Tag: Open Communications

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OPEN COMMUNICATIONS

Open Communications

It’s with such a sense of achievement that we say ‘Happy Birthday Open Communications’. To think that it was over a decade ago we launched the business is hugely rewarding but also scary in equal measure.

Some days it feels like a lifetime ago and then others it could have been yesterday. So much has happened in the last 12 years. We have grown, both as an organisation and as individuals. It has been a rollercoaster but one that I would get on and ride all over again.

There have been a few things that have helped us along the way. Knowing that times are tough for others, I thought it may be useful to recap and to pass on what I have learnt.

Network has to equal net gain

When we launched, like many small start-ups, we went along to every networking event available. This was the right thing to do. What we should have realised, perhaps sooner than we did, was that some just aren’t the right fit.

There doesn’t have to be a specific reason, it might just be the format. For us, we found those that did work, and we realised that when you want to help each other you get a better return all round. In our experience being forced to attend or to pass on referrals was counterproductive.

Thankfully, the business community we are now a part of is hugely supportive. We have a close group that we can rely on and that suits us. In order to attract new opportunities, we let our results do the talking.

Location, location, location

We were criticised when we started for choosing to be based in Wakefield. A lot has changed over the years and this was one of the best decisions we made. The District may not have been a vibrant hotspot at the time, but it is becoming increasingly popular now.

Not only has there been huge investment in Wakefield over the years, it has also attracted some globally recognised brands and ambitious entrepreneurs.

Rather than become a small fish in a large pond, we felt that we could grow with Wakefield and that is exactly what has happened. In 2008 we had a box room at the bottom of the city. Today, we have a three-storey office in the heart of the legal and financial centre.

Thinking about location is so important. It gives us a point of difference and it has allowed us to make our mark for all the right reasons.

Building a reputation

As a business that manages the reputation for others, it goes without saying that we focus on our own too. This has always been imperative for us. We practice what we preach, and we make sure that clients have a lasting and positive impression, however long we work with them.

Only a week ago I took a call from a former client asking if I had time for a chat.  The answer is always yes, and they explained they may be looking for PR services. I thanked them for thinking of us and the response was, “Why would I consider anyone else?”.

We never take feedback like this for granted. Quite the opposite. We make sure that we say thank you and that we treat people as we would like to be treated. It’s the little things that go a long way. For client’s to come back to us time and again is a real compliment. It’s also just one reason why we are here today saying Happy Birthday Open Communications.

Don’t look back in anger

A great song and a great lesson to learn. As a business owner it is incredibly difficult not to take things personally. After all, everything is personal when the company is founded on your own values. That said, I have learnt over the years to try not to take things to heart.

It’s not easy and I still struggle, however I know that in some instances it’s best not to sweat the small stuff.

Everyone makes mistakes, it’s what makes us human, the important thing is learning from them. I’ve lost count of the number of nights I have lost sleep over something trivial. A former colleague once said, “It’s PR not ER” and I think they were right.

It’s not about how much you care; it’s caring for the right reasons.

Celebrate success

As an organisation, we find this really hard and it’s something we are working on. As a business we have so much to be proud of and to celebrate yet we get caught up in lists and tasks, prioritising everything over ourselves.

It is important for companies to celebrate success, however small. We know this and we will be making more of an effort. We do raise a glass at key moments throughout the year, however we need to be better at doing so more often.

Sometimes giving yourself a pat on the back is the hardest thing you can do. It’s far easier to beat yourself up. The real challenge is recognising that no one will thank you for giving yourself a kicking. Having a more positive mindset can be passed to others and that is a lasting impression that will make a lasting difference.

Never stop learning

PR is an evolving industry. It never stops and neither do we. Learning new skills keeps us all interested and gives us so much to think about when we plan every campaign for our clients.

Whatever sector our clients work in, the tactics we have access to are changing. This means we can share new ways of working that could deliver stronger results. We are honest and open with the brands we manage, and many of them are willing to try new things. We could just keep our approach exactly the same, but where is the fun in that?

