How much do you understand your clients…..?

My alarm goes off at 6.30am and the radio immediately comes on, keeping me company as I shower, choose my clothes and do my make up. On the way to work I’ll switch between apps, checking Instagram and Twitter before arriving at work where I flick through the papers. In the office, the radio is on as background noise with our workday punctuated by conversations about dinner, brainstorming for clients and pitching to papers. All the while our fingers tap away at keyboards and our eyes fixate on the monitor in front of us.

At night I’ll relax by reading or catching up on a box set on TV, I’ll listen to music while I prepare dinner and talk with my partner about our day. On those nights that I find it hard to fall asleep, I’ll listen to a podcast until I drop off. It took an awareness training day to show me just how much of my day is reliant upon being able to see and hear, senses that so many of us take for granted.

Sight loss affects over 180,000 people in Scotland, while 945,000 have some degree of hearing loss. North East Sensory Services (NESS) assists those living with sensory loss through practical support, as well as holding a number of interactive sensory awareness training days throughout the year. These are aimed at providing participants with a better understanding of the emotional and practical impact of sight and hearing loss, as well as the physical.

At my session, run by Training and Information Officer Libby Hillhouse, we experienced the challenges faced by the charity’s service users. From navigating a busy street while blindfolded, to attempting to lip-read complex statements, it gave our group a useful insight into how we can be more supportive of friends, family and colleagues living with sensory loss.

The charity, which operates in Moray, Aberdeen City and Shire, Angus, and Dundee, acknowledges that mental health can be adversely affected. Feeling overwhelmed, they have found some service users withdraw, thereby increasing the chance of isolation. NESS works actively to counter this by focusing on the importance of social inclusion through a broad range of projects and initiatives.

Residential weekends for young people, a comprehensive audio library, a dedicated ICT facility showcasing the huge range of technology available to deal with daily life, a fitness suite and café are all available at the main office in Aberdeen, with long-term loans offered on equipment such as telephones and alarm clocks.

Naturally for a charity with as broad a scope as this, NESS relies heavily on fundraising to support its work. Events ranging from race nights to its hugely popular Savour, where guests are treated to a four course meal by some of Scotland’s top chefs, allow the community to get behind this vital work and ensure that those people living with sensory loss can continue to live full and active lives.

For more information about NESS  and the services it provides, please visit For more information on Savour 2018, which is on 24th March at The Marcliffe, please email or call 0345 271 2345

Don’t be a prized turkey… instead, give your competition a good stuffing

You’ve no doubt heard of client expectation versus client budget. However, what about client expectation versus a PR expert’s expectation?

A major part of our role is ensuring that we meet clients’ needs and deliver what they want, when they want it, but quite often clients don’t really know precisely what is required and that’s when a good PR expert comes to the fore.

Sometimes we need a crystal ball, sometimes we need to dilute pages of information and that’s ok, because every client is different and every campaign needs a different approach.

And if you’ve ever questioned why you need a good PR rather than doing it yourself, the proof should be in the (Christmas) pudding!

The main photo accompanying this is a perfect example of what a client provides versus what we produced. It also demonstrates the trust that our client has in us to take the information they give us to deliver an eye-catching result.

In this case, we worked with our media contacts to pitch in an article for one of our food clients on how to create the perfect Christmas feast. Sharing the news with our client, we asked for some guidance on preparing the article since they had 30 years’ experience in the catering industry.

Soon afterwards, we were given a sheet from a notebook with a hand written recipe for cooking a turkey roast. From this, we had to produce a 900-word article, with accompanying photographs for a double page magazine feature.

Apart from the client’s hand written note, we took care of the rest. All they had to do thereafter was approve our written work. We then liaised directly with the publication to ensure everything was in place for a superb feature and the client was delighted with the result.

So, when you question the value of hiring in a good PR, it’s worth weighing up the time it would take you to deliver the same results and build the same media contacts. Time is money after all and if you can find a PR person that you can trust to deliver your vision, it is worth every penny.

As we all make grand plans to grow our sales in 2018, remember that your time is best spent doing what you’re good at…so invite experts into your team to help you deliver great expectations.


Do not read this blog




Well, aren’t you a little rebel, we’ll get along just fine!

Now I have your attention it’s my job to keep it and nobody likes a dull blog…so let’s do this in verse.

Every day is a school day, so they say,
You want to improve your skills, but there are obstacles in your way.
Then it’s too late when you speak to the media or make a presentation,
And the mere thought makes you want to go into hibernation.

But there’s no need to be afraid, and not want to step forward,
Take fate into your own hands, be confident and not awkward.
Be a brave company spokesperson on the evening news,
Be brave enough to publicly outline your views.

