PR is like chocolate, it tastes great; makes us feelgood, we want more of it -Talk Marketing 024 - Aneela Rose

PR is like chocolate, it tastes great; makes us feelgood, we want more of it -Talk Marketing 024 – Aneela Rose

Martin Henley  00:04

Hello there, my name is Martin Henley. 

This is the Effective Marketing YouTube channel. This is episode I think we’re up to number 23 of my talk marketing series. If you have been looking at this channel at all, you will know that I am on a mission to help you to be more successful, I want you to be more successful. And on top of that, what I want to do is pull in anyone I can find who also might have something that will help you to be more successful. And I have another victim for us this week. It’s been a while since we’ve recorded one of these, but we are recording one of these this week and I’m on a mission to have a series. We’re officially into, we are into season three of talk marketing with number 23. And today the topic is PR and I have managed to coerce somebody who has been in PR for 25 years, has been running her own PR business for 17 years, is described by one of her recommendations on LinkedIn as a force of nature. And you might want to believe that she is a force of nature because she is also a AWPC world powerlifting champion. This is all true. She also has a weird penchant for big rabbits, which we might find out about today. My guest today from Aneela Rose PR is Aneela Rose. Hello Aneela Rose.

Aneela Rose  01:34

Hello, Martin. Hello, how nice to be invited.

Martin Henley  01:37

How are you? 

Aneela Rose  01:39

I’m really, really well. Thank you. Yes.

Martin Henley  01:43

Excellent. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I really am excited to have these conversations, especially with you because I know that you are a little bit of a what do you call yourself? What did you call yourself when we’re talking last week? We don’t need to go into that necessarily. You’re a bit of a character to say the very least World Champion power lifter. Come on. How did that never come up in conversation?

Aneela Rose  02:08

I know. I know. I try not to talk about it too much, because people don’t believe me. 

Martin Henley  02:15

the thing is, I barely believe it. I found it because I was just looking thinking, what am I going to say about Aneela before we start talking and I’m like what? Because we did meet? Didn’t we years and years and years ago. I’m sure we met once at least. And you didn’t strike me as being very big. Certainly not power lifter kind of size.

Aneela Rose  02:34

No I’ve grown since then, Martin.

Martin Henley  02:37

You’ve grown up. Okay. That’s cool.

Aneela Rose  02:39

I’ve grown up. Yes, yes, yeah, no, it’s something I do on the side, you know, just to keep me kind of ticking over as it were physically and mentally, but believe it or not, it’s something I fell into by accident as you do. And what’s been brilliant is that with all the stuff that’s been going on with the business and just life generally to have something on the side, like, the lifting that I do has been fantastic for me to have some kind of release away from work. And then the lifting the power lifting is something that’s just kind of developed and grown and kind of stayed with me now. For the last giveness I’ve lost track of time, but I think it’s actually about six or seven years now that I’ve been doing it. And it’s I have noticed that since having that as my kind of release mechanism from the stresses of work, it’s actually helped me to be better at my job and actually be more confident believe it or not to be physically in a more healthy place as well but also mentally so that’s why I’ve continued to do it and it just so happens that I am freakishly strong.

Martin Henley  03:08

Like being a world champion that isn’t like …. when you say you fell into it by accident, what you were walking past someone who was doing some powerlifting and they dropped their weights and you’re like oh, let me get those for you? Are you seriously freakishly strong is that what’s going on like world champion?

Aneela Rose  04:24

I had no idea Yes, yeah, believe it or not Yeah, I got the British records. And then yeah, I got the World Championships. Now it’s a bit like boxing in that it’s you’re competing against a similar size of athlete. So it’s to do with your age, you’re bracketed within age and weight. So it’s a very fair sport. So it’s not as though I’m competing against 20 Somethings who are three times bigger than me. I’m competing against you know women that are similar size to me and in an age bracket similar. So it’s very fair. But yeah, it just really quickly it just happened, just answer the question about how I got into it. It was basically, I actually believe I’ll throw the javelin and have done for a number of years. But I was injuring my throwing arm. And as because I’m not a spring chicken anymore. And so my Javelin coach said to me, Aneela get down the gym, strengthen your shoulders, you’re not a youngster anymore, you’re a lady of age, diplomatically poor. 

So I got down the gym, got myself a personal trainer. And actually, he took me to that part of the gym that a lot of people stay away from or certainly a lot of females do, where the heavyweights are, and he got me to do a squat, which is the one where you put the barbell on your shoulders and your squat down low. And the very first squat I did was 50 kilos, and that was almost my body weight, which is just around a stone. And he said to me, Oh, my Lord Aneela, you’re really strong. Do you realise, and I didn’t know. And basically, it started from there. That’s what happened. I then just got addicted to heavy weights and got better and better and stronger and stronger. And then he said, Right, I’m putting you in for a competition because you’re really strong. And we need to show you off to the world. So that’s what happened.

Martin Henley  06:18

Wow, that’s incredible. So there might be other people walking around, who also don’t realise how strong they are.

Aneela Rose  06:25

Yeah, completely, and actually, as a result of me talking about it quite a lot, I do quite a bit of public speaking and I try and inspire others, particularly people from you know, the Indian subcontinent. So from Pakistan, Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan backgrounds, you know, to try and give it a go, because there are barriers in the way of females from an Asian background to enter the sport. So if I can open doors, which I already have done by talking about it, then that’s just incredible for me, and also youngsters getting into the sport as well. For me, I have just seen so many benefits from doing it, you know, and that’s why I’ve carried on doing it, I have changed as a person from doing this sport, physically, my physique has changed completely. I am not a bodybuilder. So it’s not weightlifting, it’s not bodybuilding, powerlifting is very, very different. It is literally just three disciplines. And basically, you pick up as heavy a weight as you possibly can, just once. That’s all powerlifting is, it’s one heavyweight across three disciplines and it’s really, really good for a female physique. I don’t do any other exercise other than lift heavy weights. When I’m competing, I train five times a week for an hour and that is more than enough, more than enough to keep my shape in trim, you know, I weigh eight and a half stone, and I am lifting on a deadlift over 18 stone and that is the British record. 120 kilos is the British record for my weight class and age class and that’s the record I hold. It is totally possible because, as you said, I’m actually very petite, I am a small individual, you would look at me, and you wouldn’t think that I’m able to pick up a giant bunny rabbit.

Martin Henley  08:34

Okay, which is the other thing, so. Okay,

Aneela Rose  08:37

So you really want me to talk about rabbits now.

Martin Henley  08:40

Well, I think, I think people should know that you’ve got two giant rabbits in your house and that they are only just learning to jump.

Aneela Rose  08:48

Yeah, yeah, I’ve always wanted to have giant continental bunny rabbits and finally, my husband just succumbed and said, Okay, you can push me aside wife, you can let the giant bunny rabbits take over and they have so yeah, they are just you’re probably wondering why the hell have you got bunny rabbits Aneela. People don’t realise that you can train them. You can train them like cats in that they can use litter trays. They’ll go and do their business in the corner and then you can also train them like dogs so you can get them to do tricks. So that’s my mission.

Martin Henley  09:28

These things are giant. 

Aneela Rose  09:30

Yeah. They are giants.

Martin Henley  09:33

Okay, yeah. Good. How giant are they? Just how big are they gonna be these rabbits? Well, firstly, how big does your husband think they’re gonna be and then how big are they actually going to be?

