By April 20, 2016 Read More →

Miss Dashwood’s Register

Victoria Lambert, Miss Dashwoods RegisterHome business owners have an active grapevine, and I heard about Miss Dashwood’s Register from previous contributor Lynnette Peck of Lovely’s Vintage Emporium.

Miss Dashwood’s Register is run by Victoria Lambert and introduces small business owners to journalists looking for case studies for articles, often for the national press and media. It could help you get some valuable PR for very little cost, so read on…

Hi Victoria, what gave you the idea for Miss Dashwood’s Register?
You might be surprised to know that journalists are a supportive community – not the hyper-competitive types you see in movies. I’ve often found myself sourcing case histories from among my friends for stories for others to write.

One day, I was chatting to a talented chef who I had recommended to a journalist as an interesting person to interview for a national newspaper. ‘Was the experience fun?’ I asked. ‘Oh yes,’ she replied. ‘A really lovely experience’. Almost as an afterthought she added, ‘And we had 6,000 hits on Facebook that day.’

It was a Eureka moment. There was real, quantifiable value to what I was doing so casually.

And the idea of a hub grew from there: a simple mechanism to help journalists find fantastic people and their stories but with added support and back up for the case histories too. This meant that they could make the most of these opportunities to showcase themselves, their business or cause in the press and I got huge job satisfaction having connected the two.

Miss Dashwoods Register logoHow could it help Work from Home Wisdom readers?
We often say that joining Miss Dashwood’s Register allows you to engage with the national conversation in your field.

So that means a professional like an urban planner could raise their profile by talking on TV or to a paper on a general theme. But a small business might make immediate sales. A campaigner might see their online profile soar.

I remember placing an interview in a national broadsheet with a young woman who had designed her own face cream and was making it at home in the kitchen. She called me three days later to say she hadn’t been able to contact me to say thanks earlier because her phone had simply not stopped ringing.

Joining Miss Dashwood’s Register gives those opportunities to people who can’t afford or don’t want to commit to a PR company and also encourages them to take a step into the world of media because they don’t feel they are doing it alone.

What kind of businesses and journalists are on the Register?
Clients range from a gift shop chain, a babywear entrepreneur, a luxury handbag designer and a lingerie emporium, to lawyers, accountants, business coaches, authors and a poet. Plus we have campaigners and bloggers, who cover topics ranging from special needs to vintage fashion.

Journalists who use us work for all kinds of media including the BBC and ITV, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Times, local press, magazines, trade press and websites.

Do you have any favourite articles Miss Dashwood’s Register has helped to bring about, or interesting stories about people being put in touch?
One favourite was an interview with autism campaigner Martha Smith (which I wrote; I use the Register myself for my own work as a freelance journalist for the Daily Telegraph).

Martha joined Miss Dashwood’s Register after learning about it from her sister (who I met at the school gates) – and she was interested in raising the profile of talks she gives at local schools. The article was widely read, and then syndicated to the New Zealand Herald, and a really popular Australian parenting website, before she was then invited on to Radio 4 You and Yours. She says she can’t believe the traffic on her website since.

We’ve also linked members up recently to trade press and consumer magazines, and one brave soul has agreed to be interviewed about dating post 50 for the Daily Mail.

Where is Miss Dashwood’s HQ?
HQ is my home office – a converted garage in the garden, full of computers, books, and a selection of framed newspaper cartoons which I collect. I hold meetings in the kitchen which is sunny and more spacious.

Kate Stewart, Miss Dashwoods RegisterDo you have a daily routine?
I start work at 6am (the school run is done by my husband.) I’m very much a working journalist still, so at first I research and write newspaper commissions and articles.

But after about 11am, once the daily newspaper conferences (where decisions are made on which story to pursue) are ending, journalists start getting in touch via social media.

I’ll chat to find out what they need, and I might also pitch one of our clients direct, if I think they are a good fit.

During the day, I blog and tweet for Miss Dashwood as well; I like to think of us as a real community, not just a dry resource. And there is always time for virtual coffee with my colleague Kate Stewart (above), who works for the Register remotely from her home office in West Sussex and with me here at HQ once a week.

At 3.30pm I break from work for afterschool chauffeur duties and making supper. I always check in again at about 7pm to make sure all is well and answer last minute enquiries.

work from home secrets

To see more visit the Miss Dashwood’s Register website. Email Victoria at info@missdashwoodsregister.co.uk if you are interested in joining the Register.

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