Monthly Archives: August 2016

‘What’s In a Name?’ – PRCA rebrands but does PR need two professional bodies?

Simon Baylis, Account Director

Simon Baylis, Account Director

The PRCA changed its name this month to…the PRCA (now the Public Relations and Communications Association).  

As part of a wider rebrand with new strapline, website and logo, the word ‘consultants’ has been dropped in favour of ‘communications’. Whether this will make any real difference is open to question, but the decision to change names comes after extensive consultation with members.

We recently rebranded ourselves so it would be unfair to criticise and perhaps ‘communications’ does more accurately reflect the breadth and multidisciplinary nature of the industry.

Source: The PRCA's new branding

Source: The PRCA’s new branding

Source: The PRCA's old branding

Source: The PRCA’s old branding

However my real question would be whether we really need two membership organisations?

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the attraction of a trade body for me is to uphold standards in the industry and to drive improvements and professional development. Both the PRCA and CIPR achieve this and run regular training courses as well as issuing guidance and advice for members. At Acceleris we have our own training academy which focuses on the professional development of our team and we invest in external training from both the PRCA and CIPR as part of this.

The PRCA states that it represents in excess of 20,000 people in 48 countries. The CIPR is smaller and has just over 10,000 members but also has a royal charter.

However, according to the latest PRCA figures published this year, there are now 83,000 people working in PR (sorry communications) in the UK.

There appears to be a silent majority of 50,000 people who are not members of either body and I think that is the real challenge to both organisations – how to engage and remain relevant to all professional communicators.

The PR and communications industry will never truly achieve the status of other professions until there is a barrier to entry. At the moment anyone can set up a consultancy and begin giving advice – whether they’ll still be in business in six months’ time is another question. Without wishing to squash an entrepreneurial spirit, I am in favour of ensuring that everyone in the industry should share a common set of ethics and agreed best practices.

Whether PRCA, CIPR or something else, I think there are clear benefits to there being a communications trade body but do we need more than one? Perhaps a merger is in order although that might call for yet another rebrand.

Facebook for Business

Ellie Gittings, Senior Account Executive

Ellie Gittings, Senior Account Executive

In a world where we’re exposed to up to 5,000 advertising messages a day, brands and businesses are now looking to a content-led approach to their marketing that will help them cut through the digital noise.

With over one billion people actively using Facebook every day, businesses know they need to be on there. However, it can be hugely time consuming and often, with little expertise, many businesses are operating blind. Yet, with a clear content strategy, everything can become much quicker and much more effective. Here is how you can create your own strategy today.

 

Define Social Media Objectives

 

In order to generate the best possible return on investment (ROI) through social media you must ensure that you and your team have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve from social media marketing. This is best done by setting out objectives from the very beginning. For example, do you want to:

 

  • Increase brand awareness and exposure?
  • Build a targeted audience?
  • Drive targeted traffic to website through social media?
  • Increase conversions through social media?
  • Increase engagement with customers and prospects?
  • Match or surpass competitors?
  • Lead generation and customer acquisition?

 

 

Personify Target Market

 

Next, you need to understand which products/services your business would like to promote and to whom. For each product/service you will need to visualise and really understand its targeted audience. This will help you speak to them, sell to them and, eventually, develop them into your own brand advocates. A great way to do this is by researching your competitors’ social media channels and analyse reviews, comments and content. Answering the questions below will be hugely beneficial in giving your target audience a face and creating your ideal customer profiles.

 

  • What product/category/service is the main focus?
  • What are the customer demographics?
  • What are the customer’s needs?
  • What is the customer interested in?
  • Why is the customer interested in your company?
  • Why would the customer want to purchase/invest in your product/service?
  • What kind of content would you customer be interested in?
  • When is your demographic most prolific on social media?

 

 

Putting the ‘Content’ into Content Strategy

 

You should now have a clear understanding of what content to use on your Facebook Business Page based on your demographic, market and competitor research. A comprehensive content strategy must include:

 

  1. The types of content required whether text, photo, video etc.
  2. How often you will post on your Page
  3. The target market for each post

 

You will now have a clear understanding of what you need in order to get your campaign off the ground. This may include sourcing videographers, photographers or graphic designers to help bring your campaign to life.

 

Example: Nutella has an atypical challenge of having to promote a single product in different ways over and over again. They have adopted a Facebook video strategy which saw views double on their Facebook page from four to eight billion views per day! Nutella engages its audience with creative posts such as ‘emojifying’ breakfasts using its own products:

 

Sauce: Nutella

Source: Nutella

 

Delivering your content marketing campaign

 

We strongly recommend implementing a social media content calendar to keep on top of things. This will simply house all of the pre-planned content for your social media accounts.

 

Execution & Delivery

The bulk of the hard work should be done by this point with campaign posts scheduled into the content calendar and bank of media ready to be published. The hard work doesn’t stop there though. You need to keep your content topical and so allowing time to post on-the-fly content, for example, breaking news, company announcements and topical updates, is important.

