Tag: social media

GLAZIERS HALL CHOOSES OPEN FOR COMMS SUPPORT

Glaziers Hall, London

Glaziers Hall, the historic Livery building located on the South Bank in London, has appointed Open Comms, the straight-talking PR agency based in Leeds, as its preferred PR, content management and marketing communications partner.

Becoming its latest retained client, the agency will now manage all traditional PR, media relations, social media management and earned and owned content for the brand. It will also support with marketing requirements to raise the profile of the venue to both private and professional clientele throughout the year.

Director of Open Communications, Emma Lupton comments: “Quite simply, Glaziers Hall is a breath-taking venue. When we visited to discuss the brief, we were charmed by the seven unique spaces but also the history and heritage that underpins this wonderful building.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the team and to putting the comms strategy into practice. There are exciting plans at Glaziers and we are very pleased to be a part of the team that will deliver them.”

General Manager of Glaziers Hall, Will Simmonds, comments: “We already consider Open Comms to be an extension of our team. They have quickly established ways of working that mean we can get the comms in place that we need to share our story with corporate clients and those looking for a unique party venue.

“We have already seen some positive results coming through and look forward to building on this as our relationship and the scope of work develops.”

For more information about Open Comms and the services the agency provides, please visit: www.opencomms.co.uk or follow @OpenComms_.

CORRBOARD UK AMPLIFIES NEW APPROACH WITH OPEN COMMS APPOINTMENT

Rob Burgin, Managing Director of CorrBoard UK and Lindsey Davies, Director of Open Communications

CorrBoard UK, the corrugated sheet feeding specialist based in Scunthorpe, has appointed Open Communications, the straight-talking PR agency based in Leeds, as its preferred PR, content management and marketing communications partner.

Having worked with the team previously, Rob Burgin, Managing Director at CorrBoard UK, tasked the agency to deliver a strategy that would support its new approach, set the foundations and deliver a year-round comms plan to share content, amplify engagement across channel and build brand reputation.

The agency will manage all traditional PR, media relations, social media management and internal communications for the business. It will also support with marketing activities through the year including customer facing events such as trade shows.

Director of Open Communications, Lindsey Davies comments: “This is a great win for Open Comms. Once again, a previous client has asked for our support and there really is no greater compliment. CorrBoard are a great business with an incredible story to share and big ambitions.

“We are very much looking forward to joining the team on this journey and to delivering some fantastic results along the way.”

Managing Director of CorrBoard UK, Rob Burgin comments: “Having worked with Open Comms previously, I know that they genuinely work as an extension of their clients’ teams. This was exactly what we wanted. It was important we were more than just another client on a roster.

“The comms plan we now have in place for CorrBoard UK aligns with our strategy as a business, which we know will support us as we work towards becoming the UK’s leading independent sheet feeding specialist.”

For more information about Open Comms and the services the agency provides, please visit: www.opencomms.co.uk or follow @OpenComms_.

HORTOR HANDS PR AND CONTENT MANAGEMENT CONTRACT TO OPEN COMMS

Lindsey Davies, director at Yorkshire PR agency Open Communications and Andy Roe, COO at Hortor

Hortor, the global resourcing and managed service consultancy headquartered in Leeds, has appointed Open Comms, the straight-talking PR agency, as its preferred PR and content management partner.

Having previously worked with the organisation, the agency was asked to provide a communications strategy that would support the business as it goes through an accelerated change programme to support its ambitions plans.

As a result, the agency will provide retained PR and marketing support, along with website content creation and social media management.

Director at Open Comms, Lindsey Davies comments: “This new retained contract with Hortor is testament to the relationships we have with our clients. It is great that we were chosen to support the business as it works towards meeting with its ambitious targets.

“This is an exciting time for Hortor and we are pleased to be the agency that will be supporting the company as it evolves and takes the next step in its journey.”

Chief Operating Officer for Hortor, Andy Roe comments: “We liked the approach that Open Comms took when we worked with them previously and always had a good relationship with the team. As well as being honest, they get the job done and they do it well.

“We need partners we can trust, and we have that with the team at Open Comms. We are looking forward to making some subtle changes to our comms strategy which will position Hortor as so much more than a recruiter.”

