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Five years of Gem PR & Media

Five years of Gem PR & Media

It's been a long time since I posted, it's been a busy few months. It's also five years since I launched Gem PR & Media from our dining room table in Guernsey. And sure, we have 250 #FiveYears of #LipSmackingService Serious Lip Balms to gift to our friends, family, and clients (let me know if you’d like one and I’ll make sure it happens), but I also wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

It’s been vital to our survival that we love what we do. That’s what it comes down to. If money is more important than doing what you love that’s ok too. But for small business owners, we do it because it’s what we're meant to do. 

Celebrate the good times. Do not dwell on the bad times, they will pass, and you will get through. If you mess up admit it, apologize, and move on. Know that if something isn’t your fault, and you did a good job, you can’t win them all. 

Listen to advice from your peers. Not all advice is good, but in time you will discover those whose advice is invaluable. 

Stay true to yourself. That gut feeling has always been a strong indicator for me. If I feel something is off it usually is. 

Do good. As a business owner, you have the power to leave this place in better shape than when you found it. Give your time wisely and use it for good.  

If you can’t stand up for your industry then help make it be a better one. Lead by example. It’s ok if others follow I genuinely believe that.

Go the extra mile for your clients it will make all the difference. 

Finally, recognize your accomplishments and those that have helped you along the way.

So thank you to everyone that has supported us over the years we appreciate it, we really do! 

Local First Springfield & Innovate Springfield collaborate on training for businesses

Local First Springfield & Innovate Springfield collaborate on training for businesses

So many of our clients ask ‘what can I do to grow my business?’ We often tell them to get involved with the community and to collaborate with other businesses. There are lots of examples of organizations collaborating successfully. Only the other day I attended the first Mindful Mornings in Springfield at Engrained Brewery & Restaurant, where the room was packed with people that want to do good – and – collaborate in order to achieve this.

Local First Springfield is an organization we as a business are involved in – and so too are many of our clients because they, like us, see the benefit in supporting other like-minded, local, small and large companies and organizations that want to see our city and surrounding area prosper. We love Springfield and we want it to be the best city to live in – for all.

Our friend and master collaborator, Katie Davison, of Innovate Springfield, is leading the next Local First training session on Thursday (March 8 – funnily enough that’s International Women’s Day – go ladies!) on business collaboration: Fostering a Business Ecosystem. During the 90-minute class, Katie will explain the benefits and importance of business collaboration, as evidenced by Springfield’s growing business ecosystem. Basically, a business ecosystem is the interconnected web of business owners, innovators, and entrepreneurs that create relationships with one another to not only make their own businesses more successful but also recognize opportunities for all involved. In order to demonstrate the power of business collaboration, Katie will describe some of the great examples happening in our community right now.

There are two sessions, one at 9am (not too early and perfect timing for a mug of Custom Cup Coffee) and the other at 3.30pm (for those of us that prefer an afternoon class). This is not only an opportunity to learn to work together but to meet fellow business owners and entrepreneurs. The class, open to Local First Springfield members and nonmembers, is just $30.

This is the second class in a yearlong series organized by Local First Springfield, which is being led by a different member each month.

You can register for the class here.


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois Labor Day Ducky Derby goes swimmingly

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois Labor Day Ducky Derby goes swimmingly

At Gem PR & Media we’re always keen to give back.

We are proud to be involved in a number of non-profit organizations in Springfield, Illinois. As well as developing communication strategies for charities, providing sponsorships, and coverage through our free online lifestyle magazine, Eighteen21, we sit on boards and volunteer at fundraisers in the city. This week is a particularly busy one for the team with Monday's Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois inaugural Labor Day Ducky Derby fundraiser at Knights Action Park, Thursday's 6th annual Illinois Women in Leadership Women’s Symposium, and the inaugural Junk In Your Trunk For A Cause fundraiser for Compass for Kids, which takes place on Saturday, September 9 at Marine Bank on Robbins Road from 8am to 1pm.

If you're organizing a fundraiser or need support, getting the word out about your cause, get in touch with us by emailing

Here are a few photos from yesterday's Labor Day Ducky Derby!


The importance of networking

The importance of networking


A few months ago I wrote a blog about networking groups and provided ideas for bringing the energy back. In the past nine months, life has been pretty hectic with the arrival of our daughter (and the real CEO of Gem PR & Media) Olivia. This has meant that at times we have had to miss out on networking opportunities as, although Gem PR & Media is a priority, family comes first. I know many of you will agree. 

