Tuesday, October 30, 2007

'Are You A Photographer?'

'Are you a photographer?'

So began an somewhat curious conversation in Marlborough town centre earlier today. It was a fairly astute question from one of a pair of teenage girls who were stood near to my car as I wrestled with what was obviously a camera bag.
'Yes, amongst other things' I replied.
Somewhat warily as there was a distinct challenge in the girl's question. I had visions of becoming a news story when I was robbed at knifepoint by two teenage girls in rather affluent Marlborough!

'You should be ashamed' she practically spat before they stormed off.
Actually more of an angry flounce really.

Somewhat taken aback and looking around for the punchline I was reminded of a party I was at the day after Princess Diana died in Paris, and had to leave early after suffering the wrath of alcohol fuelled party people who had made the clumsy leap from 'Police Press Officer' as I was then, and 'Murdering Paparazzi Scum'. Actually it possibly had more to do with me pointing out that if people had not devoured publications who bought such photos there would not be an market for them.

Anyway, back to bewildered in Marlborough... it took a comment from a client I was visiting to bring everything into sharp focus and neatly explained my exposure to teenage wrath. It turns out that tabloid villain/darling and abundantly misunderstood drug addict/musician Pete Doherty is staying in the town and gigging at the local pub as he 'gets clean'.
I had a camera bag and was obviously therefore trying to pap Pete. I hasten to add I know lots of photographers and none of them would ever go to work suited and booted like I was!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What Bill & Hillary Clinton Can Teach Us...

Channel surfing late last night I found myself flicking between the US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton chatting to Ellen DeGeneres and her husband and former US President Bill Clinton chatting with David Letterman. (Which always sounds like: “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyvid Letterman” in my head after watching too many episodes in my youth).

American politics has fascinated me since I studied it many moons ago and this was only encouraged when called upon to explainer the finer constitutional points of The West Wing to bewildered friends. And few things are quite so entertaining as an election campaign the other side of the Atlantic. Okay, quite a few things are probably more entertaining, but bear with me.

The most fascinating thing about the Bill and Hillary Show was how ‘on message’ they were – but not in the clumsy way our politicians all parrot the same key phrases. It was much more subtle and so polished; using different words they told the same stories, answered questions with common answers and gave such a slick performance to almost be convincing. Okay, they are two very talented operators, but it was still impressive.

It made me think about how many companies fall down on the concept of being ‘on message’? Every day Morgan PR visits organisations and we often learn all about how they wish to be seen in order to carry out public relations projects; however, it is not uncommon to also meet staff who is unaware or indifferent to the messages we will be pushing out.

Makes you wonder if we actually can learn something from politicians!

Friday, October 26, 2007

New VIP Phone Service from Verbatim

Verbatim is well known in West Berkshire and beyond as The Phone Answering Service; it handles thousands of calls every day for companies large and small (including Morgan PR) so that no caller is faced with an engaged tone, endless ringing or hated answer phone.

Praised by customers for its professionalism, Verbatim is rolling out the red carpet with a new VIP service that adds a personal touch that has enhanced the service yet further.

I found out more when Morgan PR met with Joint MD at Verbatim, Graham Hill for a feature in the November edition of the Newbury Business News.

Essentially clients who provide Verbatim with the telephone numbers and other details of the clients, suppliers and even family and friends will benefit from a VIP service that recognises these callers and gives them the personal service you hope your own team would. Probably they'll do it better!

It would natural to assume such personal service comes at a price, but this is not the case, as Graham told me with a smile: “We were asked by some clients whether we would be charging a premium for this new service. However, we are most certainly not because we believe we should do our best for all of our clients no matter what they spend with us.”

For Morgan PR Verbatim has been one of our most powerful tools. Soon after we signed up we were contacted by a company in Andover looking for PR support; it turned out they had turned to Google to look for local public relations services, and Morgan PR was among the top three in Basingstoke, Andover and Newbury and the company called all three. Morgan PR was the only one who answered – or rather Verbatim handled the call for us. That one answered call led to initial business worth £2,000 and a lifetime value which will far exceed that. I know that without Verbatim that business would have been unwittingly lost.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why Comment on Blogs?

