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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 16 March 2021. In this issue:

From the front line of an ongoing publicity campaign part 2

In the last eBulletin I reported on the PR campaign I was working on for local charity Park Lane Stables. With one of the top breakfast TV programmes featuring the story and a couple of TV celebrities on board, momentum was building. It needed to. The fundraising target was £1million. We’d raised £500k in six weeks and had one week till the deadline.

And then we were the lead story on BBC Breakfast. The Crowdfunder website crashed as they experienced the most traffic they’d ever had. Once it recovered, money rolled in at £10,000 per minute, and we stared in disbelief. Two hours later we’d sailed over the £1million. The BBC team were also glued to the Crowdfunder page, and when they realised what was happening they asked to return to the Stables to film a celebratory feature which would be their lead story the following morning – along with more live coverage.

Suddenly we were catapulted into the position of being every TV and radio station’s uplifting good news story. Donations found their way to ‘The horses, London’. One letter was addressed ‘To Cameron Diaz, sorry I can’t remember your name’, after the Stables’ Manager Natalie O’Rourke was asked on live TV who would play her in the Hollywood film.

How did this happen? Well, momentum firstly. The campaign was all about personal stories, so when individuals became aware of it they started to push to give it airtime. When producers reached out we had articulate speakers, horses and children whose lives were touched by them, plenty of video and strong visuals, and a charismatic Stables manager with plenty of anecdotes and stories and a warm personality for live TV. And we had celebrities. We were the perfect antidote to all the grim news, and the campaign was something viewers could get behind. A lot of hard work went into ensuring that we had appealing content, and a bit of serendipity sealed the deal.

Last time I shared 10 tips for conducting a PR campaign targeting the broadcast media. I couldn’t have predicted quite how this one would have turned out, but I stand by all 10!

PR success always relies on luck and serendipity, there really are no guarantees of success. But if you think I may be able to help, get in touch at

Read the earlier article and the top 10 tips for conducting a PR campaign.

And finally, I’ll give the last word to another of our celebrity supporters. This short but magnificent video had me howling with delighted laughter when it appeared on Twitter.


A scientific report is rejected by the peer review process. End of the road? Nope

This is a brilliantly written post by Kent Anderson, founder of The Scholarly Kitchen but writing here on The Geyser.

It’s Good to Be a Reject shows that being rejected doesn’t stop an article being indexed, cited and shared. It’s published before the review process kicks in, and because so much of the indexing happens right at the start, an article acquires a life and credibility irrespective of whether it’s then endorsed by reviewers.

Here’s a flavour:

“Somewhere north of 30% of the research outputs on these big preprint servers are rejects — old papers never published in a journal. But there they sit, with their DOIs, PDFs, and usage data, gathering views and showing up in searches like any other paper. Just some little disclaimer — like a shirt tag — sets them apart.
Who reads shirt tags when they’re in a hurry?”

A great read if you’re in academic publishing, and should be compulsory if you work with scientific journals.

Read It’s Good to Be a Reject for yourself

I’m running Introduction to Journals Marketing for ALPSP on 23 and 24 March. Still time to join me if you’re quick!

Our Academic Marketing Workshop also covers issues like this.


New Wordstream blog post on 9 best email subject line styles

Let’s get this straight. There is no magic button when it comes to email subject lines. And if you read 100 reports about formulas that work, you’d find them full of contradictions.

This new post on The Wordstream Blog has some great points and new ideas, and a few recommendations I’d question – at least for the relatively specialist audiences most of us have as subscribers. But it’ll get you thinking and it’s a quick read.

Read for yourself on the Wordstream blog

Our Email Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this.


On The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook

  • A cartoon of ‘How people think editors work’ and ‘How editors actually work’ amused me this week. For proofreaders everywhere.
  • Need cheering up? Watch the celebratory BBC story after our PR campaign ended in spectacular success.
  • Read something that hit the spot in this eBulletin? We’d love you to comment on Facebook.
  • Watch the Wall for postings of new jobs, or feel free to add to them.

Visit The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook.


Tip of the week: Why ‘not fast enough’ is better than ‘too slow’

Cycling today I saw bikes in the distance ahead of me. I thought ‘I’m too slow to catch them’ then automatically edited the thought to ‘I’m not fast enough to catch them’. As I registered what I’d done I realised the significance too. ‘Too slow’ is passive, finite and negative. ‘Not fast enough’ suggests choice, that progress is possible. Slow is negative, fast is positive.

This happened in a split second but it’s something we should be doing all the time when writing copy if the result is to be upbeat and carry the reader. Every negative phrase can be flipped to positive. All of us want to buy in to something that feels good, and making copy upbeat is an essential starting point.

Find out more about our Copywriting Workshop.





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