Category Archives: Ethos public relations

Season’s Greetings 2018

It’s that time of year again where we look back on the previous 12 months and raise a glass to the next.

Mince pie - Ethos public relations2018 has been an important one for us as we reached our 20th anniversary. It is hard for us to believe that we have been successfully running our business for over 20 years now, starting out as we did in a small back bedroom in Manchester.

As with any business, we have had challenges and frustrations along the way, but we’re proud to be here still, offering the ethical public relations services that mean so much to us.

Of course, the nature of our work has changed dramatically over the years and much more of what we do is now online, whether creating and writing websites, managing social media accounts or designing leaflets and promotional materials.

The last 12 months have been interesting ones, as we have welcomed new clients such as Refil, a Dutch company that makes recycled plastic filament for 3D printers, and EAE Aesthetics, which offers medical and cosmetic skin treatments in the Midlands. It is also rewarding to welcome back clients such as Co-operative Futures in Gloucester, which organises the Future Co-ops conference every two years and which we are proud to support and promote.

We continue to work with a number of local Shropshire-based organisations, as well as charities and credit unions in other parts of the UK. In fact, our client base continues to demonstrate that we are willing and able to work with organisations all over the UK, and beyond, to help them communicate their business.

The next year looks set to be turbulent not only for businesses in the UK but for people too. We, like many others no doubt, long for the return of certainty and stability, so we can get on with our work – and lives – without unnecessary worry and stress. If ever there was a time for strong political leadership, now is the time, and we would urge politicians of all persuasions to put the country first, before their own interests.

Of course, if past experience is anything to go by, we will all muddle through and the rollercoaster economy we have become used to over the last decade will continue to excite us one minute and scare us the next.

Our Christmas break begins at lunchtime on Monday 24th December and our office will be closed until Wednesday 2nd January 2019, although we will of course be checking our emails, social media accounts and text messages, so do stay in touch.

It’s now time for us to enjoy our customary mince pie and glass of sherry, so it only remains to wish all our clients, suppliers, friends and future clients Season’s Greetings and a very successful 2019. 

EAE Aesthetics logo

Branding boost for Midlands aesthetics business

We were delighted to be appointed by EAE Aesthetics in Market Harborough, a new business offering a range of aesthetic treatments, to manage the development of their branding.

EAE Aesthetics logoOur first step was to co-ordinate the creation of an eye-catching logo which reflected the clinical credentials of the new business, as well as looking clean and modern.

Once the logo had been agreed, we were able to roll out the branding across a new website, leaflets and business cards, helping to create a consistent visual identity.

The EAE Aesthetics website outlines the client’s services, as well as providing background information about the business and contact details, in a clear and appealing way.

Liz Everett, owner of EAE Aesthetics, said: “I recently launched my aesthetics business after a long career in nursing – as a registered nurse, nurse prescriber and most recently as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. EAE Aesthetics provides anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers, as well as aural microsuction for earwax removal, and we needed to come up with some branding to help promote our services.

“Ethos public relations quickly understood our brief and within a couple of weeks had developed a strong new identity for us, which will help us to communicate our business – both now and in the future, when we introduce new services.”

Shaun Fisher, Director of Ethos public relations, said: “We were pleased to be asked to work with EAE Aesthetics to create their new brand and we are happy with how things turned out. We hope the work we have done will help EAE Aesthetics to grow quickly, providing aesthetic treatments by an experienced and qualified nurse.”

If you or your business would like to know more about the branding services we offer, or our range of marketing and public relations services, please do contact us today.

Business needs to change to avoid climate breakdown

In his latest blog Sean looks at how business should be reducing its dependence on carbon

All but the very sceptical now accept that our climate is changing and serious action is needed to slow down the damage caused to our environment.

The recent report by the UN international Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that we have about 12 years to ensure that we don’t exceed the 1.5 degree increase in global warming and has outlined some of the serious consequences of missing the target – even by only half a IPCCdegree Celsius.

At the time of its publication, there was much media coverage, which is great in raising awareness of this important subject, but there doesn’t seem to have been any significant business response.

As individuals, we all have a role to play in reducing energy use and thus global warming, but small changes by big businesses by definition have the potential to make a disproportionately large impact.

In the last few weeks, two examples of business practices which seem to take no recognition of the importance of climate change have stood out to me. In no way am I criticising the businesses behind these practices, it’s a competitive world out there, but they do highlight how big a sea change is needed in business thinking if we are ever going to reduce our dependence on carbon and perhaps save the environment.

