Paula Gardner’s got the inside track on how you can do your own PR. Both online-&-offline. A polished public relations practitioner, coach, blogger and travel writer, she helps vibrant professionals, entrepreneurs, experts and coaches raise their profile in the media and attract more clients-&-business. Paula trained as a journalist and has 20 years experience in PR, including working in the music industry with clients such as George Michael and Bananarama, writing three must-read business books about PR and coaching over 200 clients. Paula’s brilliance lies in getting to the real hub of what will make you stand out from the crowd, get noticed, hit the headlines and make the press fall in love with you.

What made you decide to accept the invitation to join Sister Snog in November 2006.?
(Head, heart, gut instinct or a combination)

I’d been approached by an eager post-graduate. Her name was Nicola Hyslop. She was fresh out of uni looking for a work placement. I didn’t have any openings at the time and by a twist of fate she ended up working with Hela-&-Annie. We kept in touch.  She told me about Sister Snog and encouraged me to come along. The membership process was very different in those days. I’d done the early morning breakfast meets. Never really enjoyed them. So I satisfied my curiosity and went to a First Friday lunch at Sartoria. I didn’t have any preconceived notions so was more than pleasantly surprised. In fact I loved it. I got the warmest of welcomes and found myself in the company of  women who I clicked with immediately. So I guess it was a decision made by the heart.

How has your business blossomed as a result of being a Sister?

I’ve always had direct and in-direct business over the years as a result of being a member of Sister Snog. Which you could say more than covers the cost of the annual membership. But for me it’s more about the connections. What I find really useful-&-helpful is the spiders web of people I can access on behalf of my clients. For example I have a client who is a divorce consultant and she was looking for a case study. I put out bulletin and one of the Sisters – Sue Thurston – stepped up and shared her story. This sort of thing happens regularly. Because I’m often being asked for quotes-&-comments from the press from those in the know, I recently created an ‘Experts List’. You’ll find lots of Sisters on there as there are lots of experts at Sister Snog. Which is inspiring. Everyone is an enthusiast and passionate about what they do and happy to share their journey, their ups-&-downs and insights they’ve discovered along the way. Sister Snog has worked for me on so many levels and I love being part of something where there’s a real sense of belonging.

What’s your most memorable Sister Snog moment to date?

Christmas Cocktails, Canapes & Cabaret Festive Friday lunch in 2010. Held at Swarovski Crystallized Lounge. The year of the big snow. But it didn’t put Sisters off. Dressed in feathers. Sister Snog worked with the London Cocktail Club and created three different welcome cocktails. Krissmas Kiss. Frank-&-Sense. Holly=&-Ivy. Difficult. Complemented with Christmas canapes. Mini turkey & cranberry pies. Chicken liver & Cognac pate on brioche. Pumpkin & chestnut risotto. And for dessert –  Ice Angels descending with their trays of heavenly ice cream. Sisters of Soul made their debut. And Funny Women entertained us with funny women. It was so Christmassy. Just like one of those festive films.

What do you think makes Sister Snog stand out from the crowd?

I know an amazing woman who has an interesting spin on storytelling. I did a session with her. She asked me to think of my favourite childhood film. It’s The Red Shoes. Described as a musical adventure in film making. A spectacle touched with magic. A proper fairy tale with an artistic element. Rather like Sister Snog. I’ve watched it evolve and develop since I first turned up at Sartoria. The magic was there then and is very much still there now. A playful, fairytale brand that provides an escape route for its members.

Which is your favourite event and why?

Brainstorming Breakfast. It’s worth getting up for and puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. And I always get something very tangible-&-practical out every breakfast. My notebook is full of notes. My mind is racing with ideas. What I also love is that Sisters don’t rush off. We all make the most of being an early bird.

What do you love about Sister Snog?

Sister Snog is a fairy tale brand. I’ve been a member for so long its gone beyond business. It’s part of my social life as well as an integral part of my business world. So many of the Sisters I’ve met during my membership have become friends. Including Hela-&-Annie. I love the people Sister Snog attracts as members and I have the utmost respect for my fellow Sisters.

Sum up Sister Snog in one word : MULTI-LAYERED-CHOCOLATE-CAKE

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