Aneela Rose  09:45

I hope he doesn’t listen to this podcast. So they are 13 weeks old at the moment and they are probably already a foot and a half in length.

Martin Henley  10:00

So that’s bigger than most rabbits, most rabbits are a foot tops, I would say.

Aneela Rose  10:03

Yeah, yeah. So I believe I’ve not had giants before but from talking to people and looking them up and talking to the breeders and that, they’re gonna grow to up to four feet. And they’re potentially going to weigh up to a stone, depending on how much food I give them.

Martin Henley  10:23

Wow. So how tall are you?

Aneela Rose  10:27

Yeah, I’m five foot two.

Martin Henley  10:32

So you’re going to be 14 inches taller than these things?

Aneela Rose  10:36

I haven’t thought about that, Martin. But yes, you’re right.

Martin Henley  10:39

You should because they’re living in your house. They’re going to be house rabbits. You should have thought about that, I think. But thankfully, you are freakishly strong so I don’t think you’ll have an issue with the rabbits.

Aneela Rose  10:51

Yeah, my children are kind of walking about with the rabbits on their shoulder, so you can handle them. They’re so docile, they’re really friendly as well. Giant rabbits are probably one of the friendliest breeds of bunny rabbit. So you can handle them. And it’s just delightful. And you know, with all the stresses of life, over the past couple of years, we just felt as a family, to get pets, to live with us, would be a really nice thing and we’re not really into cats and dogs. Dog would be too much responsibility for us at the moment. Cats are not really our thing. We’ve had guinea pigs and hamsters. So rabbits, for us just seem to be that kind of middle ground, really. And we’ve rescued rabbits now for gosh, 20 years. So there’s an animal rescue centre called Raised It in Sussex. And we’ve had a number of rabbits that we’ve looked after and adopted from Raised It, rescued rabbits for years now but we’ve been without rabbits now for about four years so we were missing them. So I thought right, we’ll get some giants. So here we are.

Martin Henley  12:01

Good. Good. powerlifting, world champion, huge rabbit keeper of huge rabbits. Good. I think it’s gonna be interesting. 

We’re here, of course, talk about PR. It’s been so long since I’ve done this. There’s only four or five questions and I think I might have forgotten. First question is how are you qualified to talk to us about PR? The second question is kind of who are your clients and how do you add value to them in their lives and their businesses? The third question is, what is your recommendation for people who are thinking about whether PR should be something that they’re doing? And it kind of has been the recommendation of what’s been going on during the pandemic and stuff, but I’m just bored of that now. So let’s just pretend the pandemic’s not happening. How do people get into PR, and how do they get value from it? And then the fourth question is, is that four or five? The fourth or fifth question is who do you know, who might also succumb to this terrible experience that I’m putting you through today? So the question number one is, how are you qualified to talk to us about PR.

Aneela Rose  13:12

So for all my sins, I kind of got into PR through studying, marketing and PR at university, and it was the PR element of my degree that I just seem to take a natural taking to, a real affinity for understanding storytelling. Something that has just come to me naturally, and actually has come into its own since having had children as well and just actually being able to pull words out from thin air and string them together and then create a story that I think can be interesting. Certainly my children are kind of mesmerised by my imagination, really. So I realised through my degree, that words and communicating and influencing people’s opinion, and thinking and persuading them to what my thoughts are was something that was quite a skill that I had, I could see that through my degree when I was doing my presentation. So when I graduated, I applied for different jobs, and I got my first PR job within aviation. I’d never worked in PR before I just kind of touched on it in my degree, but managed to convince the people interviewing me that I was worth hiring. I got my first PR job with an aviation company, very technical company, working in flight simulation, primarily, and it was business to business targeting airlines, and pilots, and military, and I just took to it like a duck to water. 

And I managed to get my company (I worked in-house) on to BBC Breakfast news, they were looking for a small manufacturing company to feature live as the budget was being announced, this was back in 1996. I had never done PR before and I managed to get the company live on BBC Breakfast to comment on the budget. The reaction that I got from the company directors after the event was so positive, the buzz that the whole company had, the feeling that I got being the instrumental person behind raising my company’s profile nationally on TV, gave me that buzz that has never left me. I remember it to this day and that for me was it. 

So 1996, I got that company on national TV, I’d never done PR before, that made me realise that I was good at what I did, I could go somewhere with this and that was really the start. From then on, I just stayed in PR, worked my way up the career ladder, worked for different companies and then set up my own business in 2004 after working in-house for eight years and working my way up the career ladder. My final job before I set up on my own was head of marketing and PR for an IT company and started working for myself in 2004 and 17 years later, I’m still here.

Martin Henley  16:56

Wow. Okay, cool. So that’s really interesting. It is exciting like that, when you have some fantastic success for a client or for a boss, for something like that. So that makes sense to me, that is tremendously exciting. I’ve got a little bit of an issue with PR. You’ll come to learn, I’ve got a few issues. 

Aneela Rose  17:23

Most people do with PR. 

Martin Henley  17:24

Right. So yes, the thing is, the reason I want to do this, the reason I want to make all this content available is because it seems to me that people don’t like marketing and for me, PR is a part of marketing, you can tell me if I’m wrong or otherwise, but for me, it is part of it. I think if people understood marketing better, but more importantly, if they actually made the investment in it, then they would be more successful. I think that’s the only way for people to be more successful and that’s why I’m on this mission to try and make it accessible, and knowable, and something that people are happy to invest in. When it comes to PR I don’t think people know what PR is at all. I think there are facets to PR and I think of different people, like Max Clifford, for example, I think he might be in prison now but he was always described as a PR guy. So it would be really useful to hear from someone who’s done this for 25 years actually what PR is.

Aneela Rose  18:34

Yeah, it’s, you’re absolutely right. I think people don’t really understand what PR is, heck, I didn’t know what PR was until I kind of started touching on it in my degree and then when I got my first job in PR, even when I had my first job in PR, I didn’t really know what PR was until you start doing it. Like most things in life, you don’t really fully appreciate what it entails. So it’s something that I continually learn. Even now 25 years later, PR has changed and we’ll come on to that I think a bit later but PR, in essence when I get asked what PR is, it’s funny because you’re so right, Martin, people don’t get what PR is, in fact, my mom bless her, still tells her friends that Aneela works in computers. You know, she doesn’t know what PR is and I have explained it to her over the years but she sees me working on a computer all the time and so she thinks I work in computers and that’s fine mum because that’s part of the job anyway. But PR in essence you hear about this, you know it is about the storytelling. So when I tell my children what I do I tell them, you know how mummy tells you stories that help you go to sleep. Or sometimes they don’t, sometimes they keep you awake if they’re scary stories because that’s what they’re after at the moment. It’s about that storytelling, and it’s about convincing people that what you’re telling them is real and that it’s making them feel something. 

So when I’m telling you a story, and it’s making you feel happy, it’s making you feel good, or it’s scaring you because you want to have a scary story at Halloween, how that’s making you feel, that’s PR, it’s provoking an emotion, a feeling, a sense within you. Anything that does that is PR, it’s really quite simple. And so we’re exposed to PR, every single day in some shape or form. At the moment, you’re being exposed to PR through just talking to me, because hopefully, it’s making you feel something. I won’t ask you how I’m making you feel right now, but you’re going to be feeling some sort of emotion, maybe quite exhilarated, excited, interested, you might get a bit bored, maybe from hearing from me in the next hour, I don’t know some kind of emotion. So it’s about image shaping. It’s about persuasion. I think there’s a lot of confusion, I think around what the difference is between PR and perhaps like you mentioned, marketing or advertising. That’s the biggie. 

