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Four easy PR tips for small businesses

1 March 2023

Here’s a picture of a retro-feeling bog I took on the weekend in some random Bristol shopping centre.

Now that I’ve got your attention with this photographic masterpiece, 4 PR tips for you all — following some recent conversations I’ve had with users of Newspage UK.

Don’t just tell a story, add a story

A lot of you are unaware that there is a stories function to Newspage and have never used it at all. Like ever. If you add a story (and you can add unlimited stories even if you’re a free user), it will be looked at by an experienced journalist. If we believe it’s strong enough, it will then be sent onto all relevant media for free. So check out the Stories function in the left hand nav of your Newspage. It’s arguably more powerful than the News Alerts, as if you create a good story, you’ll often be the only business featured in it.

Boost your credibility

PR can ‘sometimes’ get the phone ringing and result in new business on the same day but it is not about instant leads per se. It is about credibility and findability. If you’re regularly quoted in the mainstream media, people will trust you, especially if you work within financial services. When they search for your name and company on Google, chances are that that hit on the BBC or in the Daily Mail or Evening Standard will be right up there on page one — which will make them more likely to use you rather than your competitor, who isn’t all over the media like a rash.

Don’t wait for traffic, drive traffic

PR raises awareness of your brand, drives traffic to your site and has massive SEO benefits, especially when you pick up backlinks from major news outlets, as Newspage does day in day out — backlinks that SEOs can only dream of. But the key is to generate media coverage regularly, not sporadically. That’s when the real value shows through and you start picking up new business from articles you’d forgotten you appeared in but someone found online. PR is a long-term play, not a short-term tactic.

Ignore the trade media at your peril

“I only want to be in the national media, not the trades.” Give me strength. All national journalists read the trades as a source of stories, and will see you in those articles. Also, a lot of trade journalists go on to work at national newspapers, and you’ll go with them if you are one of their trusted commentators. And lastly, getting trade coverage is still great for findability online and backlinks. Ignore it at your peril.

Right, on that note I’m off to a bog in Bath to take some photos. 

In the meanwhile, you can upload your stories to your Newspage, if you’re out of ideas, then sign into your Newspage and click the “News Chat” button on the left of the page and you can book a 20-minute chat with a national news journalist who will come up with at least three ideas for stories about your business the media would love to publish.

Dominic Hiatt, Founder, Newspage


UK’s biggest PR agency is a one-man-whisky-addled-band

29 August 2022

Newspage celebrates its second birthday this week.

If someone asked you who the UK’s biggest PR agency was, you’d probably think of some soulless corporate giant, likely owned by the yanks, and then punch them in the face.

But the real answer is actually fascinating. Well, kind of. OK, probably not at all but you’re here now, so there.

It’s not some fancy City-based PR outfit run by besuited spivs who couldn’t cut it in journalism. Au contraire, Blackadder.

It’s actually a middle-aged beardy with a drink problem and countless demons, who works predominantly in bed, in his pants. Somewhere in Bath.

Dominic Hiatt, who used to be a journalist, and who used to work in normal PR, had an epiphany during the first lockdown in April 2020. He thought:

F**k it. All my life I’ve been trying to up my day rate, so now I’m going to give it all away for free. Seems like the sensible thing to do.

“Completely irrational”, “commercial suicide”, “up your meds, fruitcake” and “tosser” were just some of the lines thrown at him by his bewildered colleagues.

Blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas)

But on the plane of pataphysics where Hiatt spends most of his time, it ticked all the boxes and felt like the right thing to do.

That and the fact he wanted to give the conventional PR world the bird, as it’s full blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas).

And so, dear reader, the idea for Newspage, the UK’s first free PR platform, was born.

Newspage reached the grand old age of two a week or so back and Hiatt, with a bit of help from some tech geeza he has never met in Prague and a disillusioned banker in Finland, has managed, quite incredulously, to land himself several thousand clients, the vast majority of whom pay him sweet FA.

