Author: Lindsey Davies

Editorial and advertising: perfect bedfellows or simply getting too close for comfort?

Pondering the world of PR and all that it encompasses.

Pondering the world of PR and all that it encompasses.

Obligatory start to all communications this week, Happy New Year to one and all! We hope that you had a well-deserved break and have come back refreshed, albeit a little on the plump side. I certainly have

So, as we embark on another year ahead what are the challenges that you will face? Have you even considered what is around the corner? Or are you still debating whether it’s appropriate to eat those left-over mince pies and to wash them down with sherry or a last glass of fizz?

Anyway, enough about my overindulgence, it’s irrelevant – we are back to it now and so my ponderings for 2017 begin.

Before Christmas, I noticed a shift in the way that an online regional title was reporting news.

Rather than simply sharing updates, as they had done for several years, they instead offered the chance for people to upload their own content for a fee. This is nothing new, it has been done before and as a PR agency we would consider it advertorial.

The reason for this is that those submitting news can write – within reason – whatever they like and share it on the platform as long as they pay to do so. So far, so good. However, what made this approach rather ‘unique’, and I believe added some intrigue, was that the platform made it clear that they would choose the best three articles to feature on their daily bulletin.

The reason I find this so fascinating is that it really does blur the lines between what constitutes advertising and editorial. In the first instance it is advertorial, as the person has paid for the piece to feature as they have written it, but in the second it becomes editorial, as a journalist has shared it with a wider audience alongside content that has not been paid for. Now to clarify, you can quite easily see the bylined author of each article so can still see which have been paid for but it’s a fine line.

I have conflicting thoughts about this; commercially I have to admit that it is a step forward and I also think there are many online titles that will follow, but what is unnerving is that people already find the relationship between advertising and editorial a challenge and I fear this will make it worse.

People will believe that to work in PR you write copy and upload it for a fee, which isn’t the case. What we do here at Open Communications is to draft good quality copy that is then sent to a journalist for them to decide whether to share it with their audience or otherwise.

I’ve been a follower of this particular news feed for a number of years now and am certainly keen to see if this approach evolves – or doesn’t, depending presumably on its popularity and ability to become an additional income stream.

I’m always interested to see how publications change the way that they work while maintaining the integrity of the editorial they share, so again, this will be one to watch.
Another shift in the wonderful world of PR and communications – there’s never a dull day.

Wishing you all the very best for 2017. We will be sharing our thoughts and opinions about subjects that are relevant to PR, marketing, communications and life in general. Remember to come back for updates and of course, feel free to add your own thoughts too.

AWARDS; GLORY HUNTING OR THE RECOGNITION YOU DESERVE

Whatever industry you work in there will be an awards ceremony that celebrates the success of the great and good in your sector. The same can be said for PR and I am really pleased to announce that Open Communications has been shortlisted for the Not For Profit category at the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire PRide Awards.

The awards take place tomorrow (Thursday 17 November) evening at The Queen’s Hotel in Leeds and will bring together hundreds of people from businesses and agencies throughout the two regions.

It has taken us eight years to enter the awards, not because we didn’t feel that our work was of a standard to be recognised but because, if we’re honest, we’ve spent more time submitting and winning awards for our clients.

It was only during a meeting earlier in the year that a client asked why we don’t practice what we preach, and I realised that actually awards for our own work should be as important as those of the brands that we work with.

So, what was stopping us?

Well, to be honest, we’ve never really felt that we needed awards to prove that we could do a good job – the evidence is in the results that we achieve. Then there was the fact that some awards make you feel like you’re simply glory hunting and again this isn’t really our style.

But, when it comes down to it awards do give a credibility by association and you have to be in them to win them! So, is it glory hunting or are you simply getting the recognition you deserve for the results you work so hard to achieve.

It wasn’t difficult to come up with a conclusive answer and so, we put pen to paper.

The challenge then was what to submit? We are very proud of the work that we produce and the results that we get for our clients so it was a difficult choice. We decided that we would focus on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to former mining towns and villages throughout the country.

We have worked alongside the team at the Coalfields Regeneration Trust for more than 2 years now and have secured hundreds of pieces of coverage, which in turn has communicated with millions of people throughout the UK.

The results are consistently strong and as a result of our work communications is very much an agenda point around the board room table. We’ve even been invited to share our work with the trustees – which is a real achievement.