For more information about Open Comms and the services the agency provides, please visit: www.opencomms.co.uk or follow @OpenComms_.

LINKEDIN TIPS: CREATING CONTENT FOR COMPANY PAGES

As the largest professional network in the world today, LinkedIn has become a beacon of opportunity for businesses across the globe. With 740 million members in more than 200 countries, harnessing the reach of LinkedIn can have a transformational impact on organisations and individuals across all sectors.  

The platform, traditionally used to highlight the skills and achievements of individual employees, has seen people grow personal connections, demonstrate industry expertise and gain the attention of recruiters.

In recent years, however, LinkedIn has continued to evolve its own offering, becoming an effective resource for organisations of all sizes. The LinkedIn Company Page is now being used as a marketing and analytical tool to establish brand identity, purpose, services, personnel and culture.

Acting as an extension of a domain website, the Company Page is a legitimate channel to generate new leads – but only if it is being leveraged in the right way. This largely comes down to the type of content being shared. As no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating a LinkedIn marketing strategy, I have compiled some key considerations when it comes to sharing content.

CONTENT SHARING

To grow and engage with an online network effectively, it is important to understand that LinkedIn has its own SEO search algorithm. This means that the ranking of a Company Page will be extended if it is relevant, of a high quality and includes key, searchable words and terms. Aligning these factors will optimise a Company Page and make it more visible.

This approach also transitions to the type of content being shared on the feed of a Company Page. Posting meaningful content that is of value to the intended target audience, such as articles, blogs and comment pieces, will not only give the Company Page more prominence over competitors but encourage further users to follow.

To strengthen the connection between the Company Page and followers, including an insightful question or call to action can hold value. Make it about them, ask for their own views and strike up discussions.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

The wide-ranging benefits of sharing content will be fully realised if the frequency of your posts and their value to the reader is consistent.

There are numerous practices and strategies that can be deployed to support this, such as the tried and tested 3-2-1 model. This strategy requires that three pieces of industry-related content, two pieces of ‘proud’ content and one piece of self-promotion or service-related content is posted every week.

As the shared content continues to attract increased levels of engagement, the credibility of the Company Page will grow stronger, as will its effectiveness to be used as a marketing tool that could also encourage sales.

It is also worth remembering that the humble hashtag still plays a vital role as well. Using workplace appropriate keywords with the # prefix will help content be read by a wider audience that may be interested in the Company Page.

Three hashtags can also be added to the main Company Page to make it more searchable. Again, to attract and engage with the right target audience, use words that are relevant to a specific industry and relate directly to the business.

Finally, use employees as a resource. By ensuring employees are listed under the ‘People’ section of a Company Page, visitors will get to see the faces behind the business and have a better understanding of its size and culture. The more transparent a business can be, the more trusted it will become within the marketplace.

Once employees add the Company Page as a place of work, they can help boost the reach and visibility of posts through their own interactions. By actively engaging with Company Page posts, via likes, comments and shares, an employees’ own connections will become part of the audience as well.

FORMING A POSITIVE PUBLIC PERCEPTION

The long-term ambition for any Company Page is to attract a diverse following of influential businesspeople and organisations, and act as a vehicle to help drive forward wider commercial ambitions.

As followers continue to increase, so will the levels of engagement with different posts. But the success of this platform is reliant on a business’ willingness to invest the necessary time and resources that is needed to keep it up to date and relevant.

Remember, social media is accessible anywhere, at any time! The public’s perception of any business is likely to be formed through these channels, so it is vital that the Company Page reflects exactly what and who a business is.

If you would like further support in developing a company page on LinkedIn that will add value and deliver results please contact Open Comms on 01924 862477 or please visit www.opencomms.co.uk.

MEASURING THE IMPACT AND VALUE OF PR

PR is driven by helping brands and businesses create a positive perception among the public. Although there is no definitive metric to measure the success of a pr campaign, the overarching aim is to not only reach the largest audience possible but convert this interest into new business opportunities.

As a PR professional, I’m well aware of the long-term results and transformative impact that PR can have on businesses large and small. But as we are living in an increasingly data-driven world, there is a growing demand to see the immediate impact of PR and how this can be evaluated as a positive return on investment.

