Blog Archives

The first Bridge in my career

Natalie Hunt, Bridge Account Executive one year on…

“Metaphorically speaking, a career is like a journey of bridges which you have to cross. Some long, some short, and some overwhelmingly high. A year ago I had just stepped foot upon my first real ‘Career Bridge’… at Bridge PR & Media Services.

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

By applying for an internship at Bridge, I was taking a huge risk. At the time of graduating I was getting paid to do some communications work at a company in Manchester. However it didn’t completely fulfil my appetite for creativity. Bridge was enrolling for an intern, and the prospect thrilled me. I knew that if I wanted to get to the other side then I had to be prepared to take a risk, as I wasn’t going to land my dream job in PR if I possessed diddly squat experience in it. So I moved back down to the Midlands and propelled myself into the world of PR – something I had only experienced within a module at University.

Studying a Journalism degree equipped me with the tools I needed to succeed in the world of PR. With my news head firmly screwed on and my research skills fresh from 12 months immersed in my dissertation, I began crafting press releases with relevant and interesting angles.

After a month interning for Bridge, I was offered a permanent position which I snapped up straight away. I already felt part of the team.

Relationships are essential in the world of PR and marketing. Initially I was daunted by networking events in suits, and calling journalists to see if they would be interested in a story. But then I realised, each client, journalist, or prospect I deal with is a person too, and developing a relationship with them, makes the object so much easier to achieve. For example spotting the stories in a business, getting specific requests from journalists, or getting your services noticed comes far easier if there is already some form of a relationship established. And a lot of this can come through social media. You can start generic conversations with the people who you want to notice you! (@natters4 follow me ;))

I think a common misconception of PR is that you just send a press release out to the masses and expect them all to pick it up. Each publication has its own style and identity (something I learnt on work experience for a local newspaper) and it is important that as a PR professional you mould the story to fit their style.

Since working for Bridge, I have learnt far more than just public relations. For example I have learnt about business strategy, marketing, and social media.

Working for Bridge has allowed my business sense to develop into an exciting direction. My client base includes a B2B market and I have had to learn a lot about business processes etc. I have attended many networking events and more recently an economic Chamber conference where I learned a great deal about the business economy, and I’m now even being asked to talk about my experiences at undergraduate seminars in journalism, media and communications. I’m also currently working hard to further develop my business knowledge academically outside of the workplace.

Right now I love coming to work every day to eat up every challenge that I face. Bridge is a stimulating place to work at the moment, and we face some big and exciting Bridges as a company. Watch this space to see what I write in my second year review…”

Why you should be using social media before your competitors

Once upon a time the internet was deemed unnecessary, now it’s literally everywhere! So if your business isn’t using social media yet, why don’t you leap ahead of your competitors and make your mark…?

We’ve been working with businesses on social media for quite some time now and if we could have a pound for every time we have heard a company state “Social media isn’t for business, it can’t do anything for us!”, then we’d all be happily retired and tweeting from a beach in Mauritius. Unfortunately, reality works a little differently and we are still definitely all in Coventry. However, we have compiled a list of reasons as to why you need to be ahead of your competitors in the social media marathon.

1. Lead the conversations

If you get in there before your competitors then you can lead the conversational topics around things relevant to your business. For example if you are using Twitter then you can demonstrate your expertise through various hashtags regularly and businesses will begin to recognise you as a leader in your field.

2. You’re seen as forward thinking

Take yourself back to school. There was always a kid who was first to have the new trainers, or listened to a certain band before they were played on the radio. He was always deemed the ‘coolest kid in the school’ because he was setting a trend that others wanted to follow. Similarly, becoming competent with your social media repertoire before competitors will give your business a ‘cool factor’ and place you ahead of others as a forward thinking business.

3. Engage with customers

A massive 61% of UK adults were reported to be using social media in 2011, and this will have increased since then. Regardless of whether they operate personal or business accounts, that is a large sector of the population. You only have to see the huge increase of users each year to understand that it will not be long before it is saturated. Among all these users lie your customers – so why wouldn’t you want to be there too?

