Tag Archives: corinne sweet

“Getting a new job is so hard, you’ll need professional help!” says recruitment company

First impressions really DO count: Employers make decisions about job applicants in under seven minutes

Next time you’re at a job interview, make sure your first six minutes and 25 seconds count.

According to new research, that’s exactly the amount of time you have to make a good first impression and clinch your dream job.

And it appears those early thoughts are significant because interviewers take just 385 seconds to decide if the candidate is right for the role.

The study shows how first impressions can completely ruin a candidate’s chance of being offered a job.

Source: Daily Mail, 19th June 2014

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In such a notoriously difficult job market as the one the UK is currently experiencing, it must be dispiriting to those looking to find a new job to hear that you can blow an interview barely six minutes in, and never even realise it. If only there were companies out there trying to help you find work – companies like the one who funded this PR ‘research’:

The research, carried out by Monster.co.uk, talked to 273 managers and 3,286 employees about their interview experiences.

Bless you, Monster, for scaremongering people all the way into gainful employment.

“You should be more adventurous, you coward!” says hotel chain promoting adventure holidays

A nation of scaredy-cats: Two-thirds of Britons think they are adventurous, but just 29% have tried adrenaline sports (with Londoners and the North East the bravest)

Two-thirds of Britons believe they are adventurous,but actually we are a nation of scaredy-cats, according to new research.

While 64 per cent of adults believe they are daring and fearless, just 29 per cent of us have actually been brave enough to try extreme sports like abseiling, rock climbing and bungee jumping.

And our bravery depends on where we live, with Londoners and those from the North East and West Midlands named as the most adventurous in the country.

Source: Daily Mail, 4th June 2014

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The most interesting thing about this particular PR-derived article is that the same story appeared almost a fortnight earlier in the Mirror, with a notably higher degree of transparency:

Two thirds of British adults think they’re adventurous, but we’re a nation of scaredy cats

Nearly two thirds (64%) of British adults perceive themselves to be a fearless adventurous type of person.

However, a new study by Travelodge has revealed we’re actually a nation of scaredy cats, as only 29% of Britons has actually had the courage to take on an adventurous activity.

In response to this misconception and to celebrate it’s new ‘Get Up & Go’ campaign, Travelodge has commissioned the UK’s first series of interactive 3D adventure postcards.

Source: Mirror, 23rd May 2014

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As the Mirror makes abundantly clear three times in the first four paragraphs, this story is nothing more than an overt piece of promotion for a hotel chain, and their new campaign to encourage people to take holidays around the UK, and do adventurous things.

Particularly interesting in the Mirror’s surprisingly-transparent coverage is the open tagging of Travelodge at the foot of the article:

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Which then leads the reader into a filter of all recent Mirror stories taken directly from Travelodge press releases:

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It’s hard to know what to make of this from the Mirror – are they at the vanguard of a new push for transparency in journalism? Or is this the accidental side-effect of an over-eager web index? Either way, it makes my job a hell of a lot easier, and for that I thank them.

“Children need a good night’s sleep, or they’ll be a nightmare!” says hotel chain

“Children need a good night’s sleep, or they’ll be a nightmare!” says hotel chain

It’s nice of the Mirror to highlight what parents should avoid exposing their children to if they’re to secure that all-important good night’s sleep – but which company paid a PR agency to come up with this ‘research’?

Shakila Ahmed, spokeswoman for Travelodge who carried out the survey, said: “It’s quite frightening so many children across the country are experiencing regular nightmares.

“It seems the issue stems from children not having a fixed bedtime routine.

“Strict bedtime rules need to be adopted and children need to be taught the importance of attaining a good quality night’s sleep in regards to their well-being.”

Travelodge, the hotel chain, want you and your children to have a good night’s sleep. They may also have a view on where you can go to get that sleep.

“Staying with the family at Christmas is REALLY stressful, right?!” says hotel chain

The primary purpose of any press release – particularly a commercial press release – is to gain media coverage for the client; to get the client’s name as far as possible into the public sphere in a way that does not appear to be an advert.

Often there are secondary purposes – perhaps to publicise a new product range, or to inform the public of a new breakthrough in technology, or even as cynically as to plant a subtle hint that the public has a problem which they were previously unaware of, but which the client in question is the solution to.

