July blog

2 July

Carol and Matt at Masters Installation

It was another one of those – this is history in the making today – when I attended the installation of the new Master at Stationers’ Hall. Welcomed the company of my friend and colleague #MikeDaly of #GreatVideo who was responsible for getting me to join the guild.

12 July

The end of the second week in July and I’m still chasing my tail as I dashed across a good part of West Surrey to get to the #SurreyRuralEconomyConference organised by #SurreyHillsEnterprises at #CranleighSchool.

I was late but keen to attend as I believe the rural economy is going to be at the very heart of some of the key day-to-day aspects impacted by a looming no-deal Brexit and it was my first Surrey Hills event since become a member last month.

I’ve found fortune has a way of looking after us, if we’re prepared to meet it half way. Today a fellow late arriver was Professor Richard Murphy, whom I’d recently met with regarding the project I’m working on with the News & Mail. Amazing! We agreed to meet and chat in the break and then as we were given the nod to enter the conference I found myself taking a place in the seats reserved for press.

I fully intended to move in the break but then realised that Secretary for the Environment @MichaelGove MP for #SurreyHeath was saying some interesting things and certainly for the @Woking_NewsMail, especially its Chobham readers so I was back in reporter mode. Fortunately I’d come armed with my digital voice recorder and of course always have my shorthand. Cranleigh School’s a bit of a wifi dead zone it seems, so attempts to message the newsdesk for questions proved useless. Luckily @JackFiehn, whom I recognised from @BBCSurrey, let me know Gove was doing 1-2-1 interviews and I could pull out some of the touchpoints we’d been running in the paper to ask Gove a couple of questions as well – but pretty sure he realised I was pitching in the dark.

Gove talk

Great to touch base with some of the farmers I’ve either worked with or connected with, #TimMetson, who I’d linked into work for a catering client that has led to a field to plate write up in the showcase magazine for the farmers’ union, @NFUCountryside. Also after many emails and phone calls got to meet #BillBiddell who I sourced for reporter @NickyPatrick1, who wanted an interview with someone who could talk around field to plate. Also glad to say hello to #IanJones of @LLLHillHouse  who I’ve also introduced to Nicky and is now looking forward to doing an interview with her in September.

19 July

Never, ever underestimate the skill of TV presenters! Talking to a camera is not an easy job and reading from autocue as if you’re talking off the top of your head is also a skill. #MikeDaly of #GreatVideo spent the morning at my office doing the final takes for my website – I mean it all morning! Imagine how cross I was with myself when I had finally got through a take without a hitch and was so relieved I pulled a victory face at the end – too soon for us to edit it out! Thought I’d include one of the unrehearsed, non-autocue takes we did alongside a photo shoot with @MattPereira.

That A-Team moment

26 June 2019

It’s always satisfying when a client appreciates a good job but today I felt like quoting Col ‘Hannibal’ Smith: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

news & mail

The client on this occasion was the Woking News & Mail, which I’ve been working for for over two years and helped it to increase the volume of its sales by 20%. I had persuaded the Terry Tidbury the paper’s Managing Director to consider a new project and though initially very interested and supportive, I knew he was a bit anxious about the plan which saw us this morning at the University of Surrey. It didn’t help that we couldn’t find the office we were meant to be meeting our hosts in but I had put in a lot of preparation work so I was confident.

Read moreThat A-Team moment

No place like home

9 June 2019

Back in England and a train journey into Waterloo, London, surprised me because in comparison to my journey through the suburbs of Paris, I’m struck by how clean and pretty everything looks. Today I’ve been trying to do my bit as a Freeman of London by volunteering for my guild, Stationers’ Guild as it opened its courtyard garden on the City of London’s Open Garden Day.

Carol with Stationers guild

Being a member of Stationers’ is a matter of great pride for me. The day I was formally accepted and swore my allegiance I was asked to sign its huge vellum registration book. At that moment I felt I had become a part of history and each second felt timeless.

Read moreNo place like home

Back to France June 2019

Saturday 8 June 2019

Yesterday I found myself heading off for a flight to Paris, just three days after returning from my daughter’s wedding in the south near Carcassonne. This time my destination was just outside Paris at St Germain-en-Laye.

I had a slight feeling of trepidation as it was the first time that I was meeting the communications team for YRSA Communications, part of the newly formed business established by my client of two years, Yves Romestan. So it helped that having had breakfast at the very civilised Fortnum & Mason’s champagne bar at Heathrow’s T5 my lovely waiter slipped me a truffle I’d been eyeing with my bill.

view of Paris
View of Paris

Read moreBack to France June 2019

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