 

Ensuring a variety of content across your company’s Facebook Page is crucial to keeping your Page’s followers engaged. Trying to deploy the 80/20 content publication rule acts a great basis for optimum engagement and increasing brand exposure. Eighty per cent of the content published should be of interest to your customers and prospects in order to build a targeted audience, which in turn will increase brand exposure. Twenty per cent of the content published should be self-promotion; this could be posting links to certain products or services on your website, notifying your followers of current discounts and company news/PR.

 

See how Carlsberg launched their digital campaign here: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/carlsberg-global-digital-campaign/

 

Reassessment and repurpose

Not all content will work all of the time and it is important to be continually measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing. Luckily, Facebook makes this super simple with its Insights measurement tool. Use this to evaluate which pieces of content are working best and at what times. This will help you adjust future campaigns and posts for maximum impact.

Leave it to the professionals

At Acceleris we approach content-led campaigns with a six-stage process that is grounded in brand and consumer audience insight to ensure it really delivers commercial objectives. We create great content and get it to the right people, at the right time, in the right context. Whether that’s a series of videos on YouTube, delivered through a brand’s Facebook page or on a digital content hub, we ensure it is where ever your audience is.

Recently we developed a carefully researched, planned, co-ordinated and implemented content campaign for a national second hand car dealer. They came to us because they wanted to:

  • Generate more inbound traffic to the their website
  • Boost genuine engagement with the brand from existing and new customers
  • Boost sales opportunities for its members via greater online visibility
  • Boost the natural link popularity of their site
  • Secure greater brand awareness
  • Leverage all communications together – creating ‘more bang for their buck’
  • Enjoy a more cost effective solution following a predominantly inbound marketing / PPC led strategy

The campaign kicked off in April and as you can see from the graphs below the client is already seeing phenomenal results.

 

Total reach - Facebook

Total reach – Facebook

 

Number of people reached on Facebook (organic)

Number of people reached on Facebook (organic)

 

Total number of Facebook page likes

Total number of Facebook page likes

 

To discuss how Acceleris can help your business champion content marketing why don’t you pop in for a coffee, meet our new content team and have a chat about a digital strategy for your business, get in touch and we can make it a date! Please direct your enquiry to Louise Vaughan, Managing Director, on 0845 4567251 or email louisev@acceleris-mc.com

 

More Than Just a Shiny Trophy!

Peter Davenport, Chief Executive at Acceleris

Peter Davenport, Chief Executive at Acceleris

‘Agency of the Year’

It’s easy to write off awards as nothing more than an industry’s excuse for an evening of self-congratulation at an alcohol fuelled prize-giving ceremony in a suitably swanky hotel! And it’s sometimes hard to shake off the David Brent-ian image that the plethora of esoteric award ceremonies can induce.

That’s if you’re looking from the outside in!!!

If you are the recipient, then you have a completely different perspective. It might be easy to scoff at, say, someone being named ‘Plumber of the Year.’ But if that’s the job you spend your life labouring at, then the recognition of your peers is enormously rewarding, a mark of their respect for you and your work. It’s confirmation that you are doing the right thing, even in the tough times, and encouragement to continue improving. And to any potential new customers, it’s a mark of re-assurance and quality.

At Acceleris, we take awards seriously.

In our world creativity and innovation aren’t just ‘nice to have’ qualities; they are vital to survive and thrive as a business. We are continually looking and learning to ensure we develop and deliver campaigns that produce the desired results for clients and that stand-out in a world that can struggle to process an over-supply of information.  That means keeping an eye on what our peers are doing.  And the range of innovative thinking, compelling campaigns and effective messaging never ceases to impress.

So when we picked up the ‘Agency of the Year’ title in the UK Public Sector Communication Awards at The Emirates in London recently (yes it was an alcohol fuelled evening of celebration, or so I am told by the team who attended!) for the second year in succession and the third time in five years, it was recognition of the consistent quality of our work and the commitment and abilities of our teams. The award sits alongside the ‘Issues and Reputation Management’ trophy we collected at the European Communications Excellence Awards in Stockholm at the end of last year, the second time in three years we had scooped that prestigious accolade (and, yes, we did pick up a shiny trophy!). In both cases we were up against large and well respected national and international agencies and in-house teams, which made victory all the sweeter.

Winner!

Winner!

 Since we launched the agency a decade ago we have collected some 60 awards for a wide range of campaigns delivered for clients in the public, private and third sectors in the UK and for a number in Europe. They are displayed proudly on our office walls. They are not there to tell us how ‘great’ we are. Rather they serve two distinct purposes:-

  • To act as a daily reminder of the standards we have set ourselves so that we never complacently rest on our laurels but constantly strive to improve
  • To provide silent but impressive witness for visitors to the quality of our work and our high professional standards

In our world in particular, it’s very easy to say good things about yourself and a one man band working from a back bedroom can, with an attractive website, give the image of being a fully resourced agency.

So, you won’t find us laughing at the ‘Plumber of the Year’ or ‘Aerial installer of the Year’ winners for example.
We know just how much it means to them.
Because it means just as much to us.

 

Public Sector Communications Awards - Agency of the Year 2016

Public Sector Communications Awards – Agency of the Year 2016