Category:

Marketing Services

  • Why ‘sales’ are not a great deal for your PR

    ‘Special Offer. Huge reduction. Once in a lifetime chance. Act Now!’ We have seen it a thousand times in all areas of our business and personal lives, but are ‘sales’ all they are cracked up to be?  Could agreeing to buy a discounted product or service do more harm than good for your business profile?

     

    The question I am most often asked is this:

    ‘A publication (insert name) has contacted me offering this great advertising deal, 50% off their rate card but they need an answer urgently. What do you think?’

     

    In a word the answer is, NO.

     

    My perspective is this: if you are going to consider advertising as part of your PR strategy, you should:

    • carefully consider all the publications of interest and benefit to your organisation
    • produce a target list, usually around 3-6 top publications where the target audience closely aligns with your own target audience
    • research your chosen top publications and then make contact and introduce yourself and your organisation to them

    I generally find that those publications on a client’s target list are so good (why would you want them to be anything less?) that they do not need to incentivise advertising rates. Unless, of course, it’s as a result of the excellent relationship you have built with them.

    A general rule is to be proactive when paying for advertising. Pick your target publications well and spend the money wisely, perhaps with a series of adverts, and negotiate the inclusion of some editorial too.  Assess how your advertising plan will work within your main PR strategy and fit with your business objectives.

    Responding to requests to buy discounted advertising is a reactive course of action, prompted by an outside party having their own best interests at heart. So, unless the publication already featured on my target list, I would say ‘no’ and spend the money elsewhere.  Just because it’s ‘cheap’ and a ‘good offer’ does not make it value for money or for a strong PR strategy; if it reaches the wrong audience in small numbers it will be a waste of time, money and effort. Worse still, it could be detrimental to your PR profile.

    Any advertising offer, therefore, should be referred to your PR team. A good PR consultant will undertake advertising on your behalf: producing target media lists; establishing and building relationships with both advertising and editorial teams for each publication; and carefully negotiating deals as part of an overall advertising plan that fits into and supports an agreed, considered PR strategy.

    Don’t be caught out.

  • Assume nothing!

    This is our unofficial company motto and it has stood us in good stead over the years.

    We all make assumptions: assuming it won’t rain because the weather forecast said it wouldn’t or in my case, assuming that it will rain because I have just washed my hair and I have neither a jacket nor an umbrella!

    But we are all too often completely wrong.

    We tend to believe that other people will buy in to our world view and think and behave in the ways that we expect them to. This is particularly true in marketing and PR. A few examples  illustrate what I mean:

    ‘Our target audiences will want to read about/buy our products’. Just because you have identified someone as a potential customer does not automatically mean that they will appreciate that they should be interested in what you have to sell. At the very least you will need to work at getting their attention and possibly accept the unpalatable fact that some will not respond.

    ‘We’ve been around for years, everyone knows who we are and what we do.’ You need to keep the memory fresh. Times change and personnel, particularly journalists, move on. New players enter the market. Reputations need to be tended regularly and updated if your competitors are not to steal your limelight.

    ‘Big data tells us everything we need to know about our customers. All we have to do is push the right buttons.’ Really? Viewing this from your own experience as a consumer, do you find this a convincing statement? Could you predict exactly how those closest to you will react to something? And be right every time? Political parties often make this mistake and rely on data and focus groups to tailor individual policies that deliver what they think the voters want to hear. But without a distinct, convincing overarching identity which puts the tactical messaging in context, it is unlikely to elicit more than a short-lived response. Here the sum of the parts is definitely not greater than the whole.

    So, treat your audiences with respect, don’t get too comfortable, and know that you have to keep working to capture their attention. The communications space is very overcrowded.

    Assume nothing.

  • PR & marketing: the tools to enhance a brand

    A member of our team has just taken delivery of an item from Boden womenswear. Contained within the package was a single sheet of the Boden current marketing messages.

    Masterly.

    Since Boden started up in the nineties, Johnnie Boden has consistently refreshed his company’s profile, mostly with success, and never so than with this latest marketing.  His astute awareness of changing opinion keeps Boden always one step ahead, a precious talent that renews whilst never losing sight of founding principles.

    In this age of scant respect for any business that is viewed as old, and 20 years is old to many in today’s terms, the profile of Boden is right up to the minute.
    Reinvention at its classiest and an object lesson to the rest of us.
  • 2017. Time to get a grip on your PR

     

    Public Relations planning and strategy for 2017

    Public Relations planning and strategy for 2017

    I am the sort of person who always likes to get a grip. I am not a fan of drifting along hoping that everything will turn out for the best. PR, however, is a ‘slow burn’ activity, building over many weeks and months with the results only apparent long after the hard work has been done. It’s a discipline where patience is definitely a virtue, if not a prerequisite! But ‘slow burn’ does not mean that the quality of the input and the results generated are not linked. PR planning is essential.

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  • Phillips Pr file is supp rting the #missingtype c mp ign.

    bloodThis week is National Blood Week, and the NHS Blood and Transplant have launched a campaign to get more people to give blood. New donors are needed to the tune of 204,000 so we urge people to come forward and donate as soon as they can.

    You won’t miss it when you give it; but patients could miss it if you don’t. Do something amazing and save or improve up to three lives by giving blood

    Visit: http://www.blood.co.uk/news-media/campaigns/national-blood-week/ and book an appointment now.