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FordOnline PR – A Happy Ending… Romcom Stylee

Dear hearts, when last I wrote, your heroine was sat lonely & tearful in her bijou one bed flat.

It seemed that sadly, despite her best efforts to be charming, witty and playful the FordOnline PR guy just wasn’t that into her.

She had been snubbed.

*Cue god awful soundtrack – possibly this*

Fade into montage – our heroine wandering sadly around the flat, tragic but beautiful. A single tear rolls down her cheek (miraculously not destroying expertly applied make up).

But then… Just when you thought all hope for our heroine was lost… She receives an email from the PR guy referencing her blog post:

Thanks Hannah, personally I love it!

However, for obvious reasons – the client may not…  Still you posted the press release, so thanks for that (I think) and here are your kisses xxx

*Cue further shite music – probably this*

Gotta love a happy ending, right?

Ford Online PR Versus The Blogger

Dear readers, I’ve a confession to make. I’ve been a bad girl. I should go and sit on the naughty step.

But that’s what good girls do. And like I said. I’m bad.

I get emails from PR companies pretty regularly. Mostly I ignore them. However, I received one recently which I thought deserved a little attention.

It was from the PR company (who will remain nameless) who are currently working for Ford Online. My interest was piqued because I kinda thought they might want to give me a car. And I wouldn’t have minded that too much… I mean I’d prefer a book deal or possibly a spot on Strictly Come Dancing; but y’know… a car would do – right?

Here’s what they sent me:

Hi Hannah, (I was pleased they’d figured out my name… sometimes they don’t)

<Name removed> here, from <agency name removed> and I’m working together with FordOnline on a social media initiative. We want to engage more with female drivers in the UK and we think that your blog and readers would be interested in what we’re doing.

Would it be possible to post the latest press release from FordOnline on your blog which is below.  Also, courtesy of Ford perhaps you would like to run a competition for your readers where we can provide the prize?  Something useful and car related like a storage boot buddy (see attached photo)

Let me know what you think and if you can use the press release below.
Many thanks!
<Name removed>

Wanna know what in the name of arse a ‘boot buddy’ is? Here you go:

It’s very pink, huh?

Apparently (according to the blurb at least) *everyone* needs a boot buddy.

It’s a pink ‘gadget’ for girls!

Interestingly although not referenced in the email another picture was also included within the email – pink, in-car hair straightening irons! Wanna see?

Perhaps the dumbest invention I have ever heard of.

Oh, and yet again, pink.

But I’m forgetting the bestest bit! The press release! (Erm you can totally skip reading this if you want. It’s really fucking boring).

The Internet continues to influence how women buy cars

When it comes to buying a new or used vehicle women do not feel as comfortable about the car buying process as they do about other high value purchases.  Recent research highlights the issue of women often feeling under more pressure in the showroom or at a dealership than men (What Car? Magazine).

Leading economist Linda Babcock and author of “Women Don’t Ask” claims that women are 2.5 time more likely to feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating than men, especially when it comes to purchasing a car, which may lead to women putting off going to a showroom or car dealership altogether. However, as the Internet continues to grow and people are increasingly purchasing high value goods online, there are further signs that it is also changing how people buy cars.

Ford Retail, the UK’s largest dedicated Ford dealer group which is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company, has launched ‘FordOnline’ (link removed – tee hee), a new easy-to-use car buying website that offers both convenience and value for Internet shoppers looking for new or used Ford cars as well as commercial vehicles.

Most car buying journeys start with browsing the Internet for information. Surprisingly, FordOnline has found that a large proportion of Internet shoppers (37%) are now prepared to purchase vehicles without a test drive, removing one of the final barriers to online selling of cars.

The convenience of the process is becoming increasingly important. New research carried out by FordOnline shows that motorists believe the benefits of buying a car online are convenience and a hassle free process, especially with today‘s busy lifestyles:

What would you rank as the greatest benefit of buying your car online?

