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PR Industry Predictions

PR once operated solely in the realm of earned media. But today, PR firms are managing social media accounts, scoping paid advertising opportunities and touching on content marketing in addition to securing placements in publications and handling other media relations. Although, traditional PR methods still apply and gaining access to media and influencers is vital, there are improvements to be made, to help ensure the industry grows and is future-proofed for generations to come.

Here are just some examples of how the PR industry is changing and what the future will look like:

The value of data

A common misconception about using data in communications is that research and creative storytelling are incompatible. However, data would be completely valueless if we didn’t apply it to our work. Using data-driven research can actually help us better understand our clients and enable targeted storytelling.

Reporting data requires strong storytelling skills and although interpreting data might not be part of our usual creative routine, it is more valuable than ever. Mastering the ability to structure narratives using data is now integral to our work and can help provide clients with new insights into their industries or consumer and business trends, and how their products or services can leverage such trends.

Increase of visual content

People spend more and more time browsing online rather than reading, and when they do read content, only 28% of the words are generally read. To optimise attention, it’s up to us as PR practitioners to ensure appealing and shareworthy content is generated to cater to audiences appetites.

The future demands short, condensed and visually appealing content such as infographics, GIFs and short videos. PR agencies can benefit from careful planning and knowledge of visual content and how to correctly use it, to remain up to date with what is current and potentially viral to appeal to audiences.

PR and marketing working together

The line between PR and marketing is becoming a blur and this is because audiences don’t see a division, they just see the work. This means that PR and marketing teams need to work together and focus on brand building to ensure messaging is consistent and their goals and efforts are aligned.

Brand authority and message delivery can also play a key role in search engine optimisation and digital marketing, which means that PR is becoming more important than ever before.

The scope of opportunities for PR professionals is increasing so we need to continue to adopt forward thinking and accept innovators, such as technology and collaboration in order to remain relevant. At its core PR is still about great storytelling but the future of PR is about creating a shareable experience for all.

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Many times travel businesses will invest resources into building a website only to tick it of the ‘to do’ list and very little understanding how to maximise it and draw in new business leads. Or worse! Heaven forbid one completely by passes this and just set up social media channels missing out on promoting valuable travel website content!

So how can travel companies, especially those utilising a travel pr agency, direct traffic to their websites? Content, content, content! And don’t skimp out on SEO – yes that dreaded acronym. It’s pretty self-explanatory: Search Engine Optimisation and your business’ best friend if you take the time to understand what it does for you!

Promote what you’re doing exceptionally well. Toot your own horn, shout about it from every rooftop!You’re allowed! How? Build a blog on your website as a shop ‘window shop’ to your services and what you bring to the table and boost it through Instagram and/or Twitter. This is the most organic (and less costly) way to drive traffic to your website.

Then there are other ways of driving business leads to your website which involve a bit more investment.  Facebook and Google re-targeting ads are just two of the tools that will not only direct people to your website but also re engage those who have visited before.

If you’re still unsure about the best way to approach website traffic here’s great piece on Forbes on the 23 Proven Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website.

Bottom line is, in a time were so much information is pushing consumers/clients in different directions it’s important to cut through the noise and not only capture your audience’s attention but keep them engaged with content that quenched their thirst of knowledge for a particular topic.

And if you’re looking for a good‘horn tooting’ example, check out Siren’s other blog posts to see how we display our own PR/Comms case studies and client work.

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‘Tis the season when Christmas dominates consumer’s mood, their booked up calendar (filled with unnecessary seasonal events and multiple family gatherings) and ultimately their buying behaviour. PR can have a huge influence in the Christmassy feels, which seem to be starting earlier and earlier each year. For me, it all begins when Tesco brings out their wonderful big tins of Quality Streets and Celebrations. But you know it has really started when brands start releasing their highly anticipated festive campaigns all fighting to take that number one spot that has everyone talking about it. How many tears one sheds over TV Christmas adverts seems to determine how consumers choose one specific brand over another when doing their Christmas shopping. I’ve picked my top five PR campaigns that are at the top of my Christmas list this year.

Elton John’s nostalgic John Lewis campaign

 

This year, John Lewis has produced a story that focuses on the power of a gift and how that gift (the piano) inspired, changed and influenced Elton John’s life. The advert travels backwards throughout Elton’s life until the Christmas day he received the piano. Elton is a well-known and well-liked musician, which appeals to a large audience. Also, by going back in time it gives a nostalgic feel to Christmas, which makes the audience link this feeling to John Lewis.

McDonald’s #ReindeerReady campaign


Here is another campaign that plays on your heart strings. The advert focuses on the tradition of leaving a mince pie and carrots for Father Christmas and his reindeers, a tradition the whole country can relate to. It then finishes with McDonald’s providing a big sack of carrots and potentially saving these lost Christmas traditions.

Sainsbury’s ‘The Big Night’ campaign


This advert stars an eight year old giving the performance of her life, all for her mum. It includes a cast of 59 kids all dressed as a variety of Christmas staples that are also performing to all their families. It’s even been voted the best of 2018, most probably due to the sentimental feel it portrays, with the children ‘giving it their all’ for their parents watching.

Virgin Train ‘it’s a Wonderful Life’

Platforms on the Virgin Trains route from Glasgow to London have been inscribed with quotes from the Christmas favourite film, it’s a Wonderful Life. This is to help people struggling with mental health issues, with the aim of showing how powerful small acts of kindness really can be. This is a simple but strong message which can reach a large amount of people.

