Looking to get your PR in shape for the new year ahead but not sure where to start?
In our first blog of 2024, we look at the benefits of working with a smaller PR agency just like us, and how this personalised approach can deliver significant value to your business, without blowing your budget.
PR often needs quick decision-making and a flexible and agile approach to strategy - and a smaller agency can deliver on both. With fewer layers of bureaucracy, you get swifter action, helping you to stay ahead of the curve.
Working with a small PR agency often means having direct access to seasoned PR professionals, including agency owners. In larger agencies, senior expertise may be reserved for high-profile clients. Years of experience, personalised to you and your budget.
Smaller PR agencies tend to work more closely with their clients. We’re very much about becoming part of your team - fostering a strong partnership and going the extra mile for you.
For businesses with limited budgets, small PR agencies can offer cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality. You get a personalised strategy from a seasoned pro that’s flexible and more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.
We provide the PR & marketing you need – when you need it. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you in 2024!
It’s that time of year when everybody likes to make a prediction or two, and when it comes to PR, there are two big buzzwords for 2024.
Authenticity and AI
Rather contradictory? Bear with us a minute…
1. Authenticity first
In our digital world – where we’re seeing a rapid increase in AI driven technology – emotional connections and the human touch are more crucial than ever.
Authenticity is just that – and in 2024, we expect to see brands adopting a more personal and relatable image and being more human in the way they communicate their messaging and interact.
2024 will see a surge in purpose-driven communication too. Brands that authentically align with social and environmental causes will strike a chord with consumers who increasingly value purpose over profit. PR professionals will weave these narratives into their strategies, demonstrating that their brands are not just selling products but making a positive impact on the world.
2. Enter AI (second)
Want to know which messages will strike a chord with your consumers?
AI is the ultimate data maestro, turning raw information into actionable insights. More and more PR strategies are expected to leverage AI to analyse vast amounts of data, uncovering trends, preferences, and opportunities. This data-driven approach ensures that communication efforts are not just intuitive but also backed by concrete evidence.
Personalised communication strategies will become the norm, ensuring that each interaction resonates with the unique preferences and interests of the target audience.
Authenticity comes first – and that means the human touch must always come first. But there's no doubt AI is an incredibly powerful tool, and should absolutely be harnessed to maximise efficiency and insight in PR strategy. As long as it's led by a human.
Not a bad marriage, after all?
Read our earlier blog on AI & Copywriting here
Time to sharpen your pencils and shine your shoes.
Or better still, re-group, re-focus and get your PR & marketing strategy in shape for the new season ahead.
As everyone returns from holiday and the children head back to school, this time of year always feels like a new beginning.
So, we’ve put together a few tips to help you re-focus your PR & marketing goals and stay top of the class.
2. Fall into the new season:
We’re not there yet (and we’re in no rush to say goodbye to the summer here!) but it is technically Autumn, and it will soon start to look like it. It’s a feel-good season, so let’s make the most of its warm colour palette and mood. Consider tweaking your brand's visual elements to reflect the cosy autumn hues. Update your website, social media profiles and marketing materials with autumn-inspired images, colours, and fonts. A subtle seasonal touch keeps you current and relatable.
3. Remember content is king:
Compelling content is key all year-round, and now’s a good time to take stock and refresh any areas that can be improved. The golden rule? Consistency (and good planning) – that goes for your socials, blogs & email marketing. Make sure your web content is up-to-date and keyword optimised, consider any new channels that could improve your reach, and be creative when it comes to credibility-boosting PR opportunities. Linking your content to the season can be a great trick – but make sure your content is valuable & relevant.
*And if you need a hand to get your PR & marketing in shape, give us a shout!
It can be a bit of a chicken and egg moment, which comes first when building your new website – copy or design?
By providing your copy before your designer gets to work, they get:
And that saves a whole lot of back and forth, rebuilding pages because you’ve changed your mind. (You’re allowed to change your mind – but it’s much easier to crack the content with your copywriter before the design process begins.)
Designers need to understand what you want in terms of:
Iron out your copy first, and you iron out everything you want your website to say and do.
A solid base for the design & development phases to launch from.
We write and design websites (in that order!) If you need a hand, get in touch.
I’ve challenged Chat GPT to numerous ‘write-offs’ – surely it can’t do a better job than me?
