Media Interview with Heather Baker, contributor at SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk
Who is SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk aimed at?
The people making British small business great! We’re aimed at everyone; from entrepreneurs to freelancers, to people running small businesses.
What subjects do you cover and what stories interest you most?
The blog is all about celebrating the people behind small businesses. Our stories aim to reflect the reality of running your own business – whether that be reviews of indispensible resources, features on the important issues affecting small business, or entertaining takes on daily life for SME owners.
As a newly launched website/blog, what challenges have you faced in terms of getting the right content?
Time! Great content takes time!
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
We know that small business owners are often pretty hard-pressed for time, so we wanted to come up with a blog that was easy to read, entertaining and, quite frankly, a bit gutsy and not afraid to say where it’s at! For this reason, we’re feature-based – we want to make it easier, better and more glamourous to be a small business hero!
Does TopLine communications, the B2B PR agency you founded, and SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk work closely together?
SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk is aimed at being an objective resource for small business owners – running a small business myself, I have first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations of life as an SME owner!
Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
Not at the moment – watch this space!
How do you see SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk growing in 2013?
Our goal is to develop a regular and loving reader base of 20,000 small business heroes a month.
I’ve noticed a number of PR/communications companies also produce media outlets (websites, magazines, newsletters, etc). Do you think the PR/journalist dynamic has changed over the years?
Yes, definitely. In the end it’s all about great content – people are after stuff that is genuinely relevant and interesting, whether it’s produced by a journalist or a communications professional.
As an online publication, do you receive contributions from a wide range of sources?
The blog has a very distinct tone and style – we produce the majority of the content. However, so long as the content on offer is in line with our style and ethos (and, most importantly, isn’t a dry, boring sales pitch!) then we’re open to guest posts.
What makes a press release stand out for you?
That it gets to the point in the first paragraph! So many PROs fall at the first hurdle when it comes to pitching by not explaining what they’re getting in contact about until about two or three paragraphs in. Press releases on topics that will genuinely be of interest to small business owners are always welcome.
How do you prefer PRs to get in touch?
Of all the press releases you receive on a daily basis, what percentage of them make it to publication?
We don’t run news stories, so none make it onto the site in press release form. However, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t get in contact, as we’re always on the lookout for interesting topics to write about.
As founder and managing director of TopLine communications and contributor at SmallBusinessHeroes.co.uk, how do you split your time?
80% TopLine, 20% SmallBusinessHeroes.
On your profile, you’re described as a less scary Anne Robinson. Is that how you see yourself?
I’m not that scary. Unless you misuse your apostrophes, then you’re in trouble.
What do you love and hate about your job?
I love supporting small businesses, working with a great team and watching our social media communities grow!
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I’ve only ever worked for small companies. In my opinion, it’s the way to go if you’re ambitious – you get to take on more responsibility very quickly and you get to watch and learn. Then when you decide to do it yourself you know how it’s done (or how not to do it).
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes. Twitter is a great way to keep on top of breaking news and to approach influential people who would otherwise never take your call!
Heather Baker is tweeting @TopLineFounder.