Ask for help, you'll be amazed what you can achieve - Talk Marketing 025 - Ambrose Harcourt

Ask for help, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve – Talk Marketing 025 – Ambrose Harcourt


people, pr, worked, business, radio, radio station, ambrose, regency, brighton, martin, hotel, sussex, inca trail, listen, company, area, marketing, barnabas, hear, venues


Ambrose Harcourt, Martin Henley

Martin Henley  00:03

Hello there, my name is Martin Henley. This is the effective marketing company YouTube channel. If you’ve spent any time looking at the content on this channel, you will know that I am on a mission to support you if you’re looking to be more successful in your business, as far as I know, the only way to do that is through your marketing.

Martin Henley  00:20

So not only on this channel am I giving you everything I know about marketing and how to be successful in your business. I’m also dragging in experts with specific knowledge and experience in the specific aspects of marketing. 

Martin Henley  00:33

This week, our guest has been managing director of his own PR company for the last 25 years. He has founded and is currently vice president of two charities in Sussex. That’s Chestnut Tree House and St. Barnabas house, that’s been going on for 23 and a half years. He has been a radio presenter for 30 years, for those of you who are soul fans, you might know him on Twitter as Mr. Love. That’s l u r v e the soul master radio presenter. This week’s guest is Ambrose Harcourt from Ambrose Harcourt PR. Hello, Ambrose. How are you?

Ambrose Harcourt  01:14

Good afternoon to you, Martin. Pretty good. Thanks, speaking to you from the UK. 

Martin Henley  01:20


Ambrose Harcourt  01:22

Just outside Brighton.

Martin Henley  01:24

Fantastic, and how is the mood there?

Ambrose Harcourt  01:27

Weather is not great, but hey, the mood is always good, positive, very positive.

Martin Henley  01:33

Excellent, cool. Okay. So as you know, I’m on a mission to extract as much information as I can, from you to really support my viewers to understand more about PR in this instance, and how PR could be working to help them to be more successful in their business. So there are only four questions. The first question is, how are you qualified to talk to us about PR? The second question is, who are your customers, or who have your customers been? I know you’re not so busy with PR right now, and how have you added value to their lives? The third question is, what is your recommendation for anyone who is thinking about investing in PR for their business? And the fourth question is, who would you recommend might also enjoy speaking to me in this fashion? So the first question, how are you qualified to talk to us about PR?

How are you qualified to talk to us about PR?

Ambrose Harcourt  02:25

Well, I have run a PR company for over 25 years, we founded it Ambrose Harcourt PR in 1997 and we are still functioning, but not as much as we were before when we’re really, really hyperactive because our specialist area in PR is hospitality. Of course, like everybody knows that the area has been hardest hit with the pandemic. But yeah, in that time, we’ve dealt with not just hospitality, businesses, we’ve had solicitors as clients, we’ve had all kinds of different people Estate Agents, people starting their own business, we’ve dealt with multinational companies, like Dolphin, many, many different companies that we’ve dealt with. So yeah, we’ve got some great expertise in PR and marketing.

What are the different aspects of PR?

Martin Henley  03:14

Excellent. So I think that people don’t really understand marketing, and I think there’s lots of things they don’t understand about marketing but one of the things that they definitely don’t understand, I think, is PR. So I think there are some different flavours to PR, and PR means different things to different people. What is your particular flavour of PR or how do you understand PR?

Ambrose Harcourt  03:38

Yeah, PR is one of those areas of business or marketing that has really expanded quite a lot, because a lot of PR companies are very, very specialist these days, they deal with very particular clients. Then you have companies like ours who would say, the way we did dealt with general PR, but specialising more in the marketing area. So if you are looking for a marketing company, the best idea for you to see who in the area that you’re looking to help expand your business, to help bring the profile of your business up and help you with shouting more about your business, the bits that you want to talk about, like if you’re expanding or if you’re looking for new staff and increase your profile in the area that you do business in that’s the kind of PR that you should be looking for. If you are looking for a marketing or PR company in your area.

Martin Henley  04:42

Okay, so is this about … the way I think about PR traditionally, I think there’s kind of two major aspects to it. There’s the getting into the press aspect, and there’s the reputation management aspect, do either of those apply particularly to what it is that you’re doing, or you say its more …

Ambrose Harcourt  05:07

Both of them as such, I mean, I think most people looking for PR, are looking for a company who will get them, to shout about them to the press, to get them a lot of publicity, increase their profile, raise awareness of your business in the area, I think that is the thing that practically every company is looking for; a company that you can work with, that will spread the word about your business, get you better known, and people talk about you in a nice positive way. Then you have areas where a company gets you in because they’ve had some very, very bad publicity and they want you to try and help and soothe things for them, you know. That’s quite difficult, especially depending on how bad the damage is, and always say to the company, to most companies that we deal with, if there’s a bad situation, the first thing is straight away, be honest about what it is, once people know that you’re being honest, then they treat you better than if you didn’t tell them and they find out you’ve been lying. So honesty is so for me, it’s always been the best policy. PR is about being honest. You’ve got to be careful how you’re doing the honesty, because sometimes it could be too honest. Understand what I mean.  

Martin Henley  05:23

I understand what you mean. 

Ambrose Harcourt  06:17

But yeah, exactly. The most important thing that people hire a PR company for is to raise their profile, create more awareness, help them increase their revenue, because the more people know about you, the more they want to do business with you. If they are hearing about you, they’re very, very good way in the press, and publicity pictures, I always say, I always say to practically every company I deal with every picture tells a story. If I’m doing a press release for them, I say I need a picture to go with it, you can write the stuff, but if they can see a picture they can relate to, it makes an awful lot of difference. Does that make sense Martin?

Martin Henley  07:06

It makes absolute sense. So what you are, it makes sense. So kind of your role in this is creating an image for them and the imagery that goes along with that, and then promoting them to or through the media. Is that correct?

