The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

If you’d met Emma, you’d never know she was living with cancer.

She was always the life and soul of the party, the first one (and last one) on the dance floor, and the first one to book that next trip…while she was still ON the last trip. Her lust for life was infectious, she was an absolute beauty inside and out, always laughing, smiling and you would have loved her.

Cancer was a part of her life for six years before she passed away last September. She went to regular hospital appointments and received pioneering treatment from the Royal Marsden. Cancer took her away from us at just 36 years old.

The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

I’d do anything to turn back time, to go back to the time in Ibiza where we were all playing with inflatables in the pool buoyed on by bottles of Magners. I’d love to rewind to the night on my balcony where we had dinner she told me her future wedding plans and we how many bridesmaids she wanted. She’d been in hospital to have treatment and was reading a bridal magazine. She read an article on ‘How many bridesmaids you should have for your wedding?’ which made the case for zero to twenty bridesmaids. By the time she’d finished the article, she was convinced she should have every one she wanted and settled on nine bridesmaids. I am so glad she did exactly what she wanted and had the wedding of her dreams.

I often think of her laughing at her hen do, where she wanted to embrace every tacky theme from tiaras to sashes to butlers in the buff and we dance the whole weekend. Every time I drink Prosecco or listen to Fifth Harmony’s Work from Home or wear the pink coat she sent me a picture of from Zara and told me to buy, I just can’t believe she’s not here.

The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

Before she died she was writing a book about her experience living with cancer because she wanted to change the conversation. She wrote:

“I truly believe positivity attracts positivity and negativity breeds negativity. Obviously science dictates that it is physically impossible for your body to fight a disease like cancer without any intervention, but equally I think if you train your mind you can help yourself fight it through a positive mental attitude. This goes hand in hand with HOPE and the stance that for as long as there is hope there is something to hang on to and keep you going. Once that hope is taken away it is very difficult to have the same positive outlook. As long as I have the reassurance that there are further treatment options available, it instils that element of hope that keeps me going”.
Emma Beardall, 02.02.82 – 30.09.18

She always said to me that the most important thing was that we always asked how she was. I never knew what to say, but I tried to keep on asking all the same. I thought I was being annoying but in retrospect, I’m glad I kept asking.

This time last year I went to watch the marathon with Emma and our friend Stacey. We didn’t watch much of the marathon and instead we had a Prosecco loaded picnic next to Tower Bridge in the sunshine. I can’t tell you how much we laughed. This year, she’s not here.

One of our last text conversations before we found out the terrible news was about the future where we were both happily making plans. I told her I wanted to change my business and she said: “Your plans sound really exciting. You’ve gotta aim high Claire ! I have every faith in you!”

So have faith in yourself. Take time for grief. Talk about things. Keep the faith. Hope.

The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

To buy the Hope T Shirt from Emma’s lovely cousin Bricks & Stitches with 100% of profits going to Royal Marsden go here: https://bricksandstitches.com/product/hope-tee-100-of-profitsdonated-to-the-royal-marsden/

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The Hope Campaign for The Royal Marsden

Getting Naked With Interview with Sally Beaton Women with Sparkle

Getting Naked With Interview with Sally Beaton Women with Sparkle

Sally Beaton aka Women With Sparkle is one of my favourite gals on the grid because rather than believing we are superhuman ‘BUSY’ types, she strips back the B.S and reveals what really makes women tick. Sally is a ‘Sparkle Coach’ and the creator of the hashtag #SparkleUpThursday which speaks to anyone who spends a significant amount of time in leggings and slouchy jumpers and encourages a single day of putting yourself first instead – amen! She also maintains that we need time off the grid, downtime to recover and space to reflect which is a mantra I am on-board with. The next step in her business journey is a book, which I for one, am eagerly awaiting. Let’s find out more about the force behind Women With Sparkle.

Getting Naked With Interview with Sally Beaton Women with Sparkle

NakedPRGirl: What did you study? What was your first job?
I studied English Literature at Reading University and my first job after leaving University was as a street fundraiser! Yes, I know, I know, the people you (and I now too) find really annoying when you’re in a rush and trying to get somewhere, but, I did it on roller skates, I loved the charities that I was raising money for and it taught me the most amazing life skills (rejection doesn’t phase me after that job – it was 99% of the job). I did this job as it meant I had the flexibility to go to auditions as I was trying to get into the music industry at that time.

NakedPRGirl: What was your big break?
Mmm well I’d say it was more of a big breakdown than big break. My husband and I moved abroad for his job and I gave up my career in marketing. I was super lonely and really struggled to find work abroad – it was a really difficult time for me mentally, which affected me physically. However, the upside was I finally had the time to study and become a nutritionist and then afterwards a life coach. So actually, reaching a very low point personally and professionally enabled me to start building the business I had dreamt about where I could build myself and then other women back up.

Getting Naked With Interview with Sally Beaton Women with Sparkle

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about your Women with Sparkle, what is the idea behind it?
I set up Women With Sparkle to help women get their sparkle back – because I’d lost my sparkle and got it back and I wanted that for other women too. And the funny thing is I don’t really have to explain that concept to women as they just intuitively get it. Most women know what it feels like to (or know who) have sparkle, and far too many women can sadly relate to the feeling of losing your sparkle (due to illness, financial problems, a change in career, becoming a mum, being stressed at work etc).

