Summerhouse PR welcomes Suzanne Watts as an Associate

Suzanne Watts

Suzanne Watts has joined Summerhouse PR as an independent associate. She will provide web and social media content, research and idea generation.  Suzanne has worked for 13 years as an independent consultant in the field attracting clients from governmental, non-profit, commercial, creative and technology sectors before going solo. Formerly, Suzanne was an associate director in a top 100 PR agency Publicasity (previously icas PR) where she managed a portfolio of mainly business to business clients.

She says 

“I have always been an admirer of Madalene Whitson’s magic touch with journalists. My aim is to develop a complementary approach to Madalene’s instinctive media relations skills. I bring a focus on developing strategic messages and look forward to extending the range of services that Summerhouse offers to its growing client base.”

Suzanne currently holds a portfolio of clients in the non-profit, creative and research sectors. She brings the Royal School of Church Music account into the Summerhouse PR fold.

British Start Up Tech Talent Shines in Las Vegas Despite Brexit Uncertainty

Air For Life supremo Jay Vitale interviewed for the silicon valley tech blog ‘Oakland News’
Air For Life supremo Jay Vitale interviewed for the silicon valley tech blog ‘Oakland News’

Thanks to us, some innovative tech companies exhibiting in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Pavilion caught the eye of the media at the largest tech show on the planet, CES, Las Vegas January 7 – 10, 2020.

CES is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

Tech giants like Samsung and Google use the show to launch a host of advances, but we relied on our wits and contacts to deliver some stunning results for a roster of very grateful and hard-working small tech clients:

Air for Life – Air Purifications Systems

Air for Life UK LTD (AFL) is a health technology company that specialises in air purification systems that destroy 99.9% of pollutants and diseases. AFL launched three innovative consumer products to the US market AFL Anti-Pollution Mask, the AFL Car Sanifier and the AFL Mini Sanifier11 at CES 2020. Jay got to describe his products in detail on the silicon valley vlog “Oakland News”. He’s been too busy to talk since then…

Moodbeam: Wearable wellbeing

This is a unique wearable and connected app focused purely on tracking mental wellbeing created by Hull based healthcare tech start up Moodbeam. Inspired by the founder’s relationship with her daughter Moodbeam One was created with the ambition to transform the way the world sees mood, by making it easier to understand and talk about how we feel.


A wide range of amazing coverage across consumer and specialist press including two national newspapers, government IT publications, healthy living magazines and tech press.

Valerann – 2020 Best of Innovation winner in the CES awards

Valerann’s award winning Smart Roads Platform makes journeys safer and more efficient. At CES Valerann demo-ed its “Cloud Control Center” app – an interactive dashboard which provides the driver with data about their current road conditions enabling them to make faster, informed and effective responses.


Eight pieces of very positive coverage in technology press including its top trade vertical publication Traffic Technology today!

Summerhouse delivered the work through Tradefair’s export support package, funded by the Department of International Trade on behalf of techUK.

We were delighted when Mark Birchall, Managing Director of Tradefair, said

“Tradefair has worked with the team at Summerhouse PR for the last 3 years. They have helped us promote the GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland Pavilion at CES, which we organise on behalf of techUK, the trade association for the UK technology industry and in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT).  The team has achieved impressive coverage in a noisy marketplace in both the national and consumer UK tech press for the Pavilion and the cutting edge tech companies that form the UK delegation.”

Summerhouse PR sponsors the Best Business Women Awards 2018

Summerhouse PR is absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the Most Inspiring Business Women category at the 2018 Best Business Women Awards as well as being the official PR partner.

After working with last year’s winner Ashleigh O’Connell (see our From Homelessness to Most Inspiring Business Woman blog) we decided that ‘Most Inspiring Business Woman’ would be the perfect category for us to sponsor and judge.  The closing date for award entries is 31st July 2018 and we can’t wait to start reading about all the inspiring ladies out there and their amazing business achievements.

Founded in 2015 by multi-award winning entrepreneur Debbie Gilbert, the Best Business Women Awards are now considered to be one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for business women. The awards cover a wide variety of industries through their 18 categories and recognise and reward female business talent.

The award winners will be announced by the category sponsor at the glittering awards ceremony which will be held at Tewin Bury Farm on 11th October 2018.