The speed at which it produces copy (a lot of it, and within seconds) is something I can’t match.
But good copy is all about compelling humans to do something, buy something, be somewhere, engage – and no AI can compel a human better than a human, right?
That’s my stand-out from my experimentation. Chat GPT isn’t human, it doesn’t write like one, and when you’re in the business of really good copy, that’s evident.
So, I asked my robot sidekick – is AI as good as a human copywriter?
And word for word (americanisms and all) here’s what it said:
Human writers possess creativity, intuition, and a deep understanding of cultural nuances that can be challenging for AI to replicate. They can bring a unique perspective, inject emotion and storytelling into their writing, and adapt their approach based on subjective factors.
Additionally, human copywriters have the ability to understand complex business objectives, conduct in-depth research, and make strategic decisions based on specific target audiences. They can also bring their expertise to optimize content for search engine optimization (SEO) and engage with readers on a personal level.
In summary, AI has made impressive strides in copywriting and can be a valuable tool for generating content. However, human copywriters still hold an edge when it comes to creativity, emotional connection, and strategic decision-making. The ideal approach often involves a combination of AI tools and human expertise to achieve the best results."
And maybe that's the future - a combination, copy that embraces the advantages of AI but is still ultimately human.
I saw a great post that summed it up nicely for me – AI doesn't pose a threat to your job, but refusing to embrace AI might.
We’ve established the press release is far from dead (if you missed it, read the blog here). Done right, it has the potential to generate significant media coverage and the brand credibility that comes with it. But it can be a big blow if your well-crafted copy fails to catch the attention of journalists and goes unnoticed.
What’s to blame? In this blog post we look at 5 common reasons that might stop your press release being picked up by the media - and explore the (often really easy) ways you can overcome them.
1. Your press release looks like spam
Journalists get a lot of emails. Your subject line needs to grab their attention – but you need to be really careful that it doesn’t look like spam. Don’t mark it URGENT and don’t write READ THIS. Using your headline usually does the trick. Keep it punchy and direct.
2. Your press release is attached
Newsrooms are inundated with press releases (and journalists get a lot of emails, we’ll just say that again). If you attach your press release, somebody has to open it before they decide whether they’re interested in the story. And they might not. Pasting the press release into the body of your email is much more effective. (You can always attach it too to cover all bases).
3. Mass mail fail
Sending your press release to a generic distribution list or irrelevant media outlets can significantly reduce its chances of being picked up. It’s so important to spend time researching your contacts so that it reaches the right people. Otherwise it's a waste of everybody's time. You should also avoid mass, impersonal mailouts. Personalise your outreach - address the journalist by name, add a short note explaining why your story is relevant to their audience, start to build a rapport.
4. Lack of imagery
A story needs an image – especially in today’s digital age, and providing one boosts your chances of press release success. If your press release lacks compelling visuals, such as high-resolution images, infographics, or videos, it’s unlikely to capture attention. Make sure those visuals are good to go, so the journalist doesn’t need to do any sourcing or chasing. Insert a link for multiple images and videos so they are easy to view and download.
5. Lack of newsworthiness
One of the biggest reasons for your press release being ignored – it’s not newsworthy enough. To be newsworthy it needs to be timely, relevant and impactful. Press releases that are ready to be copied and pasted, with little editing and all the info, quotes and images provided, make busy journalists happy. But they have to tell a really good story too. If it's not newsworthy, don't expect it to get picked up.
Need a hand winning media coverage? Get in touch to find out how we can help.
Ask somebody to sit down and write about their business and it usually goes a little something like this:
“We have been established since… we work with… we work across… we provide solutions for… we pride ourselves on…”
Without realising it, they’ve fallen into the bad copy trap at the very first opportunity.
Because when it comes to copywriting ‘we’ is a bad, bad word.
Truth is your business isn’t really about you – it’s about your customers.
And they don’t want to hear about you – they want to hear about themselves, about their problems, their needs and their solutions.
So how do you avoid the ‘we’ trap?
The trick is to flip the way you approach your copy – stop thinking ‘we’ and start thinking ‘you’ instead.
There are few words in the marketing world as powerful as you.
It engages your customers, it personalises your content and it makes it oh so easy for them to relate to what you’re offering and quickly see how it benefits them.
