Monthly Archives: January 2017

Three reasons to hire a copywriter

Katie Wadsworth - Copywriter / Account Executive, Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth – Copywriter / Account Executive

We all know how important first impressions are.

Experts believe that it only takes seven seconds for us to form an opinion when we meet someone new and the same thing can be said about customers making split decisions when they first see your brand.

The language you use on your website and in marketing collateral is important as it sets the tone for how you and your brand are perceived and shared by staff, potential customers and investors.

You can have an all singing and dancing website with high quality photography, video content and great design, but if the copy isn’t up to scratch, you risk putting people off.

Poor spelling and bad grammar suggests a lack of attention to detail which can make consumers question the quality of your products and services. Websites and social posts are often the first thing people view when they are looking for a new supplier or business partner, so if your copy isn’t up to scratch, your customers might start to question the value, or even the credibility, of what you’re offering.

But fear not, because for every company in need of winning communications, there is a copywriter armed with pencil (or keyboard) ready to set your copy straight.

So, why should you hire a copywriter?

 

  1. Attention to detail

Put simply, spell check isn’t fool proof. We’ve all experienced the horror of autocorrect where a text message or email is accidentally sent with an embarrassing mistake and while you may be able to laugh it off with friends, you want to make sure there are no silly errors in your copy.

 

Source: Huffington Post

Now I must admit spell check does make our lives a little easier, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t fall foul of Word autocorrecting your brand or product names, especially if they’re unusual, to something bizarre because it can’t understand.

The antidote to this is to get a real human to proof your work. Letting a copywriter work their magic means you can be sure any duplicate words or autocorrect errors will be swiftly removed. A second pair of eyes is also useful to ensure your copy makes sense to the reader. It is important to remember who you’re talking to as acronyms and technical language might make sense to an industry expert, but may sound like double dutch to your customers.

 

  1. Grammar

You may have heard the phrase ‘grammar saves lives’ and it’s true. Just take Rachael Ray (below) as an example.

Source: Tastefully Offensive

I’m fairly confident in saying Rachael hasn’t actually cooked her family or her dog, but this magazine cover is a great example of where a lack of punctuation can leave you at the very least feeling silly, or in the worst case, land you in hot water!

It’s a well-known fact that copywriters are sticklers for the correct use of punctuation, so to make sure you don’t end up giving the wrong impression, it’s always worth letting a professional give your copy a good read.

 

  1. Time

Do you really have the time to write all the content for your new website or complete the copy for your next newsletter on time? If you’re pushed for time and writing content in a hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes and not show off your brand to its best.

Source: Shutterstock

 

The key to good project management is delegating, so why not let the professionals handle the copy, leaving you time to get on with all the other things on your ‘to do’ list!

So if you just can’t find the right words, or you have a whole editorial project which needs managing, just shout and a copywriter will be there to give you a helping hand.

At Acceleris we have our very own dedicated Writers Inc. department which is poised to help you tackle any copywriting brief or take on editorial projects you need managing (we even write books).

To find out more about how we can help, or if you just fancy grabbing a coffee, get in touch

How Trump Blindsided the Media

Rebecca Jackson, Senior Account Manager

It was ‘the Sun wot won it’ in ‘92, but last year’s politics turned the media on its head, with unpredictable results from Brexit and across the pond in the Presidential elections.

Donald Trump romped to a shock victory in November and journalists across the world were left dumbfounded by the result; but should we really have been surprised? Trump is a shrewd businessman and though his campaign may have appeared erratic at times, he knows how to manipulate the media effectively, overshadowing Hilary Clinton with his ready-built social media following and a series of stunts, outrageous claims and soundbites guaranteed to generate enormous media coverage.

Traditional media

This was the first American election in years where newspaper endorsements had little effect on the outcome. According to a report by the Guardian, in partnership with Columbia Journalism Review, The Nieman Lab counted 360 titles that backed Hilary Clinton in the race for the White House, including the Dallas Morning News, which voiced its support for a Democratic candidate for the first time since 1940, and USA Today which endorsed its first Presidential candidate ever.

Trump was supported by just 11 publications, but it made little difference. In fact, the media’s willingness to attack Trump is thought to have turned many people towards him, with broadcast channels whipping up such a frenzy around the Trump campaign, they inadvertently gave him substantial coverage at a critical time. According to a study by mediaQuant, Trump benefited from the equivalent of more than $5 billion worth of free airtime from earned media. In return, television channels enjoyed a massive ratings spike – meaning Trump’s messages were front of mind for the American public when going to the polls.

Social media

As for social media; this was pivotal in directly communicating with Trump’s supporters, and his tweets are more popular than those of any other American politician. Whilst his aides revoked Tweeting rights during the final weeks of the campaign according to the New York Times, the appeal of Trump’s stream of consciousness, un-edited, often late-night views led to direct media coverage almost every morning of the campaign as he attacked people and organisations with outrageous statements.

 

Source: twitchy.com

 

What next?

If the election campaign has taught us anything, it’s that anything could happen next. Trump is explosive and unpredictable and his Presidency is likely to be the same, with far-reaching consequences.

Last week, we saw BuzzFeed publish an unverified and unsubstantiated report detailing potentially classified information. Trump responded in typical fashion, but really we must question what level we have come to when a platform can run such a potentially damaging, and as yet unfounded, report, just days before the inauguration of the next President, a day after the farewell speech of President Obama and just hours before Trump delivered a press conference to journalists and media outlets who have made no secret of their dislike for the President elect.

