Support your Community

I truly believe in the saying “‘Tis better to give than receive”, which is the basis for today’s post.

In the spirit of giving we’ve found some charities that support those in need on the NSW Central Coast. It’s never too late to make a donation or offer your services.

Mary Mac’s – Woy Woy – A project of the Catholic parish of Woy Woy, Mary Mac’s provides support and meals to those in need Monday – Friday 11.00am-1.00pm.

United Way Central Coast – They support over 85 charities based on the NSW Central Coast and have done so since 1980.

RSPCA Central Coast – Helping those without a voice, our four legged friends are often overlooked at Christmas time. Remember that a puppy or kitten isn’t just a “gift” it’s a commitment.

It goes without saying there’s always Vinnies, Red Cross, Salvos,  Ted Noffs, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Starlight Foundation and many many more

If you know a charity that we’ve missed out on – please leave a comment below!

Empire Bay Community Queensland Flood Fundraiser

*Please note – this post is being updated daily – make sure you come back to see the ever-growing list of items up for raffle*

Since going to my “local” – The Empire Bay Tavern – and asking the Manager – if he’d be interested in coordinating a Flood Fundraiser – and receiving a resounding – yes – the response since word “got out” has been immense.

Businesses and individuals have all volunteered everything from products for raffles; their time to assist on the day to helping spread the word.

We’ve set a date and the details regarding the day and raffle prizes are below – make sure you book-mark this page as we’ll be updating it frequently as more prize and event details are updated.

The Empire Bay Community Flood Fundraiser will be held on 6th February from 2.30pm.

There’ll be a BBQ, songs from Gemma Glendenning and raffles throughout the day.

Star 104.5 FM’s Road Stars will be stopping by the event at 3.55PM

A *HUGE* thank-you to those individuals and businesses who have donated prizes.

On the day we’ll be raffling:

* $150 Voucher from

* Two ceremony vouchers from idoby2celebrants total value $1000

* $2,000 Financial Planning session from Wilson HTM Investment Group –

* $100 value of product from

* Charm earrings from Esteem Jewellery valued at $67.00 –

* Voucher from Teaze Hair Salon – Umina valued at $50.00

* Trend Pest Control Voucher $250 –

* Chris Hall Landscaping – “Landscaper for the day” valued at over $300

* Graham Skinner Seafood – Ettalong voucher valued at $50.00

* That Swimwear Shop Ettalong has donated a beach / overnight bag valued at $35.00 –

* Business Facebook page creation from Little Miss Useful valued at $199 –

* Goddess by the Sea – Ettalong has generously donated a $25.00 gift voucher and Organised Mum Diary valued at $35.00

* My Local Card has donated 60 cards – when you buy a My Local card for $12 you get six raffle tickets and the My Local Card and you can redeem the Empire Bay Tavern’s buy one meal get one half price offer on the day! –

* HP Mini Laptop 5103 – donated by families from Empire Bay Public School valued at $599

*Velvet Blonde has donated a voucher to the value of $60.00 –

*Impact Plants have donated a $50.00 voucher for use in their plant shop or coffee shop
*Kirby’s Discount Retailer at Ettalong has donated a candelabra to the value of $45.00 –

* Ten movie tickets from Cinema Paradiso at Ettalong –

* Round of golf for four people at “The Vintage” including golf buggy hire –

*One term of free drumming at The Rhythm Hut Gosford – valued at $175  –

* Catalan Dragons Jersey – signed by various footballers and captains

* Ten Meat trays thanks to Woy Woy Poultry

* Lion Nathan Esky

* Treasury Wine Estate hamper

*Three Empire Bay Tavern vouchers

* Two pamper packs from Pursuit Communications clients & associates valued at over $100 each

If you’d like to contribute in some way, shape or form – shoot us an email – brooke(@)

Thanks so much!

Tips from #PRBloggerlove day

As promised here are our tips from yesterday’s successful #PRBloggerlove day.

Tip 1 for PR’s provide relevant content to the blogger (seems simple) but a majority don’t tailor their pitches to bloggers.

Tip 1 for Bloggers: Adopt a colour code for PR’s to understand Green = yes pitch to me, red = no amber = email me first.

Tip 2 for PR’s If you are reaching out to a blogger for the first time, it’s best to keep the tone business-like.

Tip 2 for Bloggers: Be clear with PR’s about what you want and don’t want from them. It’ll make life easier for everyone.

Tip 3 for PR’s : Expose all potential conflicts of interest or corporate ties right off the bat to avoid further headaches.

Tip 3 for Bloggers: Don’t ride the gravy train just for freebies if you say you’ll do something, make sure you do!

Tip 4 for PR’s: Never send out more than one or two communications to a blogger a day – like fashion less is more.   

