‘What’s the best bit of your job?’

I was lucky enough to be invited to give a talk to a group of students about PR, marketing and social media a couple of weeks ago. It’s always nice to talk to the industry’s future movers and shakers, and despite showing them the new Money Supermarket advert to illustrate a point, I think it all went rather well.

I like my talks or lectures to have an interactive quality, because I always find that I get the most out of events I go to if I can get involved in someway, even if it’s just asking a question. I always want the people I’m chatting away to to get something really useful out of what I’m telling them (even if it is just the link to a crazy advert on the TV), and I feel that giving people the chance to interact and comment is a good way to do this. At the end of my lecture, I asked: ‘Ok, does anyone have any questions about what I’ve been talking about?’. There was silence. I don’t really like silence. ‘Anyone?!’ I said. One person said: ‘well, actually, I have a question about you – what’s the best bit of your job?’. I wasn’t really expecting that as a question, so started the answer with my obligatory ‘ummmmmm’…

There’s a time and a place to think about this, and probably in front of a group of students in a university lecture room isn’t either, but as I was asked, well, I was in the thick of it. The thing is, it’s actually a very difficult question for me to answer. There are LOTS of aspects of the job I enjoy. I love working with likeminded, pro active people. I love looking at new products and ooing and cooing, giving opinions and contributing towards the design. I like the satisfaction of a job well done. I like the buzz I get when I can help people achieve their goals. These are all true…but they’re all a bit expected, aren’t they? I thought a bit more, and do you know what I think the bit I most enjoy is? It’s seeing people that I work with do well. It’s seeing a campaign work well. It’s seeing a great product fly off the shelves. It’s seeing a deserving company get the recognition it should from appreciative emails or even making it through to finalist stage in a prestigious awards…or better still, winning. And the best bit for me is helping them to achieve this. Even in a small way. PR people should help to highlight the best bits of a business…but there has to be a good business there at the start!

I’m lucky in that I work for a number of companies who tick all the boxes above, who make working with them a joy. One of these companies is Trilanco. Trilanco is the UK’s largest animal health and equine wholesaler, and twice winner of the BETA Trade Supplier of the Year Award. Most recently, they’ve made it through finalist stage in two categories of the Red Rose Awards, an awards set up to celebrate Lancashire businesses. Trilanco is modest. It doesn’t thrust its successes in the faces of others…I sometimes think that without me saying ‘we really should tell someone about this’ that they’d keep more things quiet. This isn’t a criticism at all, on the contrary, in my eyes it proves more than ever their worthiness. The team don’t sit there, pat themselves on the back and pop their feet up to enjoy the glow of their latest achievement. They smile and just crack on with further improvements in the quest to be bigger and better than they are. See, that’s something to be proud of, and being part of something like this is the best bit of my job.

Find out more about Trilanco here.

It’s worth waiting for…made to measure bridlework that’s ‘worth it’!

As you may know, I work with a number of lovely companies who make entirely brilliant products…and the one that I’m going to talk about today is Kate Negus Saddlery. See, Kate Negus Saddlery isn’t a normal saddlery. First of all, it’s entirely British, which is something that’s not common nowadays. Julia (KN’s MD), designs the products in Wiltshire, the leather is tanned in Yorkshire and the beautiful new bridles, breastplates and leather accessories are made in Walsall. At Kate Negus Saddlery you can buy ANY piece on its own. You want a keeper? That’s fine. How about a new clip for your breastplate? Yep…that’s fine too. You name it. The company is known for being very accommodating to all its customers, and the new range of nosebands really pushes this point. See, Julia is excellent at listening to what her customers want and acting on this. But as anyone who’s in business will know, just because one person wants something doesn’t mean that the rest of the population will too. Sadly. What do you do with these people? Well, you do your best to help them is what. One of Kate Negus’s unique selling points is that it can make products to order…so if you’re looking for something a bit random, or you need an ‘odd’ size, Kate Negus is the place to come.

One of the new made-to-order nosebands, the Elastic Grackle.

We got chatting about made to order products, you know, the type people would have to wait for…would it work? When people need a new item, do they want it as soon as possible and time is the only factor? The answer is actually no. We decided to ask Kate Negus Saddlery’s Facebook fans what they thought – the question was, would they wait three weeks for a made to order item. The answer was an overwhelming yes. And do you know why? It’s the quality. Kate Negus’s leatherwork is beautiful. It’s bespoke because you choose the size and style of all the parts when you order. With correct care, it’ll last years and years and years…and then some. Super cob Marilyn has a beautiful Leather Lined Padded International Flash with Diamante Browband and X-Suregrip Reins and it’s really out of this world. Quality and service are two aspects of the brand that are always emphasised because they’re second to none. But what’s really, really great is that Kate Negus’s loyal fans really get that too. And by ‘get’, I mean understand. They’re happy to wait because they know that what’s coming is worth waiting for. They know that it’s going to fit their horse perfectly. They know that it will get to them in a timely fashion. They know that they can adjust bits and have their new bit of kit exactly how they want it.

In a world where everything is required now if not sooner, it’s lovely and reassuring to know that the horsey lot at least still appreciate quality.

Find out more about Kate Negus Saddlery here.