Ambrose Harcourt  07:26

Absolutely. And yeah, and some companies, they are always asked them to find somebody in the company, who’s a very good spokesperson on behalf of them, right? Who can stand up in front of the camera and say things, or if I do a press release, we’ll get a quote from the company. In some cases, some companies are willing to find somebody who is a very good speaker, who will speak on their behalf. But in some cases, they say to you, now listen, you know, everybody knows you, blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff so we want you to speak on our behalf. So in many cases, you stand in front of a camera and make statements – listen, I’m representing this company so this is what the situation is and this is what has happened and this is how we can help.

How do you go about building a media network and influencing the media?

Martin Henley  08:10

Okay, so that makes sense, because you are definitely and certainly around Brighton, but I’ve read today when I was reading about your new radio station about, you know, the world famous Ambrose Harcourt and all of these things. So you are definitely a personality, if not like a celebrity in your own right. So you’ve kind of been standing up and also being spokesperson for these, for your customers for you for these businesses.

Ambrose Harcourt  08:38

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve been lucky down here, I’ve lived in Sussex for most of my life and I’ve created a career and down here, being on the radio running a PR company that I would say a lot of people have heard about me, hopefully in a good way. So companies are willing to say, Hey, listen, you stand up and talk on our behalf, you know, because then, you know, the chances that it’s going to create a good image with the public. Yeah, so I mean, you could say I’m a celebrity, I suppose most people in Sussex will say I am, you know, and I it’s not because not only have I work done a PR but I’ve worked on the radio throughout the south east. You know, I’ve worked for Capital Radio in London. I’ve worked for southern FM, which is now Heart. I’ve worked for Ocean in Hampshire. I’ve worked and I worked on the BBC in London and in broadcasting. I worked on BBC One and Two on television. I worked on radio five live. So I mean, I’ve worked everywhere, small radio stations. I’ve worked on Arrow I’ve worked on Bright, I’ve worked and I’ve helped launch Arrow FM in Hastings. I’ve worked on Sovereign as well. Down here in West Sussex I’ve worked on quite a lot of smaller stations as well. So you Yeah, and then we’ve launched Regency Radio, which I would ask anybody listening to this. If you have a mobile, if you have a mobile, which I’m sure most of you do download the Regency radio app, go onto your App Store, download the Regency Radio app, or you can listen to Regency Radio anywhere in the world. We were very, very lucky. Martin allow me to talk about Regency Radio. We launched Regency Radio, during the lockdown in the UK and what happened is that we just used it as an area where people can  listen to music and have some company during the lockdown. It became so successful that we decided to apply to Ofcom for a licence and we were amazed we applied for a three year licence, with OFCOM, but they were so impressed with our application that they wrote to us and offered us an eight year licence. Three of us started Regency Radio. I’m so delighted the reaction we’ve had since we were off, we had our official OFCOM licence to kick off at the end of May 2021. We’ve just achieved tremendous feedback and our figures on radio analytics, it’s unbelievable. We have just, we’ve got over 100,000 listeners in a few months, whereas some of the other radio stations down here on the arranger figures, Capitol Brighton we noticed the last radio had 19,000 listeners and More radio which covers most of Sussex only has 61,000 listeners. So we are so delighted with how it’s progressing. It’s a lot of publicity apart from this radio station sounding very well. I’ve been responsible for getting all the PR and the marketing for Regency Radio and we’ve just got press release upon press release, and we’ve been supported by the press down here and publicise it quite a lot using social media, all assertion I’ve got over 20,000 followers on social media media, so I get every press release everything that we get on social media, and amazing the radio station is taken off. We get feedback from all over the world from America from all over Europe, Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal, we get stuff from Nigeria, from Ghana, all over the world. In the UK. We just run a competition for Montezuma’s Montezuma’s, the chocolate people, right and we were just amazed we’ve got so many people entered for the competition from the UK, from Ireland, from Scotland from all over the place Brighton and Hove Sussex, all over the place. teh station has just taken off. We started with three presenters, we now have 14 presenters on a radio station, and every timeline is taken care of. We have some fantastic music. The selling point for Regency radio is no adverts. We don’t have any adverts. It’s nonstop music, no adverts. You’ve got to find that hook. That’s with marketing, you’ve got to find that hook and the hook we found his no adverst, people love a radio station with non-stop music, no adverts, it sells itself.

Martin Henley  12:46

Fantastic. But you know, why don’t you Ambrose, it’s because you’ve done the PR with that energy and that enthusiasm and that’s why it’s working. This is what strikes me about you is that, you know you’ve done these amazing things. You’ve had this huge success for your clients, you’ve had this huge success for your charities. The way you struck me, I know we didn’t know each other, you don’t remember meeting me at all, you obviously made a bigger impression than I did. The thing that struck me about you always was that you always kind of presented like this archetypal or the epitome of like the gentleman, PR guy. Do you know what I mean?

Ambrose Harcourt  13:50

A gentleman of cool.

Martin Henley  13:52

Gentleman of cool okay. I didn’t realise you’ve done quite so much media before, is it because you came from the media that you started a PR company? Is that how it worked?

Ambrose Harcourt  14:09

No. I went to university and I got a degree in Chemistry, and then they did. But then when I got finished at uni, I decided while I was at Uni I started, we started a university radio station. The committee we had were all engineers, right? When they finished setting up the radio station, listen, listen, you’re the boss, you’re in charge so you got to get on the microphone and broadcast. That’s how it all started really. I went on there and I thought I was absolutely crap but everybody else thought I was brilliant. So when I was in London, I went and did a course I joined them to BBC Bush House, you know the world service and that’s how I got to meet a lot of my heroes in radio, you know, people like Johnnie Walker and Tommy Vans. You know, people were doing programmes on the World Service. From there I start applying to radio stations, local radio and eventually got my first job with Southerm FM in Brighton.

Martin Henley  15:10

Wow, you know what?

Ambrose Harcourt  15:12

Go ahead.

Martin Henley  15:14

I actually remember southern FM they were there in Portslade when they?

Ambrose Harcourt  15:18

Absolutely, yeah. They were called Southern Sound Radio when I first joined, you know, because we evolved so much. Yes. And then I was there. I mean, it’s yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. And then then that’s how it all happened started, you know, when I dared to go and work for the BBC in London and then came back and stayed in Sussex and then help set up lots of various stations in Sussex as well.