Summerhouse PR will be offering an exclusive Best Business Women Award PR package to all finalists to help them promote their success.

The early years – highlights from the Summerhouse

Our client EUclaim was interviewed on Radio 4’s consumer programme You & Yours not once but twice in one month – we were more than pleased about that.  Working in a Summerhouse means pleasant, sunny and bright days at work – most of the time!

Hanging out at The Groucho Club – having successfully hosted a business and media lunch for The Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Sent 10 journalists out to Las Vegas for CES in 2016 and 2017 and they all came back with change in their pockets, full of oxygen from the oxygen bars, yes really, and some very good coverage for our client the CTA too.

Survived a weekend at the Silverstone Circuit talking MGs and paint protection – even managed to save the exhibition stand when a freak wind lifted the canopy. Yep, we do go the extra mile for our clients.

Rearranged top level media meetings for a CEO with a few hours’ notice after the client realised they’d given us not only the wrong time slots but the wrong date – the CEO never found out – happily ever after…

3D printing became our thing when we ran the press office for the TCT Show …from food to drones to prosthetic limbs for Paralympians it’s amazing what can be 3D printed.

Successfully took 15 journalists to Paris for the day having persuaded them all that the 5am start was a great idea and the 11pm return would be a doddle – Result happy, but weary journos with great stories in the trade, nationals and broadcast press.

Amazing coverage on the BBC and other leading titles for CES 2017 resulted in a happy client and very happy PRs.  

When your only access to WiFi is in the far corner of the garden on a bitterly cold night over Christmas you can still set up an interview with Gary Shapiro, the CEO of the CTA and the BBC tech team – the on-air results caused quite a stir – all positive. Ask us for details…

Bridget Jones or Ab Fab? – The dark art of PR!

This month I was proud to be asked to deliver the Business Development training at my Athena networking group. So on a snowy Tuesday lunchtime, I packed up my presentation and the Summerhouse PR roller banner and headed over to our temporary venue at the Linton House Hotel in Luton to be met by a room full of lovely ladies, that also happen to be local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Launched in October 2005, The Athena Network® is the leading International networking, training and development business club for female executives and entrepreneurs. The networks focus is to provide members with specialist training, inspirational talks and expert advice in the form of meetings, events and programmes relevant to women in business.  

Even though I have given numerous talks about  PR and its value to groups such as Women of Wearables and to a delegation of Russian tech entrepreneurs organised by the team at Rutech Ventures I admit to being a bit anxious about this training session. Many  of the  inspiring ladies waiting to hear my pearls of wisdom had become clients and friends and I wanted  to cover as many aspects of the ‘dark art of PR’ as possible.

Thankfully they all left with a list of things they could implement themselves (& our telephone number for the bits they couldn’t), some had pages of notes and even diagrams.  One lady commented that she hadn’t taken so much notes at a presentation since university!

When the technology industry moves to Las Vegas!

We are extremely proud to have been working with the Consumer Technology Association, (CTA)™ for some 12 plus years and were very pleased when they asked us to once again to promote CES 2018in the UK.  We have watched the show grow and grow over the years CES 2018 hosted 3,900 companies across 232,000 net square meters and saw attendance levels of more than 170,000 visitors. Impressive!

CES attracts top global brands and thought leaders, including 65,000 senior-level executives. New attractions at CES included Smart Cities at CES, CES Sports Zone, the Artificial Intelligence Marketplace, Design & Source Showcase and the High-Tech Retailing Conference.

One of our favourite areas is Eureka Park the destination for start-ups at CES. This year it hosted more than 800 start-ups from 35 countries. We loved working with UK start-ups Metasonics, who are leading a sound revolution by taking advantage of the beam-bending properties of metamaterials, and the Teslasuit Project who announced the first full body haptic suit with motion capture and climate control at the Show. Watch the BBC’s Chris Foxx put the Teslasuit through its paces.

There were some thirty UK start-ups in the park with ten featured in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland pavilion, which was supported by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and sponsored by techUK, the trade association for the UK technology industry.

Alongside this, we also organise for selected journalists to attend CES in Las Vegas as guests of the CTA which makes us very popular in early October!   