And his media strategy doesn’t just impact on international relations; a San Francisco-based tech company, Trigger, has just launched a special feature on an app that will alert traders to the President elect’s latest comments about publically-listed companies, based on which they can then trade, due to Trump’s potential to “eradicate billions of dollars in market cap from large companies.”

Shares in Toyota plummeted within minutes of a negative tweet from Trump in January, causing the company to lose more than $1 billion in value.

 

Source: The Real Donald Trump

 

In many ways, last year showed us traditional media cannot influence politics and democracy in the ways it used to and social media is becoming increasingly important in connecting individuals and brands directly to their audiences. The media landscape is changing so it’s important to have a professional on your side when you’re navigating the journey – something we know more than a little bit about. We might not use Trump’s tactics to get you in the press, but get in touch today to find out how we can help your business generate great coverage – or avoid a crisis!

January is the Worst Way to Start the Year

Louise Vaughan, Managing Director

Gloomy nights, an absence of alcohol, resolution records set and broken faster than a Usain Bolt sprint start and a waistline two inches north of where it was this time in November.

 

But hey, enough about me….

 

What the new year also does is also provide the opportunity – and often the budget – to take a fresh look at PR and marketing communications strategies and test something new. Something fresh. And maybe, because fortune favours the brave, something revolutionary.

 

Here at Acceleris we work on the basis there are three essential elements to the periodic table of what makes a great PR campaign – Insight, Intelligence and Innovation. Here’s a few thoughts on how all three could boost your PR, content marketing or reputation management activity in 2017.

 

Insights: Acceleris Insights

Did you know we’re exposed to up to 5,000 advertising EVERYDAY. So how do you cut through a mammoth amount of marketing noise that’s constantly growing? The holy grail of effective content marketing and communication is understanding your target customer. Knowing what interests them. What excites them. What issues they face. Where they go, what they do and critically, how they consume information. Then responding to this knowledge with information relevant to your business that will add value and enrich their lives.

 

Easier said than done.

 

Or is it?

 

One of the big things we’re incredibly excited about for 2017 is the launch of our new Insights service to arm brands with the audience insight to facilitate communications strategies directly aligned to target customers.

 

Google accounts for up to 90 per cent of web searches in Western markets including the UK and US, and answers more than three billion search queries globally every day. Not only are your customers sharing valuable information on their interests, they also sharing secrets they wouldn’t dare disclose to friends, on Facebook or in a customer questionnaire.

 

Perfect target customer insight…but are you using it?

 

If you haven’t interrogated Google analytics as part of your marketing plan, give www.answerthepublic.com a go – a fun – but useful way of revealing some of the searches that are happening relevant to your product or service – and how you could tap into them.

 

Using Google trend and user data, coupled with social media insights, wider industry data and cool tools like www.similarweb.com to assess your competitor performance means we can now frame campaigns to directly address customer preferences, behaviors and market opportunity. For an example of how we’ve used Insights check out our work on the Testing Times campaign for leading used car website Trusted Dealers.

 

Innovation: VR for PR

 

If you need some convincing about the ever growing importance of video, these stats may provide it.  According to Google, by 2019, 69 per cent of all online data will be video – due largely to its success as an engagement and conversion tool. According to data from ComScore, 64 per cent of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. And according to Forbes, 65 per cent of executives visit a website after viewing a video. So video works. What’s new?

 

Great video content is it needs to do one of three things – educate, entertain or emotionally engage. The big opportunity for 2017 is to do all three – by making it interactive.

 

According to research by our friends at video marketing agency Fresh Cut, 2017 is all about Interactive Video, such as this interactive video created with Discovery Channel explorer Ed Stafford, which secured a whopping 400x Website Traffic Increase in the first three weeks.

 

We’ve also seen Virtual Reality – VR – become an exciting part of the video mix for both B2B and consumer clients. A recent report from IDC claims that the combined revenue for both the AR and VR markets will hit $162 billion by the year 2020 – with current revenue for 2016 around $5.2 billion.

 

No longer the preserve of the gaming industry, VR offers a fantastic sensory showcase, bringing your product direct into the office or living room of your client for them to experience. Late last year we worked with leading corporate vehicle rental provider Nexus Vehicle Rental to use VR to showcase its daily rental technology. It’s made big waves in the industry. To take a look, just go to www.nexusrental.co.uk/VR.

 

Intelligence: Issues & Reputation Management

 

Positive reputations are hard won and all too easily lost. The last year has seen a raft of scandals that have seen the public’s faith in major institutions – Parliament, Banking, the Church, the Media, major sports bodies – all eroded by a series of scandals. In an age where the axis of a marketing campaign is centered on clicks and social shares, the power and commercial value of a positive reputation can sometimes be overlooked. As can the need for a crisis plan.

 

Things go wrong in business. Everyone’s human. And nine times out of ten it’s cock up rather than conspiracy. But what can make or break the reputation of a business or organisation is the way it manages – and is seen to manage – a problem. According to research by BDO LLP and the Quoted Companies Alliance, the reputational value of all UK listed companies is worth £1.7 trillion. A figure not to be sniffed at. As such a crisis management plan should form an essential part not only of your communications mix, but your risk management strategy too. If you’re currently without a crisis management plan, it should definitely find its way to the top of your new year’s resolutions list.

 

One of the accolades we are most proud of as an agency is winning the Issues and Reputation Management category at the European PR Excellence Awards three times in the last four years, making us one of the best reputation management agencies in Europe. For and example of how this has worked in practice check out our award winning work with the UK fishing industry here.

  

Hopefully there’s some healthy food for thought here that may, even in a small way, give your PR strategy a health kick in 2017.

 

Here’s to the year ahead.