The idea behind it is I believe all women were created to live with sparkle. Living with sparkle means living as the best version of yourself , glowing with health and vitality, brimming with excitement for your own life and working towards your dreams.

I get women feeling better physically through boosting their health and then work with various techniques to help them mentally move forward into the life they want. I love the work I do because so many of my clients think that’s a tall order to “get their sparkle back” or “reach their dreams” and yet within just a few weeks they feel better, look better, think more confidently and optimistically and start achieving some of the biggest, boldest dreams that they’ve often not even admitted.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuZlW5hF-bs

NakedPRGirl: How did you come up with the business plan? And name? Who did your branding for you?
I didn’t do a business plan! I know! I know! Me 10 years ago would’ve rolled my eyes at a business woman not doing this but it’s because I was living abroad and I just wanted to dip my toe in the water to see if I could get clients, if my methods worked and then see if it could become a business – and it did! It just naturally spiralled as women saw the transformation their friends had had and I’d get referrals from that. My clients are my best marketing tools and because I work from home and my consultations are over Skype, I get to work with women all over the world and keep my overheads low.

The name came to me as a blog name originally. I wanted to just write a blog teaching women about their hormones, the best foods for energy and any other tips that I knew could keep them in sparkling health. I then realised the name was meant for bigger things and should be my business name.

My branding was done by two amazing women. One a kiwi girl who I met in Switzerland who works freelance on building websites and graphics. She creates the most beautiful (and super affordable) websites – which is so helpful when you’re starting out – https://katehiam.com and the other superstar I worked (and still work with) is a designer in the Ukraine (who I found via Upwork) www.dariabalashova.com who just gets my style and intuitively creates the most gorgeous designs for my website and other areas of my business.
I love that all the work on my website and branding has been done by women – women with business and design sparkle!

Getting Naked With Interview with Sally Beaton Women with Sparkle

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP?
As far as I know, I’m the world’s only women’s ‘Sparkle Coach’. My speciality (and 100% success rate so far) is helping women get to the root cause of how/why they’ve lost their sparkle and get it back so that they can live out their purpose and best, most sparkle-filled life.

NakedPRGirl: How did the initiative SparkleUpThursday come about? Why do you think that is so important?
This again came about from when I was living abroad (you see how good stuff really can come out of times of struggle). I’d gone from working in an office with different artists and celebrities and so always being conscious of, and enjoy wearing nice outfits. However, when we moved abroad I was working from home, we lived in a farming village and I never had any big events or things to go to so my wardrobe became comfy, frumpy and grey. I realised one day that my low moods were yes, because I was homesick and struggling BUT, were also because I’d stopped wearing bright colours or anything vaguely fashionable and I never felt nice about myself. So, I vowed at least once a week to do my hair, make-up and choose an outfit I felt amazing in, even if I was just walking the dog around the village. I saw how it immediately lifted my mood and so ever since, at least once a week (even though I try and do it more now), I “SparkleUp” on a Thursday and encourage other women to as well via Instagram.

It’s resonated with so many women who work from home (either with their own businesses, freelance projects or kids) and I think it’s so important. Without a nudge to do our hair, make-up, pick a nice (not practical) outfit, weeks can go by and we’ve only ever worn leggings and a sweatshirt. And whilst comfort is super important to many women and a necessity to others, if we are only ever in “comfy” mode, then we forget all the other elements of ourselves that we love and have neglected like being sexy or sassy or fashionable or fun. I used to think being happier or feeling more sparkly was all about the “inner work” but, I now know the importance of self-care and stuff that’s previously, and erroneously, been labelled superficial. Feeling nice about yourself (even if it’s only once a week) is so important for your physical and mental health.

NakedPRGirl: You have your book, Get Your Sparkle Back – how did that come about, what is it about and who have you written it for?
So I realised that with every consultation I was doing that yes, there were lots of unique situations that needed bespoke coaching, but, actually, there was also lots of things that kept coming up for all women – the need to understand their menstrual cycles (and how that was affecting their mood, energy and even business); the need for them to incorporate better self-care into their lives; the need for them to not suppress their emotions but express them daily, along with lots of other things that are documented in the book. So I wanted to write a book because I know that not all women are in a position to afford my coaching prices but, I still wanted them to have this important, practical and life changing information. I also wanted my clients to have something containing some of the information they go through so that they could read and re-read it in their own time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs_PFHHF2AL/?

So my book is for any woman who feels like she’s lost a little or lot of her sparkle and wants to learn incredible things about her body and mind (that she should, I believe, have been taught in school) about how to get it back.

NakedPRGirl: How did you find the writing process? Any tips for aspiring authors?
Ok so I found that there were 3 stages. The super easy, everything flowed stage. The trying to get it finished whilst life got in the way (I had a family member get seriously ill 2 months before I was due to submit my manuscript and I just knew I’d harm my health if I tried to be there for my family member and finish the book, so I got a new deadline) and the OH MY GOODNESS I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN PREGNANT AND IN LABOUR WITH THIS BOOK FOR SOOOOOO LONG, CAN IT PLEASE JUST BE BORN RIGHT NOW!!!!

