Maladjusted?

Posts Tagged ‘local

I am a fool…but not as foolish as some

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After reading about what a low turnout there was for the local and European elections today, I felt very ashamed of myself for my earlier blog post, in which I self satisfyingly justified why I wasn’t going to vote.

The fact of the matter is, that I should have organised myself a bit better and got onto the electoral role in time. 

The other fact of the matter is, should the BNP (Nazi’s in my book) or UKIP (a watered down version of the BNP – again in my book) get majority votes then us ‘non-voters’ only have ourselves to blame.  I really really hope this isn’t the case of course. 

Could you imagine being represented in Europe by the BNP?

On a lighter note, Boris Johnson fell into a river today.  Somehow I don’t feel quite as stupid now.

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Written by Lores

June 4, 2009 at 6:09 pm

PR Planning Tips: Know Your Publics!

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The first step in successful PR planning is to know your publics.

Also referred to as the ‘Target Market’ in marketing, and the ‘Target Audience’ in  advertising, the ‘publics’ are those individuals or organisations, internally or externally, which whom an organisation communicates with.  

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines ‘publics’ as:

“…audiences that are important to the organisation. They include customers – existing and potential; employees and management; investors; media; government; suppliers; opinion-formers”

Identifying your publics will help you to plan your pr or communications strategy, help you set your PR priorities and enable you to set budgets and identify communication techniques.  

So who are your publics?

Well, each organisation is unique and will have a variety of different audiences, but generally speaking there are eight types of publics with whom an organisation will typically need to communicate with:

 

1.  Suppliers

 These could be the organisations that supply essentials such as water or electricity to your premises, or they could be suppliers of raw materials. 

 

2.  Distributers

These are the organisations or individuals who handle your goods in bulk between you and the customer.  How large an organisation you are will obviously have an impact on how many distributers you have.  A distributer could be a wholesaler, a supermarket, stokebroker, vending machines, importers / exporters, discount stores etc etc

 

3.  Consumers / End Users

These are the people buying and using your end products.  The ‘consumer’ is the individual who literally buys your product.  The ‘end user’ is the person who actually uses the product.  Of course, this could be the same person as the ‘consumer’, but it could also be someone else – for example someone (the consumer) buys a birthday gift of chocolates for his mother (the end user)

 

4.  The Financial Community

The financial community are organisations such as banks, insurance brokers, fund managers, stoke brokers and funders.  Be clear about your trading, and your organisation’s background – if anything is unclear or looks ‘risky’ a trader won’t buy shares in your organisation, and a bank won’t lend you money.   

 

5.  Local Community

Good PR starts on your doorstep, so make sure you have a good neighbourhood policy!   How to define your local community, and how you communicate with that community, really depends on what sort of organisation you are.  For example, if you are local bed & breakfast your local community could be your local town, but if you are a national distribution company you may have several communities to communicate with.   

 

6.  Potential Employees

This is the group of people that may one day work for your organisation.  They could be college students or individuals who already work a competitor.  Whoever they are, they won’t want to work for you if they don’t like what your organisation stands for – in fact, they may well go and work for the competition.  Make sure you make your organisation attractive to potential employees – make sure that it is viewed as a good organisation to work for, and make sure its clear what your organisation does.

 

7.  Opinion Leaders & Formers

An opinion leader is usually an individual that is much respected or holds sway over public opinion.  This could be a spokesperson, a political leader, a military leader, a celebrity or someone else who is able to change / form public opinion.  These are important people to have on your side! 

Opinion formers are usually the media or the press.  These mediums are able to form public opinion – for example, you may find a newspaper may have a particular political allegiance, and can change the opinion of voters.

 

8.  Employees

There are typically many employees in an organisation, from factory staff to drivers to office staff.  You must always consider the demographics such as salary differences, gender, geographic location, age etc when communicating. 

 

Others publics you might want to consider

As stated above – each organisation will have different audiences which whom they communicate.  Other publics you may wish to consider are:

  • Local Government
  • Regional Government
  • National Government
  • International Government
  • Competitors

My Big Shopping Experiment: Can I avoid supermarkets and chain stores?

