SME Podcast: Start-Up Stories

Our favourite podcast for Small to Medium Enterprises.

According to research conducted by Edison Research in 2016, an estimated 98 million people listen to podcasts around the world, and that number is growing year on year. Can you blame them?

Podcasting is a great way to not only entertain your personal interests but it is increasingly valuable as a great tool for business to share tips and stories of success – and there are plenty of opportunities to listen and learn, and share your own story too.

Visit our list of favourite SME Podcasts and people and best podcasters behind them.  We’ve also put a Twitter list of SME Podcasts together for you too – to help you keep up-to-date on business tips, news and stories on an ever-growing platform.  Let us know if you have any favourites.

Start-Up Stories

Recently I have found a great podcast for SME news, stories and top tips: Start-Up Stories by the Financial Times. Each week Jonathan Moules talks to business founders about the joys and challenges of starting a business. Jane Ni Dhulchaointgh’s story from a few weeks ago (17th July) particularly caught my attention, showing us the true value of PR and Social Media for entrepreneurs.

Like many great businesses, Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh of Sugru started hers with a passion. Jane’s aim was to swap our throwaway culture for a fix-it society through the creation of Sugru – a flexible silicone material that can stick to anything permanently allowing you to fix, create and innovate. The idea began in the design studio, the product was developed in the labs but what brought the brand to global success was Jane’s use of social media in the early days of the business.

Jane always had high expectations for the material, but she was reminded by a friend that to make it big you have to start small. Jane used the growing platforms of YouTube and blogging in the late 00s to launch her brand online. One particular breakthrough for the company was their video review on the Telegraph’s website and ever since her orders have exploded – illustrating the power of great PR especially when used in a new media context.

The buzz around the product caught the attention of DIY supergiant B&Q with Jane turning to social media to make sure people ‘got their ass’s down to B&Q’ to buy Sugru. Jane did not know that her YouTube publicity stunt of parading a donkey around the local B&Q car park would grab the attention of a B&Q board member and a large consumer audience for its innovative use of social media, but it certainly did.

Jane admits that Sugru has a lot to thank social media platforms for in its early days, it was a cheap and efficient way of getting the word out about their brilliant product. Although social media has changed since the late 00s and little comes for free anymore, her inspiring story shows how you can use PR and social media to create a little community in order catch the attention of a bigger audience.


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

PR Q and A

Nellie PR Q and A

Public relations questions and answers.

‘What is PR?’ — How many times can we be asked this question?!

If you want to find out more about the basics of PR or how you can use PR to grow and support your business check out our PR Q and A. FAQ’s that we have answered so far include:

Please contact Ellen Carroll, by email, twitter or facebook, with your PR questions and queries. Keep an eye on the Q and A page for regular updates  — as we receive more questions we can upload more useful answers!


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

Free Photos for your Content Marketing

Top 10 places to bag yourself great images for free.

Did you know that a tweet with a picture is 18% more likely to get a click through that one without? Every business or personal account needs great imagery to accompany blog posts and social media content. So as we update our social media calendar and blog schedule, I’ve been on the hunt for great new images to accompany our content. Sourcing these images in advance may seem like a long process but it can save you valuable time throughout the year, helping you get your blogs and posts updated regularly and on time. So here are my top 10 tips on sourcing free photos for your content marketing:

1. You! The best source of imagery can come from you. Taking your own images allows you to tailor it to fit your theme or topic perfectly whilst adding more of a personal touch to your work. You don’t need a fancy, top of the range camera to take great quality photos when smartphones can offer great picture quality making it easier than ever to capture the perfect photo. The quality, however, does range between different smartphones and brands so just ensure that the image is a suitable pixel resolution – find out which smartphones have the best cameras here. But, like me, you may not always have time to capture that perfect image yourself so I have often had to resort to numbers 2-10

2. Unsplash Unsplash has one of the largest collections of great online images that I have come across. You can search by collection or keywords which make it easy and accessible for everyone to use. Unsplash doesn’t require you to set up an account if you don’t want to, which saves you from the unwanted emails that many free image websites can flood you with.

Here’s an example of how we have used Unsplash on our blog: How to write a PR Brief

3. Picjumbo Picjumbo, like Unsplash, offers stock photos which do not look very stock-y. Typical ‘lady sitting behind desk’ stock photos don’t inspire much interest, and  Picjumbo offers a great alternative to this – offering images that are a bit more interesting and unique.

4. New Old Stock This site is rather different, offering top quality copyright free vintage images from public archives. These images are great for adding a unique touch to blog posts or fitting in with a more vintage and retro theme. The only issue is that New Old Stock is very specific and it doesn’t offer what everyone is looking for.

5. Gratisography Although Gratisography may not have the same number of photos as Picjumbo or Unsplash, they make up for it in originality. Where else could you search the term ‘rabbit’ and get hits of a man dressed up as a rabbit in a tie reading a newspaper? Albeit, if you are aiming for a simple image of a cute bunny munching on a carrot, Gratisography may not be the free image site for you, but it offers eye-catching photos – all for free.

6. Canva Canva is my new obsession in the office. Not only can it be used to add text and layouts to photos and designs, Canva has a great stock of simple and transferable images you can use for free or thousands of others available from just $1. The great thing about Canva is that it is not everyone’s go-to site for free images, the photograph function is just one of the many of its features, therefore the images aren’t used as often as many, more obvious, stock photo websites.