There’s a lot of confusion around what the difference is between advertising and PR, that’s huge. The way that I describe the differences is that PR is, we all like food, we can all relate to food, and I kind of relate it a bit to food in that PR tastes great. If PR is done well, you know, if it was like food, it tastes like chocolate. PR is like chocolate, let’s think of PR as the chocolate we all love. Most of us love chocolate tastes great, it makes us feel good. We want more of it, it’s addictive. Advertising is less feeling, advertising, I describe as being like a salad. So it’s kind of there and you kind of think it’s kind of good for you, I suppose, you know, you kind of got to have it really now and again, because it’s better for you. But it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t fill you up in a way that good PR really will because good PR, effective PR makes you come alive. It makes you feel something, it makes you act, and you will act from that, whether the action might be that you’ll go and talk to someone about what it is you feel right now, it could be that what you’ve just seen or heard or felt has made you want to share that with others, that’s PR and you’re going to share it with others because you want to influence them. So I’ve just eaten a really amazing chocolate bar, now my favourite chocolate is Lindt chocolate and whenever I eat Lindt chocolate by Lindor, I either go really, really quiet because it’s my moment and I’m just relishing it and that’s the chocolate feeling, that’s PR. Lindor made an amazing PR around the taste of this chocolate but then I’ll always go and tell others you know, God, I feel amazing having eaten this amazing chocolate. So PR, it’s a funny one but done well, it is so effective, and it’s quite addictive. It’s contagious. And that’s why PR can be so effective when done well. So working with a company that understand PR at that level is really important.

Martin Henley  23:26

Oh, good. That is great, I will never forget the time you told me about the PR Lindt chocolate and advertising salad. I will never forget that now. 

Aneela Rose   23:38

Does that make sense? Does that makes sense Martin? Does it?

Martin Henley  23:44

It makes sense to me. I don’t know if it makes sense to the world. To the world that might sound a bit like what we do is really luscious and tasty and advertising and the other thing you might spend your budget on; that’s not very satisfying at all. It makes sense to me. Good. 

So I think that’s kind of a traditional PR, like that’s traditionally what we would have known PR to be. Like so traditionally I think of PR as being, well I think there’s the two flavours for a start and I think you’re right the world has evolved and it has, like these things that you’re talking about have new terms now about like key components, I think of digital marketing, which is kind of what I do or what I teach people to do. So that’s good. So the two flavours, the luscious, tasty flavour, which I think you do and the additional one, we’ll come back to that, but the salad one is the thing that what was his name, that guy I just mentioned? Max?

Aneela Rose  24:45

Oh, Max Clifford. 

Martin Henley  24:47

Max Clifford. Yeah. So that’s what has become known as reputation management. So that was always kind of buddying up to the press, so that you could get the press to write nice things about your clients. So that’s the salad version of traditional PR. I always thought of your version of PR as being, like also being mates with journalists, having a lot of lunches. But the key skill, I always understood, was to be able to find a story in the business to be able to make a business newsworthy. So that then you could go to your mates, the journalists, and actually get it published. So that’s kind of my traditional understanding.

Aneela Rose  25:34 

Yeah, so I can just expand on that because I didn’t really touch on that, did I? I kind of make assumptions that people know and you’re absolutely right. So PR, let’s just quickly just talk about actual PR, you’re right it’s about finding a story. So PR is finding a story, then making sure that once you’ve got a story, that you’re sending it to the right journalists. So looking at who the influences are, but also knowing who’s going to be reading that story, your prospects, your customers, who are they – so you marry up the right story. So our job really is to recognise what is actually a story? Who’s going to be interested in that story? Who do we need to influence? And how are we going to get that story out? 

So that’s where what you’re talking about here is the traditional PR, and then the modern PR, which is more digital PR, those kind of go hand in hand now and that the digital side is what’s evolved and changed enormously. It’s where I’ve had to relearn my trade over the past, almost 10 years now, I’d say. Certainly, in the last few years, it’s evolving at such a fast pace, because there’s so many different types of outlets now where you can get your story out. So we have to really, you know, that the pace of change in PR is literally just warp speed. Now, if you’re tracking, you’ll know what I mean, it’s just literally staying in touch with those different platforms, different avenues to get your story out. 

It’s quite hard work now, for a PR agency, it’s taking a lot more time, you need to have the right resources in place now within an agency who are digitally savvy and that’s different to traditional PR. My team is actually split between traditional and literally getting on the phone, talking to journalists and sending out press releases, compared to digital, which is more about the online, the social, the website, the SEO, that side of it, which is the digital side of it. The two work hand in hand, if you can nail that, then you’ve got all your bases covered, really. Finding the right journalists, finding the right influencers, and also doing your research, PR is about research and we are a very research-lead agency. Before we do any outreach, before we reach out to journalists and the media, we do our research, PR is about working out, doing maybe a market survey, you know, doing surveys, finding out what the appetite is of your audience, you know, what are they reading? Where are they going to get their news, and then if you can marry up and send out your story to the right news outlet, you’ve nailed it really, as a PR agency and that’s really what we do. It can be quite complicated and there’s a lot of work involved but once you’ve nailed it, you really can get fantastic PR results off the back of it.

Martin Henley  28:42

Excellent. Okay. So before we talk about the way that has changed, because the whole thing has changed, like the whole definition of media has changed in the last 15 years, so clearly, that’s changed. I just want to make this distinction between PR and advertising. So the reason that advertising is so much less valuable, so much less nutritious, is because you are essentially paying to be on those same pages of that media, or in the ad breaks, if it’s TV media, or whatever it might be, you’re paying to be there. Everyone knows you’re only there because you paid. What you get with PR essentially is you get the media channel, newspaper, radio station, television, whatever, essentially, when you do PR, you get their endorsement of what you’re doing, essentially is what’s going on.

Aneela Rose  29:42

Yes, Martin. Yeah, exactly. It’s paid versus unpaid. 

Martin Henley  29:47


Aneela Rose  29:48

In essence, you know, what they call earned versus purchased. And there’s the difference of PR and advertising completely in that respect.

Martin Henley  29:57

100% Okay. So what you get is the kudos of being on breakfast TV, you don’t get any kudos from being in the ad break at seven o’clock in the morning, that’s the major difference. 

Okay, so let’s talk about how this has changed then. Also, we probably need to make a distinction between a PR company and a copywriter because I think some people confuse those two things. So the ability to write doesn’t make you a PR, that makes you a copywriter.

Aneela Rose  30:33

Yeah, there is an absolute difference in the agency we have copywriters and we have PR managers, PR execs, and they are two different jobs, I think I have actually made mistakes in the past where I felt that maybe a copywriter or a PR person could do everything and that’s not always the case. 

I’ve been fortunate that I have had some people that can do both, but it’s quite rare. They are two different things. Having someone, a PR person that can actually write really good copy as well as speak the journalist language is real skills, you know, and it’s being able to pitch a story, because PR is about persuasion in all its forms. So being a very good PR person is the ability to recognise a story, being able to then write that story down in a way that is going to be easily understood by the audience, but also the journalists, remember, we’ve got to convince the journalist to write about our story and include it in their publication, whether that’s online print, wherever that happens to be, we’ve got to convince them. So we need to find out about the journalist as well. And often journalists are writers themselves. So actually being able to write really good copy in the language the journalist is going to under understand is really key. But yeah, being able to pitch and being a bit of a salesperson ourselves, is what the key skill is for a PR person. A copywriter is about writing really relatable copy, you have to do your research. It’s all about research, whether you’re a copywriter or a PR person, you’ve got to do your research beforehand, that’s what sets you apart.