So you go through stages of feeling super inspired, then super discouraged, then super passionate about your work, then quite apathetic, but, like a baby it just feels like it has to come out.

My advice would be to make your first and only aim to write a first super crappy draft of your book. Too many writers spend too long, writing their first draft, trying to get it perfect and getting themselves in knots. Don’t. Commit to writing a crappy first draft and then get the best people in the business or around you to help you – editors, coaches, proof-readers etc. I would also say ask yourself this question “would I rather a less than perfect book be completed and published and read and enjoyed by people OR would I rather die and leave this earth with this idea and writing still inside of me?” Once you answer that question you can usually free yourself to proceed without the block of perfectionism stopping you writing.

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a particular career highlight that stands out?
I would say a particular highlight for me was coaching a very tired, anxious, overwhelmed mum of two who felt that she’d lost her sense of identity completely. She’d lost touch with her dream of becoming a writer and had little to no energy to devote to herself. We did a super-charged 8 week programme, where she’d set out a goal to get a book of poetry published in the next 3 years. However, because she felt so good, energised and inspired by the changes she’d implemented from our coaching, she actually found the time and energy to finish her collection of poems and get them published within 3 months! She sent me a picture of herself before working with me and then after and then said “look, I had no sparkle in my eyes before and now I do” – and that made me so emotional.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your personal style? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?
My personal style is really the extremes – comfies when I’m working at home and then super sparkled-up and sequins when I go out or are doing panels or speaking engagements. Because sequins, bright colours and fabulous clothes are things I naturally love and have always been in my personal style, then my brand is just an extension of this. It’s happened really naturally that my genuine love of wearing sparkly things and my business seeking to bring more sparkle into people’s lives go quite nicely together, to the point where lots of people now call me Sally Sparkles like it’s my real name.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsbY7wQFdX6/

NakedPRGirl: How do you use social media for your business? What’s your favourite social media channel? Do you have any social media tips?
Instagram is my favourite because it’s the only social media channel that I use. Much of my business is from referrals in that a woman normally sees the transformation her friend has had in feeling better, looking better and reaching (or getting nearer) to a lifelong goal and then they want that for themselves to. So whilst I do get clients from Instagram, it’s actually just a lot of fun for me, I love to just use it to inspire women and connect I’m a one woman business so for me, trying to do one thing well as opposed to lots of things averagely is important.

NakedPRGirl: How have you seen your industry changing over the last few years?
I’ve seen it become less of a joke. Before when you’d tell someone you were a coach it sounded so vague and something that only American people had, but now people are genuinely interested, normally know someone who has worked with/or is working with a coach and so there’s always an enthusiastic response. I’ve also seen more women becoming proactive in taking care of their health and lives (not enough! But definitely more than when I started out).

NakedPRGirl: Where do you see it evolving in the future?
More books, Women With Sparkle events and conferences and creating or endorsing products that’ll boost a woman’s sparkle. The sparkly sky is the limit for me and this brand.

NakedPRGirl: How do you manage your blog/social media workload – are you a planner and a scheduler? And do you get techy in the back end?
When I started the business I’d planned to blog weekly, then it became monthly then since I started writing the book, I’ve only blogged once this year, but do intend to pick it back up again in a month or so. And when I do this they do tend to be scheduled in advance, but I keep that incredibly flexible so that if something else come up I want to write about then I will. I can actually can build WordPress websites and do some of the techy stuff but, I like to keep things simple and not over complicate stuff and therefore delegate so I don’t get too overwhelmed or stressed (this is basically the opposite of how I operated in business for most of my 20’s and 30’s).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrYRRGkFZ06/

NakedPRGirl: How important is your Instagram grid? Do you plan everything in advance?
My Instagram grid is really important because it’s a collection of uplifting stuff and #SparkleUpThursday inspiration. I always put a post out on Wednesday night to remind people about #SparkleUpThursday and I usually post on #SparkleUpThursday but other than that I only post when I feel I have something good to say that’ll benefit my audience. I used to come from a world of very male-centric business ideas where everything was planned and scheduled and in a way a bit forced. Now I like to go with the flow and utilise more feminine concepts like what intuitively feels right to post. It’s not for everyone but it works for me and my audience and keeps Instagram “light” and not a chore for me.

NakedPRGirl: Who in the industry inspires you?
People who bring their whole selves! Who ooze authenticity and are super smart and have a little fun with it too. So business wise: Marie Forleo; nutrition/health-wise: Khush Mark and coaching: Tony Robbins is still the absolute best!

NakedPRGirl: How do you split your time between business and real life?
I try and keep weekends free as much as possible (although this has gone a little awry with the writing process) and then I’m really intentional about scheduling times of rest in between all the work. I sometimes take an Instagram break or a week off from coaching. My clients know I’m there for them 100% but I’m not an A&E department so never allow the 24/7 on call approach that some other coaches do. I don’t think that’s appropriate for coach or client, there has to be boundaries. Tha,t and when my clients always say to me “oh my god, I need you…” I say “no you don’t, you need you” – my job is to make myself become redundant and not be their coach forever (that’s why I ususally don’t work intensively with someone for longer than 8 weeks) because I want to equip people to understand their physical and emotional health very quickly. I want my clients to see and feel progress very quickly and whilst yes, it’s my coaching methods that support and facilitate that, THEY do the work and I want to instil that trust and confidence in themselves. I want them to know that they can find their way back to their health and sparkle once I’ve taught them the basics.