Acheiving success

The other thing I’ll tell you about Martin is is the charities, as you mentioned at the beginning that I was involved with two charities, I mean, I’ve worked for a lot of charity, I work for the Prince’s Trust that done stuff for Help The Aged, lots of different charities I’ve done stuff for. But I gotta tell you about Chestnut Tree House. Chestnut Tree House is the only children’s hospice in Eastern and West Sussex and southeast Hampshire. I was the founding patron of Chestnut Tree House, which I’m so proud of. The way it started, it’s amazing because I was on the air broadcasting, and this lady rang me up, you know, like, loads and loads of calls, you know, and she rang me up and said and you may not know me, but I’m the lady who is the chairman of St. Barnabas, I said we all know you because you live down the road from me. We’re thinking of starting a children’s hospice, and we’re looking for somebody who everybody knows. So I said to her, alright, I’ll make some suggestions for you, she said, no, I don’t want any suggestions for you, from you she says, you are the person we’re thinking of, because everyone knows who you are. I was gonna suggest a list names and I said, I don’t believe you. Anyway, we eventually arranged to meet for coffee, at first I wasn’t really that keen, because you know, we all have even shared business, or have a good excuse. I’m too busy, you know. This lady she was one of those ladies you can never say no to, she carried on, after a few months persuaded me to be the founding patron of Chestnut Tree House. We started off, we had to raise 5 million pounds in three years to build a house. This is where marketing and PR comes in, Martin. We worked very, very hard over that time, doing lots of events everywhere to raise the money.  At the end of it, we raised 5 million pounds in three years to build Chestnut Tree House. Luckily Lady Sarah gave us the land for nothing, you know, we have to pay a pound every year for right, which is noth ing really, but there you go.  Today, Chestnut Tree House is the biggest children’s hospice, around this area. Also St Barnabas is the adult hospice and we have to also raise loads of money to build a new home for St. Barnabas. The thing I’m proud about today Martin, is when I first joined, I think there was about 20 people who worked with St. Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House, today we have over 100 people employed by chestnut tree house and St. Barnabas and we have another 200 volunteers working for the organisation. We’ve got our brand new St. Barnabas house, which we raised a lot of money for. And of course, Chestnut Tree House is thriving, like nobody’s business, you know. It’s a lot of, you know, having the right face, the right place, being the right place, knowing a lot of people and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you do, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

Martin Henley  18:49

Okay, I mean, that’s really inspiring. I mean, really inspiring. The thing that comes through again, is like, again, your energy and your enthusiasm. So you’re an accidental DJ, who ended up working for the BBC on BBC One and BBC Two and then now you’re accidentally the patron, founding patron and now vice president of these charities. Is there any process to any of this?

Ambrose Harcourt  19:24

There is no  process, There isn’t a process, it’s belief and confidence. If you believe in yourself and you’re confident about it, you can get about and and do whatever it is that you want to do. You have to have a goal. If you have a goal, and you’re prepared to work don’t sit on your ass all day thinking that somebody will do it for you get out there and do it yourself. Hard work pays off.

Martin Henley  19:52

Right? Okay, but the the only problem with that Ambrose is that it’s going to be really hard for other people to be you. You know?

Ambrose Harcourt  20:02

I agree, I agree and that’s the thing, Martin. I don’t expect everyone to be like me, I don’t expect that because we’re all very, very different. You know, everybody’s got different personality and that’s why you’re talking about marketing and PR most companies know how to run their business but they don’t know how to publicise it, or raise awareness of it. That’s why you need a professional to come and help you, somebody who stand up there talk about your business with confidence. I mean, I can talk, I can give you a very good example of PR, on the hospitality and marketing side, that will resonate with a lot of people listening to this. A few years ago, I think it was about six years ago, I was introduced to a couple, they are  Vietnamese, and they came to Brighton and they were setting up their very, very first we’re buying their first hotel, right? It needed a lot of work doing to it. They’re fantastic and I got to know them and they said, listen, we want you to come and do PR for us. And so I think over six years ago, I’ve known this family, and we worked hard and they are in the Charm Boutique, The Charm Boutique Hotel in Brighton, over in Kemp Town. It was voted one of the top 10 hotels in Brighton last year and the year before as well. They started from nothing, right but they’ve got a lot of class, they worked very, very hard to sell this. T hey have 34-35 rooms now I’ve worked with them as their PR person, because they got to know me. They like the way I did business and help to publicise them and get them in all the magazines, newspapers, national newspaper, had The Sun come down, do some stuff for them, The Express, all the national papers, I’d send all the stuff to all the national papers as well, even foreign press. I’ve got Visit Brighton to get involved with them and all the avenues I’ve got them on the radio everywhere, lots of publicity for them. They’ve grown from the hotel that I helped set us up with, they bought the next door and extended the hotel. They’ve got a sap in there now, they’ve got pedicure and manicure place in there. They bought another hotel down the road, called Seaspray and they’ve got a third hotel now, which is in Regency Square in Brighton. They’ve now, I think I’m OK to say that they’ve just bought a new hotel right on the seafront in Brighton the bigger one so they’re going to be having four hotels and they’ve already told me they want me to work with them all the time. Not only have I got to know this couple themselves living down here to live in home but I got to know the family, the Mum and Dad came over from Vietnam, I got to entertain them, they entertained us, my son, my wife and myself took us all out to dinner. Because I know so many people, they told me that never been racing and I managed as a member of Goodwood I took we took them out racing at Goodwood and they had a fantastic day, right and then invited us to lot’s dinners and he loves playing golf. I’ve got him to play golf in lots of venues around Sussex. So not only do I know this couple, I know all the family now and that’s how relationships are. It’s amazing what pa has done for me but you have to do the work and people appreciate you for the work your doing and then not from one small hotel they started with they’re not go four hotels. Hey, am I proud of that, of course I am.

Martin Henley  23:38

It’s the same thing again, Ambrose, you say we just got The Sun involved, we just got the Express, we just we just did all these things. It’s like how do you do those things?