With everything I have written about Action Coach recently it seems rather fortuitous that I stumbled across a request for information about them on an American Real Estate Network called Active Rain and more specifically the blog of Jason Romrell, an attorney in Boise, Idaho in America.

So it was good to be able to post a comment to answer his question and hopefully answer the same question for other people too! It is one of the best parts of the blogging community.

One disappointing aspect of the comments allowed on this blog is how they do not trackback, so had I not written my web address within the text – although that does not appear as a hyperlink – no-one reading my comment could had contacted me to find out more information. Nor does it especially add to the search engine optimisation of either blog. This entry on the other hand...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Police Weapon - the Blunder Bus

No fewer than 17 people have rushed to email Morgan PR the above photo that must surely be causing some red faces at Hampshire Police? Is it an Advertising blunder?

That exhaust pipe! Did nobody sign off on this job? Or, is it acutally a very cunning bit of viral marketing, after all, who has looked at this and not noted the fact is shows a police officer with a police community support officer (I've not actually seen them together in real life). Or the force's website address?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Learn to Create Raving Fans at Profit Club

Learn to Create Raving Fans at Profit Club

We are still fizzing with entrepreneurial energy after Vegas (at least we are when the jet lag isn’t try to tempt us with a goose down escape strategy) and today’s trip to the fortnightly Profit Club provided ample evidence.

For those not familiar with Action Coach’s Profit Clubs I can best describe them as a fortnightly networking meeting – with generous levels of business coaching included. It is even more than that because so much more than simply selling to the people your fellow attendees know, you swap advice and experiences and grow together. Because let’s not forget, as good as we are at delivering Morgan PR’s core offerings of public relations, photography, web design and mystery shopping, we are still learning the mechanics of running a successful business. Anyone who says they are not is quite possibly in denial!

The Profit Club, run in Faringdon by award winning Action Coach Sally Rainbow-Ockwell, has always been exceptional value and leaving aside the invaluable business coaching, the referred business has been fabulous.

However, today everything seemed to have even more resonance than normal; clearly motivated by the Entrepreneur’s MasterClass in Las Vegas we are redoubling our efforts and making the most of this investment.

We meet fortnightly on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 8am to 9.30am and you would certainly be welcome to join me as a guest, however more specifically I thought your curiosity might be piqued by this month’s training session: ‘Creating Raving Fans’. The two hour session, from 10am to midday on the 13th November at the Gateway Business Centre in Faringdon (more info on the venue, which is just over the downs!) and will be delivered by Sally. Normally for non Profit Clubbers the charge is £49.50, but this event will be free to celebrate our first birthday.

So, spaces are limited, but if you would like to come along just let me know pronto. Naturally, if anyone wants to come as a guest to the 8am Profit Club immediately before the training session, they are more than welcome.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Leaving Las Vegas

The final blog entry from Vegas, or rather the Virgin Atlantic flight that speeding us back to Blighty; finding ourselves ahead of the game more from prudence than any gambling success we have shouted for an upgrade – or at least succumbed to the canny selling of the exit seats, with their vast legroom, for a mere $110 each.

So with this laptop perched on the ingeniously designed tray that folds out of the armrest, I am brimming with thought on the ‘Bright Light City’ we have left twinkling in the Nevada desert behind us.

I like Vegas. From the gaudy facades to the chiming slot machines, there is actually a rather charming honest dishonesty to the place; it is so off the chart that it creeps back on near the top again.

I had always held Vegas, in all its vulgar glory, as a pinnacle of customer service. When I first visited almost 10 years ago the obsessive pursuit of every spare cent a gambler had – and plenty they didn’t – contributed to making the client king.

From the ever present cocktail waitress who would saunter up with a smile if you so much as slowed near a slot machine or gaming table, through to the universal belief that queues were bad because queuing people don’t spend anything.