We have worked with the team to develop a tone of voice, aligned their messaging and revised their three-year strategy. We have also shaped their brand and vision for the future and changed the way that they communicate with different audiences to make sure they get the return on investment both from us and their own efforts.

Although we are confident with the results we have achieved, leading the organisation most recently to secure a Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Award (2016), we know that it can go either way.

We have everything crossed and know that even if we don’t win, we have done a fantastic job and will continue to deliver for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, evolving the way that they communicate to make sure as many people as possible understand what they are trying to achieve.

That said, we’ve cleared a space on our shelf (just in case) and hope to be updating the blog with pictures of Open Communications as we pick up our very first PRide award.

Wish us luck!

AN EXPERIENCE I WILL NEVER FORGET

Kevin card front Kevin card

It was just like any other day, nothing untoward, an early start and I was on the train down to London for a meeting. There was nothing particularly unusual about it and as I sat looking at my laptop and wondering where to start with my to do list I decided that first and foremost I needed a coffee.

This is where my day turned from non-descript to a nightmare. I realised with absolute horror that I had left my wallet in my gym bag, which was on the passenger seat of my car… at the train station in Leeds!

Rather than scream and shout I thought about the situation and decided that actually it wasn’t such a big deal. I could do without a coffee and I had no real need to purchase anything else while I was in London so it would be fine.

This was my first major mistake.

I called my husband who said that he would arrange for me to pick up some money from a cash machine. All I had to do was find an RBS, Natwest or Tesco cashpoint.

Sorted. Or so I thought.

At this point a fellow passenger who had overheard my conversation handed me £5. I was really moved that she had gone to the trouble to hand me money, knowing that she would never get it back and also that I was a complete stranger. This small act restored my faith in humans and the kindness that they can show.

I explained to the lady that my husband had arranged for me to get access to some money and handed her the note back.

Second mistake.

Believing that there would be a cashpoint at Kings Cross I carried on regardless, laughing at my utter stupidity and promising that moving forward I would put some money in my bag so that I would never be in this position again.

On arriving into Kings Cross I went on a mission to find a cashpoint. There wasn’t a single branded cashpoint in or around the station. Panic started to set in. What was I going to do? I went across the road to a bank and asked the clerk where the nearest Natwest or RBS was.

His response was nothing short of baffling. Despite explaining that I had no money, he suggested I get a bus. I must have looked a little confused and reiterated that I had no money. He then said ‘Well use what god gave you. You’re a woman, just charm the driver’.

Needless to say, I walked out knowing that this was never going to happen not least because I have some self-respect.

So, angry and becoming increasingly nervous, I realised I needed the toilet. And that’s when it dawned on me. I couldn’t go anywhere – not even the station – without money. I didn’t have 40p and that meant I couldn’t access a toilet.

It was at this point I realised with absolute clarity that I had never really considered what having money, even small amounts, allows you to do. Without it you simply don’t have access to the very basic of facilities.

I then started to think about the homeless. I’ve been involved with charities that support rough sleepers in Leeds and have always considered myself to be relatively well informed but this experience left me shaken.

It took me more than an hour to find a Tesco and to access some cash but what about the homeless. They don’t have a husband to send them a code, which gives them access to money and therefore all of the things that we take for granted.

I often give money to rough sleepers but for the first time I realised that they need more than that. They need help and support. They need to break a cycle and they need to be acknowledged. I see the homeless but I’ve never really seen life through their eyes.

I will never forget the feeling that I got when I realised that because I didn’t have money, I didn’t really exist. People weren’t willing to help me and I didn’t have the necessary funds to help my situation.

This year, as a business, we will be showing our support for Ho, Ho, Homeless, a charity initiative which was started last year by a friend and client, Geoff Shepherd. The idea came to Geoff when he was Christmas shopping with his two young sons.

On walking past a homeless man on a bridge, Geoff’s son asked why the man was sitting there and why he was begging. He then asked if there was anything they could do to make his situation better. Geoff handed the man some money and in response he wrote a Christmas card and passed it to his son.

This simple gesture, and his son’s innocent but relevant questions, was enough for Geoff to realise that he did want to do more and so he called upon the business community to donate cash, clothes and gifts.

We provided 200 body warmers last year and will be doing something similar this year however the difference will be that I will appreciate just how difficult life is for those who don’t just find themselves stranded in London for a day but in a world of ignorance and isolation for the foreseeable future.