Martin Henley  32:35

Okay, good. The other distinction, or the other thing that’s probably worth saying, is what you’re not talking about is spamming people with press releases, in the hope that something might get published, and relying on lazy journalists, in not very good media outlets, just turning around your press release and hoping that they’ll publish it in the media, so that’s the distinction to be made there.

Aneela Rose  33:04

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That comes back to the research again. So less is more in the kind of work that we do, and it’s very targeted. So it’s all about the targeting and you know this Martin from the work that you do as well. The more that you can create a bespoke campaign and bespoke work and really target your journalist, target your ultimate audience that you’re looking to convert opinion around is your research. Once you’ve done that, it’s all in the preparation beforehand, then you can really target your story to the right journalist, publication, and you’re going to get the right type of coverage as a result. Ultimately PR for us as an agency is about getting quality press coverage. So we want to get the press clipping at the end of the day PR is about getting that coverage in the magazine or outlet or online, wherever, whatever is in our plan. So yes, you’re absolutely right.

Martin Henley  34:07

Okay, good. Are you ready for a challenge? Did I tell you this was going to be challenging, it’s not gonna be like picking up 25 kilos. 

Aneela Rose  34:15

That will be easier.

Martin Henley  34:19

Okay, so I think that the perception of those people who are involved in marketing is that PR is perhaps, Okay, so let’s make this really challenging, they might think that it is kind of a vanity thing. They might think that it is a fluffy thing. And they might think that it is an unmeasurable thing. So people might think that PR is a nice to have. So from my perspective, I’m a digital marketer, engaging in PR would be pretty low on my list of priorities, because I know that there’s much more I can do for my clients that will give me the immediate, perceivable, reportable benefits that will keep them paying my invoices. That’s kind of how I feel. But I’m happy for you to change my mind.

Aneela Rose  35:21

Yeah, yeah. You know, I don’t want to sit on the fence with this. I know that’s not what you’re after but in my immediate reaction, whenever I encounter this question or this barrier, is that, they’re complimentary, they work really well together, not in isolation. So I would never say to a client, just implement traditional PR just implement digital, they’ve got to work together. And that’s when you get the best results. So if a client comes to me and says, Look, I don’t believe in PR, I just want to do I just want to spend 40,000 pounds on doing SEO, or Google AdWords or whatever, I’ll say, okay. But if you add PR, traditional PR into the mix, you’re going to boost your visibility even more, because what you’re getting is real personalisation, which you don’t necessarily get from just doing digital. With traditional PR, you can really personalise your brand. So you know, there are competitors everywhere. A lot of companies now, I’d say majority of companies are spending on digital marketing, because everyone talks about digital, you’ve got to do digital, digital, digital, and traditional PR is not dying out, I don’t care what people say, the evidence is there in the fact that we have, in the last two years, we’ve had the busiest traditional PR activity going on in our agency than we’ve ever had, in the 17-year history that Rose Media has been has been going for. 

We’ve secured the highest number of press clippings and press coverage in traditional PR outlets than we’ve ever had, and so it’s not dying, and the evidence is there and I’m all about the evidence. I’m an evidence-based PR professional. I don’t do PR fluff, that’s not me at all, I know what I’m talking about, because I’ve seen it. 

You know what one of our stories that we did for Woven Safari Park, yes, it’s fluffy animals, they have celebrities at the park, they have children at the park so you combine animals, children, celebrities, of course, I’ve got a first class PR story that’s going to hit the six o’clock evening news. It’s got all the elements of great PR, that aside, we had a fantastic story regarding their pride of lions, there were baby cubs that were born during lockdown. We issued the story and you know that the media were very active, as we know during the last two years; within a 48-hour period of releasing this story secured just under 300 pieces of press coverage. We’ve never secured that level of coverage ever, in the 17 years I’ve been trading, it was a record level of press coverage. That’s what PR did for the Safari Park, pivot them, position them on this pedestal within the national press, within consumers, businesses, all types of audiences globally. When they reopened, you couldn’t get tickets, they were fully booked out, it had an immediate sales impact on bookings, on their visibility, it was personal branding, that’s what PR did, which online would not have achieved, just online PR alone. They were on broadcast TV, they were in print media and so we were able to talk to journalists on a one on one. 

That’s what PR is about, one on one, talking to influencers who’re persuading them to feature our client, to raise the visibility of our clients’ brand, their name, key messages around what they do, why they do it, and it supported their sales strategy as well. So that’s what PR did, PR complimented their social media because that Safari Park were very active on their social media, which is the digital marketing aspect of PR. Traditional PR really complimented and boosted their sales. So if they hadn’t engaged us, and they hadn’t asked us to send out a press release, which is traditional PR, and to talk to journalists, again, traditional PR, we wouldn’t have secured that press coverage, they wouldn’t then have got their record number of bookings when they reopened after lockdown. So I hope that example kind of explains how traditional PR can work, but yeah, PR absolutely can be very beneficial to companies.

Martin Henley  40:21

Okay, good. So challenge number one overcome, let’s just say that. I think you’re 100% right. I also talk to people about, I call it integrated marketing, they call it the marketing mix, they call it all of these things, but the truth is, for me, marketing essentially, is about having all of these supports in your business, all of the different flavours of digital, of PR, of advertising, of knocking on doors of whatever it is, because then what you can do is you can start to judge which of those are actually effective for you, and then you can start to turn the screw and make your marketing more effective and efficient. That’s 100%. That’s the right answer. 

What I think, is a little bit different from what you’re saying, like, so traditional marketing, still works, still flies. I think that PR is really valuable in digital marketing, because there’s a friend of mine, who also teaches digital marketing, he talks about what’s gone on in the last 20 years as the 21st century publishing swindle, or scandal, because what’s happened is that the internet has evolved to become super content hungry. Google has convinced us, the social media channels have convinced us, that we have to be producing content over and over and over again and I think that’s where a PR company is really useful. You can just churn out rubbish like everyone does, or you can engage with a PR company and get them to come in and find the actual stories in your business and make your business newsworthy. 

And the other thing that I’ve said to people, so I’m probably going to want to cover all the ways that this might be useful, is that the media used to be something that you had to pay for and now it’s essentially free, you know, that channel has gone, you can step up, you can take as much media as you like, so people should. 

I think the third way that PR is really useful is in terms of search engine optimisation. Everybody wants links, people want really high-quality links and the best links that we’ve secured for our customers over the last 20 years ago, where we’ve managed to convince a journalist that the BBC online, look, here’s a really interesting, funky story and they’ll publish it and it will sit there forever. And Google will go Okay, the BBC are referring to this website, it’s got to be good and you’ll see a step change in their rankings. So I think that PR, and some of the stuff that, you’re talking about influencers, you’ve been influencing people for last 25 years, the internet’s only been interested in influencers for like the last five years do you know what I mean. We talk about Max Clifford being the reputation manager, well, reputation management is a key part now of digital marketing, they’ve only been concerned about that for the last five years. So I think the fact that media has changed, it’s still media is what I’m saying, and now actually, more than ever, you know, it was social for a period of time, but that’s over, now it’s media, you pay for it, you know, there’s no social aspect to this anymore. So I see PR as being really valuable as a component of digital marketing.

