SOME PEOPLE WORK IN CONSTRUCTION… GET OVER IT

“It started with a place called the Stonewall Inn. Gay bars had been raided by police for decades. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people had been routinely arrested and subjected to harassment and beatings by the people who were meant to protect them. But, one night, in this place called the Stonewall Inn, when the police stormed in to continue their abuse, the clientele fought back.”[1]

I didn’t know much about the Stonewall Uprising. I mean, I knew the base facts. I knew it had something to do with a police raid on a gay bar in New York. That it sparked riots which in turn sparked the LGBT Rights Movement in the US and around the world. But I didn’t know the full story. Until, on a rare lunchtime walk in the sun, I listened to an episode of the design-focused podcast 99 Percent Invisible called ‘Remembering Stonewall’.

It’s an incredibly well put together episode; if you have the inclination, I highly recommend listening to it. By the time I made it back to my desk, my eyes were truly and irrevocably widened.

The construction industry, in general, has a poor reputation when it comes to inclusiveness, particularly in the LGBT community. It historically has a very traditional, male-dominated and heteronormative culture (male and female threaded pipes anyone?), which doesn’t leave much room for those who don’t “fit in”. Change is slow to implement too – gender equality has been a key focus for years. But encouraging diversity is not a battle fought on one front.

A survey done by Construction News in October last year found that 71% of LGBT construction workers felt they couldn’t be open about their sexuality on site and 51% felt their sexuality prevented them from progressing in their careers. It’s not just professionally that this inequity has an impact; 45% would feel uncomfortable bringing a same-sex partner to an industry event, and many in the LGBT community don’t feel comfortable discussing what they did at the weekend at work.

It’s clear that things need to change.

And, don’t get me wrong, they are. Many companies within the industry are creating and promoting open and safe networks where all staff, regardless of sexuality, can discuss issues openly and safely. “No bystander” approaches in offices and on site are enforced to embolden workers to stand up to unacceptable behaviour and language. Positive role models, supported by great management systems, are putting themselves forward to prevent those suffering from feeling isolated: such as Balfour Beatty’s Senior Planner and Chair of their LGBT Network, Christina Riley, who is one of the first women in the construction industry to come out as transgender.

In an article for the Huffington Post, she wrote: “Looking back, Balfour Beatty were the catalyst to me changing to be my true self as I continued to hide and lead a double life until one day I saw a notice at work that they were launching one of the construction industry’s first LGBT networks. I don’t know why I felt drawn to attend the meeting after so many years suppressing myself but it just felt right to go.”

But things are not changing quick enough.

One of the respondents to the Construction News survey, who identified as a gay man, responded by saying he felt driven out of the industry by the everyday prevalence of homophobia. This isn’t one person’s experience either. Only 18% of LGBT workers would recommend the industry to prospective colleagues.

Skilled and qualified workers are being pushed out of their careers, or discouraged from even pursuing one, for no other reason than just who they are. This is deeply troubling – unimaginable for those lucky enough to never have faced such discrimination. It also makes poor business sense. The sector is suffering a skills shortage which is only set to get worse. Breaking down the macho construction worker stereotype, giving more visibility to and education on the issues faced by LGBT workers in order to tackle homophobia at all levels of the industry will lead to better staff retention, high productivity and, in turn, attract new talent to the industry.

Gary Coetzee, co-chair of the LGBT Employee Resource Group for Lendlease, summarises: “Today’s way of thinking is that you can’t work to your full potential if you spend half your energy hiding who you are. The ethos of good management is for people to be happy and to be themselves. People [in the industry] are acknowledging the capacity to be different – and an organisation that taps into that and brings people in who are different to them – be it gender, religion or sexuality – will be more powerful.”

July will mark the 50th Anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. I came in to work this morning and saw that today German MPs have voted to legalised same-sex marriage, which will give gay men and lesbians full marital rights, and allows them to adopt children. The world is making definite strides in the right direction. Let’s make sure our industry keeps up with it.

[1] ‘Remembering Stonewall’- 99 Percent Invisible- 28th June 2016

A Selection Blog: Our Top Ten Alternative Christmas Songs

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the office
All creatures were celebrating, even the bosses.
The music was put on Spotify with care,
In the hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there!

