Tag Archive for TV

Top Tips for Media Mastery

Hania Thompson – Account Executive

For many 2017 has been the year of Fidget Spinners, Oscar Fiascoes and Brexit however for those in the world of PR, 2017 will always be the year of one of the biggest scandals to hit the industry in decades. Bell Pottinger was one of the most respected PR agencies in the world, until its collapse in early September after its association with a controversial campaign used to stir up racial tension in South Africa. During the Newsnight interview co-founder Lord Bell was put through his paces and cracked under the pressure. He appeared flustered and unsure of how to dodge the metaphorical bullets which presenter Kirsty Wark was firing at him. Perhaps he needed some media training…

I recently attended a media taster event where my eyes and ears were well and truly opened to the intricacies of journalism and the media. During the event I had the daunting opportunity to experience being interviewed for TV and radio programmes in professional studios and hear from the journalists’ mouths what they’re looking for when they’re interviewing.

Into the Spotlight

The purpose of this was to see what it was like to be on the receiving end of an interview and to express the importance of media training. Firstly, knowing the subject you are speaking about in great depth is key, a bit obvious but it does help! I was given fifteen minutes to gather my thoughts before being thrust into the spotlight and grilled about whether The X Factor had run its course (in my opinion it probably has). But sweeping, sensationalist comments like this must be corroborated with strong facts to hold up to scrutiny from journalists.

Lights, Camera, Action!

As I stepped in front of the camera the tell tales signs of nerves kicked in; the dry mouth, your heart trying to escape out of your chest and the inevitable sweat (attractive I know!). I was assured that I relaxed as my interview progressed, however I could feel my face getting redder by the minute! It was at this moment I realised I was not going to be the next Fiona Bruce…

Face for the Radio?

Radio (in my opinion) was a more calming experience, I didn’t have to think about a lens pointing at me, where I should be looking and whether the camera would make me gain ten pounds. I was put at ease throughout the experience as myself and DJ Daz discussed the important issue of Black Friday and whether it is a bargain or a bit of a rip off (again I think the latter).

For those of you who are radio novices (like me!) you may not be aware that as you are being interviewed you can hear both your interviewers and your own voice, which makes you think ‘do I really sound like that?’ Maybe I have the makings of the next Chris Evans? Here’s how I got on…

Top Interview Tips

This overall experience has made me realise how important media training is. You might have the facts nailed, but make sure you brush up on your interview techniques beforehand, so here are five top tips for a life in the media spotlight:

  1. Understand the subject you are being interviewed on like the back of your hand
  2. Be clear and concise during an interview and always refer to your key messages
  3. Make sure you are prepared for challenging questions or potential pitfalls as this can make you feel more confident
  4. Whilst on the radio, choose your words carefully and be wary of the tone of your voice – this also applies to television, but body language and facial expressions are added factors. Take your time, talk slowly and clearly and remember to breathe!
  5. When on television it’s important to keep your eyes focussed on the interviewer, as rapidly moving eyes can make you look untrustworthy and unsure of your subject

Although there are many guides and tips describing how to conduct yourself in front of the media (such as mine above), there is no better way to master this art but by practicing and getting used to the sensation of being put under the spotlight. Even the most experienced of professionals can struggle during interviews, especially when they are live (anything can happen!).

Media Mishaps

The first video is an oldie but a goodie which graced our screens in 2006 and will forever be in our hearts! When Guy Goma left his house for a job interview at the BBC, little did he know that he would end up on live national news, it is certainly a day he will never forget…and neither will we!

 

The second video went viral earlier this year and has had over 25 million views on YouTube alone. Professor Robert Kelly was prepared for his interview, he knew his subject, he was dressed professionally; if only he hadn’t left his door unlocked…he was not prepared for what happened next!

As you can see both these videos prove that even if an interview doesn’t go your way, don’t be too downtrodden. Our media training service has helped our clients arm themselves for interviews for a decade!

If (like me), the idea of interviews will keep you up at night, give us a call and Acceleris’ team will give you the essential media tips! Email us at info@acceleris-mc.com to get the conversation started or visit our website.

Which retailers are #winning Christmas?

Dan Stead – Senior Digital Account Executive

Christmas is coming!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the retailers selling and everyone telling you get on the beer. Yes, it truly is the happiest season of all and it seems to get earlier each year. The start of November ushers in a frantic scramble for retailers to hide away the Halloween horrors and to deck the shelves with boughs of holly (and the latest must have goods).

Yet we only truly know Christmas is coming when we see that first TV department store advert. We all have our opinions on which is the best, and there are many other blogs which will have their say, but which is actually performing the best for the retailers themselves?

The John Lewis ad is arguably the most eagerly awaited all year and it’s seen as the seminal moment for festive feelings to fall upon us. With the BBC reporting record Christmas ad spends for 2017 with a staggering £6bn spent by brands in 2017, everyone has upped their game to get a slice of the (mince) pie.

But ad big budgets aren’t enough! Even if John Lewis has hired an Oscar winning director, Elbow and thrown £7m at its Christmas crusade. Every festive campaign hitting our screens this year needs to incorporate a sound digital strategy as well as a captivating and often emotional Christmas message. We’ve looked at four of the nation’s largest department stores to see which campaign is delivering the best results so far.

