Our journalist of the month is Neeru Sharma, the Acting Deputy Lifestyle Editor for Closer.
Caroline Lindsay is a features writer on The Courier newspaper, the second best-selling regional newspaper in the UK, as well as the daily papers for the Tayside region, Angus, Fife and Perthshire. Caroline is also editor of The Courier’s weekly food and drink supplement The Menu, which won best Scottish Supplement of the Year 2018/19 at the Scottish PPA Awards in Glasgow.
Caroline took some time out from her busy schedule to answer the notorious SBPR questions. Here’s what Caroline had to say…
What are the 5 words that best describe you?
Friendly, thoughtful, inquisitive (nosy!), diligent and spendthrift.
What magazine do you love reading and why?
Country Living because I’d love to have a cottage in the country, or by the sea, one day.
What is your favourite book?
In a Good Light by Clare Chambers. It’s about a brother and sister who grew up in a rambling old house, their challenges as adults and resurfacing memories.
Which song makes you dance?
I’m a self-conscious dancer but when I broke my arm a few years ago I did my physio exercises at home to Martin Solveig’s and Dragonette’s hit Hello. Very naff but it took my mind off the pain!
What has been your best career moment?
When The Menu won Best Scottish Supplement of the Year at the Scottish Regional Press Awards.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Look the world in the eye and be proud of yourself. Oh and that purple eye shadow isn’t a good look and no one’s fooled by those freckles you’ve added with an eyebrow pencil.
Where are you happiest?
At a beach on the Orkney islands with my family and border collie Bramble.
Who would be your number one dinner guest and why?
Miranda Hart – she’d be funny and appreciative.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
It’s not quite a superpower but I wouldn’t mind being as fit as Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil movies. She’s my girl crush.
If you had to ask us one question what would it be?
Why is your agency called Sunny Bird?
We get asked this one a lot! It’s because Sunny Bird is the name of our fabulous founder and managing director.
Melanie Giandzi is an official Food Tester at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Lucky Melanie spends her days taste testing the latest food and drink products from the coolest brands and penning copy for the title. Here, Melanie has taken a break from sampling the wares and compiling product round-ups to answer the notorious SBPR questions:
1. What are the 5 words that best describe you? Cheeky, caring, motivated, funny and personable.
2. What magazine do you love reading and why? I love reading all the grocer’s own in-house magazines as I love knowing what new products they are getting in and learning about what’s in season.
3. What is your favourite book? Can I say Harry Potter 1-7? 😉
4. Which song makes you dance? Tom Misch – Beautiful Escape.
5. What has been your best career moment? Deciding to change from the beauty world into food – a passion which always fills my mind.
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Save your money!
7. Where are you happiest? Having a picnic with my partner Cam at Primrose Hill.
8. Who would be your number one dinner guest and why? Frank Sinatra – I’d cook him a delicious meal in exchange for a serenade.
9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why? Teleportation for sure, all my family is back home in Australia, so it would come in handy for sure.
10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be? What is your proudest moment at Sunny Bird PR?
As a team, there is a lot we’re proud of so this one took some thinking! Here are the team’s proudest achievements to date:
Lizzie: Creating Bournemouth’s Biggest Ever Street Art for a client – a giant Spiderman painted on Pier Approach which achieved 20 pieces of coverage in just two days with a reach of over four million people and exposure on TV, radio, online and in print.
Georgie: My first piece of coverage for Sunny Bird PR which was in the Telegraph - I loved winning the PR tiara and Prosecco for the piece too!
Laura: Securing 90 VIP guests to a restaurant launch in just one week and achieving 10 pieces of coverage off the back of the event.
Jess: Smashing our targets and achieving more than 20 pieces of regional coverage for our client Ramsay Health Care UK in just one day.
Alex: Securing TV coverage on BBC Spotlight for one of our newest clients and even encouraging the presenters to get dressed up and take part in a cycling activity.
Sunny: My proudest moment to date has been hosting our PR & Publicity Reaching Millions courses which enables start-ups and SMEs, which don’t yet have the budget for PR, get their businesses of the ground!
