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Looking Forward to Christmas!
By Fiona Scott, journalist and strategic PR consultant with more than 30 years’ experience working with SMEs, charities and individuals to raise their profile through story-telling in the media, through blogging and social media using words, pictures, animation and videos.
What does Christmas 2020 mean for you in your business?
For me it means a busy time, particularly between Christmas and New Year because it’s a slow time for stories in the media and there are many opportunities to be had. Personally it’s our favourite time of year with our family and after such a challenging year for all of us we intend to spend time together to celebrate and ensure our house can be seen from space!
In your business when do you start talking or planning Christmas?
In the media we use the phrase “Christmas in July” as that’s when many magazines and media start planning their Christmas content, doing photoshoots ready for that key publication.
Also many business owners do the same thing, particularly when they sell products which are suitable as gifts. They must hit the ground running and have all of these assets ready to go, really after Halloween. Also this year it’s all happening even earlier.
Will your business be operating differently during Quarter 4 2020?
I will be doing more digitally as big events won’t be happening or even smaller events. Earlier in the year I started working far more online and that’s gone well – so I will be continuing to do that. I hope also to be able to pick up writing my book again as that had to be put aside when lockdown came. I had to work hard to simply survive in business as I did not qualify for any government support due to the way in which my business is set up. It's been a very tough time for many of us in business.
Are you planning any events in Quarter 4, virtual or real world?
Yes I have recently started an online, fortnightly networking group called Swindon & Cotswolds Business Focus which is aimed at embracing the virtual space for networking. It’s low cost (£5), not for profit and is the third of three such groups in the South West. Things are changing and we have to change too. For more information or to book on visit https://businessfocusnetworking.co.uk/swindon/
Have you got any milestones to share?
I’m still here! In 2020 that in itself is utterly amazing. Also I’ve rebranded to Scott Media which is a big deal for me (maybe not for anyone else!). Also I’m about to launch my silent online charity auction for a personal fundraising campaign called Ainslie’s Pavilion Project – to rebuild the club house at Purton Cricket Club near Swindon in memory of my friend Ainslie Duffell who died of brest cancer five years ago. It will launch on my Facebook page next week and lots worth a total of £4,000 have been offered. Keep an eye out for it at www.facebook.com/PRWiltshire
Have you faced some challenges which have changed things for you?
Many. For my business the challenge of survival given that I’m one of the #ForgottenLtd excluded from all government support when it comes to wages – which is a national scandal. Personally I had one child at home for months with home-schooling (he was great), one home from university because everything went online (and paying rent for a room she could not use) and another who didn’t take A Level examinations but luckily worked for a small Swindon company which was able to keep trading so at least she had that. In other words, it was immensely challenging on all sides. On the bright side, none of us got the ‘virus’ and we were all well.
How are you feeling generally about business in your community at this time?
Full of hope. There are no easy answers and no quick fixes around any of this. What we have though is a strong, supportive and compassionate business community in Swindon and I take great hope from that. I’m proud to be part of it.
Those companies who did not care, who acted without compassion will be found out and may find their recovery much harder.
Any special offers you’d like to mention?
In 2021 for £100 plus VAT per month for 12 months, I’m offering anyone a virtual PR planning hour with me every single month and free access to my monthly webinars which cover a range of subjects from masses of story ideas, smart use of social media through to effective email marketing. The cost of this would normally be at least £130 plus VAT per month. Anyone interested should email me firstname.lastname@example.org
When you feel negative and down, go out and get some fresh air. Read a book, make a cup of tea. Distract yourself away from that moment. Above all else be as kind as you can, you never know what someone else is facing or feeling.
For more information visit https://scottmedia.uk