Ambrose Harcourt  23:50

Well, first of all, you got to do the work do the press release, make sure it sounds attractive. get it to all contacts, you know over the years, I’ve built up lots of contacts, I got contacts in practically every local paper around Sussex, I had them featured in every newspaper around the Sussex magazines, I had magazines to come and take pictures and do special features on The Charm Hotel. I got in touch with national press I’ve got them to come down for the weekend, stay the weekend at the hotel, write reviews, it was in all the Sunday papers and stuff like that. That’s what you do. That’s if you’re marketing, PR person, you got to do the work, you got to help the hotel raise awareness and that brings in customers. The other thing I’m going to be telling you about if you go to to all the comments that people write in the papers what’s the what’s the you know, what’s the venue where people always check before they go to a hotel?

Martin Henley  24:50

Where do they go or Those kinds of places?

Ambrose Harcourt  24:55

people, people write comments. People write comments. Oh Come Come to me. If you go to one of these things,

Martin Henley  25:03

Trustpilot or something like that, what did you say in pilot trust pilot travel, TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor, 

Martin Henley  25:12


Ambrose Harcourt  25:16

If you go to TripAdvisor and check the Charm Hotel, you will find that 98% of the comments are absolutely either fantastic, it’s four or five star comments that you get for TripAdvisor for The Charm Hotel, because we encourage everyone who’s that they have a fantastic stay at any of the hotels that they do a TripAdvisor comment for us and that’s really what helps sell the hotel you go. Most people these days before they booking anyway, they check TripAdvisor to see how good they are. And people keep coming back and coming back and get introduced to more people as well. So that all helps.

Martin Henley  25:55

Okay, good, right. So this is coming to kind of my understanding, or the way I try and get people to think about marketing, which is at the core of it, you have to have a fantastic product. If you’ve got a terrible product, and you pour lots of customers into that product, then that’s how you break a business essentially. 

Ambrose Harcourt  26:15


Martin Henley  26:16

Yeah, so the other thing that I’m interested in then, the other thing that I’m interested in is that this has largely been about media, but the media has changed enormously in the last four or five years, it’s changed unrecognizably in the last 15 years.

Ambrose Harcourt  26:35

Absolutley, and that’s why social media these days is really, really important. One of the big selling points with the hotels now, in social media, and also Regency Radio. One of the things that’s helped us on one thing that has helped us on Regency Radio is social media, everything goes on social media comments, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, everything. You just gonna put everything out there and people pick us, you got to do the also the proper interviews and get them in magazines, and so on because people read magazines, people still read newspapers, but social media is very, very important. That’s the way to really help increase the awareness and profile of your organisation.

Martin Henley  27:24

Okay, so that’s interesting, then, so have you had to … Now the way I talk, interestingly, like because I teach, and I’ve taught social media for lord knows, maybe 14 or 15 years now and I’ve taught taught digital marketing but interestingly, the hardest people to convey the value of social media to were the traditional media people, like I was telling them, this is just media, but now it’s social so you should understand this. It’s essentially the same way that media always worksed, you have to build an audience, and then you leverage that audience and that’s kind of how media works, and that’s how social media works, but they were really slow on the uptake, I think, the traditional media people in particular. Two things, did you have to learn social media? Or was it a question…

Ambrose Harcourt  28:17

Absolutely, because I’m of the older the older generation, you would say, so you have to put yourself out there and learn about it. I’m still not as good as it as I’d like to be, the younger people are much more much better so I utilise all the people I know, young people I know, who can help us on social media as well, to get the message across. Even now, I think I’m much better at it, and I can do it myself and if I need help, I can ask. Never be scared of asking for help. I’m one of those people, you know, not going to walk around a supermarket for ages looking for something. I get somebody who knows where this these things and ask, listen, mate, I’m looking for this can you tell me where it is? Do you work here? And you find it within a few minutes. If you’re walking around all day long, and you can spend half an hour looking for something you can’t find it whereas I can find it in two minutes because I asked somebody who knows.

Martin Henley  29:12

Okay, good. I’m loving this conversation, man really loving this conversation. So you’re kind of specialisation, as I understand it always was kind of hospitality and am I right in thinking that you did a lot in the way of events?

Navigating the pandemic.

Ambrose Harcourt  29:29

Yeah, we do a lot of events, you know, because also apart from running the PR company, we also run AHPR entertainment and we have over 500 acts that we deal with, you know, we’ve got bands, we’ve got DJs, we’ve got Santa’s, Father Christmases, we’ve got children’s entertainers, and we deal with all these venues. We have the clients that the artists that book check with us and we have all the information and we sort of hire them out to different venues that want them. We have venues that we deal with, and we can give them all the acts they want, if they don’t want to DJ, they want a band, a tribute act, whatever they want, we can find it for them. So we got lots of ways that we generate business.

Martin Henley  30:16

Okay. So this is interesting, because these are the areas of business that have been most impacted by what’s been going on for the last two years. 

Ambrose Harcourt  30:27

Martin Henley  30:29

What is your experience been of that or how have you navigated that?

Ambrose Harcourt  30:34

It’s been the most difficult, especially with our acts, you know, Christmas time, we used to be November, December and January, we were so used to be so busy. Last Christmas, not this Christmas just gone past, the Christmas before that, with the pandemic, we only had one act go out. Whereas the Christmas, before that, we had about 50 bookings for November and December, right. Whereas in Christmas before that, before the last Christmas, before the pandemic, we only had one act and that’s how much it impacted us. You know, where you can, you can get 2020 20 to 30,000 pounds come in, in a couple of months on events and stuff. I think we only got about 300 quid in. So you can, you can see the difference.

Martin Henley  31:25

Okay, so how have you responded to that?

Ambrose Harcourt  31:32

Just make sure that everyone realises what the situation is, and that this year we’re building up, hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ve already got two or three venues want to talk about organising the entertainment for this coming year. So we’re a lot more optimistic for this year than we have been for the last couple of years. But you just have to just, I mean, we said to the venues that all the all the artists realise that because of the COVID and cancellation could happen anytime, we don’t say to them  you’ve got to pay us a month in advance or this and that, you know, the terms of the contract, we had to really shelve all our contracts, and give it an open ended contract whereby people can cancel in no time. That’s the only way to survive, no venue will book you up thinking I’m going to pay you this and hopefully, hopefully the event will happen they wouldn’t do that. So you have to be aware of that situation and tailor your suit according to people’s needs.