Tip 4 for Bloggers: have relevant info on your blog – twitter link, FaceBook, email address, postal address etc  

Tip 5 for PR’s: Offer Bloggers same access you would to Journalist – key executives, products, launches etc   

Tip 5 for bloggers: Set up an autoresponse w requirements you need & PR’s will want eg images, your unique pg views, turnaround etc  

Tip 6 for Bloggers & PR’s – Be open to feedback – it will help everyone in the long term.   

Tip 7 for PR’s: Tie in your pitch with relevant & current news angles – so the blogger has an angle to work with  

Tip 7 for Bloggers: Promote your blog – email PR agencies when you’re after new content and be specific about what you want and WHY! 

Tip 8 for PR’s: Remember Bloggers have deadlines too don’t bombard them with requests and demands, you wouldn’t do this to a journalist – so don’t do it to a blogger!  

Tip 8 for Bloggers: Be honest – don’t say what you think people will want to hear – they want to hear YOUR thoughts.  

Tip 9 for PR’s:  Put your release in the body of email – makes it easier for bloggers to review at a glance.  

Tip 9 for Bloggers: Take the time to read what you’ve been sent – you might find an angle or part of a pitch that suits your blog better than the original idea sent.

Final   tip for PR’s & Bloggers – engage with each other – meet up for coffee a drink and get to know one another!

It’s nice to be nice

It’s nice to be nice

This morning on Twitter I “re-tweeted” or RT’ed if you will, a post about “9 PR Rules” which made think about what I’ve learnt about PR from my experiences in the real world. Here are some of my thoughts.

No one likes a liar….

No one likes to be told something, when the opposite is true, no one likes to find out that when dinner is cancelled, it wasn’t – the invitation was just reneged.

Same goes for PR; don’t oversell, over promise or say anything until you’re 110% sure that it’s all correct, set in concrete and good-to-go.  Ultimately, you’re not only wasting your client’s – or a journalist, writer, whoever’s time. You’re wasting your own.

Big noting only goes so far…

Sure we all like talking about the time we had drinks in the bar with The Black Eyed Peas and the time we walked the red carpet at the Australian MTV awards… but does everyone need to hear these stories on high rotation?

I understand that one of the most important parts of PR is making sure the mass audience knows about your client, but make sure you’re telling it to the right audience – an audience who’ll be interested.  Don’t go over old ground. Once you’ve told the story move on – it’s not news if it ain’t new.

Manners rule…

Remember when you were younger and the adults smiled and looked upon you approvingly when you used your manners at the dinner table? Can you remember a time when a thank-you note could arrive in the mailbox for your parents, from a family friend thanking your parents for a lovely dinner party?

Times may have changed. Manners haven’t.

It’s always nice to remember your pleases and thank-you’s when speaking to clients, media and your co-workers.

A thank you letter to an editor or journalist after running a story doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you’re really stuck for time a thank-you email will suffice. It’s the thought that counts and trust me, they’ll remember the fact that you’ve taken the time to write a couple of lines to thank them for their hard work and efforts in making your job easier.

Now it’s your turn… what life lessons have you learned that can be used in the work environment? Leave your ideas and comments in the box below.

– Brooke Simmons

A foot in the door and smile on your face – How to flourish in networking

As you may be aware, Pursuit Communications is a public relations agency based on the Central Coast of NSW which services clients varying in size and location. How did we manage to secure those clients?  A majority was through networking – and networking on a large scale.

We believe that location shouldn’t be a boundary as to how far your network and networking capabilities extend; in fact we encourage our clients to network outside of their regular circles because we’ve seen the results for ourselves – it works!

With this in mind we thought it was timely to blog about the importance of networking and some great examples of networks that we’ve come across.

Networking should never be about $$$. It should be a place where ideas are encouraged, shared and embraced. Networking should also be a place where people can mingle with other business operators, employees and share their knowledge, experience and build lasting relationships.

One of our clients SBNG – Small Business Networking Group, based on the NSW Central Coast embraces what we believe to be the true essence of successful networking – the opportunity to develop trusting relationships with people in similar positions to those that attend.

SBNG has opened a great number of doors for the Pursuit Communications team and for this alone, we will be forever grateful. The lessons learned through educational and entertaining speeches given by fellow members have also provided opportunities that would ordinarily attract a large fee to hear such insights at any other venue. SBNG members are like minded and offer advice with a friendly smile – which really sets them apart.

Another NSW Central Coast networking group and a new addition to the networking circle is CC Biz – which is run by small businesses for small businesses. The aim of CC Biz is for the Central Coast business community to support one another and help to grow our local economy. As you can see there really isn’t anything to lose by attending a networking function, many groups position themselves as friendly groups – because they are!

