Introducing the first Empower PR workshop

Introducing the first Empower PR workshop

Are you a SME owner looking to elevate your brand but not sure where to start? Don’t just roll the dice.

PR is a term you see so often in your everyday life but may not fully understand or appreciate. However, it’s a practice that every business needs in order to prosper and establish itself as a leader in its industry.

PR is important because it can set the difference between a mere company and a brand that connects with its audience. PR makes that happen by establishing communication channels, providing and releasing positive content, ensuring the content reaches the target audience and reassuring them of your brand’s values. A company has the potential to go a long way with PR as its backbone.

For some small businesses outsourcing PR to a trained or experienced professional is not a viable financial option. For others it may be scepticism getting in the way.

With this workshop, there’s the opportunity to dip your toe into the world of PR as well as empower your own business to adopt some of the strategies going forward.



So what can PR do for your company?

  • Increase credibility of your brand.
  • Position your business as a category leader.
  • Build trust and loyalty within the community and nurture your reputation by highlighting your values.
  • Crisis communications management.
  • Complement and enhance other marketing activities such as social media/advertising.
  • The takeaways from PR campaigns are long lasting and will impact the target audience.
  • Lower cost option than advertising.

Empower PR Workshop (In association with Chalmers News PR, Ladies First Professional Development Group, Cotswold Connected and Nailcote Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club) – September 14th

The beautiful Pavilion Suite at Nailcote Hall will host the first Empower PR Workshop. Here, Amanda Chalmers, of Chalmers News PR will introduce you to some of the basic tools and tips you need in order to deliver an effective PR strategy.

Numbers are intentionally limited so every attendee can be guaranteed one-on-one time with Amanda to evaluate their own company’s needs.

After a delicious two-course lunch, there is also the chance to hear from Katie Wilber of Cotswold Connected about social media tricks and tips for SMEs and how they can complement PR.

Then there is a Q&A with both Katie and Amanda before we wrap up proceedings.

Don’t worry if you don’t absorb all the information as everyone will be given a handy USB stick to take away packed with all the top tips from the day.


9.30am: Arrival with refreshments

10am: Welcome by Sue Cressman of Nailcote Hall
Introduction to PR from a client’s perspective by Tracey McAtamney of Ladies First.

10.30am: PR Workshop delivered by Amanda Chalmers of Chalmers News PR

12.30pm: Break for lunch

1.30pm: Social Media presentation by Katie Wilber of Cotswold Connected

2.15pm: Q&A with Amanda and Katie

3pm: Close


Katie and Amanda

What will the PR Workshop cover?

  • Learn the most important basic principles of PR
  • How to identify what is PR ‘worthy’ and how to exploit that
  • How to construct a press release
  • The importance of good imagery
  • How to pitch your story so it stands out from your competitors’ press release
  • How to further capitalise on good PR results
  • How to most effectively combine social media and PR strategies
  • Social media do’s and don’t
  • How to make your socials stand out
  • Social media content creation – how to be effective and save time

For further questions email:



Businesses that actively engage in a combination of integrated PR and digital marketing tactics are more likely to capture the attention of customers and achieve the type of results that create long-term success.


Amanda Chalmers 

A journalist of 30 years – and former newspaper editor – Amanda Chalmers is ideally placed to get your brand message across through her award-winning agency Chalmers News PR.

Amanda’s extensive knowledge, experience and media contacts are key to her proven track record of success, working with businesses, organisations and charities to achieve their specific PR goals.

Based in south Warwickshire, she works closely with SME clients to create a bespoke PR campaign for news and trade media as well as offering professional consultation and training.

Katie Wilber

A dedicated Social Media Manager, Katie has worked with a huge range of clients, from small start-ups to international brands, in multiple sectors. Her award winning business, Cotswold Connected, is passionate about helping SME businesses grow – both their online accounts and their business!

With over 80% of people now buying online and 85% using social media it’s crucial your business is visible. Every business is unique and your social media should be too! Katie’s expertise will enable you to stand out from the crowd and reach new marketing heights.

Alcester handcrafted liqueur wins more international acclaim

Alcester handcrafted liqueur wins more international acclaim

LOCAL aristocratic entrepreneurs are continuing to make an impact internationally as  they toast the latest success for their liqueur, handcrafted in Alcester.

St Maur elderflower liqueur has been awarded Best in Category, International Liqueurs at The American Distilling Institute International Spirits Competition, held in the US.

The award becomes the latest in a series of prestigious industry accolades for the drink, produced by William and Kelsey Seymour, Earl and Countess of Yarmouth, including The Las Vegas Global Spirits Gold Award; Best English Floral in the World Liqueur Awards; Great Taste Award 2 Star rating.

They are also celebrating their success in another international competition after recently being awarded a Gold Medal in The Swiss Spirits Review.

Founded in 2003, The American Distilling Institute (ADI) is the oldest and largest trade association dedicated to craft distilling in the world. It has become a beacon for the craft distilling community – providing their global network of small-batch, independently-owned distillers with a go-to source of information on their craft.

