Tag Archives: Manchester PR agency

Seven years of blogging about PR in Manchester and beyond – the best of 2006-2012

The Artisan blog was the first Manchester PR blog as far as I know.

Certainly I cannot think of another that is still going from 2006.

It has around 650 posts to date and covers a myriad of subjects, especially those relating to Manchester PR agencies, technology and of course PR itself.

It is better written now than it was when I started although I have picked out some of the best from 2006-2012.  (The most interesting 2112-2013 entries can be found here.

Let’s begin:

Sometimes I have found myself explaining or defending PR agencies such as with this thread.

Yes PR agencies can give poor service, but this is not indicative of the industry.  There are bad apples in every profession.

Sometimes I am doing the opposite such as this piece on a Manchester PR agency promoting payment by results.

Many posts are on the industry and the issues raised such as this post that highlights the weaknesses of citizenship journalism at a time when it was being lauded.

Tips pieces feature occasionally and these from myself How to pitch to bloggers and these from specialists are still very useful today: Judi Goodwin’s How to unleash your writing power! and Bill Doherty on negotiation tips.

Good PR case studies such as “Who parked their tank on my lawn?”  also feature occasionally. 

Some are sillier than others such as Dog advertising, which was this blog’s most popular page for ages, that was inspired by Puppy Doms (a Jamie Clouting favourite).

Some brilliant PR stories are global in reach such as this: “Keyboards dirtier than toilets.”  My Israeli cousin in Jerusalem picked up on this!

A few Artisan PR pieces were also featured in the blog such as this piece in The Guardian for a Manchester headhunter

Sometimes human interest stories including this one about Belsen featured.

I hope you have got something out the Artisan blog, feel free to leave comments and keep following.

Manchester PR professionals lead the way for fairtrade practices

PR agencies are leading the crusade against the exploitation of Manchester PR professionals with the adoption of fair trade policies towards public relation employees.

This much downtrodden profession had seen PR executives working unimaginable hours in pursuit of media coverage.

The new campaign will guarantee that Manchester PR professionals at least will not be cooped all day without seeing daylight or being able to tweet or waste precious time on Facebook.

The initiative, which will start on the 1st April, will see press releases stamped with a Fairtrade logo to reassure journalists and all Manchester PR websites will also display the badge.

Whether the fair trade scheme extends to Manchester marketing agencies remains to be seen.

April Fool!

Well it could have been better, but still good link bait.

Did anyone try Google Nose?




PR Higher Apprenticeships – a few thoughts

PR apprenticeships for those that do not want to go to university seems like an ideal opportunity, a fantastic initiative, on the surface that is above criticism or real examination.

Surely the agency gets a hungry new member of staff on an attractive wage for the agency of £2.65, approximately £5165 annual salary for a 37.5 hour week?  Additionally, there are grants available such as the AGE grant of £1,500 and New Economy Grant for an additional £1,000.

The programme runs for 12 to 18 months, a creditable amount of time. All apprentices will be over 16, although the majority will be between 19 and 24.

Every apprentice will have 2 weeks of full time training at the start of the programme, followed by 12 to 18 months of day release training. The Higher Apprenticeship in Public Relations is a Level 4 programme, equivalent to first year degree level.

All apprentices and their employers will be fully supported in the workplace by mentors – a point that deserves praise.

In this age where university education is prohibitively expensive for many, where some do not want to go onto higher education and jobs are scarce for popular careers, this seems like a brilliant and timely scheme, especially in an era of swingeing cuts.


So why not full hearted praise?

There are a few reasons that should be noted:

Firstly, someone entering the world of business as young as 16 might not be a boon to a PR agency.  Have they developed the intellectual capacity as well as the personal skills to a standard that shows promise?

Maybe not, but this is what an apprenticeship is all about isn’t it, to develop the raw material?

Yes, but someone going into B2B PR, for instance, without any experience outside GCSEs or A levels and a classroom is going to find it difficult and perhaps are not going to give much back within 18 months.

Experience and life skills are hard won and can be applied to the PR world, but rarely in those so young.

I might add that I receive CVs with spelling errors, poor covering letters and no initiative to follow-up from those with more experience and so you wonder about those at 16, 17, 18, 19 having been taught or learnt simple courtesies, skills and common sense.

While the issue of young people has been highlighted in the media and it is one of concern, there are many people that the PR industry should consider that fall outside the remit of this initiative.

Much potential can be found in people switching careers in their 20s, 30s, 40s – and why not later?  Someone that has worked in law or engineering or the life sciences and switches to PR brings a wealth of knowledge that cannot be picked up by someone that has a PR degree.

And what about graduates in PR internships – sometimes a few weeks of work experience – working for little financial reward?  They have spent thousands on an education, invested time in their own growth and might be pushed out by such a scheme.

It probably all comes down to life being unfair on this point, and in a recession this is exaggerated.

PR apprenticeships are to be welcomed, it is something very positive at a time when youth unemployment is simply unacceptable.

Yet, there is a worry that there are issues that are somehow being missed in apprenticeships, the PR sector needs to be more open in recruiting, looking at skills, personal characteristics and experience and not the closed outlook it can have.

For those wanting to learn more click here about Higher PR apprenticeships, those looking to work for Manchester PR agencies click here or e-mail Erika erika.smallridge@pearson.com, and good luck!