Martin Henley  32:35

Yes. And how was it this Christmas? Was there an improvement this Christmas?

Ambrose Harcourt  32:39

Slight improvement not a lot because people were still worried about what’s happened. It was look forward much better than the last Christmas when we had only one act when I got a few more acts, but it’s still nothing like it was like two years ago.

Martin Henley  32:53

Right. And how are you feeling about this year? You think it’s gonna come back?

Ambrose Harcourt  32:58

We’re feeling a bit more optimistic but it’s still early days, you’ve got Omicron still in the air and people are still worried about it but events are going on now. So yeah, we’re a little bit more optimistic.

Martin Henley  33:09

Yeah. It’s really interesting, isn’t it? I mean, I read a thing today, where they said that the streets in London are as quiet as they were, maybe at the height of the pandemic again. So I don’t know. How do you how do I approach this question? It seems to me, Ambrose that they’ve done a terrible PR job on this thing. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s even worth broaching it but it seems to me that people are, they’ve got people very scared. That’s the way it seems to me.

Ambrose Harcourt  33:44

Yeah, they have, it’s very difficult because, you know, as much as we can all shout about it but you know is there a better way to handle it? I don’t know, if there’s a better way. You know, it’s, it’s something that we’re not used to, we didn’t expect, and it hit’s you just like that and the most important thing is people’s health and security. Money can come in later on but you know, you’ve got to worry about the most important thing, make sure that people are safe, people are healthy people, are secure. Before thinking about money, business is fine, but you know, they will eventually come back but you know, at the moment, it’s people’s health and security that’s important.

What are your recommendations for anyone looking to implement PR in their business?

Martin Henley  34:27

Of course. 100%. Okay, good. Right. So the third question then is, what is your recommendation, I don’t know if you’ve kind of suggested this already, but what is your recommendation if I am a business, and I’m thinking that PR might be good for my business – I’m sure you would argue that, of course it will be good for your business, how would I go about affecting PR in my business? Is it something people can do for themselves? I suppose it’s the first question

Ambrose Harcourt  34:58

A lot of people tried to but a lot of people tried to do it, but they don’t have the expertise. In which case it doesn’t work. Unless you hire somebody into your company who is specialist and that then that’s the person’s job to do, which some companies do, the bigger companies do they hire somebody in, but most companies will look for somebody who can add value to their business in the way of PR and marketing.

Martin Henley  35:26

100% Because I think this is the thing maybe about marketing, but I think especially about PR, is if you speak to a business owner about what’s interesting in their business, they won’t get it right, they won’t be able to see what’s interesting in their business, you know. It almost takes somebody coming in from the outside to say …. I think that the trick of a marketeer is to be able to see the products and services in the business from a customer’s point of view, customers perspective; the point of a PR agency or a good PR agent will come in and be able to tell you what’s newsworthy about what’s going on in your business. So yeah, so it almost feels to me like you do have to have somebody come in from the outside to do this for you and then like you say, there’s a huge investment in having the network, knowing the media, all of those kinds of things.  I think there’s something in the UK, I don’t know if you feel this as well but it’s really …. in the States, they don’t mind at all jumping up and down and telling people how brilliant they are but in the UK, it’s almost like it’s not good to be seen to be trying. Do you know that? Is that true, 

Ambrose Harcourt  36:42

Americans in the US. Years ago, I worked for an American company and I learned a lot from American companies, you know. One of the things I learned was that PMA positive mental attitude, you got to win, it’s a winning and losing situation, you got to find ways to win. As long as it’s fair enough, you know. In this country, we don’t like shouting too much about what we’re doing, or whatever, you know but in America, they just love shouting about it, you know, they are positive, they raise awareness and yeah, yeah, it’s a bit different. Hopefully, people will gradually learn as we go along. Maybe social media will be an angle that will help people realise that they’ve got to do a bit more shouting about their business and themselves.

Martin Henley  37:29

I think so. Yeah. It’s interesting, because I had a conversation … a friend of mine does anxiety coaching and I had a conversation with him quite early on in the pandemic and what I said to him is people are going to need what we do, like business is going to need marketing and people are going to need coaching, people are going to have anxieties, what’s going to happen? So it’s interesting. He put his, his elbow, his shoulder to the wheel and now he’s doing really well supporting lots of people doing very well for himself. I didn’t so much, so I’m not but you know, that’s okay. as well.

Ambrose Harcourt  38:09

Just mentioned something that, Martin, if I interrupt you, if you have a link to this guy about anxiety, yes, send it to me because one of the things that one of the other jobs I do, I do lots of different jobs, I am doing some work for an organisation called Emerging Futures, you know, I do lots of Zoom groups. The group I was doing this last few days, a lot of people wanted me to do something about anxiety. So I’m looking for as much information as I can on anxiety so if you can send me a link, I’d be grateful.

Martin Henley  38:46

I 100% can, what I will do is I will send you his, I’ll send you a link to his site and I’ll send you his WhatsApp number and I’ll let him know that you’re going to be reaching out that’s absolutely no problem to do that. 

Martin Henley  38:59

So it seems to me that there were really two kinds of businesses going in, I spoke to somebody much earlier in this series and they developed a thing which was COVID Proof where they would go into businesses and kind of this was very early on, and give them a sense of how they need to evolve their business if they’re going to kind of cope with what’s been going on. But there were businesses that that could evolve and cope and their businesses that just clearly couldn’t. So I think that’s been a challenge for the last two years. Okay, is there anything you think that you should have said that you haven’t said yet?

Ambrose Harcourt  39:40

I think I’ve said a lot already.

Martin Henley  39:44

You have said a lot and the thing is, yeah.

Ambrose Harcourt  39:50

The thing is you were saying, the thing is …

Martin Henley  39:52

the thing is, I think what to people, I’m quite a process like so my thing is digital marketing. So Digital marketing is probably more like chemistry than it is PR. So there’s lots of numbers, there’s lots of kind of objective stuff going on, so I’m kind of teaching processes. So it sounds to me like your process is be Ambrose Harcourt.