NakedPRGirl: What’s the one thing we can all do every day to make ourselves our sparkly best?
Put yourself first for at least one whole hour each day. Not your business, your phone, your family, your house, your partner, your pet – just focus on you, tune in to what you really want and how you want life to feel and then take one small step to help you get there. It may be sending an email, drinking a green smoothie, going for a walk – but these little daily things all add up to creating a life with sparkle. Do it in 4×15 minute slots if a whole hour is tough to find, but giving yourself permission to take time for your life is key to getting the one you want.

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a motto or mantra that you live by?
Not really. I love inspirational quotes but I find that different ones speak to me at different times. So currently because I’m busy and a little tired from book writing/editing – any motto or mantra on rest is speaking to my soul.

NakedPRGirl: Where would you like to be in ten years time?
The author of at least 5 books; a regular on anything that Oprah does; teaching other women to become Sparkle Coaches; enabling other women to become published authors (with my own book and music publishing company); having a big portfolio of products/an online shop for Women With Sparkle products (all ethical, non-toxic and anything that helps boost a woman’s sparkle) AND music is my other big love – so creating and producing music that helps women feel super sparkly! Phew! Time to get my own coach to help me plot out a plan to achieve all that I think ☺

Check out Sally’s website: www.womenwithsparkle.com
Follow Sally on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/womenwithsparkle/

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GETTING NAKED WITH INTERVIEW WITH SALLY BEATON WOMEN WITH SPARKLE

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

Michael Perry is Mr Plant Geek, a self confessed tongue-in-cheek plant lover, gardener, TV presenter, hortpreneur, speaker and, if that’s not enough, a co-host of the new Plant Based Podcast. I’ve known Michael for a few years and watched his business go from strength to strength with each new project. From his fun, lighthearted and informative blog, to his TV appearances on QVC and This Morning, he’s also managed to travel the world, launch a gardening movement and create his own Rude Botany clothing line.

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

The Rude Botany brand perfectly epitomises Michael’s ethos where
his geeky obsession for plant names turns playful with Carry On-esque T Shirts designed to be
horticultural eye openers with slogans such as ‘Rubus cockburnianus’, ‘Lilium superbum’ and ‘Clitoria ternatea’ defining his USP of
educating with a little fun. To top this off, he’s also known for going back to
nature and taking his kit off for Grubby Gardeners which he founded to raise
money for Perennial, a horticultural charity also known as the Royal Gardeners
Benevolent Society by contributing to a naked calendar.

Michael Perry represents the modern gardener which comes at the perfect time as the industry is growing in popularity with millennials as it is now reported that 20% of the population age 18-34 reports gardening as a leisure pursuit (via MarketResearch.com ) thanks to our new focus on sustainability. Here, in my latest Getting Naked With Interview (excuse the pun), Michael discusses the golden age of horticulture and how Instagram is feeding our desire for a beautiful plant filled life.

NakedPRGirl: What did you study? What was your first job?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I went to school in Suffolk, and
was particularly taken with geography if I remember rightly. But it was at the
weekend that I was beavering away in my parents garden, growing seedlings and
all that jazz. As I got to the end of school, I wasn’t really sure what to do.
The careers adviser suggested things like floristry or being a vet. I went on
to go to college to study horticulture. My first job was at just 18 years old
at Thompson and Morgan, training up in new product development. 

NakedPRGirl: What was your big break?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Not sure really. It has all
happened organically. My first big appearance on TV was with a black Hyacinth
on the Alan Titchmarsh Show, so that’s memorable.

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about your Mr Plant Geek, what is the idea behind it? What’s your USP?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: My USP is basically sharing my
love of plants and inspiring others to do the same. The brand has been around
about three years, and really acted as a nice umbrella for all my activities.

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: How did you come up with the business plan? And name? Who did your branding for you?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Gosh! It’s all happened as we
move along, I don’t always have a master plan! My partner is a designer so he
helped with the branding etc, so I’m really lucky about that!

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a particular career highlight that stands out?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Do you know, good things
happen all the time. I tend to say yes to anything, that is reasonable, and
everything works out for the best. Of course, TV appearances are fab, but also
lecturing in Japan, being asked to speak in Canada, I’ve become very
global. 

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: What are your top three tips for anyone who would love to try gardening but is afraid to?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Just get out and get your hands
grubby. Try and grow something simple at first, and don’t be scared. There
isn’t necessarily the right way to do everything. Plants are a living thing, so
it might not always go to plan! 

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: What are you looking forward to at Chelsea Flower Show this year? 

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: It’s a great place to see all
the people I know in the industry, and of course discover new ways of using
plants. I love colour, so I particularly look out for use of contrasts. I’m
also a plant geek, obviously, so spend a lot of time in the flower marquee. 