Networking is extremely important when you’re developing a client base from scratch. Even several years after launching your new venture, you need to get out there and meet business owners and entrepreneurs. Through networking, you have the opportunity to spread your message, tell people about what you do, how and why, and build relationships and contacts. So, last week I decided to make an effort to attend, in a single day (not an unusual activity pre-Miss Olivia), our Central Illinois Networking Group meeting, a Springfield BNI chapter, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce after hours event. 

I’ve always loved networking. After years of acting classes from an early age, I don’t generally fear walking into a room of people I don’t know. But, it’s been a while since I did that. So, I put on my lippy and heels and headed on up to the 14th floor of the Crowne Plaza. 

I was one of the first there. I walked on over to the viewing area where a few people had gathered to observe Springfield from a height and struck up a conversation with a young girl from AT&T. In her early 20s, I was reminded of my early networking years – being the newbie in the room (or on the rooftop) and how just one person that came across to say ‘hello’ helped my confidence. We chatted for a while until a connection I had met at the lunchtime meeting came across to say ‘hi’ and joined us in conversation. This gave me the opportunity to further develop the professional relationship I had begun to nurture earlier that day. Adding another person to your conversation also helps it progress and change direction, which is helpful if you’re struggling for topics, after the initial introduction.
I think the biggest takeaway from networking all these years is to make sure you don’t just talk about yourself, but listen to and engage with the person you are meeting. 

I stayed at the after-hours event for a while, handed out a few business cards, and then left feeling pretty satisfied. The heels came off and flip-flops went on as soon as I got in the car of course. 
The following morning I took out the collection of business cards I’d gathered and began writing follow-up emails – thanking the BNI chapter for having me, reminding them about and Junk In Your Trunk For A Cause, and mentioning I’d hope to see them again soon. Another thing I came to realize while developing our business is the importance of follow-up. Never forget to follow-up with a new connection. I admire those who do it over the phone. I usually send an email. 

Now, I didn’t do this – although I thought about and wish I had, why not take a selfie with your new connections too. Post on your social media business profiles and tag your new ‘friends’ in. This will also encourage them to like and engage with your online platforms. But don’t worry if you forget, you’ll do it next time. 

It’s never too late to network – or get back to it. If you’ve lost the enthusiasm, or haven’t simply had the time to do so, throw yourself in when you get your next chance. It’s a bit like riding a bike – once you get back on you’ll remember how. If time is an issue I recommend picking one day out of the week and devoting that day to networking. It’s hard to concentrate when you get back to the office because often you need to follow-up on the emails, calls etc. that you’ve missed. So know that it’s ok because tomorrow you’ll get time at your desk. Make those networking moments count. Don’t forget to take business cards, always follow-up, and get the next event in your calendar. 

The bigger picture

The bigger picture

I‘ve been thinking a lot recently about how we can add value to our clients. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the bigger picture means including the little things. As well as doing a good job it’s important to remain connected with clients. One way to do this is to stay abreast of issues or trends in their industry. This takes time of course, but it can be as simple as setting up Google alerts and subscribing to industry websites. If we do not manage a client’s social media we always like, follow, and engage with their platforms so that we remain up to date with their daily activity.

I’m also a great believer in bringing different clients together to create meaningful professional relationships. If I see an opportunity to introduce one client to another I will make the effort to do so. My clients know this too – and appreciate it.

We are often asked by clients if we are interested in writing an article for about an organization they are involved with, such as a nonprofit or association. It may even be that they have a client that has a story or is involved in a nonprofit that would appreciate the coverage, exposure, and opportunity to share content on their social media platforms – and website. 

I recently also launched a PR & Media Tool Kit and am offering discounts to organizations we are involved with, such as Illinois Women in Leadership, Business Networking International, and Central Illinois Networking Group – as well as nonprofits. May of our clients are members of or involved in such organizations – therefore they enjoy the discount.

If we are not managing a client’s social media platforms, but we are in fact creating content for them through, and we believe we can add value by providing training on the platforms, we will do so free of charge. It’s important for our clients that they gain value from any work we do. If we are creating content we want them to be able to social it out, provide links to our site from their website, and help improve their SEO or Google rankings. Taking time to support their other PR and marketing activities is a solid investment for them and us. 

At the end of the day, we want our clients to be successful because as their businesses grow so will ours. 