Ambrose Harcourt  40:24

Sounds like it. Yeah. Yeah, I find it it has worked for me over all these years. So, yeah. but I’m always learning and see, I’m always learning, I always say to people, you can’t stop learning. You know. It’s amazing every now and again, practically every day, I’m always looking for something new to learn, you know, a new process a new something that will enhance my knowledge, you know, you never stop learning and if you shut it down and think I’ve done it all, then of course, you’re on the way down. 

PR and the evolving media landscape.

Ambrose Harcourt  40:55

Yeah, you are on the way down. Yeah. 100%. I think especially in PR, especially over the last 15 to 20 years, media has evolved so much that if you weren’t learning …. I think there are, I think maybe PR is as valuable,  there are aspects of PR, like as opposed to getting things into magazines now, if you can get them onto websites with the links, etc, then that’s really important for search engine optimization. The influencer type stuff that you’ve done forever, has become really important in digital marketing. The reputation management has become really important, I think in digital marketing. So I think there are really key areas of PR, that are at the very cornerstones of digital marketing. So I think PR is probably more valuable maybe then than it’s ever been, what about the actual press, like the publications, the magazines and things, because people have been saying now for 30 years, that that side of the business will die, is that your experience?

Martin Henley  40:58

A lot of publications have  not survived but there’s still some lovely publication’s, powerful still going around. They’ll always be magazines, but maybe not as much or as many as we used to have before.

Martin Henley  42:14

Okay. And I suppose that’s okay, as well, that just means that the readership becomes more concentrated.

Ambrose Harcourt  42:21

Absolutely, absolutely. Okay. Like newspapers and stuff.

Martin Henley  42:25

Yes. Okay. Well, this has been really useful and really interesting. Thank you so much for your time.

Ambrose Harcourt  42:33

No problem at all.

Martin Henley  42:35

It feels like we’ve got to the end, have we got to the end?

Ambrose Harcourt  42:37

I think so unless there’s anything else that you think you’re missing out on, or that you want me to talk about.

Martin Henley  42:45

I think of all the people I’ve spoken to this is this is the case where it really is outlook, personality and attitude driven. That’s kind of the way it feels to me, and obviously lots and lots, and lots of hard work. Phenomenal work that you’ve done with your charities, with your businesses, with the radio stations. It looks to me from here, like everything has worked but that’s probably because it’s just great PR.

Ambrose Harcourt  43:22

I suppose you could say that. I always say to my kids and my family and friends. I’ve been very, very lucky but you make your own luck in this world. I’ve been very, very lucky, I’ve met some fantastic people. Being a DJ, I used to work in the West End of London. I used to work in Mayfair, Annabel’s, have you heard of Annabel’s nightclub?

Martin Henley  43:47

I have heard of Annabel’s nightclub. Yes,

Ambrose Harcourt  43:49

It’s the poshest nightclub in London. It’s like the FIBA it’s all the path of people go there and I was the resident DJ at Annabel’s for a couple of years. I met everybody The Rolling Stones, I met Mick Jagger, Bryan Adams, you name it, all the stars and the business people used to go in there, the really rich ones you know, the who’s who of show business is to get to Annabel’s Michael Flatley  those people used to come in you know, Madonna, they all used to come into Annabel’s nightclub and I was the resident   DJ there and I’ve met them. You get to see how the other half lives you know how the other half lives and I’ve been I’m one of those characters, personalities. I’ve met Prime Ministers I can, I can go out there and I can meet the homeless with the work I do now, working with Emerging Futures you deal with people on the other end of the ladder, but they’re still people like you and me. They’re in different a areas you know, people who are homeless, and people who have addiction, whether it’s drug or alcohol and find that lost everything in the world theuy don’t want to be around anymore.  With the training you’ve had, you can communicate with them.  

Ambrose Harcourt  45:20

The thing I haven’t mentioned to you in the work I do now is you know, I meet people who think they want to die, because they’ve lost everything in life and their life is not worth living anymore because of drugs or alcohol and all that. You’re able to help and support them, guide them in different stages. You meet up with them months later, and their well dressed, you meet them for coffee, and they’re looking very, very good some have gone on to get jobs. You think to yourself, and some of them say to you – without your help, and the one or two people I work with, I wouldn’t be here today, I’d be dead. That’s how you think to yourself, Wow, I’ve  really made a difference, you know, and that, that keeps me happy, keeps me alive, and keeps me wanting to go out there and help more people because that’s my satisfaction.

Ambrose Harcourt  46:10

I’ve been very, very lucky in my life. I’ve met so many different people and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make a lot of difference to people. A number of people I meet say oh Ambrose, I used to listen to you on the radio and you know what, when I was really, really bad, you were the person who I let into my house on the radio. Only a few weeks ago this lady said, are you Ambrose, I said yes, she said, you know what? I go to bed with you and when I turn around your gone. Because she has she has the radio on when she’s going to bed and of course I’m on, by time she wakes up I’m not there anymore, because it’s breakfast or something else. She said I miss you when you’re not there. That’s that’s, that’s That’s great. Thank you very much. You know, people appreciate what you’ve done, you know, and that gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Martin Henley  47:03

Yeah, and it’s true what they say people won’t remember what you said, they might not remember what you did, but they’ll remember, definitely, the way that you made them feel. That’s yeah. Bless you, Ambrose. So you know, this three degrees of separation theory? Do you know that? 

Ambrose Harcourt  47:20

I’ve heard about it? Yes. 

Martin Henley  47:21

Yeah. So the idea is that you have some relationship with everyone on the planet by three degrees of sepertion. I feel like I have a relationship with everyone on the planet by three degrees by knowing you, Ambrose.

Ambrose Harcourt  47:35

Oh, that’s that’s kind of you to say that, I bet you say that to all the boys.

Martin Henley  47:42

So Ambrose, I think the only thing that we have to do now is you have to do a bit of PR about this radio station because I don’t think you’ve given people quite enough. So you said earlier … did you say how many 1000s of listeners do you have already?