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: You’ll also be touring the UK with your Weird and Wacky Plants Show – what can people expect? Do you like to challenge the traditional views of gardening by translating it to a modern audience?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Oh yes. I think I can do that
very well. Many people don’t believe such plants are real, as plants are so
interesting and exciting. I also like to teach people where everyday products
come from, because usually they don’t know!

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: Do you enjoy the explosion of Instagram-friendly, flower enhanced shop fronts that have become so popular in London (eg Peggy Porschen)?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Yes, and it means I am no longer
alone in being a plant geek! This is a golden period for horticulture!

NakedPRGirl: With the recent emphasis on creating a more sustainable world, have you seen a shift towards people embracing gardening, particularly with growing their own with a view to an increasingly plant based diet? 

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Yes, it’s crazy. When I was a
kid, I was visiting lots of health food stores and buying a lot of the products
that are popular today. Perhaps I was ahead of my time! However, at the moment
I’m not a vegan, oops! But I do eat a lot of plant!!

NakedPRGirl: You often appear on ITV’s This Morning how did this come about? What is like to film?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Just through my social
media. It’s always enjoyable and fun, and being behind-the-scenes is never as
you would imagine. Of course, with live TV there are lots of smoke and mirrors
too!!

NakedPRGirl: You’re also a regular on QVC and I always think about how hard the candidates always find this task on The Apprentice. How did you find the change to the challenge of live television shopping?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: It’s become very natural, I
barely remember I’m on camera sometimes to be honest! I know the plants inside
out so that makes me the best person to sell them to people!

NakedPRGirl: How do you deal with the nerves of live TV? Any tips for wannabe presenters?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I am always nervous to do
something for the first time, because you don’t necessarily know the layout or
how things will go. But, deep breathing always helps you to relax. And crack a
few jokes with the crew, because that will relax you and them too!

NakedPRGirl: The Mr Plant Geek shop sells tongue in cheek T shirts with phrases like Rubus cockburnianus on it – why did you decide to add a little humour into the gardening world?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Just because I am so cheeky. So
it seemed like a natural step for me to take!

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: You recently launched The Plant Based Podcast for all the people appreciating the importance of plants in our day to day lives. How did this come about and what does it discuss?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: It has been incredibly
successful. We are super happy with everything! We have been in the top 10 on
iTunes quite a few times. Most importantly, we are delivering serious
information but in a relaxed and light-hearted way, far too many things are
serious these days!

NakedPRGirl: What’s your personal style? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I really like fashion and
clothing, just what I want to. I am not scared to try new styles, and people
seem to like that! Even get people stopping me in the street to ask about what
I’m wearing sometimes!

NakedPRGirl: How do you use social media for your business? What’s your favourite social media channel? Do you have any social media tips?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Right now it’s Instagram- but I
stay pro active and watch them all with intent! I think being authentic is
wholly better than any other method too..

NakedPRGirl: How have you seen your industry changing over the last few years?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Definitely more young faces, and
it makes me SO HAPPY!

NakedPRGirl: Where do you see it evolving in the future?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I think it will continue to be
popular, this love of plants. They have nicely become mainstream, and people
appreciate them more, and age incorporating them into day-to-day lives. That
will only improve.

NakedPRGirl: How do you manage your website/social media workload – are you a planner and a scheduler? And do you get techy in the back end?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I do have some help with
everything, because my working days are getting busier and busier. I couldn’t
do it without jen.

Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

NakedPRGirl: Who in the industry inspires you?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I will have to think about that,
I tend to just carve my own path. I inspire myself, I think that’s a good
thing!

NakedPRGirl: How do you split your time between business and real life?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Gosh, it blurs!  That’s the
problem of having passion that’s also a career, but I wouldn’t change it for
the world!

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a motto or mantra that you live by?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: Always be decent, get back to
people on time, and do a thoughtful job.

NakedPRGirl: Where would you like to be in ten years time?

Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek: I never think too far ahead. I
think when we do that we can become lazy, almost allowing ourselves to a
certain point, like oh I’ll do that IN ten years… It’s best to just evolve as
you come along. 

Follow Mr Plant Geek on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mr_plantgeek/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mr_plantgeek

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrplantgeek

Visit Mr Plant Geek’s website: https://mrplantgeek.com & Plant Based Podcast: https://theplantbasedpodcast.net

Shop the Rude Botany range: https://mrplantgeekshop.com/collections/rude-botany

Find out more on Grubby Gardeners: https://grubbygardeners.com

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Getting Naked Interview with Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry

For the Throne - Who Wins the PR Battle in Game of Thrones?

For the Throne – Who Wins the PR Battle in Game of Thrones?

