Are men with big noses more intelligent? Why not women? #Clickbait


In men, research suggests, big noses are associated with intelligence, but not in women. I wondered what your thoughts were on this.

Since the research was conducted in 2014, do you think it applies to women now too? Do women’s noses have more clout nowadays?

Now I’ve got quite a big nose, so I have some skin in this discussion.  However, the point I want to make isn’t about the size of noses, it’s about how it isn’t as easy as you think to do good PR. It’s not that you need a good nose for a story, or that you need to be nosy to succeed in PR.  My point is that, believe it or not, that you can’t just write anything you want to get attention.

I was sent an email this week that said: “How I made £4k in 14 days on LinkedIn.” Naturally this piqued my interest, so I read the rest of the email.  Here’s the copy:

One of my LinkedIn posts – which took just a few minutes to write – has generated around 250 comments and 25k views (I’ll link to it below)….

Now some people say numbers of comments and views are a vanity measure but they DO ensure your content is seen by more of your ideal clients. And the more content your ideal clients see from you, the more likely they are to buy.

Which is how I’ve generated £4k of sales directly from LinkedIn so far this month – without writing a single sales post/message.

And that kind of blows the whole ‘vanity’ argument out of the water, doesn’t it?”

I was invited, in the email, to take a look at the post on LinkedIn which garnered so much engagement, and lo and behold the headline was <<ARE AMBITIOUS WOMEN LESS ATTRACTIVE?>>

I hope the author of this won’t mind me saying that she has quite a small nose. But she is an incredibly well-respected journalist and writer, and runs superb business courses, some of which I have attended.  I recommend her courses wholeheartedly. My nose isn’t growing as I say this, it is absolutely true.

I have not the least problem with the nose size thing, and I’m delighted about the author making money, but  I do take exception to promoting the idea that catchy, click-bait headlines are a great way to achieve PR results.  Sometimes yes, but often no. Very much no.

We’ve sniffed out the zeitgeist, we know there’s dumbing down; short attention spans; clever beaks are out of fashion and no one likes corporate speak, but even so we still can’t just use irrelevant content or contentious subjects to win engagement or sales.

I think we have to be professional, measured and intelligent for our clients who run serious businesses, as part of projecting and protecting reputations on their behalf.

That’s my opinion, what do you think?

PS If you’d like to check out the nose size research, follow this link here

PPS If you’d like to read the original  £4k post, click here

PPS If you’d like some seriously effective PR email me or check out our website

If only you could bottle confidence



What do the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans; Sir Ken Robinson; and Ellen DeGeneres have in common?

Perhaps these are unlikely bedfellows, but they were all nominated by survey respondents as engaging and interesting speakers, according to some recent research carried out by Jayne Constantinis, herself a PRCA trainer on confidence and public speaking.

In particular, Ken Robinson was noted for a laugh out loud moment when describing how schools kill curiosity; Ellen DeGeneres took her audience on a painful and personal journey; whilst Frans Timmermans addressed the UN about the MH17 plane crash and was commended for his simplicity and humility.

Each one of these demonstrated skills and aptitudes valued by their audience, particularly being authentic; showing vulnerability; passion; humour; poise, yet were professional and rehearsed. Plus there was substance to what they were saying with simplicity of message. All three examples, took their audience on a journey.  

Gosh, intimidatingly, that complete combo seems to suggest superhuman skills and levels of confidence. If only you could bottle that and take it when you need it most?


Perhaps it is no wonder that in a 2017 YouGov poll, glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, was the fourth most common phobia amongst British adults. A fifth felt terrified by the notion of standing up in front of a crowd.  Public speaking came in higher than a fear of spiders (18%), clowns (12%), enclosed spaces (10%) and the dark (5%).

And interestingly, women are over twice as likely to be ‘very afraid’ of public speaking when compared to men.

That means in all likelihood for every five people you work with, at least one of those will be bottling it every time they’re called to a large meeting or required to present or pitch. And often the root cause of glossophobia is a crippling lack of confidence.

What can you do about confidence?

This is something that Jayne looks to tackle in her training.  I had the pleasure to attend a taster session of Jayne’s training at last year’s PRCA Leadership Academy. Her session was entitled ‘Leadership with gravitas’ and we looked at different ways, in fine detail, about how we all might tap into our inner orators.

Those that know me personally will know that I was not a shy child; a fear of public speaking has never held me back (ichthyophobia or a fear of fish is another story entirely.)  Yet, it’s one thing having the gusto to get up on stage, it’s another to deliver a compelling performance.  

