How to enhance your PR strategy in the digital age

Social media and digital applications are always changing.  Familiarising yourself with these new digital platforms could help you take advantage during a social media campaign. Here are a few useful hints and tips to develop your brand and potential engagement with clients in the future.

Real time marketing

This is a technique that is being used more and more on Facebook and other forms of popular social media. It can be used in a variety of different ways and often run through advertisements on a page.

  • Identifying your location and advertising things in your area.
  • Selling products or services from websites you have recently visited.
  • Event/social media marketing. For example, internet sensation Salt Bae and his cooking technique that went viral.

Visual content

It might seem obvious but visual generated content is more appealing and will attract people to your website or Facebook page. Nobody wants to see a page full of hard coded text and no visual content to keep the reader engaged. With Google Analytics, you are able to pin point how long a user stays on your page for.

A man by the name of Jakob Nielsen came up with a theory on Eye tracking, shortly named the F-pattern. He discovered that often the user’s eye scanned in an F pattern when engaging with content. This means that you must ensure text is not bulked together in one paragraph. Companies like the BBC tend to do this very well, where the text is nicely organised and the most important information is at the start of the article. Keeping the reader engaged and successfully informed.

Do YouTube well

YouTube can be a great way of generating cash when you get enough views on your selected videos. You are able to adjust your settings to monetise your videos and therefore get paid by YouTube when your content reaches a specific stage. This is not only good because of the financial incentive, it is a great way to increase interest in your latest campaign or business idea. Therefore boosting engagement in your page as well as awareness of your brand.

On the other hand, people are likely to engage with video content better than static photographs. Since some of the most viewed videos on YouTube are of cats and animals. People are more interested in this content rather than someone trying to advertise their brand. This is why if you combat both areas it may lead to success for your company or PR stunt.

 

Pay attention to Analytics

Our favourite search engine Google, offers a variety of different analytical software for free of charge. These enable you to monitor your content and consider how high your organisation sits on the Google rankings.

You can observe how long customers spend on your website and monitor the amount of click throughs to certain pages. This can be hugely beneficial for pin pointing improvement in your work.

There are other paid for pieces of software such as Sprout Social, which can help improve content engagement to your website.

 

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How a London Furniture business did the most ingenious PR stunt

On the 25th November 2015, the Nill’s furniture shop in Edmonton North London was vandalised by three young men.

The over night break in disrupted the Turkish owners during the opening period of the new furniture store. Dispute this unwanted event, all but one piece of furniture was recovered from the spray paint.

Since visiting the area, I discovered that this piece of vandalism was completely staged by the Turkish owners, who thought it would be the best way to get publicity for the new store about to open.

What a fantastic way to get media exposure! Especially as most of the damaged furniture was recovered, making it even more of a stunt to pull off and salvage stock.

 

 

How A London Business Made £30k

Since the Christmas break I have taken the opportunity to do some work with my friend in London for a couple of weeks.

Based in Stoke Newington, London , the family run business named Coban, has been around for 25 years. Coban first started predominantly in photography, specilasing in weddings, where both video and photography elements are championed.

Looking more into the future, Coban has decided to branch off from photography into other areas of the market.

The newly launched website.

Yalcin Coban, had a passion for homeware and wanted to bring a product to the market that was unique and solved problems that he faced in the kitchen and at home.

He launched his campaign on kickstarter which is one of the most popular websites for crowdfunding and helping an individual fund a project. He set out by attempting to generate £9500.00 and successfully achieved this by raising an astonishing £33,580!

Check out the newly designed website.
Using the perks of Kickstarter, he issued many prizes and gifts which gave the audience more of an incentive to fund him.

This goes to show the power of crowdfunding and how it can make people’s goals a reality.

Younger brother Mahmut Coban decided he wanted to branch out the business even further. He set out by introducing his own clothing brand, specialising in British made products, mostly leather accessories initially. Having an keen interest in motorbikes, he also developed a unique skill in building bikes from scratch using spare parts found on other bikes. This is another service which he offers in the store and advertised online.

Check out the website here.

Unfortunately the Kickstarter campaign failed to make the £15,000 target, because of the campaign being launched before it was ready. Considering this bad start, Life In Paradigm has done well as a brand, with its inclusion in the ASOS online marketplace.

The store in Stoke Newington has been transformed into an actual retail store rather than just a wedding studio. Selling other British made products with a aim to produce more of their own branded clothing.
 

 

 

PR campaigns II: The Battle of the Christmas ads

A few blog posts ago, I talked about the power of social media campaigns fuelled by public relations. In this particular example I discussed my employer John Lewis – and their successful role as a company to create engaging Christmas adverts for the general public.

With this in mind, it costs companies like John Lewis millions of pounds every year to fund such campaigns. Especially with other competitors following in the partnership’s footsteps – it is important to keep up with the demand for more successful media.