Paul’s Selection

There’s No Light On The Christmas Tree – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Love this track from the 1972 debut album by Scottish rockers The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. It’s typical of the slightly off the wall lyrics that made them one of the biggest bands in the ’70s.

Dominic the Donkey – Lou Monte

My second choice is the 1960 release by Lou Monte. The song is about a donkey who helps Santa bring presents to the children in the mountains of Italy because the reindeer can’t climb the hills. The song was introduced to me by my daughter Naomi one Christmas. I can still see her singing the catchphrase “Hey! Chingedy ching (Hee-haw, hee-haw)” and has me rolling laughter.

Cathy’s Selection

Winter Song – Lindisfarne

My first choice always brings home to me just how fortunate I am at this time of year, surrounded by family and friends, with a lovely, warm home and all the good food we enjoy at Christmas. It also seems appropriate in light of our chosen charities this year – Lindisfarne with Alan Hull’s atmospheric Winter Song.

White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes

Not strictly a Christmas song, but one that always makes me feel Christmassy!

Dave’s Selection

Patapan/O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Mindy Gledhill

A fantastic mash-up of two classic Christmas carols/hymns with a modern twist.

Christmas Unicorn – Sufjan Stevens

Exploring the tangled traditions and mythologies surrounding Christmas through the vessel of the Christmas Unicorn (with a little Joy Division thrown in for good measure).

Kelly’s Selection

Kidnap the Sandy Claws – KORN

Nightmare Before Christmas expertly combines two of my favourite holidays: Halloween and Christmas. So, this KORN remake is both a tribute to my love of all things Jack, as well as a reminder of the years I’d enthusiastically douse myself in glitter to sparkle my way through the season.

Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt

Christmas is the time for feeling cosy. A time for enjoying the warmth of a comfortable home with frosty windows and a hot chocolate in hand: pure indulgence. This is why Eartha Kitt is my second choice. Her sultry vocals with a splash of whimsy is a perfect addition to your soundtrack for the festivities, in my view.

Jodie’s Selection

Never Do a Tango with an Eskimo – Alma Cogan

I’m not sure Alma ever met an Inuit. If she had, she would know that they much prefer a Calypso (get it?).

Fun song from the ’50s which will definitely get stuck in your head as you’re handing out the champagne!

Joy to The World – August Burns Red

Because if there’s anything Christmas music needs more of, it’s heavy breakdowns and screamo vocals.

 

We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy & successful 2017!

Christmas

Constructing a Future with Climate Change

November has been one hell of a month for American journalists. The USA’s new president-elect and his ideas for the future of one of the world’s biggest superpowers has shaken many. Not least those concerned about the future of our planet.

Last week, Donald Trump’s senior adviser on matters relating to NASA announced that Trump intends to scrap all climate change research conducted by the space agency in a bid to crack-down on “politicized science”. It’s not completely surprising, considering Trump’s well-documented scepticism, such as his tweet in 2012: “[t]he concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”.

But this isn’t intended to be a rant about Trump. There’s a character limit for a start. And, frankly, who knows what will happen when he comes to office in January. In the relatively short time it has taken me to write this blog, he’s U-turned on his stance twice. However, the loud vocalisation of his views on this topic has brought the climate change debate back into public consciousness. Is global warming something we should be worrying about? Is it an issue that can only be solved by policy and legislation? What role does the construction industry play in all this?

Reality Check

The evidence for climate change is overwhelming, and difficult to ignore. According to NASA’s calculations, our atmospheric CO2 levels have risen dramatically in the last 60 years. With that, we’ve seen a warming trend proceeding at a rate that is “unprecedented in the past 1,300 years”. The link to interactive graphs below illustrate this better than words can.

NASA Climate Change

Whilst we question what the statistics mean, debate the extent to which they’ve been caused by human activity, squabble over the possible economic effects of taking preventive measures, the world is changing rapidly and irreversibly. As Voltaire eloquently summarises, “Men argue. Nature acts”.

In March this year, The Economist’s Sustainability Summit delivered the bottom line: we either come together and adapt, or we die.

Starting at Home

From a purely logistical point of view, pulling NASA’s cutting-edge equipment away from researching how global warming is affecting our planet will undoubtedly be detrimental. But what’s more troubling, and telling, is the attitude behind it.