Aneela Rose  43:52

Yeah, I agree with that, as well. Yes, I come from a traditional PR background, but everything that we send out to journalists now has links, you know, links to our clients, websites, links to content that’s, you know, that’s really valued, that we think is valuable to the reader. Getting those links back is what we ultimately want to have so that it is affecting website traffic, visibility, search engine ranking, that’s all kind of given now, and everything we do is geared towards that. All of our press releases, we do quite a lot of photo, we target photo desk editors, we work with a lot of visual content, as well as video content, the URLs on our clients websites and directing the journalists to those links is really important now, it’s crucial, that’s what our clients are looking for.

They’re looking for increased website traffic so we have to produce content that is really focused on link building, link generation and that can be quite challenging. Not all journalists will openly, happily include links to the content, even though we include it in press releases and that’s where relationship building is really important. As an agency, we actually work in very specific markets. We repositioned the agency, and we now work within manufacturing and engineering industries, and more specifically within the green energy space, companies working within sustainability, that’s really our bag now. We are focusing our efforts to journalists that are influential in the Net Zero space, and making sure that our clients are visible on those particular websites because there’s a lot of very influential green energy spaces now online. There’s lots of groups been set up forums, committees, all sorts now, it’s very, very active online. So digital marketing is really key now for us working in these kinds of emerging sectors that are now coming up. So yeah, we really have to make sure that as an agency, we are really on top of the best routes to market online.

Martin Henley  46:32

Excellent, fantastic. So we’re on the same page there. That’s good. So you specialise in manufacturing. I just think this is overlooked, especially now I’m speaking to you, I think this is overlooked. I think more people should engage more PR companies, they should engage more PR companies like yours. 

Who are your customers and how are you adding value to their lives and their businesses?

So who are your clients? And what is it that you do for them? How do you add value? What kind of value do you add to their lives?

Aneela Rose  47:08

Yeah, so we repositioned the agency, Martin earlier this year, actually, realising that our expertise and where we’re delivering the most effective results are within ***MMA. So manufacturing and engineering industries, like I mentioned, and more specifically, my background, as I mentioned earlier, right at the start is within aviation. The more niche the market, the better. So we are now focusing our efforts on supporting companies working within very specific, niche, technical markets within MMA, manufacturing and engineering. We are very interested in sustainability, yes, everyone’s talking about it now, it’s really topical. It’s right, our path is straight. I’ve been working within these sectors for years now, it’s not something that has just come onto our agenda. We’re very, very interested and passionate about companies that are influencing the decarbonisation discussions and targets. We are specifically working in targeting electric vehicle manufacturers, and manufacturers within the hydrogen fuel cell technology areas as well and actually, that’s become my specialist area, believe it or not. I don’t if you know, Martin, but I’m really geeky and I’m really proud of that, you know, I’m known as a glamorous geek and I’m really proud of that title. In fact, I might change my job title to Chief geek, glamorous geek. It’s something that has evolved over the years as well, because I’m very much as I mentioned earlier, about the evidence. 

I like to back up everything that I claim with facts, figures, stats, and working within very technical sectors is perfect for this kind of approach where it is very evidence based. Reaching Net Zero is obviously on everyone’s agenda now, no matter what company or industry that you’re in. We are now targeting companies to work with them to increase their visibility, to raise their profiles, to support their sales strategies as well within all the emerging markets, within the green energy space. We’ve been working with companies like Panasonic Europe, where they’re looking at the electrification of society. Electrification, as we know is everywhere now, you just have to look at the electric vehicle market and look how that’s just totally evolved. You know, it almost seems daily now that it’s in the news, every day. Even talking about electric vehicle batteries and those Giga factories, it’s just so interesting. So interesting, I find it fascinating, and the amount of money that’s being invested now, within startups, it’s an emerging tech and it’s just fascinating. As an agency, we’re now really focusing in specialising, in working with companies within these spaces, so we are upskilling my team, we’re retraining, we are researching and just to make sure that we’re really staying on top of what’s happening within the sector, so that we can deliver the right services and have the right knowledge, because it is very technical, it’s very specific, you do need to know about government regulations, you do need to know who the industry bodies are within these areas. 

So there’s a lot of work that we need to do behind the scenes to make sure that we as an agency can support our clients in the right areas, so that we can deliver PR that’s going to be effective for them. 

Going back to what it is that we can do for our clients, you know, we can do all sorts, Martin, and it really does depend what their ultimate business goal is. When we talk about PR, primarily, what we’re finding is that our clients want to be in the press, they want to be in the media, they want to be talked about, they want to be read about. So for us, it’s about generating press coverage, it’s getting those clippings, and in terms of PR and how we can add value to our clients. So it’s Yes, generating those press clippings, you know, they want to be viewed by their prospects, by their customers and that’s where we come in. We want to get immediate impressions, immediate impressions is really, really key here, and that, the number of impressions, is where our success lies, and our clients are looking for the right impressions in the right areas. Looking at publications that we need to target and how many people are reading that publication is really important and that they are the right people. There’s a lot of work that goes behind the scenes in terms of again, going back to the research to make sure that we’re targeting the right publications, we look at content, you touched on content earlier, as well and we do a lot of content analysis. So where we can add value is producing the right content, and then analysing that contents effectiveness through website traffic, looking at the amount of traffic that has been driven, is the content driving traffic to the website and the right pages on the website. So we use Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. We look at social media mentions as well. We look at the conversations being had around our clients’ brand, and what type of conversations, and yeah, it’s really interesting in terms of PR and what’s involved.

Martin Henley  53:22

Yes. And so when you talk about publications, or these kind of print publications, are these online and offline publications? 

Aneela Rose  53:32

It’s a mixture. It’s a real mixture of online and offline publications, yeah. I think that’s the beauty of working with agencies that maybe are a bit more traditional, but understand digital as well. If you can combine the two, I think the success that we’ve had is that we have been a traditional PR agency, like most PR agencies that are long established, that have been around a long time, we have come from a traditional background. I think that puts us in a very strong position because we understand content, we talk about content, you know, content is king, content is queen, whatever term you want to use, but we’ve been generating content from year dot. That’s all I’ve been doing. It’s not a new thing. People think it’s a new thing. It’s not, you know, when I was studying, in the late 90s, for my degree, I was writing content back then that’s it’s always been around, it’s been at the heart of what I’ve been doing for years now. The trick here is that it’s easy to produce content, but you’ve got to produce the right content for the right platform. So content that we would produce for a print magazine, will be different to producing it for an online publication because the online will be about putting in the right links, using the right terminology, the right phrases, the right keywords, it might be short form or succinct. Having said that, you can get blogs of different lengths. 

