Monday, 26 January 2015

My new desk!

I knew I'd be doing a lot of writing today, so I'm thrilled that I have a new desk that has improved output by 220%!

Ok, I lie. It's not a new desk at all, but an old dining table that I've painted with blackboard paint!



Members of the West Berkshire Athena Network will be wearing red in support of the British Heart Foundation when the Newbury north group meets on Wednesday, 11th February.

Businesswomen are invited to wear red to the meeting and to donate to the “Wear it. Beat it” campaign while networking at the Chequers Hotel. Business Development Training during the meeting will be provided by Lis Allen from “The Vagina Dialogues” on "It's not only what you say - it's the way that you say it.”

On Friday, 13th February, the Hungerford group meets at Audley Inglewood where Debbie Miles will discuss how to get the best out of networking if you’re not a natural extrovert and Sam Crowe from Make it Be will offer guidance on writing a marketing plan.

On Tuesday, 17th February at the Regency Park Hotel, Claire Burdett of The Media Marketing Co will be explaining to the Thatcham group how social media interaction can optimise Search Engine traction.

On Wednesday, 18th February at La Tasca, Margaret McDonnell will speak to the Newbury South group on how to write a press release.

Debbie Miles, regional director of The Athena Network, said: “February is the month of love and so we’d like to support the British Heart Foundation. We’d love to see any guests try out our unique meetings and will be encouraging our members to get into the spirit of Valentine’s by showing their love for each other by giving testimonials.”

All meetings include lunch and take place from 12pm to 2pm. For more information, Debbie can be contacted on


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A (the A-Z of getting press coverage)

Top ten lists seem to be in vogue at the moment thanks to the likes of Buzzfeed, and I am constantly being asked to put together 10 tips on how to get yourself featured in the press.

But 10 bullet points aren’t really enough to cover it, so I’ve decided to do an A-Z of press coverage (without stopping to think what ‘Z’ might be).

A is for “Apply the ‘So what?’ test.

I always suggest to clients that they should have a regular brainstorm on things that are going on that might be of interest to the press. Each idea deserves a bit of airtime and discussion but before you take it forward, picture yourself speaking to a journalist and them asking you “so what?”

Is it of interest to their readers? Is it a talking point? Is it interesting? Is it inspiring? Is it controversial? Is it relatable? Ultimately, is this story of interest to anyone apart from you and your friends?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

West Berkshire Mencap's annual race day

Thanks Berkshire Life!

Friday, 9 January 2015


Really thrilled to see this one in print - it's a lovely story about an entrepreneurial beauty salon owner. Thanks Edinburgh Reporter!


A beauty therapist has realised her dream of owning her own salon in Marchmont after a financial makeover from RBS.

Amy Ramage has been a therapist for nine years, providing a range of beauty treatments including facials, nails, waxing, eyelashes, make-up, body treatments and “fake bake” tanning.

Amy recently approached Stuart Shand, business specialist at RBS and together they were successful in attracting a small business loan, allowing Amy to find a suitable 600sq ft premises on Beaufort Road, Marchmont.

Amy, aged, 30, has additionally used the loan to carry out a thorough refurbishment, giving the salon a warm and light feel. She has created a spacious area at the front of the salon for nail treatments and make-up and has additionally created a spray tan room and two further treatment rooms. She now plans to recruit a part-time therapist and expand the team further as the business grows.

She said: “To get the perfect premises, I needed a little help in finding somewhere and fitting it out exactly how I wanted it. The loan from RBS has enabled me to create a homely and cosy feel to the salon, with wooden floors and antler chandeliers with a hint of purple running through the salon. I wanted to create an environment where people could come and relax.

“I have been in the industry for many years and know there are lots of salons in the area so I was keen to create something a little different. My salon feels spacious and homely yet is bright and inviting too.”

Locating the salon in Marchmont was important to Amy too as it’s her favourite part of the city, and has also lent itself to attracting passing trade and new customers.

She said: “The move has given me the freedom to create my own space which my clients love. It’s also given me more space to offer new treatments. The plan now is to keep growing and to build a good team of staff who can offer the same high standard of treatment and good customer service that are crucial in this industry.”

Stuart Shand, RBS business specialist, added: “Amy is an experienced therapist and is committed to continual learning and development. We were impressed by her attitude and passion for her services and the brands she works with and wish her the best of luck with her new venture.”