Therefore, the ability to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of PR has never been so important.

With a plethora of data analytical tools to use at our disposal, the way PR professionals evaluate the results of their work has gone through an evolution in recent years. But due to the multi-faceted nature of public relations campaigns, this is far from a black and white process.

As one PR brief and completely differ from the next, it is important that any metric or data pertaining to the impact of a campaign is given concise context and aligned with the business’ wider goals. This is where the true value of PR can be measured against a return on investment.

Here at Open Comms, we work with a wide-ranging client base that operate in very different industries. As such, we ensure that our results are given context, backed up by evidence and correspond with our clients’ wider objectives.

From my own insight and experience, I will share two critical methods that can reflect the success of a PR campaign.

Media coverage:

Whether it’s national, regional or trade press, obtaining media coverage is arguably the most effective way to garner the most attention of a business or brand. As news can now be accessed instantly by any person holding a smart phone, computer or any similar device, securing media coverage can potentially reach audiences across the globe.

Once a business has hit the headlines, it provides them with the credibility and legitimacy to build a positive reputation. This can then be leveraged as a platform to engage with the public and ultimately help businesses promote themselves within the marketplace.

UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF DIGITAL MEDIA

The true impact of securing media coverage, however, can only be realised if it is consistent. Once a business is regularly featured in newspapers, online publications, or even broadcast and radio, it will be viewed as a trusted and reliable source.

Once this has been established, media coverage must be utilised as an effective marketing tool to impact on consumer behaviour and attract new business opportunities.

So, put simply: the more media coverage secured, the bigger the audience is reached.

Social media:

There is no denying that the role of social media within the marketplace is critical. The influence of platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, has completely transformed how businesses are marketed.

With social media holding so much significance to the overall success of a business, a social media strategy now forms a critical part of any PR campaign.

Each channel provides existing and new customers the opportunity to directly engage with brands and businesses anywhere at any time. That being said, it also gives businesses direct access to communicate with their customer base as well.

THE POWER OF PERSONALISING SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS 

Transforming these exchanges turn into positive experiences, however, is solely reliant on the content being shared. Whether it’s promoting a new product, service, announcing a company update or commenting on a topical trend, the content must capture and maintain the user’s attention.

Aside from monitoring an increase in followers and engagement, much more data can be extracted and analysed to showcase the value of social media. As part of the PR campaign, we can determine the peak time of visitors to the platforms, where they are located and what pieces of content are garnering the most attention.

Compiling this information is critical to forming a complete picture of how social media channels can be best used to support the wider ambitious of a business or brand. Once these platforms are being used in a purposeful and strategic way, tangible results will be generated and clearly show the value to the return on investment.

PRIORITISING PR DURING 2021

Prioritising PR during 2021

While it’s fair to suggest that this year hasn’t quite got off to the best start, there are still plenty of reasons why prioritising PR during 2021 could be the best decision you make.

Companies of all sizes have recognised the benefits that PR can bring; not least profile, recognition, an opportunity to become more relatable to your audiences and importantly, an increase to the bottom line.

With a toolkit of tactics at our disposal, we can tailor an approach for each business we work with. There is no one-size-fits-all and that means that every campaign is bespoke.

Setting objectives

Like any cost to a business, you want to be able to measure the return on investment. We appreciate that PR is no different. That’s why we work with brands to set out clear objectives. This means that every action will have an impact.

The idea being that our resource is allocated to the right activities; those that will deliver the greatest value.

For smaller organisations and those that are wanting to scale-up, it is often about raising the profile of a brand to a specific audience or to engage in new and interesting ways. Larger organisations may be even more targeted or have a product launch or campaign in mind.

Whatever the objectives, we will create a programme of activity to deliver the results that you need.

Choosing the right tactics

It’s a myth to suggest that all PR tactics work for all businesses, they don’t. The beauty about PR is that we can choose the right approach and then adapt as the programme of activity evolves over time.

As a brand builds, things will change. The focus for a company doesn’t always stay the same. We can adapt, adopt and deliver depending on what those changing circumstances are. Better still, it doesn’t take months to implement new ways of working, it’s more like a matter of days.

All we need to do is to discuss, plan and action.