That day taught me two lessons. Not only did I learn to check that I have my wallet with me when travelling but also to appreciate just how fortunate I am. I will never take what I have for granted again.

Never underestimate real talent

I’m somewhat ashamed to say that following the London Olympics in 2012 I was relieved to turn my TV back to my normal viewing and didn’t give a second thought to the Paralympics. It wasn’t that I didn’t care as such, or that I didn’t think the talents of these athletes needed support, it was just that it didn’t really register with me.

This year, however, is a totally different situation and much of it, I believe, is down to The Last Leg and Claire Balding. I make no secret of the fact that I love The Last Leg, it is one of few programmes that can effectively debate really serious global issues with humour, and Claire Blading is a great example of a presenter that manages to be both professional and personable while having an edge.

I also commend Claire for providing some continuity as she chose to go from presenting the Olympic Games to the Paralympic Games despite the channel change – I’m sure a pay cheque was involved along the way, but it has given further credibility to the coverage none-the-less.

Thanks to the way in which Channel 4 have taken the Paralympics, added some personality and made it a ‘must watch’, for the first time that I can remember people are discussing how many medals we have won and sharing details of the athletes that are competing each day.

Jonny Vegas may not have been an obvious choice where athletics and elite sportsmen and women are concerned but he’s added a comedy to the Games that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Nominated to get the crowds going, he has shown his stomach painted as a Union Jack, handed out shower caps and screamed with delight throughout each event.

What better way to champion our Paralympic athletes than by celebrating in the only way he knows how – with real gusto! Like a true Brit on tour, he’s had people chanting, singing and dancing and it hasn’t always been in support of England with him cheering on Jamaica despite them turning in a less than medal winning performance.

And perhaps that’s part of the appeal. The Paralympic Games aren’t taking themselves too seriously. It’s not that the athletes don’t deserve the commendation or the support they have received – quite the opposite in fact – but what has become apparent is that these sportsmen and women have personalities and they are ‘real people’ beyond their chosen events.

Like any athletes they have dedicated their lives to training, they are elite, they are the best, they are of a gold winning standard but they are also husbands, wives, sons, daughters, dads, mothers and friends.

I would like to think that what Channel 4 have successfully done is two-fold; they have raised the profile of the Paralympic Games to a mass market, allowing people to feel involved and showcasing how inclusive it can be – something that I feel has previously been notable in its absence – and they have created opportunities for these athletes to secure sponsorship from brands, an essential consideration for their future careers.

For once, I can see Paralympic athletes being just as appealing to brands as Olympians and rightly so. If you work hard to become the best and you dedicate your life to taking part in a tournament that will see you represent your country you deserve something back.

So, which brands will be the first to take to the podium and to give something back to these amazing individuals? Who knows, we might even have a sports personality of the year within the Paralympic Team GB. Let’s be honest, much stranger things have happened.

#Isitok to integrate social and TV

I hadn’t realised just how used we all are to sharing our thoughts about certain TV programmes and documentaries with absolute strangers until we started to talk about it in the office recently.

I’ve never really considered how my consumption of media has changed as a result of social media, but after taking a step back I realise that actually, in some instances, I expect as much from my Twitter feed as a I do the programme that I’m watching.

Take the Last Leg for example. As well as being one of my all time favourite programmes it is a show that openly champions the use of social media to engage with a captive audience and share ‘real time’ opinions that then instigate further debate.

Using #Isitok the presenters integrate the use of Twitter into the show in order to collate responses from viewers. A series of questions will be asked and the hashtag means that people are able to respond and also engage with each other.

Some people aren’t so sure about the need to integrate social into programming and I can understand that view, after all if you’re watching a programme shouldn’t you be giving it your full attention or just sitting back to relax and enjoy?

I think there’s an element of both. I watch certain programmes without even considering social media, but then there are others that have me almost habitually grabbing for my iPhone.

In most instances it seems to be documentaries and programmes that have a human interest or some element of social psychology behind them that I find most interesting. I like to see what other people think and agree or contradict based on my own feelings.

Gogglebox is another great show when it comes to Twitter. There are always insightful comments, which are often about very serious situations, which despite being ‘out of date’ create engagement and debate online.

For me, social media and TV are perfect bedfellows and as someone who doesn’t spend a great deal of time in front of the box, when I do it’s great to know that there is a wider audience who are willing to compare and contrast views about the programme we are all watching.