4. Be seen for free!

Social media accounts cost nothing to set up, however they have room to include all your branding and company news. It only makes sense to be visible in the social media spectrum.  It’s also one of the most cost effective marketing tools for raising the profile of your brand.

How has it helped some of our clients??

The Good Garage Scheme

Manchetts Garage based in Cambridge and Newmarket was already aware of the Good Garage Scheme but was unsure of the member benefits. The independent garage already had its own Twitter account, from which it regularly tweeted special offers and blog posts.  Upon seeing a number of consistently informative tweets from the Good Garage Scheme, Manchetts sent a direct message over the network to enquire about becoming a member.

Titanic Heritage Trust

The Titanic Heritage Trust has been part of an exhibition in Smethwick this year as part of the centenary to commemorate the sinking of the famous liner. We have been helping them with their social media, and they have had a number of visitors to the exhibition who became aware of it through its Twitter page.


In April one of our clients, which is an IT solutions provider, ran a seminar on cloud computing. This was publicised through Twitter and many of the attendees were able to sign up straight through the link in one of the tweets.


How you can get started in social media marketing

Bridge has been asked by Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber to run a FREE half day workshop on 3rd September to be held at the Quality Hotel, just off the A45.  This will give you all you need to get started on social media for your business.  More details coming soon, so keep an eye on this blog and our website.

5 tips on how to get the most from your PR agency

Recognising the value in public relations is fundamental to a series of successful campaigns and a significant profile raise. Many companies take a PR agency for granted and expect them to magic stories out of the blue. However, a strong relationship is needed between the client and PR if anything good is ever going to come of the contract.

At Bridge, we like our clients to be aware of the real value of PR, and understand what their responsibilities are – after all it is all about communicating the right messages correctly!

1. Develop a comprehensive PR brief

You wouldn’t jump into a pool without knowing how to swim and where you wanted to get to. Prevent your PR campaign from sinking by having a detailed brief on what your business wants to obtain from it. Also, be honest about your budget! If the financial perimeter is set then the agency will not go overboard on their creative proposal, resulting in the company being let down when they don‘t have the finances to support it. If the seeds are sown correctly with a clear goal ahead, then your business will only reap the rewards of a vibrant PR strategy.

2. Maintain regular contact

PR is not intended for sales leads – that is what your sales team are for, however it is important that your agency are able to liaise with the sales team in order to sync the information that is going out in the public domain. If the sales team are regularly updated with info from the PR side then they can refer to it in their sales patter. Speaking to your PR agency regularly will keep your business at the forefront of the PR teams minds, and that foundation of a relationship will enable them to prosper in the work they carry out for you.

3. Frequent face to face meetings

In our experience the best stuff comes from meeting clients face to face. Although we currently live in a digitally dominated society, human nature can prevail all. Face to face conversations have the ability to develop a corporate personality more than any other medium. We have had recent meetings with clients who are very busy people, and some of the best stories come as we are about to walk out of the door and they say “oh did I tell you we’ve just won a massive contract…”

4. Tell them EVERYTHING

A PR agency can only be as good as the information they are provided with. Keep the PR agency updated with the happenings of your company as they will always be researching newsworthy angles in relation to what is going on in your marketplace. If you keep the PR team in the loop when it comes to news and business developments confidentiality will not be a problem as good agencies will always run content past you for approval first. Remember – they are working as part of your team!

5. Identify your ‘Bibles’

Whilst carrying out research on your PR campaign it is vital that you identify the key publications you want to be appearing in. Most publications provide media packs on who their readership is and what the circulation is. Maybe you are a local business and just want to appear in the local newspapers? Whatever the situation is you need to make the agency aware of this so that they can focus their material to the style and format of that specific publication. This way they will also begin to develop stronger relationships with the editors and reporters to ensure you receive regular coverage with them.