William said: “It’s great to see our little drop from over here has done rather well over there!  We love introducing our little drop of England’s heart to new consumers to share and enjoy wherever they are in the world.  These latest international awards are just one way of doing that, and flying the flag for our beautiful corner of England.”

The judges were made up of a panel of highly respected and experienced experts in the spirits industry including journalists, distillers, mixologists, consultants, educators, bartenders, importers and brand ambassadors.

British Regional Hampers, The Henley Food Company Ltd

Tasting notes from the judges read: “St Maur has elegant fragrance, intense notes of elderflower, good balance of sweetness and good length on the palate, nice complexity.”

St Maur is a hand-crafted premium elderflower liqueur from the Heart of England which originated in a drink produced for guests on the couple’s wedding day, at William’s family home Ragley Hall.

From the recipe for the liqueur, to the designs on the label, and the name itself, St Maur brings together 1,000 years of heritage and family.

Provenance is core to the brand’s success. The map co-ordinates on the logo lead to Ladies Wood and an elder grove in the ancient Ragley Woodlands, now cared for by Earl of Yarmouth Estates. Here and in the hedgerows at their family farm in Alcester, in early summer, you’ll find the elderflower being harvested by friends and family members.

St Maur, Las Vegas, award

There’s also a red-legged partridge on the bottle, a bird successfully introduced to England in the 19th century by an ancestor Francis Seymour, the 5th Marquess, and now the brand’s mascot.

St Maur is a contemporary liqueur made to be versatile, built around the same four components needed to make a cocktail – a base spirit, a sweet and sour element, flavour and look. It can be enjoyed with all kinds of cocktails, and long drinks, in a simple fizz with soda, tonic or ginger ale, ‘royale’ with champagne, on the rocks, or on its own.

William has also learned the art of mixology and launched cocktail masterclasses using St Maur, including the brand’s own take on the appropriately named English Martini, made with gin and fresh rosemary. See HERE

Visit St Maur HERE

43rd Warwick Folk Festival returns with more than 80 artists

43rd Warwick Folk Festival returns with more than 80 artists

Warwick Folk Festival
Warwick Folk Festival – 2022

The 43rd Warwick Folk Festival will feature over 80 artists when it returns to Castle Park from Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th July.

The family-friendly festival brings the local community together for a celebration of folk history, dance, and general revelry. Headline acts will include This Is The Kit, Manran, Chris Wood, Michael McGoldrick & Family, O’Hooley & Tidow, Festival Patron Will Pound and Tim Edney, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess and Dominie Hooper.

Last year the Folk Festival moved to its new location, next to Warwick Castle, which meant all the venues and camping were on one site. The move proved to be a big hit with the festival goers who enjoyed being closer to Warwick town. This year the organisers have improved the lay-out of the Festival to reduce the noise between venues and ensure the crafters and traders are more central. Those with limited mobility will also benefit from new electric buggies to travel around the site and the organisers have increased the availability of hot drink stalls.

Warwick Folk Festival
Warwick Folk Festival – 2022

Dick Dixon, Festival Director said: “The Warwick Folk Festival is renowned for being a very friendly, relaxed, and chilled out event and the location is stunning with views across the River Avon.  We look forward to laying on another fantastic weekend of superb music, camping, workshops, singing, dancing, sessions, and giggles at what is one of the friendliest and established folk festivals”.

The food court will continue to offer top festival food from all over the world from breakfasts, snacks, fish and chips, and full evening meals. Plus, there will be two bars serving an extensive range of ales, beers, ciders, wines, cocktails, and non-alcoholic options!

Visitors can also enjoy a full programme of concerts, sing-arounds, dance, intimate acoustic performances, or full-on gigs.  They can soak up the atmosphere, sit in the beer tent, join in with the sessions, learn a new skill, taste street food, or relax with friends in the wine and cocktail bar.

The craft fair will be even more varied featuring lots of exciting new traders. In the town centre there will be a vast array of colourful dance displays, pub music sessions and open-air concerts. Younger visitors can also enjoy plenty of entertainment with festival favourites ‘Panic Circus’, ‘Shooting Roots’, ‘Wyld Thyngz’, ‘Suitcase Circus’, ‘The Crafty Catts’, ‘Baby Bops & Toddle Bops’ and ‘Wolly The Clown’.

Warwick Folk Festival
Warwick Folk Festival – 2022

A free and scheduled shuttle bus will also be laid on to take visitors from the site into the town for those wanting to explore the attractive, winding streets offering a wide range of shops and restaurants as well as plenty of places to enjoy a coffee or beer.

Weekend ticket prices start from just £127. Visitors can choose from Friday – Sunday tickets, Thursday – Sunday tickets or just visit for the day, plus under 14s go free! NEW for this year is a 25% discount off a young person’s ticket, aged 18 – 24. For more information and to book tickets please visit here

Children support children with Night At The Museum

Children support children with Night At The Museum

From left – Gill Eyers-Hunt, Moira Allen-Donald, Rachel Ollerenshaw, Eva Brown (young leader), Julie Brown and Sophie Glennon-Brown with some of the Rainbows.

