Alex Singleton

Need some inspiration for Twitter? Check out your most successful peers

Zoe Amar spoke recently at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ Fifth Estate (not-for-profit) group. Her theme: the seven secrets of top charity social media campaigns. She spoke in part about getting charity leaders to engage on Twitter and highlighted a couple of charity chief executives who are doing this very well.

Sometimes people struggle to know how they ought to approach social media – what sort of material they should be posting. But it seems to me that the easiest way to overcome this is to study successful peers who you like and admire. Here are the two success tweeters Zoe mentioned in her presentation.

Julie Bentley


Posted By: Alex Singleton, On: December 16th, 2014, In Categories: Media relations

Chartered Institute of Public Relations publishes skills guide on writing comment articles

CIPR Skills GuideI’ve written a short “skills guide” on writing comment articles for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Useful if you want to submit articles to newspapers, magazines or online outlets, the guide is available exclusively to members of the CIPR as one of its online member resources.

It’s part of a programme that the CIPR is doing of refreshing its catalogue of skills guides – and having seen the inside, I can say that their designer has done a really smart job.

I’m biased, but I do think that if you’re needing to get commentary published – and perhaps, like many people, you don’t get the take-up you’d like, you’ll find it’s full of useful tips to get started.

Posted By: Alex Singleton, On: December 11th, 2014, In Categories: Media relations

Judging the Public Affairs Awards

Public Affairs AwardsI had the great privilege of being a judge for this week’s Public Affairs Awards – a new award ceremony run jointly by the PRCA, GovKnow and Zetter’s Political Services. In my category, I saw some extremely high quality entries – though I’m sworn to secrecy about the details.

The finalists will be enjoying a black tie dinner this week at a ceremony in London hosted by Jon Craig, Chief Political Correspondent of Sky News.

There’s more information on the PubAffairs website.

Posted By: Alex Singleton, On: December 7th, 2014, In Categories: Public affairs

Martinis, mince pies and Michael Dobbs: the public affairs industry’s Christmas bash

On Thursday, the CIPR’s Public Affairs Group had its annual Christmas dinner, in Mayfair – with most of the great and the good of the industry present.

House of CardsLord Dobbs, author of the House of Cards trilogy and the late Margaret Thatcher’s chief of staff, give an entertaining and self-deprecating speech. He spoke on the importance of public affairs and also how he came to write House of Cards. After leaving Mrs T’s employment, he got to go on holiday with his wife for the first time in years. But his break was frustrated by reading a big-selling but really awful novel. His wife told him that if he thought he could do better, he ought to write one himself. He did, and it changed his life.

Simon McVicker, chairman of the Public Affairs Group, announced that he would be stepping down from running the group at the AGM after three years, to much heckling (“re-stand!”). And Gill Morris was awarded the inaugural Douglas Smith Memorial Prize for lifetime achievement in public affairs.

The food was amazing. So was the company.

Posted By: Alex Singleton, On: December 7th, 2014, In Categories: Media relations

How real public relations is different from SEO and advertising

In a new blog post, Max Tatton-Brown addresses some of the recent criticism against PR by an anonymous column at The Guardian. He writes:

For me, there are lots of disciplines hitting overlapping marketing+management areas at the moment — but what makes the difference is the background from which you’re entering that challenge. That’s where I thank God I got started in the PR world instead of the many others competing today.

We aren’t just trying to slam links out there like SEOs or fill expensive ad space. As far as I can see, the best PR was always about building growing, sustainable and valuable relationships with key people by providing something that helped them achieve their own goals.

Posted By: Alex Singleton, On: November 17th, 2014, In Categories: PR strategy