Tag: pr agency

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.

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: SHARE WITH CARE

For many of us, social media is as engrained within our lives as that all-important morning cup of tea. As such, it can be easy to overlook the importance of sharing with care. However, in today’s world, attitudes and approaches are changing at an ever-increasing pace. None of us knows what the future holds, which is why a responsible approach to what we detail online is vital.

This attitude shouldn’t just apply to brand channels, but personal ones too. Contrary to popular belief, the two personas are not entirely exclusive. What is shared via an individual’s own accounts can reflect negatively upon a business, and vice versa.

So, before diving head-first into sensitive territory, here are a few considerations which might just help you to avoid a social media crisis in the making:

Think ahead

Maybe it was a flippant reference to politics or a barely considered comment about environmental issues, the news cycle of late has shown that past opinions can quite quickly have significant repercussions.

While we must all still be able to share our feelings, carefully contemplating how and where this takes place can never be taken too seriously.

Trust us – your future self will thank you for it!

Consider context

Interpretation is always impacted by context. And naturally, over time, this will change. With social media and other online channels potentially hosting content for an indefinite period, it is important to think about how this could influence the way that a message is perceived.

After all, our thoughts and circumstances at age 20 are highly unlikely to reflect those at age 40. But the chances are that somewhere, those posts are saved and accessible to someone.

Behaving responsibly now, could save some incredibly uncomfortable consequences many years down the line.

Aim for accuracy

Fake news is common knowledge, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy to spot.

Everyone, news outlets included, has an agenda. Remaining vigilant to this is essential if individuals and brands are to maintain a respectable presence online.

If you are sharing or commenting on an article or situation, make sure that you gain insight from more than one reputable source. This way, you are more likely to project an informed picture of a circumstance or event rather than a rash response you may live to regret.

‘If in doubt, leave it out’

A favourite saying of ours and one that has, to this day, never failed us.

Instinct is often surprisingly accurate. If it feels uncomfortable or risky, it is usually a sign that something is best avoided.

If the urge is still there, at the very least, ensure that you gain some reputable advice. The option to delete a comment, no matter how much you regret it, does not take away the fact that it was made in the first place.

What’s more, these days, technology allows for comments to by captured and stored by other users. This means that remarks can still be shared, long after they appear to have been removed.

Accept responsibility

If all else fails, know when to say sorry. If there’s one thing people hate more than someone who’s made a mistake, it’s a person who refuses to accept accountability for their actions.

But, if you’ve reached this stage, learn from past mistakes and seek reputable advice first. The very last thing that you need is a badly worded apology which doesn’t address the issue correctly. This can quite easily take the situation from bad to worse.

At Open Comms we maintain and monitor client social channels day in day out. So we like to think that we know a thing or two about presenting a positive picture for brands and businesses.

Whether it’s a company Twitter page, LinkedIn profile or Instagram feed, we can take the stress out of social media.

To speak to us about your business’ social channels, contact a member of the team on 01924 862477. Alternatively, email info@opencomms.co.uk.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING A BUDGET

The true potential of a strategic PR programme can be transformational, but only if the target audience is communicated with in a way that will resonate.

In this digital age, there are numerous ways that organisations can engage with customers, so knowing which approach will work best is critical. With so many options to choose from, it is equally as important to allocate an appropriate budget.

Setting the programme of activity   

At Open Comms we collaborate with our clients to understand their business and industry, whilst also showcasing how our PR expertise can help them achieve their goals and ambitions. Whether we are supporting a client launch a new service or product, increasing their brand awareness or creating new marketing material, our role is to ensure that the relevant messaging reaches the right audience.

In order to create the right programme of activity for each brand, we need to identify the most relevant channels for each brand. We then allocate a certain amount of time to manage each. This then gives us an indication of the resource that will be needed to deliver results.

The recommendations we then make should be reflective of the client’s proposed budget.

A targeted approach

As there are many strands to a bespoke PR strategy, it is important to access industry insight to analyse and establish whether we are better targeting vertical or horizontal markets. This will then determine the most effective way to secure coverage in relevant media.

Although the securing of earned news coverage, whether it’s through print or online, still remains an extremely successful approach to get in front of the largest audience possible, every PR campaign should allocate time to owned content too.

This again will impact the budget and will require the client to understand that a balance of earned and owned media will deliver the best return on investment over time.

Working in this way will help an organisation to create personality which reinforces the distinction between themselves and competitors. If  managed correctly, with the right thought given to key messages, it will also attract and engage with the intended audiences.

Putting theory into practice

We have recently completed work for one of our clients that specialises in managing critical communications for some of the largest utility providers in the UK.

As they operate in an increasingly competitive sector, we were briefed with promoting a particular service which would ultimately help them to reinforce their market leading position.

We initially created a strategic plan to showcase how our support would help increase the awareness of the company as a whole and also the service it was wanting to promote. As with all successful PR campaigns, we targeted the media first through industry-led comment pieces, which positioned the client as an expert in this field. Furthermore, this also showcased their ability to roll out this service in practice.

Not only that, but we also uploaded the content to the client’s website and also across social channels to extend audience reach.

Following on from our initial market research, we realised that there was a strong opportunity to connect with existing customers and potential new business leads by drafting an original piece of marketing material.

Given the objectives, the most effective way to do this was through video marketing.

In order to make this happen, we demonstrated to the client the long-term benefits of this approach, as well as the costs. Afterall, the ROI is essential to any piece of business activity.

Delivering results on a budget

Needless to say, we got the greenlight.

Calling upon our expertise, the Open Comms team transformed the client’s service offering into a visually dynamic and engaging video.

This was then shared across all of the client’s social media channels, implemented into their marketing packages, sent to new prospects and shown to existing customers.