Our Journalist of the month is Lizzy Dening, the Digital and Fitness Editor at Top Santé. When she’s not busy writing about workouts and women’s issues, she can be found volunteering for her local rape crisis centre. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The Guardian, Grazia, Elle, Marie Claire, Mail Online, Women’s Health and Huff Post. Find out more about Lizzy in her answers to the SBPR questions below:
1. What are the 5 words that best describe you?
Ambitious, energetic, creative, quirky and neurotic!
2. What magazine do you love reading and why?
Apart from Top Santé of course, I’m a big fan of Cosmopolitan. I thought I’d outgrown it in my 20s, but under the direction of its editor Farrah Storr it’s still grabbing my interest well into my 30s and isn’t afraid to tackle challenging topics.
3. What is your favourite book?
I first read Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) when I was at university and adored it, and there’s still something about it that allows my brain to reach an almost meditative state. I will also admit that in challenging times I’ve been known to indulge a childhood Harry Potter habit too.
4. Which song makes you dance?
Anything Michael Jackson or Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield.
5. What has been your best career moment?
Blagging a press trip to Hawaii for Grazia and taking my husband with me! It led to some real ‘pinch me’ moments, including snorkelling with manta rays, taking a helicopter over the cliffs featured in Jurassic Park, and watching a pod of spinner dolphins following our boat.
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Do more writing for yourself, not just for publications. I’ve been lucky enough to be featured in many of my favourite magazines and papers, but actually the work that’s brought me the most satisfaction are the things I’ve written for myself. I’ve recently started a blog about sexual violence and the media which is a topic I’ve become passionate about since working for the board of Peterborough Rape Crisis Centre. Writing for it without worrying about word counts or editorship has been liberating. https://rape-and-media.blogspot.com/
7. Where are you happiest?
Anywhere with animals, or on my sofa with my husband and our cat Moomin.
8. Who would be your number one dinner guest and why?
My best friend – she lives in Canada and we rarely get to see one another. She’s much funnier and more interesting than any celebrities.
9. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Infinite knowledge – or if that’s too big an ask, I’d like to be fluent in every language. My GCSEs in French and German just don’t really cut it.
10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be?
If you were at Hogwarts, what form would your patronus take?
Interesting question Lizzy! See below for the SBPR answers:
Jess - A dog, because as long as I have enough sleep, good food and sufficient exercise I will be everyone’s friend.
Lizzie – Flamingo!!!
Alex - A monkey, because they always look as though they are thoroughly enjoying life.
Georgie - A dolphin, because my happy place is the sea (even though I only learnt to swim recently).
Raluca - A cat because they’re cute and fluffy!
Laura – A penguin apparently because I’m aggressive yet gentle, outgoing but shy, stable yet flighty! Plus I love the sea.
Sunny – A unicorn!!
Lu – A koala because I love hugs!
Delphine Chui is a Digital Editor at Hearst and creates content across all of Hearst’s brands with a particular focus on interiors. When she’s not busy writing copy and being a digital content creator for the likes of Red Magazine, Country Living and Harper’s Bazaar, she can be found finding some zen in the great outdoors. Here, Delphine answers the Sunny Bird PR questions:
1.What are the 5 words that best describe you? Sensitive, curious, playful, pensive and excitable.
2.What magazine do you love reading and why? I have constant wanderlust so I love reading lush travel magazines like BA High Life and National Geographic that give me a glimpse of another world or another perspective.
3.What is your favourite book? Garth Stein’s The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a book written from the narrative of a family dog – and it’s utterly brilliant, but full disclosure, it will pull at your heartstrings.
4.Which song makes you dance? I was a Noughties teen so I’d say something like Outkast’s Hey Ya – or of course, anything Britney.
5.What has been your best career moment? I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world with work, cover events from the BAFTAs to the Tour De France and interview some enviable A-listers and incredible people (like the first ever Saudi Arabian female film director). But if I have to choose, it would probably be taking on the task of living without any plastic for a week for a video experiment for Marie Claire because it completely changed my life and opened my eyes to a new zero-waste lifestyle that I strive towards every day.
