘top tips’ for a series of social media platforms. First up: LinkedIn.

Ensure you have an optimized profile.  Follow the advice on your profile telling you what to do to get your profile to 100%. This may be adding a photo (people want to know who they are connecting with), adding past positions and your current expertise.

Groups – there are thousands of


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


Unmarketing & sexy thinking – my take on Jobsite’s Fresh Thinking event

I had the pleasure of being one of the guests at  Jobsite’s Fresh Thinking event on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I see myself as fairly social media savvy and so wasn’t sure that I would learn anything new. What I forgot was that sometimes you may not learn anything  new – but you  learn how the apply the things that you do know in a different way – and Scott Stratten  certainly did that for me.  Some of the takeaways for me were:
People spread awesome not average: Which made me think about  the blogging schedule we have in our own


BlueSky’s newest recruit

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

Peace and quiet

The telecommunications revolution. Don’t you just love it? Thanks to the web and email and Skype and all the rest we can and do deal with clients and journalists in almost every corner of the globe. Assuming a globe has corners, of course. We can get hold of clients at the top of ski-lifts, writers in the back end of nowhere, partners and co-directors in bed or in the bathroom. Fantastic, yeah? But is it?
Along with 24/7, anytime, anywhere access we’ve lost that time to think things through. Fail to reply to an email or a phone

leverage your PR coverage

My first three months in PR

It’s been three months since I took my first nervous steps into the BlueSky office, and I have to say they’ve flown by. As a newcomer to PR, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. My experience with PR was limited, as was my experience in the world of work in general, having graduated the previous year and worked a six month copywriting contract.
With an appealing job description and a stomach full of excited butterflies, I came in as a blank slate, ready to learn from my colleagues and start from the bottom.
So what have I learned


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

lazy graduates?

Can today’s graduates really be bothered?

I have read many articles and blog postings about the candidate experience – hell I even wrote one myself bemoaning the bad service candidates get in terms of engagement and feedback.
However, as someone who has been involved in recruiting for our own organisation over the past few weeks, I have been quite literally gobsmacked at the poor level of effort, courtesy and basic communication skills displayed by applicants.  We hear lots of stuff about how we need to really engage with Generation Y – but have we gone too far? Do Generation Y now  feel that they have to make

presentation nerves

Career fears

At a recent presentation training course, run by the brilliant David Josephs, we briefly discussed our fears about presenting. After all, if we’re so nervous, we must be afraid of something!
The discussion got me thinking about fears in general. Fear can be a great motivator, if you know how to identify and overcome it. But what if you don’t know what your career fears are? We all have them – but can we all spot them?
There are a few different general fears that I’ve noticed come up time and again for many professionals. They’re usually driven by

Fashion & Interviews

Can designer clothes help you in an interview?

Social media is an integral part of my job and as such, I often find myself looking through Twitter for interesting articles, or announcements that may be useful for clients. Some things you see are relevant, some are funny, and some are just odd! The latest article I read has to come under the latter. The title of the piece ‘Wear A Designer Logo To An Interview To Get Offered A 9% Higher Salary’ caught my eye, and although I knew instantly that I didn’t agree with what it said, I had to click the link.
Some may say


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


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.

customer service

Good PR starts with great customer service

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a firm believer in genuinely good service resulting in word of mouth as the first principle of PR, especially now that the internet has given word of mouth a megaphone. A common myth is that PR is all about spin, about getting as much positive coverage as possible and covering up anything negative about a business. That may be the way that some people do PR, but it’s probably not the most effective.
Here’s a good example: I’m currently planning a wedding. The process can be very stressful and good or bad experiences


Would you hire Charlie Brooker?