As we head towards the finale of all finales of the epic series of Game of Thrones, I couldn’t help but wonder, who would come out on top if this was a PR battle. Yes indeed, if it was N…

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Interview with David Meerman Scott

Interview with David Meerman Scott

I was introduced to author and speaker David Meerman Scott a few years ago via his best-selling book The New Rules of Marketing & PR which I reviewed right HERE. David immediately commented on my blog post and replied to me on Twitter, meaning that he 100% practices what he preaches about genuine, thoughtful engagement! I thought I would be cheeky and ask him to be the next person to be interviewed for my Getting Naked With series and I was thrilled when he agreed. David is a straight talking, straight forward, no nonsense kind of guy which means that he replies to emails super quickly, uses social media in real time and is fast to react to the news stories around him. It is this honest, professional and inquisitive nature that has led to a stack of published books, speaking engagements that take him around the world and the ability to ’news jack’ his way into the media (more on this later so keep reading). Here, I ask the questions to David Meerman Scott:

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

David Meerman Scott: I grew up in Connecticut on the USA East coast and then I went to school in Ohio at Kenyon college. My first job was in New York City on a bond trading desk of all places – which I hated. Then I went behind the screens because I loved the technology, the data and the news that was going through the systems like Dow Jones and Reuters and Bloomberg so I wanted to work in the financial news and information business. I started doing that, moved to Tokyo when I was 26 years old to start the Asia office of a Wall Street economic consulting company. I did that for a couple of years and then joined Knight-Ridder which at the time was the second largest newspaper company in the United States and I was their Asia Marketing Director, specifically focused on real time news. And that was great to give me an opportunity to see how real time news worked because I have been using those ideas for a very long time since then. And then I ended up being in Asia almost 10 years – Tokyo was about 7 years, Hong Kong was 2 years and I moved to Boston about 20 years ago – I’ve been in Boston ever since – I really like the idea of Boston. It’s been a great spot to live, it’s got a great airport because I travel a lot, I’ve got a vacation house on the beach area here outside of Boston and I really like it. I studied economics, that had absolutely nothing to do with what I’m doing now which is kind of neat. I didn’t do very well in school because it was kind of boring for me but I did enjoy learning the things that I liked.

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NakedPRGirl: What was your big break?

David Meerman Scott: Well based on the fact of what I’m doing now the biggest break for me was the fact that I got sacked from Thomson Reuters in 2002. It was great because the fact that I got fired meant that I had to figure out what I was going to do next and that allowed me an opportunity to start my own business back in 2002. Initially for the first few years I did consulting around public relations and marketing – I did that for around five years and then in 2007 the first edition of the New Rules of Marketing and PR came out. As that book launched, it hit the International bestseller lists and that drove speaking engagements. Then I stopped doing consulting which I have not done since. So my biggest break was getting fired – how about that right?

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about your business, what is the idea behind it? How did you come up with the business plan? And name (I hear there’s a good story behind the Meerman)?

David Meerman Scott: I have 4 lines of business right now: I run a one-person business, I have no employees but I have tons of people I work with virtually. And the four lines of business I have are:

Paid speaking engagements – I do 30 or 40 a year around the world which I absolutely love.

I generate book royalties and my books sell pretty well so it’s actually a reasonably strong part of my revenue stream.

I also sell several different online programs – I have one on Newsjacking.com and I one called New Marketing Mastery and those online learning programs generate significant revenue for me

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I serve on advisory boards of companies – like HubSpot for example, where I’ve been an advisor since 2007. Rather than take cash for that work I take equity which has been great for me because three of the companies I work for have an exit which generates revenue for me.

Meerman is my middle name – there are a whole bunch of David Scott’s out there – one who was an Iron Man triathlon champion, a David Scott who is a member of Congress, a David Scott who walked on the surface of the moon and so rather than compete I use my middle name Meerman in my professional endeavours. This has been a really important aspect of my branding in that I am one of one rather than one of many.

NakedPRGirl: How did you come to write your first book? Is it something you always wanted to do? What tips do you have for people looking to get published?

David Meerman Scott: My first book was actually a novel called Eyeball Wars, the first novel about an Internet start-up company. I just had that book in me, I had to get it out, I was eager to get that book out. The second book I wrote was my first non-fiction book, it’s called ‘Cashing in with Content’. It was ahead of its time – it was the first book in the world on content marketing and if I had called it ‘Content Marketing’ it would have been a very different book. However, I called it ‘Cashing in with Content’ which was a truly horrendous name and therefore it didn’t get much notice – but it definitely was the first book about content marketing. The third book I wrote – The New Rules of Marketing an PR was the one that hit perfectly in terms of timing, just when people were looking for what’s going on the web in PR and Marketing and now is in its 6th edition. I’ve written 10 books altogether: some other one’s that I’m known for is ‘Marketing Lesson from the Grateful Dead”, ‘The New Rules of Sales and Service’, ‘Real Time Marketing and PR’ and a book called ‘Marketing the Moon’ which is the Marketing aspects of the Apollo Moon program that’s being turned into a movie that will be released in the July of 2019.

NakedPRGirl: The industry is moving so fast that you’re now on the 6th edition of your international best-selling book The New Rules of Marketing & PR. How have you seen your industry changing over the last few years?