· Getting a better deal (35%)

· It is convenient and quick (29%)

· There is no need to haggle on price (21%)

· It saves time/saves visiting a dealership (19%)

· It is less stressful than buying from a dealership (13%)

The research also reveals that the majority users are already well versed in making a broad range of purchases online including:

· Books, DVDs and music (59%)

· Insurance (55%)

· Holidays (52%)

· Clothes and jewellery (43%)

· Theatre/concert tickets (35%)

· Brown goods such as TV’s (34%)

· White goods (30%)

· Toys (26%)

· Health and beauty products (25%)

· Car parts (24%)

Steve Hood, Managing Director of FordOnline, commented: “We know that with the growth of the Internet there are car buyers out there who want to search for and buy a car without visiting a dealership. We have specifically designed FordOnline for those people, offering them great choice, low-prices and high levels of customer service. What you see on FordOnline is exactly what you get. Our customers only need to visit a dealer to pick up their vehicle.”

FordOnline aims to make car buying simple and straightforward, it is also 100% owned by Ford Retail, so users can be confident in using the website – it is the trusted, quick and convenient way to buy a Ford vehicle. They are now also to be found with the latest stories and updates on Twitter @FordOnlineUK. To find the best deals on your next Ford, visit (link removed again tee hee hee!)

– Ends –

Wow! FordOnline like totally ‘get’ social media. And they totally ‘get’ females. I mean, what woman in her right mind would turn down the chance to bore her poor readers to death with a poorly researched, dry as the sahara desert press release in exchange for a boot buddy or in car hair straighteners? And they’re both pink!

I mean, you’d have to be either

a) Out of your mind


b) Be on the blob

to turn down an offer like that!

I therefore dashed off the following response forthwith:

Hi <Name removed>,

I do really like pink and I’m sure my readers do too.

I also like ponies. Do they do boot buddies with ponies on them?


I kinda thought that would be the end of it. But the PR came back to me (possibly because no one else had responded to him at all):

Hi Hannah,

I will look into the ponies for you!
Is that press release something you can work with on your blog?
If so, do email me the URL link so I can see the response and send you the pink boot buddy for your readers if you want to do a competition/giveaway or something similar.
Kind regards, (I was kinda sad that he used ‘kind regards’ rather than ‘love’)

<Name removed> (also note the lack of kisses)

I could have left it there… But I couldn’t resist sending him a reply:
Hi <Name removed>,

I’ve just polled my readers and it turns out that only 37% of them like pink. This means that 63% don’t like pink. Interestingly a slightly higher proportion – 45% like ponies. But this still means that 55% don’t like ponies.

I guess we’re going to have to rethink the prize. Perhaps I should run some further polls? Let me know what you think.

In any case I was very surprised at these results and thought that they might make for a really interesting press release.

I know you’re really busy but I was wondering if you had any tips? One of my friends told me that graphs are a really good way of presenting data so I made a pie chart in excel. The only thing is I couldn’t figure out how to make the pie pieces different colours. Still I think it illustrates my research really well.

I’ve attached it for you to have a look at.

I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t look like pac man so I just changed the data to make it look more like a pac man. I’m guessing it’s ok to do that as no one will know the real results of my poll, right? Anyways, now if you tilt your head at the right angle it looks like a pac man. But not yellow. But yellow wouldn’t make sense because the poll’s about pink. Pink the colour that is, not pink the singer. I was a bit worried that people would be confused so I’ve titled the graph Pink Poll (NB the colour not the singer). Do you think that’s clear enough?

Would you be able to distribute my research alongside Ford’s? I think it makes the story more interesting. After all, who would’ve thought that only 37% of girls like pink! And it’s on a similar theme.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!



It’s been 24 hours, but sadly still no response from the PR guy.

I guess he’s just not that into me…


Perhaps I should send him some pink flowers to his office.

**Update: It ain’t over, til it’s over – the fat lady sings right here**

One Year On

So I just realised that my blog is one today.

I think it deserves cake.


Image credit chotda

Blogging & The Art of Procrastination

Hello my lovelies.

I know, it’s been an awful long time since I wrote you a proper post. And I’m sorry. I have loads of posts (well about ten) languishing in draft form, getting dusty and out of date.