However, as surely as the sprawling buffets have been replaced with quality and often gourmet restaurants, customer service has suffered as Vegas has become an entertainment centre as much as it is a gambling Mecca.

What’s more the boasted 98% occupancy rates on the Las Vegas strip and often beyond have further gone to reinforce the arrogance that allow hotels cut corners on customer service safe in the knowledge that starry eyed punters will still keep coming.

Take The Venetian for example; accurately marketed as one of the most luxurious hotels on The Strip, its often shoddy customer service – from the snaking queues to schoolboy errors – we were missing robes for example and asked for some to be brought. The first time we got six new sets of towels and the next we got a new pair of pillows – and each time Priority Room Service would leave a message cheerfully checking we had received the robes! Eventually, a kindly maid sorted it out.

Add to that the day the room was not made up, the surliness of too many staff and it is little wonder that we are confident we will not return to The Venetian.

However, all that said, we would still return to Las Vegas, because for all the diminished fawning over everyone from the lowliest gambler to the record breaching whales, this is still a very entertaining city.

But of course, they clearly know that.

Incidentally, a special mention in dispatches must go to the cheerful air stewardess who sat in the jump seat opposite and kept us entertained throughout the flight: Sophia Moret was a credit to Virgin Atlantic and more chipper than some cabin crew I've encountered. We are particularly indebted to her advice on how to deal with seat stealing bandits who were paying attention to the free $110 seat next to us!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Realty Bites

Our last day with Brad was a monster! Never more evident was it that this three day course must surely be the one that normally lasts for five that he mention in his book ‘Billionaire in Training’.

Not to say it wasn’t good stuff; it was just that there was so much of it and it was a pretty steep curve for someone resting on the lowly, but essential, first rung of the property ladder.
I’m not about to give away the family jewels, or rather the strategies that will have our daughter’s great grandchildren talking about us in reverent tones in he really not so distant future, but make no mistake, just as he did yesterday with businesses, Brad did today with real estate.
Near incredulous figures were amply evidenced and further evidenced by his anecdotes of how he had already done all this. And that is something fundamental about what Brad delivers: this isn’t just theory from someone who went to Business School; he had done it and is still doing it.

Something interesting that emerged during the meal breaks was the relative disparity on the amount that different people had paid. For example the UK price was £4,000 for a pair of tickets with a set of five DVDs included, which were filmed when Brad delivered this course last year in New Zealand.

Australians had pad a similar figure of A$7,500 without receiving any DVDs – what they did reveal was how Brad’s pitch to his various home crowds had whipped the curious up before announcing there were only 20 places – creating a frenzied 10 minutes of signing up. One Aussie thought, although couldn’t be sure, that more than 20 had successfully signed up.

The stunner though was the poor Americans who had apparently paid a whopping US$10,000 each for their tickets to this event. Without any Freebies either!

This isn’t a criticism (although I wonder if my American counterparts would see it this way) and it surely attests to Brad’s undoubted business acumen that he set prices the different markets would sustain.

Action Coach had shouted a free bar to mark the end of the three day course and let’s face it, however close we all might be to our first millions; nobody turns down a free drink! Or three.

We had kinda planned to head out on the town for our last night; however our rather full brains - or perhaps blossoming billionaire wannabe prudence - prompted pizza on Priority Room Service (there is no ordinary room service!) followed by an early night!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blue Man Group Live in Las Vegas

Not surprisingly day two had left our heads bulging only marginally less than our wallets will no doubt soon be, so it was nice to be heading out for a typical Vegas night (gambling excepted) namely dinner and a show.

Also in true Vegas style we were being ‘comped’ by Action Coach to say a generous sorry for a admin mistake. So we and Karen and Graham Chapple were invited to join Action Coach’s Marketing Director, Jodie Shaw and Brad Sugar’s Personal Assistant, Jane Moharich for the typical Vegas night out – dinner and a show!

Actually, it was a show then dinner. We went to see the fabled Blue Man Group, one of the resident shows at The Venetian, and it was bonkers. Total all enveloping madness that confounded, entertained and astounded in equal measure before the entire audience was swamped in acres of glorified toilet roll, that fed from the back of the theatre and we all played it forward until it ended in a mega heap at the foot of the stage.

