Here’s my article on cider in the October 2015 of Devon Life.
Sweet Sound PR’s unique website service: Web mapping
Visiting a new website for the first time seems to me to be more like following a GPS or road map to a destination for the first time than anything to do with technical ability.
Sweet Sound PR will visit your website as a potential new customer and find the best, quickest and easiest way to ensure that all first time visitors find their way easily to their destinations.
If new customers reach a junction on your website and do not know which way to go, they could walk straight to one of your competitors and you would never know they had ever considered buying from you. Every customer counts and I identify how to clinch their custom.
Ask yourself these questions about your website:
If you answered yes to 1, 2 and 4 than I can provide the quickest easiest solution to increase your first time customer traffic by visiting your website and identifying the problem and saying exactly what to do to solve it and allow new customers to buy from you without the need for help.
This could range from:
For existing websites – either text to be added or removed, which will leave new customers with a clear map to their desired destination on your website.
This is done simply by having the right signposts where you would expect to find them, on the way.
Route to your house
However, companies big and small face the same issue: they know their own website too well. This is exactly like giving someone directions to your house for the first time. You know the route by heart and they have never seen it before. You may tell them to look out for a signpost that doesn’t work, not give them the easiest route or confuse them totally.
Sweet Sound PR can solve this by going to visiting your website and identifying the solution. This is all about communication, not IT.
The solution to ensure happy customers buying their tickets and getting the right train was simple, when pinpointed:
By removing red text which said they only needed to pick a train if they wanted to reserve a seat meant they could check the departure station and time of their desired train and be able to pick their ticket up from that station. I suggested removing this misleading text, which they did.
A coffee company used words which misled customers. By changing the headings, customers knew what they were getting and placed the orders they wanted.
An online farm shop asked customers to select a time slot for delivery before they could add items to a shopping basket. Like a one way street or a diversion, if you want customers to take a particular route through your website, you need to provide sign posts and direct them each step of the way. For this customer I emailed them screen grabs and a quick start guide which they linked from a banner on their home page.
An established print company changed their name and website, which was a whole lot more sophisticated then their previous one. The problem was that customers reaching checkout without knowing that they had missed options. Imagine wanting to reach France and only being directed to the longest ferry port, when planes and trains would get you there much quicker?
The company’s express printing and delivery option was only available with no lamination. Therefore, after the words ‘Lamination Options’, I suggested adding the words ‘for express printing please select ‘None’ below.
Give me an email: email@example.com or a call 07863554763 If you:
Even if you get one call asking for help with your website, it is worth a look. Every retail business loses customers without knowing as most people leave silently. Never say ‘you’re the only one with this problem’ or ‘no one else has called about this. Instead, call me for a quick, easy and very cheap to implement a no-brainer cost solution and watch those customers role in.
This article was triggered by the report in the Western Morning News as of today (16 July 2015) as I believed the statements made in it are inaccurate.
Breaking: I just received a reply from the WMN’s senior reporter to say:
“Sorry for the late response. We are going to look again at the story anyway and in the meantime have removed it from the website. I’ll let you know if we’re going to take it forward, although do get in touch if anything else happens.”
I went yesterday to the Cutty Sark to interview witnesses, bar staff and the landlady to find out what happened on the night in question. Up until Tuesday night, the sequence of events were on Alex’s Facebook page and they do not reflect what he says happened. For instance, two separate press accounts say he went home or back to his hotel after the incident feeling humiliated, whereas his Facebook post confirmed he went to Five Degrees West next door for a pint.
After asking around and a visit from the Falmouth Packet, the landlady sent her statement to the BBC, who were due to interview Alex on TV at 9.15am on 16 July. After acknowledging receipt of my email, Sarah then replied:
“Thank you so much for the below.
Just to let you know we are now not doing the interview tomorrow morning but thank you for your help anyway.”
However, Steve Taylor, PR and communications manager of Changing Faces, who are launching a nationwide awareness campaign, says Alex was on a boat ride on Friday 11 July and doesn’t like Stella. Further investigation underway amongst boat trip providers and retailers.
He was told by bar staff he wouldn’t be served and said nothing and left.
