We mean business

October 3rd, 2012

The business Moment Media A5 2.indd Dull, with long dry spells. That’s my general experience of business publications. So, publisher Mark Wilson (Codename Media) and I set out to do something a bit different.

The result is The Business Moment magazine, due to be launched in mid-October. This is a sister magazine to Mark’s existing title, The Moment – a Peterborough-based lifestyle and entertainment magazine to which I’ve already been contributing a few pieces as a feature writer. As a result of this, Mark and I got talking and soon established two significant facts: first, Peterborough – a city at an fascinating point in its evolution, with huge potential ahead – was in need of a decent business publication; second, most business publications bored us half to death.

The Business Moment is based around the people who make business happen, and what makes them tick. There will be the usual news, events and facts and figures, of course – but it’s the stories people have to tell that really give us food for thought.

Distribution is to be a bit different, too. The magazine will be available as an e-mag, and also as an app – free as a download from iTunes – which introduces all kinds of functionality that we believe will delight readers and advertisers (readers can simply tap on an ad to go directly to the company’s website, for example).

The first issue includes, amongst many others, interviews with Marco Cereste (Leader of the City Council), Neil Darwin (Director of Opportunity Peterborough), Charles Taylor (Dean of Peterborough, talking about the Peterborough 900 corporate campaign), Iain Crighton (CEO of Crightons, entrepreneur and rally champ) and Richard Branson (who?).

We will, of course, keep you posted…

Another great Festival

September 25th, 2012

cfflogo Once again this year, we provided editorial services for the Cambridge Film Festival brochure and handled press and PR for the event.

It was a fantastic eleven days, as always, bookended by visits from directors David Frankel (DEVIL WEARS PRADA, HOPE SPRINGS) and Robert Guediguian (SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO) on opening night (13 Sept), and Mat Whitecross (ASHES, SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL) on closing night (23 Sept). We had UK and world premieres, a plethora of Hitchcock’s in brand new prints, outdoor screenings in weird and wonderful settings (e.g. Cambridge University Library steps), films with live accompaniment and even a Lego Ninja (long story…).

My own personal highlight was meeting and chatting with writer and critic (and utter delight) George Perry, who knew many of the greats and reminisced about Hitchcock and James Stewart. A rare pleasure.

Many thanks to all at Cambridge News and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire for providing such great coverage.

I love it when a plan comes together

July 11th, 2012
  • bigweekend-15bA few positive words or a personal recommendation are worth pages of advertising. So, having had an incredible time at the Big Weekend in Cambridge with the arrival and departure of the Olympic Torch Relay – drawing crowds of 120,000 on the Saturday (yes, really…) – I was delighted to receive the message below. It refers to the excellent marketing of Business and Marketing Manager Neil Jones, and my own press and PR efforts for the OTR.

    “I wanted to thank you both for the excellent comms work you did for the Olympic Torch Relay. We could not have hoped for better or more positive coverage for the two day events themselves. The sheer numbers who turned out shows that awareness of the event was certainly very high, a reflection of your success in generating continuous coverage in the lead up to the event.”

    – Liz Bisset, Director of Customer and Community Services, Cambridge City Council

    I would like to express my own thanks to everyone who helped bring the whole thing together – the City Council, the County Council, Trinity College, St John’s College, all the volunteers and of course the ladies and gentlemen of the press. The unbridled enthusiasm and good cheer of everyone involved made even getting up at 4.30am on a rainy Sunday a pleasure!

    Photo: Danny Sambuca

  • Torchbearer

    July 6th, 2012

    483112_10151064903356405_638581874_n Yesterday, I carried an Olympic Torch. OK, so I only carried it about a yard and a half… I then passed it to one of our real Torchbearers, 18-year-old Alice Ellison. We were at the advance press briefing for the Cambridge leg (pun intended) of the Olympic Torch Relay, which, after weeks of preparation and steady PR work on our part, is finally happening – TOMORROW (Sat 7 July). The torch will arrive in Cambridge early that evening to expectant crowds on Parker’s Piece, where it will form the centrepiece of the Big Weekend celebrations. The following morning, bright and early, it will be run around Great Court in full Chariots of Fire style, with Alice – Cambridge resident, and a superb ambassador for all things Olympic – the first Torchbearer off the blocks.

    It’s getting exciting now – and I don’t even care if it rains. (Thanks to Neil Jones for the pic!)

    Olympic Torch Relay

    December 9th, 2011

    ccclogo-125We’re delighted to announce that infinitemonkey’s Toby Venables has just been appointed as Olympic Torch Relay Media Liaison for Cambridge City Council. This is in essence a press and PR role, involving the dissemination of key information on the progress of the Olympic Flame to all local media, as well as offering related human interest stories and organising interviews and photocalls.

    The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep.

    The flame will arrive on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge for an evening celebration at The Big Weekend on Saturday 7 July 2012, finally arriving at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    So, still time to get a bit of training in…


    October 31st, 2011

    zombieposterTo help get into the Halloween spirit, we headed to Winchester University last Friday to enjoy a celebration of all things zombie at the first ever Zombosium, a one-day academic conference about this seemingly unstoppable cultural phenomenon (they’ll get you in the end).