David Meerman Scott: Interestingly, the strategy around marketing and PR that I talk about which is that you need to create content to get noticed as opposed to just trying to spend money on advertising or begging people who are members of the media to get noticed – that strategy has not changed. So over all of the 6th editions from 2007 until the most recent edition the strategies are the same. What’s changed are the techniques and the tools. Twitter didn’t even exist when I was writing the first edition of the book, Facebook was only for students when I was writing the first edition of the book. MySpace was the most important social network when I was writing the first edition of my book so lots and lots of things have changed over the years so for example when Instagram came around that need to get added to the book, when Google started to index blogs in real time that needed to get added to the book, when Google eliminated Google Plus that needed to get deleted from the book, because they have shut it down. The main thing that changes as well is that I always have new examples of success in the new editions of the book which is why it’s important to do that.

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NakedPRGirl: In the UK we’ve seen many much-loved magazines and online news channels going into administration and closing down so as you know PR is evolving. Where do you see it evolving in the future?

David Meerman Scott: Yes, magazines and newspapers are closing down, the media is changing. When everyone can be a media company what does that mean for professional media companies? That’s the big question. At one-time media was scarce, at one time you needed a printing press, you need a television studio, you needed to have a huge infrastructure to create media and that meant that the media business enjoyed a period of time where they could print money if they did a decent job. Newspapers in cities did extremely well because they could sell advertising, because that was one of the few places you could advertise. Now it’s changing completely and what we need to realise as PR executives is that the media is way more than traditional media, the idea of getting noticed is way more than traditional media. it’s everyone – it’s all of us. And rather than just focusing on how you can get some else to tell your story the main thing I see happening, which has been evolving for 15 years is that you can tell your story yourself. That’s really important to understand as PR people. We don’t just have to have the media write about us and what’s interesting there in my opinion is that if you do a great job in telling them the story yourself; through a video, through a blog post, through speaking from the stage, through a fabulous Twitter or Instagram feed or whatever the media may find you. I love the idea the you can create this stuff yourself.

NakedPRGirl: One of my favourite parts of your book, is the cocktail party analogy where you explain that social IS social and shouldn’t just be one-way sales traffic. In a world of algorithms and advertising, do you think being friendly is the best way to excel on social media?

David Meerman Scott: So I love this analogy which I put in ‘The New Rules of Marketing and PR’ that social media and online communications is like a fat, honking cocktail party. So you’ve got all different aspects of that cocktail party going on and so how do you interact with people at a cocktail party? Well the way that you interact is that you go in and you meet a few people, you have some great conversations, you share, you let other people talk, you might share a little bit about what you do for a living but that’s not the dominant thing you do when you go to a cocktail party. And that’s so different from how most people participate in social media because what most people do is that they focus way too much on the idea of trying to pitch their own products and services. That’s like going into a cocktail party and yelling at the top of your lungs “buy my product’ and nobody wants to hear somebody at a cocktail party trying to pimp their own products – it just doesn’t work that way. So it’s much better to focus on just acting like a normal human being.

NakedPRGirl: I noticed in your blog post that you are a fan of mixing business and personal life on social media – do you think that is one of the hardest points to grasp as a brand? I always say for journalists and PRs especially, we have spent a lifetime being behind the camera and behind the scenes, and suddenly we have to embrace self promotion. Do you have any tips on how we get comfortable with this?

David Meerman Scott: And yes you did notice that I love the idea of mixing business and pleasure in your personal life on social networks and with content because I think people really want to do business with other people. They don’t want to do business with a big nameless, faceless organisation – they want to do business with other people. So the more that you put yourself out there the more that you can have people gravitate to what you do – I’m very convinced of that. And I think that it’s important for people who work in organisations to understand that the more you can get people who work in our organisation to come out from behind the curtain and be human beings, the better it is for that brand to personalise themselves.

NakedPRGirl: I noticed your recent website redesign (which looks great) resulted in a 359 percent increase in traffic by working with web strategists IMPACT. How important is it for us to work with experts when making big changes?

David Meerman Scott: I did redesign the website both from the visual aspect but also what’s going on in the back end of the website and it has had an amazing impact on my search engine traffic. People who have commented on my new redesign so they love it. It was really important – one of the things I did was I moved my blog onto Davidmeerman.com and that’s helped a lot because I was actually competing with myself, I used to have a different blog URL and I was competing with myself for search engine traffic which I silly but that’s what I did and I’m glad I changed it. I worked with the people from Impact Branding and Design and I was really important for me to work with someone who was an expert both in the visual branding aspect as well as the back end technology aspect and that was an important aspect for me.

NakedPRGirl: How do you manage your blog and social media workload – do you have a team? Are you a planner and a scheduler? And do you get techy in the back end?

David Meerman Scott: I just do it because I enjoy it and my focus is that I tend to do one blog post a week and a video now and then and I’m on Twitter every day several times a day – I check the news every day because I’m always looking for something for newsjacking. And I’m always thinking of images that would be interesting to post to Instagram. So for me it doesn’t feel like work or workload, it doesn’t feel like a chore because I constantly have it in the back of my mind and I tend to do Twitter during downtime: waiting for a meeting to start, waiting for the show to start if I’m in the audience and we’ve got 10 minutes until the curtain comes down. Instagram is basically, when I see an image I push it out there – I don’t think “oh I must do an Instagram now”.

NakedPRGirl: Instagram has completely changed our industry and it is hugely influential in terms of driving sales. So many businesses are focusing on social media, what advice would you give them to utilise this platform?