What never fails to amaze me, is that more than two decades on and I’m still as excited by PR and what the industry has to offer as I ever was. I think once I stop getting butterflies in my tummy, it’s time to call it a day.

Thankfully the flutter is still there!

Be thankful

Having a business is difficult. There are no two ways about it. Times can be really hard and it can be stressful. In contrast, things can be great and you grin from ear-to-ear. The reality is that there is no consistency. That’s why it’s like a rollercoaster ride.   

Being thankful for what you have is really important. It’s so easy to let things get on top of you. Taking a moment to stop and to look at how far you have come will make a big difference. For me, having a business with one of my closest friends – and still being friends – is an achievement in itself. It is so easy to fall out, however we recognise our skills and both see the value in each other. We don’t always agree, but we don’t have to. I’m thankful the values that matter are those that we share.

A huge pitfall for companies is to spend too much time watching competitors. The truth is, if your clients want to work with someone else, they will. I would rather spend the time focusing on my business and making the changes I need to keep my clients happy than obsessing about what others are doing.

Happy Birthday Open Communications

And so, with that, I want to take this opportunity to say, Happy Birthday Open Communications. It’s been an adventure and the journey is far from over. We have some exciting plans and we look forward to what the next decade has to offer.

For all of our colleagues, clients, friends and family – thank you. Without you all we wouldn’t be what we are today. We hope you will join us in raising and glass. Cheers!

If you would like to speak to us about your PR needs or how we could add value to your business, please call a member of the team. 

FINDING THE RIGHT FIT: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING AN AGENCY

Agency

When deciding on a PR agency, you may find yourself spoilt for choice. However, the reality is that not every agency will be a good fit. More importantly, ending up with the wrong one can often have detrimental impacts on your business.

With such high stakes, it’s vital that companies make the right decision when it comes to outsourcing their PR requirements. While it may seem like a daunting process, here are three steps you can take to ensure that you are teaming up with an agency that is best suited to you and your business.

Performance

Performance - agency

More often than not, PR agencies provide similar services; it’s their performance that sets them apart. Therefore, the first simple step to take is to ask to review previous work and case studies. This will help you to fully understand the agency’s true capabilities and whether they have the capacity to fulfill your requirements.

Take into consideration the following:

  • Have they worked with a similar brand before?
  • Have they taken on projects of a similar size and scale to yours?
  • Do they highlight any return on investment?
  • How do they measure success?
  • What brands have they worked with?
  • Do they have retained clients?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Have they been recommended?

People

The importance of teamwork in PR

An agency may look perfect on paper, but it’s the people that make all the difference. Let’s say that you were hiring internally. What would be your main concerns? Ultimately, for many businesses it boils down to having employees that are qualified and can be trusted to deliver results. This very approach should be kept when outsourcing.

Early in the process of choosing a preferred PR partner, you must identify how transparent the agency and its people are. This can be done through asking the right questions, such as:

  • How do you report your results?
  • How do you deal with a project / campaign that is not going to plan?
  • How do you communicate with clients?
  • How often do you communicate with clients?
  • What happens if our objectives are not met?
  • What return on investment can you promise?

Purpose

Most agencies are built on a set of values. It’s important to recognise these, as they reveal purpose, and this is fundamental to differentiating one company from another.

Before investing in an agency, you must first understand why they exist? What are their goals and objectives as an organisation? Ultimately, being purpose-driven is a reflection of the company’s ambitions and clear desire for success. The more driven and ambitious an agency is, the more committed they are to delivering results for you!

Finding the right PR agency is not always easy, but is certainly worth all the effort when you get it right. If you’d like to discuss ways that the team at Open Comms can help in managing your brands PR strategy, contact us on info@opencomms.co.uk or call 01924 862477.

HOW VALUES RESONATE WITH CLIENTS

Values reveal purpose, define culture and support vision. Most importantly, they influence performance. Without them, a business is nothing more than an empty shell touting products or services.

When interviewing potential candidates for a job, an employer’s decision often boils down to who would be the ‘best fit’. This isn’t just based on whether a person has the right skill set, it also considers whether they reflect the organisations values.