Running up to Christmas, the hotel chain Travelodge took both of these purposes very seriously indeed, seeding a string of articles into the press to promote the notion that spending Christmas in the bosom of our family is a stressful and friction-filled affair, liable to result in all manner of arguments and issues.

We’ve been told that families argue, on average, as early as 10:13am on Christmas Morning, and that of all the guests expected over Christmas time, it’s the mother-in-law we dread seeing the most.

Pouring fuel on those fires even further, we’ve the following two articles, both in (at least) the Daily Mail:

Half of men think women exaggerate stress of Christmas while a third think they could do a better job

Four in ten women would not trust their partners to carry out essential tasks

A massive 85 per cent also say men don’t understand the effort required for a perfect Christmas

42 per cent of women find hosting Christmas Day their most stressful job of the year

Source: Daily Mail, 16 December 2012

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Nightmares about giant turkeys, too many presents to wrap and parties to attend… STRESSMAS has arrived as today marks Britain’s worst week for sleep deprivation

45% of Britons will lose 21 hours of sleep this week in the run up to Christmas Day

Almost half will survive on a mere five hours of sleep a night in order to cram in last minute tasks and preparations as well as festive celebrations

Source: Daily Mail, 17 December 2012

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These latter two stories, interestingly enough, deriving from the same Travelodge press release:

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Travelodge, then, are so successful at getting their coverage into the press that the Daily Mail will take a single press release of theirs and cut it into two – which, from the newspaper’s perspective, is an effective use of resources at a busy time of the year. And, of course, the client is delighted that they get double the coverage for their business. So who loses out here? As ever, it is the reader.

Throughout all of the Christmas press releases by Travelodge, the angle has always been the same – spending time with your family can be hell, so why not book into a hotel instead?

That Travelodge think it’s acceptable to advertise their rooms by perpetuating all manner of negative stereotypes and pseudo-gender wars is, quite frankly, a huge shame, and a disappointment. That the newspapers uncritically publish this non-research as if it were genuine news, is just as bad.

“Staying with the family for Christmas causes arguments!” says hotel chain

With the festive season throwing together families across the country, what better way to spread Christmas cheer than to remind people how stressful it can be to be around your loved ones. Take this from the Telegraph, complete with the inevitable henpecked husband photo:

First argument on Christmas Day? 10.13am

The average British family will have at least five arguments on Christmas Day – with the first row taking place at 10.13am, a new survey shows.

The research surveyed 2,000 British households to see how Christmas Day will be celebrated.

And after the early confrontation, the next family row will take place at 12.42pm when 38 per cent of children will moan about receiving the wrong presents.

Source: Telegraph, 23rd December 2012

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Also getting into the festive spirit was the Daily Express:

YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY ROW WILL BE AT 10.13AM

Couples have their first row at 10.13am on Christmas Day/posed by models

SEASON of goodwill? Perhaps not. The average British family will have at least five arguments on Christmas Day.

Researchers can even say when the first of tomorrow’s rows will take place – at 10.13am, as preparations get under way.

The early confrontation will be followed by the next family tiff just over two hours later at 12.42pm – when 38 per cent of children will moan about receiving the wrong presents.

Source: Daily Express, 24th December 2012

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Who can we thank for this slice of Seasonal sunshine?

The study by hotel chain Travelodge surveyed 2,000 British households to see how Christmas Day will be celebrated – or not.

We can be certain that the press release came from Travelodge, as they publish the whole thing in the Press Office of their website:

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It might seem odd that a hotel firm might want to publicise the idea that Christmases around our family are hard to bear and cause a huge amount of friction – what would they have to gain from promoting this view (besides getting the name into the national press, which is a goal in itself)?

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: “Christmas Day entails lots of excitement, tension and high expectations. Therefore family flare-ups are bound to happen, especially as lots of people are staying together under one roof.

“To ease tensions this year we have noticed that more Britons are booking their Christmas guests into a nearby Travelodge to help reduce the additional family stress factor. By stopping over at a nearby hotel, all parties get the space that they need and when united on the day they can truly enjoy their family time together.”

So the angle becomes clear: stay with your families at Christmas and you’ll have a miserable time, but book into a nearby hotel and you’ll be able to approach your family with love and harmony. Merry Christmas one and all, from the Travelodge PR team!