First example. Recently, my friend’s car had to go to the garage due to a damaged AdBlue tank – yes, it’s diesel, that’s a whole different blog – but not only did the new tank have to come from mainland Europe the car had to be shipped from Wrexham to the North East of England to a specialist repairer. All of which was anything but zero carbon.

Today, businesses are becoming so complex and specialised that they build in even more carbon to their business operations.

Second example. Recently, we had to have a small wall rebuilt after an insurance claim. True, many of the bricks could be salvaged and were therefore reused, but the insurance company has a contract for such works with a building contractor. The work took two days and the builder drove 50 miles each way to undertake the work. Why wouldn’t the insurance company contract the work to a local builder, which would reduce traffic as well as reducing carbon emissions?

As I mentioned earlier, these examples are not unique to the businesses concerned and on their own don’t amount to much, but when you consider the imperative businesses have to grow and how many businesses will be doing something similar every day across the globe, the only conclusion I can come to is that businesses need a real shake up in how they operate.
To date, there’s little evidence that many are about to do so.

I hope I am wrong.

Ethical public relations versus fake news

For over 20 years, Ethos public relations has described itself as an ethical PR agency. We might not have known it back then, but what we were really saying was that we were against ‘fake news’.

Ethos 20 logoIn recent years, a number of things have contributed to the term fake news being bandied about, almost every time someone disagrees with some information or an editorial stance. This is not at all useful and is only going to increase mistrust of information and expert opinion.

In the PR context, what we meant by ethical PR was not engaging in spin but focusing on the real news behind a story. For many clients, especially in the charity and social enterprise sectors, this is particularly important as they have meaningful stories to tell supporters and funders and we believe this is best done with real, honest case studies and stories that demonstrate the real impact of their work.

Back in the 1980s it wasn’t fake news that made us develop our honest approach but rather spin and ‘kiss and tell’ stories.

Unfortunately, the transformation to fake news from this was almost inevitable and was supported in part by some bad editorial decisions by the media along the way.

It’s easy to blame editors, but a free media does need to be protected, and probably almost everyone working in public relations can cite examples of where really interesting, pertinent and newsworthy press releases have gained no coverage, while less socially useful information gets on air or in print.

Journalists aren’t social workers, but they do need to take a responsibility to their community and reflect what is going on in a balanced and holistic way. We have always subscribed to – and done our best to adhere to – the NUJ principles in our dealings with the media.

In a pre-digital age it was true that air time and newspaper space was limited, but that’s hardly the case now. Real, good quality and verifiable news should be able to find an outlet on trusted media sites to balance the seemingly endless rise of so called ‘news’ sites peddling opinion as fact.

Ethos 20 logo

New dimensions to PR: celebrating our first 20 years

Ethos public relations was established in Manchester in April 1998 and is still going strong. Here, Shaun, one of our directors, looks at some of the changes we have seen in that time and considers a new opportunity for the future.

Ethos 20 logo

Over the last 20 years, there has been a transformation in the way news is communicated, not just in how people access the latest stories, but in terms of how organisations reach out to journalists.

One of our first commissions was to write an article for a trade journal. The article was printed and published and that was that. It wasn’t posted on a website; it wasn’t shared on social media; it wasn’t ‘liked’ and ‘linked to’, forever present in the online ether. No doubt the article remains in a dusty archive somewhere, but for all intents and purposes it was never seen again.

In those days, it wasn’t unusual for a PR agency to put a press release in the post to a journalist, in anticipation that it would be used days, weeks or months ahead. Nowadays, like all of us, journalists track websites and social media channels for the latest stories – which can circle the globe within minutes – while doing their best to sniff out fake news!

As a result, most of our PR work is now online – writing and managing websites; handling social media accounts for clients; producing online newsletters, adverts and marketing materials and so on. To survive the many changes in our industry over the last 20 years, we have had to be flexible and adaptable, and no doubt there are many more changes to come.

For example, these days printing now means something different to us – something almost inconceivable 20 years ago – and that’s three-dimensional printing. Our latest client in our 20th anniversary year produces recycled 3D printer filament which can be used to manufacture a wide range of household objects, practical items, ornaments and small mechanical parts.

