Crisis Communications

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Be honest, authentic and appropriate in a crisis

Crisis management has been centre stage recently with the incident of a passenger being forcibly removed by aviation security officers from a United Airlines flight, with the incident filmed on mobiles.

Handling a communications crisis in an age where news travels in seconds is complicated.

The need for truth

Authenticity is key. A brand needs to be clear about its stance, goals and messaging, but what else should be considered when looking to put together a crisis management strategy?

Crisis strategy

Mandy Brooks gives some pointers:

  • Treat your customers well, as Stephen Waddington notes in response to the United Airlines fiasco. Do everything you can to avoid a crisis. Put your customers first. Be honest, authentic and appropriate.
  • Plan and have a clear strategy for dealing with a crisis. Model different scenarios, know who will respond and how. Know who won’t respond. Clarity and guidance are key.
  • There is a need to react and adapt instantly as events evolve. Have intelligence on your stakeholders. Know which are likely to respond with positive comment and monitor these who could be negative.

When dealing with any communications crisis, what sets you apart is how you plan and react to the situation, your crisis management skills and subsequent communication strategy.

A company or spokesperson should be available to comment, communicate often, be transparent, and honest. Mistakes occur but ensuring they are dealt with promptly and efficiently makes the difference.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of success in crisis management. We can help you in a crisis or boost your business so call us on 01483 537 890 or email michael@brookscomm.com

Follow us: @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com

 

The Changing Landscape of PR & the Demand for Digital

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No More Stuffing Envelopes!

PR isn’t what it used to be. Traditional PR and its methods are still relevant, print is still in high demand, along with favorable reviews and recommendations proving to be incredibly influential. However, with increasing Social Media channels, The Independent moving to digital only, Vogue focusing on their digital magazine presence, and the rise of online influencers, the need for additional digital services is ever growing.

Utlising traditional PR methods has many benefits. Content published by reputable journalists is deemed timely, relevant, newsworthy and perceived as a trusted third party endorsement, therefore making it more credible, compared to Advertising. Explore our in-depth comparison here.

PR in the beginning:

Alison Scarrott, Senior PR/Media relations manager reflects on the changes….

alison “When I joined the world of publishing and marketing back in the 1980’s, reaching the media was fairly straight forward. You either advertised, or issued a press release. A press release would be printed out on headed paper and posted out to the magazine.  This process was extremely time consuming and expensive! Many hours were spent stuffing envelopes.

Advertising was also a popular means to get a message out to the market place. Advertisements were designed by hand by a creative artist, and colour separations with a proof on high quality photographic paper were produced. This was one of the few options available to companies to ensure a message reached a target audience. It also had a lengthy production process.”

Press material is now written and distributed electronically, at a click of a button, improving efficiency and enabling material to be supplied instantly to any journalist request. It has also become a 24-hour job, with a good PR agent able to respond at any time of day or night to a journalist request.

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New Team Members, New methods

PR in today’s market is no longer viewed as one entity. What is now being required by busy professionals encompasses aspects of PR, marketing, advertising, content creation and SEO. In a survey carried out by brookscomm last summer, clients rated a more measurable, strategic and results driven service, which aligns with their objectives, as a priority.

Joining the company last year Micheal Bull, Head of Digital comments,

michael-bull“PR and marketing professionals are seeing the benefits of providing an integrated service, and how digital tactics can be used to further amplify the reach and influence of existing content. Digital also provides much greater insight into which PR and marketing activities are achieving the best results.

When working on behalf of clients, it is an essential element of the service we provide, especially taking into account how much digital content is out there. Having a clear strategy combined with key performance indicators (KPI’s) built into a project timeline delivers the best results, which keeps everyone happy! It’s also really important to keep abreast of the latest digital PR and Marketing technologies and best practice. The landscape evolves quickly, especially when it comes to SEO and Keyword strategies, but, being a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing is particularly valuable”.

The reach achieved from a good piece of press coverage in a magazine can be greatly amplified through the implementation of a well thought out digital strategy. To achieve optimal exposure a multitude of avenue streams and tactics need to be implemented, from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogging…. The list goes on!

At brookscomm, we offer our clients an integrated PR and marketing service, such as writing press releases and media relations, combined with additional services such as social media management, paid search and SEO.

Find out how an integrated PR and digital marketing strategy can complement your brand, raise its profile and achieve your goals, providing return on investment. Call us on 01483 537890 or, alternatively, email michael@brookscomm.com 

Follow us @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com

Learn new ways of reaching your customers

In today’s busy workplace people don’t like being “sold to” and resent being bombarded with emails and intrusive phone calls.