But he doesn’t care.

All that matters is Newspage, the UK’s biggest PR agency with thousands of clients, is run by one bloke, in his pants, in Bath (OK, technically they’re not clients, they’re users, but you can overlook that bit).

And by the dog, Socrates, what magic he works.

Each day, Hiatt’s ‘Newspagers’ rip their way through the media like that scene from The Return of The King when those dead dudes hop off the boat and have at it with the orcs and stuff.

And they love it. So much so that one, Lewis Shaw, has described Newspage as the “Ford Escort Cabriolet of PR“. If you’re under 40, Google it.

Il faut imaginer Sisyphus heureux

With each piece of media coverage that he secures for someone who would never be able to afford a PR agency, Hiatt’s day is made.

He’s generated well over 100,000 pieces of media coverage for Newspagers to date, and with each piece, the demons in Hiatt’s head subside for a few magical moments.

Like a whisky-addled Sisyphus on all manner of prescription meds, he is happy.

But more importantly, so are his users.


Free PR for Not On Amazon members

25 May 2022

When free PR platform, Newspage, met Not On Amazon, the home of decentralised e-commerce, it was love at first sight.

It had to be, as neither of the two middle-aged farts running them could work out the audio settings on Zoom. Sight was all they had. And even that was fading.

After a minute or so of awkward silence, one of them struck the right button on the video gubbins and a revolution began.

Admittedly, it wasn’t quite the revolution Lenin had in mind when he stood atop the armoured train car at the Finland Station, but then times change.

And Lenin’s a blancmange now anyway, so f**k him.

Since that day, countless Not On Amazon members have appeared in the papers, online and on radio and stuff, including Not On Amazon founder Jamie Rackham himself.

In fact, one of the best pieces of media coverage Newspage founder, Dominic Hiatt, has ever secured during his 20 odd years as a spin doctor, was this article in the Financial Times on the impact of Black Friday on the human soul (screen grab attached as you’ll need to remortgage to subscribe to the FT).

Jamie in FT

Since then, Hiatt and Rackham have met dozens of times to discuss their plans to democratise the media and decentralise e-commerce. Well twice, actually, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Internet ‘phenomenon’, Not On Amazon, has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of small independent artists and makers since it launched in late 2020, helping them to sell their products for sweet FA on Facebook.

Newspage helps members of the group get free publicity for their creations and businesses, as what they do is amazing and, well, it feels right. We monitor the group for stories and, if we see one, do our best to get it into the media.

Crap in a wrap

Before Crimbo, for example, Not On Amazon member, Gaynor Lockwood Edwards of Quirky Cactus, attempted to make pigs in blankets Christmas tree decorations. She’d clearly had a bottle of vodka before she made one batch and they ended up looking more like ‘crap in a wrap’.

Before you could say Jack Robinson, which nobody says these days because it’s probably politically incorrect, Hiatt had landed Gaynor’s crochet cock-up in Sheffield’s local newspaper, The Star.

Her ‘work of shart’, as he hilariously (in his head) describes it, was also mentioned on some national radio station or other by some big shot presenter with a broomstick up his @rse.

Anyway, since Jamie met Dom, there have been ABSOLUTELY LOADS of ‘hits’ (PR jargon for media coverage) for the wonderful Not On Amazon community of independent makers and artists.

Boo hiss, Etsy

You don’t get that kind of free PR support on Etsy now, do you? Just ridiculously high commissions and a platform with zero engagement and sense of community. Anyway, here’s 20 Not On Amazon members Newspage has secured coverage for since that initial awkward Zoom call.

Read the articles at your leisure or, more likely, scroll straight to the bottom and get this f*****g blog post over and done with. I mean, who even writes blog posts these days? They’re positively Dickensian.

Ps. If you want media coverage like this, create a Newspage and we’ll do our best to sort it.