So we produce blogs that are quite short and sweet, but will also produce blogs that are 800 to 2000 words and it’ll be full of amazing content, and keywords, and subheadings, and tags, h1 tags, h2 tag, all those sorts of things. So what we write for online will be different for print and I think that’s the beauty of, going back to what I said earlier, and what I have learned is that the traditional and modern, what I call modern, more digital, work hand in hand. Actually, as an agency, it takes us longer now to write content, because we don’t just write one piece of content. Let’s say a client of ours is launching a new product, because that would make a great PR story if the product is a bit more unique, or unusual, emerging tech, whatever it happens to be, whatever that story is. In the past, we would have just written one press release, one main headline, maybe a subheading, a few nice images, we’ll send it off to 10 publications as one press release, it won’t have many links in it, it would just maybe have the website link in it and that’s it. Today, now, what happens is that we’ll have a story but we’ll end up writing potentially 5,678 different pieces of content off the back of that one story because we would break up for our media list. For example, let’s talk about, okay, for one of my clients, they are a nuts, bolts and screws manufacturer and we have a media list that’s got about 80 different magazines on there, that media list is broken into manufacturing publications, engineering publications, fastener publications, supply chain publications, management publications, business publications, it’s broken down and it’s segmented because each of those publications has a different audience, different readership and they’ll want to have a different angle to that story. So just sending out a general nuts, bolts and screws story about this new product won’t necessarily be of interest to the investment press, or the manufacturing press who might want to know more about the industry for content. It needs to be aligned, the story needs to be aligned to the specific press and so content has become quite complicated, I’d say, and more time consuming these days.

Martin Henley  57:38

I think 100% it has, if you’re doing it properly because the other thing that’s going on is that 99.9% of people are just throwing shit at the wall and hoping that something will stick. Though I don’t think that makes your job easier necessarily because you’ve got to navigate that, but it will make your content stand out. Everything that you’re saying is 100% right. So for example, when I teach there will be, let’s say it’s going really well there might be 50 people there, and five of them will be traditional marketers who are petrified of digital marketing; what I always say is that you are much better off knowing marketing, and stepping into digital marketing, because then you’ve just got to learn where the buttons are. Whereas if you only know digital marketing, you only know where the buttons are, I think that’s really important, I agree with that. Okay, so here’s a question, I don’t believe that PR is dying, but you made a defence that it’s not dying, I believe you 100%,  I really don’t think it is. But they’ve been saying now for 25 years that print is dying. What is your experience of that, is print as valuable as it ever was?

Aneela Rose  59:01

Yeah, I think within the manufacturing and engineering industries, what we’re finding is that they are a bit more traditional. So print, yesterday, I opened up my postbox at work aand I pulled out 20 magazines out of my post box. I hadn’t checked my work post box for a few days and I said to the rest of my team, we’ve got all these magazines to go through and we had a big, big discussion actually about print magazines yesterday, and it’s not dying and our clients are still pulling out magazines. They’ll flag them up to us because they’ve landed on their desk and they still value them, and that’s the feedback we’re getting from our clients. I think if I wasn’t hearing that from my clients, I would be leaning towards thinking print isn’t that important, but I think within certain sectors and it is sector relevant, it is still important. I think certain industries are a little bit more traditional, where you’ve got people that still do value magazines, reading a physical publication rather than online. With a physical publication, there are certain magazines that have fallen by the wayside, that have now closed up, and they’ve gone completely online and that’s fine, b ut print publications do still have a place within certain sectors and they are still valued by our clients is our experience. I mean, look at when you go into shops, and have a look at the magazines, you know, going to supermarkets, the shelves are still stacked with print magazines, you know, that hasn’t lessened, that hasn’t reduced down in size, that’s still there and that that’s the evidence that it’s still around to showcase that. 

So my view is that there’s still a place for business to business, because that’s where we work, we work in the business to business space mainly, it’s still alive and kicking. That’s why we still value that, but I’m not dissing online at all. In fact, what we do, Martin actually, which is really interesting here now, is that when we work with clients, we say to them, let’s work on digital, online publications, and traditional. Traditional lead time is around three months, it will take us around three months to secure coverage within a print magazine, it takes time to get our clients name in a print magazine. Online is pretty much instant. So what we do, and it works beautifully, is that by doing both, so writing that press release, and then writing a couple of few versions of that press release for an online marketplace as well, we’ll issue it out to a magazine that’s got a print version and an online version, it will go online onto their website and on their social channels, almost within days, if it’s the right story, and then appear in print couple of months two to three months later. We’ve got two bites of the cherry and it works brilliantly and that’s how we’ve succeeded as an agency by marrying up online and print and getting our story out multiple times. Does that make sense?

Martin Henley  1:02:29

Yeah, it really does and I’m not surprised to hear you say that, and I’m not surprised, like you say that the shops are still full of magazines. I can’t remember the last time I bought a magazine or a newspaper, or even looked at a magazine or a newspaper, I think I might have looked at surf photography, I might have looked at a surf magazine maybe about 18 months ago but magazines still have their place. I think the theme for me is about this integrated marketing idea, which is that it all goes hand in glove. You know, the issue, the danger might be that you get pulled to the digital because it it’s pretty alluring, not only can we get you the coverage, but also we can register the clicks and we can report on all of those things. I think it’s clearly, a huge part of the market, a huge fraction of the market is online, but it’s not the entire market and I think the danger is that businesses will miss out on business that isn’t necessarily online, or will miss out on touch points that aren’t online.

**** Aneela Rose  1:03:48

Exactly you’re right, I love that word touch point that you’ve just used and that’s exactly it Martin, it’s those touch points. It goes back to the research that we do right at the beginning, we find out what those touch points are. Who are the audiences? Who does the client want to reach? Once we’ve worked that out, and actually we go down to the specifics of job titles of people. So what job title do they hold, what department are they in? What’s their job? What do they do? How influential are they? What media spaces are they influenced by? For example, in manufacturing engineering, we target quite a few facilities managers, project managers, consultants, and they are using LinkedIn as one of their media sources, they’re staying in touch with the news via member organisations and receiving newsletters from industry bodies. So having some coverage within a newsletter that’s being sent out by an industry body, which our client is a member of, is really effective and that’s more traditional, but also appearing on social to media, by magazines, by the right publications is also really key as well. That’s what we’re finding, some of our clients say that we want, we want the magazine, that’s the top magazine in our sector to do a shout out of our company on their social media channels, that’s a brief we’ve been given, we want them to mention us on their social media and to feature us on their LinkedIn group and that’s really interesting. 

It means that we’ve then got to write social posts and write content for social media audiences. It goes back to the content, we’ve got to write so many different types of content now to secure coverage across multiple outlets and platforms. It can be really challenging now for agencies like us to nail that content and having really good in-house content writers, and you talked about, you know, copywriters, and PR people, that’s when, you know, if an agency has a really cracking copywriters that can write copy for particular audiences, and then you’ve got PR people that can then pitch out that copy correctly and really persuasively to the journalists, you’re going to get coverage across so many different outlets that hit the mark, because it’s been really targeted and written in the right way. That’s it, that’s when PR will work really well, in today’s world when you’ve written content specifically, for the right outlet, for the right individual reading it, you’ve literally married it up. That’s what’s really changed, in the last, you know, five, six years and that’s why I’ve got all these grey hairs, Martin, because to keep up to date, and to be on the pulse of it, well, it’s changing all the time. Oh, my goodness, it’s exhausting.

Martin Henley  1:06:58

Okay good, so that brings us then to the question. So let’s imagine somebody actually watches this and then they have feelings and they’re like, Yeah, I am feeling exhilarated and excited, and I should have PR in my business and in my life. Here’s the thing that occurs to me is that I think agency, like the idea of agency is really important in marketing, it’s important that somebody comes from outside of your business, and looks at your business from a customer’s perspective if they can; but I think it’s even more important in PR. The amount of businesses, businesses can’t look at what they’re doing and see it as being newsworthy, they can’t build up the relationships with all of the journalists, the platforms, the blah, blah, the blah. That’s what occurs to me. What are your recommendations? I’m excited and exhilarated now about the idea of PR, what should I do, how would I go about realising PR for my business?