Similarly, in the world of Public Relations, the way that clients make their choice is no different.

That being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise why Open Comms is the chosen PR agency for some of the largest brands in the country and has been for years. Alongside an impressive track record of success, what truly makes us a great company to work with are our core values.

Openness and honesty

Suffice it to say, being open is extremely important to us. Not only is it in our name, but it’s in our company DNA too. We don’t do ‘air kissing’ and we surely don’t shy away from voicing our opinion.

We do however use our expertise to make informed decisions when it comes to clients and campaigns. If we have doubts about budgets or briefs, we are completely honest with our feedback.

At the same time, if a project is not going as planned, we aren’t afraid of revisiting the drawing board and tweaking our approach to ensure we deliver the return on investment our clients expect.

Ultimately, it’s this level of transparency that positions us as an agency that can be relied on as a trusted partner to deliver results. It is also why more than 90 per cent of our business comes from client referral.

A will to win

At Open, we exhibit a complete determination to achieving success in all aspects of our business. Particularly, when it comes to the brands we represent. Going back to our clients with no results is simply not an option. Which is why, every member of our team works to win.

However, it would be an understatement to say that we just ‘work’ for our clients. No. We’re committed to them and their goals. So much so, that our founders decided from the outset that they wouldn’t work for competing businesses. Why? Well, purely to make sure that as an agency we could dedicate our focus on meeting with the objectives of one client without any conflict of interest.

Just another one of the reasons why we choose to specialise in clients, rather than sectors. You could say our work ethic is unmatched.

Leading by example

Emma and Lindsey (our founders) have always made it a priority to integrate our company values into everything that we do. For us, they are so much more than just ‘words on a page’. In fact, they are a bedrock on which our everyday decisions are made.

Having worked at Open for well over a year now, I have witnessed first-hand how this approach is fundamental to building successful client relationships. Not only are values a great indication of how a company operates, but they play a significant role in determining workplace culture – a major point to consider when outsourcing.

An organisations culture is key to establishing behaviour among employees, which is what ultimately impacts performance. Being focused on honouring our core values, means that we are also committed to consistently performing for our clients. After all, their wins are our wins too.

If you’d like to discuss ways that the team at Open Comms can help in managing your brands PR strategy, contact us on info@opencomms.co.uk or call 01924 862477.

 

 

THE POWER OF THE HUMBLE PRESS RELEASE

Press Release

There simply isn’t a business or brand out there that cannot benefit from the power of a humble press release.

It goes without saying that the world of Public Relations is constantly evolving. As a result, us PR pros have an ever-expanding tool kit to choose from when implementing client campaigns.

However, despite the many tactics on hand, the traditional press release continues to hold its position as the number one way of securing media coverage. If that’s not an indication of its true potential, then I don’t know what is!

Although a staple of our industry, to the unknowing eye, a press release may seem like an outdated way for brands to communicate with consumers. Especially in the glorious age of social media.

Well, take it from our clients. Those who have featured on the likes of BBC news, ITV and the Daily Mail – this is completely false. In fact, landing news coverage has many more advantages than you may think.

SEO benefits from a Press Release

The primary purpose of a press release is to get your brands message in the pages of media outlets. Often, these publications have websites which rank very high on search engines such as Google.

As you can imagine, having your brands news published on such sites is often extremely beneficial for marketing purposes, but it also helps with SEO.

Following the distribution of a press release, a popular and authoritative site may publish your news. It may also include a link to your website – these are called backlinks. Backlinks are fundamental to SEO. The more backlinks you generate, the more authority Google awards your website. Which is what ultimately improves your ranking on the search engine.

With that being said, generating backlinks is certainly not an easy task. For a brand to be featured on credible media outlets, it’s vital that the press release shared is of value and deemed newsworthy by the journalists who receive it.

Press releases are not owned media. This would mean that you share the copy and it is relayed in exactly the same format. In contrast, content supplied as a release is earned. This gives a journalist the opportunity to use it or the freedom to discard it.

