Photo: Zoe Chappell
Rural Roots PR and Journalism was founded in May 2016 to help rural tourism businesses to tell their story through traditional and digital media.
Despite specialising in tourism and visitor experience, I chose the name Rural Roots (instead of the more obvious Rural Routes) because tourism is about more than just travel and my job is to get to the root of it.
It falls in many guises - both locally and nationally. Whether you're a pub that wants to get more locals through the door, or a tourism board wanting to attract visitors from elsewhere, when it comes to increasing footfall, I can help.
I'm also quite good at thinking outside the box and enjoy working with rural businesses that are helping to attract people to the British countryside and support the rural economy through their products.
I'm a firm believer that you should follow your instincts when choosing the right person to work with; personality is just as important as skill. So, here’s a bit of background about me and if you think I'm the kind of person you can work with, please get in touch.
I'm a born and raised Raddle[wo]man and I'm very proud to come from England's smallest mainland county, Rutland.
Having said that, I spent most of my teens and early 20s plotting my escape, working my way up the journalism ladder at local newspapers and writing a regular farming column, Rural Rutland.
Little did I know, hot-footing it to London to complete my journalism training, failing miserably to get a job in the post-recession capital and landing a role as soon as I moved home proved to be the best "worst time" of my life.
It wasn't until I was away from the countryside that I realised I missed it; the friendly people, the fresh air, and above all, better career prospects.
On return from London I qualified as a senior journalist and moved into marketing and PR, with experience in travel, tourism, visitor experience, food and farming.
Now gainfully self-employed, I live and work from home in Oakham, specialising in PR and journalism in the rural tourism and visitor experience sector.
I'm an ambassador for supporting small rural businesses and am honoured to work with the brilliant people and places that knit together our beautiful British landscape.
Volunteering is a big part of my life-from skill sharing with local charities to the information desk at Birdfair. I’m also a WiRE network leader, ensuring rural businesswomen achieve great things and encourage each other.
Not surprisingly, I travel in my spare time and am happiest when exploring Britain's heritage and countryside by car or on foot over long weekends and holidays and collecting regional bottled beers, which is why I started The Rural Travel Guide - I want to help rural tourism businesses from across the country to tell their story-from the roots up.
Take a look at some of my work in my Scrapbook.
- Megan Allen
I joined the team at Oakham Castle as part of their three-year HLF funded restoration project. I helped to shape the marketing and PR strategy but only stayed in the role for a few months as Rural Roots PR and Journalism grew and I had to concentrate on it.
I'm delighted to still be working with the team on a freelance basis.
I worked at Sacrewell for four years, starting as Marketing and Comms Officer and later joining the Leadership Team as PR and Comms Manager, assisting in the development of the associated food and farming charity and Sacrewell visitor centre.
While I was there we completed a £1.2m restoration project of the watermill and almost doubled footfall.
After moving home from London I joined the team at the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, later becoming Rutland reporter for the Rutland Times and the Mercury respectively.
I qualified as a senior reporter in April 2011, following further exams in writing, law and interview technique and completing an extensive portfolio of articles.
I trained at the top journalism school in the country, News Associates in Wimbledon, completing qualifications in news writing, journalism law, local and national government, sub-editing and shorthand.
My first reporting job was at the Rutland Times as a junior where I covered Uppingham as my patch, wrote the entertainments section and had my own 'Rural Rutland' column, discussing issues facing farmers and the rural community.
I graduated from University College Northampton with a 2:1 (Hons) in American Studies.
As part of my degree I spent a semester in South Carolina, where I wrote articles comparing life in the UK to living in the Deep South and which would later inspire my career move to journalism after graduation.
While there I also signed up for a new website that was being launched across universities in America. It was called Facebook....little did we know.