It’s not about us, it’s about you

It’s not about us, it’s about you

In August 2015 I wrote the blog ‘A day in the life of Gem PR & Media.’ It was a take on a feature that I’ve produced (in one shape or another) for a number of magazines around the globe. We currently run a similar piece in called ‘My not so 9 to 5,’ which chronicles the day for those living in and around Springfield. It’s a great way to gain insight into someone’s business, organization, or life.

This week I thought about revisiting the idea of a ‘not so 9 to 5 at Gem PR & Media,’ but then I got to thinking – it’s not about us it’s about you. What I really should be talking about is our clients and what their days are like working with us because that’s what matters.

A lot of the time our clients will apologize for their delay in getting back to us about a blog we drafted, the month’s social media posts we’ve scheduled, or a meeting date and time. The reason is they are busy. Well, that’s exactly what we want to hear. We are glad that our clients are too busy to get back to us right away. When I get a text message that reads ‘my phone has been ringing non-stop,’ that makes my day. It means that we’re doing something right. 

Most recently we’ve been working with the team at SPFLD Emojis, which released about a week-and-a-half ago. The media reception has been fantastic. We issued a press release on June 1 and since then SPFLD Emojis has appeared on multiple platforms from TV to radio and print to online, of course. I’ve always said that if you’ve got a great story the media will want to tell it – and that’s the case with SPFLD Emojis. 

Something else that we feel strongly about is including clients in the opportunities that we ourselves pursue. Last week we attended the Women Empowerment networking event at Erin’s Pavilion, organized by our client Deb Sarsany and her team at The Real Estate Group (another of our clients). We wanted to show some of the work we do and what better way to do that than have clients attend with us? Brittany Wallin of SPFLD Emojis and Crystal Apostol of Apostol Heirloom Portraitist joined the Gem PR & Media/ table, mingled with guests, and developed new relationships. We also had marketing materials from Sensible Innovations, AlignLife of Springfield, which has its annual 5K in Washington Park in September, and copies of the 2017/18 Springfield Visitors Guide, which we researched and wrote last summer. We also gave away four tickets to a 2017/18 Springfield Jr. Blues games, kindly provided by the team, another client of ours – and because we are located across the road from the fabulous Pease’s at Bunn Gourmet, we had a selection of their delicious mini desserts for guests to our table. 

These are just a few examples, but I think it’s important to demonstrate just how much we appreciate our clients, how we continue to look for new opportunities so that they are able to grow their businesses, and how being a part of the Gem PR & Media ‘family’ is a positive experience. 



Networking is a great way to build relationships and develop leads for your business. At times, however, you may find that the last thing you want to do is attend another networking event. Worse still, your networking group has become stale and the quantity and quality of referrals is declining. If this is the case I have a few suggestions to help bring energy back to your group. 

A social, which also involves the families of your group’s members, is a great way to get to know one another better and spend time together without the added ‘pressure’ of referrals. In and around Springfield there are a number of venues that would suit a relaxed gathering. Sheedy Shores in New Berlin, for example, allows you to bring your own food, there are plenty of tables, a grassed area, and on Sundays, there is live music. An afternoon picnic at Southwind Park is another great spot as there’s plenty for kids to do and explore. 

A community project is another way to help bring the group together and develop relationships. You may want to prepare and serve a meal for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield, for example.

Perhaps the start time of your regular meeting needs to change, or even the day. Do you need fresh blood in the group? What about setting aside meetings for guest visits. You could make this a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly activity. There could even be representatives from certain industries that you would like to add to the group. Sometimes it takes one or two members of the group meeting with a potential recruit, for coffee or lunch, to explain how your organization works and its benefits. It’s also worth revisiting your own contacts. Perhaps you’ve missed someone from your network that would fit right in and benefit other members – as well as themselves of course.

With many organizations, the leadership team can lose momentum if they have been in their respective positions for too long. If it’s time to shake things up to encourage those who have not taken on leadership roles in the past to do so.

Finally, is your group doing all that it can to get the word out about its members? Do you have a Facebook page or Instagram account that you can populate with members’ businesses and activities? If not then perhaps it’s time to engage in social media as well as meeting in person to share referrals and develop relationships. 

If you are interested in visiting a networking group, members of the Gem PR & Media team are involved in the following organizations and would be more than happy to provide further information.

Business Networking International 
Central Illinois Networking Group 
Illinois Women in Leadership 
Springfield Junior Chamber of Commerce (Springfield Jaycees) 

All women networking event in Springfield

All women networking event in Springfield

I’ve always been a firm believer in supporting fellow local business owners, especially those established or operated by women. 