Boots #GiftsThatGetThem campaign


This year Boots have focused on celebrating your loved ones by giving them something that says… ‘you get them’. The advert focuses on a mum and daughter’s relationship which makes it relatable to Boots female audience. The advert then ends with the daughter giving her mum a specific product before they hug underneath the Christmas tree, signifying a personal and heart-warming feel to the present.

 

 

 

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Earlier this month the who’s who of the travel industry descended on the Excel Centre for World Travel Market 2018.

 

For a first timer, I just hadn’t anticipated the sheer scale of the event. We had plenty of clients attending this year but I was personally there to support the Barbados Tourism marketing Inc, once I navigated my way through the hundreds of stands to theirs…There I was in Europe trying to strain my eyes in the vain hope of spotting the Caribbean. 15 minutes later after a brief tour round Asia and an accidental visit to Russia I found Barbados.

 

This was to be our home for the next three days. On the stand we had the Barbados delegation which included the new minister of Tourism & International Transport the Hon. Kerrie Symmonds. Though he was kept busy with meetings most of the time, the Minister managed to squeeze in a few moments to blend himself a smoothie on the snazzy bike blender we had for delegates to try out.

 

The whole team was also excited to have the cricket legends Sir Garfield Sobers and Desmond Haynes on the stand, charming the socks off everybody that passed by and carrying out interviews with the media and taking part in a live radio broadcast.

 

We were also joined by many of the trade partners that have supported Barbados tourism throughout the year, as well the fabulous Bajan chef Michael Harrison who cooked up a storm with his demonstrations.

 

The event was a great success and the BTMI team are feeling confident and excited for 2019.

 

As for me, I can’t wait for next year. WTM is a hugely creative event and wonderful melting pot of all cultures, countries, and travel connoisseurs.

 

My top tip is to wear flat shoes and bring as many business cards as you can carry!

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A NEW INDEPENDENT INTEGRATED MARKETING AGENCY OPENS

SOUND JOINED UP MARKETING & PR FOR TRAVEL, LEISURE AND TOURISM BRANDS

 

London, November 2018 – Today, an exciting new agency collaboration enters the market, with a refreshing client-first philosophy at its centre and an independent, unbiased, ‘channel neutral’ activation team as backers.

SOUND – joined up marketing & PR is the brainchild of former client and agency colleagues Jo Briody, Jackie Arnott-Raymond, Duncan Collins and Rachel O’Connor, who together have created and developed SOUND joined up marketing and PR over the last six months. 

Born out of their shared belief and experience of working together for big brand client businesses, the team conceived SOUND as a solution to the client agency choice dilemma.  Their collective experience of working together across clients in the travel and leisure sector led them to two founding observations for SOUND:

 

  • Firstly, that there are many clients that are not ready for and can’t afford global agencies, but seek/need the talent, disciplines and creativity associated with that level of business.
  • Secondly, there is increasing pressure at the client end to find agency partners who will work together and provide channel neutral solutions and a one team approach devoid of inter-agency conflict around fee and channel ownership.

 

Jo Briody, partner for SOUND:

“I’ve seen it time and again from a client-side perspective that you rarely get an unbiased integrated agency solution that gives you what the business needs.  There are too many internal conflicts for agencies and clients that drive recommendations and decision making at both ends.  This means that the client doesn’t always receive the best advice, campaigns and strategic solutions based on what the business actually needs commercially.   SOUND is focused on doing exactly that.  By removing the barriers we focus on just solving the problem at hand and giving the client the best and commercially right solution and recommendations, with no hidden agendas.  Perfect!”

 

Duncan Collins, partner for SOUND:

“SOUND will set out to reduce inefficiencies, improve return on investment and increase impact.  Working apolitically together as ONE team but representing all channels we can deliver joined up, channel neutral marketing communication solutions and campaigns. 

It’s been very liberating to work together.  We all enjoy collaborating and that underpins everything.  But importantly we have taken the commercial decision to fully share the rewards and investment from any work we do together. We are able to be totally transparent with how this works from a client perspective, which will reinforce the appeal of this new offer.”

 

Jackie Arnott-Raymond, partner for SOUND:

“The team’s work will focus on providing the best client solutions to meet their commercial objectives by working together to drive measurable results.  Our formula, developed by combining the multi-disciplinary tools available from each business, is designed to significantly improve results and budget effectiveness whilst reducing time wastage associated with agency management and duplication of effort.   Importantly this is all about improving client results. That’s where the magic happens for us all.  We all still love it when a campaign is visibly and measurably successful.” 

 

The team will offer integrated marketing communications in one united agency set up.   This provides clients with one stop access to independent, collaborative and unbiased multichannel-thinking, appealing to clients looking to gain access to best value and talent, whilst saving critical time and money. 

 

SOUND joined up marketing & PR will initially focus its client offering across the leisure, travel, transport and tourism sectors where the team have a strong proven track record of delivering results for fast growing, moving clients working to tight budgets.  SOUND will launch in November ahead of the busy turn of year, and focusing on a simple purpose: to provide clients with commercially savvy thinking and delivery, but in a channel neutral form.   

 

To find out more about Sound joined up marketing & PR please visit www.wearesound.uk or contact   jo@wearesound.uk.

 

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