Tag: Wakefield

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. 

MORE THAN JUST A PR AGENCY BASED IN YORKSHIRE

More than just a PR agency based in Yorkshire

Open Communications is a straight-talking PR agency based in Yorkshire. That was how we positioned the business when we launched, and in the most part it still stands true today.

With offices in Wakefield city centre, we manage the PR and content strategies for brands of all sizes, all over the country.  However, as the years have gone by, we have realised that we are so much more than just a PR agency based in Yorkshire.

Preferred PR partner  

When companies choose Open Communications as their preferred PR partner, they get access to a team of professionals with years of experience. Believing our clients will get the best from a diverse mix of people, we all have very different backgrounds.

We have journalists, academics, customer experience professionals and PR practitioners all working together to deliver the best return on investment for every business that chooses us.

As an agency, we decided that we would not specialise in a sector. Instead, we would become experts in each client, their brand and business. This gives them exclusivity and the commitment they deserve.

As time has gone by, we have seen that this gives our clients the confidence to know we are absolutely focused on delivering results for them.

With more than 90 per cent of new business coming from client referral, this approach has worked for them and for us. It has made us the trusted PR partner we wanted to be but also generated introductions.

Trusted advisors

As PR professionals we have access to some highly confidential information. It is absolutely imperative that our clients can trust us. And they do.

It may not be a crisis it could just be information that is not for public consumption. As such, we make it clear that all insight will be handled with care. It is the very least that our clients can expect when we are managing the reputation of their brand and business.

On a lighter note, we are also close enough to many of our clients for them to share their thoughts outside of their own environments. We once had a client say that they felt ‘lighter’ when leaving each monthly meeting as they could have a good moan knowing it would go no further.

Sometimes, all we need is to get the opinions of others or to share a grievance. Having a second opinion from a trusted advisor can be priceless and we are pleased that we can offer that. This is just one of the reasons that I believe we are more than just a PR agency based in Yorkshire.

Skilled PR practitioners

There is still a misguided belief that if an agency is based in London, they will have better contacts than those in the North. I don’t agree with this at all.

We have really strong relationships with journalists up and down the country, as well as those that are based in Yorkshire. It would be untrue to say we know every contact we work with personally, but then we don’t have to.

The objective for Open Comms is to make sure that we provide relevant content that has been well written. In doing so, we can supply the journalists with what they need, knowing that in the future they will have greater trust in what we supply.

There is no point in sending across copy that is irrelevant or badly written. It would not send the right impression of us or our clients.

One thing that we are very good at, is engaging with broadcast and encouraging correspondents to come to us with any needs they may have. This has worked really well in recent years and has meant that we can work collaboratively so that the news teams get what they need and we increase the positive exposure for our clients. This is what should be expected of skilled practitioners and it is what our clients deserve.

Professionals within a wider business community

This doesn’t really have anything to do with PR at all, but it does support our reputation as a business.

Since we launched, we have worked with hundreds of companies. This has strengthened our network but also provided contacts with an agency they can call upon for advice.

Becoming a known and recognised member of the community has certainly paid dividends. Not only have we gained access to professionals we trust and would refer, we have also made friends and learnt a huge amount along the way.

It was important to us as a small business to have access to those with a range of different experiences. In turn, we have also found that we have contacts that will go out of their way to be supportive.

Recognising the value of a strong network has certainly given us confidence and strength during our most challenging times and that is invaluable.

A supportive workplace

Open Communications is a supportive workplace. Although we remain a small agency, we know that our team are close and that they get on.

Not everyone who works in our team has come from a PR background. In fact, most haven’t. What they bring to the agency is relevant experience, the right attitude and a willingness to get results for our clients.

In turn, they receive a supportive workplace with an open and relaxed culture. There are no hidden secrets to doing well at Open Comms. Work hard and you will be rewarded. It’s that’s simple and as a result many of our staff stay with us for years.

An agency that means business

As a straight-talking agency, what you see is what you get with Open Communications. We are a Yorkshire based PR agency that uses its experiences to support an increasing list of clients.

We have never shied away from hard work and we aren’t about to start now. With clients across the country, we make sure that every strategy we put in place is going to meet with objectives. This in turn means that our clients can see the value in PR and what it can deliver. It isn’t about coverage, it is about business success and supporting the bottom line.

When we founded Open Communications back in 2008, we had a choice about where we wanted to be based. It could have been anywhere, and we chose Yorkshire. It suited us and it has worked for our clients.

We’ve managed the PR and content strategies for companies throughout the UK and across the world. The furthest away was Australia and although that brought with it some challenges, we were able to put the processes in place to make it work. As a small agency with big ambition, we don’t let challenges get in our way. We learn from them and we find a solution to any problem.

If you want to work with a business that is more than a PR agency based in Yorkshire, then call Open Comms and we will arrange a chat.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESPITE MANY CHANGES PR REMAINS A VALUABLE TOOL FOR BUSINESS

Over the past few months and throughout the worst of the Coronavirus Pandemic businesses large and small have been faced with numerous changes and we have supported new and existing clients in several different ways.

More so than ever before, competition between businesses is high and the fight for survival is real. I believe that more companies will recognise the value of PR and understand how beneficial it can be as we move through unchartered territory. Having a good communications strategy to support your future might be the key to succeeding in an ever-changing climate.

