Category Archives: Radio Journalism

PR and radio in May

Here is my live radio show from Friday 6th May 2016 featuring various emerging artists from around the world and DJ and producer, Jason Fernandes

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fsophiesweatman%2Fradio-show-featuring-live-phone-in-interview-with-jason-fernandes-dj-and-producer-with-his-single%2F&light=1

Some comedy press releases:

Falmouth Packet

West Briton and Cornishman

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Man who Claims Unfair Discrimination Damages Disability Awareness

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.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 18.37.02I 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.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 18.31.30I have just received this information:

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.

The landlady made the decision to tell the bar staff not to serve Alex when she saw someone stumble into the pub, without seeing who it was. Jess and Al

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.

Landlord's have liability for all their patrons under Section 141 of the annually updated Licensing Act.
Landlord’s have liability for all their patrons under Section 141 of the annually updated Licensing Act.

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.

Bar staff gain experience in knowing if someone has already had too much before arriving. Who is to know what Alex had on a day out on his own in Falmouth before 9.30pm.
Bar staff gain experience in knowing if someone has already had too much before arriving. Who is to know what Alex had on a day out on his own in Falmouth before 9.30pm.

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.

– Alex claims he was “mortified to be ordered to leave by the landlady who said he had already had too much to drink.”- Then he says: “I was so shocked and I just decided to beat an exit.”
Patrons from all social groups, including those with hidden disabilities, show their support for the bar and its staff.
Patrons from all social groups, including those with hidden disabilities, show their support for the bar and its staff

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 :

As an old building, going in there is a sign for people to mind the step.
On the way in there is a sign for people to mind the step.

“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.

For independent artists wanting to release music

Most people naturally find it hard to firstly remember then to boast about their achievements and present these in a confident and objective manner that will maximise readers’ interest in them.

As a result, we all tend to underplay our own achievements and instead try to tell people why we are as good as, better than or different from other people.

In my experience as an editor on various publications and being sent press releases, I believe that:

  • Human beings tend to feel different from others when they haven’t found out that others feel the same.
  • Our actual experiences and achievements are what distinguish us.
  • People like facts.
  • It is our natural humanity that connects us so let people see yours.

Your music will speak for itself, so the object of my service is to allow the maximum amount of people know about you and hear your music.

No Shortage

There is no shortage of people who want to hear good new music in any genre.

If you are an independent artist who is planning to release a single or album, I provide a music-savvy press article writing service to create publicity material (bios, release info, website pages etc) that stands out from the rest, which means it reaches a wide audience of readers to direct them to your music.

Published

I’ve had over 25 years experience as a journalist in which time my work has been published in a great variety of places as I can quickly find the story to pique editors’ interests by choosing what information to include and presenting it to read with maximum credibility and impact.

If you are an independent artist who would like to release your music, I can work with you once you have:

  • A recording on MP3.
  • This uploaded as an audio file on Youtube or Soundcloud (as these can be embedded and heard instantly on most music and press websites and blogs).
  • Imagery: either a cover image for your music and/or photographs of your music act.
  • Links to your social media and/or website so people can follow your future releases.

Then I can design a print and online press campaign which includes:

  • A story in press-ready article form (which you can use wherever you like).
  • Distribution of this with your imagery around 30 or more places online to reach media, music industry and the public to direct them to your music.
  • Traffic to your social media/Soundcloud/Youtube Channel and/or website.

To maximise use of the above service and achieve independent record sales, followers and music industry and media interest, you may need:

  • Licensing and distribution to music buyers through digital music retailers such as iTunes.

Additionally, you may want to boost your release’s reach through some radio plugging to use one of these bolt on services through an existing music company:

  • Placement on websites with databases of international subscribers amongst clubs, DJs, radio, airlines and more music outlets.
  • Live phone-in radio interviews.
  • Pre-recorded radio interviews across franchises of national radio stations.
  • Pre-recorded music sessions across franchises of national radio shows.
  • A mix by a Ministry of Sound/Hed Kandi DJ/producer.

Any or all of the above bolt on services will generate a report for you containing ratings, feedback and confirmation of plays from all those that your release reached.

As a music promoter for over a decade in London, I noticed characteristics that were going to increase a music act’s chances of success. I believe these are:

  • An open and charming attitude devoid of entitlement.
  • Songwriting
  • Arrangement
  • Stage presence and appearance.
  • A genuine passion for what you do.
  • Good organisation.

As Katherine Hepburn said:

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.”

More info: sophiesweatman@sweetsoundpr.co.uk

Sweet Sound PR – no sweat

Writing services for music acts to publicise their releases online and in print.

Follow this link here to see a series of posts written and edited by me for a series of music clients for Matchbox Recordings

PRINT_MATCHBOXCOMPANY_LOGO_smallHaving worked in music promotion between 1995 and 2004 in various London venues, during which time I built up a portfolio of published articles about new emerging music artists, I work as radio, press and online PR manager for a music PR company and am now keen to take on new artists who want to publicise their music releases to the press and public.

Please email me on: sophiesweatman@yahoo.co.uk (while I set up new PR address) or call my office on 01326 619311 or 07863554763 to find out what I can do for or see the Sweet Sound PR – just launched page on this website.

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Sophie Ellis Bextor interview live at Glastonbury 2014

Here’s the Soundcloud of my interview with Sophie Ellis Bextor at Glasto, after her gig, when I ask her about attitudes to pop. Additional comments by Nate Valentino (pictured with Sophie backstage)

Farm Shops, Radio and Comedy

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.

Comedy

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.