We’ve all seen the startling headlines about body parts being produced by 3D printers, as well as cars, houses, clothes and food, and although it might be some time before 3D printing replaces more traditional production methods, one thing’s for sure, it’s here to stay and the potential is huge.

For us, it seems, printing has come full circle. As printed publications, which once provided our bread and butter, have declined and moved into the online world, a new form of printing – 3D printing – has emerged to fill the gap.

And finally, talking of new dimensions, from day one we had a unique, ethical approach to PR, something unheard of in the late Nineties’ world of spin, and this is something we have stuck to over the last 20 years – not just because it sounded good, but because it was what we believed. Ironically perhaps for a PR agency, it is this authenticity, which goes beyond words, that has been the anchor of what we have achieved.

Mince pie - Ethos public relations

Season’s greetings 2017

As another year comes to its end, it has become our tradition to have a(nother) glass of sherry and a mince pie and to reflect on the previous year.

It’s now over three years since Ethos public relations made the move from an office based PR agency in Manchester to a more flexible Shropshire operation. During this time, we feel we have become part of the local community and have had the benefit of meeting and working with some fantastic local people.

We might now be based near to Oswestry, but we still have clients across the UK and as the nature of public relations changes from its broadcast and print focus to an increasingly digital and social media focus, we have enjoyed supporting clients with new website projects, conference preparations and product development, as well as traditional media and public relations.

Over the year, we have seen a number of fundraising events take place locally and a few have been less well publicised than we think they ought to have been. As we are passionate about local charities and fundraising initiatives we launched a PR service especially for that sector. More details are here. We really would love to work with you to help you raise your fundraising and business objectives.

Holly

Talking of fundraising, along with a number of other volunteers, we have started to plan a new music festival in Welshpool to raise funds to support the reopening of the Montgomery Canal between Shropshire and Powys. There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available to businesses and brands that would like to be associated with this. Why not take a look at www.musicforthemonty.co.uk and get in touch?

We will be closed over the Christmas break from lunchtime on Friday 22nd December until Tuesday 2nd January 2018, but, as we are firmly in the 21st century, we will be checking our emails, social media accounts and text messages, so do stay in touch.

We would like to wish all our clients, suppliers, friends and future clients Season’s Greetings and a very successful 2018.

New PR package for charity events

Ethos public relations has introduced a new PR package to help charities promote their events.

Director ShauPR for charity eventsn Fisher said: “Ethos public relations is passionate about helping charities, community groups and voluntary organisations get publicity for their activities. This isn’t just because it is our business but because we have a commitment to highlighting the valuable contribution made by charitable and voluntary action.

“Over the years, we have seen, and even attended, a wide range of charitable activities that haven’t been as successful as they could have been. Often this is because of time constraints, a lack of appropriate communication and marketing or simply a lack of organisational capacity.

“For most local charities part of the problem of organising a successful event is budget. Not many voluntary organisations can afford the rates charged by large public relations businesses. But that’s where Ethos public relations can help. As we are committed to helping local community efforts flourish, we are offering a bespoke package for local charities seeking to ensure their events are a success.”

For a set fee of £200 including VAT, Ethos public relations will discuss your event with you and give their opinion on the idea, work with you to ensure it is communicated suitably on your website, Facebook and Twitter, write a press release for your local media and upload it to appropriate listing sites and advise on photography.

Shaun Fisher added: “This whole package should not only help you get more visitors or participants to your charity’s event, but will free up your time so you can focus on the important job of putting the event together.”

Click here to find out more and if you would like to work with Ethos public relations to give your charitable work the boost it deserves, give Shaun a call on 07968 211664 or email info@ethos-pr.com.

Season’s Greetings 2016

HollyAnother year is almost over and once again we are raising a glass of sherry and tucking into a mince pie as we reflect upon the last 12 months.

Since our move to a new base near Oswestry in Shropshire almost two years ago, Ethos public relations is pleased to be working with a number of local businesses and charities, as well as continuing to support clients across the UK.

The nature of public relations has changed significantly over the last few years and we have adapted to meet these challenges, with much more of our focus now on website management and social media. Of course it is still nice to do traditional media relations and, even today, it is rewarding to see a press release we have written in the newspaper, or listening to an interview we have set up on the radio.

Thank you to all our clients for supporting us in 2016 and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.

We will be closed over the Christmas break from lunchtime on Friday 23rd December until Tuesday 3rd January 2017, but we will of course be checking our emails, social media accounts and text messages, so do stay in touch.

