Tag: PR agency in Wakefield

ADDING AWARDS TO A COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

It’s hard to miss the glitz and glamour of the ongoing movie award season. Every broadcaster, radio station, magazine and social media platform is trying to ride the wave of the public’s unwavering interest in the rich and famous.

But despite these celebrities seemingly living a life we mere mortals can only dream of; it’s still surprising to see how much pride and joy they feel when receiving an award. More importantly, the viewer will register and remember who the winners are.

A movie or television show is much more appealing to the viewer if it has already been dubbed as ‘award-winning’. This forms an expectation that it is of a high quality. The same rules apply in the business world.

Winning awards adds credibility

As we live in such a connected and digitalised society, businesses can be subject to a thorough background search by practically any potential customer or client. Hence why it’s crucial for businesses to pursue opportunities to be awarded. Any type of special recognition will significantly help when differentiating themselves from competitors.

As such, awards must become a priority. Pursuing awards often falls under a company’s communication strategy, which will be implemented by their in-house marketing team or external PR agency.

Raising a company’s profile

PR agencies are brought in to raise a company’s profile, increase their brand awareness and secure as much media coverage as possible. As award submissions can require a lot of work, which has the potential to garner zero results, there is a risk of letting them fall off the agenda.

To prevent this from happening, the company and PR agency must be aligned in understanding the benefits of winning awards and where it fits within a communications strategy.

Below are three key tips to integrate award submissions into a long-term PR campaign;

Securing Earned media coverage

  • Shortlisted companies in for each awards category will be featured multiple times in the media as part of the build up to the event
  • Media coverage will continue for those that are announced overall winners
  • Awards are a useful way of securing organically generated coverage
  • Promotes companies within industry and wider business community
  • Builds brand awareness and increases overall profile
  • Increases visibility among competitors and industry leaders
  • Can be used as a way to introduce the company to prospects and customers

Social media

  • Promoting an award shortlisting or win on social media platforms to notify existing followers about the newly gained credentials will almost certainly attract attention and engagement
  • Can be used to attract new followers, which could be converted to new customers
  • Allows the company to add more personality to posts on social media i.e. celebratory gifs
  • Enables a company to engage directly with followers, thanking them for the support
  • Reshare media coverage of the shortlisting and win, adding in the awards # to engage with other nominees and attendees

Website/blog copy

  • Feature copy of shortlisting and win in the news section of website is a good way of increasing visibility with new and existing customers or clients
  • Repurpose copy for a blog post
  • Enhances a company’s reputation within its specific industry and distinguishes them from the competition
  • Validates services or products a company offers
  • Use links to blog and news section in social media post to draw traffic to website

Having a positive impact from awards

Winning awards can not only impact new business, but it can also have a positive effect on employees, senior team members and the company as a whole. They must not be overlooked. A robust communications strategy must place emphasis on award submissions, and if they are done right, the long-term impact can be extremely beneficial.

For more information about how Open Communications works with businesses and brands of all sizes please call a member of the team.

MEDIA RELATIONS: WHEN PRESS AND PR PROFESSIONALS COLLIDE

Now that I have completed six months of agency life, I feel fairly confident in saying that I am much more settled into my PR role following a rather steep learning curve. The transition from journalism to PR is without a doubt a challenging one to undertake!

The varied nature of working in PR can be extremely rewarding, exciting and educational, but consequently it is also a demanding job that constantly pushes me on a daily basis. It may be no surprise, however, that the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is learning how to navigate the delicate intricacies of media relations.

With the emergence of ‘Fake News’, the instant ability to share information across social media and a gradual decrease in the number of working journalist, it could be argued that the art of ‘selling’ a press release or news story to the media is no longer a necessity. However, as someone who has experienced this process from both sides of the tracks, I can’t emphasise enough that it can still be extremely valuable.

Like many industries across the globe, journalism has been forced to evolve and adapt due to the ongoing digital transformation. As a result, however, a lot less journalists are working but a lot more content is being created. So, journalists are busy to say the least. I still vividly remember the dreaded feeling of opening up my inbox on a morning to discover that 300+ emails have found their way inside, and only to scour my way through to discover that less than half are of any relevance at all. It is just time wasted.

On the other side of the conversation, I’ve also experienced the hard work that goes into the process of getting a press release across to the journalist. As a PR professional, I write the copy, send over to the client and wait for feedback, make further amendments, get final approval and then find a photograph. But once again, this could all be time wasted if I just send across an email, hoping that the journalist will choose to open it amid all the unwanted spam they receive throughout the day!

The easiest remedy to for this painful process consists of two very simple steps.

First of all, never send a press release early in the morning; journalists are far too preoccupied with checking stock market listings; checking any overnight breaking news announcements; collating stories they covered the day prior and sending out the daily email newsletter to their list of loyal subscribers.

This is a critical time for a journalist, and unfortunately, if the press release being sent across doesn’t solve Brexit, then it isn’t going to get a look in. Following this is their time to annihilate the inbox, where journalists will be red faced and at risk of suffering with a repetitive finger injury from clicking delete repeatedly.

So, I always try to send a press release either late in the morning or early afternoon, as this can often be their calmest part of the day.

Secondly, which I believe is the single-most important element of this entire process, is picking up the phone and speaking with a journalist either before or after the press release is sent over.

Despite what journalists may say, I always found this extremely useful as it immediately directed me to an email/press release which I may have otherwise missed. Additionally, this also gives the journalist to ask any specific questions about the story, which could prove to be crucial to getting it published.

If nothing else, speaking on the phone at least gives you chance to develop relationships with members of the press for any future opportunities which may arise. As well as promoting your clients as reliable contacts for the media, you should also work to establish your agency as a reputable and reliable source. So pick up the phone!!!

I’m not down with the kids but…

 

…I do know the importance of keeping it real! I’ve been in a number of meetings lately and it always surprises me when people commend the fact that what you see is what you get with Open Communications.

We’ve been going for nearly five years now (phew – where did that time go?) and we’ve always done the same. The business has evolved but our values have remained the same – if you want a PR agency that can do the job and do it well then our number is on the contact page, if however you want air kissing and champagne then we’re not for you.

It’s not that we aren’t friendly, far from it. I’d like to think that many of our clients have become friends over the years and that this has meant that we have genuinely long standing relationships, which mean we work as an extension of their teams – as if we were internal. This in turn makes it easier to provide honest advice that will help them to develop creative campaigns that meet with their objectives.

We’ve never been a PR agency that goes along with something we don’t believe in, we don’t say ‘yes’ to a contract because it’s there, we feel that being passionate about what we work on is really important and is another reason we are able to do a good job. Our accountant may not agree but there have been times when we have turned work down because although the contract would have been lucrative it didn’t fit with our values or we simply couldn’t see the campaign meeting with the clients expectations.

There has been a lot of news lately about the reputation that the PR industry has and I’ve always been very honest in that I feel many agencies offer the world and deliver very little. The unfortunate situation here is that brands have a bad experience with one agency and then never commission an agency again – and that’s not just the agency who handled the account badly in the first place, it’s any agency!

So for all those who want to work with an agency that DOES delivery and WILL work hard to achieve the results that have been promised, we are here and the kettle is on.

In all seriousness it shouldn’t be surprising to find a PR agency that is open, honest and willing to offer advice and guidance that makes sense. Until our industry realises that then ‘we’ will go on having a reputation that in some cases is very much undeserved.

 

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.