Where we can we will use local printers Emerson Press, a contact I made at Illinois Women in Leadership a few years ago. The team at Emerson provides great customer service – anything we have printed is delivered directly to our office door. Deb Sarsany helped us to find our office on Springfield’s west side and Kate Spencer of Kate Spencer Photography, whose studio is based alongside Gem PR & Media 2121 W White Oaks Dr., provides us, and most of our clients for that matter, with headshots and images for our/their social media, websites, and marketing material. 

On June 8 Gem PR & Media, Kate Spencer Photography, IWIL  will be participating in the Women Empowerment networking event at Erin’s Pavilion, which has been organized by the Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group. The event will provide an opportunity for businesswomen to get together, share their work, and develop new relationships. In total 25 business and or organizations will fill the venue at Southwind Park from 5pm to 8pm. 

It’ll be loud no doubt; as it always is at women-only events, but I also think it will be a great evening. I’m looking forward to meeting new people that we haven’t  come across yet in Springfield and to see if there is anything they can do for our business or vice versa. You can find more information about the Women Empowerment event on or on June 1 on Good Day Marketplace Illinois between 8am and 8.30am. 

11 business networking tips

11 business networking tips

Networking and building relationships have been key to the growth of Gem PR & Media. Making time for networking is tough, I know, but it is important. I’m talking about making the best of your time, building relationships, and giving back. 

So here are my top tips when it comes to networking: 


  1. Join the committee or board of a non-profit
  2. Volunteer at a non-profit
  3. Join an association
  4. Join a networking group – in which you will be the only one representing your field
  5. Use your LinkedIn profile wisely -spend a few minutes every day updating your contacts, commenting on, sharing or posting content
  6. Attend open days or ribbon cuttings
  7. Offer yourself as a speaker
  8. Always make sure you have business cards on you – keep them in your car, house, or office
  9. Offer yourself as a commentator to various media outlets
  10. Hold an open house or coffee morning at your place of work
  11. Always follow up with someone once you’ve secured his or her business card

Make networking part of your everyday work life and I promise if you think of it this way it will become less of a burden and more of a pleasure. 

Welcome to 2017!

Welcome to 2017!

After the Holidays, as is often the case, many of us are thinking about the year ahead; job satisfaction, work life balance and bottom lines. I know that’s something always at the top of my agenda come each January. It’s months since I sat down with Chris, my husband, and business partner, and we wrote our business plan for the year, but now is the time to put it into action. 

As well as setting budgets and targets for the 12 months ahead I also use this time to reflect on the professional relationships I’ve built over the past year or so and begin to make a list of those I can reach out to for a catch-up, coffee, or glass of wine. This takes time and patience, but if you do it right and with enthusiasm the results can be rather pleasing. What you have to remember is that everyone else, or those on the ball, is doing the same. Many have already set their budgets and targets but may have scope for growth if you can prove your worth. 

Last year I reached out to more than 25 connections I’d made over the previous 12 months, met for coffee, shared a lunch and networked like there was no tomorrow. It paid off. In a matter of months our business here, and in Europe, grew as a result. Hence, we’ll be doing the same this year. I’m not saying you need to be the world’s greatest salesperson because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about offering a service that helps increase that person’s/company’s bottom-line – in the world of public relations anyway. Our goal is to build brand awareness, create a positive relationship between the client and their stakeholders and, ultimately, grow profits. 

If any of this sounds like a good plan to you feel free to get in touch with the team – we’re here to help! 



Not only does volunteering in your community provide a means to give back, make friends and feel good about yourself, but it also builds your personal brand.

We work with a host of businesses that encourage their staff to volunteer whether multiple times a year or a weekly basis. You don’t have to look far to find a cause that you could get involved with.

If you’re looking to donate your time wisely I would recommend using the skills you have that others may not. For example, whenever I am asked to join a board or committee one of the first things I ask is ‘what’s your PR plan’ if the response is well thought out, and there is already a member of the board or committee who is tasked with this role, I feel that the organization is good hands. If there’s room for improvement then I take this into consideration.

I think it’s also important to share the love, as they say. I look to organizations supporting different areas of the community or causes that strike a cord. So, I currently share my time between a professional organization, which supports women of all ages; Illinois Women in Leadership, one that supports the arts; Springfield Ballet Company, and Friends of Memorial because I have witnessed the excellent work the group is doing and not only want to be a part of that but also want to ensure it is getting the recognition it deserves. Finally, I also join groups that I do not sit on the board but am able to help with public relations activity such as Rotary and The Junior Chamber of Commerce.