7. Pixabay Pixabay is great for a range of top quality photographs. You can tailor your search to a particular orientation or photograph size making it easier to pick photos which cater to the specific requirements of certain social media sites. You can also narrow down searches by colour, meaning that if your blog or posts require a certain colour scheme you do not have to sift through endless photos to find your perfect match.

8. Life of Pix Life of Pix offers a platform for photographers to upload their photos for others to use for free. As a result Life of Pix is regularly uploaded with a whole spectrum of different styles and artists. You can even follow, like and share your favourite photographers and images creating a social-networking vibe to the site, presenting stock photos as more of an art and hobby than a corporate necessity.

9. Jay Mantri All photos on the website are taken by Jay Mantri himself. Many of Mantri’s images are from his beach holidays but he also includes many of urban landscapes and materials, with a unique and modern style. He releases new photos every Thursday and allows any use of all photographs.

10.  Death to the Stock Photo Death to the Stock Photo offers a great service where you sign up to a mailing list and each month you are sent a zip file with interesting and beautiful images. Once the month is over the images are removed and replaced with new ones, meaning that the stock photos are not often overused online.

So there we have it. 10 of my favourite sources of perfect high-quality images for your blogs and social media content, without any stress of copyright laws.

Amendment: September 2017

We are constantly coming across more great sites to bag yourself free images, so why stop at 10? Here are a few more of our favourite finds since writing this blog six months ago.

Burst: Although Burst is a fairly new platform, it’s image base is vast and growing every day. Search by popular categories, keywords or get the new images sent straight to your mailbox.

MMT: Another great platform built off the back of a love for photography, the stock mainly features nature, city scenes and workspaces.

Kaboom: Kaboom is perfect if you have a photo in mind. Being able to filter results according to colour and orientation, makes it a great tool for finding exactly what you need.

Styled Stock: This platform provides stock photos of all things girly, from makeup to flowers to fashion.

Negative Space: Negative space once again has a wide range of high-resolution stock photos which are easy to search through and quickly download.


Image sourced from Unsplash.


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

New PR and Marketing Intern

We have a new PR and marketing intern at Nellie PR and it’s me – Sam Hayes.

I’m following in good footsteps.  Other interns at Nellie PR have included Hollie-Anne Brooks and Luke Bristow who both blogged about their experiences back in the day: journalist turns PR intern and PR agency appoints PR intern and have gone on to do great things. Nellie PR also pays all its interns and champions better internships that are accessible to all so another big thumbs up from me.

So, I’m really excited to take on the challenge of being Nellie PR’s new intern. It’s a great opportunity to dive into the deep end and explore what PR and marketing are all about and gain some real-life business experience, and absolutely fabulous PR and marketing skills.

My enthusiasm and drive to learn as much as I can over my next year or so here puts me in a good place to take on any challenge that will come my way.  I’ve worked with a wide variety of teams and people throughout my work as a waitress and maths tutor, which I now hope to expand even further through my work for Nellie PR (but without having to make so many lattes or dealing with too many quadratic formulas).

Originally I come from just outside London, so the view of the gorgeous Devon coastline from our office in Teignmouth is a refreshing change. I’m currently in my second year of reading History at the University of Exeter. Off campus, I am learning (or attempting to learn…most of my time is spent falling flat on my face) how to wakeboard. My main off-campus focus, however, is hopefully to get to know all the lovely Nellie PR clients and contribute blog posts, interviews and much more to Nellie PR.

I am hoping that working for Nellie PR and consequently a whole host of different companies and projects, that I will gain a wide variety of skills that will set me up for a long career in public relations after university. One of my first and ongoing jobs is to run our social media accounts, so hopefully your timelines and newsfeeds will be full of Nellie PR news, updates and events soon enough. Please follow @nelliepr on Twitter to keep up to date on my work and efforts here at Nellie PR.


Image sourced from Unsplash.

Wakeboarding photo supplied by Sam.


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

New Devon Office for Nellie PR

Teignmouth Pavilions

We have a new home – Nellie PR has opened an office at The Pavilions in Teignmouth and it is very much the start of a love affair with our new seaside business home.  Yes, we have a sea view :-)

So with this love affair well and truly underway, expect a regular We Love Teignmouth feature starting now – five things you might not know about Teignmouth.

  1. Let’s start with Muse. Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard all come from this quaint seaside town and all went to school at Teignmouth Community College. Their song Falling Down is even apparently based on their teenage years in Teignmouth. Keep an eye out for them popping back home every now and again.
  2. Donald Crowhurt, the British businessman and amateur sailor, set off on the Sunday Times Golden Globe yacht race from right here in Teignmouth in 1968. Crowhurt aimed to sail around the world single-handedly but infamously Crowhurt’s boat, the Teignmouth Electron, was found adrift and empty in 1969
  3. The Mercy, the biopic based on Donald Crowhurt was filmed in Teignmouth starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz.  Can’t wait for this film to come out (expected 27th October 2017).  Our only regret is that we didn’t move into our office in time to watching filming.
  4. Teignmouth was the last seaside town in England to have been invaded by a foreign army. Prior to this, Teignmouth has been the subject of many invasions by Saxons and Celts who fought a battle on the Ness, the Danes and the French, twice! In 1690 a French invasion even led to the destruction of a lot of the town
  5. The port of Teignmouth is perhaps more active today than it’s ever been! 200 year old ball and fire clays are mined from the lower Teign valley and are then shipped to countries from Finland to Italy.

Want know more, just give us a call at our Teignmouth office.


Image sourced from Pavilions Teignmouth.

Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR