0 comments on “Think BIG with your communications strategy”

Think BIG with your communications strategy

Since its inception, PR has involved managing and enhancing the reputation of an organisation to its target audience via influencers such as key stakeholders, partners, analysts and the media. The overall objective is to raise the organisation’s profile to support the sales and marketing cycle. Though the core principles haven’t changed, the methods of communicating with audiences and stakeholders have dramatically.

When the main way of communicating with the media a few decades ago may have been franking a press release, we’re now in an always-on environment where accessibility to audiences and influencers has transformed the day-to-day role of a PR professional. Despite these considerable developments, many organisations still devise traditional PR campaigns that don’t make the most of integrated communications, new technology and measurement techniques.

Here’s some recommendations from us at brookscomm to ensure that whatever industry you’re in, you’re thinking big with your communications strategy.

1. Be reactive

By developing articles or commentary in response to changes occurring within your market, or in response to national breaking news stories, you don’t have to be reliant on having your own news to secure press coverage. Sometimes these can take the form of thought provoking and quite controversial commentary, which will create a “buzz” within your area of specialism.

Talking about national issues at a regional, trade and national level will help to establish your reputation as an expert in your field. It also provides a level of reassurance to your existing client base, and future clients, as they will see you as an organisation with an opinion that is respected by the press.

2. Spread the word

Social media has a big part to play in an integrated communications strategy. Once your articles have been published, either in the media or on your website, further reach can be achieved via social media platforms. People may not be reading the publication or browsing your website on the day that your content was published, but we can safely assume now that people are regularly checking their own social media and absorbing new content in this format.

What’s more, sites such as Twitter and Facebook have brilliant SEO qualities. This means that if a prospect is googling you, there’s more chance that your name will appear higher in their results as social media sites are pointing to your name or website.

Our Senior PR Account Manager Alison has also been sharing advice with legal firms around making more of your press coverage. Check out our latest article in the Hampshire Law Society magazine, Hampshire Legal.

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3. Go bigger

It’s easy when you’ve been serving a specific set of customers to stick with the same communications approach and focus on them as your target audience. While it’s wise to prioritise this audience, messages you’re promoting to those customers could be replicated to another potential market without much extra work.

Whether that’s a different industry or a region, thinking outside of your existing strategy could reap huge dividends. High quality and informative written material is worth its weight in gold, so if you’ve written it, make the most of it!

4. Track your progress

Whenever you’re completing any communications activity, it’s crucial that you measure the success of your efforts. Not only can you learn the most impactful ways to reach your prospects, you can also discover what content resonates the best and what approach is most beneficial for your sales and marketing strategy.

By utilising online tools such as Google Analytics, you can track what content is bringing the most traffic to your website, and what pages on your website are of most interest to your prospects. Analytics are now also embedded in social media platforms so you can track how many people are viewing or engaging with your tweets, and how your LinkedIn likes have increased overtime.

Whatever your communications strategy, make sure you’re maximising every opportunity to raise your profile by developing creative and relevant content, considering new audiences, showcasing your hard work and measuring your success.

Want to find out more? Get in touch! 
If you have any questions about your communications strategy or how we can help you secure media coverage, please check out our strategic communications offering or get in touch. We’ve helped several organisations raise their profile with their target media resulting in increased sales. Call us on 01483 537 890 or email hello@brookscomm.com

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0 comments on “Lush quits social media: smart or a stunt?”

Lush quits social media: smart or a stunt?

On Monday, the popular British cosmetics brand Lush announced on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that they would be “switching up social”. The brand will be shutting down its LushUK accounts as well as Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla. This dramatic shift comes from the brand being “tired of fighting with algorithms” and that it does “not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.”

Lush concluded its announcement by stating “This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new. #LushCommunity – see you there.”

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the brand’s digital presence. Could this announcement simply be a headline grabbing tactic, or does it speak into the future power of influencer and community marketing over corporate messaging?

Controversial marketing

Lush hasn’t been a stranger to causing a stir with publicity tactics that push boundaries and provoke conflicting reactions in the past.