If you can’t give up the time to volunteer on a weekly basis there are plenty of organizations that have projects that need support, whether that’s planting trees, ‘shaking buckets’, or making/delivering meals.

A client once asked me, ‘how do I get my name out in the community?’ My response was ‘join a civic group or two and volunteer your time and expertise?’ The client was shocked when he found that one organization I had introduced him to required three days of volunteer work per year. I was disappointed he thought that was too much.

Between me and Chris, my husband and business partner, I estimate we volunteer 20% to 30% of our time, each week, to non-profits or community causes – of which I am exceptionally proud. Not only have we made friends and given back to the community, but we have also developed a network of contacts that we can introduce to one another when they have something to give. 
Through we are hoping to further spread the word about organizations in Springfield, and Central Illinois, that need – deserve – our support. So if you’re involved in a non-profit and trying to get the word out get in touch by emailing If you are not already involved in volunteer work and want to be we can certainly point you, your staff or colleagues in the right direction. 

Social Media Butterfly

Social Media Butterfly


Social Media Butterfly 

Last week I attended a reception for this year’s ATHENA leadership award recipient, hosted by IWIL. I was taking photos and a fellow board member referred to me as IWIL’s ‘social media butterfly’. I rather liked it. When I got to thinking about it I realized it was a perfect description for what the person responsible for an organization’s social media should be. 

I attend almost all IWIL events and have also committed to being on both the ATHENA and Symposium committees. Honestly, sometimes I have to attend via conference call (even I can’t be at two places at once), but I feel it’s my duty as the person responsible for keeping our membership informed about our activities, via our social media platforms, which include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to keep myself in the loop. 

At Gem PR & Media we manage a large number of social media accounts, in fact, much of Chris’ time is taken up posting, boosting and scheduling ads for our clients on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. We pride ourselves on delivering a great return on investment for our clients. So much so that our most recent, large-scale social media project, blew other mediums; TV, radio, and print, out of the water – and best of all we have the stats to back up the claim – because with social media we can actually measure engagement, reach and buying power. 

Back to the social media butterfly comment, for which I am quite proud, it is imperative to immerse ourselves in our clients’ businesses, to absorb all that they have to offer, to have an understanding of their products and services, to gain feedback and testimonials from their clients so that we can portray the very best of their business. 

Whether that’s attending a retirement party, visiting a group that a client is speaking to or creating traditional media (by that I mean TV, radio, and print) opportunities so we can then spread the word via social media too – then that’s what we’ll do. We don’t sit still for one minute. We move from place-to-place seeking out opportunities to create engaging posts for our clients’ target markets. Much like a social (media) butterfly. 



Chris recently prepared a presentation about marketing to millennials for one of the networking groups we attend in Springfield. Here, he explains why, no matter your business, you cannot ignore this generation in your marketing, media or public relations planning. 

Essentially, a millennial is anyone born in 1981 and onwards, according to popular opinion – although some say it goes as far back as those born in 1976. More simply, millennials were the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. 

One of the world’s most famously successful millennials is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Facebook is a key marketing tool that we use for clients in order to target and engage with their preferred audience. It’s extremely cost effective and measurable – it’s where, not just millennials, but all generations are at. For example, within a 25-mile radius of Springfield, there are more than 46,000 Facebook users over the age of 50. 

Millennials work hard when motivated; they like the opportunity to be  heard, prefer an interesting office environment (at Gem PR & Media HQ we have a range of workspaces from a large table that seats six for collaborative work to sofas and quieter breakout areas – oh and of course, we have a beer fridge). Millennials are decisive and want their leaders/mentors to be the same way. 

Millennials appreciate an environment that rewards creative problem solving: hence our collaborative desk at Gem PR & Media. The open culture that millennials have adopted allows people to move around and solve problems they care about most. For example, sometimes life means it’s difficult to work from the office and we need to stay home for a day or more – we have no problem with that. Happy employees mean happy clients and continuous growth for our business, which also means we have more resources at our disposal to give back to the community. Something else millennials care about – brands that care. 

Did you know, according to Hubspot, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising? We also spend a great deal of our time researching potential purchases – online mostly – before taking the plunge. We pass on to our peers for advice about products, we read news stories and blogs before committing to a brand. However, once we’ve chosen a brand were vehemently loyal to it. 

The value of columns, blogs and paid for editorial is far greater than the traditional, bog standard ad. So think about your market – 90% of millennials log more than two hours a day on Facebook – and how you want to spend your marketing dollars – or speak to us and we’ll show you how! 