Reading through Andy Headworth’s mostly fabulous 2010 PDF, ’50 Top Tips for Jobseekers’ this lunch time, I came across one tip in particular that, I’ll admit, made my stomach lurch. “Employers want fun employees,” it read, “they don’t want overly sarcastic, rude or too opinionated employees!!”
Now, the rude part I understand, but I’m in PR, which means I do a lot of writing. Where would my writing be if I wasn’t sarcastic or opinionated? Indeed, like my hero, Charlie Brooker, I’ve always tried to inject a little healthy cynicism into my writing and naturally, as somebody who

Sheen-watch demonstrates the power of social media

I’ve been monitoring the ‘progress’ of Charlie Sheen, Hollywood hell-raiser du jour, with growing interest for the last couple of months. It was increasingly clear to me that he was losing his marbles and that surely his lifestyle would catch up with him and everything would end in tears. So far, so Hollywood – seen it a million times.
Of course, in recent weeks, the media attention surrounding his private life has ramped up significantly with tales of his firing from his tv show, his children being taken away from him and lurid story’s about his relationships with

bad PR

Is Max Clifford giving PR bad PR?

Those of you in the PR industry know that most PR companies are filled with passionate, intelligent people dedicated to helping great brands and businesses to communicate with their client base and with wider society through a variety of media and social media channels.
However, much of the wider public has only had access to one kind of PR – celebrity PR – and most notably, one name that crops up again and again, usually in relation to the well-known scandal du jour. Max Clifford.
Sadly, the lasting impression that most non-PR folk have of our noble trade is

too many grads?

Are there too many graduates?

Ok – I know a lot of people will be throwing their hands up in horror but are we trying to put too many people through university?
I recently attended my son’s GCSE options evening and learned about the new English Baccalaureate.  Students who receive an A* to C grade in English, Maths, at least two sciences, a foreign language and either history or geography will automatically be awarded the English Bacc. And why? Well no matter what the official line is, it will be another way for universities to filter through too many applications. And the reason that universities


Remote working – love it or hate it?

After a week recuperating from surgery, I’m back working. The difference though is that due to being unable to drive I’m working from home. Of course, this is not unusual; plenty of people work from home permanently or from time to time. Whilst I have worked from home on the odd occasion, most recently when the snow caused chaos to the road networks – it is not something I usually do.
A few people I know have commented on how lucky people have it that work from home – although most of these have a pretty long and often


What makes a great leader?

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

This is in terms of both work and company culture.

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

New Recruit

BlueSky’s latest addition

Hi I’m Sara and I’m the newest member of the Blue Sky team!
I’m a recent English graduate from the University of Exeter. Since graduating I’ve spent 8 months working in contract SEO copywriting,
social media and blogging roles, in both the recruitment and education sectors, and now I’m thrilled to bring my writing experience to a wider PR role.
My main interests include politics, singing and songwriting, writing fiction and social media. In my spare time you’ll find me recording music, working on a new home decorating project or just curled up with a book or in front

Jakc Bauer

What’s next for Jack?

It was an emotional time for me last week as I watched the season finale of 24 and faced a future without Jack Bauer in my life – minus the Jack Bauer quote player that Adrian has on his desk in case we need an injection of his wisdom. Jack’s on the run again, so what’s he going to turn his hand to next? (Until they make the film, of course.)
This got me thinking that he could make a good PR person – here are the qualities that I think he could bring to a role in PR:


BlueSky partners with US based Starr Tincup!

Well we’ve had a great start to 2011 – plenty of new business has arrived on our desks and now we have some exciting news to share with our readers! We are pleased to announce our partnership with Starr Tincup, a marketing consultancy specialising in the HR and other niche markets.
We’ve been providing PR and communication services to clients for almost ten years now, and by partnering with Starr Tincup we will be able to further expand our offering on an international scale. Together, we will be providing clients the following services:

Brand and message development
Market positioning


MOD civil servants – are they losing out?

I worked for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for three years. It was a real shock to the system when I made the move from the private sector. Not only was it the change in pace, culture and processes that I had to get my head round; it was also the archaic computer systems. It was like going back in time!

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,


Social media – who and how to get involved?

I recently spent a day at one of our clients discussing their use of social media and how to get the whole team involved. And a great day it turned out to be, with an enthusiastic team all positive about the social media being utilised and with some great ideas going forward.
But what happens if your team don’t get involved, don’t see the point or there is conflict over who should be involved? A recent survey featured in PR week found that of 250 marketing heads, one in five believed that social media should be controlled by a

Roger Tweedy Q&A

Matt Cardle from the X Factor and Julian Assange of Wikileaks are PR’s greatest enemies

Well, no, they’re not really, but I thought I’d just get the SEO stuff out of the way at the beginning and then I could get on with writing what I actually want to (that’s the digital world for you).
No, the real enemy of effective PR is the high ‘idiot count’ scored by the PR industry itself.
When I’m talking to any potential new client, the main problem is not convincing them that PR is a useful tool which will help them develop their business. It’s getting over the pain threshold induced by them using some buffoon in

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]

fb protest

Are we headed for a brand backlash?