    A range of perspectives on the undead were supplied by the 17 attending zombieologists (actually specialists from a range of disciplines, including film, philosophy and sociology). Infinitemonkey’s Toby Venables – author of The Viking Dead and now, apparently, a ‘zombie expert’ – gave a paper on zombie landscapes, with a slight deviation off the main highway in order to talk a bit about road horror (think Texas Chain Saw Massacre et al). Highlight’s of the day included a keynote address from Dr Ian Conrich, and an especially eye-opening talk on how to zombie-proof your home by architects Roger Cooper and Jordan Lloyd. You can see more about their ingenious (and hilarious, and disturbing) project here, which has been entered into a contest to design zombie proof dwellings, judged by author and zombie fighter extraordinaire, Max Brooks. We wish them the very best of luck, in the hope of a freebie when it all kicks off.

    Many thanks to everyone at ‘the Winchester’, and especially Dr Marcus Leaning for organising this superb event and for getting the message out to the BBC and The Sun, whose looming presence gave him plenty to think about on the day. You can see the Beeb’s initial report on the Zombosium here; check out also the piece in Metro. Toby was interviewed TWICE by the BBC (BBC Russia, and BBC World Service), but sadly, the media failed to photograph his t-shirt, which featured the attached propaganda legend.

    It’s hoped the conference will become a book, which will include all papers given on the day, plus a few extras. More on that as it unfolds.

    Now, where did I leave my machete..?

    It’s all about Paddy Considine

    September 27th, 2011

    paddyconsidineAnd so the 31st Cambridge Film Festival draws to a close, with a fabulous closing night film (THE LOOK – featuring Charlotte Rampling) and not one but TWO surprise films, for which eager audiences snapped up tickets without the faintest clue what they were (few could have been disappointed; they were Soderbergh’s CONTAGION and John Madden’s THE DEBT).

    But for me, the final weekend was all about Paddy Considine, visiting with his debut film as director, TYRANNOSAUR on Saturday night. OK, so there are professional reasons why that might be the case – we were handling press and PR, after all – but it was simply a great pleasure to meet the man. A real gentleman, who gave a superb, heartfelt Q&A after the packed screening.

    It also provides a good excuse to reproduce Festival photographer Tom Catcheside’s amazing snap of Mr C – for me, the photo of the Festival. If you like what Tom does, take a few moments to peruse his website and photoblog. There are pictures from the whole Festival there, as well as info on how you can get Tom to make you look this good!

    Nicolas ****ing Refn

    September 23rd, 2011

    niclaswindingrefnAnother great day at Cambridge Film Festival was enlivened no end by the appearance of Nicolas Winding Refn, winner of the Best Director award at Cannes for his latest film DRIVE, who had a media frenzy following in his wake.

    His film is an extraordinary piece of work – highly stylised, and showing a similar visual richness and sense of emotional restraint as Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (are there distinctly Northern European sensibilities detectable here?). But unlike Alfredson’s film, Winding Refn’s crime drama is punctuated by sudden explosions of violence, rendered all the more shocking by the stillness that surrounds them. And it was these – or rather, his description of them – that caused all the fuss… That very morning, live on BBC Breakfast, he had, quite matter-of-factly, described the bursts of violence as ‘a bit like ****ing’. Carey Mulligan visibly winced, presenter Bill Turnbull hastily apologised, and the press went berserk – none of which did our efforts to publicise the Festival screenings that evening any harm at all!

    He is, of course, a very naughty boy.

    Thanks again to Festival photographer Tom Catchesides for the superb portrait, taken in the Festival bar that evening. Check his website and photoblog for pics of the event and more.

    Hurt, Oldman, Alfredson, Straughan…

    September 18th, 2011


    Cambridge Film Festival (for which we are handling press and PR) had a fantastic opening night on Thursday 15 September, with Gary Oldman, John Hurt, director Tomas Alfredson and screenwriter Peter Straughan in attendance for the screening of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.

    It was hectic behind the scenes, with live TV interviews, radio, a press conference and photo calls to accommodate into an already packed evening, but the guests themselves were an absolute delight, and our hosts for the occasion – Emmanuel College – could not have been more helpful. A wonderful evening – and surely the film of the year.

    Many thanks to Festival photographer Tom Catchesides for the photo. Do check out his website!

    Cambridge Film Festival 2011

    June 21st, 2011

    camfilmfestWe’ve long been supporters of the Cambridge Film Festival at iM, so we’re delighted to announce that not only are we back to edit the Festival brochure, we are handling the PR as well. It looks like it’s going to be a great one, too, with director Tony Jones’s Herzogian quest to project films in the most unlikely places literally breaking new ground. This year, there are plans afoot for the Festival to appear in the grounds of a stately home, in a forest, on city streets, on a river, in a meadow and in an Olympic white water rafting centre.

    Also available in cinemas… (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge 15-25 September). We’ll keep you posted!

    Meanwhile, you can find out the latest Festival news here.