With coverage comes credibility

As Jean-Louis Gassée once said: 

“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

Yes, it’s great that we have access to social media and can shout about how great we are on our own platforms. However true value comes from other people saying the same.

Ultimately, it’s what gives a brand credibility, particularly in an age where consumers make purchase decisions based on reviews and what others are saying about a brand and their experience with it.

Consistent Brand Visibility  

A press release offers a simple way to consistently maintain brand visibility within the media. The launch of a new product, an event, an award or a new recruit, are all examples of newsworthy stories.

To harness the power of a press release, it’s important to first identify opportunities where there is potential to secure news coverage. By doing so you can build a PR program which ensures your brand is given constant exposure all year round.

Reaching a larger audience

With the help of a press release, brands can connect with an ever-widening audience. You see, having your news published on media outlets, whether that’s in print, online or even across social channels often reaches consumers that you otherwise may not. Not only does this mean increased brand visibility and awareness, but it is often a way in which many businesses grow.

If you’d like to discuss ways that the team at Open Comms can help in managing your brands PR strategy, contact us on info@opencomms.co.uk or call 01924 862477.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW WORKING IN PR HAS DELIVERED JOB SATISFACTION

It has now been more than a year since I transitioned from journalism into a career in public relations. The learning curve has been steep. My skillset had to evolve and adapt. But the hard work has been rewarded with a level of job satisfaction that I always sought after.

Amid these unprecedented times, I’ve found myself reflecting on my career and the fortunate position I’m in. Throughout the nationwide lockdown, Open Comms remained open for business and despite the marketplace taking an unprecedented economic hit, we continued to deliver a full suite of PR services to our diverse client base.

The impact of PR

The first thing I learnt when joining this industry was that the impact of a robust PR strategy can have a transformational impact on any organisation. The advantages were never so evident during the widespread disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic. 

I can honestly say that I am filled with professional pride after helping our clients maintain a level of business continuity as we all navigate through these challenging times. 

As the country now begins to return back to a new sense of normality, I often find myself looking back to help prepare for the future. As I reflect on my own career progression, the results I have helped deliver on behalf of our clients and the specialist skills I have acquired, it is clear to me that I am now in a position that meets with my professional needs and ambitions.

I have put my reflections to paper and shared the most satisfying aspects of working in PR.

Becoming an expert

A PR strategy is an extremely useful asset to have. it has the potential to positively impact an organisation at any level, whether it supports the senior management team, the launch of a new service or product, increasing a brand’s awareness or even introducing a new team member. 

The agile nature of PR means its approach can be as bespoke and specific as possible. 

This can only be achieved, however, if the professionals behind the strategy are truly experts in this field. 

Since joining Open Comms, I’ve worked hard to refine my skillset to ensure our clients receive real value for money when it comes to their PR. But this has only been achieved through the support of the wider team. 

At Open Comms we are driven by results, and I quickly learned that our clients have come to expect nothing less. This was without a doubt one of the biggest evolutions for myself, as I had to cultivate an approach where I didn’t just offer clients PR support, but also be bold enough to provide my own recommendations and advice. This is what makes us experts and gives us the opportunity to make a real difference for the brands we work with. 

It is when our specialisms and experience are delivered in an effective and efficient way, that we aren’t just seen as an external agency but more of an extension of our clients’ teams. I have learned that this also allows us to form and maintain long-lasting relationships, not just with clients but other outsourced organisations as well. 

Achieving results

Joining an agency that takes a strategic and results-driven approach to help all clients, has enabled me to develop the necessary tactics to service clients’ needs, no matter what the marketing or communication requirements. 

Being called a PR practitioner is something that I have had to earn. Although it can be difficult to give a commercial value to the impact of a robust communications strategy, the successes and impacts I have generated are measured through a number of different ways. 

Among the KPI’s I measure my performance on are:

  • Media coverage in national, regional and trade, in print and broadcast  
  • Proactive and reactive to market trends that involve our clients  
  • Increase in followers and engagement across social channels 
  • Help to generate new business leads through the creation of bespoke marketing strategies, including various forms of video marketing, e-shots and brochures
  • Securing award shortlisting’s on behalf of our clients 

After obtaining these results, I have seen the transformational power of PR over the last 15 months. There is no better feeling than demonstrating to our clients how a comms strategy can be viewed and used as a key catalyst to business growth!

