Friday, 20 February 2015

Something Pinteresting For The Weekend...

Happy Friday!

Here's something pinteresting for this weekend.

I am a sucker for some pretty packaging and love a fancy tin.  These sweet & happy tea tins by Karel Capek from Japan are just my cup of tea.  Check out their website for more pretty illustrated packaging to feast your eyes on.

 These tins can be found on my pinterest board Graphics Fix, which is where I collect lots of images of gorgeous packaging, branding and graphics.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Mum's The Word...


Lot's of new designs for this year's Mother's Day are now listed and ready over on my website, Folksy and Etsy shops.  I did most of these designs in the autumn just before the Christmas run up and am so glad that I did.  If I had left it any later to work on them, I honestly don't think these would be ready now...

I've set up a page on my website for Mother's day with plenty of ideas for cards, gifts and wraps...

I'll also be sending out an email newsletter in the middle of next week with the usual 20% off discount code for subscribers - so if that's you, please keep an eye out for that email to get your code... 

Have a lovely day!

Best wishes

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tea & Tips - Advice from a PR Expert on The importance of a good headline


It’s Wednesday again, which means the next post in my mini-series of business and marketing tips from my PR expert friend, Rachel Burks.  If you missed the previous posts in the series you can catch up by clicking the links here:

Here's Rachel with today's subject...

The importance of a good headline

A headline is arguably the most important thing about a story. A good headline grabs the readers’ attention and makes them want to read on. It should be short and snappy, often alliteration or puns work well.

Tabloid newspapers are particularly keen on using witty headlines. Here are three of our favourite examples from The Sun and the reasons why they were so effective:

Freddie Starr ate my hamster – The Sun, March 1986.

One of the most famous headlines of all time, this is effective because of its incredulity. Shock is another successful tool in headline writing. While people might not remember the finer details of the story, the headline certainly sticks in the memory.

How do you solve a problem like Korea? – The Sun, October 2006.

Reacting to North Korea’s nuclear test, The Sun borrowed a well-known phrase from musical film, The Sound of Music. It’s also a nod to popular culture as a reality TV programme called ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ was being broadcast at the time. It’s a great play on words, although possibly viewed as trivalising a very important issue at the time.

Brown Toast – The Sun, April, 2010

After then Prime Minister Gordon Brown was recorded referring to a female voter as a ‘bigot’, The Sun decided on a short and sweet headline. Keeping things simple can be very effective and helps to create something memorable too.

So the next time you write a press release remember that the header can be just as important as the contents. However also take care with the audience you are appealing to as what may be humorous to some may not appeal to others.

Thank you Rachel – next week she will be sharing some Tea and Tips with me about the value of twitter, I hope you can join us.

Best wishes

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tea & Tips - Advice from a PR Expert on How to take newsworthy photographs..


Welcome back to my Wednesday mini series filled with marketing tips from my PR expert friend , Rachel Burks.

If you missed Rachel's previous posts in this series, you can catch up by clicking the links here:

How to take newsworthy photographs

While you might think a media release is all you need to get your information out there, there is one small detail that will really help lift and get your story or product covered – a picture.

A picture really is worth a thousand words in the worlds of journalism and public relations. One perfect press photo can make all the difference to editorial and online coverage.

There are a few rules that need to be followed in order to snap the perfect pic. We’ve put together some useful tips you can follow next time you find yourself with a camera at the ready. But the best thing you can do is ensure you get a professional involved. After all your image means everything…

Say cheese

You’ll be half way to snapping the perfect photograph if all of your subjects are looking at the camera, with their eyes open and their best smiles on.

Limiting the number of people in a photograph is a great idea as it will be easier to ensure everyone is smiling and looking directly at the camera. A photograph of people looking the wrong way or with closed eyes just won’t be taken up by the media.

Please, no cheque presentations

Believe it or not, newspapers really don’t like cheque presentation photographs. They are possibly some of the most boring photographs to receive. Again, it’s all about putting your quirky hat on and thinking of a fun and interesting way for a person to receive their cheque or donation.

Cute, cute, cute

Everyone likes to see a picture of a lovely, smiling child or a cute, fluffy animal. Cuteness pays off. But it must relate to your press release/story.