Who wants to endure boring and dull classroom training?
Not us, and that’s why our media and presentation courses are far from draining.
We create realistic crisis scenarios that will keep your attention.
And our media experts will ease your tension. (honest!)

As journalists, TV presenters and camera crew, we know the secrets of the trade.
And by the end of your day with us, you’ll not be afraid.
You’ll love journalists and be a great spokesperson for your organisation.
And you’ll be desperate to address the nation or deliver that next presentation.

Yes, we’ll put you through your paces and ask some tough questions,
We may film you, and come back with improvement suggestions.
But trust us, in our relaxed environment, you won’t feel the stress,
You’ll enjoy every minute and learn a lot in the process.

We’ve trained oil and gas experts, airport staff and business owners on demand,
And Government teams, bookmakers and even The Church of Scotland!
Our team delivers the training needs of each and every client,
We tailor our courses whether you’re an individual, or a global oil giant.

So forget your usual boring classroom style learning,
Have a chat with us for the type of training you’re yearning.
There’s no point in approaching lots of companies to put them to the test,
You’re wasting your time because Team Frasermedia is the best!

Are you a giver or a taker?

FM blog.JPGIt’s easy in business to roll with the good times and batten down the hatches in the tough times and, as the well-known saying goes, charity begins at home. Right?

Well, I’d disagree. Although in business you have to manage your cashflow and look after your internal interests first, it’s also important that you don’t become self centred and just constantly take, take, take, as greed is a very unattractive trait, not just personally but on a corporate level too.

It’s been a tricky few years for many to navigate, and charities have not been immune to the effects of the economy. I understand, most of us just can’t offer the same level of financial support as before to charities but there are many other ways businesses can still work to give, give, give.

We’ve been ten years in business and right from the start there has always been a determination to give something back to the community that we benefit from. Regardless of the size of a business, corporate social responsibility is not only about supporting charities, it’s about encouraging teamwork, boosting team morale and showing your clients and potential clients that you have a sense of obligation to do the right thing.

So, what can you do to help? Well, here’s what we do.

We are currently working with a local business to deliver PR and event management services to North East Sensory Services. As part of that, the company sponsors our time and we also add in additional time to give the charity even more support to grow their brand. One of our team has also ran in races and taken part in events to raise money for NESS, giving something back on a personal level too.

I’ve also been heavily involved in a committee which organises a huge ladies event in Aberdeen which has so far raised more than £½million for Action Medical Research. Here, I donate a huge amount of personal time and some business resources to help organise the event and each year we raise around £100k, which is a phenomenal boost for the charity.

With a base in Inverness, it was important to me that we were also offering a level of support up there too, therefore we donate a day a month PR time to Archie Highland to help them continually keep the profile raised which helps with their on-going fundraising activities. As a thank you to us, the charity has a Frasermedia room at the fabulous new children’s unit at Raigmore Hospital, which is a lovely accolade to my team.

In addition, I’ve donated my time to MC many a local charity event, waiving my fee, and sold hundreds of raffle tickets.

In the good times, it’s easy for us all to donate an auction or raffle prize but in tougher times there are definitely other ways to support our charities and some would argue more rewarding ways!

So, do you want to be a giver or taker? I know what we choose at Frasermedia and from a PR point of view, it’s good for your reputation too.

We didn’t half show them

36902101081_7e1bbec07a_o.jpgFor the past two years I have watched business people with their shoulders hunched and head down as they drag their feet along West End pavements, the effects of the market in the city etched clearly across their faces.

However, welcoming visitors from across the globe to our city for Offshore Europe this week appears to have given us a kick up the backside, as we’ve pulled our shoulders back, held our heads high and proved what a resilient bunch we really are.

Anyone who ventured around the show, or attended any of the seminars or events couldn’t fail to feel the air of optimism, not only at OE but also around the city. The show may not have been the same scale as previous but it punched with positive vibes. Our city has been buzzing all week…well into the early hours!

Yes, we have shown visitors that we are well and truly open for business, and that resilience and enthusiasm will work towards giving the industry confidence in the businesses, skills and expertise that we have here in the North-east.

Now, as the show draws to a close there will have been good business done, deals agreed, potentials in the pipeline and many a hangover, but it’s important that we don’t quickly forget the positive vibes.

Let’s not fall back into that two-year habit of dragging our feet and gazing at the pavement, let’s keep our shoulders back and our heads held high and benefit from the vibe left from another successful Offshore Europe.

So, what now for your business after spending the past week introducing yourself to your target audience? Are you just going to head back to the office, hope they remember you and wait for the phone to ring?