Before we dive straight in, you can view all the ads discussed here:

12 Graphs of Christmas

Google       

Processing over 40,000 search queries per second, Google is obviously the best place to start. When comparing searches for the four department stores it’s clear one comes out on top. And it’s no coincidence there is a spike in traffic after Moz the Monster was born on 10 November. John Lewis jingles all the way to the top of Google rankings based on its Christmas campaign this year.

Frequency of search terms of the big four retailer since 1 November

Social media shouting match

With most Christmas ads now appearing on everything from billboards to buses and TV to Twitter, it’s interesting to look at which retailer is making the most noise online.

YouTube

It’s all well and good shelling out millions for TV ad space but which brands are making the most of the free, online opportunities? YouTube is the obvious place to start and there are two clear frontrunners for the festive ad crown this year. John Lewis leads the way with over 8,000,000 views and Marks and Spencer is keeping close with almost 6,000,000 of its own. Debenhams has clocked up over 1,000,000 views while House of Fraser is languishing in fourth place with a measly 60,000 views.

Twitter

We all know that one platform is not enough however and brands need to be producing engaging content across a range of channels. Twitter tells us more.

John Lewis

 

 John Lewis has attempted to generate interest through the creation of two hashtags for its campaign this year #MozTheMonster and #UnderTheBed. With almost 1,500 posts reaching an audience of nearly 11,000,000 since the 1 November alone, it’s clear the campaign is not just working on TV.

While there have been some mixed reactions to its ‘under the bed’ theme with many citing scared children as one concern, John Lewis’ loveable monster Moz has proved more popular with over 70% of people reacting positively to him.

Source: @KieranRhys Twitter

Debenhams

Debenhams has aimed to create an empowering Christmas message in 2017, #YouShall. The retailer has recruited added firepower this year with the Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor drafted in as its celebrity influencer to boost brand awareness through a fairy tale cameo with a modern social media twist. With almost 2,000,000 people reached so far and almost two thirds reacting positively, Debenhams is doing well.

 

Source: @Gail_AT Twitter

House of Fraser

House of Fraser’s Christmas campaign for 2017 takes a trip down memory lane and aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia with its hope to #BringMerryBack. However, with only 58 posts utilising the hashtag in over two weeks (and how many of these are employees?) it hasn’t done as well as the others. With just over half of posts having a positive sentiment, House of Fraser will have hoped for more.

 

Source: @sara00012345 Twitter

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer, last but not least, has teamed up with ‘the nation’s favourite marmalade lover’ to make us #LoveTheBear enough to visit its stores or website. A clever campaigning building upon the star’s readymade fanbase to influence our Christmas spending. It’s clearly resonated with many, achieving an online reach of nearly 4,000,000 people already! However, it seems not everyone is a fan of poor old Paddington with just half of users reacting positively to his glad tidings.

 

Source: @FactDeJour Twitter

 

And the #winner is…

So there is a clear winner as to which retailer’s Christmas ad is performing best.

  1. John Lewis

Unsurprisingly the John Lewis ad has become THE Christmas event of the year after consistent production of engaging and emotional content both on screen and online. This year, driving traffic and searches online has clearly worked and it sold out of the portable LED night light featured in the ad in mere minutes! Well played #MozTheMonster – gold medal performance.

  1. Marks and Spencer

Silver goes to Marks and Spencer’s #LoveTheBear campaign. A creative ad featuring the friendliest, furry legend from fiction, Paddington Bear. Although not all reactions online have been positive, views and searches have shot through the store roof. All publicity is good publicity, right?

  1. Debenhams

It was a close race but the bronze medal goes to Debenhams for its’ #YouShall campaign to have a Cinderella inspired, fairy tale Christmas. This campaign has had a positive reaction online so comes out on top if it’s quality leads you’re after. However, as the ad has been viewed less than its rivals, it just hasn’t created that same buzz as the big spenders.

  1. House of Fraser

Last but not least, it’s House of Fraser’s #BringMerryBack. A nice idea to add a sprinkling of nostalgia to its campaign this year but with only around 500,000 people reached by the campaign so far, it looks like it’ll be playing catch-up for the festive run in.

Although the big four department stores have been the focus here, it’s unforgiveable to examine retailers’ Christmas campaigns without paying homage to the nation’s most heroic carrot. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is back with a bang this year and it’s another example of how retailers are maximising revenue over the festive period through championing a brand mascot. Such is the demand for Kevin and his love interest Katie, Aldi has had to restrict sales to two per customer this year!

Lessons to be learned

So the lesson is, don’t just rely on one platform. It’s not just retailers that can capitalise on Christmas this year through creating as many opportunities to expose consumers to their brand as possible. TV ads and video content should be posted on dedicated web pages, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and we haven’t even touched upon Facebook or LinkedIn etc.

But don’t just take our word for it – have your say on which retailer’s Christmas ad is best via our Twitter poll here.

And although there’s still a month until the day itself, all that’s left from Acceleris is to wish all of our clients, suppliers and partners a very merry Christmas!

All data featured in this blog has been obtained between 1-17 November through research conducted by Acceleris’ Digital Insights division which tracks trends and monitors online behaviour to stay ahead of the curve, and to help inform client PR campaigns. Find out more about our specialist retail team here.