Kofi Annan once said “[o]n climate change, we often don’t fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen”. It seems like it is always someone else’s responsibility to solve it: other countries, the Government, the environmental agencies, the multinational companies. It’s up to them to come together and figure out what to do, isn’t it?

Not entirely. Whilst we hope/expect that the heads of our country will lead the way, Earth is home to all of us and we all have a responsibility to look after it, whether it’s directed by policy or not. And it’s at home, with our homes, where we need to start.

The UK is yet to ratify the Paris Agreement, although Theresa May has said this will happen by the end of the year. The Climate Change Act 2008 states that we as country must achieve at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 (relative to 1990s levels). With the built environment accounting for a considerable proportion of the country’s CO2 emissions, the construction industry needs to become part of the solution, and to see itself as such.

Climate Change Construction

UK Construction and the Climate

In the Autumn statement, the UK government pledged a £2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas, with a further £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes. This was welcome news for future homeowners and the wider construction industry. However, it raises an important question about the carbon cost of these homes.

Last year, the Government disappointingly axed the Zero Carbon Homes Standard. New English homes currently only have to meet the requirements for the conservation of fuel and power within 2013 Building Regulations (which were themselves significantly watered down due to the economic downturn). Whilst it may well be beneficial in the short term for developers to just build to compliance, the long-term consequences can’t be brushed under the rug.

One of the most prevalent arguments against implementing tougher regulations is that they are too strenuous and expensive to meet. But with the development of new technologies and approaches coming to market all the time, housebuilders can actually reduce their costs whilst build higher quality and more energy efficient homes.

Take Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), for example. Their performance is well-proven and the panels are delivered to site pre-cut to every project’s individual requirements, including windows and doors. Therefore, they can eliminate many of the gaps between the design and actual performance of the building. It only takes a small site team a few days to erect the building too, helping to reduce build times and easing the current skills shortage.

Actions > Promises

The outlook for our little planet is bleak. But it’s not hopeless. The housing infrastructure fund offers the perfect platform for housebuilders, architects, and manufacturers to showcase their expertise and dedication to creating a better environment for everyone.

We are lucky to work with a number of businesses that are already committed to doing this. Whether they call it sustainability, net-zero energy, carbon reduction or going green, they making significant investments in innovation, looking closely at their supply chains, conducting strict reports on their facilities and taking a generally proactive approach to protecting our planet and our future.

A Final Thought

Through all of this, I kept returning to a quote by Sir David Attenborough. I thought I’d leave it here, as food for thought:

“Anyone who believes in infinite growth on a finite planet is either mad or an economist”

A love of stories – celebrating Dahl’s 100th birthday

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
― Roald DahlCharlie and the Chocolate Factory

Whilst none of us are ready to chuck out our tellies just yet, to honour Dahl’s 100th Birthday, we have collected together (some of) the stories which inspired us as children.

Cathy

Creative Books

Winnie-the-Pooh – Written by A. A. Milne, Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepherd

I have always loved the writing of A. A. Milne, together with the glorious illustrations of Ernest H. Shepard. The wisdom of Pooh Bear, the courage of Piglet and the philosophising of Eeyore provide inspiration for many an occasion, and I never tire of the gentle humour that pervades those pages. One of my fondest childhood memories is of catching a glimpse of my dad sitting on his own, laughing his head off at one of the stories he was reading to himself – I think it was the one “In which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle”. It was a real eye opener to realise that children’s books can be so joyful for adults too.

Jodie

Children's Book

The Mystery of the Blue Arrows – Written by Chuck McKee & Illustrated by David McKee

I used to read this book with my dad when, perhaps like the dad in the book, he was instructed to occupy me while my mum did important mum things. The story goes that Richard and Lucinda discover some mysterious blue arrows when they are out walking with their dad, and go on a quest to find out to what or who they point. Whilst there is probably some deep existential sublayer to be drawn out; as a child, this book showed me that adventures can be found or created anywhere you look for them!