Storytelling

From my experience working in journalism, I’d often get inundated with press releases. Due to this process, it can often be hard for one single company or organisation to consistently catch my attention. But there were a few that often did just that.

It was only after I entered the public relations industry that I realised this was achieved through the coherent and consistent messaging that an agency would strategically use when creating content for their client. 

It is all about telling their story. 

After joining the Open Comms team, I quickly realised the value in developing an acute understanding of each of our clients’ businesses, the sectors they operate in, any ongoing market trends and key media contacts we need to be targeting. 

After gaining this knowledge, I am now able to carefully craft content to tell our clients’ stories and communicate their key messages to the relevant audiences. This is what forms the foundation of an effective PR strategy.

As our clients’ business journeys are consistently reiterated in the content we produce, their stories begin to take shape, which not only helps to catch the attention of the press, but also their existing customers and new business leads. 

Communicating in this way can support brands to establish stronger relationships between customers, stakeholders, employees and especially media contacts. Afterall, the success of a company can often be attributed to the strength of its reputation, and the most effective approach to take when enhancing or expanding this is to increase its awareness and, more importantly, loyalty among its customer base. 

As the Open Comms team consistently deliver these strong results, we are able to see how this impacts directly on our clients’ success. If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer – or perhaps, like me, you are looking for a change in career – why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

THE VALUE OF LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS WITH PR AGENCIES

Long-term relationships

In the world of PR, long-term client-agency relationships are hard to come by. 

Many brands often find themselves changing agencies in a never-ending pursuit for the right partner. Even with so many options out there, it’s very rare that they find a perfect match. However, with Open Comms it’s a different story.

Despite all odds, as an agency we are exceptionally proud of having retained long-term clients; some of whom have been with us for over a decade! YesA decade!

Whilst this is often unheard of in agency land, it’s a very real achievement that we take pride in. Simply put, it’s a reflection of our commitment to consistently delivering results and an indication that our approach to PR works.

With that being said, maintaining long-term relationships is not just favourable for an agency. Similarly, clients too can reap the many rewards that come with lasting partnerships.

How cultivating long-term relationships can benefit your brand

  1. Higher Degree of Trust

Agencies are often involved in the most intimate details of a business. Therefore, it goes without saying that trust is paramount.

As a brand, you put your trust in partners to present the right ideas, meet objectives, deliver results, offer guidance and perform well. However, this trust cannot be bought or built overnight. It’s earned through consistency, honesty and reliability.

Once established, you have confidence in the expertise of your agency and trust their judgement, which can often save valuable time and effort, as well as budgets.

  1. Deeper Familiarity

After developing a long-term relationship with an agency, it’s only natural that over time they become more familiar with your wants, needs and personal style. Through the process of identifying these requirements, the agency gains a better understanding of you, your brand and your team.

It’s this knowledge that helps agencies adapt their approach so that it aligns with the needs of their clients.

  1. Better Brand Advocates

For many businesses, instilling brand advocacy within their teams is key to garnering success. The same applies when collaborating with out-house agencies.

However, transforming people into powerful brand advocates requires time and patience. This is exactly why building a long-term client-agency relationship is so valuable. It offers an opportunity to educate your external team the same way you would internally. As a result, your brand is supported by those who not only believe in it but also share your enthusiasm and passion for it.

We often say that there is nothing as infectious as passion and that is why we make sure we are as excited by our clients’ brands, products and services as they are.

Want to find out first-hand why some of our clients have stuck with us for over a decade? Give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact a member of the team here.

WHAT IS OPEN COMMUNICATIONS?

What is Open Communications

Open Communications is a PR agency based in Wakefield. The company was founded almost 12 years ago and was intended to fill a gap in the market. Back then, PR was very much about long lunches and up-selling. We wanted to provide clients with another option; an agency that would focus on results.