David Meerman Scott: I think just be yourself, don’t try to focus on your own products and services. I think a lot of organisations are spending too much time on that whereas I think what’s more interesting is focusing on stories and images themselves.

NakedPRGirl: Let’s talk influencers; social media is particularly criticised for transparency on ads and has also been open to manipulation from those seeing to fake their likes, followers and engagement. Do you think we are doing enough to regulate the industry?

David Meerman Scott: If you look at the movie about the Fyre Festival as an example – this was a Festival gone horribly wrong and which was originally promoted by social media influencers. It’s really important that influencer recognise that as influencers they have a tremendous responsibility. I don’t know if I would consider myself one but many people consider me an influencer in different aspects – whether that has to do with music, marketing, PR or travel. So I’m very careful if there is something I am talking about that I am in some way related to. For example, I am on the HubSpot advisory board and HubSpot is also the blogging platform that I use but if I ever talk about the fact that I am a HubSpot customer I will always say that I am on the HubSpot advisory board. That is so it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to promote them without talking about the fact that I also have a business relationship with them. So it is very important that there is transparency around the idea of influencers.

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about ‘newsjacking’ in PR & Marketing. Is there a standout example you use to demonstrate? Or anything recent which would have been a great story to jump on?

David Meerman Scott: Interestingly the term “newsjacking” was originally was used in the 1970s in the UK to talk about people who stole a package of newspapers in front of a news stand that they eventually sold. What I did was I applied that term to the idea of following what’s going on in the news and then creating something (a blog posts, a YouTube video, a tweet with a hashtag, a live stream) where you inject your take on that news. So it’s essentially real-time PR, but the most important thing is that it has to be instant and right when there is a breaking news story.

An example in my world is that I focused for several years on the US Presidential Election cycle of 2016 which is the one where Donald Trump was elected President. I followed the candidate for two years before that election and very early on I prediction Donald Trump was going to win because he was the most real time candidate. Then when he did win, I had an area of expertise that the media was looking for because everyone was confused as to why Donald Trump won. I did a blog post saying the best marketer was elected president and that got me quoted in a whole bunch of publications, it got me speaking gigs because my area of expertise was suddenly in demand. So what you need to do as a newsjacker is just understand that, no matter who is reading this right now everyone one of us has an area of expertise that we can push content out in real time.

NakedPRGirl: I’m a hybrid of an old school PR dealing with press releases and print media, and part new world PR where I’m focusing on social media, content creation and influencer relations. Do you think these will co-exist / merge together or will the digital side eclipse our need for old school media methods.

David Meerman Scott: I believe that Media Relations is a subset of Public Relations. The problem is almost everybody thinks that they are the same thing. PR is simply how a person or organisation deals with its public and that can take many different forms. You give a speech that people will hear, you communicate with people directly – perhaps at your store, you are active on social networks putting your content out there, you write a book to showcase your expertise. All of these are parts of the wider set of Public Relations. The narrower set of Media Relations is how you work with members of the media – reporters and editors, and bloggers and influencers – so that they may want to write a broadcast about you and I think those are two different things. 20 years ago it was the same thing because we didn’t have any other way of getting our information out there except form going through the media. Now there are a lot of different opportunities instead of going through the media so those are two different things.

NakedPRGirl: What advice would you give to those looking to get into the PR & Marketing industry?

David Meerman Scott: Really important – I would suggest that you have to create content that shows who you are; write a blog, do a YouTube channel, so you’re not saying “here’s my CV I want to get into the industry”, rather you’re saying “here is the blog I made, here is the YouTube channel I made – I am a PR person already” even if you’re just a student that is something anyone can do.

NakedPRGirl: You’ve travelled the world speaking at conferences and worked with famous faces around the globe. Do you have a particular career highlight that stands out?

David Meerman Scott: I’ve been speaking at the Tony Robbins events now for about 5 years and I absolutely love it. They are fabulous events with a huge audience – very energetic – lights and sound and it’s absolutely wonderful. I love the stage. People think “why in the world are the Rolling Stones still doing concerts when they are in their 70s” and I totally get it. There is a wonderful think about being on the stage and it’s something I want to do when I’m in my 70s as well, 20 years from now. It is absolutely fascinating.

NakedPRGirl: What are the top books on your book shelf?

David Meerman Scott: I almost never read marketing and Public Relations books, I might skim them. I do read books by Seth Godin, he’s my hero, I love everything he’s written and always read them as soon as they come out. Mostly I’m reading things outside of marketing and Public Relations – I read about music, I read about the media, I read about arts, I read novels and I think what is really important is to focus on being very well versed in a wide variety of subjects rather than being really narrow.

NakedPRGirl: Where would you like to be in ten years time?

David Meerman Scott: I want to continue what I am doing – I want to be on the stage until I can’t even be on a stage any more. I want to continue to serve others, I want to continue to make a difference in educating people – I don’t know what I will be educating people on in 30-40 year’s time but I want to continue to be doing so.

Visit David Meerman Scott’s website – https://www.davidmeermanscott.com
Take a look at the Apollo Press Kits – here. Buy David’s Books https://www.davidmeermanscott.com/books
Follow David on Twitter
Follow David on Instagram

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