The particularly divisive “Live Demonstration” from 2012, where a performance artiste was subjected to animal laboratory tests in the shop window of Lush’s Regent Street branch, was a provocative move. Most would agree that the overall message of the campaign was positive, however, this graphic approach to the issue certainly ruffled a few feathers and had a memorable impact. Much like this move away from social media, it certainly goes against the grain.

Maintaining online influence

The term “#LushCommunity” appears to hint towards a new way for Lush customers to engage with one another and the brand itself. Through which platform is unclear, but maybe that’s the point – that the community isn’t confined by a platform, or indeed by role.

Lush has collaborated a lot with online influencers in the past and in distancing itself from social media in one sense, it’s likely the brand will put more time, money and effort into working with lifestyle influencers and online ambassadors to keep the brand alive online.

The brand has already been successful in this arena, largely via reciprocated content. There are large numbers of videos on YouTube of popular beauty, fashion and even family vloggers testing Lush products. Some of the most successful videos are Lush factory tours which have come about as a result of Lush inviting influencers to come down to its factory for a tour. The success of these videos may be a sign of content yet to come for the brand.

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Redefining community

The future of Lush’s communications strategy is unclear, other than the fact that it appears the brand is moving its engagement with consumers into a ‘community’, which will likely include vloggers and influential online ambassadors.

What is clear, however, is that Lush is on the front foot when it comes to making bold decisions in its marketing and communications strategy. This decision has already given them a lot of exposure, but it’s hard to tell whether this short-term win will translate into a long-term gamechanger. The bottom line is that Lush’s attempt to reshape the structure of online communications is relatively uncharted territory and worth keeping a close eye on.

#LushCommunity – see you…where?

Aaron Jackson – PR & Marketing Executive

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com

0 comments on “How PR can be measured”

How PR can be measured

PR misconception

Unlike Marketing or Advertising, which have clear, measurable ‘tick-box’ outputs and results, PR is considered by many as ‘fluffy’. A common misconception is that it’s difficult to quantify and thus measure.

Often, people measure the financial equivalent cost of Advertising vs the earned media achieved. However, with the convergence of PR, Marketing and Advertising, there are a multitude of ways to measure the impact of PR.

It’s important to establish your key performance indicators, what tactics and tools you want to implement and the goals you want to achieve. Do you want to be considered as a thought leader or have your brand mentioned in the top ten UK technology oriented magazines and websites?

Demonstrating the success of positive earned media and return on investment can be achieved when you quantify the following:

Press clippings:

Track the number of times your press content is used in your target media to gauge success. However, it shouldn’t just be a numbers game. Try and focus your efforts on ensuring the targeted media outlets are read by your target audience.

Media Impressions:

It is importance to measure reach and brand exposure. A good media database can easily and effectively measure readership and website traffic unique views per month (UVM), which are independently verified. However, you should not take these statistics purely on face value.

Take the time to delve deeper into the engagement rates of online influencers. With the increasing use of bloggers and services such as Instagress, anyone, for a small fee, can easily and quickly ‘buy’ followers. Using these tactics to cheat algorithms and artificially increase followers is very misleading, undermining the influence of others who have built their following organically. Does the influencer have an engaged audience? Are followers actively discussing, sharing and buying the products or services the influencers are promoting?

Content:

Read all the press coverage achieved, as it will provide a clear overview of the positive, negative or neutral sentiment of the brand or product. Obviously, the more positive the coverage is, the more successful the PR efforts. If there are spelling mistakes or inaccuracies, don’t be afraid to contact a journalist or influencer to have the content rectified, to ensure it’s not ambiguous.

Click-Throughs:

Calculate the number of click-throughs gained from social media and blog posts. Monitor the website traffic to landing pages and general acquisition through Google Analytics, and delve into spikes in sales and whether they correlate to coverage or scheduled competitions. This will provide great insights and show return on investment. If you have high conversion rates and you know the coverage has increased sales, then the PR efforts have been worthwhile.

Social Media:

There are many social listening tools available which offer in-depth analysis on conversations involving your brand or product. Regardless of your budget, you should at the very least be monitoring brand and product mentions, general conversations, your brand advocates and influencers.