Values

Even before we officially launched, we knew that values would play a big part at Open Communications.

We sat down and thought long and hard about what really mattered to us. Thankfully, both founding directors have very similar ideas on what is important when running a business.

The principles of Open Communications were set in stone; to use passion and integrity to deliver outstanding results for our clients. Nothing has changed.

Transparency

As the name would suggest, we wanted to make it clear that we are honest and open. We don’t hide costs or make it our mission to increase budgets for the sake of it. We do our job and we do it well. Providing advice that will deliver results for our clients is what really matters to us.

If we don’t think an idea or concept is right, we will tell our clients. It’s not always comfortable but it’s the right thing to do.

It may be that we are a Yorkshire based PR agency and with that comes the ‘straight-talking’ part of what we do. Alternatively, it may just be that we feel this is how we would like to be treated and so put our own expectations into practice.

Relationships

We have worked with some of our clients for more than a decade. With that honour comes huge responsibility. Our clients share confidential information with us, and we don’t take that lightly or for granted.

Over the years we have shared the good times and the bad with the brands we work alongside. Like any company, we prefer it when things are positive, but that simply can’t be the case all the time. There are always going to be ups and downs and we are pleased that we are a trusted partner whatever the situation.

From the get-go, we made it clear we work with and not for our clients. Again, this principle remains today. It has meant we can offer genuine support to the companies that trust us as their preferred PR agency.

Growth

It was 2008 when we launched and the start of a recession. Regardless, we felt that what we had to offer would be of interest. We started with nothing more than a small office, two phones, two laptops and a list of local businesses.

Within a week we had our first client and within the first six months we had secured our first globally recognised brand. Since then we have added numerous companies to the list.

We decided from the outset that we wouldn’t work with competing businesses. Despite criticism, with people believing it would reduce our opportunities, this was a sound decision. It means that we can focus our attentions on meeting with the objectives of one client without any conflict of interest.

Taking this approach has resulted in more than 80 per cent of our new business coming directly from client referral to other businesses. This is a fact we are incredibly proud of.

Experience

Unfortunately, over the years, we have come across far too many businesses that have had a bad experience with PR. It’s not always possible to change people’s minds, but we try.

We would like to think that the organisations that have worked with us have seen what hard work can deliver. There is no guarantee with PR and that can be a hard pill to swallow. That said, if you work with an honest agency, it is often the case that over time you will get a return on investment.

The results we have secured have been impressive and we can hold our head up high with what we have achieved over the years. In fact, we never tire of sharing our results. It’s something we endorse both internally and with our clients.

Tactics

The PR industry has changed since 2008. Social media and digital communications have been a driving force behind this. As well as creating some challenge, this has given us the opportunity to extend our skills.

As well as traditional PR and earned coverage, we also work with owned media and social media channels. Creating compelling content has always been at the heart of what we do, we just have more mediums to choose from.

PR offers an exciting career opportunity for those who have the ambition and determination to achieve. It’s not easy but it’s also certainly not boring!

Future

No one has a crystal ball. Predicting the future is always fraught with danger. However, looking at what has been achieved over the years and the many incredible brands the agency has worked with, the team at Open Communications have a lot to be proud of.

With every new business win also comes new experiences. Each client requires a slightly different approach and the agency will push boundaries and use new and exciting ways to engage with audiences to meet with objectives.

Knowing that, as well as the brands we work with, there are so many companies that we have yet to meet is exciting. Whatever the future holds, we know that it will add to the roller coaster ride that we have enjoyed for more than a decade.

So, going back to the beginning; what is Open Communications? Put simply, what you see is what you get. We use passion, integrity and determination to achieve results that deliver against the objectives set by our clients.

If you would like further information, please call a member of the team www.opencomms.co.uk/

ALWAYS-ON PR

Consistency matters most when it comes to managing PR, which is why we take an always-on approach here at Open Comms.

PR is powerful. That’s a fact.

Even just one standalone PR project can deliver astounding short-term results. But, that’s exactly what they are – short-term results.