Pps. Those links were a massive ballache.

Not On Amazon logo


Free PR for UK charities until inflation hits 2%

17 May 2022

The world’s first free PR platform, Newspage, today announced it will offer its Premium subscription for free to all UK charities until inflation is back at the Bank of England’s 2% target, to help them through the cost of living crisis.

Newspage, which launched in early 2021, gives every charity the chance to be featured in the local, trade, national and even international media for free.

Newspage enables charities to create their own publicly visible and fully branded media centre — something many of them don’t have — in a matter of minutes.

They then receive ‘NewsAlerts’ ‘in app’ to breaking or upcoming news stories that they could contribute to and are also able to add news stories of their own. The Newspage editorial team will edit and promote stories it believes will be of interest to the media for free.

Benefits of the Premium subscription, which usually costs £19.99 inc. VAT a month, include:

A video testimonial about Newspage by Marie Peacock, CEO of Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, can be viewed below.

Charities should simply create a free Newspage – https://newspage.co.uk – and will be upgraded to Premium by the Newspage team. 

Dominic Hiatt, founder, Newspage, said:

“It’s been a brutal two years for UK charities with demand for their services soaring during the pandemic while donations have gone off a cliff. And now, with the cost of living crisis, it’s getting worse, as there is no Government support and cash-strapped consumers are finding it hard to donate. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to offer our Premium subscription for free. Hopefully, this will ensure they stay front of mind and drive donations. Once inflation is back to 2%, we’ll offer charities a discounted rate but, with inflation at a 30-year high, it looks like we will be taking care of charities for the foreseeable.”



Don’t blame the Merlot, BoJo, just go.

12 January 2022

Our bumbling, Latin-spouting PM was absolutely destroyed at PMQs today. And damn right, too. Despite starting with an apology, the inevitable drubbing came from all corners of the house. Heu! (that’s Latin for ‘Alas!’ if you didn’t go to Eton and Oxford), the dishevelled one didn’t even quote an ancient poet. It was that bad.

We asked the Newspage community for their views on today’s PMQs and whether BoJo needs to go. Within about 10 minutes we’d received 20 responses so we had to shut the alert early. The verdict was unanimous: get the hell out of Downing Street. Exit. Leave.

The views have all been sent to the mainstream media, most of whom will probably ignore them as people like you aren’t in the Westminster bubble and shouldn’t have your political views aired. You’re not worthy. Head off to the comments sections and have your say there, along with the rest of the rabble.

So bollocks to that, we’ve collated some of the best lines from the Newspage community for you to read below. Much more colour than the sanitised gibberish from professional commentators you’ll read in the media — political hacks, politicians, heads of industry (yawn) and other serial bullshitters.

Hell, we’ve even got poets here at Newspage, with Tom Bowers of Hypothesis Media pronouncing:

“Don’t blame the Merlot, BoJo, just go.”

And not just poets but post-modernists, too, like Graham Cox of the Self-Employed Mortgage Hub:

“We seem to be living in a post-truth world where honesty and accountability count for nothing.”

And real people who are genuinely nursing their wounds. Newspager Jeffrey Longley of Able Electrical drove home the gravity of the PM’s act with this heartfelt anecdote:

“I stuck to the rules last year and didn’t attend my younger brother’s funeral. Instead, I watched it on Zoom. I cannot put into print what I think of Boris.”

Laura Firth of MiniAperture Photography delivered much the same verdict:

“Even our Queen sat alone for her husband’s funeral in order to abide by government guidelines. Boris must go.”

Meanwhile, Wendy Harris of Making Conversations Count observed, quite rightly, that:

“If the Government was a company, Boris would have been out on his ear a long time ago.”

But while Sandra Wilson of Cottrell Moore agrees Boris needs to go, she asks who’s the alternative?

“There is sadly not a single decent politician that has worked in the real world with the experience to lead.”

