Getting Naked With Interview with Journalist Luke Chilton

Getting Naked with Journalist Luke Chilton
I first met Luke Chilton at a party approximately a hundred years ago where there was a free bar (standard) and if memory serves me correctly, an up-and-coming singer called Emeli Sandé was providing the en…

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Luke Chilton

Getting Naked With Interview - Journalist Rachel Tompkins

Getting Naked With Rachel Tompkins

When I first met Rachel Tompkins, it was in the dusty office of the The Ripple Student Newspaper at Leicester University and I was so in awe of her I was completely mute (not the best first impression huh?). She was the Deputy Editor, I was the new Features Editor, she was totally ice cool and I was not really sure how I’d landed the job. Fast forward to a (few) boozy nights out and we bonded over a love of double denim, writing, and l was extremely lucky to join her friendship circle. A lifetime has passed since then, double denim has actually gone full circle and become cool again (THAT’S HOW OLD WE ARE!), and she has excelled in her career going from strength to strength starting out in magazines and recently using her vast experience and little black book to go it alone in the freelance world. She is the hardest working person I know, she’s precise, she’s thorough and she will always help a friend in need. Rachel has also seen first hand the moves and changes in the industry from pre-print-loving Facebook to post-apocalyptic-digital Snapchat generation. She’s also been busy producing two millennials of her own, and also shares her experience of motherhood with regular articles over on MushMums. Rachel has spent a lifetime interviewing people, so imagine how excited I was to finally turn the tables and put her in the hot seat!

Rachel Tompkins Interview Journalist

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I was born in Oxford and grew up in a town near there. I lived there until I went to The University of Leicester at 19.

NakedPRGirl: What did you study? I know you were Deputy Editor at the student newspaper, was that important in your career path?
I studied English Literature at The University of Leicester. While I was there I started working on the student newspaper, The Ripple, and loved it. By the time I left I was the Deputy Editor. It was sometimes tricky juggling the workload of the paper (which was all done on a voluntary basis) with my degree work, and social life! But I learnt a lot there, made some mistakes too of course, but had great fun too. It was definitely important on my career path because during my last year of University I applied for a Postgraduate course in magazine journalism at City University in London. During my interview I had to talk the tutors through my work on the newspaper and other work experiences I’d done at the BBC and various other publications.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: How did you get your first job at Take A Break?
Towards the end of my postgraduate course at City University we had to do a placement and I got one at Take a Break magazine. After two weeks they offered me a job! I went back to finish my shorthand qualification and accepted the job offer, starting work as a junior writer.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: You spent many years at Pick Me Up magazine, how did you find your stories and what has been the most interesting one?
Whilst I was at Take a Break magazine I was headhunted by what was then IPC Media to work on the launch of a new magazine, Pick Me Up. There I had the privilege of working on a huge variety of stories, campaigns and franchises as I worked my way up from a writer to the Features Editor for a hub team that produces Pick Me Up and Chat. One story that sticks in my mind is one which I did fairly early on in my career there. It involved getting the ferry to the Isle of Wight to interview Stephanie Slater, the estate agent who was kidnapped in 1992 and held hostage for 8 days. She had changed her name to Phoenix Rhiannon and was an incredibly kind and genuine lady who welcomed me into her home and talked to me openly. But I spoke to so many interesting people, from Kerry Needham, who’s son Ben has been missing since 1991, to a 15-year-old girl who wanted to talk out to tell people why her dad had killed her uncle – because he’d been abusing her. Together, we managed to get a judge to lift an order prohibiting her identification so that we could publish her story. There were a lot of more light-hearted, sometimes shocking stories that we published too – like the woman who breastfed her dog, and the women who get paid to squash men!