We wish all our clients, suppliers, friends and future clients
Season’s Greetings and a happy 2017!

Centre for Alternative Technology Revisited

In his latest blog Sean looks back at visits to the Centre for Alternative Technology

It must be about 16 years since I was last at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)  near Machynlleth in Mid Wales.

For those that don’t know of it, it’s a pioneering education charity based in a former slate quarry, which has used the site to trial a number of alternative technologies over the years, and today it is using many of them still to power the site.

When I visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in the early days of Ethos public relations it was to discuss an ethical online web portal, which one of our clients was involved in. Times have certainly changed as far as the internet is concerned and, no doubt, that’s true in the field of alternative energy technologies too.

View from water balanced cliff railway at Centre for Alternative TechnologyI remember arriving at the site of CAT the first time, after a beautiful train journey from Manchester, and being impressed by the water-balanced cliff railway which takes you from road level up to the visitor centre.

As with many of the technologies showcased at CAT, the cliff railway works using the simplest of technologies, namely gravity. The two carriages are linked by a steel rope and when one goes down due to the combined weight of its passengers and water tank, the other carriage travels up the cliff face, with some stunning views.

On my recent visit, another ancient technology was being displayed, though with a modern twist. Burning wood for cooking and heating can hardly be described as an alternative technology, given that millions of people around the world rely on it day in and day out, but at CAT there is an innovative display of boilers that use wood pellets to produce both electricity and heat. Obviously, managed properly wood is a sustainable fuel and so provides an alternative to fossil fuels. If we want to work towards a zero carbon economy, then this might be part of the solution.

For many years, I have thought that solar panels for domestic and industrial premises should be fitted as a matter of course instead of roofing tiles, rather than on top of an existing roof. At CAT, that’s what they have on the café.

Solar panel roof at Centre for Alternative Technology

Over the past 16 years many things have changed dramatically in the field of low carbon energy generation, whether that is the growth of offshore wind energy generation or the increasing number of homes with photovoltaic cells on their roofs, but what we still have not seen is a widespread belief in using alternative technologies from the start of a project rather than as an add on.

But there still seems to be a lot of antipathy to wind and solar, in spite of their obvious benefits. Ethos public relations has worked with community biodiesel and community wind energy operators in the past and have, in a very small way, helped get the message out about the benefits of reducing carbon dependency. There is still much to be done.

So keep up the good work CAT, keep promoting the alternatives and helping to put sustainability into practice…

Happy birthday to Ethos public relations

We are 18 – again.

Ethos public relations ChampagneEthos public relations is celebrating 18 years in business today. Over the past 18 years, we have worked with a huge range of businesses, charities, individuals and others to help them get their message out to a wide variety of audiences.

We have helped our clients launch new products; deal with a number of crises; produce videos, magazine and leaflets; create new websites; manage social media; prepare for newspaper, TV and radio interviews and engage with their employees.

The list of clients we have worked with over the years is a long one and the number of passionate individuals even longer. With hardly an exception it’s been fun, fulfilling and worthwhile.

We have helped raise awareness of issues as diverse as knife crime, disability, co-operation, Fairtrade, products made in the UK, tourism, credit unions, social enterprise, vegetarianism, local food, recycling, social housing and the closure of pubs.

Each of these issues required differing approaches but we hope we dealt with them all with the same commitment both to the subject, and as importantly, to the ethics with which we were founded back in 1998.

Our ‘ethical’ approach was adopted to try and counter some of the perceived negativity towards the public relations industry. Our approach was based on honesty and having an open dialogue with clients and the media. At times this was tested and back in 1998 we couldn’t have imagined how it would be the media itself that would become the focus of unethical practice. It seems both sides of our industry have work still to do.

We have written before about how things have changed, almost unrecognisably, since we first started trading. Posting out press releases and photos being replaced by email, faxes now defunct, far fewer local (and a couple of national) newspapers, not to mention the rise of bloggers and social media – the PR landscape is very different now.

However, our honest and ethical approach to the way we undertake PR has remained the same, and is so much part of who we are that it will remain. As we get near to the end our teenage years, we are wiser and a very different ‘person’ to the Ethos public relations of 1998, but hopefully our friends and colleagues will still recognise us.

So thanks to all our previous and current employees, clients and suppliers. We’ve had a great first 18 years. Time to crack open the fizzy wine – Fairtrade of course.