Within a few weeks after posting, the video had been viewed more than 800 times on LinkedIn alone, with followers increasing shortly thereafter.

Not only did this approach help enhance our client’s audience reach, but it also improved their perception within the marketplace. Because we were able to demonstrate the impact of budgeting for bespoke digital assets, our client has now shown a commitment to adapt and evolve as their industry does.

This will achieve two objectives; to reinforce a sense of satisfaction and trust among current customers and acquire new leads.

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.

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.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: MANAGING THE REPUTATION OF A PR AGENCY

As a business, little can be deemed more important than reputation. Formed through the opinions of others, these assessments are based on a number of factors. Influencing everything from who chooses to work with you to who chooses to work for you. Left unmanaged, any negative connotations can easily become a make or break scenario.

As specialists in managing this rather complex balance, PR agencies should lead by example, instilling positive practices within their own organisations. This way, maintaining a strong reputation will always remain at the very top of the priority list – no matter how busy things get.

After all, once lost, a positive reputation can be much more difficult – although, not impossible – to regain.

Below you’ll find just some of the ways that Open Comms keeps its own long-standing and hard-earned reputation, front and centre.

Build a team with shared values

The team that you choose to employ needs to be more than just a box ticking exercise. Skills are incredibly important, but values are even more so. Your employees are a direct reflection of your business and have a significant influence on how it is perceived by others.

At Open Comms we look for shared values above all else. Skills can be taught, but attitude is often engrained. Once you find those that fit with your ethos, they can quickly become the most valuable asset that your business has.

Approach with honesty and integrity

Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. We’ve all seen and heard the stories, it really isn’t worth the reputational damage that can result from taking on a project that is too big, or too far outside of a business’ skill set – no matter how much money it could generate.

Failure to deliver on those promises will cause more harm than good. And may even impact an organisation’s long-term commercial sustainability.

This is why you’ll never find us taking on a project or client that isn’t quite right for us. Our enjoyment comes from securing excellent results – which is never going to happen if ‘the fit’ isn’t there.

Share good news

It may sound obvious, but people are never going to know about the fantastic things that your business is doing unless you tell them!

It could be that your company has exceeded its targets for the year, you could have secured a lucrative new contract or even helped out a charitable organisation in need. All of these developments are great examples of news that could and should be shared. Each will impact positively upon how others perceive your business, so make sure to use a great story wisely.

We’re so busy sharing great news for our clients that we don’t always get chance to share our own excellent updates, but it’s certainly an area that we intend to shout about during the coming year.

Watch this space!

Remain authentic and reputation will follow

There are so many opportunities to put your best foot forward, be that at an industry event or a regular social gathering. No matter what the occasion, forget about impressing others and be yourself. Better to have a reputation that reflects you and your business, than one that isn’t accurate.

It is usually easy to spot someone who remains true to themselves and it’s a much better basis for a future professional relationship. That’s not to say that the line doesn’t need to be drawn somewhere.

No matter what your weekend persona, swinging from the chandeliers at a business event might not be the best way forward!

Anyone who knows us will know that we love to socialise, and we certainly let our hair down from time to time. What you see is what you get, and it’s a mantra that has stood the business in good stead for many years.

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

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/

THE VALUE OF VIDEO CONTENT

Although it’s been around for some time, 2020 is the year that video content needs to form a key part of any marketing strategy. Over the last decade, the use of online videos has transitioned from a luxurious, expensive asset to an affordable and vital tool. As well as attracting attention, it can be used to promote brands, companies, products and even individuals.

The statistics  

Recent research has shown that 85 per cent of businesses use video as a marketing resource, and more importantly, 88 per cent of those have reported that this style of content provides a positive return on investment.

With these figures expected to rise in the coming years, it is imperative that companies don’t ignore these facts.

The main purpose of creating content is to get it in front of the biggest and most relevant audience possible. When it comes to delivering successful PR and marketing campaigns, the written word it still extremely effective but can be complemented with digital assets.

The return of this combined approach can be measured through media coverage and broadcast secured from a carefully crafted press release with accompanying footage. This can then be uploaded to social media channels, resulting in a huge audience reach.

Digesting content daily  

The content we digest on a daily basis can often be found on social media. Brands and businesses must therefore understand that creating engaging and bespoke content for these various platforms is becoming the most efficient way to get in front of relevant viewers.

With such a diverse client base, at Open Comms we have tried and tested varying approaches and have insight into what content is best to share across multiple platforms. As just one example, we have experienced significant and consistent success on LinkedIn for a number of brands.

With the ability to access a global business community, LinkedIn is becoming the prominent platform to use when it comes to acquiring commercial leads. This has been further supported by recent statistics that show four out of five members on the platform are in charge of making business decisions.

The growth of LinkedIn in recent years has also resulted in a marketplace that is increasingly popular for businesses that want to communicate. As the number of users rise, so does the amount of content being published and shared. Therefore, companies must be willing to invest in processes that differentiate themselves from their competitors. At Open Comms we believe bespoke and dynamic video content could be one way to achieve this.

The best thing of all is that video can be used to promote any aspect of a business, product or brand. But as you want to target key decision makers, it is important to take a strategic approach as to what sort of content you are hoping to promote. We have listed below key instances when video content could be used;

  • Showcase company services
  • Provide case studies of how services have enhanced customer experiences
  • Showcase new products and demonstrate how it is used
  • News updates and company announcements
  • Tips and advice to address specific target audience
  • Deliver senior team introductions to add personality to biogs

As public relations specialists, we combine our social media expertise and marketing prowess to transform our clients’ initial ideas into visually dynamic marketing materials. We also work with specialist partners to ensure the content we create and manage is of the very best quality. After all, it’s only what our clients would expect.

Using our skills with those of specialist and trusted partners means that we can extend our offering and manage all communications for our clients. 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.