Or are you going to keep the momentum going and start to really ramp up your business profile so those contacts you made will have little chance of forgetting who you are and what you could bring to the table?

I’m guessing most of you are swaying towards option two. If so, here are five suggestions to get you to the next step.

  • Firstly, don’t do it yourself. Talk to a professional PR/marketing company and get the support you need to grow your business – leave it to the experts and then you can spend your time doing what you do best.   Your company reputation is priceless, don’t undervalue an experienced PR pro.


  • Set goals and targets and build a PR plan with your PR expert. There has to be a structure and any PR and marketing should work in conjunction with your growth plans.


  • Work out if you would like your PR pro working remotely for your business or if you would prefer them to work in-house with you. Most agencies can offer both options.


  • Think about a budget and how much you would like to invest in PR, marketing and advertising. A good PR pro should have good media and advertising contacts to help you get the most from your campaigns.


  • Find someone who is not only skilled and experienced in PR and marketing, but someone that you can work well with. Business is all about relationships so you need to be able to trust each other, respect each other enjoy working with each other. PR doesn’t work if communication is poor, it’s a two way process.

So, it’s now up to you whether you want to go for it or continue with the doom and gloom!

As we’ve seen this past week, there’s a whole big world outwith Aberdeen and all those visitors came to our city to support us and support the industry, so let’s get back to it and shout about the fantastic businesses and business people we have.

Shoulders back, heads up!

Pitching for business is no joke, so don’t be an unrehearsed stand up


As the Edinburgh Fringe draws to a close, the funniest one liner has been revealed and, let’s be honest, it’s just not that funny.

Ken Cheng’s line – “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change” – doesn’t really split your sides and he’s a professional.

One of the most common questions I am asked when I deliver pitching and presentation skills to various business professionals is whether someone should add in a funny quip to lighten up their presentation.

My honest opinion is to leave comedy to the professionals because, as we’ve found out through Ken Cheng, even they can get it wrong sometimes and they are literally getting paid to be funny.

Stand up comics are rarely unrehearsed and if you are delivering a presentation, whether it is internal or pitching for new business, you should never be unprepared or the joke will be on you.

No-one wants their presentation to be remembered for all the wrong reasons, so I focus a lot on encouraging delegates to rehearse, rehearse and rehearse.

I have trained a variety of business professionals in the art of delivering better presentations and it doesn’t matter which industry you are in, if you turn up with just an idea of what you want to cover and a pile of slides to bore your audience with, you will absolutely not perform to the best of your abilities.

My background is in broadcast journalism and I never once presented the news or reported live from location without a good amount of preparation and rehearsal. The same goes for any event that I host – I never just waltz onto a stage and hope for the best. The most slick of performances are never by accident.

What would be even worse than trying to deliver a presentation unprepared would be trying to deliver a stand up comedy act unprepared in an attempt to win your audience over and cover up your poor presentation. Here’s some advice – don’t, just don’t!

What you should do, however, is realise that delivering good pitches and presentations is a learned skill and with the right one-to-one presentation skills training you can transform from pitch poor to pitch perfect.

Now…back to the Edinburgh Fringe….here’s Frasermedia’s favourite by Adele Cliffe – “As a vegan, I think people who sell meat are disgusting; but apparently people who sell fruit and veg are grocer”.  Boom Boom!

Mind your own business


No-one likes other people getting involved in their business, whether professional or personal, but it seems that some just can’t help themselves….and dare I say it, in recent times, Aberdeen’s business community has developed a terrible reputation for spreading unwarranted rumours about competitors.

I get it, it’s a tough market out there but when I hear about a client’s competitor telling people they’ve gone into administration so they can steal contracts or advisors in a local business support organisation telling their clients that someone they’ve engaged is expensive compared to others in the market, it is nothing short of underhand, dirty politics.

We’ve all faced ‘interesting’ times for the past few years, however, I recall at the very start of the downturn one of our most highly respected local businessmen, Sir Ian Wood, called for ‘collaboration’ and encouraged companies to work together for survival.

That word ‘collaboration’ has been misconstrued by some as cut throat, an opportunity to dispose of competitors and a green light to ditch business morals. Well, shame on you.

Having managed my business for ten years, I have never bad mouthed my competitors and never approached my competitors’ clients and this is a moral that I have instilled in every single person that has been in my Frasermedia team over the years. I always think that keeping an eye on your own business and looking ahead is much more profitable than looking over your shoulder at what your competitors are doing. Simply put, mind your own business!