‘Funding cash flows again’

It’s great to see that funding for SMEs is starting to flow again following the recent changes to replace Regional Development Agencies with Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Denise Taylor commercial director of Bridge PR & Media Services Ltd



Leadership & Management funded training support is now available for company directors and leaders for their personal development and to help them become more effective leaders in their businesses.



Most of us are fully aware that good communication is vital for every business, irrespective of its size, helping everyone work towards a common goal, reducing sickness absence and reducing staff turnover.  With this in mind, we have created a modular training programme to help businesses develop and implement a highly effective communications strategy.


The programme is certainly welcome news, offering up to £1,000 matched grant funding for companies employing 2-249 staff who can demonstrate growth or growth potential. MDs and CEOs of businesses employing less than 50 people are eligible while other senior management will be considered from companies employing more than 50 people.


We have a proven track record of helping companies access funding for training, and the latest developments really do offer SMEs the chance not only to just to understand the principles of communication but also arm them with the knowledge to run fully integrated marketing campaigns.


Please give me a call on 024 7652 0025 or email me at to find out more.

About to cross the Bridge…

Irina Hutu

Hello PR world! This is Irina and I am the first to start what will hopefully be a successful line of internships here at Bridge PR.

By Bridge PR I mean the nice cosy office and the lovely people inside that manage to stick to their busy schedules and meetings and still find some spare time to show you around, give you a taste of how the PR business works and how things should be done and even treat you with coffee (and cake on good days). So, as you can tell that’s obviously not the bridge I’m most anxious about. Nearly a graduate in Communication Culture and Media, stepping into the real world of business oriented practices from an academic, theoretical environment is not that smooth and easy, not even in a fairly practical field like Public Relations. But that’s what internships are for and with a bit of guidance and support, it’s certainly an achievable goal.

By now, you might have already guessed what this blog is all about. I will take you through my entire experience as an intern as I get more hands-on experience in PR practice. Given my most recent experiences I will inevitably do this from a critical perspective but putting practice against theory at times can come up with interesting and useful insights.

As a heads up from the start, I am mainly interested in the coming on board of the social media practices and its effects on the PR industry and that is a lot to talk and think about. But, as people say around here, we’ll cross this bridge when we get there.

First things first. Every aspiring practitioner should have a clear idea of what PR means and what they have chosen to be doing for a considerable part of their lives. Here is my personal take on Public Relations, adapted and abridged, now, in the first week in an actual PR agency.

  • In its early days, Public Relations was mainly associated with press agentry and mass manipulation. A lot has changed since then and PR has managed to rise as an ethical profession and a very powerful and effective tool, if used properly.
  • Public Relations is not Advertising. Ads mass promote a certain image which may help if granted a generous budget. On the other hand, PR is about building and managing an identity whilst communicating an image consistent with that identity to its audiences. It may not work wonders but I cannot fail and it will certainly not bankrupt you.
  • Many PR practitioners will have difficulties in defining exactly what PR is in a nutshell which obviously gave way to all sorts of labels. It seems however that the label of ‘engineering of consent’ PR got stuck with since Edward Bernays is coming to an end.
  • The new important element to consider is the integration of social media in PR practice. Whilst the Internet has made room for new media distribution channels that are increasingly becoming the main ones, social media promise to transform the very principles of PR.
  • Feedback is the key advantage companies get as targeted audiences can engage in conversation and actively participate in the building of a company’s identity.
  •  It’s an important moment in the history of PR that sets a lot of challenges for both practitioners and clients but also great opportunities. You can choose to see it as a more technological and scary change or as enabling a more direct and transparent relationship between companies and its audiences. The opportunity is definitely there to be seized.

Well, that’s just to give you a hint of what we‘d be dealing with. Having set an introduction I’ll keep coming back with exciting and interesting stories during my experience with Bridge. Fingers crossed and hope you’ll find it worth it taking the trip with me. To be continued…