There is a lot of excitement in the Willingham household. It’s not just that Christmas is on its way (yikes, how quickly is that coming?) but we have introduced a new baby to the family – a little Labrador puppy!

At the time of writing the poor little thing hasn’t even got a name but the children have already fallen madly, deeply in the love with this little brown bundle of velvet joy. I can see that asking to get anything done like homework and cleaning out the guinea pig is going to become even more of a challenge than usual.

Liz Lean PR's new chocolate labrador puppy

Liz Lean PR's new chocolate labrador puppy

I’d forgotten just how gorgeous 8 week-old dogs are; I almost feel like a new mum again. And I’d also forgotten how demanding they are too; listening out for them in the night, four feeds a day, house training and trying to stop them eating the Lego. My biggest fear is her seeing the piano legs as succulent chewing sticks that have her name – if she had one – all over them! But with her curled up around my feet like a comfy pair of slippers whilst writing this, it’s a small sacrifice and the house feels much more like home again somehow.

It’s going to make the next few weeks even more manic however, and I’m conscious that the juggling act is going to get a little lively between now and Christmas. The Liz Lean PR team is busy helping clients plan their winter campaigns and seeking out opportunities in early 2012. The office party is also up for debate – the current favourite is dance lessons at Pavilion Dance, followed by drinks at Aruba. The last time we went there for our Christmas do I managed to find myself in a ‘dance off’ with some guys in bad ties from another office party. It seemed the right thing to do at the time and I did get some cheers, but my poor team…(how embarrassing). Aren’t there laws surrounding behaviour at Christmas office parties?

Coming up with something different every year for the annual LLPR Christmas card aches everyone’s brains too, and we tend to get carried away with the most ambitious ideas which are almost impossible to deliver, but it’s a fun, creative process all the same. Maybe we should do something this year which involves our new office entrance – complete with artificial grass! How many offices can boast a decking of bright green grass adjacent to the seaside? Its actually there to stop it becoming the LLPR skating rink but it looks wonderfully bonkers and its all thanks to Kingspace for whom we’re currently planning a pre-Christmas event. Based at Longham, they do everything from hot tubs and artificial lawns to barbecue lodges (these are particularly cool; plenty of room for friends to eat inside around the central grill or fire pit – who needs a decent summer for barbecue parties?).

The Kingspace BBQ Lodge

The Kingspace BBQ Lodge

Inside of the Kingspace BBQ Lodge

Inside the Kingspace BBQ Lodge

Apart from that blatant plug of the month, I also want to mention a more serious service which I think could be a real help to many Dorset businesses in these tricky times. With stress in the workplace a real issue, I believe that finding ways to help people feel better about their working environment has to be a healthy step forward. As roles are stretched and expectations are increasing for both employees and employers, it is good to see Bournemouth University’s healthcare school developing relevant services for organisations under the name ‘Wellbeing in Practice’. Likely to become as uniform for businesses as Investors in People in the near future, introducing wellbeing practices is a way to help productivity. A Guardian article recently discussed how today’s flourishing enterprises should focus on wellbeing rather than growth. We have to start looking after ourselves for our businesses to be sustainable so having someone show us the way to a healthier workplace is key. For more information have a look at and contact Colin Hewitt-Bell at BU via or call 01202 962251.

I should really practice what I preach and decide on a name so this little fluff ball at my feet has some wellbeing too! Deciding on something’s identity which will stick for hopefully the next ten years or more is really difficult; and following the perfectly named Zennor, our lovely Heinz 57 who died in June, makes it doubly hard.

So I’m going back online for more inspiration…watch this space next month for the outcome and news of naughty puppy antics (hopefully not relating to my piano legs).