Persuasion PR - News

David and Kathryn’s 92 club quest – an update one year on.

Friday, August 29, 2014



Well, it has been a year since my last blog about our 92 club challenge and we have taken in quite a bit of football since!


At the time of writing the last blog we had just been to see game number 21 and were about to head down to Accrington Stanley for game 22.


This coming weekend will again see us head to the North West to see Preston North End v Sheffield United, which will be our 53rd game.


You can view our progress map here:,-3.295898&spn=8.286843,23.181152&dg=feature


Last year was an unmitigated disaster for my team Norwich City who won only two away games all season – by chance we ended up going to both of these – but spirits weren’t dampened as the 92 club trail took us to some great matches, excellent places and we meet some fantastic people along the way too.


Highlights include a trip away on the bus with Gateshead’s mighty ‘Heed Army’ to see them narrowly miss out on an FA Cup giant killing victory at Oxford United, seeing both Everton and Liverpool play at home in the same weekend, Lee Clark kicking the advertising hoardings to pieces after his Birmingham side’s 94th minute equaliser in a 3-3 thriller against Burnley and a Chicken Jalfrezi birthday breakfast at the Vine Bar in West Bromwich before a rare Norwich away win at the Hawthorns (we watched Newcastle win at Old Trafford that day in the pub beforehand so Kath was very happy too).


We also embarked upon our longest journey to Plymouth (which was an eye opener to say the least) and thanks to help from Tottenham Hotspur’s ticket office, we were able to take in four games in four days at Leyton Orient, Spurs, Brighton and then Leicester City on the way back north.


I have to say that this must be the best way to see different parts of the country and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves football.


Ok – the begging bit! As mentioned on the map, getting tickets for some of the larger grounds is looking like it is going to be difficult. If you (or if you know of anyone who) could help us to secure tickets for places like Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, The Emirates or the Etihad, it would be a great help to us.


If you think you might be able to help us out, drop me an email at:


Here’s to a good season!

Great Britain?

Thursday, July 10, 2014



Inspired by the banter and questions posed by the @BBCNewcastle regarding the pursuit of #happiness and #Britain’s #landmarks and #eyesores it got me thinking as to what makes Britain great?


With the news filled with acts of terrorism, claims of leading figures being at the centre of child abuse and English sporting ‘heroes’ not making the mark, it is easy to see why so many are disillusioned by what Great Britain has to offer.


Added to this our television is full of documentaries or as we affectionately term them #mockumentaries about #LifeOnBenefits and those seeking their five minutes of fame, so keen to bask in the limelight that will compromise their health, morals and beliefs to get a brief mention in the tabloids.


As our business strap line is ‘be positive’ we felt that we should share the good bits about Britain, to put the Great back in British!


1. The Queen – whether you love or loathe the Royals, they have a strong following and pull in a lot of tourism which boosts the local economy.


2. Tea / cuppa / brew – Guaranteed answer / solution to every problem.  According to the UK Tea Council we drink approx 165 million cups of tea every day.


3. British comedy / sense of humour – loved and translated across the globe…#MrBean #FawltyTowers #OnlyFoolsAndHorses #TheOffice.


4. Green fingers – Gardens…we’re the only country in the world that knows how to do a ‘proper garden’. In America, they just have “yards”; in France they grow vegetables where the flowers and in Japan they have lots of fountains and pebbles. Our gardens have the lot: manicured lawns rose beds, ponds, croquet, and gnomes.


5. Imagination – Football, golf, cricket, tiddlywinks, croquet, the Spitfire, railways, steam engines, penicillin, gravity, longitude, the jet engine, the worldwide web and the National Health Service (NHS) – we discovered or invented them all.


6. Our Armed Forces -When we moan about standards slipping and behaviour worsening, the men and women in our Armed Forces remain the shining exception.


7. No deadly creepy crawlies – unlike Australia, America, Africa, Brazil and many more, we don’t have man eating sharks, killing crocs, venomous vipers, stinging scorpions, atrocious arachnids or malarial mosquitoes.


What makes Britain Great? We would love you to add to this growing list!



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Mods and bloggers

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I received a real surprise this week when I got an email from a former work colleague of whom I’d not seen or heard for 26 years.


Alan had been a circulation rep with the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette when I had been the chief reported in the Redcar office.


He sent me a link to the Gazette Live nostalgia section –

- which featured my reports on a 3,000 strong scooter rally in Redcar in 1985 linked here:


After the initial shock of hearing from Alan again after such a long time, I read the piece and was reminded of the night I spent with the police on the streets of the seaside town.

Police checking the scooter riders have all their documents.

Police checking the scooter riders have all their documents.

The mod’s camp site at Warrenby.