This is where I am coming from
Because I am hard of hearing, before I had hearing aids, I would frequently be turned away from places because they considered me to be too drunk, and I explained qhy I had slurred speech. This didn’t change anything due to licensing laws (they couldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt) and it stopped happening when I got hearing aids. One night in a pub in Falmouth, I used the ‘hard of hearing’ card after a few drinks, when I was refused service and called the next day to apologise, as I was pissed.
Ironically, in March 2013, I was banned, because I fell down the stairs on my way out of Five Degrees Below (owned by establishment where Alex went for pint after being refused at the Cutty) and over a year later in 2014, I was denied entry upstairs although I had been into the main bar on occasions since the ‘ban’. I went in after the originating incident to show staff my Dyspraxia report which confirms that I had bad motor skills and could fall over easily. We all need to be aware of our limitations, whatever they are and however they effect us.
Back to the Cutty
The landlady saw someone stumble and told the bar staff not to serve them. The bar staff said that Alex’s breath smelt strongly of beer when he leaned over the bar to make his order, which is when he was told he had had enough. He left without saying much more than ‘OK’. I would question if his reaction at this point is consistent with how he said he felt to the press.
On the next day he went back and caused a scene, raised his voice to the landlady who had not ignored him to watch the tennis (as first reported) but went to speak to him although it was her day off. Two patrons who witnessed this scene have given interviews. Not getting an outright apology that he wanted, he stomped off, slamming the door behind him.
This is all on CCTV which can only be released if something illegal happened.
In media law this could be ‘Defamation’ as the facts given in the press have not been checked and this is detrimental to business income and professional reputation. There has been no fact checking by the press and Alex’s version of events has only been reported, even after the landlady gave her version of events, and Alex has covered his tracks and changed his story. An article just removed for further investigation had added: ‘who walks with an uneven gait due a foot condition’ to perhaps explain him stumbling into the pub.
There is also a contradiction between these two statements.
Therefore, he was not ordered to leave. He was told he had had enough and said OK and left, without challenging the decision. As his breath smelt of beer, it appears he had had more than ‘less than a pint’ to drink.
Had this not happened to him before? Is this because he is well known for using his disability so no one dares not serve him a drink? On his Twitter feed today, he publishes a lunchtime tipple. On a full day out on his own in Falmouth, revisiting where he did his degree, did Alex only have a 500ml bottle of beer before 9.30pm when he went to the Cutty?
I myself wrote for a careers magazine for disabled graduates called the Arberry Profile, guided blind people on holidays for Vitalise, work as an access steward for Attitude Is Everything at major festivals and worked as a guide for Deafblind UK for two years. I have not met many people who would want to be such victims of their disabilities, especially when something has nothing to do with a disability.
Here are some articles on disability issues I have written, linked from my website, plus a link to the page with articles on hearing loss and Deafness issues.
I do not believe this story is doing any good to raise disability awareness or helping to create a more inclusive society. It could be reinforcing ingrained views that disabled people are victims of their disabilities, rather than able to adapt and create awareness around them and ask for reasonable adjustments, as other patrons at the Cutty do, including Simon Carr who, yesterday, said this on his Facebook page :
“So, today we have learn’t about the power of social media, or more exactly, how people get all irate without checking ANY facts, knowing the situation, OR being reasonable, eh, Jess, I have been fighting hard!!!!!” – Simon Carr.
In his BBC interview Alex said ‘I had less than five…less than a pint’. The decision not to serve him was based on the belief he had already had drinks, making it illegal to serve him under section 141 of the Licensing Act and at the time, he did not say anything and left to go to another pub.
Peter from the Falmouth Packet went to the Cutty to do his own investigation and this is their more balanced article of 15 July.
I will be broadcasting interviews with the landlady, two witnesses who saw Alex come back on the Sunday and the bar person on my radio show tomorrow on www.thesourcefm.co.uk/listen from 2-3.30pm (Friday 17 July).
Then on Friday 24 July, I will be speaking to Steve Taylor or James Partridge of Changing Faces, about their awareness campaign which they have confirmed will not mention the Cutty and feedback on how to handle the situation better has been handed back to Alex.
Having recently opted for a fruit and veg box to be delivered by Cornish Food Markets, I sent them some feedback from the perspective of being a first time user of the website.