Don’t get me wrong, momentary wins are great. However, this sporadic use of Public Relations does not ensure long-term success for your brand, consistency does.

Achieving consistent communications through an always-on PR strategy

The concept of an always-on approach is straightforward.

It simply means having an all year round activity calendar that guarantees constant exposure amongst your target audience.

Whether this is achieved through consecutive seasonal campaigns or social media marketing, the objective is to keep your brand front of mind always.

News consumption has evolved and it directly affects brands

It goes without saying that the way in which news is consumed has evolved drastically.

With media now being online, we get our news at lightning fast speed. And, often what is deemed newsworthy one day, is considered history the next. As a result, many brands struggle to remain relevant.

That being said, maintaining relevance in today’s fast-paced landscape is not an easy task. In order for brands to survive they must:

  • React to emerging trends
  • Adapt to market changes
  • Live up to evolving customer expectations

Without this, they risk facing the greatest danger for brands in this digital age – loss of brand relevance.

So, how does an always-on PR approach support brands in staying relevant? 

Flexibility –

Adopting an always-on approach enables brands to manoeuvre through a world that is constantly changing. It offers flexibility to adjust brand activity based on what’s new, what’s trending and essentially what’s topical among consumers.

Innovation-

Having an all year round calendar of activity demands a constant flow of fresh and new ideas. Ideas which push boundaries and challenge the status quo. Ultimately, it’s these ideas that will get you ahead of the competition and help maintain your position.

Proactive-

As a PR agency, we receive countless journalist and media requests on a daily basis. Many of which are relevant and valuable opportunities for our clients. Thanks to our always-on mindset, when these opportunities arise it is always a priority that our clients are put forward.

Reactive-

Crisis Management is a crucial part of PR, but one which is often not valued as much as it should be. Business critical challenges can occur at any time and often have to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Without an always-on approach, this simply would not be possible.

For many, an always-on PR strategy might seem like a nice to have, but this is far from the truth.

PR is a conversation. It demands consistency and structure. Yes, your brand can certainly profit from a burst of PR activity all at once, however the benefits are often short-lived. To truly utilise the power of communications, it’s important to first recognise PR as a journey not a destination.

If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN PR

What I love most about working in PR

Since earlier this year, I have had a lot of time to think about what I love most about working in PR. I’m not entering a mid-life crisis, although I am quickly approaching 40. My husband and I have adopted a baby.

This life-changing moment in our lives has given us both the chance to look back, as well as forward. During these last few months, I’ve been reassessing my priorities. Although family have always come first, I really appreciate the importance of work to me now too.

I thought it might be useful to share more about what I love most after more than two decades in the industry.

 

Variety

The first thing I love about PR is that no two days are ever the same. I’m not the kind of person that manages well with monotony or jobs that come with rigorous and defined process. What I enjoy is the variety of clients, objectives and tactics that we get to work with every day.

It could be a campaign to launch a new snack or a crisis that has the potential to bring a business to its knees. PR is a specialism with many benefits and that means we need to be on our toes. It’s not a job that you can plan for and know what’s going to happen each day.

There is always a list of things that you know will need completing, but there’s also the unexpected tasks that invariably impact on our working week too.

We have the pleasure of managing accounts for a huge array of clients and that supports variety. They all need something different and that makes PR really exciting.

 

Challenge

I wouldn’t say that PR is for the faint-hearted. It never stops. Never sleeps. Cannot be ignored. Putting you head in the sand when you work in PR is not an option.

Managing the press office for a number of clients is a challenge in itself. After all, how many people can say they are trusted with a brands reputation? It is arguably the biggest asset an organisation has.

Add campaigns, crisis, marketing materials and social media posts to the mix and you have a complex balance to manage every week. An old director of mine once said PR is like spinning plates, and I agree. Making sure they don’t fall certainly keeps the blood pumping.

 

Meeting people

It helps to be sociable when you work in PR. It isn’t a prerequisite; however, it does make life easier.

With colleagues, clients and journalists to work with, you need to be able to get on with others. That’s even before you consider influencers, partners, suppliers and brand buddies.