Oh so glamorous

Glamorous ladies and VIPs really make attention grabbing photographs. If you’re planning an event see who you can invite to be in the press shots that fits this bill.

Pick up a prop

A photograph of someone holding an item is always much more interesting and the quirkier the better. But it must relate to your press release/story.


Small, bad quality photographs are useless. Newspapers and publications need big, high quality, colourful photographs. 

It’s all in the details

Local publications always need the full details of everyone in the photograph. This means full names, ages of children, job titles and where they come from. These need to all be spelt correctly and need to be done from left to right, back to front as the people appear in the shot.

Ensuring you have permission from everyone is also key, nobody wants to open the newspaper and spot a photograph of themselves that they didn’t give permission to be printed.

Strike a pose

A good press photograph is always posed. Whether someone is presenting a person with a prize or there are a group of people.

It’s behind you!

Always keep in mind your setting and the background of the image. Make sure there is a nice, clear background, preferably without signage or other people ruining the shot behind you.

It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in the photograph is close together and there are no gaps or empty spaces.

The quirkier the better

A fun and interesting photograph is more likely to be used alongside your media release. Have your subjects posed in an interesting way or find a funny angle for your image. Let your imagination run wild and you’ll be sure to chuckle when you see it in print. But it must relate to your press release/story.

Thank you Rachel – next week she will be sharing some Tea and Tips with me about the importance of a good headline, I hope you can join us.

Best wishes

Friday, 6 February 2015

Something Pinteresting For The Weekend...

Happy Friday!

Here's my something 'pinteresting' for this weekend.  
I want to share a designer crush I have.  
I want to stand up and say, I absolutely adore the wonderful, colourful world of Swedish designer Gudrun Sjoden!

Here's her website to visit her bright and beautiful world:

May these bright and beautiful product images make you drool over her work as much as I do...

I've 'pinned' plenty of Gudrun goodies over time, you can find some of those pins on my 
'Playing House' board by clicking the link.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Tea & Tips for writing media/press releases from a PR Expert


Welcome back to my Wednesday mini series filled with marketing tips from my PR expert friend , Rachel Burks.

If you missed Rachel's previous posts in this series, you can catch up by clicking the links here:

Tips for writing media releases

Public Relations – what’s it all about?

You may have the best business idea ever, but that’s no good if people haven’t heard of you.

Public relations or PR offers a cost effective way to boost your profile in the local, national and trade media.  As a business or organisation, attracting customers who will buy your product or service is paramount.  PR returns some excellent results at relatively low costs when compared to buying paid for advertising space.

PR is how you publicise and build enthusiasm for your business in your market place and, in successfully doing so, creating widespread awareness and boost sales.

Media or press releases

We call them media releases because they can be sent to many different types of media – such as radio, TV and websites as well as newspapers and magazines.

How to write a media release

Your releases need to include the following information:                   

  • Who is involved?
  • Why are they involved?
  • What are they doing?
  • How are they doing it?
  • When is it taking place?
  • Where is it taking place?

The headline, which must not include too many large words or be difficult to understand, must grab the media’s attention and the first paragraph must provide the ‘hook’ to make them want to read more.

On average a typical newspaper will receive more than 100 media releases a day and in order to stand a chance at having yours printed it needs to stand out and be easy to understand.

Use simple and easy to understand words and short sentences. Do not use jargon or complex ideas.

If the journalist is interested in what you have written they will be able to see why their reader, listener or viewer will also be interested and then they will use your release.

Interview each other to find out what the who, why, what, how, when and where of the story is. Write these down and establish what the headline and the hook for your story should be and why – what’s different, what’s unusual, what would make people interested?

The media release should be no more than 300 words, cover no more than two pages and include quotes from named people complete with their titles or a description of who they are for example, the organiser, the member of staff involved, the Principal etc.

It may be a good idea to look at newspapers and see what stories you are interested in and identify why you read them and what made you look at them. Pull out the who, what, where, when, how and why.

There also needs to be contact details for someone who is happy to talk to the media should they call. You also need to consider photography and whether there is an opportunity for this – would it enhance your story, if you are trying to pre-publicise an event could you mock up a shot and if so what?

Thank you Rachel – next week she will be sharing some Tea and Tips with me about how to take news worthy photography, I hope you can join us.

Best wishes