Can’t argue with that. The vast majority of our politicians wouldn’t know their arses from their elbows if they were in the real world.

To wrap up, you can always rely on Newspager Kate Allen of Salcombe Finest to hit the nail on the head, and she duly delivered:

“The magnitude of the PM’s arrogance is as staggering as his inability to read the public mood.”

Boris: message from the people: get on your horse and get the hell out.

You can see all 20 responses from the Newspage community >> here <<.


Should the Bank of England raise rates before Crimbo?

14 October 2021

No it bloody well shouldn’t, according to the majority of Newspagers.

“With one in five mortgage holders confirming they have used their own savings to cover their mortgage payments this year, a Bank of England rate rise could be catastrophic”, reckons Doug Miller of Lansdown Financial Services down in the good ol’ West Country.

“Many are already on the breadline, with some dangerously close to the point of no return if their outgoings increase further”, Doug adds. Well said bab.

Mark Scott, Ops Director at the Azura Group in sunny (like never) Clacton-On-Sea, thinks Doug has hit the nail on the head: “Any increase in interest rates at this time will cause further pain to the many households that are already struggling to cope with the increased cost of living.”

Scott Gallacher, an impressively cerebral chartered financial planner over at Rowley Turton in Leicester is also concerned that raising rates “is unlikely to reduce inflation and could be disastrous for borrowers.” And Scott’s usually right, in fairness.


Or is he? Wait a minute. We have us a renegade in the ranks.

Another financial plannery guy, Joshua Gerstler of The Orchard Practice in Borehamwood, says everyone above is talking garbage (well he doesn’t exactly, but it sounds good) and that we need a rate rise prontissimo: “The longer we leave it to increase interest rates, the harder people with mortgages will find it when we do.”

Utter nonsense bellows Iain Swatton of always-on mortgage switching site, Dashly (of course Iain didn’t bellow that, it’s just more idle hyperbole): “For now, it’s important to build confidence in a fragile economy and maintain growth, and a rate rise risks scuppering that. Choking things now could impact confidence, stifle spending and knock the recovery off-course.”

Sounds dead clever does that, Iain.

Cheating coke fiend

But if you think that’s clever, enter Rob Gill of London-based Altura Mortgage Finance, who somehow manages to bring erstwhile soccer great (and cheating, Cohiba-chugging coke fiend) Diego Maradona into the interest rate debate:

“The Bank of England needs to adopt what Mervyn King called the ‘Maradona theory of interest rates’. This referred to a certain famous Maradona goal against England where he beat five English players while running in virtually a straight line. Maradona was able to clear a straight path towards goal by signalling to the defenders that he might be about to turn. Making people believe a rate rise might be imminent can create the right level of caution in parts of the economy, while avoiding the potentially damaging effects of an actual rise. A neat trick if the Bank can pull it off.”

We sort of understand what Rob’s on about. Kind of. Actually not at all, but you can’t deny it sounds impressive. Chapeau Mr Gill. Your quote was pinned right to the top of the viewsWire.



11 September 2021

Meet Lewis Shaw, who runs Shaw Financial Services up in Mansfield. Just look at that beard. Smashing.

Lewis Shaw of Shaw Financial Services talks Newspage….



29 August 2021

Newspage is all about helping small business and charity owners, sole traders, the self-employed and anyone else who can’t afford a flash PR agency have a voice – or their story told – in the big media. We say ‘Yah boo sucks’ to big business — because they’ve owned the media for too long.

To this end, we’ve launched a new service whereby our users can book in a 20-minute Zoom call with an experienced news journalist for just £39.99 inc VAT. Or £29.99 inc VAT if you’re a Premium user.

During the call, we’ll discuss any story ideas you have or, if you haven’t got any, identify stories that will be of interest to the media. Because that’s what news journalists are the best people in the world at doing: identifying stories.

Basically, you’re getting PR advice that a London PR agency would charge over a grand for, for thirty or forty quid.