By routing out and rewording each ‘we’ you very quickly change the way you approach your copy, and in turn, the way you approach your customers.
You’re more direct, more compelling, and more likely to get results from your content.
A small change that has a really big impact.
We come to the rescue of plenty a project that has stalled at the copy stage. Not sure whether to handle your content in-house or outsource to a pro copywriter? Check out our blog to help you decide.
Is the press release dead? You’re forgiven for asking given the huge change that social media has had on the media landscape. But the answer is very much no – this building block of PR still has its place, and if you’re neglecting it as part of your PR & marketing strategy, you could be missing an important trick.
Here we give you some of the key benefits of a good (big emphasis on the 'good') press release...
A press release isn’t a place for fluff – it’s a place for facts. Your press release will bring together your key messaging in one succinct document, agreed across your team. This in itself is a key piece of the PR strategy, pinpointing your story and objectives and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Journalists still rely on press releases – in a sea of information they provide a credible source of information. And stories that are packaged in the right way and sent to the right people are far more likely to win you the coverage that you need.
Building relationships with journalists and bloggers is key – and sending well-packaged press releases that are relevant, timely and a darn good story, is a great way to do it. Newsdesks are inundated and journalists will look to contacts they trust.
Nothing boosts credibility like having your brand’s name, products and messaging communicated through trusted media titles. Targeted press releases are still one of the most effective ways to achieve this.
Your press release is a great foundation to build the rest of your PR strategy on. Re-purpose it for your website, share it in your newsletters and email campaigns, tie-in any paid advertising and be sure to plan your social media around its release and the coverage it generates.
Need a hand winning press coverage? Our journalist-led PR is a good place to start, get in touch so we can help.
It’s that feel-good time of year - which presents the perfect opportunity to put a Spring in your step and press refresh on your PR & marketing activity.
Here are a few ideas to get you started...
Need a hand? We’re here to provide the PR & marketing support you need, when you need it – whether that’s a little or a lot. Get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat more.
You know your business better than anyone else, so when it comes to getting down content for your website, blog & promos, you can handle it yourself, right?
So many clients come to us having tried this approach first. So why doesn't it work? Should you outsource to a copywriter from the outset to save your time & energy?
Here we give you some our top reasons for turning to a professional.
You're the expert in your industry - and we're the expert in ours. Combine all that expertise and it's a win-win. You know your message, and we know how to get that message to your potential customers. Taking any brief and turning it into the fast, accurate copy you need is what we do.
From inside a business, it can be really difficult to retain a sense of perspective. You get caught up in the past, or in your great ideas for the future, and today’s message gets muddled. An outsider’s perspective can be gold dust. And key to any good copywriter’s skill-set is the ability to quickly absorb every inch of your business and see how to convey what is important (and what isn’t) with clarity. This is easy when you’re outside looking in. A copywriter won’t be clouded by irrelevant information – and neither will your audience.
Let’s take a website as an example here. You invest in a well-designed site because it has to look spot-on. But your content has to be spot-on too. It needs (most importantly of all) to convey that clarity outlined above and that’s where a professional pen can bring real bang for buck. How often have you seen a beautiful website undone by poor copy that is confused or typo-ridden? Effective design is great way to build brand, trust and reputation. But poor content planning and inarticulate copy can quickly undo all of it.
4. Copy to deadline
Maybe you’re confident in your ability to get a good job done – but do you have the time and the inspiration? We’ve seen many projects stall simply because the person tasked with getting the copy together is stuck for inspiration or time (or both). Copywriters and content planners are great for getting stuff done. You won’t be bottom of our to-do list.
5. Clear project lead
Too many pens can spoil the copy. We’ve seen so many businesses struggle to produce content because everyone has different ideas. Outsourcing to an expert really helps to ease inter-departmental arguments. Of course, we take all views on board – but we use them to agree a template, style and tone for content, led by our outside expertise. And then we get on with it.
6. Your time back
Writing great content comes naturally to us – it’s what we do day in and day out. If it isn’t your day job, it’s very time-consuming – that lingering task you know you need to prioritise, but never quite do because you’ve got a hundred other things to do first. Hire a copywriter, cross it off your list – and get your time back.
Talk to us about outsourcing your copy & content to a pro