CC Biz appreciates that some people may not be comfortable with large groups or meeting a group of “unknowns” which is why their functions are designed to provide guests with the opportunity to network in an informal setting. Open to businesses large and small CC Biz is making great in roads towards the networking landscape on the NSW Central Coast.

Further afield, PRinks is another new addition to the networking circle. Aimed at anyone who works within the communications industry this networking group seems to have found a niche with Gen Y who is ever embracing social media. The first I heard about PRinks was via Twitter via @GemCrowley – a fellow PR practitioner and 1/2 of the power-source behind PRinks – @rogerchristie is the other 1/2! The idea was simple use the “online” world to create an “offline” world activity.

The idea behind PRinks is simple, “Come join us for a great chance to catch up with friends, meet new people, have a good chat, share ideas and enjoy a drink or two. ”  The first PRinks took place at a venue on Sydney’s North Shore, event two will be held in Sydney CBD.

Here’s to PRinks gathering momentum and some life-long members!

Along the same lines PRgatherings is simply a collection of media creative’s who meet in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

TweetupMellers is another “offline” event which builds its base “online”. Based in Melbourne the group claims they are “Just another place to connect yet over a few vinos, nibbles and a belly full of laughs – in real time-physical time! We all know the power of twitter in lead gen, personal branding and networking so combine this with tweetupmellers and shaaazam – add another power marketing strategy to the business model!”

It would appear there’s an overwhelming theme here – the importance of social networking in real-life networking. Don’t under-estimate the power of an e-mail, blog, Facebook message or Twitter – tweet. As seen through the success of PRinks and Tweetupmellers – social networking can build a real network of people who could potentially turn a simple meeting into business success.

There are a large number of networking groups created for Women. We believe these are the ideal groups for women who may not have attended a networking function before, simply due to the fact that they’ll be surrounded by supportive women, most of who will have been in the same position as you at some point in their career. Our recommendations include; Accelerate Women – these groups go beyond metro cities and encourage women of all backgrounds to attend their groups. Women’s Network Australia is another brilliant outlet, providing women with information and an understanding that life is one constant evolving path. The group aims to empower and encourage women to reach their full potential in business.

Australian Businesswoman’s Network serves women in business by raising their profile, contributing to the achievement of their goals and by providing exposure to a diverse range of business success models. Their goal is to cater to the needs of a widespread number of businesswomen by offering a comprehensive range of personal and business development and networking opportunities.

As you can see there is a large number of outlets available catering to an even larger number of audiences. If you are considering networking, we highly recommend that you do.

Google search for “Networking” and your city or your industry – see what the search returns and take the first step by registering to attend. A lot of groups will allow you to attend the first meeting at no cost and if you’re interested in attending further meetings, they may ask for a small membership fee – which will be well worth the networking and information you’ll receive.

If you are a bit nervous in attending a function alone, why not ask a fellow colleague to attend with you or if you’re a sole operator – try and find other members prior to the meeting and arrange to meet with them so you’ll at least know someone before you enter the room. You’d be surprised at how many others are nervous and you may just strike a common cord with someone – and potentially some great business or a new friend.

Finally, don’t be limited by your own industry, ask clients to join them at a networking function they go to or if your partner has an opportunity to attend a networking function, ask if you can tag -along – the more you get out the more you’ll get back – ultimately the possibilities are endless!

Now it’s your turn – if you think we’ve left a group out or would like to add your own please feel free to comment.

Update on Bushfire fundraising activities and ideas

I’m in the process of sourcing companies on the coast to provide their services as prizes for a raffle to raise funds for the bushfire victims – with all proceeds to go to Red Cross.

Here are some more activities that caught my eye;

Toy Society is helping with handmade toys

Handmade help has a list of those crafty sorts that are offering the proceeds or a portion of the sales from their goods.

The Girl Guides Victoria continues to do their good work with offering their services.

Pro Bono Australia offers some advice on how people can help.

More to come….

Victorian Bushfires – How every little bit helps

I’ve been doing some thinking as to what different companies could do to assist those in Victoria. At this stage money is most needed – according to reports on TV and radio.

So after doing some digging around here’s a selection of what I’ve found;

Kids Style File has indicated that for every person that becomes a fan on their Facebook page they’ll donate 20c to The Red Cross. (From a PR perspective I think this is a great idea that promotes the company & their good deeds.)

On Friday Coles will be donating all of their profits to The Red Cross.

A tentative date has been proposed for a celebrity event organised by Matt Norman on Facebook.

The AFL will donate procceds from Friday’s game between Essendon and the Bulldogs.

Nova networks have redirected their start page to provide information on how people can donate money MMM has also started their own fund-raising initiative, as has i98 and the Central Coast’s Sea FM .

More will be posted as they come to hand.