The 2016 John Lewis Christmas advert: #BusterTheDog

There have been many mixed reviews of this advert with people wanting more of a ‘tear jerker’ like the previous year, ” Man on the moon” This advert cost the company an astonishing £7 million.

From a marketing perspective it is interesting to note how impressive the John Lewis campaign is. As discussed previously, the 2014 campaign with #MontyThePenguin – was so successful that the Monty The Penguin merchandise completely sold out in John Lewis nationwide. It appears that they have decided to follow this motive and introduce Buster the boxer and other animals that featured in the ad. A great way of making even more money around the Christmas period.

This recurring theme of the dog Buster is a key theme implemented by John Lewis. Both as a marketing perspective and how the hashtag #BusterTheBoxer can thrive in social media. Showing the power of social media for public relations and organisations. Even other companies have used this advert to their own advantage – to gain attention from the public eye.

sportsdirectThe marketing department of Sports Direct have been very clever by using a play on words from the newly released John Lewis advert. ‘price Buster’ in reference to Buster the dog. This adds a sense of humour and also that marketing edge from other companies stocking trampolines and products alike.

It is quite interesting to monitor other competitors such as Aldi with the build up to the festive season. Previous years they opted to ‘take the mick’ out of the infamous John Lewis ad by defining a sheer comparison of price between the two companies. With a key aim to encourage customers to walk away from the partnership’s high price range. However, this year Aldi has decided to up their game by introducing a new advert of their own:

PR campaigns

No matter what size a company or organisation is, PR strategies are seriously important – whether it’s promoting new products or campaigns or purely to raise awareness and public interest.

The business sector is full of PR stunts – making news out of effectively nothing.

With the build up to Christmas, there is one company that always dominate the annual unveiling of Christmas adverts. This is of course John Lewis. Each year, millions of pounds are invested into creating these iconic Christmas ads, aiming to entice as many shoppers into the department store as possible. Also to show the company is keen to fully immerse itself in the Christmas spirit.

Back in 2014, PR week’s Ian Griggs discussed the campaign costing John Lewis a whopping £7 million. With the fluctuating value of the pound and recent effects of Brexit – perhaps John Lewis may cut costs in this area. However, every year there are constant competitors in rival supermarkets/department stores such as M & S, Asda, Sainsbury’s & Aldi.

This 2014 edition involving ‘ Monty The Penguin’ was extremely successful. In both viewers and fetching massive sales in the Monty The Penguin soft toy that fully sold out in stores across the UK. Who thought people would go so crazy about a stuffed soft toy?

It is quite interesting to observe the evolution of the John Lewis Christmas advert – from it’s first airing in 2007 till the present day. Why don’t you Pick your favourite? Personally I don’t think you can pick the 2014 edition. I think it is very clever the way it is ‘just a dream’ at the end of the trailer. Also a clever marketing strategy to get people so into the advert that they want to by the exact same penguin for their kids or even themselves!

There has been mass amounts of anticipation on Twitter for this years much awaited reveal, courtesy of the Dailly Mirror. This just goes to show how strong the PR team at John Lewis is. They’ve pretty much trade marked the Christmas advert in the festive season, with people already discussing what artist or music will be accompanying the trailer. Others believe there may be a tribute to the legend David Bowie who sadly passed away this year.

 

 

What effect will Brexit have on the PR industry?

With Theresa May promising to trigger article 50 by March 2017, the entire of the UK now has doubts to the effect it will have on the country. But what effect will Brexit have on the PR industry?

An interesting statistic coming from PR Week, claimed that 79% of the people in the PR industry that voted to remain believe there will be serious issues for organisations, big labels and politics in Britain. With other fears that budgets will be cut on the amount companies can spend on improving their PR and marketing. This is not great news for someone like myself that has interest in going into PR as a future prospect. Of course we don’t know what will really happen until Britain has officially exited the EU. Even months/ years afterwards it will be hard to see the full effects of the Brexit. Considering the pound has fluctuated back and fourth, there may still be hope for the PR industry.

The leave campaign

Looking at PR itself and the leave campaign. It was evident that the vast majority of people that voted to leave the EU were consumed by the advert talking about the NHS and the ‘promise’ that it would bring £350 million a week if we left Europe. This was a PR campaign in itself, proving how successful public relations is in manipulating the consumer. Obviously people that backed the leave campaign were accused of being ‘uneducated’ and not doing enough research, it reinforces the power of the media and how it can easily influence a large population.

However, Matt Watson argues that there is fine line between good PR and lying – using false information. This was the case with the NHS claim, even though the statistic was condemned amongst critics, the people of Britain still felt it was a good enough reason, showing the pivotal role that the National Health Service has in UK.