So, #Isitok? Yes, I think it is. In fact, I’d be lost without it and if you don’t want to engage with people online while watching TV, the answer is simple – turn your phone off.

Ends.

How to turn net-work into business gain

05.12.16 Rashmi BOOK 2mb

Firstly, I have to start with a caveat, the following blog is written honestly and objectively but the book that I refer to throughout was written by a client of Open Communications. In true Open style I would prefer to be completely honest and… well, Open, about that before we start.

And so, on with the blog.

It’s been a while since I have written about our experiences or the things that we have been up to and for that I apologise. Like many other businesses, the day-to-day gets in the way and clients come first.

Recently however, and for the first time, a client wrote a book. I’m not aware of any other clients that we work with having done this and was intrigued as to why a hard-working business woman would put the time and effort into scribing more than 100 (141 to be precise) pages when they have a to-do list as long as your arm.

Rashmi Dubé is well known throughout Yorkshire and London. Her legal practice, Legatus Law is award winning and just three-years after launching the business it is expanding with new offices in Leeds city centre and appointments to the team.

Still, Rashmi felt that she had some tips that she wanted to pass on and so started to write a book that would help people to do something that many of us take for granted – in our social lives at least – every day; networking.

Some people scoff at the need to network, considering it a waste of time and money but others, perhaps those that are doing it right, see the value and benefit from meeting contacts and once a relationship has developed, sharing business.

The book, ‘Making a Splash (a Personal Guide to Networking)’ gives really honest advice about networking and what you should and should not do when you are faced with the opportunity to meet a room full of new people.

What struck me about the book was that it isn’t a difficult read. There is nothing worse than getting in on an evening after a busy day and turning to pages of manuscript that you have to read time and time again to work out. I don’t want a business thesaurus for my bedtime read, I want something interesting and insightful and this book didn’t disappoint.

The chapters are really structured so you can either read it from cover to cover, like I did, or dip and in and out of the parts that would be most relevant to you. Not only does this make it a really useful guide for those who are networking for the first time but also for those who have been attending events for years and feel that they need a bit of a refresh.

I’m in the latter group and have done everything from very structured and formal networking meetings to conferences, balls, dinners, charity events and just about everything in between. When you work in PR the best word to describe the events that you attend is varied and so one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to networking.

I’ve always thought that being honest was the best policy and have found that this has worked in my favour. Rashmi reiterates the need to be authentic when you meet with new people and this really resonated with me. There is nothing worse than meeting someone and knowing they are ‘playing the game’, it’s far from appealing.

What really peaked my attention was the fact that Rashmi was actually a shy child – now that I didn’t see coming! As such a confident business woman you would never know and that made me realise that her techniques are working. She explains in chapter 2 that through channeling her alter ego she is able to address a room with not so much as a stammer, even when she is as nervous as a child on the first day of school.

Other things I really liked about the book were the use of real people as interviewees to ask how they approach networking. As I know and network with some of them, it was really insightful to hear their thoughts and also the tips that they apply. I hadn’t realised that people thought so deeply about events until now and it was really refreshing to know that we all share the same doubts and annoyances that can come from being in a room of strangers.

The one thing I hate is people trying to sell to me at networking events. I can usually tell within 10 seconds of a conversation because they will use the term ‘we have synergy’ shudder or worse they will refer immediately to a client and ask for their contact details groan. This again was addressed in the book with the consistent tip that it is not about collecting business cards but about making relationships – long-term.

I don’t want to give too much away about this book as I genuinely think that people will get a lot from reading it. I wasn’t sure what I would learn but am thankful and not ashamed to say that I am already putting the tips that I have learnt into practice.

Whether it’s the way you approach new people, the way you dress, the attention you pay to your ‘own brand’ or the follow up there is a suggestion on how you can apply Rashmi’s techniques that just might make your next event less nerve-wracking and more productive.

For your copy of the book head to Amazon. It’s only £9.99 and well worth the read.

 

A TIME FOR NEW CHALLENGES

The Pretty Muddy event in Rother Valley.

The Pretty Muddy event in Rother Valley.

Once again it’s been a really busy year – we find ourselves more often than not saying “We just don’t know where this year has gone!” in much the same way we did the year before. It seems that we are so focused on doing the doing that we have lost sight of all that is around us.

I don’t want this blog to be negative, we’re having a great year. We’ve been involved in some amazing projects and have some fantastic news to announce (watch this space) but I can’t help thinking that I need a new challenge.