The internet is a wonderful thing. Online shopping has enabled me to so far buy all of my Christmas presents without physically visiting a single shop, and thanks to Facebook I know that my friend in America is having a baby and has put up her Christmas tree. But when it comes to businesses and their use of online marketing, are we heading for a backlash?
Ahead of moving into my new flat I’ve been searching online for bathrooms and sofas. Now every time I login to my email account, I am bombarded with adverts for these products. But


Qatar to the fore…

So England won’t be hosting the 2018 World Cup. I can’t say that I am surprised given all of the negative publicity the British press have generated around the bid-process in recent weeks. There were simply too many noses out of joint amongst the election committee, if you ask me. And I can also imagine that not having to put up with the British press for the next 7 and-a-half years is an added boon for FIFA.
In fact, I was reading an article earlier today that pointed out that of all the countries bidding for both the 2018

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 somewhat negative towards recruitment consultancies. However since working at BlueSky I have met a lot of highly professional individuals within the sector, who are already changing my view that maybe recruiters aren’t all bad.
In my job search experience I have come across some great consultants – they have listened and understood exactly what I want, then fixed me up with a good interview. However, the majority I have encountered, in both


CIPD – it’s time to get on message

I was having lunch with an employment journalist recently and we were discussing recent press releases put out by the CIPD. She had just received the release outlining the results of the CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook.  The opening lines of the release state that the report – and I quote : “.. indicates that private sector job creation will more than offset public sector job cuts in the final quarter of 2010.”  It also talks about a net positive balance of  +11 (the figure which measures the difference between the proportion of employers intending to increase staffing levels – and


Insult your boss on Facebook, and then take them to court!

I blogged recently about candidates ruining their chances of securing a role due to their actions on social networking sites – namely Facebook. We have also heard about employees being fired due to their comments on social networking sites. But now it seems that the tables are turning and employees are fighting back. But is this right?
On a long train journey yesterday I picked up a copy of the Metro and read a story about a paramedic in the US that is taking her previous employer to court. Why? Because she was fired for criticising her boss on


5 great PR myths

Following on from Steph’s post on the changing nature of PR, I began thinking about other ‘myths’ in PR. It’s often something that’s misunderstood, as we have experienced firsthand. So here are my top 5 PR fictions – and the facts:

PR is all parties – If the media was anything to go by, we’d all be sipping cocktails, planning parties and basically be too drunk to do anything else – think Samantha Jones from Sex and the City or Eddie and Patsy from Ab Fab. No doubt this applies to a few PRs but the majority of


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

New Recruit

BlueSky’s new recruit

Hi All
I am Nicki Probets and I am the newest member here at BlueSky!
Before joining BlueSky I worked in an internal marketing communications role within the Ministry of Defence; I was in this role for three years. Prior to this I worked for four years at an award winning performance improvement agency in a marketing, pr and events position.  I have gained a great deal of communications experience working in both the private and public sector, which I can bring to my new position at BlueSky.
My role at BlueSky is to obtain maximum PR coverage for


Facebook – damaging candidate’s chances. A true story.

I came across an article on HR Zone recently claiming that social media is feared by some graduate recruiters. Why? It can result in unsuccessful and unproductive employees and some stated that social media was actually dangerous for a company’s reputation if staff members publicly posted content on there. This is not to say that recruiters are not using it – plenty are and very successfully.  But what about the dangers of social media to potential candidates?
This got me thinking about a conversation I was having with a friend recently – an HR Manager at a company in