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? I’d say not to be afraid to try. I’ve learnt that striving for perfectionism in your work can sometimes be another form of procrastination so just do it! Go for it, and get whatever words you want out there, out there.
7. Where are you happiest? In Crystal Palace park walking my two rescue dogs – it’s just the most beautiful and diverse green space in London. In general, I’m happiest outside in nature, away from my phone or laptop (which seems counter-intuitive for a digital journalist) and since getting my National Trust membership, I’m trying to go to as many sites around the UK as possible.
8. Who would be your number one dinner guest be and why? Jane Goodall. I studied anthropology at university and I’m obsessed with animals and as she’s the leading primatologist, I’d pick her brains about all things apes and monkeys because I find them and their social structures fascinating.
9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why? I’m terrible at languages so would love if I could speak every single language under the sun or how about stopping time? If there was a way to slow down perfect moments, that would also be nice in our world where we’re always rushing around and things can seem way too transient.
10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be? What’s your ultimate survival guide to hosting a successful press trip? I always feel like travel PRs take on the “holiday mum” role and I can’t imagine how tricky it can be to keep up with a group of journalists – especially after they’ve had a drink (or five...)
Good question! When it comes to surviving those all-important press trips, organisation is key. Here are the team’s top tips for hosting a seamless press trip from start to finish:
- Know Your Stuff- A good PR must always be prepared for any tricky questions that may come their way. That means knowing the hotel, restaurants, local area and of course the local customs inside and out.
- Time Management- This is crucial if you want to ensure your group arrive at each destination rested and ready. After all, no one wants a group of hungry journalists on their hands after a missed dinner reservation!
- Research Your Guests- Knowing your guests interests, allergies and writing topic is pivotal to keeping them happy and making sure you get the best out of their writing.
- Have Fun- It goes without saying that if you’re hosting anybody, you must be upbeat and entertaining. A positive attitude can be infectious.
- Have a Contingency Plan- Perhaps most important of all, always have a plan B! Countless things can go wrong in the duration of a trip, so plan for the worst and have a bank of interesting anecdotes up your sleeve.
February's Journalist of the Month is Ginny Sanderson, a reporter on the Eastbourne Herald & Sussex Express. Ginny has taken time out of her busy schedule covering crime, politics and everything in-between as the unofficial cute animal correspondent to answer our ten questions!
1. What are the 5 words that best describe you? Opinionated, thoughtful, chilled, animal lover.
2. What magazine do you love reading and why? My guilty pleasure is having a good look through Glamour magazine; usually I get it when I'm going on a long train journey. It has the right balance of celebrity with fashion and life advice. I hope they still do the 'Hey, it's okay...' bit. It always has really relatable things that I only thought I did.
3. What is your favourite book? This is so difficult, it's always changing. Stephen King's Wizard and Glass or Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
4. Which song makes you dance? Most of the Hamilton soundtrack at the moment. #work
5. What has been your best career moment? My favourite so far was writing a feature about a Harry Potter-style role play set up in a castle in Herstmonceux called Bothwell School of Witchcraft. Everyone was running around dressed in wizard robes, hunting dragon eggs or heading to potions class. It was one of the most surreal experiences but totally brilliant. And, as a HP fan, I was living the dream.
6. What advice would you give your 20 year old self? My 20-year-old self was still at university, in the second year of my degree. So perhaps I would say get more involved in societies and go to more talks on campus. And the obvious: don't stress, enjoy yourself.
7. Where are you happiest? This is a tad embarrassing but genuinely just when having really good food in good company. I love doing food reviews, which I'm lucky enough to do every now and again.
8. Who would be your number one dinner guest be and why? I feel like I could talk to Jessica Chastain for hours about movies, politics, feminism...
9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why? To transform into an animal. How cool would it be to be a tiger for the day?
10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be? Most bizarre press release?
We love a weird and wonderful press release which we know will generate headlines. For us, it’s a toss-up between ‘Is Snoring Ruining the Nation’s Sex Life?’ for our client Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring or, ‘How Well Do You Know Your Poo?’ – a Bowel Cancer Awareness Campaign for Ramsay Health Care UK.