Rachel Tompkins Interview


NakedPRGirl: You’re now freelance, how does that differ? What do you like about it?
Now I’m freelance I mainly work from home, which saves the commute. But it also means I miss the banter that came with working in a busy office. On the upside, I like the fact that I can write for a huge range of publications and platforms though, from magazines to newspapers to apps and even copywriting for businesses.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: How has digital changed your industry and what do you think the future of journalism will look like?
When I first started working at Take a Break the letters bag was huge every day and I don’t think Facebook even existed then and I doubt the magazine even had a website. Now, of course, pretty much all the correspondence magazines receive is digitally, whether it be email, Facebook messages or texts. It means that you can have a much more immediate interaction with readers and contributors. However, with the rise of digital media it’s inevitable that print sales have declined. The sales figures speak for themselves, but you only have to look around on a train nowadays to see how many people are reading things on their phones compared to how many are actually reading a magazine. It’s a worrying time for journalists but people will always want to read things in some shape of form so I think there will always be a demand for journalists, they might just have to be a bit more flexible about how they work and who for!

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: You also write for MushMums, how important have mummy bloggers and forums been to becoming a parent?
There are an incredible amount of mum blogs out there; some fantastic, some awful! For me, I felt they were a great way of connecting with other women, and sometimes men, who are, or have been, experiencing what you are. It can provide support, advice, validation about your feelings or some much-needed humour! The danger is of course that, like many types of digital media nowadays, you can compare yourself to them and feel like your life isn’t as glamorous/exciting/perfect, so I think it’s important to try and keep perspective, and remind yourself that lots of them have professional stylists/photographers and so on!

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: What’s your favourite social media channel?
At the moment I’m loving Instagram. I’ve gone a bit off Facebook lately and prefer the fact that there seems to be less spam on Instagram. It feels more immediate somehow too.

NakedPRGirl: Do you think of your role as part marketer?

NakedPRGirl: How important is networking to you? Who inspires you to spend time with?
One of the fantastic things about working as a freelancer is that you’re constantly making new contacts when you’re pitching stories or being approached about work. It’s obviously important to maintain these contacts and I find that meeting people face to face is always best. You can get to know someone so much quicker in a shorter space of time in person. And I feel lucky that some of my best friends, both new and old, have been made through what began as work colleagues or contacts and then developed into trusted friendships. I love spending time with old colleagues who now work elsewhere, as it’s nice to compare notes. But it’s always interesting to have a few drinks with people in different areas of specialism too, as that can often provide a different insight into the industry.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: How do you structure your working day?
I work part-time now because I’ve got two young boys. So on the days I’m working I drop them at school and nursery and am online straight away. I try to get interviews done in the evenings as that tends to be when people are available and home from work. Then I can get to work first thing in the morning writing it up. I don’t tend to stop for anything until I’ve got to collect the boys, because now I only work part-time my time is so precious. I know some people can work with children around but I’ve never been able to, so I tend to work most evenings and parts of the weekend too and try to juggle pitching ideas with writing commissioned pieces.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: Do you have any advice for aspiring journalists?
Work hard and always try to deliver the absolute best you can. You have to be determined too, develop a thick skin and not take knock-backs personally. When I went for my placement at Take a Break magazine I spoke to someone who already worked there first and she told me to get in early in the morning because that’s what the editor did. It was invaluable advice and showed him that I was serious about the job. And try to be kind to people. It’s a pretty small industry so you never know when your paths will cross again!

Rachel Tompkins Interview

Rachel Tompkins Interview

NakedPRGirl: What’s your style? Any wardrobe staples?
After having my boys I went through a style crisis. Not working in an office in London any more meant that I was struggling to keep up with trends and find clothes that were practical but looked good too. Now my body’s back to normal and I’ve become a bit of an Instagram addict I love following a few different people on Instagram for ideas; The Frugality and Dress Like a Mum are good. I’ve also got a couple of really stylish friends who I shamelessly get ideas from. Recent purchases have been some boyfriend jeans from Asos and Gap, and I’m a sucker for a tasselled earring lately! I like Uniqlo for Breton tops and plain round-neck jumpers too.

NakedPRGirl: Are there any brands/people or magazines you’d love to work with?
I’m really enjoying the diversity that comes with freelancing so I couldn’t really pick out one brand or magazine in particular.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your strategy for the future? Where would you like to be in ten years time?
If I’m totally honest I’m all about the ‘here and now’ at the moment. I feel grateful to have two wonderful boys and I love having the flexibility to be around for them growing up, whilst also doing a job that I love. I’m keen to grow my freelancing in the future and work with new titles – both in print and digitally, as well as doing more copywriting for brands and businesses.