The value in PR is that you have a third party, trusted endorsement, which holds much more weight than a salesy, expensive advert. The reach achieved using PR can go above and beyond traditional marketing channels. However, an integrated combination of all three aspects of PR, Digital Marketing and Advertising will achieve optimum results.

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and Digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email michael@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

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

 

0 comments on “The Changing Landscape of PR & the Demand for Digital”

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 

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0 comments on “The Madonna of the Yarnwinder- Two UK journalists found not guilty of art theft”

The Madonna of the Yarnwinder- Two UK journalists found not guilty of art theft


Now justice has prevailed will Jack Doyle and Robbie Graham receive the reward offered by undercover cop representative of Duke of Buccleuch and endorsed by legal team?

EDINBURGH, 21st April 2010. Today in the High Court of Edinburgh, a jury found two private investigators from Liverpool not guilty of conspiracy to extort money from the Duke of Buccleuch. In October 2007 Jack Doyle and Robbie Graham, returned Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Madonna of the Yarnwinder”, stolen in 2003 and the largest ever UK art theft, to an undercover police operative posing as an agent for the Duke of Buccleuch. They, alongside three solicitors, were subsequently arrested and charged with extortion.

“We are delighted that our peers have vindicated us” said Jack Doyle, “If we had been found guilty of these ridiculous charges no stolen art would ever come back again. What we did was to bring back a culturally significant masterpiece which is something neither the police nor the insurers could do. We brought it back, and have been put through two and a half years of hell since. If we had not recovered the Madonna she could possibly have ended up in Russia never to be seen again.”

“This trial should never have happened.” said Robbie Graham. “At every step of the way in bringing back this priceless painting we checked that what we were doing was legal. If it was dodgy then why did we get solicitors involved, offer to take the painting to a police station and agree to hand it over in the boardroom of a leading law firm? We asked three solicitors, and an undercover policeman posing as the agent of the Duke of Buccleuch, and they all said that it was legal. We were determined to save this painting and to do this good thing for history. We have made history”

In July 2007, Jack Doyle and Robbie Graham became aware of the possibility that the Leonardo Da Vinci painting “The Madonna of the Yarnwinder” dating from the early 1500s and believed to be the same model as “The Mona Lisa” could be returned. They then sought and were given assurances from three solicitors that the painting could be brought back legally, and they were told there was a £2 million pound reward for returning the painting. At all stages they were careful to follow the instructions given to them by the solicitors and the undercover agent John Craig and never at any stage did they put the painting at risk. Subsequent actions by the solicitor acting on their behalf were unknown to them until after the return of the painting, and beyond their control.

“I want to make one thing clear. We never asked for any money whatsoever. “continues Jack Doyle,” We asked “Is this legal? And if so and we return the painting, is there a reward?” We were told that yes it was legal and yes, there was a reward of £2 million pounds for this painting which was offered to us by an undercover policeman (known to us as John Craig) acting as the agent for the Duke of Buccleuch and with the full knowledge of his superiors. We kept our side of the bargain. We now expect John Craig to keep his.”

One thing apparent from this trial, apart from the fact the two continually sought reassurance from solicitors that what they were doing was legal, was that they were to receive public recognition for bringing this masterpiece back to its rightful owner, the Duke of Buccleuch. During the negotiations it was agreed that there would be a press call and a meeting at the Duke’s castle, Drumlanrig, with the painting.

Robbie Graham says “We entered into this legal enterprise in order to publicise our business, StolenStuff Reunited. We thought if we can get a Leonardo Da Vinci painting back what a good advertisement it would have been for us! We would love to go to the castle and meet the Duke, it would be an honour to meet him and to explain our side of the story, now that he knows that our intentions were totally honourable. He can call us any time. We would really value his recognition for the work we have done in returning a major part of his family’s heritage.”

ends

Photography available on request

For comment or media interviews please contact Chaz Brooks

At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated communications strategy. We can help you boost your business, email hello@brookscomm.com or call us on 01483 537 890. 

Twitter @PRexpertsUK  Linkedin: brookscomm  Facebook:brookscomm Website: www.brookscomm.com