Dave

Fantasy Book

The Hobbit – Written by J. R. R. Tolkien

To be honest, I wasn’t a particularly avid reader when I was younger. Whilst my sister usually tore through any books she received in hours, I was more interested in playing football or video games. However, one book which I can still vividly remember both reading, and having read to me, was The Hobbit. What piqued my interest initially was my dad’s dog-eared copy of The Lord of the Rings featuring a fantastic cover with two cloaked riders dashing through the countryside, their faces concealed save for their glowing eyes. My parents (wisely) suggested that it might be a little advanced and that we start with The Hobbit instead.

The Hobbit is one of the first stories I can remember reading where the central character wasn’t necessarily the bravest, strongest or most intelligent. Bilbo Baggins loves his home and simple pleasures and has to be prised away from them. Once on the journey, however, Bilbo’s own unique talents come to the fore – whether it be sneaking around silently, or trading riddles with a murderous fiend. Bilbo showed that having unique (sometimes quirky) passions and talents was actually a good thing, and what really mattered was having the courage to back yourself and be willing to trust others to do the same.

Kelly

Fiction novel

Billy – Written by Albert French

The book that sticks in my mind is the story called ‘Billy’, by Albert French. It’s a book I still recommend though I have only read it once when I was 11 or 12, but it’s the first book I remember reading that didn’t have a happy ending. The first book that made my heart ache. That made me feel truly angry at the injustice. That made me wish I could do something, anything, to fix it. It showed how difficult the world could be to live in, and how not everything is moonbeams and rainbows. Billy was 10 years old, American, and found himself on death row for accidentally killing a girl. She was white and he was black. I understood what a fiction novel was, but it still felt so real to me. At that tender age I learned that boys like Billy had existed, and maybe still do. It had me convinced that great writers carry a special kind of magic when it comes to storytelling. That they help people see, believe, and understand the world around them.

Paul

Adventure Book

Tarzan – Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs

As a child, I was a prolific reader of adventure books and fantasy comics – stories which allowed me to disappear into another physically unknown world. This was especially important coming from a poor working class background where the height of adventure was our yearly week in Blackpool (same week, same guest house, same slot machine arcades and piers). We never reached the dizzy heights of the Pleasure Beach – far too expensive.

I would spend hours dreaming up stories of my own, fuelled by my favourite authors and books, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Eric Leyland’s Max and Scrap, Willard Price and the adventures of Hal and Roger Hunt, eventually graduating to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan. On top of all these I had super heroes, spending my hard earned paper-round money on Fantastic and Terrific.

It’s hard to pick out my favourite but what I do know is that my diet of the unknown, other countries, faraway worlds, the romantic and mysterious, allowed me to dream that there was a life beyond what I knew, both as a child and as a budding but under-confident teenager. In other circumstances I might have been a writer of magic worlds, but this early grounding has certainly allowed me to understand the power of creativity, a power which I now levy in my career as a creative in Marketing and PR… go figure!

 

 

What book was your favourite?

 

One Small Click for [a] Man, One Giant Leap for PR

47 years ago today, in the early hours of the morning here in the UK, over half a billion people watched Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the surface of the moon.

Apollo 11 lunar landing mission (20th July 1969) – NASA

Apollo 11 lunar landing mission (20th July 1969) – NASA

It’s difficult to imagine how the news would have been broken without these grainy black and white (and momentarily upside-down!) images being beamed live from the Sea of Tranquillity back down to television screens all over the world. You can’t help but wonder if the event would have had the same impact on the general public.

Trying to explain something as complex and technical as a moonwalk, which is so far removed from our everyday experience, has its obvious issues. As the acronyms pile up, the general public’s interest levels drop off a cliff (or rather float off into space).

Houston, we have video! Rosetta ESA

Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. In other words, it shows rather than tells.

One of my favourite spacey examples of this in action is the European Space Agency’s animated series about their Rosetta Mission. The short 2D animations feature Rosetta, a smiley satellite, and her equally sweet lander, Philae, embarking on their ground-breaking mission to orbit Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s nucleus and deliver the lander to its surface. The videos were released at key points in the journey and sometimes accompanied by hashtag campaigns, such as #WakeUpRosetta which encouraged the ESA’s social media followers to tweet and comment at the satellite to wake it up from its 31-month hibernation as it neared its destination.