The mod’s camp site at Warrenby.













It was an exciting assignment and made for good local newspaper copy which, as this blog shows, can never be considered tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.  Am I right in thinking print can no longer be used to wrap our fish suppers?  I’ve certainly not seen it put to such use for several years.


Alan would be better placed to tell us whether my prose actually added any sales to the Gazette’s East Cleveland edition!


However, after my short journey back in time, my next thought was about the communications technology which allowed this to happen.


In the ‘good old days’ Alan would probably have little or no chance of knowing where I was in 2014 let alone what I was doing.  Today, by simply ‘googling’ – is it really a verb now? – my name, he would see that I run my own PR consultancy and one further click takes him to our website.


From there it’s a short trip to my email address and ‘ding’ his email pops into my inbox.  It was great to hear from him and we’ve subsequently exchanged potted histories of what’s happened over the past 30 years.


But equally powerful was the realisation that, at the time when I was covering this mod’s rally, none of this could have happened.  We did not have the internet.  We did not even have mobile phones – or at least ordinary people didn’t.


I’m not even sure we had the computer technology for me to send my copy to the Middlesbrough office at that point.  It’s possible that I would have typed it on an old fashioned sit up and beg typewriter and telephoned it over to a copy typist.  Are there any of these left today?


Indeed are there many of anything left at our regional newspapers?  Everyone can be a journalist – or blogger – today, without the need to undergo a proper apprenticeship and training.  And such is the plethora of on-line communication, they may even survive without the slightest understanding of the law of libel!


For me, I’m pleased to say that on this occasion I can appreciate the best of both worlds.




Images courtesy of The Teesside Evening Gazette.

David & Kathryn’s 92 club quest

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Some places to see on the 92 trail

Some places to see on the 92 trail

We first dipped our toes into the 92 Club challenge with fuzzy heads on the 1st of January this year with an icy cold trip to Hartlepool. If someone had told me we would be nearly a quarter of the way through that quest by the end of August, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.  My better half, Kathryn and I took in match number 21 at Barnsley on Tuesday night and will be visiting Accrington “Who are they?” Stanley this weekend for their heavyweight encounter with Burton Albion.

The 92 club is only open to those who have attended a match at each of the current Premier and Football league grounds or, as a friend of mine labels us, ‘complete nerds’.

We both clearly have a great love of football but it is as much about the experience of visiting different places and getting away and doing something together on a weekend that really appeals.

The trips have given us the excuse to visit friends in other parts of the country and we have enjoyed sampling the local real ales and seeing nearby attractions -when time allows.

We’ve been treated to some great football (plus a fair chunk of awful football) and have met some smashing characters along the way. Highlights so far include watching Bradford secure a place in a Wembley play-off final with a win at Burton, Berbatov’s screamer for Fulham against Stoke at Craven Cottage and becoming honorary Sheffield United fans – landing us an open invitation to travel with the ‘Blades’ on the supporters bus to any of their away games this season.

There have been far too many stories to share here (I’m in the process of pulling the ‘tour diary’ together at the moment) but you can see our map in progress by following the link here:,-3.295898&spn=8.286843,23.181152

Here comes the begging part! At some of the larger clubs it is quite hard to get tickets. For example, I was only able to secure Spurs tickets by writing to the club as they usually sell out. If you or a friend are a fan of one of the big clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool etc) and could help us out with obtaining tickets it would be a great help and you can contact me at the email below

Is grammar becoming lost in translation?

Friday, August 23, 2013
Many companies are flying in the face of punctuation norms.

Many companies are flying in the face of punctuation norms.

Texting, ‘facebooking’ and tweeting has prompted the emergence of a wave of new words and abbreviations from  ‘Frape’ to M8 and LOL.

‘TBH’ in an age where communicating news at lightening speed is required, it is perhaps not surprising.

However, many critics believe that this obsession with technology and the fact that children as young as five have the latest I-phone, could be damaging not only our social skills but our grasp of the English language and grammar.

In recent weeks, runner up of the BBC’s The Apprentice, Luisa Zissman queried the use of an apostrophe in her brand name ‘Bakers Toolkit’.   Consequently she was in the firing line, as minus the apostrophe the brand name is grammatically incorrect.

In her defence as she rightly points out there are many companies that have ditched the apostrophe such as ‘Waterstones’ and with regards  to website and URLs – the apostrophes can’t be incorporated anyway.

Some argue that as times change and technology advances the English language has to adapt to accommodate this, but I can’t but help feel that a world where virtual friends and reality television replaces face to face discussion; and letter / card writing and snail mail become unfashionable, replaced by the likes of Moon Pig our societies will change.   Will this be for the greater good? 

Y dnt u dcide?