Dinner was at Taqueria Canonita, the Mexican restaurant among The Venetian’s 20 or so eating venues. Good food and generously measured margaritas combined with some entertaining conversation.

It was fascinating to be given an insight into this globally successful company by two people so close to its founder. It was also interesting how much of the learning from the first two days of MasterClass filtered through into the conversation – Jane mentioned about a company offering holidays and multi-million dollar resorts around the globe – individual properties worth millions – that were available through membership of some illustrious club with an equally expensive buy in.

Well, with our newly installed ‘millionaire mindset’ (Cheers Brad!) we were working out how we could afford the actual properties, not membership of a club where you share them!

The Action Coach Secrets Are Revealed

After the inspirational brain dump of yesterday, day two of the Entrepreneur’s MasterClass began on more familiar ground as Brad Sugars imparted many familiar strategies and a few new ones that he and his team of Action Coach business gurus teach clients the world over.

Or as Brad put it: 'You can't have a business that works without you as the owner until you first have a business that works, and prior to that, it's got to be both commercial and profitable'.

So it was a crash course in the ‘six steps’ that I already know from Profit Club and Action Coach’s 90 Day Planning Seminar. These are the stages that any truly successful business must achieve.

Those six steps are:

  1. Mastery

  2. Niche

  3. Leverage

  4. Team

  5. Synergy

  6. Results

Now whilst I have learned this points before there was something truly exceptional about hearing them explained by their author; it breathed a powerful energy into the concept that once again had ideas sparking in my head so fast it hurt!

Brad quickly assumed we would all soon have sparkling examples of such businesses – in fact it was clear some disciples in the room were already there! This allowed him to move on to the dizzy heights of buying, building and selling other businesses – how about that for a paradigm shift? It is not just about building our existing business; it is about taking it to the next level.

Much of the afternoon was spent exploring the franchise model; after all if you can build one successful business model, what would happen if that could be duplicated elsewhere. Think of the passive income that would come from other companies following your lead?

I’m not about to reveal Brad’s secrets here in this blog – you can buy his books and DVDs or even shout for the next Entrepreneur’s MasterClass if you want to know what I know now! Anyway, to reveal it here would be akin to revealing a recipe for homemade explosives. It would be wrong and although you might be curious you would wisely not try it. If you did you would probably end up hurting yourselves and possibly others!

You could always join the local Profit Club! I cannot wait to get back to the Profit Club I attend in Faringdon with my own Action Coach guru Sally Rainbow-Ockwell to start putting this stuff into reality – I already feel like I am practising much of it – this time it will be for real!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Entrepreneurs of the World Unite

It Begins! Somewhere over 300 people from the UK, America, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa gathered together today in Las Vegas to hear Billionaire Brad Sugars deliver his Entrepreneur MasterClass.

Much of today was about instilling in us the mindset we need to have to become the successful entrepreneurs we all long to be. Delivered with near evangelical fervour at times it was powerful and motivating stuff.

Brad has that easy going charm that comes with being Australian – and no doubt being a billionaire helps too! But seriously, what he is proving very adept at is illustrating each point he makes with evidence from his own rise to riches – and not in an unhelpful ‘look at me’ kind of way that you might expect, he genuinely explains what he means, and checks back to ensure we’ve all understood his point.

The seminar is rattling along at a considerable pace – you get the feeling that a five day course has been squeezed into three days totally unabridged! Actually Brad keeps rounding on the audience as if they are not paying attention when they do not respond to his questions. The truth is we are all still furiously scribbling away trying to capture the point he just made!

There are real strategies here; real ways to develop not only our business but invest in other businesses too and on how to create real wealth. I mean real, inter-generational wealth that will have descendants born long after we’re dead talking about us as the origin of the family fortune.