Traditionally the number of female journalists attending the show has been far outweighed by the boys, we’ve helped to change that.

From Homelessness to Most Inspiring Business Woman

Ashleigh O’Connell, Podiatrist, Chiropodist and MD of the Herts Wellness Centre  approached Summerhouse PR asking if we could help her promote her nomination as a finalist in the categories for the Most Inspiring Business Woman and Best New Business in the Best Business Women Awards 2017.  

Her brief to us was that she wanted not only to celebrate her nominations in the local media and promote the Herts Wellness Centre which she established in 2015, but importantly her main aim was that by telling her own tumultuous life story and subsequent success she could inspire just one woman that running her own business was achievable she would feel she had succeeded.

As the Awards ceremony at Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, Hertfordshire was looming we advised Ashleigh to wait until the winners were announced before we approached the local press as it was unlikely that they would print the story twice.

Up against tough competition from 9 other incredible finalists including Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature Superfoods who pitched for investment on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den the team at SHPR were thrilled that Ashleigh won the Most Inspiring Business Woman Award.   

Our first stop on the promotional tour was an interview at BBC 3 Counties Radio, brimming over with camomile tea and in the calming hands of SHPR, Ashleigh talked to Nick Coffer about business, life and her Best Business Woman Award win. Early January saw Ashleigh on air again this time chatting to Edward Adoo sharing her story about how she went from being homeless to inspirational businesswoman on his Sunday night show on BBC 3 Counties.

Having overcome her on-air radio nerves Ashleigh as not daunted by an invitation to join a group discussion on homelessness and talking about her own experiences on the BAFTA award-winning BBC2 news show Victoria Derbyshire. Watch this space – Ashleigh O’Connell has more to say and Summerhouse PR will be there to help her tell her amazing story.

Technology press… Speed dating… Groucho Club… Elderflower Martinis

October means not only that the trees are starting to change colour and soon we’ll all be seeking out the biggest pumpkin we can find, but for us at Summerhouse PR it’s the start of the preshow press events for the hotly anticipated CES the following January. There are CES Unveiled events in Paris and Amsterdam but it’s all kicked off with the London UK exhibitor and media lunch held at the famous Groucho Club.  

Several years ago, after London had hosted Europe’s first CES Unveiled event (organised and run by us for 3 years in a row) the Consumer Technology Association, (CTA)™ (owners of CES) asked us to come up with something new.  The team at Summerhouse PR put together an exhibitor and press event which the CTA liked so much, they have rolled the format out over many of their territories.  

Our much talked about lunch event introduces handpicked British tech talent exhibiting in Eureka Park to the great and the good of the UK’s tech media and influencers. Think speed dating over a delicious lunch.

Add to that briefings from Gary Shapiro, CEO & President of the CTA on what to expect from CES;  future tech trends from Steve Koenig, the CTA’s Director of Research; tech start-ups have the ear  of journalists that they would never normally reach; and the press material ‘that I use the whole year round’ as said one journalist –  the lunch is a surefire success.

One more little boast –  press coverage following the lunch has resulted in more British companies booking to go to the largest technology tradeshow in the world the following year!  

By the way, you must try the Groucho Club’s Elderflower Martinis!

Russian Entrepreneurs, Eyebrows and Grannies

We know our name conjures the idea of warm, balmy days but we didn’t expect to be running a Summerhouse PR Workshop for a delegation of Russian tech entrepreneurs on what was the hottest day of the summer – even our eyebrows were perspiring!

We met Rutech Ventures founder Alina Bezuglovaon on a much cooler day at a Women of Wearables event where we were speaking on the benefits of PR.  The team at Rutech Ventures asked us to be part of the first UK-Russia TechBridge Bootcamp and run a PR workshop for Russian start-ups. We covered all aspects of running a PR campaign from is your story really newsworthy to how to approach the media. The key for us is ensuring that tech companies can talk about their products in a way everyone can understand.  So we use the ‘Granny marker’ to test for clarity – if your Granny can’t understand what you’re talking about then it’s time for a rethink and rewrite.

The bootcamp ran alongside London Tech Week,  and was organised in partnership with the DIT UK and CIS London & Partners LLP. The nine-day programme culminated in Russian Tech Day on the 20th June, co-organised with London New Tech.