Archive for August, 2008

Business Nightmares …

Now, I don’t mean the kind of nightmare where you find out your last order of stock is enroute to Hong Kong instead of Cork,  I mean the night-time fast asleep kind of nightmare.  We’ve been pretty busy recently and I’ve been spending a lot of time packaging up our orders into all shapes and sizes of envelopes.  Well, it’s obviously been getting a bit too much because last night I woke in a cold sweat dreaming about Killer Envelopes attacking me!!  Seriously, no kidding, these envelopes were very scary and I had to completly wake up myself again in case I fell back into the dream and back into the hands of the killer envelopes!  Hmmm, I think maybe it’s time to delegate some of the packaging duties…. 

Suzanne

Killer Envelopes!

Killer Envelopes!

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Festival Waterproofs

With the Electric Picnic fast approaching, we have been asked by a few people this week whether we carry a special range of waterproof gear for music festivals. The answer is not really – we don’t have a specific festival range – although the  waterproof hoodie, the dover jacket and the cleveland trousers would be sure to keep the adults dry in Stradbally this weekend. And any of the everyday dungarees, jackets or the all-in-one suit would be great for the young budding festival goer.

But this made us think …. maybe we should source a special festival range for next year. They might include jackets, trousers and capes (get cape, wear cape, stay dry!) in bold, bright colours and designs. If the wellies comes in lovely bright designs why not the rest of the waterproof gear? We’ll let you know how we get on.

If you’re lucky enough to be going the Electric Picnic – hope you have a great time and I hope it stays dry for you.

Aedan

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Irish Web Awards 2008

We’ve never found Web Awards very accessible to small businesses like us. They either seem too expensive to nominate, you can’t nominate yourself and/or they have an expensive black tie ceremony for the winners. However, the Irish Web Awards seem like our kinda awards. It’s free to nominate, the nomination form seems straightforward and the awards ceremony only cost €30 to attend. And it’s not a black tie affair – no tie at all might even be acceptable.  Here’s a link to the Irish Web Awards blog and the nomination form is here.

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X-treme PuddleDucking

This is Jake puddle-jumping in the garden last February – putting the waterprooofs through a stress test!

Remember kids – don’t try this at home – ask your mum or dad first!

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Press releases can work!

When we first launched PuddleDucks we had good press coverage, but once you’re up and running it’s much trickier to get.  So I didn’t think that a small business like ours could get coverage in the national papers just by sending out an unrequested press release to lots of newsdesks and journalists. But … I was wrong. 

At DM’s suggestion we sent out a Press Release yesterday and low and behold – we have coverage in the Irish Times and the Examiner today. We also have interest from a number of weekly and monthly magazines. We had a number of new sales today due to this publicity.

I am a novice on this but here’s what I have learned about sending out Press Releases over the last 48 hours:

  • you need an angle or newsworthy story. For us, this was the increase in sales due to the bad weather. “Bad weather means good business for Cork firm” was our headline.
  • write it and draft it a few times – and get opinions
  • email it to as many news and media organisations as possible
  • be ready to field phone calls and emails
  • have all your info at the ready. If you’re basing the story on financial information make sure you have hard facts at the ready (we didn’t!)

We attached some of our stock images with the release. However, the Times wanted a more animated photo with kids splashing in puddles. So panicking in mid-afternoon we asked our friend and photographer Rob to see if he could take a few photos of his kids in the rain. Obliging as ever, Rob took this photo of young Ruairi that ended up on the front page of the Business section in the Irish Times.

Ruairi in the Rain

Ruairi in the Rain

I think the natural Cork rainfall may be been helped by water from the garden hose but anything for a good picture … !

We also uploaded the Press Release to www.irishpressreleases.ie and it can be viewed here.

Suzanne asked me to add that contrary to one of the reports today she is not a complete killjoy and does indeed like an occasional sunny summer’s day!

Aedan

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PuddleDucks Blog is go !

This is an exciting day for us. After writing our blog among ourselves for the last month or so we’re now unleashing it on the big interweb thingy. Thanks to Mr. Mulley for the Business Blogging course and for his positive comments. Thanks to Gibson at Abu for setting up the hosting side of things.

Here we go!

Here we go!

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy writing it and we look forward to getting your comments.

Aedan and Suzanne

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