Just a few insights that immediately improved my public speaking game:

  • I’m too old for ‘winging it’. That might have worked at school, but leads to a confused presentation.
  • Like all content, the audience is king. Think of them as individuals not a homogenous body. And consider what do they know about the subject you are talking about?
  • How will you make them feel. In the responses from Jayne’s survey, people remembered speakers for how they made them feel not really what they spoke about.

Can you learn gravitas?

And what about gravitas – can you ‘learn’ gravitas? I’m not going to lie, I thought this session would be full of cringy speak and too many positive affirmations. (Sorry Jayne – I’ve learned!)  

Gravitas is conveyed in so many ways. How we dress; not necessarily power dressing Apprentice-style but feeling comfortable.  Arriving early so that you are well prepared and can familiarise yourself with the space.

Embracing the hesitations. Even today I’m about to go on live radio to talk about our client, Canned Food UK. I don’t necessarily know every question they will ask and I will pause, but that’s ok.  

It’s even in the way we stand and sit. There’s a whole twenty minutes dedicated to this by Amy Cuddy here.

So, the really excellent news is that you join me for glossophobia anonymous, gain all these insights and more from Jayne herself at her ‘How to grow your own gravitas – confidence in communications’ course at 10am in Oxford, 27th March 2019. Sign up via PRCA.  See you there.

Why Instagram isn’t just for people sharing pictures of #brunch


In the summer of 2018, Instagram announced it had hit one billion monthly active users. Despite this figure, many B2B companies are still unclear on how to effectively use the image based platform or the benefits of using Instagram as part of a content marketing strategy.

Facebook was launched around fourteen years ago, Twitter twelve years, and Instagram only eight years ago. So, it’s understandable that businesses could be reluctant to invest in a media platform that isn’t even a decade old.

Can a B2B campaign be relevant on Instagram?

The simple answer is yes.

Instagram can be a really useful tool to not only support brand awareness but also help develop a business personality. People want to buy from brands they like and trust, and Instagram is a great way to do this. A picture speaks a thousand words as the saying goes.

Take IBM or MailChimp for example, these companies directly target businesses; however, both successfully use Instagram to highlight the company voice as well as product offerings.

Just because a business is selling directly to another company, rather than to a consumer, doesn’t mean there is an absence of people in the purchasing process. It is as equally important to develop a reputation and trust with individuals, as it is to develop a relationship on a whole business-wide scale.

 Business communication opportunities 

Not only is Instagram a great place to build brand awareness, but it’s also an excellent tool for two-way conversations between a company and the desired target audience. The premise of social media is to be social, not just to broadcast information. The ease that customers can communicate directly with a company allows for constant feedback. Instagram provides any B2B company with the opportunity to gain valuable customer information directly from those who it affects most.

Twitter may have introduced the use of hashtags on social media, but Instagram took their application to a new level. Users routinely click on hashtags that are appropriate to them. By using the most relevant hashtags to a business or industry, B2B companies are able to reach users who are actively showing an interest in the content, resulting in more valuable engagement.

Facebook changed its algorithm a couple of years ago to make posts from business accounts less discoverable without advertising spend. Instagram’s algorithm is focused on ensuring users are seeing the content they care about.

“If your favourite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.” – Instagram, 2016.

This algorithm provides businesses with the opportunity to engage with the followers who care about its content.

New and improved 

Instagram is always launching new features to improve its offerings.

In June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, the longer-form video hub allowing people to share videos up to sixty minutes. Users are even able to create their own channel, similar to YouTube (that’s the important part).

According to research from Statista, YouTube was crowned second in ‘the most popular social media channel worldwide’ as of October 2018. And Cisco reported mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic by 2021.

These figures make it clear the opportunity available to brands utilising IGTV and Instagram properly.

Not only can companies collaborate with influencers creating longer videos on IGTV, but they can also create and share high-quality video content from the company profile. Coupled with the rise in popularity of Instagram stories and the traditional photo grid upload, companies are able to design an entire digital campaign, and deliver it in multiple formats, through one platform.

Only seven months after its launch we think IGTV has the potential to be a strong contender against YouTube, and in turn should be considered by B2B companies aiming to maximise the effectiveness of its social media presence on Instagram.

Spending time and money well on Instagram

While Instagram is a great tool for many companies in supporting its larger communication and brand image, it is important to remember that to be successful the content needs to be strategic. There is almost no point in writing and sharing posts just for the sake of it.

As with all communication activity, social media also needs to be executed properly to ensure the desired outcomes. It is more important to share quality content that will create conversation than it is to create mass volumes of content that nobody engages with.

Time is money and if you spend time creating content with no plan of how it will impact the communication plan on a broader scale, or you are posting a tweet every now and again just to be ‘active’ – this will not provide a return on investment.

If you want to develop a lively social media B2B campaign and need some advice, give us a call on 01608 495012, or drop me an email –