We’re always hearing stories about ageism – people in their 50s and 60s struggling to find work because they’re nearing retirement age and people not wanting to hire them. But what about the other way around?
I may not look it, but I am in fact 25 (I’d be in the ‘oldies’ section on X-Factor therefore I don’t class myself as that young any more!) Being youthful and energetic should be beneficial in the business world, right? Well, I’m not so sure. I have always looked young – in fact only a couple of years ago I got asked

social media

Social media – a mum’s perspective

So there I was – I had just about managed to get over the emotional draining of my 11 year old’s leaving assembly from primary school ( which included a back catalogue of all the kids from age 3 upwards on a big screen set to Greenday’s Wake Me Up When September ends…sob) – and now I was waving him and his 13 year old brother off to scout camp for eight days.
They were off to Cromer – no mobile phones allowed so no contact. Now I knew in my heart of hearts that they would have a great time but it still

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

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

Social media – how do recruiters compare?

Anyone reading this blog is likely to have found it through social media, so I don’t need to explain how much of a buzz there is around social media in recruitment at the moment. However as a PR company I like to think we have a slightly different take on it – although we know how to how to use these tools in the recruitment process, our focus is more on using social media to promote the recruiter’s brand and expertise.
As BlueSky’s resident social media ‘leader’ if I can use that word, I recently went to PR

Social Media

Social media in recruitment workshop

I attended the Social Media in Recruitment Workshop last week hosted by Peter Gold and what a day it was. I had agreed to help Peter on the day and turned up at the British Library early to help set up; after the initial problem of not being able to get into the British Library (the gates were all locked up at 8:30) I was responsible for registering the delegates along with Lisa Scales and Claire Dalton and by 9:30 the venue was full.
There was a good mix of recruitment agencies and in house recruiters – a clear

Recruitment and company culture


I recently spent the day with Twenty Recruitment at a vision and values day they were holding for their most recent hires.  I have to say it was really refreshing to see a recruitment firm not just talking the talk and paying lip service to the notion of values – but really living them. The firm has three values Life’s Short; Be Eclectic and Crystal Clear. Through the facilitator Rafe Offer, a marketing and branding expert, the new consultants talked about how those values related to themselves, their clients and their candidates.
Looking at  ‘Life’s Short’ drove a discussion


Overtime bad for your health?

I recently came across an article in the Times titled ‘Too much overtime is bad for your health’. According to the article, studies suggest that those who regularly work a nine or ten hour day are more likely to suffer from heart-related illness – well surely that’s pretty much all of us?!
We’ve all been sitting at our desks well into the evening trying to finish bits and pieces and plenty of people work well over seven hours every day whether it be in the office, or at home . Does this mean they are destined for health problems?

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

Social Media Tips

Social Media in Recruitment Conference

After a busy first few days here at BlueSky, I attended the Social Media in Recruitment Conference last week at the British Library. The event was hosted and organised by Mike Taylor of and was attended by over 200 delegates. I had heard from my colleagues that the 2009 conference had been a success and provided some very useful information on Social Media, and as I will be concentrating on this area I was keen to attend and see what I could get out of it for myself but also, and more importantly for the clients I would be working with.
The conference was

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


The sea of CVs

Apologies readers for the lack of BlueSky blogging of late – BS HQ has been very busy! Not that we are complaining – it’s good news both for us but for the recruitment sector too. As more recruiters invest in PR it’s a sure sign that conditions are on the up! So as it’s 4.30pm on a Friday and my brain is slowing down so I thought I would use the time productively and ramble a little bit about this…
As we blogged about a few weeks ago we’re recruiting at the moment – due to aforementioned

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

Social Media

Social media – the darker side?


I had an e-mail shot the other day from a supplier to the recruitment industry.  They wanted to test the power of viral marketing and were offering an incentive.  All good stuff you might say – great marketing ploy – but then when I read on it actually left quite a nasty taste in my mouth. All you had to do was to mention the supplier on various social networks and you stood a chance of winning a not inconsiderable amount of  their services for free.  So what’s so bad about that I hear you cry?  Well


Keep an eye on your own PR

I came across a newly launched website today, which I had been following on Twitter. allows you to submit anonymous reviews about what it’s like to work at a particular company. Eek scary huh? Well, if you’ve got a lot of disgruntled ex-employees, yes. But let’s be honest, it’s not like they don’t have any avenues to vent their frustrations already is it?
With the rapid expansion of social media and other internet offerings, organisations now have more tools than ever before to engage with people and boost their brand. But there are also more ways in

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

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

Beware – it’s Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas. You know what that means – presents, turkey, carols, and apparently danger according to the many press releases about the festive season (sigh). I was wondering whether to blog about this or not – after all, it’s only a fellow PR person trying to do their job – even if they do send out the same ‘beware at the Christmas party’ release every year. But then I saw a press release today that convinced me that I should (see #1). Reading these, anyone would think that Christmas should just be cancelled as quite frankly it’s just too risky –


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

Recruitment – is it really that bad?!