To book in your Zoom call, just go to the Stories section on your Newspage and select ‘Add news story’. You’ll then be offered the option to choose a time and a date that works for you. That’s it. So what are you waiting for?!

Book a Zoom call in with this miserable old git, Newspage’s founder and award-winning journalist Dominic Hiatt. You’ll get a story out of it!



13 August 2021


Eight in 10 small business owners (83%) say they are “more prepared to take risks” as a result of their experiences during the pandemic, according to a survey by free PR platform, Newspage.

Just 11% of the poll’s 1200 respondents, from a wide range of sectors and located around the UK, said they are “less prepared to take risks” in their capacity as a business owner, while 6% said they were not sure.

Meanwhile, a thumping majority of small business owners (93%) say the pandemic has made them feel “better equipped” to deal with uncertainty, with just 4% saying they now feel “worse equipped” to deal with economic and business-related uncertainty. Only 3% were unsure.

The ‘Who Dares Wins’ attitude among small business owners inspired by the pandemic is reflected in their approach to the year ahead.

Despite the looming end of the furlough scheme, potential tax rises on the horizon and the threat of interest rate hikes to contain inflation, nearly nine in 10 respondents (88%) said they plan to grow their way through the next 12 months. Just 7% said they were planning to “batten down the hatches”, while 5% were unsure.

As part of the survey, Newspage users were asked how they felt they had changed as a small business owner since the beginning of the pandemic. Select responses are included below.

Dee Featherstone, founder of Peterborough-based The Little Sensory Box: “Since the pandemic, I am more prepared for growth but also more capable of adapting much quicker if need be. I am no longer scared to take the risks needed to scale further. The pandemic has made me more resilient as both a person and as a business.”

Gillian Jones-Williams, managing director of Fareham-based Emerge Development Consultancy: “Our business has changed immeasurably since the beginning of the pandemic. As a face-to-face training company, we lost everything in March 2020 and had to reinvent ourselves within the field of virtual delivery. As challenging as it was, we are definitely stronger as a business and can see how we can grow in the future.”

Maddy Alexander-Grout, CEO of Southampton-based My VIP Rewards: “The pandemic made us realise that our business model wasn’t working and we changed everything in order to grow. We rebranded, changed our product and re-aligned with our target audience. Ultimately, the pandemic gave us time to think everything through and we are now ready to grow and scale in a more efficient way.”

Andrew Deighton, owner of Derby-based AWD Development Solutions: “In a strange way, the pandemic has helped me longer term. I’m definitely more aware of what I do and how I want to do it. The whole pandemic experience has given me a stronger foundation.”

Sandra Wilson, director of Ipswich-based recruitment and HR company, Cottrell Moore: “Nothing has ever made us focus more on the need to evolve and embrace change than the pandemic. I have personally learnt that taking risks in certain situations can often be the best way to ensure success. In the business world, fortune very often favours the brave.”

Sam Sutton, director of Hampshire-based New Forest Activities: “Navigating the pandemic has brought us together as a team. We now collectively feel more responsible for the results we achieve and are thinking much bigger as a result. As a business owner, I’m now looking at acquisitions and start-ups in order to take full advantage of the opportunities open to us.”

Kelly Smallcombe, founder at Bristol-based Evolved Creative: “As a small business owner, the pandemic has been a time to rethink everything I’ve been doing and look at things through a completely new lens. Covid-19 has taught me to be prepared and be willing to adapt to changing circumstances. I won’t be waiting for the next pandemic, but will use all I have learned over the past 18 months to see it through.”

Tina Judic, CEO of London-based digital agency, Found: “The start of the pandemic was a concerning time but we recognised early on that it provided an opportunity to seize the moment and that future plans could be rolled out sooner than intended. We’ve made a number of hugely positive steps to business growth that we perhaps wouldn’t have taken so quickly under normal circumstances.”