It was little wonder that plans for a night out were abandoned for an early supper and an early night as we tried to digest the mountain of information we had been given.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Start Spreading the News... It's Graham's Birthday Today

After a day yomping up and down the strip and marvelling at the host of clever marketing ploys that are designed to part a fool and his money in the briefest of time frames, we headed to New York, New York for a celebration...

Graham Chapple, of Garden4You, notched up a birthday here in Las Vegas and with his focus set on a juicy steak we headed for New York, New York where we correctly surmised you could probably find a convincing facsimile of a New York steakhouse - this is the casino with a third size Statue of Liberty outside - alongside the Brooklyn Bridge and Coney Island roller coaster!

However, blissfully there was a wait for a table at Gallagher's Steakhouse (a good sign on a Tuesday in a city as accommodating as Las Vegas!) so we looked for alternative entertainment... and stumbled into perhaps my favourite place in this crazy place: The Bar at Times Square - or more specifically that should be The Piano Bar at Times Square!

For this is the home of the globally renown duelling pianos. I first saw them in 1998 and it was fabulous to see that the pianos were still duelling, the crowd still whooping and a host of crowd pleasing tunes were belted out.

You can nominate tunes with a crisp dollar or five and they will encourage more people to chip in before the chosen tune is played - however if you step up with a $20 they will do pretty much anything - such as help Graham celebrate his birthday.

More specifically they invited him up to sit on the piano while they improvised a smutty ditty to the tune of Itsy Witsy Teeny Weeny Little Polka Dot Bikini! Graham was a good sport, the crowd loved it and a complete stranger bought him a beer. Gotta love this city!

Once at Gallagher's were were positively drooling over the menu and were quite dehydrated by time the food eventually came; and then we were left stunned! I had a sirloin steak that would have fed our family for Sunday lunch! However Graham had a monster hunk of meet that was possibly a fairly mature calf going on size alone. The flavours were fabulous by I was defeated by mine, although the birthday boy did his real justice!

Here we are at the optimistic part of the meal:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bright Light City...

Morgan PR is working the other side of the Atlantic this week; a seminar with Action Coach founder Brad Sugars has tempted us to the neon-lit delights of Las Vegas.

Actually this blog post has begun life somewhere over the mid west United States on a laptop, but could only be posted from the luxury of The Venetian Casino and Hotel, as apparently if my laptop so much as sniffs for a wireless connection at 32,000 feet... well, that height might diminish somewhat sharply!

We had been sat neatly in a row, but discretion being the better part of valour we moved forward mid flight into a pair of empty seats where we are allowed to use the recline function. A rather thick-necked Daily Mail reader behind my original seat made it quite clear he did not want his interaction with news of illegal immigration, single mums and gypsies complicated by my seat reclining. I believe that Lady Luck is related to Karma, so I am sure he will have a fruitful trip to Vegas!

We are flying with Virgin Atlantic and the staff are consistently charming and friendly and the seats – when permitted to recline – are comfortable with good legroom. Actually, it is nicer on board, even for what was 10 hours, than it was for nearly three at Terminal 3 Gatwick.

Seriously, what is it about British airports that makes them so damn depressing? They are cramped and dirty, with a limited range of overpriced goods being sold by charmless staff who are already looking through you to the next captive customer. Compare what we offer air travellers with the likes of Kuala Lumpur’s airport in Malaysia and well, it is embarrassing.

Anyway, that gruesome experience is behind us – and thankfully when you fly home there is not normally any need to hang around in the airport.

Naturally, it is the business insight of a billionaire that will be the highlight of this week in Las Vegas, however, if we break it down into further categories then the gourmet delights of this entertainment capital will surely win our hearts, minds and stomachs!

The British chef Gordon Ramsey has whetted our appetites with the US version of Hell’s Kitchen, which while based in Los Angeles, features Vegas quite heavily as two previous winners have ended up at restaurants there.

Courtesy of Google, I found an interview with Ramsey in the Las Vegas Sun, which has set me salivating sooner.

“Las Vegas is the Monte Carlo of America. I have never been in a city like it that houses so many top international chefs,” Ramsay said. “It’s not a playground with a few casinos. It’s a culinary capital of talent from around the world.”