Just some of the tactics we use for our clients are:

  • Press office (drafting and distributing press materials to publications online and in print)
  • Drafting content to be shared online
  • Thought leadership articles for media and online
  • Competitions in consumer publications
  • Features in trade media
  • Copy writing for brochures and marketing materials
  • Social media posts
  • Campaign planning and recommendations

The list could go on, but from the above you can see how we can tailor a programme of activity to suit the needs of any business.

Securing headlines

There has been an increasing interest in traditional PR over recent years. Brands still recognise the value in securing headlines for the right reasons. As storytellers this is where our skills are often expected to lie.

Writing good quality copy that is intended for newspapers and magazines is a big part of what we do. Securing earned coverage is where brands can take their share of voice and educate the market about the products and services that they have to offer.

Putting in place a dedicated press office will ensure that a business features regularly in the publications that matter most. It may be regional media, national, trade or consumer. It may even be a mix of them all.

We have been delivering press office to brands of all sizes for more than 12 years and it is still a great way for a business to share its story and to resonate with current and prospective customers.

Reaching audiences online

Although we don’t manage paid for advertising, we do create social schedules and deliver campaigns for our clients online. Whatever the platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn) we will develop content that is fit for purpose.

It’s not about sharing one post across all platforms; every social channel is different. We make sure that the posts we create will encourage most engagement and become part of a wider strategy of activity.

Using LinkedIn for talent acquisition, Facebook for community engagement, Instagram for wider outreach and Twitter for amplification, there is always a purpose behind everything we do. Again, it’s about taking a bespoke approach that meets with objectives.

Prioritising PR for 2021

For those companies that want to look forward rather than backwards, those that want to turn plans into action and to make a positive difference to their business, consider how prioritising PR for 2021 could support your ambitions.

PR is an investment but it’s also a specialism that delivers great value. Don’t be left behind while your competitors take the charge. Consumers are still spending, organisations are still growing and there is a lot to celebrate.

If you’d like to discuss ways that the team at Open Comms can help to raise the profile of your brand and manage the reputation of your business throughout 2021, contact us on info@opencomms.co.uk, call: 01924 862477 or follow @OpenComms_.

HOW IGNORING PR CAN BE DAMAGING TO YOUR BUSINESS

PR can have a transformational impact on businesses of any size, yet there remains an outdated and unfounded stigma around the value and results that it can deliver.

It goes without saying that communication is critical in the current marketplace. The success of any organisation largely depends on how it engages with its target audience, whether its towards the customer, client, employee or stakeholder.

This is exactly what PR professionals do!

As an agency, we form trusted partnerships with our clients to deliver strategic communications that meet with business objectives. This could be sharing key messages with the masses or more specific and targeted campaigns.

The one consistent factor is that our results speak for themselves.

In a nutshell, we increase brand awareness, help launch new services and products to market, enhance company or individual reputations to help them to become more commercially viable. When combined, the delivery of our services ultimately helps clients to achieve business goals.

Without a robust PR and marketing strategy, businesses are at risk of putting themselves at a disadvantage within the marketplace and losing all visibility with current and prospective customers.

In order to elaborate further, I’ve chosen just three outputs from PR that businesses will find hard to achieve unless they invest in professional services.

Media coverage

Sitting at the heart of PR is securing media coverage. Communications professionals form and develop lasting relationships with a vast number of contacts and journalists. Despite how specific or niche a market may be, members of press, publications and influencers can be targeted to help generate positive publicity for a particular business.

As there is an abundance of ways to digest news, both in print and digital, PR professionals will use their experience and expertise to approach the media with a story that is newsworthy and relevant. The idea being that it is then featured in regional, national or trade publications.

Once media coverage has been secured, it can then be leveraged to increase brand awareness, create a positive public perception and act as a useful platform to promote the launch of new products and services.

Without any investment in PR, businesses are likely to lose this opportunity and as a result fail to be recognised as a legitimate competitor within a specific marketplace.

Social media activity

Social media channels have now established themselves as the digital high street for many businesses. Now more than ever, a greater amount of attention needs to be given to these platforms as they are arguably the first place that target audiences will visit.

In other words, social media channels must give off a good first impression!

Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, businesses need to use each channel to serve a purpose, whether this is showcasing new services or products, promoting brand identity or sharing critical company announcements. They need to act as a reliable and relevant communication resource.

This can be achieved by building the credibility of all platforms, which need to garner a strong following from relevant and influential businesspeople, members of the media, industry counterparts or new and existing clients.

As followers increase, so will the levels of engagement with different posts. This is especially useful when sharing media coverage as it can help significantly increase the amount of people who read about the positive news a company has to share. Thus, increasing brand awareness.

By investing in PR, businesses can ensure that each channel is managed by a team of specialists who understand what type of content should be posted and when. This will enable social media platforms to be used as useful tools to help businesses build towards achieving wider growth ambitions.

Crisis management

Although crisis scenarios are thankfully rare for most, businesses must ensure they have the capability to deal with a problem if one were to ever arise. Whether this be a corporate, public, or internal issue or incident, how this is handled can be make or break for businesses.

Reputation is everything within the marketplace, and once this is destroyed, recovery can be almost impossible!

The most effective way to combat these types of situations is having an experienced crisis management team in place. This forms a big part of the PR toolkit. Communications professionals can explore and identify potential situations that could cause irreversible harm to a brand or business. This is combatted by the implementation of proactive PR strategy.

Despite how prepared the team may be, crisis’ can also occur with no warning at all. This is exactly why it is critical to have a capable team ready to tackle and resolve these issues with minimal collateral damage.

Navigating through these sensitive situations without profession PR support could spell disaster for a business. Damage to brand reputation will have a devastating impact that can never be fixed. The question perhaps therefore is not can you afford PR, but can your business survive and thrive without it?

Investing in public relations is critical to the success of any organisation, now is the time to take action and let PR do the talking.

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.

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.

PLANNING FOR CRISIS

The dreaded word ‘crisis’ crops up more than you might think in PR. After just one year working in the industry, I’ve watched a few crises unfold. In fact, most businesses will experience one at some point, and I’ve learnt that being prepared is key.

While challenges often strike when least expected, the Open Comms team are confident in handling any problems our clients face. With a solid plan in place, and knowledge of the relevant industries we work in, we are prepared and ready to support businesses of all sizes.

Crisis can certainly give us a buzz and spice up our day! Not that we want them every day, but successfully managing a crisis can be very satisfying, although we would rather avoid them.

Keep Calm and Consider Your Actions

On discovering an impending crisis, my first point of action would be to keep calm and look at the crisis from a different perspective. Overreacting may make a potential issue worse. It’s worth considering a few options and understand the right time to intervene.

For example, an unflattering tweet could be damaging to a brands reputation, but if we were to block the account or hide the comment it is likely it will provoke the consumer into further shaming the brand.

Hiding comments after a crisis has calmed down is another option. It is sometimes best to see how the situation develops before acting. There is also a chance it might settle down on its own before things turn nasty.

Be Aware

Being aware of whats happening in the world is so important when it comes to anticipating what has the potential to damage a brands reputation. While we cannot predict the future, topical issues such as climate change, conversations around single use plastics and Covid 19 are just a few examples of things we keep our eyes on day to day.

It is important to be aware of the issues and understand how they could be connected to brands or accounts we are working with. This helps us recognise when a crisis might strike before it happens and allows us to steer clients away from throwing themselves into the fire.

Know When to Act Fast

Acting fast is important. Particularly when monitoring social media accounts. A simple complaint can escalate if not handled promptly. Its important to regularly monitor brands social media accounts, watching out for any complaints that might come through and managing them quickly and efficiently.

Misreading a tone of voice or simply not responding to a query can quickly turn into a crisis. We have to remember that brands are always visible online and that is further reason to be ready to respond.

Move On

Its worth knowing that PR crisis happen every day to many brands and businesses. With so much happening on social media, and consumers continually inundated with new content, it is unlikely that a well-handled crisis will have a long-term effect on business.

As bad as a crisis may seem at the time, many brands have overcome huge problems day to day. Being aware of what caused the issue in the first place and learning from mistakes is the most valuable thing to take away.

Having an experienced team on hand is, without a doubt, the best way to handle a PR crisis before it happens.

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.