Commenting on the survey results, Dominic Hiatt, founder, Newspage, added: “Based on this evidence, the past 18 months have fundamentally changed the psychology of small business owners. They’re a lot more resilient and able to cope with uncertainty, more prepared to take on risks to grow and more bullish generally given that they have managed to survive. This confidence bodes well for the future and the economic uncertainty that lies ahead.”

— ENDS —

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Dominic Hiatt, Founder, Newspage: 07595 221604 | dominic@newspage.co.uk

Newspage polled its user base between 6 and 8 August 2021.

About Newspage

Newspage gives small businesses and charities the ability to be featured in the local, national and trade media for FREE, while also acting as a fully branded ‘media centre’ where they can be found by journalists in need of expert comment. Simply create your own Newspage in a matter of minutes and then be alerted to relevant stories you could contribute to as they break. #BeTheStory



12 August 2021

Giant chunks of the mainstream media continue to believe that the people best suited to talk about the economy aren’t those who live and breathe it, but those who have the luxury of being able to view it like a curious archaeological find from their Ivory Towers in the City of London.

And so they unceasingly quote economists and market commentators, most of whom are on whacking great six figure salaries and have no bloody clue whatsoever what things are REALLY like on the ground.

Here at Newspage, that makes our blood boil. We reckon that if you want to give an accurate reflection of economic reality, you need to listen to the people who are in the trenches, not General %$£@*!^ Melchett eating his marmalade sandwiches and sipping Earl Grey in a chateau 30 miles from the front line.

People like Chris Ramsbottom of Coventry-based holistic therapy company, The Amethyst Centre, whose customers “are cancelling booked appointments or just not turning up because of the pingdemic” and who “cannot go on like this without some form of financial support.”

People like Rachel Hayward of Derby-based charity Annabel’s Angels, for whom “the past 18 months have been unbelievably stressful” due to a “90% decrease in income versus a 95% increase in demand for our help.”

Not that it’s all bad news. Far from it.

For certain Newspagers, like Andrew Deighton, founder of Derby-based AWD Development Solutions, things have definitely picked up: “The second quarter of the year was quite a bit better for me than the first. I’m a lot more confident about the future of my business than I have been for a long time.”

Andrew Deighton of AWD Development Solutions in Derby is more confident than he has been for some time.

Jessica Ross, founder of Bournemouth-based Jessica Ross Marketing, is also upbeat, saying “business just hasn’t slowed down at all”.

Much the same applies to Jenni Letheren, owner of Fareham-based JLL Accountancy & Admin: “Business definitely got better for us during the second quarter and also July.”

Andrew Elcock, Managing Director at Nottingham-based database specialist, Xynomix, is another small business owner who is pretty confident right now: “Business has increased for us, partly I think due to the resilience afforded to us by being a tech company. So we’re fairly confident for the year ahead.”

Down in the smoke, Sarah Steele, Business Development Director at London-based Medical Practice Management, is also “feeling confident about the next 12 months.”

Jessica Ross’s marketing business is thriving despite the economic uncertainty.

For others, it’s a mixed bag.

Anna Cargan, founder of the Barrow-in-Furness-based second-hand childrenswear business, Buildabundle, says July was her quietest month for a year, but “thankfully August has rebounded brilliantly and sales are back to lockdown levels this month, and we’re pretty confident in the strength and demand for online retail going forward.”

Likewise, although Jo Ferreday, director of Market Harborough-based events company, Sheer Edge, “had an extremely positive July”, she says she has had to “move a lot of events into September and we are still seeing large confirmed events doing an about-turn and postponing to 2022”.

We just wish the media would hurry up and do an about-turn and start quoting more real people rather than the usual macroeconomic boffins in the City or Canary Wharf, who pontificate for an hour and then bugger off to The Ivy for a bottle of Petrus.

If they don’t, we will.

The pingdemic is proving a nightmare for Chris Ramsbottom of The Amethyst Centre in Coventry.