Rachel Tompkins Interview

If you have a story or want to commission Rachel check out her website:
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Top Festivals on Instagram

The humble festival has exploded over recent years into a colourful Catherine Wheel combining music, food, yoga, face paint (AND glitter bras?), we’ve moved from wellies to high end Hunters and from day festivals to VIP experiences. In the world of marketing, where the VIP pass can be exploited by brands to offer influencers, celebrities and journalists alike a little taste of the high life on their time (and money) in return for exposure, we’ve seen social media become one of the key ways to sell the ‘festival experience’. Sure who doesn’t want backstage access, free food, copious amounts of drinks and zero queues to the Portaloo {answers on a postcard}! Festivals can communicate through high quality images to thousands quickly and easily through social media and they are doing it well bringing the FOMO out in all of us.

Claire Etchell NakedPRGirl Festivals

My festival or should I say gig fashion vibe is usually a flattish boot (check these from Jones The Bootmakers), short shorts from Zara and a essential J Brand Denim Jacket.

Here’s my top festivals on social media who give me major marketing FOMO:

COACHELLA – The Fashion One

Oh Coachella what is NOT TO LOVE? Always happens early in the year when the UK is FREEZING thus massively appealing to celebs and social media stars who are starving for dreamy content. It is always beautiful and sunny and so heavenly with the likes of Rihanna. Alessandra Ambrosio, Sophie Turner and Kendall/Kylie Jenner so it is not surprising that fashion brands like Revolve are getting involved. They have 1.2M on Instagram and it is light, bright and professional. I wanna gooooo!

The little things 📷: @evoake

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Glastonbury has been an absolute beast – in a good way. It is now so big that fans will argue over the line up (which is like the holy grail of marketing – if people CARE that much)! The Eaves family have kept it down to earth and from all the amazing experiences, it is truly one of the only festivals on my bucket list. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is raining and turned into a mudslide or if BREXIT has just happened on the outside, everyone seems to have an absolute blast. Their 230k Instagram followers will enjoy their distinctive flags for daytime and neon lights and fireworks in the evening.


2 days #Glastonbury2017

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Claire Etchell NakedPRGirl Festivals Instagram

Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace

When I first moved to London, I couldn’t quite work out where Kensington Palace Gardens ended and Hyde Park started. Google informs me they are separated by water which starting at the Italian Gardens through The Long Water and opening up into The Serpentine which snakes around into a beautiful lake where you can go sailing in a little pedal boat. Kensington Palace is home to the Royal family, famously home to Princess Diana for 15 years where the black gates became a shrine after her death 20 years ago and was somewhat recreated this year with balloons and flowers marking the anniversary. The palace is the best place to start exploring which is easy to find if you come in from the South via High Street Kensington tube or north via Notting Hill Gate (it’s halfway between them). Kensington Palace Take a tour inside Kensington Palace and this year you can also see the special anniversary exhibition called Diana; Her Fashion Story. If it’s a beautiful day, there’s plenty to do that’s free so start with a stroll around the grounds. CLICK HERE TO READ


Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens

Sunken Garden

My favourite is the garden which is just raised up at the side of the palace (you can reach this via a mini maze) and the gardeners must work all hours to keep it in tip top shape! This year it’s a White Garden in memory of the Princess of Wales who it is said admired the changing floral displays throughout the year (I’ve added Instagram shots so you can see how it has changed). This garden has a leafy archway which is in bloom from summer. It gets busy here so take your time going around and enjoy it. Afterwards you can have lunch or a coffee at the Palace coffee shop or something a little fancier at The Orangery. CLICK HERE TO READ

Sunken Garden Kensington Palace Gardens

Sunken garden at Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens - Sunken Garden