For the last – nearly – eight years we have had Open; we have focused on building a reputation, delivering results and staying true to our values. That, thankfully, hasn’t changed and we are still the straight-talking agency we set out to be.

What has changed since then however is that we now have an enviable, and if I do say so myself, fabulous list of clients that we are very proud to work with, we have a growing team (please pass on details to anyone you know who is looking for their first or next role in PR) and we have plans to make our office space more bright and vibrant.

So, what is it that we don’t have? Well, it’s not so much what ‘we’ don’t have but what I feel that I have lost. Somewhere in the last eight years, I have forgotten that I need to focus some of my time on me.

Selfish, I know. But I have realised that both professionally and personally I have lost my way. That isn’t to say my work has suffered, far from it, but it has become my priority and my only focus.

I’m not sure when it became apparent; there wasn’t so much a lightbulb moment as much as a number of discussions, passing comments and a niggling doubt in the back of my mind that I was doing something wrong and that something had to shift.

And so, I have put a plan into action.

Here’s a really quick list of things that I am going to do and have committed to achieving before the end  of the summer:

  1. Join a gym – I’ve been going for about 3 months now and really enjoy it. I find it a release and it gives me space to think and re-group. Plus, the added bonus is that I should lose some weight. What I need to do is keep it up.
  2. Lose some weight – I’m not so much cuddly as noticeably overweight and so that has to be addressed. I have never been fat but am very aware that I need to sort myself out and stop using excuses to make myself feel better.
  3. Read business books – I went through a phase of buying a number of books that I intended to read but never did. After reading a clients debut book on networking recently (Making a Splash by Rashmi Dube) I realised that I either get on with it or I take them to the charity shop. I’m getting on with it.
  4. Take time out for the business – I was at a new business meeting and was asked ‘Why don’t you put your own good advice into practice?’. I had no answer, other than I focus entirely on clients as a priority. Not really good enough to be honest and so I’m going to start to blog again and give some time to Open.

That’s it for now. There are a few other personal things that I have also challenged myself with and hope that by the end of the summer I will be able to set some new goals, but for now, I’ve enough to be getting on with.

I appreciate some people scale Ben Nevis and others climb Mount Kilimanjaro but for me, I’m going to start with something a little more realistic.

I know already that there are going to be times when, just like with New Year’s Resolutions, I wish I hadn’t bothered, but I am also aware of the feeling that I get when I have achieved something I set out to do.

I’m on a mission and I intend to see it through.

 

Being the centre of attention

I’ve never really bothered about being the centre of attention, in fact, in the right scenario, I quite enjoy it. I think part of that is coming from a large family; when we were younger if you did manage to get someone to pay any notice of you then you made the most of it.

On Friday I was asked to present during an event hosted by the Wakefield Bondholders at Hatfeild Hall. It wasn’t an unusual topic, I would be providing people with advice and some hints and tips on how they could use PR to benefit their business.

Now, if I couldn’t get that right then there was something really wrong!

Coincidentally, during a recent team meeting here at Open Communications, we were discussing nerves and how you can overcome them when presenting. I’ve always felt that being nervous is a challenge that has to be overcome and as such have always done my best to step up to the mark when I get butterflies. If I’m honest, I like the feeling of pushing myself and being in a position that may be slightly uncomfortable but knowing that it’s up to me to turn it around.

During the meeting I was asked by a colleague why I never get nervous and how I always appear so confident. The truth is that I do get nervous and the confidence comes from playing a game with myself – it’s how I react to that situation and that feeling.  Some might call it bravado but to me it’s just a natural reaction.

Friday morning was a classic example. I don’t see getting nervous as a weakness, far from it, I actually think that the day you go to present in front of a room of 80 people and you don’t feel nervous you have crossed the line to arrogant or worst still, dismissive. Well, it was clear to me at least, that I certainly wasn’t at that stage – I was very much a bag of nerves.

Hiding it well behind several coffees and some idle chit chat I counted down the minutes until it was my turn to face the room. I was fortunate enough to have some friendly faces that I could call upon from the front and so I began.

I was handed a microphone – which made my knees shake even more than usual – but there was no turning back, it was now or never.

The funny thing is that even with the microphone once I’d started I was fine. I could stand up there all day but the first five minutes was the most challenging. I have the same questions as everyone else does when I stand in front of a room of people; will they like me, will they understand what I’m trying to explain, have I pitched the level right, will anyone take anything from it, what will they learn, will they question me and most worrying, will they consider me to be good at what I do.