If, like one of our clients, you do find yourself the subject of this dirty Aberdeen politics, there’s nothing like a good bit of PR and a brand awareness boost, which will not only make your nemesis look foolish, it will likely attract new clients more interested in your services than what your competitors are saying.

But don’t shoot from the hip with your PR and don’t try to do it yourself to save money. We’re all trying to make savings but PR is about company reputation and if you value that then you should place value on any PR that you do to promote your brand.

We work with all of our clients on a regular basis ensuring we are rolling out consistent, positive messages and they all have various budgets so it’s not a one size fits all.

So, when I say, ‘mind your own business’, I mean keep an eye on your own ball and don’t get into playing games with your competitors as someone will lose and you risk it being you!

Instead, focus on your own score sheet, focus on raising your profile and continuing to build your own reputation to attract new business. Point scoring is a loser’s game and no-one likes being a loser!


Gloves off – win votes against your opposition with the politics of PR

pick me

It took us all by surprise as we were plunged into election countdown, now we’re in the height of vote winning fever before the country goes to the polls and business leaders should sit up and take note of the politics of PR.

As politicians literally scramble to get their campaigns off the ground, it’s a lesson that your business PR campaign should always be ready for action, well prepared, planned and then executed to perfection.

Let’s face it, no-one wants to be a step behind their competitors, everyone wants to be in Theresa May’s position…top of the tree, ahead of the game and surprising your opposition.

As we begin to feel some cautious, positive changes in the North-east market everyone in business will be beginning to tentatively consider improving their brand awareness and you don’t want to be last to the party.

In the run up to the election, every party will be on the charm offensive and, sometimes the defensive, but in business, there’s no need to pose with a baby or throw your competitor under the bus. There’s nothing wrong with taking the gloves off but be sure your campaign to raise your brand is more perfectly manicured than bare knuckled.

Rather than winning votes, any PR campaign should be aimed at securing new clients and like the election campaign, you have to blow your own trumpet to get the results.

When it comes to choosing the best PR person for your business, it’s identical to an election with everyone trying to convince you they’re the best person for the job!

So, how do you separate the facts from the fiction and choose the best spin doctor for your business?

  • Ensure they have vast skills and expertise in their trade and they’re not just doing their own PR job
  • Don’t just listen to their self proclaimed PR puff, ask for evidence of successful client work
  • Media contacts, aka the PR pro black book, is essential for any good communications expert. It’s who you know after all!
  • Ensure they are well informed & up-to-date with industry news & competitors as they will be better placed to generate ideas to raise your profile
  • Make sure they are passionate about what they do and have a genuine interest in building your business. They should want to become part of your team and not just be interested in their fee.
  • They should be asking the right questions about your business goals and KPIs as any PR campaign should be aligned to help you deliver your goals
  • Finally, make sure they have a personality! You have to work closely with this person and share your vision, so you must be able to trust them and get on well with them. You should be in for the long term not the short term.

As a business, you don’t have the deadline of a looming election and, unlike politicians, you shouldn’t just be focussing on raising your profile when you’re trying to beat the competition.

You can’t create a brand profile overnight, it should be an on-going strategic plan in action and if you are always focussed on building your reputation, you will always be that step ahead of your opposition and in a good position to react when you’re vying against them to secure a potential client’s vote of favour.

Don’t be like a politician and bring out your best side every few years, invest in your brand profile and let your qualities shine all the time to help secure on-going business victories and the leaders position in your field.

Want to grow your brand and sales painfully slowly? Perfect, invest peanuts to hire a monkey!

By Pauline Fraser


How much do you think Richard Branson invests in PR? How much do you think Apple spends on its brand? How much do you think Nike devotes to marketing?

Ok, I hear you, these are all massive brands with enormous budgets but there is one thing for sure, they all started from nothing and I would bet my bottom dollar they were all smart enough to recognise the benefits of trusting experienced professionals to help them grow.

PR should not just increase your profile, it is way more important than that. It develops your brand reputation in the market, it increases interest in your product or service and, ultimately, it grows your sales.

No black art, no voodoo magic, no spin doctors, no confusing graphs and charts promising you the world, it should just support your plans to help grow your sales and increase your customers.

In my time I’ve heard it all – “We’ve got someone that manages our PR for £200 a month”, “We’ve added PR to the receptionist’s role”, “Our web developer is doing our PR and marketing”, “My 14 year old daughter is doing our social media”, “Our IT guy is communications, no?”

At this point, picture the eyes covered monkey emoji… which brings me nicely onto the subject… invest peanuts to hire a monkey.

Take thirty seconds now to think how much your brand is worth? Brand is everything, image is everything and how you portray yourself to the world is the difference between success and failure.

