A hobby of mine is attending concerts and writing music reviews. I’ve done over a dozen of these now and I’m pleased to say, that the reviews are never edited by the paper. It shows that if you keep to the brief and the wordcount things are printed as you want them to be!
I was delighted to learn recently that as an accredited practitioner who has kept up my CPD I was able to attend a Chartership day and get Chartered. I recently completed the Masters Level Diplomas in PR and internal communications which gave me confidence to put myself forward for the assessment – but must admit when the preparation work arrived and as the day got nearer, the nerves started to kick in. It is that on the spot aspect of assessment, a bit like a French oral test or a driving test, which is particularly challenging. But nothing ventured I thought….
The day itself was equally interesting and rigorous. Five of us per group in three 90 minute sessions on leadership, strategy and ethics. It definitely wasn’t for the unprepared. We had a case study to review ready for discussion and then the topic was widened to get our opinions and our own examples from Practise. Not everyone passed on the day but there is the opportunity to go back a second time and retry.
Those of us who were successful really felt as though we had achieved something high level. It was great to meet a variety of senior, interesting professionals from all areas of the PR industry and really committed assessors who put us through our paces. I hope to stay in touch and continue the conversation with all of them.
More than that, it felt fantastic that as an industry we have evolved the services that we offer so that we are more accountable and what we do is more measurable – more than ever, we have to prove ourselves and achieve measurable success. We are not perfect of course – there is always more to learn and develop. We need to keep listening to the changing needs of our clients and develop our skills and competencies and share experiences. We are challenged more but the role of a PR Practitioner is more interesting and more rewarding than ever.
To all Fellow Practitioners, when you’re ready, definitely get Chartered and to all clients and potential clients looking forward to sharing the benefits with you and to inviting you to our 21 year birthday celebrations soon……..
“Rapid technological and social changes in the market mean everyone can to a certain degree ‘do their own PR’ using cost-effective tools”
Mandy Brooks recently contributed to the Guardian for their Small Business Showcase series.
Over the past eighteen months, we’ve diversified from providing just pure PR to offering marketing workshops. This was in response to rapid technological and social changes in the market which meant that everyone can – to a certain degree – “do their own PR” using cost-effective tools.
We also invested in specialist marketing skills through training. Our new focus has brought four benefits.
- Firstly, new streams of revenue for us (new clients and add-on services).
- Secondly, the context and means to help and guide potential clients with a taster project, which reveals aspects of their organisation and opportunities in the market which they had not considered before. They can count on us for ongoing consultancy and/or provide a cost effective competent ‘outsourced’ marketing department.
- Thirdly, for clients that have undertaken PR/marketing and communications workshops, we deliver a swifter, wider and more lasting ROI. Their stories are also richer on an emotional and rational level, which creates content that engages.
- Fourthly, there is an important relationship-building element whereby we really get to engage with the clients, and understand their hopes, dreams and customers. They also get to understand us – and this is a great basis for a productive working collaboration with a client. It is also one which facilitates the opportunity to deliver excellent customer service, increases the likelihood of referrals and testimonials, and is the basis for customer loyalty.
Source: The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/nov/06/showcase-marketing-pr-chaz-brooks-communications
Some recent claims…
- Targeted email campaigns which are personalised to subscriber needs – drive 9 times more revenue and deliver 18 times more net profit than broadcast e-mailings (Source: David Daniels. Research Director, Juniper Research)
- In survey, 70% companies ranked Email as excellent or good. 79% for SEO (e-consultancy)
- Best practice should yield a 36% Open Rate and 13% Click Through Rate (Mail Chimp, 2012)
10 Facts about email and why it works
- Goes straight into inbox
- Cost effective
- Can be personalised
- Can nurture prospects (who are not ready to buy yet)
- Can be measured
- Can be tested (A and B samples)
- Fast plus you can control when emails go out
- Enables ongoing engagement
- Works well with 24/7 lives and global locations
- Fits well with multichannel consumption
5 Reasons why companies get email marketing wrong
- By missing key elements (i.e. relevant content, valuable content, personal appeal, Click Through opportunities, compelling subject lines, Calls to Action, visually appealing content etc.)
- By not integrating email marketing into their overall communications efforts
- By failing to ask customers permission to contact them (opt in/ opt out)
- By not testing (open rates, CTR, time of day and week, post click behaviour etc.)
- By not understanding how email contributes to the conversion path
Top Tips to take away
- Set up analytics on your website and prepare your dashboard to track user journeys, devices, goal conversions, bounce rates (Google Analytics)
- Look into cost-effective email programmes (Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor) to automate the process
- Test that your website loads and performs well on a mobile/tablet
- Segment customers across buying stages and look at their behaviour (what they click on, how often and what they have done before) as opposed to pure demographics
- Always spend more time on targeting than on the visual appeal /creativity
- React to customers as soon as they have interacted with you – keep the momentum going and respond to them to show you are there for them
- Always use landing pages on your website to track engagement with your email marketing. You can use different pages for different test samples
- Think relevance i.e. targeted email campaigns which include say special offers/trials for undecided customers, Infographics for visual appeal and short attention span, Case studies/testimonials for reinforcing credentials /right choices, surveys for customer feedback with incentives to respond, general e- newsletters for bonding, showing happy customers and happy staff and informing of new products etc.
All the best,
The brookscomm team