The positive to this is that you get to meet some really interesting people. As well as famous celebrities, I’ve met individuals that have had a profound impact on my life. Those that have taught me life lessons I will never forget. In addition, I’ve made some life-long friends.

I don’t think that is something that you should discard or take for granted. A career in PR will create experiences like few others and that’s another reason I love it.

 

A sense of achievement

In my opinion, it’s time to look for a new job when you stop getting excited by the results you can achieve in PR. Securing coverage, attracting an audience, featuring on broadcast, creating campaigns that get people talking. It’s all part of the mix.

I love that feeling of butterflies when you know something has gone well and you get the chance to share your achievements with clients and colleagues.

It’s not about showing off. It is about being proud of what you have achieved and knowing that you’ve done a good job. There are few better feelings.

 

Shared success

At Open Comms we have clients that have trusted us for years. As such, we have shared in their success. The reward that comes from this can be quite overwhelming. Whether it’s a charity that has changed beyond recognition or a brand that launched and is now a multi-million-pound business. Each client we work with gets our full attention.

Knowing that your efforts and hard graft has delivered for a business is genuinely fulfilling. PR is a specialism that can change opinion. It can influence decision. Grab attention. Provide a brand with purpose.

All of these things make it an incredibly powerful tool and that is a further example of what I love most about working in PR.

CREATING CAMPAIGNS THAT DELIVER RESULTS

Creating campaigns that deliver results

When it comes to creating campaigns that deliver results, there is no shortcut.

An effective PR campaign demands a substantial amount of preparation, hard work and complete commitment to achieve objectives. All of which are simply the basics.

It’s only when these basics are met, that a brand can reap the benefits of a truly successful campaign. However, getting to this stage is not easy. Here are the essentials steps you must take:

  1. Review the brief

Before diving into the planning stages, it is vital to first extensively review the campaign brief you have been given.

Ask yourself; is it doable? Is the time limit a restraint? Can you work with the budget provided? Does it have clear objectives?

If you find yourself answering any of these questions with a no, it’s time to be honest and open with the client. Having an upfront conversation about these issues will allow you to agree on realistic solutions that are in fact achievable.

  1. Don’t rush planning

An easy mistake to make is rushing the planning stages. DON’T.

PR in its entirety is about attention to detail and that goes for campaigns too. Giving yourself and your team enough time to plan and carry out any research is vital to the success of a campaign.

In your planning stage you must consider the following; what’s the purpose of the campaign? Who are the audience? How will you reach them? What strategy will work best? Which PR tactics will you be using?

Remember to also plan for the worst-case scenarios. A well-equipped PR team is always prepared for a crisis, regardless of how unlikely it may be. Like they say, better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Begin implementation cautiously

The same way a campaign can receive positive recognition in minutes, it can also receive disastrous feedback.

The only way to tackle this is by being extremely cautious during the implementation stage.

Regardless of how you have chosen to go live with a campaign, whether that be distributing a press release or publishing new content across social media channels, be extra vigilant with regards to the response you receive. It is often a good indication of how well the rest of your campaign will go.

If you do run into any trouble, don’t be afraid to revisit and tweak your approach so that it tackles any issues at hand. It’s much better to have fixed something early on in the process, than let it spoil the entire campaign.

  1. Conduct a thorough evaluation

One of the most critical steps when creating campaigns, is to provide a thorough evaluation.

Not only is it a valuable way to learn how well a campaign has been received, it also plays an instrumental role in defining the next steps for a brand. Should they continue with the approach that was taken? Or would they benefit from a new creative, message or medium?

It is also important to take pride in an evaluation. It’s your opportunity to show off the incredible results you’ve worked so hard for. Be concise, be clear and be sure to present it in a way which your client understands.

Ultimately, when creating campaigns, the reputation of a brand is left under the care of its PR team. So, you can see why it’s imperative that these steps are followed to ensure no damage is done.

If you’d like to discuss an upcoming campaign, please contact the team here or simply give us a call on 01924 862477 – we’d love to hear from you.