Whilst browsing Facebook earlier this week, I noticed that a Facebook friend of mine had joined a recruitment orientated group. Seeing as though I read and write about the subject all day, I clicked the link to have a closer look at the group, entitled “How did I end up in recruitment?” You might have guessed from the name that it’s not exactly a forum for praise about how great recruitment is. Here are a few examples.


Recruitment and corporate image…yawn!

I look at loads of recruitment websites – and loads of recruitment brochures. And most of them are deadly dull. Now I know, as someone who has a lot of involvement in producing content for such things, that’s a pretty controversial statement. But it’s true.  And it’s mainly because a lot of recruiters all say the same thing. Leaders in our field, passionate about client service, yadda yadda yadda.

dinner party

Work vs the dinner party

The latest headline to catch my eye was this: “Hosting a dinner party is ‘more stressful than going to work’”. Now, I can perhaps understand if you have a very easy job (was going to insert example here but wouldn’t want to offend any dog walkers etc) or you’re arranging a dinner party for 500 celebrity guests. But I did ask myself how making the table look pretty and looking up some Jamie Oliver recipes is more taxing than juggling a heavy workload, dealing with office politics, handling angry customers and everything else the workplace can hold.

If you want to work at Google…

…you’ll have to get through these interview questions first. These have been doing the rounds over the last couple of weeks, but I thought I would share a few of my favourites in case you had missed them, or wanted to take another look. Some questions are designed to test creativity, others are intended to test your ability to calculate. A handful are simply brainteasers that Google want to hear your responses to. Here are some of the more bizarre and thought provoking questions:

Rewarding recruiters – is it all just about numbers?

Now here’s a debate.  Should recruiters be rewarded solely on their billings? Should big billers be promoted into senior roles bcause they are big billers? Are big billers always the best managers?


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.


If I read one more article about how technology is going to put traditional recruitment firms out of business, I think I might weep (with frustration). I have a few grey hairs ( well quite a lot actually) and I get so bored with the same old scaremongering thats trotted out during every recession! Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of technology. But, as I pointed out in my last post, it has to be used as a tool, not as a replacement for a consultancy service that’s supposed to be based on relationships and



I was chatting to Alan Whitford recently of RCEuro .

To any innocent eavesdropper it would have sounded like an episode of grumpy old men/woman. You see Alan and I are from the old school of recruiters – before technology, before faxes – hell even before electronic typewriters. But during the last twenty odd years one thing has remained constant – the complaint from candidates about the candidate experience.

leverage your PR coverage


Scrolling down my twitter feed as I do looking for things of interest I came across a tweet from Tim Weber, the business editor for BBC news and radio which made me smile. His department had just received what he described as the most stupid PR call ever: “Hello, do you publish advertorials – am I through to the right department at the BBC?”   And then having browsed the open questions on Linked In in the public relations category, I found the following: “What is the best press release service for a release about a new services offering

Social media and recruitment

How is social media changing the recruitment landscape? We found some time in our busy schedule to do some PR for ourselves, and put together an article about the use of social media for recruiters. Take a look at it here. What are the benefits from your experience?

Posted by: Sam Woodward


How (not) to interview

Interviews. We all know the basic rules, don’t we? Arrive on time, do your research, firm handshake and so on. Well, apparently not. Whilst browsing the Times online I found this article with some great examples of what you definitely should not do in an interview. Here are a few of my favourites.
Do not:
* wear a white suit
* admit your girlfriend wrote your CV
* tell the interviewer you’ve only just got out of bed and haven’t had any breakfast
* be arrogant (example given in the article: “In the middle of the questions, he


…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