Aneela Rose  1:07:59

Hi, Rose.

Martin Henley  1:08:02

I think that almost caught.

Aneela Rose  1:08:07

So how would you bring PR to life? How would you make PR work for you? You think, you want some PR, but you’re not quite sure. That’s the question here, isn’t it? How to bring it to life? How to make it happen? Yeah?

Martin Henley  1:08:20

Yeah, I think beyond that, I want somebody, I’m gonna invest in PR. I think you’re right, I think you have to employ an agency to do this. I think it’s a bit like, there’s that stupid adage, isn’t there? Have you heard this one? Where the guy, maybe it’s right, where they’re at a cocktail party or something, and the guy likes the girl, so what’s the difference between advertising, maybe it is, what’s the difference between advertising and PR, it should be what’s difference between advertising and PR. So I can’t even remember what it is. But it’s something like, if I go and tell this girl, I’ve got a lot of money, that’s advertising. If I get my mate to go and tell her that I’ve got a lot of money, that’s PR, or something like that. That’s almost like but that’s your job also. So you’re going to the journalist and saying, Hey, this business is really great and they’ve got some really cool things going on. Whereas if I’m a business, and I go to them, of course, I’m going to say that about myself, it feels to me almost like there has to be an agency.

Aneela Rose  1:09:35

Yeah, this is argument for and against this. I can see both because I’ve done both; I’ve worked in-house, I’ve been an in-house PR person promoting the company I work for and I’ve also, obviously, got my agency so I’ve done both so I can see both sides of it. I was great at all of it. 

So let’s think about this. Okay. It’s a good question. A very good question. So with an agency, yes, so we, personally, I always play devil’s advocate, that’s my job and that’s why my clients now work directly with my staff. A lot of our clients now, you know, the average length of time clients have worked with me and my agencies is around 10 years now. It’s long, so they stay with us and the reason they stay with us is because we question them, we don’t roll over. Like you said, it’s probably a bit easier to bring an agency in to blow the client’s trumpet, to blow your own trumpet is quite hard. Martin you and I know this, to market yourself, I actually find it quite hard to promote my own agency and to promote myself, I actually get my team, other people to promote me and promote the agency, it’s much easier when you’re a little bit removed from it. So to have an agency come in and promote you is going to be more effective, because we will look at it in a different way. We are trained, it’s our job to look at your brand to look at your stories, your potential stories, and to work out what’s really going to be newsworthy, end of the day, that’s what PR is, it’s news, isn’t it? It’s about a story that’s going to be of interest to other people and what you think is interesting might not actually be newsworthy, and we come across this quite a lot as well, you know, we’ll be contacted by companies who will say, I want to be on the front page of The Times newspaper, because we’ve just won an award and you think, okay, right, that ain’t gonna happen.

Martin Henley  1:11:50

Can I just interject?

Aneela Rose  1:11:51


Martin Henley  1:11:52

100% of the time that a business owner thinks they’ve got something that’s really interesting going on in their business, it’s not very interesting. That’s my experience. I’ve only worked with, like, 1000 businesses, so, you know, it’s not a huge sample. Every time somebody like, the thing is that businesses are so ego driven, they’re just individuals, business owners, managing directors, managers, it’s always so ego driven and that’s why I think agency is really important in marketing, because they want to think it’s all about them but it’s not all about them, it has to be about their customers, from a pure marketing perspective and it has to be about the audience or the readership of the press, from a PR perspective. 100% of the time, the thing that they’re most excited about, the thing that they’re most proud of, is 100% of the time, the least interesting thing in their business, I really believe that.

Aneela Rose  1:12:54

Yeah, and I agree. That’s where we come in, because we will turn it around where a company will just want to plug a product, just literally talk directly about themselves. What we do is we turn it around, and we look at the customer that they’re trying to attract and look at it from their point of view. It’s usually about the value that the company can add rather than just the product USPs that they’re trying to promote, and that’s our job, that’s what we do. We look at it, and we basically usually just ignore what our client is asking, ignore them and then we would come up with our own take on it. Invariably, our client will trust us with that, and we’ll kind of run with it. It’s our job as the agency to recognise the story that might be of interest, and if it isn’t we’ll tell our client because it doesn’t do us any favours at all to try and push your story, so called story, that really isn’t a story, that’s just not going to do anybody any favours at all. What a client will think is a story often isn’t, and it will be our job to advise them accordingly and say, well, actually, it’s not that you’ve just launched this product mean, yes, that’s obviously news in that you’ve launched a product but it’s what this product is doing to solve a problem that your customer may have, that’s what we need to look at, you know, what is the solution that you’ve got? How is it solving a problem? How can it add value? How can it change your client’s life and let’s promote that rather than just the nuts and bolts of just this product.

So yeah, it’s just turning it around and that’s really our job, and being really honest and transparent with our client. I know a lot of companies say that but what we do, my job personally, I’m very good at putting our client on the spot and really drilling in on exactly what it is that makes them a bit different. The word unique is overused, we have to go beyond that, and really hone in on the intricacies of what it is they are doing that can change lives. 

Martin Henley  1:15:16


Aneela Rose  1:15:17

It’s that dramatic, it has to be because there’s too many companies, especially in the spaces that we’re working in Martin, that there’s a lot of competitors around, there’s a lot of other agencies working for companies that are also pushing out the same press releases that we’re going to be pushing out. So how are we, when we work with companies, thinking about that? How is our press release going to grab the attention of that journalist within 10 seconds? What’s gonna make them open that email or read that email or listen to us on the phone, not put the phone down on us, within 10 seconds? We’ve only got 10 seconds, literally, that’s all we have now. Maybe it’s slightly different with some trade journalists, because they will have a bit more time with us, because we’ve built up relationships with them, they will take our call, they will read our email, because that’s the heart of my agency, it’s all about relationships, we’re not about volume, we’re about quality. So when we’ve done our research, we talk to the journalist, but our aim is to become the go to. What we want is that the journalist will actually phone us and say Aneela Rose Media, what have you got? What news have you got? That’s what’s happening now, you know, I’ve been doing this a long time. I know the game, because it is a game, we play a game. It’s a game with the journalists, you know, we know how to play it. We know what we need to do, we know how to attract their attention, and what’s happening now is that they’re calling us, they’re phoning us, and they’re saying, Aneela, what’s happening with your clients? What are they doing? What are they up to? What are they launching? You know, you’ve nailed it as an agency, when you’re reacting to media requests, you’re not having to go out to them, they’re coming to us and that’s what’s happening now, which is brilliant. Right?

Martin Henley  1:17:02

Yeah. So if they do really do want to do it themselves, then what they need to do is they need to immerse themselves and really understand the relevant media, whatever that might be; you need to be able to build relationships with the content producers, journalists, producers, whoever is in that media; and then they need to be able to find ways of presenting their business in a newsworthy way. The better alternative is to pick up the phone and speak to Aneela Rose PR. I’m with you. 100%. I think we’ve got to the end.

Aneela Rose  1:17:41

Yes. Yes. I think so maybe.

Martin Henley  1:17:44

We’ve done a lot. I think we might have done an hour and a half.