A professional guide to social media

A professional guide to social media

This month I had the pleasure of presenting my professional guide to social media at the Illinois Women in Leadership luncheon. In order to provide attendees with the information they were seeking, I worked with the program chair to develop an online survey, which went out to the membership in advance of the event. Over 25% of IWIL’s members responded and about half of the women involved in our organization attended the social media presentation. 

The survey revealed that most of us use Facebook, but want to learn more about LinkedIn and Twitter when it comes to promoting our businesses. It also found that 67% of respondents have a social media strategy for their business, which is fantastic. Surprisingly, or not perhaps, only 13% use a social media management platform. 

So, armed with this knowledge, I prepared a presentation that reflected the online activities of our membership. I spoke about the benefits of social media, content creation, my top tips for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the need to set objectives and then manage these through engagement and measuring results. 

So here are a few of the tips that I shared with the ladies at IWIL: 

1 Social media is about quality over quantity when it comes to followers/likes/connections. 

2 These are public profiles, which can be seen by journalists, your employees, donors etc.

3 You must address complaints quickly. Take the conversation offline when necessary. 

4 Limit access to your accounts and change the password regularly. 

5 Content is key; make sure it’s relevant, engaging and informative. 

6 Accompany posts with links, images, videos, and tags. 

7 Do one platform really well then expand.  

8 Create a vanity URL for your business page e.g. and LinkedIn profile

9 Images boosted on Facebook must contain less than 25% text. 

10 It is ok to repost the same messages; less than 10% of your followers will see a single post – unless you boost – or have followers that share posts. 

11 On LinkedIn, you can tag users that you are not connected to.

12 You can add posts to your LinkedIn profile. 

13 When tweeting, think about leaving space for people to retweet your @name and add a comment (140 characters max per tweet) 

14 Use #s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; these allow for the identification of topics or trends.

15 75% of users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on Twitter 



On Thursday evening I took part in Springfield’s 20th volume of PechaKucha 20 x 20. PechaKucha involves a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. 


It was created by two architects in Tokyo in 2003 because architects (according to the organizers) talk too much. The idea is, that if you give someone just 20 slides and 20 seconds to talk about each slide they will be forced to present in a comprehensive, but succinct fashion.

So, I had a go. My topics was, of course, Guernsey. In the US the easiest way to explain Guernsey’s location is ‘a British island, near France’ so that was the title of my presentation. 

Castle Cornet and a cruise Ship

Castle Cornet and a cruise Ship

I want to say a massive thank you to Guernsey photographer Chris George who supplied us with high resolution images and to my pal Zoe Ash of Visit Guernsey. I talked about our beautiful island, its rich history and the part it plays in the finance world. 

I’m telling you all this because wouldn't it be something to have a PechaKucha night in Guernsey or Jersey? It’s a great opportunity to promote your business or interests in front of a group of people from all walks of life. At Gem PR & Media we’re always looking for PR opportunities for our clients and we aim to lead by example. So, Guernsey, Jersey let us know if you would like more information about PechaKucha. 

Gemma discussing Guernsey Cows

Gemma discussing Guernsey Cows

The rapid pace at which Gem PR & Media is growing is down to one thing: contacts.

We work hard to build a strong network of contacts around the globe. It’s not a coincidence that we’ve lived in three continents in 10 years. Training and working as a journalist in Guernsey, the UK, and Australia and now also living in and writing for publications in the US, it’s hard not to build relationships and connections with the public and media.

Gem PR & Media is, and those that represent our company are, a member of several organizations, which allow us to connect with individuals from all walks of life. I am a member of, and have been for years, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, I’m also a Rotarian, a Jaycee, attend weekly BNI meetings and I’m involved in a number of other charitable organizations. Chris and I often volunteer at charity fundraisers in order to give back to the communities in which we operate and strengthen our existing connections.

The other important thing to remember is, once you’ve made a connection, to remain connected. Friends, family and colleagues will tell you that I make a real effort to keep in touch either through letters and cards, emails and texts, Facebook and Twitter or Skype and calls. I work in the media and communications industry so it comes natural to me that I want to be in constant communication with my personal and professional network. What’s also important is that, with having a business spread across two continents, I remain in front of people. I do this through the media: writing articles about the PR and media industry – and Gem PR & Media of course. I’m also active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Once you build a strong network around you, it’ll only have room to grow. Organic growth is key. Warren Buffet said: ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’ Isn’t building a network about building a reputation? If you think about it that way you’ll really start to value the network around you and continue to grow it.