Tag: print

Can interactive print really deliver?

 

Working with a print and document management company and an international print manager we are always looking for examples of best practice when it comes to direct mail or marketing materials. Not only do we look for good quality imagery and interesting formats but also pieces that go above and beyond to really capture the attention of the audience.

 

Interactive print is a bit of a buzz word within the industry at the moment, with lots of companies recognising the need to integrate digital and print together in order to create the necessary impact, which will encourage the recipient to open the piece and most importantly read it.

 

As QR codes and now AR codes and blippar, plus other apps, become second nature with agencies and consumers it goes without saying that they need to be considered when brands are planning their next marketing campaign, launch or project.

 

What has changed recently is clients attitudes towards apps; long gone are the days where we can test and measure an idea, now is the time that these things have to deliver a return on investment just like everything else. Pretty pictures are all well and good but if your exploding fruit or branded game doesn’t encourage purchase then you have to question what the point was – did it meet with objectives? Probably not.

 

I was really surprised recently when my brother gave me what looked like a hard backed booklet from Auto Trader. He works within this industry and often comments that he receives lots of promotional emails that he just simply doesn’t get chance (nor has the desire) to open and read.

 

As an advertiser with Auto Trader magazine my brother had received this particular piece and thought that it was quite impressive and I have to agree, it is. The concept is simple, it’s a direct mail piece which says ‘Your buyers are online, are you…..?’. When you open the piece there is an image of a smart phone which suddenly comes to life and plays a video showing the benefits to advertising in Auto Trader along with a timeline of how the business has changed over the years.

 

What Auto Trader have managed to do with this piece is to create intrigue, harness interest and engage with the end user, a prospect and a customer, better still they have encouraged both myself and my brother to share the piece and tell others about it, further extending the audience reach.

 

This piece is a real example of how print and digital can work together to make a communication stronger. There is absolutely no way that I would have looked twice at this if it hadn’t been so well executed.

 

I have included a short video of how the piece works as I honestly do think that many marketing agencies could take some learnings from the simple concept through to delivery of this piece.

 

Please do share your own examples of excellent direct marketing and mail campaigns with us. Can anyone top this quirky campaign or have you even seen better examples that you can showcase?

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Don’t dismiss the opportunities on your doorstep

As you would expect of a PR agency, we are often asked to recommend media channels for brands and businesses when developing campaigns, events and stunts.

Although many agencies would quickly recommend national media with larger audiences (and not surprisingly commanding bigger budgets) we always think about the objectives of that particular activity and how the message will be communicated by our chosen medium.

It is always surprising when businesses and agencies dismiss regional media whether for advertising or editorial opportunities. We term these titles heartland, as they are usually located at the heart of a community where a brand or business is based.

Although many companies believe that the CEO or Managing Director of a business will only read leading trade and national titles it’s fair to say that in our experience that isn’t true. Many leading senior executives will read regional media to find out what is going on in their local area.

What is most frustrating about this situation is when people are dismissive of regional titles to then get excited when they feature in them – it’s one way or another!

We have long been an advocate of regional media and the opportunities that print and broadcast media offer; promotions, competitions, editorial, features, advertorials and of course standard advertising.

Next time you are considering a campaign think about the businesses that are based in your local area. Are they large or small? Would you send the MD of a multi-million pound business packing because he was local? Unlikely, so perhaps the same thought process should go to working and engaging with regional titles and channels.

The beauty of PR is that you don’t have to be restrictive so if your preferred agency dismisses regional media ask them why. If they say people don’t read the papers, listen to the radio stations or watch the local news take this simple test – ask people you meet in everyday life what the last paper, radio station or TV news programme they engaged with was. I bet there is at least 6 out of 10 who will mention a regional title, station or programme then you have your answer.

The truth is that people do read, listen to and watch regional media and as a result this makes them a valid medium for engagement with prospects and customers. 

