What does Fake News mean for PR?

The term Fake News has become synonymous with Donald Trump and whilst on the surface it may just seem like an easy get out of answering even the most straightforward questions, I hate to say it, he may have a point.

I want to be very clear here though – I’m not saying I agree with him! Absolutely not! But to some extent news agendas and their reliability and credibility is under scrutiny. Particularly with digital platforms and social media facilitating rapid growth in rumour and speculation.

In its “‘17 for 17’: 17 Recommendations for Great Communications in 2017”, the PRCA says that “While 2016 saw much discussion of political fake news; in future, businesses will also be subject of aggressive campaigns based on misinformation.”* Fake news is resulting in a new role emerging for pr professionals, as our job is now also about stopping misinformation whilst protecting and promoting the truth. The good thing for us as PR people is that this means that journalists are coming to rely on us more than ever!

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For me, PR is all about reputation. Not just the reputation of your clients and the agency you work for but also your professional reputation. It may often seem there’s an easy option to take but that may put your reputation on the line and frankly, it isn’t worth it! All material a pr person puts out – every press release, every email, every tweet – is a reflection of their credibility and effects their reputation, not just the client and their agency.

In this industry, your reputation absolutely proceeds you and word soon gets around! Journalists need to know that they can trust you, if they do your relationship will flourish and they’ll need you as much as you need them.

At Paskett PR our media relationships are one of the accolades of which we are most proud. Just take a look at the “Blooming Brilliant” page on our website to see what they’ve got to say about us!

Holly

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Go wild in your garden!

Wildlife not only makes the garden feel alive but also helps keep it beautiful.  Making your garden a haven for wildlife doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  With a bit of consideration, your garden can attract a variety of birds, bugs, hedgehogs and bees and become the perfect habitat for them.

Here’s some top tips:

  • Choose the right flowers & plants

Flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and manyother insects that perform the important task of fertilisation.  Planting roses, honeysuckle or clematis against walls or fences will make ideal nesting habitats.   Hardy salvia, redbeckia, lavender and nepeta are all good examples of pollen and nectar-rich plants and will help to encourage bees.

  • Create a water feature or pond

The single easiest way to add wildlife benefits to a garden is to install a pond if you have space.  Alternatively, consider a small water feature to attract different creatures.  The use of plants like water lilies and broad leaf pond weeds can help to create your underwater habitat.

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  • Put up nesting boxes

You can provide new places for birds to nest by putting up nest boxes.  They will encourage birds to breed in your garden. Ideally put the bird box up in autumn, which will allow the birds time to become familiar with them in time for the nesting season the following spring.

  • Hang a bird feeder

Hang a bird feeder filled with unsalted peanuts.  You can get squirrel-proof bird feeders to ensure the squirrels don’t steal all the food!  Fat balls and seed mixes are ideal for attracting a range of bird species.

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  • Don’t clear up all the garden mess!

Piles of leaves and twiggy debris provide both food and habitat for many species.  Piles of stones can also make good habitat, particularly for hibernating reptiles and amphibians.

  • Grow a hedge

Hedges provide additional nesting areas for birds and small animals.  Suitable hedge plants include blackthorn, buckthorn, cherry plum, elder, hawthorn, hazel and privet.

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Good luck and enjoy the wildlife in your garden from your window!

Aroonaa

Gardening?… Just what the doctor ordered!

The benefits of gardening are widely reported. Not only is the physical side of gardening a great means of exercise (raking leaves can burn 250 calories per hour – the same as two packets of crisps!) but getting outside in the fresh air is also a great way of clearing your head and forgetting about your everyday stresses.

A new report by the King’s Fund, a charity that aims to improve health and care in England, has urged the NHS to prescribe gardening to patients and, here at Paskett PR, we couldn’t agree more!

The report suggests that gardening can aid patients, particularly the elderly, to reduce social isolation and can significantly help those with dementia. This method, called social prescribing, is rapidly becoming a recognised means of treating patients, whilst also reducing pressures on doctors and the NHS.

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Social prescribing is the means of referring people for non-clinical treatments for illness and problems. It encourages patients to take control of their illness without a dependency on medication and clinical support. This holistic approach isn’t just about gardening, other examples include volunteering, reading, arts activities, group learning, cookery, and getting involved in sports.

By offering people social and emotional support, whilst providing a means of distraction and a sense of belonging, social prescribing is believed to be key to improving quality of life and well-being, as well as reducing depression and anxiety.

Whilst there is yet to be any empirical evidence as to the impact of social prescribing, we can’t help but think it’s a great idea and that more people should be getting out in the garden!

Even Mary Berry agrees with us, having said “I have long been aware of the therapeutic benefits of gardening – you don’t need pills so get out in the garden and enjoy it.”

Want to know more about benefits of gardening for your health? Click here https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Gardens_and_health.pdf

Find out more about social prescribing here: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/primary-and-community-care/social-prescribing.

Holly