Behind the Scenes: Balmoral Castle with the RNLI


20 Scottish pipers in Kilts at the Queens Summer castle – Balmoral for a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) press shoot. Now imagine me directing them. It was quite a challenge; people of all ages formed the Ballater and District Pipers Band. And what a sight it was. So much so, that we even had a small crowd watching the proceedings.

We had a limited number of RNLI branded yellow wellies and we needed to get as many pipers wearing them. I got everyone lined up in height order at the beginning of the shoot before then assigning each one a number (1 or 2). This was done in preparation for the V formation shot where 1’s would stand on the right and 2’s stand on the left. 




RNLI Balmoral (1 of 3).jpg

After they had put on their wellies, it was time for some warm up activities, which included marching round the grounds of Balmoral to the sound of banging drums.



Once they had warmed up and gotten into the spirit of the shoot, I then needed to get them into a V formation. This was to emphasis the yellow wellies, make sure that we could get as many of them in the shoot as possible and frame Balmoral Castle in the background.



The V formation works because your eyes naturally scan an image from left to right. There were 20 sets of branded yellow wellies in the shot. We used the pipe bands drum to form the point in the V.


After getting the V shot, I then proceeded to find some other creative angles to pair up the iconic yellow wellies and the famous Scottish landmark.




Fortunately, the wind was working in my favour. It was great fun to work with the RNLI on in Scotland for their Mayday Fundraising campaign. The pictures have so far been featured on their news centre website and Press and Journal.


The Mayday fundraising campaign runs throughout May and aims to raise £750,000 to help kit out the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews. Visit to see how you can get involved.

Posted by Adam Smith.

The Art of Public Relations - The Press Pack

So there you are, sitting at a table for coffee with an aunt, and you are trying to distill thousands of words and intricate painstaking research about something she hasn’t got a clue. Something that you are really passionate about, something upon which you are building your career and getting paid. And what do you do? You give it to her straight, in 10 seconds, say 30 words.

That’s the skill. Dumb down your subject, make it accessible for a relation, a family friend, a stranger in the street. Whatever age, whatever background, make it understandable for them – and that’s what you do with a journalist.

A journalist knows a little about everything, but not much unless they are a specialist. Suddenly you arrive on the scene by email, a tweet or a phone call. You basically have one chance, one attempt at making your voice heard above the thousands of conversations that crowd their life these days.

So what do you do? Research. Research the journalist and their publication, understand how your product could fit into their news agenda. Then sell it, sell it bold, be confident, take the knock-back and come back fighting for more.

Be prepared. Offer them an all-singing, all-dancing package. You have everything ready, a press release, a photograph (get in your branding), a key person available for interview, and a video if necessary. A case study, yes, a human being talking about what it means to them. And when a journo wants more, you promise you can deliver within their timescale.

Don’t you cringe when you’re listening to a radio programme, it’s the hot topic of the day, and there’s no one available for interview. Credibility for that company goes down the pan. You must always have someone for interview – and brief them!

Posted by Adam Smith.

Harris Associates - Headhunting media campaign press release

We are currently running a media campaign for Harris Associates

Here is the first press release of the campaign which is being distributed nationwide to media outlets. 

Harris Associates launches their new headhunting service. 

A new bespoke head hunting service has been launched in a bid to match high quality staff with expanding companies.

Robert Harris decided to branch out after he found that his clients, intent on growth, were struggling to find high calibre staff and engineers.

He has now launched a head hunting service through his Harris Associates business which already covers the UK, with staff spread across England and Wales searching for suitable candidates.

Robert, company director, said, ‘This is a new initiative for us, and we are already delighted with the early results.

‘My company specialises in tendering for a variety of clients seeking new contracts and in just two years we have helped them win over £200 million in contracts.

‘But what has become clear is that after they win contracts they can then find it difficult to find quality staff and engineers to service the expansion.

‘So what we have done is to create an opportunity for our clients by setting up this service, trading on our high quality and low cost model, to match up the best talent for our customers.

‘One of our recent requests was a qualified gas engineer in London to speak three Asian languages. I gave this to our most experienced Head Hunter, Kaz, who found him!’

Kaz Chaudry, Head Hunter with Harris Associates, has more than 20 years’ experience and his national network of contacts is helping to deliver the right candidates to clients.

Robert, 48, emphasised that Harris Associates can offer the head hunting service to new clients, and it is not limited to companies that are using the company’s tendering service.

‘We can, on request undertake fast checks on their integrity, their right to work in the UK, money laundering, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) and our aim is to undertake everything quickly and with high quality, matching the right individual to the company without the usual headaches.’ said Robert.

Before he set up Harris Associates, he evaluated tenders for companies worth up to £750 million. Robert has then used that experience to help him advise clients on how to write the contract winning tender, ranging from the construction industry to funeral undertakers.

‘It became clear that company directors had businesses to run and couldn’t dedicate the time and resource to bid effectively. They also didn’t know how to obtain the best from their tender submissions. So Harris Associates grew from there.

‘However, its important to me that we give back to the community and, being an ardent rugby fan, it was only natural that we should sponsor the Treat Trust Cup, a wheelchair rugby international between the four home nations to raise money to assist those with spinal injuries,’ said Robert.

For the campaign we are: supporting the press release, producing a series of blogs as wells as videos and photography. 


Posted by Adam Smith.