Parker PR
My first ever guest blogger is Wayne Swiffin. A fellow PR practitioner, Wayne attended one of my charity fundraising business events which clearly got him thinking! Over to you Wayne 

I joined a number of people who last night went to the Business Boost IV event, held at Portland College just outside Mansfield.

The hugely popular Business Boost events are organised by Graham Parker PR (and sponsored by chartered certified accountants HewittCard) to do two things.

One, give businesses some valuable information on a particular subject and two, raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research (as part of Graham's quest to raise £68,000 in the memory of his father who died at the age of 68 a couple of years ago).

Last night's event was particularly interesting for me as it was about how to make the media work for businesses; it straddled my journalistic interests and my PR experience and knowledge.

We had a panel of speakers including Richard Baker, a duty editor at the Nottingham Post, Tracy Powell, editor of the Mansfield Chad newspaper, radio specialist Wesley Mallin, and video journalist Peter McNerney from the Yorkshire Post.

I won't go into detail about what was said; suffice to say that was a lot of information for people to get a good feel for what journalists need in order to do their job and for them to manage what was being said about them or their business.

Some great advice from the journalists regarding what news is and how it can be presented, and some great advice and case studies from Graham on how to manage your PR.

Hi, this is my latest blog on poor public relations and customer service -  it's not too long so please let me know what you think by leaving comments and I'll get back to you.

I wonder if there is any other service provider that has such a "customers must play by our rules" attitude as that I recently experienced with Fitness First?

For several years I was a member of my local Fitness First gym and for the most part have had nothing to complain about. The staff are helpful, pleasant and a pleasure to be around. Even though I'm edging closer to being 50 with every creaking-limbed day, I've never felt that the gym considered me less of a valued customer than the Jaffa coloured sylphs that sip their water while draped over a treadmill or the ever expanding tattooed muscle men who no doubt work the doors of my local nightclubs at weekends while discussing the relevancy of Plato in a post-Fordian economy.