Let me give you three examples;

  • One client worked in a Portakabin with 20 staff when we started working with them in 2013, they’re now in a new £500k headquarters, have increased their staff to 80+ and are listed in The London Stock Exchange 1000 Companies to Inspire.
  • In 2010 we launched a service for another award-winning client and they have seen vast success and growth and have always been committed to regular PR. They recently invested £2.2m rolling out the service across the central belt which increased their customer base from 600 to 7000.
  • We look after a consumer client which launched a store in January 2017 and they now have around 1800 customers per week, more than 6000 Facebook followers and an average of 6K+ views on Facebook lives.

And the best thing about all of those examples… they are all still clients. Why? The results.

So, you’ll never tap into expertise like this for a £200 investment, but if you do invest in expertise you’ll be the one reaping the benefits in your sales.

And that brings me back to the headline… if you want to be frustrated in the growth of your brand, go ahead and hire the cheapest on the market.

But I’ll leave you to ponder this famous quote, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”.

The benefits of a PR Pro working in-house


Difficult times calls for new measures

Cutting back on overheads and staff numbers is a common occurrence in the North-east at the moment, with many firms operating at the bare minimum and employees’ skillsets being stretched across a variety of different duties and responsibilities.

What we have witnessed time and time again is the lack of resource in a company’s marketing department when times are tough. We have even witnessed firms asking admin staff, who have no PR or marketing experience, to update their social media pages or manage their PR and marketing activity.

However, if there is one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on in this competitive climate, it’s your marketing budget; how do you expect customers to engage with you if you are not making the effort to communicate with them? And is your company reputation worth so little that you wouldn’t invest in a professional to manage it?

There may not necessarily be a budget to employ a full time marketing or PR manager on an annual salary, yet it is worth exploring other options for the sake of your brand’s reputation and growth.

We have seen a number of our clients looking for more internal support to help with their communications activity. This flexible in-house consultancy basis allows us to essentially become the client’s own internal marketing and PR Pro, providing them with an in-house resource without the large cost in these difficult times.

Whether this is for a few days a month, or a couple of times a week, different clients have different requirements and this is why it has to be a flexible approach, where we can use the time effectively to soak up all the information needed to carry out a campaign or pick up on news stories worth communicating externally to key stakeholders.

The proof is in the pudding  

Early last year, one of our account managers covered maternity leave for a client’s marketing manager a couple of days a week. A logical decision made by the client, who wasn’t looking to employ someone on a fixed term to fill this role. Having managed the PR for this client for some time, our account manager was also already equipped with the background knowledge of the company to carry out the job effectively, which meant less training was required, thus saving the client time and money.

The partnership was mutually beneficial, as the client now had a competent marketer and PR Pro working internally for them, whilst we were learning more and more about the client, resulting in more effective campaign planning.

Benefits from this in-house approach include:

  • Insight – having a PR Pro working for you internally allows them to soak up all the information, business chatter and projects taking place in order to suggest the best marketing/PR approach to take, or which news stories to push out externally – things that may often be missed otherwise.
  • Budget – working in-house allows us to gain a better understanding of the client’s quarter/annual marketing budget, any planned up-coming business developments or projects, and how PR can complement these.
  • Empathy – Gaining an internal perspective enables us to empathise with certain aspects of the client’s/marketing manager’s role, such as any pressures they face internally or with the board, as well as the steps they have to take for the approval process, enabling us to work to deadlines more efficiently.
  • Planning – This inside knowledge helps to plan PR & marketing campaigns better, by knowing the ins and outs of the client’s upcoming projects, who they are in talks with for potential business, the sectors they are focussing on and their overarching strategy for the year ahead.
  • Accurate judgements – Having a bird’s eye view of the long-term strategy allows us to make accurate decisions in terms of using the correct promotional tactics to promote a product/service or enhance the brand. Whether this is using online platforms such as social media to create a targeted approach, or hosting an event to speak to an exclusive audience, we can advise, plan, implement and measure the campaign idea from start to finish.
  • Social media – The planning, creation, management and distribution of social media content is a standard service we offer as a communications agency, however we have come to notice that this works a lot more effectively when the social media manager is operating in the client’s environment. Working internally means that we can talk to various members of staff to pick up on potential stories and take photos of people and things to use as part of a social media content strategy, without missing a beat.

If you would like to find out more about our in-house consultancy services and how we can assist you with your PR and marketing activity, we would love to hear from you!

Just drop us an email at or call 01224 857999 to find out how you can use our expertise to enhance your brand’s reputation and help make you stand out from the crowd.