Successful businesses are using a new approach to reach new customers. An approach that combines the latest proven PR & Marketing tactics to reach, inform and educate your target audience about how your business solves their challenges.

Find out about the difference between old and new style lead generation tactics with our handy comparison infographic:

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Blogging for Business

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Showcase your  brand’s personality through blogging

Like social media, blogging is a great way to demonstrate your business’s unique selling point.

Blogging allows you to offer tips, advice and opinions on topical issues and trends affecting your sector. By talking about things that matter to your customers within a blog format you increase the chances of  your content being read, being perceived as a thought leader and recognised as being experts at what you do.

In addition, blogging humanises a brand, especially when readers are given a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of your business. It can also increase your credibility and build a measure of trust with your customers. Interestingly, blogs are rated at the 5th most trusted source for accurate information.

Blogging also supports your SEO strategy. Search engines favour websites that publish fresh content over those that don’t, and by building quality inbound and outbound links to your blog, you will boost your SEO ranking.

Now that we’ve explained why blogging is great for business, you might be wondering, how do I start?!

Here’s our advice…

Content is King

This old saying is now more relevant than ever, especially considering that the way in which content is used can directly impact the visibility of websites. Useful content rich in keywords incorporated within business blog posts, along with the use of structured titles and section heads, are important to improving SEO. Great content is recognised as a worthwhile resource for people to consume, helping you to move further up Google’s search ranking results. (For more digital marketing terms check out our glossary).

Cross-promote

You may be writing the best content ever, but it’s no good unless someone sees it! Therefore, it’s imperative to promote your posts via every outlet available, whether it is through emails, your website or social media, as this will also help drive referral traffic to your website. As stated in a previous blog post, Facebook for example, drives over 40% of website referral traffic. If you want your content to go viral, make it relevant, insightful and attractive to the consumer. And make it easy to share; Better yet, include images or even video, as these will attract far more views and engagement.

Consistency

When you start blogging, don’t be disheartened if, at the beginning, no one reads your posts. Stick at it and be consistent, but it’s also important to be realistic. If you only have the time to blog once every two weeks, commit to it and don’t stray. Struggling for content or pushed for time?  Ensure there is a reserve of blog posts which can later be scheduled in case of time restraints, allowing you to still promote content when you are away, or are stuck for inspiration.

However, many professionals recognise that it’s a challenge to constantly produce engaging content. If you don’t have the time or resources, we can write blog posts on your behalf or manage, promote and create engaging collateral using existing blog content, making your business stand out from the crowd.

Call us on 01483 537890 or, alternatively, email michael@brookscomm.com We can help you with all your blogging needs and improve your SEO, successfully reaching and engaging your target audience.

Follow us @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com

 

 

Why You Should Enter Awards

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You and your team have worked hard. Maybe you’ve pulled off a great launch event, gone above and beyond to provide exceptional results for your clients or produced an exciting new product. But who will know about your great efforts unless you tell the world! Also, recent surveys have demonstrated that more than 80% of senior business people and more than 70% of consumers admit to being influenced by awards when buying products and services.

Brand Awareness

Fantastic results deserve recognition and that’s exactly why you should consider entering your company into awards in your sector.

Will it benefit you? Yes. Regardless of winning, just being shortlisted is great exposure for you and your brand.It’s also a chance to receive feedback on which to improve.

Endorsement

An award endorses your company’s service or product offering within your business community and demonstrates you as a leader in that sector, keeping you ahead of your competitors, which no doubt will boost sales and enquirers.

Media Attention

The excitement of winning, or even being shortlisted for an award, rewards your team’s efforts, improving morale, incentivising hard work and offers a great opportunity to capitalise on that accolade by drawing the media’s attention to your company.

And let’s face it, who doesn’t love winning?

However, there is a lot of background work to securing your place for an award.

In depth research into the competition entry, i.e. Best UK Tech Innovation, your competitors, judges and planning are essential components to being successful. Quality is paramount and therefore it’s important to be selective and realistic in choosing which awards to enter.Writing the entry requires hard work and skill, you need to really do your homework to impress the judges who are experts in their area. We’ll be elaborating on our Top Tips for entering awards so watch this space…

We have a proven track record with entering awards – contact us and we will be happy to detail how we have achieved this. Find out how we can help you raise your profile.

Call us on 01483 537890 or, alternatively, email us hello@brookscomm.com and we can help you receive the recognition you deserve and successfully enter awards that will boost your business. 

Follow us @PRexpertsUK   Linkedin: brookscomm  Website: www.brookscomm.com