Through the animations, and the opportunity for the viewers to seemingly interact with the satellite, the ESA has achieved Victor Frankenstein’s dream:  they have brought inanimate pieces of complex technology to life in the minds of millions of people around the world.

By giving the spacecraft a name, personality and a voice via social media, the ESA has captivated its audience, presenting them a character to relate to and to root for. The simple, hand drawn animation has a charming, nostalgic feel which appeals to both adults and children, helping to spread awareness of the ESA and keeping Rosetta Mission ESAenthusiasm about space exploration alive.

This creativity and originality, coupled with short running time, makes it incredibly sharable on social media. Facebook averages at 8 billion daily video views from their 500 million users worldwide, and other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have also increased and improved their video features.

The most popular video in the series, released just days before Philae’s landing, received almost 250,000 views in 24 hours and has been shared over 2,000 times on social media platforms. Perhaps more importantly, it also drove 1,756 subscriptions to the ESA’s YouTube channel, creating a whole new audience for its future video content.

The videos are a lesson for all companies, and particularly those in areas typically considered dry and uninteresting, that great results can be achieved by giving videos a little more character. And it is not just about raising brand awareness and showing off personality and knowledge, great video content can also help to drive sales. For example, work.com were able to increase the conversion rates on its site by 20% simply by adding an explainer video on its homepage.

30th September has been announced as the final day of Rosetta’s incredible journey. She will come to rest on the surface of Comet 67P to join Philae for a well-deserved rest as it travels further away from our solar system. I look forward to the last instalment of her adventure. Now to get this space dust out of my eye…

You can watch all the series here:

Beginning in PR

Today marks my four month-versary at Smith Goodfellow PR.

Although still just a mere tadpole in the PR Pond, I’ve learnt a lot in the past few months, especially considering most of my perceptions of PR came from watching too many reruns of Ab Fab.

Ab Fab PR

“I PR things darling… people, places, concepts… Lulu!”

The reality is less La Croix and bolly and more comfy shoes and mugs of tea gulped down between email chains, press releases, client meetings, market research, and that’s just before lunch! It’s a far cry from a code monkey desk job. No two days are the same, and I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with some really interesting projects and processes. I’ve even had a job reshuffle from Project Coordinator to Account Executive, meaning I now get to be more involved with client work. Whilst it’s been a lot for my post-degree brain to soak up in a relatively short period of time, I love the challenge and it’s a dream to be able to build upon and use my passion for writing and design on a day to day basis.

As for the industry itself, finding out how PR works is a little bit like finding out your mum is the tooth fairy (bear with me). For years, you engage with the work of the little molar magpie through tiny handwritten notes placed beside carefully chosen silver coins, and you believe. But then you run out of milk teeth.

Is it disappointing to find out the truth? Maybe at first. But discovering that this whole persona has been created by the creativity and care of another person is, in my opinion, quite magical in its own right.

But probably the best thing I’ve learnt is that you don’t have to spend the week holding out for Friday 5pm. I genuinely enjoy coming into work. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not just saying it because the office will read this! I’ve felt nothing but welcome into the SG team from the moment they knew I also had an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter and will happily tackle the stationery cupboard. No one is ever too busy to answer my endless stream of questions, or show me the ropes of our different systems. Our clients are also awesome and it’s been great to speak to so many different people in the various industries. And I have never been more hydrated!

With lots of training, trade shows, charity events and branding developments in the calendar, I’m sure it won’t be long until I’ve grown my legs.

10 Perfect Gifts for your PR Partner

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and the struggle to find an original, heartfelt gift rears its neatly wrapped head once more.

Falling a mere 45 days after Christmas, Amazon wishlists have been exhausted, the subtly folded pages of catalogues have been unfurled and your mum’s drawer of ‘emergency’ presents is well depleted. Whilst gift-guides are aplenty this time of year, none of them really cater for the PR professional in your life – after all Public Relations is all about building relationships.

But never fear!

We at SGPR have done a quick whip around the office and come up with 10 perfect presents for your PR-loving paramour to ignite that spark or keep those fires burning.

You can thank us on the 15th.