Aneela Rose  1:17:48

Brilliant. Okay, amazing. Yeah, been really nice talking to you, Martin.

Martin Henley  1:17:55

Cool, right? So the only thing that’s outstanding is you need to recommend two people that you think would be interested to do this with me and you have to give me their names because people can’t be trusted, they say I’ll email you something and then they never do. I’m not saying that you’re anything less than trustworthy, I just don’t give me the opportunity to be untrustworthy. Who do you think would be interested to have this chat and who might be interesting?

Aneela Rose  1:18:22

Well, I can certainly give you one name. 

Martin Henley  1:18:25


Aneela Rose  1:18:26

Someone that I’ve known for a while now, and I haven’t spoken to him. I don’t know.

Martin Henley  1:18:34

Don’t worry, I’ll do the outreach. It will be okay. I message him and say Aneela insisted that you talk to me.

Aneela Rose  1:18:41

Yeah, no, do that. And you’ll probably run a mile be like, Oh no, not Aneela and so Nigel Lambe. He is the CEO of the Sussex Innovation Centre, I think he took over…

Martin Henley  1:19:00

From Mike Herd.

Aneela Rose  1:19:03

Yes, he took over from Mike Herd and Mike Herd I’ve known for such a long time now. He took over from Mike Herd. That’s right. And I think in 2015-16, so maybe about seven or so years ago, and he’s really interesting because he Nigel, he set up Small Batch Coffee, and if I remember rightly, he grew it from something like 186,000 pound turnover to something like over 4 million turnover. Incredible, incredible business and then he went and set up co-founded Brighton Gin, I believe. He is a very esteemed, knowledgeable, very successful businessman and investor and now he heads up the Sussex Innovation Centre. I bumped into him, again at the Sussex business awards a few weeks ago and we were chatting and we were due to meet up. But yeah, I think it just reminded me that actually he would be someone that I think would be really enlightening and really interesting to talk to. He is a very jovial Irishman and, loads of big personality, and I think he’d be great to interview.

Martin Henley  1:20:23

Fantastic. Okay, cool. I’m going to reach out to him. That’s interesting. I don’t know. Do you remember? Did you know Melanie Farmer? 

Aneela Rose  1:20:30

Yes I do.

Martin Henley  1:20:33

Yes. I did this with Melanie farmer about six months ago and that was really interesting, because she was talking about her time at the Sussex Innovation Centre but now she’s involved in a consultancy, she’s advising the Australian Government on health matters and communications and those kinds of things. So that would be really interesting. I’m going to push you if, if you had to give me another name, whose name would you give me?

Aneela Rose  1:21:01

Oh, I would really have to think about that. I’m trying to think of business people. I mean, there’s I mean, with one of my clients, I’m just thinking whether there’s a female that I look up to who works at you know, I mentioned earlier about the nuts, bolts and screws manufacturing company that I work with now. They’re global, one of their global directors, there is a female and she’ll be squirming when I say this, because she shies away a little bit from acknowledging that she is a leader in her industry but Glenda Roberts, Trifast PLC, is a global leading individual within the fastenings market. It sounds a little bit of a dry subject, but it’s not it is fascinating, because nuts, bolts and screws affects all of us in daily life. So it’s a product that is totally relatable and we’ve got a number of strap lines for the business and one of the ones that we used years ago is you’d be screwed without us. We love that and Glenda is a formidable character. She is incredible in terms of her knowledge, she’s a female in what is a very male dominated, global industry. She has really made her mark and she’s incredible and I think she’s fascinating to talk to and she speaks her mind and I think you know if you’re pushing me, I would talk to her. Now whether she’s got the time to talk to you, I think she’d only probably have about 45 minutes at the most, she is all over the place, but I would recommend her actually.

Martin Henley  1:22:52

Okay, good. I’m messaging these people as you speak. This is the only way the ball keeps rolling. You know, it’s the only way or else I keep going back to people I know already.

Aneela Rose  1:23:05

Yeah, there is someone else I could potentially give you a third. And only because I’m just thinking it’s so interesting what they do and lot of people don’t know about it. It’s another client; Lee Pannett of Scarecrow Group. Lee Pannett, he’s the CEO, MD of scarecrow group he is another client of mine. I’ve worked with him now for 17 years and what they do is produce bio acoustic equipment that’s used around the world to scare birds at airports to prevent bird strike. Now, if you remember the Hudson River plane crash? 

Martin Henley  1:23:57


Aneela Rose  1:23:58

If you remember, some while ago now a number of years ago, like 10 years ago, I think. I was watching it live on the news, I remember it vividly and they cited birds as bringing down the plane as it was being reported, I contacted my client Scarecrow and said look, turn on the news, planes gone down, it’s in the river Hudson right now and they think it’s through bird strike. I got my client on Sky News immediately and it was amazing. It’s so topical, it’s so interesting because as a result of COVID in the last few years, airports have been really quiet and what’s been happening is the birds have been going back to runways and there’s a potential problem around the world, so they’ve been really busy. It’s really interesting and to be honest, you’d never fly again if you knew what was going on with birds. Bird strikes happen every day at pretty much every airport around the world. You just don’t hear about it. It’s really interesting. So I definitely I would talk to Lee, I think it’s fascinating actually.

Martin Henley  1:24:57

Okay, do you think it’d be okay if I reach out to these people. I just dropped them a message saying Aneela Rose.

Aneela Rose  1:25:02

Yeah, just mention my name. Lee’s brilliant whether he’ll do it or not, I don’t know.  I’ll talk to him and just say, look, just do it for God’s sake.

Martin Henley  1:25:12

What you’ve also done is you’ve kind of given people a nice preview of what might be happening in upcoming episodes.

Aneela Rose  1:25:19

Yeah. Oh, is this? Yeah.

Martin Henley  1:25:22

We’re still going. Yeah. Aneela I have thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this, thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you so much. Is there anything that you should have said that you haven’t said? Or is there anything that you did say that you shouldn’t have said?

Aneela Rose  1:25:35

Yeah, probably. But hey, you know, this is me. This is what I’m about, you know. You know, I’ve been doing PR such a long time but you know, I love learning. I love evolving. I love reinvention, so, anything new that comes up, I don’t shy away from change or anything like that. So, I love that you’ve said a few things on this call as well that have, I listened to anything. Yeah, that’s absolutely right. Because you come at it from the digital point of view, don’t you? And I’m probably a little bit more traditional. So actually coming together on this is I find fascinating. So I think the only thing I’d want to say is that, you know, I think people watching this listening, you know, don’t be scared of just reinventing yourself, which is what I’ve done. I do it continually. I think remaining static is dangerous, I think it’s not conducive to success these days, you know, to be successful, you’ve got to be open to listening to other people who are experts. That’s pretty much what I do now. I love talking to other people that have been there that have done it, they’ve made mistakes that have failed, and actually you come back stronger from it. A lot of us know that success comes from failure. So yeah, I think yeah, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you a`nd thank you for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion and my thoughts here.

Martin Henley  1:27:03

It’s only a pleasure. And I think we’ve said plenty that should be useful to people if they are interested in being successful. I think the sooner people get on this PR thing, the sooner they will be successful. That’s what I think. 

Aneela Rose  1:27:16

Thank you, Martin. 

Martin Henley  1:27:18

Only a pleasure. Thank you so much. Aneela and I will see you, speak to you soon, I’m sure.

Aneela Rose  1:27:23

Thank you. Take care.

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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