Coming out of lockdown, one thing is clear, and that is the need for effective engagement with audiences to secure sales.

Reach a wider audience

As businesses have negotiated the changes caused by the pandemic, the need to appeal to a wider and increasingly varied target audience has grown. Consumer attitudes and trends have changed and using PR helps businesses to market themselves across multiple channels.

The need to reach a new audience or demographic coming out of lockdown is where PR could really help a business, and even extend the opportunities it has.

Social Media as an important tool

I am sure we are all aware by now that our internet and social media usage has skyrocketed during lockdown. While this may reduce a little as we move back to ‘normal’, social media should not be underestimated as a marketing tool. In fact, the benefits of using social media for business are ever increasing.

Social media management and content creation are often a key component of our work with clients. PR professionals have the expertise to support growth in this key area and create compelling content that attracts attention and engagement.

While the need for traditional media remains, it is worth being aware of other ways to communicate with customers and how PR professionals can support in this area.

Reactive to opportunities

PR practitioners have contacts across multiple media and are always on the look out for new opportunities that might be beneficial for clients.

Working with an agency gives businesses access to opportunities they might never have considered. Reactive opportunities can be anything from getting a quote from an expert to offing a product as a prize for a competition on the radio. Both get the name of the business or product out there effectively and raise its profile.

The more reactive opportunities that a business can benefit from, the more chance there is of relationships being built with the media. This means that journalists will come to the brand in the future.

Helpful in advertising activities

While it was concluded that PR is almost 90 per cent more effective than advertising it can be very useful when used in conjunction with other tactics during a wider campaign.

While many still believe advertising is enough on its own, the trust built by PR is invaluable to businesses of all sizes. And, it goes without saying, consumers prioritise trust and brand experience over anything else.

While PR professionals will have to make changes in line with the ‘new normal’, the need for brands to invest in communications will be as great as ever.

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 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/

USING PR TO LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT

If your brand is ready to launch a new product, PR should be a part of your plans. Simple.

Product launches are often obvious opportunities for brands to secure good, quality coverage. So, it’s crucial to manage announcements correctly. You’ve worked hard and now you want to shout it from rooftops. Trust me, we get it.

Here at Open Comms, we have mastered the art of pushing new products onto customer radars through PR. It’s what we’ve been doing for over a decade.

  1. The importance of ‘Media Relations’ when using PR to launch a product

Media Relations is a critical function of PR. In particular when launching a new product to market.

As an experienced team of PR professionals, we collectively liaise with hundreds of journalists and key industry contacts on a daily basis. It simply comes with the job. Over time these interactions with the media become strong relationships. This is ultimately what our clients benefit most from. Here’s how:

  • Journalists are more receptive if they know you

Journalists are busy people, and it’s certainly reflected in their inboxes. The likelihood of them seeing a pitch, let alone replying to one, is slim to none. That is unless they know the sender and have worked with them in the past.

This is exactly why building and nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship with journalists is so important. Ultimately, the journalist should view a PR professional as a useful source of knowledge not a waste of time.

  • Tight deadlines can mean more exposure to last-minute opportunities

Journalists, reporters and the media in general work on extremely tight deadlines. This usually means that they will reach out to PR pro’s that they have a working relationship with.

Having an established rapport with key contacts in the media, be it print, online, broadcast or social media ensures that our clients’ new products and or services are always put forward for exclusive opportunities. These are not always available to others.

  • Bespoke approach when pitching to different media

When pitching to media it’s imperative that you understand what type of content appeals to them most.

When it comes to launches, consumer writers for example are predominantly interested in the product. Whereas journalists from national newspapers want more detail and possibly even a comment from the brand.

Knowing this information makes all the difference. However, this can only be achieved when you have extensive knowledge of the contact you are targeting.

  1. How influencer marketing can support PR with product launches

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool so much so that the industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022.

With a community of devoted followers at their disposal, influencers are a great way to launch a new product. Recent research even suggests some consumers trust influencers more than friends. Here’s why:

  • Influencers are deemed trustworthy by their followers

People are more likely to believe in a product when someone who they trust endorses it.

  • Influencers create authentic content

Influencers often personalise the content which they share. This is so that it’s relevant to their unique style and resonates with their followers, which traditional advertising cannot do.

  • Influencers are usually considered experts in their field

Influencers usually have a status of expertise in a specific area. Meaning if a brand is promoted by them, it instantly gains a sense of credibility.

  1. How competitions and giveaways accompany PR when launching a new product

Competitions and giveaways are an effective way to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. Particularly when using PR to launch a new product. They can either be placed with media titles and or influencers, print and or online.

In addition to gaining exposure among relevant audiences, competitions and giveaways can often incentivise people to follow or interact with a brand and its product. Essentially, when it comes to launching a new product, this is a great tool to drive awareness, spark up a conservation and create a buzz.

Using PR to launch a new product just makes sense. There is certainly no point in spending huge amounts of time and resources in developing a new product and then under-investing in its launch. That would make no commercial or common sense at all.

If your brand is ready to shout about a new product launch, we’re here to help. Why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or find out more about the services we offer here.

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.