  1. Funky post-It notes or note pads!

Whilst we may have a bunch of apps and task management software built specifically to organise our lives, sometimes you need something more substantial, more old school. Why not give your partner something as reliable and life-affirming as your relationship by wrapping up some post-it notes this Valentine’s Day. How about these brief shaped ones from Paperchase:

Paperchase

They will certainly make them smile when it’s time to peel them off their computer screen!

  1. Marketing: A love story

Imbibe the words of Bernadette Jiwa from her book Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers in which the reader will immerse themselves in the words of a woman who knows that communication is key to adding value to any relationship. That lesson will last long after the petals start to fall…

Marketing a love story

  1. A Magnifying Glass

It’s often said that a good PR professional needs a keen eye for detail, so remind your loved one of this and gift them a magnifying glass! They’ll be eternally grateful now they can read the minutiae of their own draft content and copy for errors effortlessly. What’s even better? The magnifying glass can double up as an eraser for those times where frustration over finding the right word or phrase gets too much and… ZAP! The sun is your friend, my friend. They’ll love you forever.

  1. Illustrative Branding by Victionary

With shiny details on the dust jacket and a wealth of inspirational images of artists work from around the world, this book is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. Advancements in artistic technology and software have enabled the careful craft of branding to be easily conjured. However, Illustrative Branding features work that gets back to the hands dirty approach, highlighting the power illustration has to tell stories and abstract concepts, unbounded by the constraints of reality. It will also look pretty impressive on their desk.

Victionary

  1. Photographic Mini Cards by MOO

Okay, we’re taking things back to basics here. As the old adage goes, a picture can say a thousand words, and every marketing-head knows that good photography is vital. So why not deliver a Shakespearean speech of undying love through the use of these mini cards. With MOO’s Printfinity offer, you can get different photographs of you and your beloved printed on each one, which you could display in their handy frame:

Moo Printfinity

You could also use as clue cards in a treasure hunt, or even perform a PR stunt of love and attach them to hundreds of helium balloons and float them up to their desk (check their office isn’t on the ground floor).

  1. DIY Lyric Art (with carefully considered font)

Everyone knows a well-considered song choice at the right moment can really set the mood. Well, for those of us with an eye for design, so can the perfect font. So why not blend the two in a beautiful frame. Barry White in Futura (italic):

Barry White

Etta James in Gotham:

Etta James

The combinations are endless… just avoid Robin Thicke in Comic Sans (we’re not going there).

  1. A Decent-Sized Mug

This requires little explanation. Imagine if every time your loved one felt overwhelmed with paperwork, defeated by writer’s block or just in need of a little pick me up, you could give them a hug and tell them it will be okay. By gifting them something they can fill with their liquid salvation, you can be.

As they say, a brew will see you through:

Cafe Press

  1. Grammar For Grown-ups

You may not think of PR as a particularly dangerous profession, but every time your partner puts pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) their life is at grave risk. One misplaced apostrophe is all it takes to bring about the merciless swarm…

The Grammar Police are everywhere, they drink in your pub, they deliver your post, and they may even be amongst your friends and family. For the generation educated when grammar was considered unimportant, fear of the Grammar Police is very real. Fortunately, you can help protect your loved one with the gift of Grammar for Grown-ups:

Grammar for Grownups

The dip-in reference book gets straight to the point on everything from colons to interjections. Authored by Craig Shrives (who also runs the excellent www.grammar-monster.com), the book is witty, accessible and never patronising. Its “GEEK SAYS” and “BEWARE” tips sections make it easy to remember the rules that really matter, and will allow your partner to go toe-to-toe with their grammar adversaries on points of opinion.

  1. Edible Cake Toppers

Cake and special occasions – they will not be separated! Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s… all demand a delicious treat and woe betide any who fail to deliver. So, for those of you wanting to share the love with colleagues, clients or customers, a cute little cake topper may be just what you need!

PR Cake toppers

  1. The West Wing

After a spending a romantic Valentine’s Day together, why not light a few candles, scatter some rose petals and then sit back and watch as the staff of the West Wing take on the key issues of the day.

With its blend of memorable characters, rapid fire dialogue and rhetorical grandstanding, The West Wing is a gift your PR lover will cherish for years to come, whether they be a Sam Seabourne…

… a C.J. Cregg…

…or a Toby Ziegler.

And don’t forget that social media is a great way to share the #love!