The BMC & me: Cathy Parvin

“I like the golden nuggets of information, the diversity of people who attend and the friendly, informal atmosphere.”

Cathy Parvin,

Dyspraxia Education

With the fifth anniversary of the CGM Business Media Club fast approaching, we’ve been talking to members about how the club has helped them develop their marketing and communications skills. 

Book your seat for our special meeting at CGM Media Centre on Friday, September 28 by visiting Eventbrite.

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I met Chris at a Find It In Worcestershire event when he was a speaker and I was immediately touched by the things he spoke about.

It was clear he has lots of media knowledge and expertise and had thought long and hard about PR and communications, so I went up to him to discuss my situation and experience of running my own small social enterprise, the difficulties of fundraising and being responsible for delivering our work and resources as well as other things like marketing.

Chris was so helpful and invited me along to the next Business Media Club meeting.

I usually feel a bit awkward doing business networking and see it as a necessary evil – but it was really relaxed and informal which suited me. 

It proved to be very helpful with lots of useful hints and tips, but it was the focus on bigger things like how to market yourself and subjects like goal setting and invoicing that impressed me most.

I like the diversity of people who attend the club.

I thought it would just be professional business people but there’s such a wide variety of really interesting people and it is good to hear their perspective.

I found them all to be so friendly which makes it is easy to interact as, one way or another, we all share similar problems and situations around the need to get our message out to the wider world.

I sometime find it tricky to adapt most ‘normal’ marketing to our situation as we’re not always trying to reach conventional customers but volunteers, schools and all kinds of organisations so I find the tone of the training at the Business Media Club really helpful.

Everybody seems to work for the mutual benefit and I particularly like the ‘all egos left at the door’ spirit.

It is a giving environment with everyone willing to pass on their knowledge and advice, so it isn’t about egotism and what you can get but what you can give.

Not all the chosen topics seem a natural fit for my organisation but I like to get the opportunity to find out a bit more.

A recent meeting focused on video marketing for instance which doesn’t necessarily seem relevant to us but it is good to pick up some tips and find out what is possible and how to go about it and the potential benefits video might have.

I like exploring these options and hearing the views of other people in the group.

The club is so totally different from other business networking which can be too competitive and ego driven. Most people at the Business Media Club genuinely want to help each other.

It is all about passing on information and maintaining best practice and always has a positive feel. I have picked up some good habits from attending the club.

Also, Chris and Teresa are good at making people feel welcome. Everything is very professional but doesn’t feel like a business meeting. It is much friendlier than that.

Best of all I really enjoy those golden nuggets of information that crop up every so often which you know you can apply to what you do.

Long may the club continue.