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News from Margaret McDonnell PR 

2020 has been a good year……….. for bad things, hasn’t it! I hope you are staying well at this strange old time. 
For some small businesses that are a bit quieter at the moment, I've noticed that they're taking the time to think about their marketing and PR and I've received lots of emails from people asking for advice. I used to put these tips into a monthly email which would ping into your inbox until GDPR came along. I've now decided to put them here, so that everyone who is reading definitely wants to be here! 
My tip this month is to read!  
“Read, read, read.” 
This is common sense, but time and again people tell me that they don’t do it.  
Read your local newspaper, read your trade press and read the publications that your customers are reading. I know we're all busy, but try to find a few minutes every day to read something - even if it's online. Journalists get contacted by people who want their business featured all the time, and reading the publication and understanding its tone and focus will really put you ahead of the people who don't. Make sure you know what day it’s published, which journalists cover which topics and understand the deadlines. Rather than just sending a generic press release, have a good look at the kind of features that appear and see how your story could fit in. 
Spotlight on Alder Style  
One of the highlights of my PR activities this month has been working with Alder Style . This new company was founded by a former flight attendant who realised there was a gap in the market for beautiful and practical laptop bags. So far, our piece has appeared in PA Media (and was tweeted by Star Trek star George Takei!), plus other media such as local radio, Marlborough Living and Berkshire Life. What’s great about Sarah’s brand is that she really involves her customers in the design process, plus her bags are made in Somerset. 
What’s coming up: 
I’m also working with the Hungerford Food Festival committee who have been holding an annual event in October. While this is set to go ahead in a slightly different format this year, the committee has been organising smaller food and artisan markets at the Croft Field in Hungerford. The first took place recently and was well attended, so the next one is Sunday, 9th August from 10am to 1pm behind Hungerford Nursery! 
I work with a company that encourages communities to get active together. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to ensure our bodies are in the best shape possible to fight against any further waves of Covid. 
We worked on this article that appeared in the Telegraph which gives tips on how to help people who might have become deconditioned during lockdown.  
Personally, I've been trying to either walk three miles or swim one mile outdoors every day during lockdown. This is had no effect on my waistline at all, but has had a considerable impact on my mental health. Follow me on Instagram to see more! @marjory_dawes  
Can we work together? 
I tend to drive quite carefully, so I was gobsmacked to get a speeding ticket through the post the other day, telling me that I was going to get a £60 fine for doing 72mph in a 70mph zone! It took me a couple of days to realise that I was driving my campervan - a vehicle limited to 60mph! Why am I telling you this? Well, obviously I want everyone to be safe on the roads, but I also want to see if you have read this far and am offering a £60 press release to the first person who emails me magatha28 at hotmail dot com quoting 'speedy press release'! 
I hope this is useful. Please feel free to email me if you’d like any help or would like to work on a PR project together. 
Take care, keep washing those hands and see you in September! 
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