Ramsay said he would one day like to join that talent.

“It would be an extraordinary opportunity. I would love to get to Vegas.”

Well he might love to get to Vegas, but we are already here!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

Next week the Morgan PR blog will be coming to you live – well live-ish – from Las Vegas, Nevada where we will be attending a seminar with the founder of Action Coach, Brad Sugars.

It was back in July that we attended a seminar at Newbury Racecourse for a two hour dose of the Australian Billionaire’s wisdom and ultimately a sales pitch to bring thrusting business owners to Las Vegas for his ‘Billionaire in Training’ business seminar.

We’d been wavering until Sally Rainbow-Ockwell, whose Action Coach Profit Club I attend, encouraged us to talk to the man one on one and, well, clearly you don’t get to be a billionaire entrepreneur without learning a thing or two about selling! Or it might just be that infectious Aussie charm that makes party invites hard to refuse – even when they involve yours truly making four hour drives across the outback (but that’s another story!).

So dark and early we will be on our way – that is myself and fellow director and wife Diane Morgan. Also on our flight are Graham Chapple from Garden4You and his wife Karen, who is the dynamo behind both Irun (formerly Web Build Pro Newbury) and the invaluable local directory, The Best of Newbury.

With the seminar not starting until Thursday and Graham celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, we have a strong suspicion that this trip might not be all work.

However there will be plenty of work and hopefully some marvellous networking opportunities. Although delegates will be coming from around the world, there were also some 22 people who signed up at the Newbury event for either this seminar or the one in December.

So although more used to promoting our public relations in West Berkshire, who knows what we will achieve once in Nevada!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Good Food at The Ibex in Chaddleworth

Regular readers will recall Morgan PR's productive working lunch last month with Lucy Venables from marketing company Red Prosper at The Ibex in Chaddleworth. You can read about that visit to The Ibex here

Well with more business to discuss it seemed foolish to try and pick another mutually convenient pub and risk not being served the delicious dishes that this Downlands venue has a burgeoning reputation for. And that was the right decision and Landlord Andy did us proud once more.

Among the range of business discussed was a rather exciting project for the Federation of Small Businesses. We are going to be offering a 'One Minute Masterclass' next month for networkers wanting to polish that essential 60 second pitch that helps others understand your business and what you can do to

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Discussing the Finer Points of Beauty Treatment

Working with people you like should be a guarantee rather than a bonus in business; wouldn't we all be that much happier? Today I was left in particularly good spirits as work and friendship embraced in a delightful synergy!

Morgan PR was back with Naseby Needles after far too longer absence to discover what acupuncturist Julia Stanbrook has been up to recently.

She has added some new beauty treatments to her repertoire including 'Gua Sha', essentially a non invasive version of her trademark Face Revitalisation Therapy. Both are genuine alternatives to the toxic injections better known as Botox.

For many, acupuncture is better known for its effective treatment of a host of ailments from headaches and migraines to skin conditions such as acne, excema, psoriasis and rosacea; however the approaching autumn and winter months will bring an increasing number of clients to see Julia for ailments peculiar to the season.

Or as Julia eloquently puts it: “There are ailments acupuncture helps throughout the year, but autumn and winter bring their own demands. I help a lot with conditions exacerbated by the cold and of course pain relief following slips and falls in icy conditions.

“Depression is something acupuncture can help with and while I see clients throughout the year, for some the dark winter months do make it worse, but the stresses of the season can also take their toll.

“Equally, your immune system can take a real battering with everyone coughing and sneezing around you as they seem to do the moment the clocks go back; however acupuncture can give your immune system that boost it needs. With your immune system at its best you are much less likely to concede defeat to cold or flu.

“Acupuncture is not just about preventing those unwanted bugs, it can also help those that you’ve picked up over the summer, perhaps after a long flight, and that you just cannot shake off. In the same way that boosting your immune system can fight off infection, it can also combat existing conditions too.”