By the time the presentation ended, I was shaking like a leaf, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. I hope that people learnt something from it but mostly I hope that those I work with realise that everyone gets nervous and that it’s ok, it’s how you handle it and how you challenge yourself to overcome it that’s important.

I had some lovely comments following the event and people did say that they had learnt something, which is what it was all about, but most surprisingly I had three separate emails from people complimenting me on my presentation style and confidence.

I always think it’s a huge achievement when people take the time to thank you and to tell you that they think you did a good job and so last week I closed Friday with a big smile on my face.

My hands have finally stopped shaking and I’m ready for the next time I’m asked to present to a room – may be next time I can push myself that little bit harder and even look forward to it.

LEEDS BUSINESS WEEK, IT WAS MUSIC TO MY EARS!

Leeds Business Week is one of the annual events of the business calendar and this year has been no exception. I’m always really intrigued by the variety of seminars and talks that are on offer and in particular those that are either very low cost or free.

Once upon a time there wouldn’t have been the trust there is today; to encourage so many people to come together to share their thoughts, ideas and specialisms, but thankfully things have changed.

Today I attended my second Leeds Business Lunch at Bibis restaurant. I was invited last year and was really impressed by the speaker (I know, let’s be honest this is usually the part that you dread) and this year I came face-to-face with a… legend.

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I’d heard a lot about ‘Tony’ from Leeds Arena but had never had the chance to meet with him. We’ve talked and emailed but never actually taken the time to meet up – such is a busy work schedule and life in general.

I’m always really cautious when people take to the stage – I’ve known some great speakers and some dreadful ones – you know, those people who are so chatty generally, humorous and personable yet come across like a bad Mr Bean sketch when the spotlight is on them *groan*.

Thankfully Tony was none of these things, he had us all laughing from the off.

Rather than talking at the audience Tony chose to present through song – I’m not absolutely convinced he didn’t just plug in his iPod play list and hope for the best but it worked amazingly and went a little something like this…

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  1. First was a blast of U2, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Well, you can’t argue with that. The concept behind the song choice being that if there is a gap in the market for something – such as the Arena in Leeds – then there is also a business opportunity too.  It was also to reiterate that although it can be hard work to get approval on an idea, it will be worth it in the end.
  2. Madonna, Like a Virgin (confession time, I once sang this to my coal man and my Dad has never forgiven me – I was 4 years old!). The thought behind the song choice was that it symbolised the first time that in business we do anything and to remember how you did it and most importantly what you learnt.
  3. Michael Jackson, You Gotta Be Starting Something. Tony explained that in the city there is a trend to start things and not finish them – I don’t think this is exclusive to Leeds but have to admit that he has a point. The idea was to plan and think about how you are going to finish a task before starting it. Good advice that is often dismissed but should be considered, very carefully.
  4. The Troggs, I Can’t Control Myself. The theory behind this was that people aren’t always creative and ‘STOP PRESS’ this doesn’t make them wrong. We need a mix of individuals and characters in a business to make it work; some creative and some not. Without the planning and controls nothing can ever be delivered and although the ‘big idea’ is exciting the doing makes it happen.
  5. David Bowie, Loving the alien. This did make me giggle. Right from launching Open Comms we have always said that we don’t want to be a PR team of clones, and we aren’t, but I wouldn’t go as far to say any of us are aliens. That said I did understand where Tony was coming from. He said that we should accept people for their quirky personalities and different characteristics because the person you consider ‘an alien’ could one day be your biggest asset.
  6. Lady Gaga, Bad Romance. This one was simple. If you have a negative atmosphere in the workplace and you do nothing to try to address it then, like a bad romance, it will continue to deteriorate until there is nothing left. I like this analogy and have seen this happen to businesses in the past.
  7. Freddy Mercury, Great Pretenders. Again, one that is close to my heart. It’s ok to pretend but then you need to be able to substantiate the claims and promises you have made with actions and results. Time and time again we come across this in our industry – promises of names in lights but not even a dimly lit candle to show for the budgets invested! It’s important to be honest and to be realistic with clients’; they will thank you for it in the end.

And so, that was the end of Tony’s talk and what a cracker it was too. I would like to personally thank Tony for making me laugh until my sides hurt. If you would like to hear more about him then follow @FDArenaTony or @JKTChallenge.