Sunken Garden Kensington Palace

Diana Gate - Kensington Palace Gardens

Queen Victoria & Prince Albert

After that you can stroll past the Queen Victoria statue and take a right down towards the bottom of the park to pick up the flower walk (no feeding squirrels here lols). This little path is a tranquil corner with benches so you can sit and read a book as you head towards Prince Albert memorial. The Albert Memorial is kind of the omnipresent Godfather of Kensington Palace Gardens, you feel like he is always watching you from his throne. It is an extravagant memorial (I mean, who wants a small one right?) and he towers high up above the park, glinting with gold with intricate paintings and carvings making this a work of art. There’s not tooooo much information to hand, so if there is a tour, it might be worth it….for example it is only Wikipedia that informs me this is 54m tall (yikes), took ten years to complete, cost £120k and it has allegorical sculptures around the base. It’s worth noting that Diana’s official memorial – the ill fated slide thingy is close by (just across the road) if you want to pop over and take a look but officially sits in Hyde Park. CLICK HERE TO READ

Royal Albert Hall

Albert Memorial Kensington Palace Garden

Albert Memorial

Serpentine Gallery

After that keep heading forward and you’ll pick up the edge of the river and Hyde Park and then you’ll spot the Serpentine Gallery. I popped in (for free) to see the Grayson Perry exhibition so it’s highly recommended and small enough to be a quick look round rather than a half day adventure. Grab a snack at the cool bar there. CLICK HERE TO READ

Serpentine Gallery Kensington Palace Gardens

Serpentine Gallery Kensington Palace

Serpentine Gallery - Kensington Palace Gardens

The Bridge

From there stay on this side of the river but cross the bridge where if you stand at a certain point for can SEE all the way to Westminster Abbey. You’ll see the main Serpentine Gallery on the corner here (if you’re thirsty for more art) or if not, head into the next entrance on the left.

Bridge Kensington Palace Gardens

Henry Moore & Italian Gardens

Walk along the river until you see the Henry Moore statue because if you look you can see all the way to Kensington Palace. Carry on to my second favourite places, the Italian Gardens which is usually very busy but tranquil and they’ve recently added an extra cafe there too so you can spend an hour by the fountains overlooking the Serpentine. CLICK HERE TO READ

Henry Moore Kensington Palace Gardens

Peter Pan and Parakeets

From here, walk along the other side of the river and you’ll come across the Peter Pan statue which is so magical with Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys all in a spiral. Carry on walking and if you’re lucky, you might spot the Parakeets which hang out here and tourists encourage with snacks!

Peter Pan Statue

Parakeets Kensington Palace

Parakeets Kensington Palace Gardens

Round the Pond and Back Again

Round the Pond and Back Again From here you can head right via tree filled paths and the magnificent statue of the Hot Guy on his Horse (not actual name) to the Round Pond which is a little duck pond in the middle of the grounds. Et voila! You will be back at the house.

I did this walk and took snaps in about two hours (I reckon it’s around a 5k walk) but there are deckchairs and plenty of places to eat and drink so on a lovely day, take your time! Make it longer and pop to Hyde Park too. CLICK HERE TO READ

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Albert Memorial Kensington Palace Garden

Guide to Italy - Sorrento, Amalfi Coast & Capri

NAKED PR GUIDE TO ITALY – SORRENTO, AMAFI COAST, & CAPRI – Italy is colourful and passionate and wonderful. It has fresh sharp lemons and the juiciest oranges and brightest flowers. It has narrow coastal roads that have been nicknamed Mamma M…

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Claire Etchell, Naked PR Girl at Ravello, Italy



“Claire was my PR and Marketing Manager for four years at Donna Ida so we worked closely together to build a marketing strategy for the Ultimate Denim Destination. Claire’s PR experience led to an increase in press coverage 30% year-on-year with a focus on luxury titles and targeting key editors"

Read The Full Testimonial

Claire was very well liked by the press and they felt very happy and comfortable with her, so much so that they were just as happy going to Claire as they were coming to me. We developed a press strategy of one-to-one appointments and special evening press dinners to encourage exclusivity with exceptional results.

She worked closely with our in-house creative team to build the brand and my personal profile within the fashion and business sectors, managing photo shoots and Look Books. Claire is loyal, entrepreneurial and strategic so when presented with a challenge she sees it as an opportunity.