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basket1A while ago I blogged about our reliance on supermarkets, and how we should be buying locally and supporting our local economies.

I am a local shopper, where I can be.  But like many others, I nip into the odd supermarket for essentials when pressed for time.  Yes…it really is convenient. 

However, shopping locally does more than just supporting your local economy and high street.  I won’t repeat my original blog post here – but click here if you want to read what I think on the matter.

Time therefore, for me to practice what I preach, and so for the next week I am going to see if I am able to purchase all that I need from local shops and market stalls and totally avoid supermarkets and chain-stores.

I will then record how much I spend here on this very blog and see if it is possible to live frugally without relying on buying from supermarkets.

Written by Lores

April 17, 2009 at 10:42 am

Buy locally and support your local community

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basket1In the UK and other western countries, we are reliant on supermarkets supplying our every need, 24 hours a day.  We are promised convenience, and good quality at good prices, but some evidence suggests that the quality of food we get at supermarkets isn’t always of the optimum standard – especially the budget lines.

Personally, I always find shopping in supermarkets a somewhat surreal experience.  You look at the apples for example.  Each one identical.  You don’t even need to choose between them…but yet you know, that in nature there isn’t that uniformity.  You know that the apple in your hand is not only the same as every single one on that shelf, but on all shelves in all supermarkets nationwide.  Spooky.  But is it because as consumers, we now demand perfection? 

I believe that supermarkets have far too much control over consumers in the UK.  Tescopoly suggests that the trading practices of major supermarkets…

“…are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment”

Convenience food can be part way to blame for the higher incidence of diabetes and obesity here in the UK.  Processed foods supplied (although not exclusively) by supermarkets are packed with sugar, fat, preservatives, e-numbers and salt – things that you wouldn’t add in vast quantities if you made the same food at home.  Tescopoly have written an article about Food Poverty, and what this means to us as consumers.

And don’t get me started on the pesticides used in food production in the UK.  Mass demand, means mass supplies needed, and what better than using pesticides, insecticides, and all manner of other ‘cides’ to guarantee a quick growing and uniform crop?   Visit PAN UK to find out more about the use of pesticides in food production.  

Then there is the environmental cost of buying your food from major retailers.  Supermarkets often import fruit and vegetables from overseas at a huge cost to the environment.  This is because as consumers we demand that we have produce available all year round.  We don’t eat seasonally any longer – we want avocados all year round and so our demands can be met…but at what cost?

And because of the sheer size and power of the major supermarket chains, they can afford to undercut some local businesses, until they go out of business.  Then you find that there are whole communities where there is no choice but to buy from the local supermarket. 

I think it is really important to rebuild those relationship between the urban area and the local rural areas – the major benefits to buying locally or growing food in your local area being that:

  • You will be keeping money in the local area – relying less on imports, and making the local community more sustainable
  • You will be strengthening community relationships
  • You will be ensuring that you maintain your freedom of choice rather than handing the monopoly over to the supermarkets
  • Buying local ingredients, and making your own food gives you more control over what you put in your mouth!
  • Eating seasonally (as human beings are designed to do!) is better for your health
  • You will be minimising environmental costs
  • I believe that it is cheaper to buy locally than from supermarkets *(see ‘My Experiment’ below)

But what about the fact that supermarkets are major and fair employers here the UK?  Well, I’m no employment law expert, so read more here, and see if you still agree with that statement.

I am encouraged to read about communities that are starting to ‘fight back’, by running urban farming projects, such the one in Middlesbrough, and one that is just getting going in Brighton.  These are designed to encourage local produce, to reduce food miles, and to strengthen community relationships.

So to summarise…I think everyone should, where possible, buy locally, or even grow your own if you can…

*My Experiment

Always one to practice what I preach, and despite the fact that I am about to move into a ground floor flat in North London, with only communal garden space, I am going to run this as an experiment:  Is it possible to buy everything I need locally, and avoid the supermarkets?   Are supermarkets really the cheaper option?  Or is it more frugal to buy locally?  I believe so, and I will keep my blog updated on my ‘experiment’