Ambrose Harcourt  47:56

We have over 100,000 listeners in a few short months, and that it’s just amazing. It’s Regency Radio if you have a mobile phone, I hope Martin you’re going to do it after this. Go to your mobile app store right? Yep. In Regency Radio Brighton. No, just put it in Regency rain if you’ve got a mobile phone do it now whikle I’m with you.

Martin Henley  48:18

I’m doing it right now Ambrose that’s how effective this PR is. 

Ambrose Harcourt  48:23

It is isnt it. It’s Regency Radio our logo comes up. Then you can download it.

Martin Henley  48:36

I am really doing this right now. So when are you on? Can I listen to anyone at any time because I’m on a different time zone?

Ambrose Harcourt  48:45

Once you’ve downloaded now, once you downloaded now. Put it on very briefly, while we’re talking. I can tell you whether you’ve got the right station because I’m listening to get us in the background here as well. It’s Regency Radio

Martin Henley  48:59

price, it’s 20 73% 79%. It’s very exciting. 82% it’s installing. So because you Yep.

Ambrose Harcourt  49:14

All right. Well, I’m on Monday to Thursday, from nine to midnight with The Love Hzour.

Martin Henley  49:23

Right? Okay

Ambrose Harcourt  49:25

Monday through Thursday, nine to midnight with The Love Hour. Then on Sunday. I’m on twice. Okay, breakfast here on a Sunday morning from seven to 10 is the best of service the best of Soul and Motown, you’d love it. Okay, the best of Soul and Motown from seven to 10 and then I’m back in the evening with the Love Zone playing  the best love songs on the radio between nine to midnight, and we feature the love by stop three. The love bass top three is the choice of one of our listeners and the top three favourite Love Songs and the reasons why they love these songs. We’ve got some great presenters. We’ve got Tony P we’ve got Mark Thompson, who does a breakfast here from seven to 10. In the morning, Monday to Friday, he is brilliant. Then from him Tony P Tony Portelli, who used to be big … he is a businessman. He’s another one that you could talk to, I could recommend you talking to Tony Portelli because he runs a consultancy business if you want recommendations.

Martin Henley  50:32

I did want recommendations and I’d completely forgotten about needing recommendations. So Tony, Kelly, how do I spell Portelli?

Ambrose Harcourt  50:40

p o r t e double l YWL. W Li Tony Portelli.

Martin Henley  50:46

Okay, excellent. So that’s

Ambrose Harcourt  50:50

We call him Tony P. He is on from ten to one every day, Monday to Friday. Okay, during the day, during the day. We’ve got Jay Jackson, who is the Wizkid he’s one of the directors. There’s three directors myself. Jay Jackson and Carlos Espanol, Carlos English we call him Carlos Espanol. He does that. So Jays on in the afternoon, he does the J. Jackson bangers from one to four. We got Richard Thompson drives you home from four to seven. There we go. Carlos Espanol from seven to nine. And then I’m back on the love is underlined seven, from nine to midnight.

Martin Henley  51:31

Okay, so I can only hear you when you are on. I can’t hear you. I can’t select. You haven’t got recorded shows or anything like that.

Ambrose Harcourt  51:40

We’re not there yet, we will  get there eventually, we are just new babies in this business. We actually made some unbelievable progress, you know, good. You could hear me doing an ad or not an ad box window. It’s not advertisements, but you can hear my voice promoting a programme that I’m doing or somebody else’s programme. But Excellent. Did you manage to download it, let’s hear it now. data? 

Martin Henley  52:09

Am I going to get a copyright strike? 

Martin Henley  52:11

No, no. 

Martin Henley  52:13

Wait, wait a second. Before we do that, two things. Because of the time zones it’s only going to be the Sunday morning thing that works. So Sunday is from what time to what time?

Ambrose Harcourt  52:24

Seven 7am To 10am 

Ambrose Harcourt  52:27

7am to 10am. I will be listening this Sunday and every Sunday if I possibly can. So now you’ve got 100,001 listeners.

Ambrose Harcourt  52:36

I’ll say hello to you Martin on Sunday morning. Martin in Bali  listening to us is Sunday morning. And I’ll play a tune about it.

Martin Henley  52:47

Have I got this wrong? I’ve just subscribed to something that’s not you. I’ve got Tune In.

Ambrose Harcourt  52:53

Tune In Radio is fine. Tune in radio is fine, I’ve got a tune in radio here at home. Have you got the app, let me just make sure it’s the correct one.

Martin Henley  53:07

Okay, I think I’ve got the wrong one. I’ve got Tune In radio. Radio region that’s in Canada. I’ve done that. I’ve done it wrong, Ambrose. Okay, while I’m struggling with this again, then you can think of somebody else I can talk to on my on my little media jaunt.

Ambrose Harcourt  53:27

Okay, well, I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna do this. While I’m with you. I got I got loads of mobile phones here. So I’m gonna see if I can get this on here for you.

Martin Henley  53:38

I got my radio Brighton. Regency ready. You got it? Okay, good. This one.

Ambrose Harcourt  53:48

That’s it. That’s it. That’s the one that’s the correct ones. The correct logo is right,

Martin Henley  53:53

pending. Now. I’ve spent seven pounds I’ve subscribed to these other people’s app I’m gonna have to go and cancel that.

Ambrose Harcourt  53:59

Okay, you don’t want to spend money on ads. It’s free. You don’t have to spend any money.

Martin Henley  54:04

Okay, so how are you making money, then? That’s a good question. There’s no ads and there’s no subscription.

Ambrose Harcourt  54:11

Right? The model, the model is non stop music, no ads. That’s what’s selling the station at the moment. Our job is sponsorship. We’re looking for people to sponsor, companies to sponsor shows, or the radio station. That’s one of the jobs I’m doing getting in touch with, we didn’t want to do it straight away. As soon as you started, you have to have figures to show people what you’re doing, you know, and we’ve done over the past six months or so we’ve built up a good audience now. So now we are getting in touch with companies and telling them all about what we’re doing and our figures to back up what we’ve done so far. and we are asking for sponsorship. We need people to sponsor programmes and the radio station, that’s all and we can we’ve worked out a model that we can survive on sponsorship because the feedback. The feedback we get Martin is people love no adverts, non stop music not that’s excellent because it’s the

Martin Henley  55:08

way radio should be. I think people really hate adverts. I don’t know if you’re a podcast person. But I listened to Joe Rogan on Spotify. And I pay a subscription to Spotify, so I don’t have to listen to ads. Apart from on the Joe Rogan thing. I do have to listen to ads. And I hate it. I really hate it. Yeah, it’s yeah. Okay, good. So they are playing, yes, it worked they were playing West End  girls like 30 seconds ago.

Ambrose Harcourt  55:38

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. You got the right station because I’m listening to it here as well.

Martin Henley  55:43

Excellent. Okay, good. So then all I need from you is just one other person I can talk to on this series.

Ambrose Harcourt  55:49

I’ve given you my attorney Patel, you haven’t I

Martin Henley  55:52

mean, Tony telling you.

Ambrose Harcourt  55:55

else can I Oh, god, there’s loads of people I can think of, but I just don’t want to give you anybody where you waste your time on. Okay. I got one or two people in Brighton. Okay. Yes to you? Yes. One of them is. This is Nick. Nick Harvey. Have you heard of Nick Harvey.

Martin Henley  56:26

I know Nick Harvey. Yeah. Okay. You

Ambrose Harcourt  56:33

Nick Harvey does a lot of stuff to go do with restaurants in Brighton?

Martin Henley  56:37

Yes. And he used to run the curry club Sydney. Yeah,

Ambrose Harcourt  56:43

that’s the one. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So getting you to that Tony Portelli and Nick Harvey.

Martin Henley  56:50

Okay, super cool. I will let them know that you suggested I speak to them. You’re an absolute legend, Ambrose. Thank you so much for your time, man.

Ambrose Harcourt  57:00

Well, listen, it’s been a pleasure chatting to you and hopefully, when you’ve done this, what do you send a link out to me to?

Martin Henley  57:08

Work? Yes. So what will happen is the icon, what will happen is it’s called Talk marketing Tuesdays. So this will go live a week on Tuesday. I’m not sure what the date is a week on Tuesday. But as soon as it is live, then I will send a link to you. And I will share it on my social media. And if you could also share it, that would be also really

Ambrose Harcourt  57:33

good. I could do something for you. Because I’ve got loads and loads of people following me on social media all around the world. So it could be useful for you.

Martin Henley  57:40

That would be perfect. That would be amazing. And I’m going to set a reminder to make sure I’m listening to you between seven o’clock and 10 o’clock on Sunday morning.

Ambrose Harcourt  57:49

Good morning, Britain what time it would be in in Bali. What time will it be?

Martin Henley  57:54

Seven o’clock in the morning. We are eight hours ahead of you at the moment. So at seven o’clock in the morning, seven plus eight is 3pm in the afternoon. So between three and 6pm on Sunday, I’ll be live listening to you.

Ambrose Harcourt  58:07

In Bali, fantastic.

Martin Henley  58:09

Yes. And I’ve agreed that I’ve let them do the analytics. So maybe you will have a blip. Now this week in Indonesia, maybe I’ll be your first Indonesian listener.

Ambrose Harcourt  58:20

No, we probably have quite a few already there in Indonesia, may you’d be amazed, we get these things come through, right. And we amaze people from all over the place, you know, Zimbabwe and all that. You know, we think wow, people listen to us in all these places, you know, but yeah, so I haven’t looked at the figures for for Bali or Indonesia, but I will do later on and

Martin Henley  58:46

Give me a shout on Sunday because I will be listening and let me know how many people there are listening in Indonesia.

Ambrose Harcourt  58:54

Fantastic. Nice to talk to you my friend and good luck and I hope everything goes well. I mean, I’ve been to Australia many many times and I keep telling to myself one of my next trips I’ve got to make barley my stock because I’ve stopped in Singapore. I’ve stopped in different places but Thailand but I’ve never stopped in in barley. Okay, well to barley one day. So you have a French barley. Brilliant because if I if I didn’t live in this country go any other place in the world. I’d love to live in this Australia. I mean, I’ve travelled a lot. I know we talked. I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve seen I’ve been to Russia. I’ve been to America. I’ve had a musical tour of America, all the big places in thes states, you know, Detroit, Michigan, LA, Memphis, Tennessee. I mean, you know, I’m gonna happen to Cleveland, Ohio to where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is LA and you know, loads and loads of places, right. And a lot of Africa I’ve seen quite a bit bit of Africa, South America. I did because I didn’t I didn’t mention it’s all Did I mention it to you? I did the Inca trail for Chestnut Tree House 2019. Just before we actually went in November 11 days camping and trekking to do the Inca Trail between the 34 of us, we raised 154,000 pounds for chestnut tree house. Martin is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it’s the proudest thing I’ve ever done in my life, because it’s out of my comfort zone. I love the good life. I hate camping. I’ve only come to once in my life never done it before tracking is not my thing. I love going and train on the bus or driving a car. You know, tracking. I’ll go for a walk. But tracking is different ballgame and to do the Inca Trail, campaign and all that. It was hard. But we raised 154,000 pounds and I’ve made friends for life friends for life. We still made on what we mean. We had a curry before Christmas, all of us together the team who did the Inca Trail more than two years ago now we’re still friends everywhere and we share everybody’s birthday and all that is amazing. And we’re journey kid God kids the famous model. Yes. You’re driving with us. Yeah, exactly. She did. She was on the on the on the Inca trail with us raising money for chestnut tree house. And some of those things was one of the things Martin I will never ever forget. I did the Inca Trail. We raised all that money and it is satisfied and the friends I’ve made from there. There’ll be my friends for life ever. Wow, amazing.

Martin Henley  1:01:41

Yeah, Ambrose, you are a legend one. Thank you so much.

Ambrose Harcourt  1:01:46

It was really a pleasure talking to you. I didn’t realise it’s going to be pleasurable talking to you. But it has been and I really enjoyed it. Thank you my friend.

Martin Henley  1:01:54

Thank you so much. I’ll speak to you again soon.

Ambrose Harcourt  1:01:56

Take care. You too.

Martin Henley  1:01:59

Thanks. Bye bye.

Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation.

Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.



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