Monday, October 08, 2007

Supercool Brand in Newbury

Stepping into the newly redesigned store in Newbury is like passing through a portal into the future; yet among the stunning array of equipment on display are iconic designs from the past that any audio visual connoisseur will recognise. This is Bang & Olufsen.

With the new appearance and latest products also comes a new approach at the store, which is opposite Newbury’s historic Clocktower in The Broadway. Visitors are positively encouraged to try out the products to understand first hand their quality, performance and ease of use.

After spending mere moments in this store it is easy to comprehend why Bang & Olufsen was voted within the top five supercool brands in the world, up there with iconic names like Aston Martin.

I am also rather glad that for some odd reason I left my wallet behind today! There is some seriously sexy kit in this store and some serious prices - although the charming owner, Phil McMichael was at pains to explain: “Bang and Olufsen is not expensive when you start looking at it in terms of the design, build, components and the future proof nature of the products,” Phil explained. “They are aspirational products and our customers might buy a home cinema one year and come back the next for a music system and so on."

Morgan PR was visiting this emporium of iconic design to research a series of articles we have been commissioned to write.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Newbury Business Group - Breakfast with Insults

Friday means breakfast with the Newbury Business Group - and that was a sparky affair this fine morning.

The dynamic nature of putting such strong business characters in a room together with fresh coffee and a seemingly universally mischievous sense of humour can make this premier networking session entertaining in the extreme.

Think of it as Breakfast with insults!

But good natured. Today we had quite a few guests with us - all of whom were spared any of the ribbing - and several said they would be coming back too! If only for the entertainment.

If any of my regular readers would like to join us for a cooked breakfast (I think there is fresh fruit too) at the Donnington Valley Golf Club on a Friday morning - and have the chance to pitch to a room brimming with some of the most enthusiastic business people in West Berkshire

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Little Bit of Paris in the Heart of Newbury

‘A little bit of Paris in the heart of Newbury’ is the affectionate description that those in the know have for Le Petit Square, the authentic French Bistro in Newbury’s Market Place. Since opening to rave reviews in 2005 Le Petit Square has won legions of fans among discerning diners who whether committed Francophiles smitten with the traditional cuisine or those who appreciate its honesty amid the soulless restaurant chains that offer bland imitations of European dishes.

Seriously, why would anyone go to (insert name of High Street chain restaurant here!) in preference to an original venue with fresh authentic cooking? Morgan PR was back at Le Petit Square meeting with the ever charming Suzanne Hemchaoui to write a piece for the Business Yearbook the Newbury Weekly News is publishing.

If further proof were needed, pick up a copy of the Michelin guide: Le Petit Square and indeed The Square, its sister restaurant in Weavers Walk, Newbury are both mentioned in the revered Michelin Guide – earning a Highly Recommended and are the only two restaurants within the town to earn such an accolade.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Paint Me

Adorned with paintings, the fridges of parents across the country bear testimony to the artistic aspirations of children; now thanks to enterprising Hungerford Company Paint Me such artistic flourishes can be captured indelibly on tee-shirts.

Morgan PR discovered all about Paint Me today for a forthcoming feature; the company was founded by entrepreneur Catherine Hickson and through a unique printing system is able to simply capture anyone’s artistic efforts on not just tee-shirts, but fridge magnets, bags, mouse mats and much more besides.

The company has been running parties and events for over a year and enthusiasm for the unique printing system has grown fast with outlets now open at Leeds Castle in Kent and Chessington World of Adventures. Closer to home regular workshops always draw a crowd at the Living Rainforest in Hampstead Norreys.

Catherine summed up the success:“There is something about the process of taking the artwork and printing it on to a tee-shirt or something else, that elevates it, turns it into something truly unique and impressive that never fails to delight not only the artist, but everyone else too."

The Paint Me concept is a spinoff of the core business supplying exclusive paint to fabric designers in the fashion industry. Catherine bought the company three years ago and quickly recognised the potential.

If you fancy discovering the delights of Paint Me for yourself, there is a weekly workshop every Sunday, from 10am to 4pm at above Caffè Uno in the Market Place, Newbury.