Why? Am I turning into one of those bloggers I’ve read about so often. Those who write for around six months or so before abandoning their blogs?


I really hope not. This post (hopefully) will spur me into action.

Right now, I seem to have procrastination down to a fine art. Believe it or not, this blog’s not the only thing which I’ve been neglecting.

Way back in January I wrote myself some resolutions – wanna see how I’ve been getting on?

Here goes loves – the results are not all that:

1. Attend some kind of writers workshop thing …

Nil point. No writers workshop thingy. Bad Hannah.

However I have received some commissions for some freelance writing – (yep, that’s correct, people have paid me to write stuff for them – it’s ‘madness gone wild’ as my Nanna would say). I’ve had some excellent feedback on my work and things are going really rather well (touch faux wooden desk).

Definitely a good enough reason to attend a writers workshop. I will get on to it – maybe with the money I’ve earned from commissions.

2. Get my dancing shoes back on!

Again, another complete and utter fail. For no good reason. I’ve not been to salsa, not joined a street dance class, nothing.

However I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about ways I can get just famous enough to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

3. Finish the play I’ve been writing…

Absolute fail. ‘Nuff said.

4. Audition for a show.

I am the winner. Not only did I audition, I got cast in not one, but two plays AND I’m auditioning for another one on Sunday – cross everything – including your eyes.

5. Attend at least a couple of events at the Dana Centre 

Hmmm, I’ll give myself half a point for this one. I went to one, which was fab. But only one. Currently it looks like there aren’t any events on – boo, hiss… or maybe their calendar’s just borked.

Either way, if they do some more I’m going to bully you into coming – okay?


All in all, a disappointing performance. Bad times.

I *will* do better. Promise.

Please fill the comments section with mean stuff about how rubbish I am, how no one cares about my stupid resolutions (or my stupid life), and don’t I know that unicorns don’t exist.

Cheerful life affirming comments such as ‘I know you can do it’, ‘go Hannah’, ‘you are a star!’ or perhaps if you’re really rich ‘here’s a million pounds – go follow your dreams’ are of course also welcomed.

In my experience both carrots and sticks are equally efficacious 😉

The 100th Post

So my loves – this is my 100th post – a landmark if you will.

I’d kinda hoped to be able to write my 100th post on my birthday, but got a bit lax on the blogging front and didn’t quite make it.

I’ve been writing this blog for a little over six months now, and with it being the 100th post I thought I might share a few of the things I’ve learnt.

1) Social media is *really* powerful. I’ve never promoted this blog in any way, but my good friend Rishi (who incidentally is male, despite his avatar) has kindly pimped a few posts on Reddit one of which hit the front page sending 24,000 visitors over the course of two days. To put this in perspective, to date the site’s had 34,500 visitors – so Reddit sent nearly 70% of the total visitors. The balance? Google sent 12.2%; 7.5% came direct and the rest are odds and sods from all sorts of places.

2) Google like blogs. Now clearly, I’ve kept my nose clean on here – there’s no paid for posts, or ads with followed links, or anything that Google don’t like. However, there’s also very few backlinks and yet Google gave the homepage a PR3 – after only six months. Not something I expected to see.

3) The site gets visits for stuff I really didn’t expect it to. I’ve written a few posts about Compare the Meerkat and search terms like ‘compare the meerkat’ (and ones related to the topic) send a surprising amount of traffic. I’m really not sure why users are clicking to read my blog, when surely they want to Compare Meerkats (simples!) – but they do.

4) More people visit than I thought – excluding the Reddit traffic I get an average of 60 visitors per day. Not earth shattering perhaps – but I’m nevertheless surprised.

5) Comments don’t necessarily indicate how much people like a post – interestingly (again excluding the Reddit posts) often the most read posts are the least commented on. 

6) Somewhat unrelated but, I heart flickr – I like to use images in my posts, and flickr allow you to easily search for creative commons licenced images. I could happily waste days of my life looking through stuff on there.

Image credit ‘100 Live & Die’ by Bruce Nauman via Telstar Logistics