Open goes global and announces expansion plans

 


Open Communications, the straight talking PR agency based at Nostell Priory in Wakefield, has secured its first international contract after it was appointed as preferred PR and social media provider for Print Media Group (PMG) in Australia. 

Securing the contract to supply an on-going press office facility for PMG, which is one of the largest print specialist organisations in Australia with sites throughout the country, Open will also support the business to implement a social media strategy, alongside training and guidance.

With a focus on improving the profile of the business throughout Australia, PMG has appointed Open Communications to assist the marketing team with extending its offering into new markets and territories. In addition the business will work with Open to share its successes with current and prospective customers, while growing its sales revenues over the next twelve months.

 “We’re delighted to be working with Lindsey and the team at Open Comms, they will become a valued extension of the marketing team at PMG. We’ll be drawing on their expertise to raise the company’s profile in select markets here in Australia,” says PMG Marketing Communications Manager, Cathie Agg.

Director of Open Communications, Emma Lupton said: “With the technology and communications channels that are now available to business, we are able to operate in a truly global market and our appointment by PMG is an excellent example of this.

She adds: “We are confident with the service and results that we are able to deliver to our clients and this is without doubt one of the reasons PMG were attracted to us in the first place. We are really looking forward to working with the team and to showing them how PR can support the growth and on-going success of an organisation.”

As a result of the PMG contract win, plus two further appointments over recent months, Open Communications is looking to expand its team. The agency now has vacancies for an administrator and Account Executive.

For more details about Open Communications and the vacancies on offer please visit www.opencomms.co.uk or call Emma or Lindsey on tel. 01924 862477.

Has ‘STOP PRESS’ taken on a totally new meaning?

Having worked in the PR industry for more than a decade I have been some significant changes, not least the move to more online mediums and methods of communication. There was once a time when you would draft, approve and print a press release before spending hours at a fax machine – not any more.

Digital technology and new ways of working mean you can have a press release drafted and out of the door in a matter of hours. It isn’t just ways of working that have changed however with more newspapers featuring online content that can be viewed and then shared with millions of people around the globe at the touch of a button.

Despite how easy it is to go online I can’t help but feel a little sad that we are losing the tangible benefit to having a paper and more importantly, in my opinion, the experience that print media delivers; getting a cup of coffee, opening a paper, looking at the supplements, smelling the print, turning the pages, cutting pieces out for reference. It all adds to the whole experience of buying and reading the news.

There will be many people in the PR and marketing industry who will be shouting that I’m in the dark ages and to get with the times, after all you can bookmark or share articles in the same way you could cut out clippings and its simple and easy to turn on an iPad or even access the media through a smart phone while having a coffee but that’s not my point.

We still find that when given the choice a client would rather see a full page printed piece in a regional or national newspaper, rather than a URL to a piece online. This may well change over time as people become more receptive to online news, who knows?

One piece which caught my eye recently featured in The Drum, a trade publication for the marketing industry. The headline read ‘The Guardian moves to deny ‘absurd’ rumours that it will go online only next year.’ Despite moves by the paper to contradict this suggestion, it would seem to me there is no smoke without fire and that perhaps their plan was to implement their five year strategy sooner.

It’s a shame that the print industry is in decline. Not only because of the process that I feel is so heart-warming when you buy a newspaper but also because there is a whole industry reliant on that income – beyond the sale of the papers themselves.

If we consider printers who have spent years in the same role, machinists who are professionals and passionate about their work, maintenance technicians who know the presses inside and out, designers who set the copy and imagery and then let’s not forget the paper boys / girls it paints a very gloomy picture to consider that all of these people will be without work.

I don’t personally want to see printed papers become a memory of times gone by and I hope that others feel the same way. The problem is that being a time poor society, trying to make ends meet during difficult economic conditions, for many of us the choice is made – free online publications at your fingertips in seconds, or a paid for printed version, which requires you to go to the shops or take out a subscription.

Long live print is what I say! However I get the impression that ‘stop press’ is going to take on a very new meaning over the next few years.