Every time a new customer lands on a website, the likelihood of them going through with a purchase could depend on how well the process is signposted from the first page they land on.
It is very easy for any company, with staff who are familiar with their own website and the systems they use, to not see what the first time customer sees, so they can provide information to lead that new customer through the process.
I sent feedback on my first time experience on the Cornish Food Market website, which was graciously received. The food box that arrived was very good. On my next visit to the website, I noticed they had used some of my comments in their new Quickstart Guide.
This particularly demystified the process of booking and confirming a timeslot so that the Shopping Basket appears and it is then easy to continue shopping before placing the order.
If you have a website and would like me to provide ‘First Time Visitor Feedback’ please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can scroll down for more information and individual links or it’s all here linked from my Scrumpstock PR board on Pinterest
Here is a review on Along Came a Cider’s blog from Meredith Collins in the USA.
Piece in Exeter Living on page 16.
Plus a listing in Exeter Living‘s Spring edition on page 32.
Latest release (due out in print press on Thursday) is on:
Family activities at Scrumpstock in the press:
Plus an off-shoot South West News.
The first press release went out in March via:
Then the piece: Core! It’s a Cider Festival in Exmouth appeared across the newspaper group containing:
The Pirate Attack website have included a listing on their events and festivals page.
The October issue of Exeter Life magazine will contain a by-lined article (by me) on real Devon cyders.
Each week I do an hour radio show on Sundays from 7.30pm-8.30pm – The Enhancing Your Chances Show. Then on Tuesday mornings I do the breakfast slot from 7.30am-9.30am – Sophie’s Laughing Alarm Clock Show. After Tuesday morning’s stint, I went to the Perranarworthal Farm Shop and Michelle Burley Hodge was there.
I’d done an interview with Michelle, aired on Sunday 17 March, for an article promised to the West Briton. Michelle showed me a copy of article, which I found I had missed in the 7 March West Briton. However, a copy was still knocking around in my room. Then I heard that a woman had gone to Michelle’s stall because she heard the radio interview! Wow.
I’m organising a promoted comedy night for emerging talent in Falmouth starting on 15 May called the Falmouth Comedy Floor. There are already 2 active comedy promoters in the area, so luckily we all get on and work together. One new night is at Tyacks in Camborne (now I know there’s no u in Camborne).Here’s my set from the April one.
The Falmouth Comedy Floor is twinned with a night I launched with a team of 3 in December 2009, now in the Time Out Top Ten Open Mic Nights in London. Here’s the Freedom Fridge website with the Cornwall outpost page.
In a couple of weeks, am starting doing music PR on a freelance basis for Matchbox Recordings, so please see my vintage Music PR for a taste of what’s to come.
I am rushing to get the bus to see a talk. I can’t find my hearing aid.
The chance to get the bus comes and goes and while searching for missing hearing aid, I find the batteries for my back up.
After midnight, I return from a night of painting Falmouth a light shade of red and see the bag of nuts I had moved to my side table.
I remember, without my glasses on, picking up nuts from my bedside table – where I put my hearing aid at night – after the bag had spilled out the night before. I remember the feel of a large nut that I guessed was a Brazil.
Seeing the bag of nuts that I had folded up on the side table, I have an idea. I look inside and lo and behold, my hearing aid is in there.
I went on a yoga weekend last new year’s eve.
There was a hot tub, which in me induced extra sleep.
A friend had persuaded me to come on this weekend and she also found 4 days without alcohol and with a hot tub meant lots of rest. So she brought a plate of monkey nuts from the kitchen to the room we were both in.
I had booked on this weekend at last minute, so people had been paired off into twin rooms. It was only by warning the venue organisers that we both snored, that we were both in the same room. Therefore we had a plate of monkey nuts to enjoy while reading in between yoga, hot tub and food. And sleeping.
No, Apple Mac, organisers is spelt in English with an s.
Plate of monkey nuts demolished, my friend scoops the shells onto the plate and takes them to the kitchen where she leaves them on the side.
I go to put my hearing aid on to go to dinner but can”t find it.
After a few minutes of panic, I work out that my hearing aid was on the side near the monkey nut shells and resembles these in both colour and shape.
I run to the kitchen and find the plate of empty nut shells.
There amongst them is my hearing aid.
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