A sleepover with a difference in Warwick will raise funds for a local children’s charity next month when youngsters reenact the movie A Night At The Museum.

Members and leaders of the 10th Leamington St Marks Rainbows will be camping out in Warwick’s Market Hall Museum in aid of Molly Ollys which supports children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

It is a cause particularly poignant for event organiser and Rainbow Guider Julie Brown whose 14-year-old granddaughter Eva lives with a life-limiting congenital heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This occurs when parts of the left side of the heart do not develop properly.

Eva Brown with grandma Julie Brown

She said: “My beautiful granddaughter, who is now a Young Leader at St Marks Rainbows, will be taking an active part in the sleepover although she has a life-limiting Illness herself, despite undergoing major surgery.

“We hope, as a family-run unit, we can raise funds to give children like Eva a wish. These children go through so much in their young lives, they are so brave.

“The whole theme around it is Night at the Museum and about being brave. They are all aware of what the charity does and they know that by them being brave they are going to be raising funds to help other children get through their treatment.”

Eva’s mum Tammy added: “Eva had a 66% survival rate at birthand has undergone three major heart surgeries although this does not correct her condition but gave her a chance at life. Eva will require a heart transplant when her body can no longer cope. She is our true inspiration on how she copes despite struggling daily. Every birthday and milestone she has reached is something we never thought we would have and we cherish every moment of them.”

Around 16 children, some as young as four, will enjoy pizza, an animated movie and a quiz before settling down for the night, supervised by seven Rainbow leaders, one in their seventies, at the museum, in Market Place, on June 23rd.

Warwick-based Molly Ollys was established following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and marked its tenth anniversary last year.

The charity supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.

Since Molly Ollys started more than £3 million has been raised to emotionally support children across the UK. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here

From left - Moira Allen-Donald, Gill Eyers-Hunt, Julie Brown, Rachel Ollerenshaw, Sophie Glennon-Brown and Eva Brown

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “What a great idea. The first sleepover fundraiser for Molly Ollys and quite a big deal for some of the children who haven’t been on any sleepovers previously.

“Thank you to all of them and all the Rainbow leaders for their support. These children are the same age as Molly when she was undergoing treatment for cancer so it is particularly poignant.

“There are so many children out there at the moment that need our support so this fundraising is very welcome as the cost of wishes has risen and we have once again seen a huge increase in the number of wishes received. So please support if you are able. Thank you.”

To support the Night At The Museum Sleepover visit here

Land of pirates and puzzles hosts brand new swashbuckling adventure

Land of pirates and puzzles hosts brand new swashbuckling adventure

Magic Alley, Bell Court, Stratford, Jewel Island

From May 27th, Magic Alley presents The Curse of Jewel Island – a new exciting summer event that promises to challenge your wits and put your problem-solving skills to the test!

Jewel Island, in Stratford’s Bell Court, is filled with sparkling diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires and the King of Jewel Island is trying to save the precious jewels from the clutches of the notorious Pirate Queen.

The King of Jewel Island has enlisted the help of the Sea Queen, who has put a powerful curse on the jewels so the King can keep them for himself. Therefore the Pirates face unfortunate consequences if they attempt to plunder the treasure without breaking the curse. It is up to you and your team to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to help break the curse and help the Pirate Queen fairly distribute the jewels to all the islands in the kingdom – much like her distant cousin Robin Hood!

Magic Alley, Bell Court, Stratford, Jewel Island

Gather your crew and set sail for Jewel Island, where you’ll face numerous obstacles in your quest to retrieve the treasure. As you explore the island, you’ll encounter mysterious clues, hidden messages, and mind-bending challenges that will test your ingenuity and teamwork.

The Curse of Jewel Island is an event that promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers, puzzle enthusiasts, and anyone who loves a good challenge. So, gather your team, prepare for an epic adventure, and join us on this thrilling journey to retrieve the jewels and help the Pirate Queen!

The adventure culminates in a visit to our very own beach full of play sand where you can enjoy building sand castles or relaxing in a deck chair looking out to sea!

Magic Alley, Bell Court, Stratford, Jewel Island

“Stratford-upon-Avon may be far from the sea, but that’s not stopping us from bringing the beach to town for the summer,” said Sam Jenkins, Head of Events at Magic Alley. “We are excited to offer a unique experience that combines the thrill of adventure with the relaxation of a day at the beach.”

Sam continued: “We are aware that during this cost of living crisis there may be fewer families able to afford a seaside holiday so we decided to offer our own beach experience so that at the very least children can build at least one sandcastle this year.”

The Curse of Jewel Island is recommended for children over six due to the nature of the puzzles, but suitable for children over three to play on the beach if accompanied by older siblings/relatives/friends. Everyone who successfully completes the quest will receive a prize and a certificate.

Magic Alley, Bell Court, Stratford, Jewel Island

Tickets can be booked in advance here and pre booking is advised for weekends and school holidays.