• Who will you break up with this Valentine’s Day?

    Feb 1 • General business, Inspiration, Uncategorized • 60 Views

    It’s not you, it’s me. We’ve tried but it just isn’t the same anymore. It would be best for us both if we just moved on.

    Feel good? Maybe you have a bit of a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach?

    What if you took this honest approach to your marketing? Especially with your newsletter subscribers.

    We’ve all heard of GDPR by now and there is a lot of fretting and faffing going on. Many people are worried that they will lose a huge number of subscribers. I totally understand.

    Now, this is going to sound harsh but this might be for the best.

    Hear me out.

    Forget the whole GDPR stuff for a moment. Maybe they don’t WANT to hear from you. Maybe they are just being polite and not unsubscribing and they are just quietly ignoring your messages or simple deleting them.

    Well, with GDPR, you now have the perfect excuse to break up. You can actually ask your list if they still want to hear from you as you are keen to ensure relevance at all times and that you are being useful to them.

    You could even crowbar in the phrase ‘best practice’ if you like that sort of thing.

    If you aren’t being relevant or useful, you could ask them what they would prefer. Maybe they want a clean break, no hard feelings. Maybe they want to hear from you less often.

    Maybe they don’t actually recall you from that first date long ago.

    Maybe, they don’t think they ever asked to hear from you thinking about it.

    Or….maybe they will say WAIT DON’T LEAVE ME – I CAN CHANGE.

    Well, good news, now you can get together for a coffee and a chat again.

    GDPR is a very dry subject but you don’t have to treat it like that. Sure, you can see it as a threat and worry about your number of ‘subscribers’ dwindling or, you could see it as a way to focus on your actual prospects and forge better engagement with them.

    I will be sending this out to my database actually asking people if they want me to stop messaging them. Will I be heartbroken if I lose a tonne of subscribers?

    No.

    Well, maybe a tiny bit, we’re all human BUT I know I will be more delighted to know that those who still want to hear from me have told me they do and that I can now concentrate on better serving them.

    They might even want to hear from me MORE.

    Marketing isn’t about ‘spray and pray’ it is about being useful to your suspects, prospects, leads, customers and clients.

    If you can add a bit of humour in there too, even better.

    Just don’t take it so personally if you have a few break ups over this. You were never quite right for each other in the first place and deep down, you know it.

    Take care out there.

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  • Ooh, I do LOVE an audit…

    Jan 25 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks • 44 Views

    It’s that time of year when we’re making resolutions. Whether health, wealth or just plain happiness, we’re all at it.

    Of course, to do these properly, we need targets or good old ‘goals’ if you prefer and crucially, we need to know where we are starting from.

    This should be the case with your PR efforts too. You may have a resolution to make a more strategic effort with your PR campaign or perhaps you want to rekindle a campaign that spluttered out a little last year?

    Perish the thought but maybe you didn’t do ANY PR in 2017 whatsoever. It has been known.

    As we all know, what gets measured gets managed. So, what might you measure with regards your PR efforts this year and against what benchmarks?

    You might look at how many stories you published and issued and how many got used. This is what we call your ‘hit-rate’. How well did you do? For some, the figures will be reassuringly high.

    I pride myself on a 100 percent hit rate for my clients but that’s my job and I will only release stories I know will get covered and make a difference for my client.

    You may have different pressures.

    What about the amount of stories you started but honestly, never finished? Maybe time got the better of you or the moment passed? Perhaps you lacked a decent picture or couldn’t herd the cats into place before the news angle fizzled out?

    This happens a lot, don’t worry.

    You might measure how often your pictures got used, whether your quotes were included or check out how many brand mentions you managed to squeeze in.

    Many people like to consider the cost/value ratio of advertising v editorial. Essentially how much you ‘paid’ in editorial resource via an agency or in-house v how much that same space would cost if bought as an advert.

    I do not do this, it is pretty much taboo now in PR for various reasons I won’t bore you with but it might help as ONE metric to consider.

    Rather than this, I’d measure the tone of the coverage. Go for quality over quantity. Does it portray your business as you would wish?

    Also, was the coverage in the right place?

    You can compare all sorts of things and even compare versus your competitors but the key thing is to go for something you can measure fairly easily that makes a difference to you and preferably you can check quarterly. That way you can address problems or embrace opportunities in a far more timely and effective manner.

    Finally, do you know what your target media thinks about you? Do they know you? Do they know exactly what you do?

    That research is incredibly powerful.

    We are offering the target media opinion audit worth £250 as a free service throughout January and February. Get in touch if you’d like us to help you discover what your target media thinks and knows about you.  Book a call with us now.

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  • So, Sir Steve, what made you get back in the boat?

    Nov 30 • Celebrity, Inspiration, PR Tips & Tricks, Sponsorship • 418 Views

    It’s not every day that you get to meet one of your sporting heroes.

    My chance came yesterday when I met the Olympic legend, Sir Steve Redgrave.

    I’ve been fortunate in my public relations career to have met and worked with a lot of interesting business figures. I’ve even chaired press conferences for James Caan and Sir Richard Branson.

    However, meeting a sporting hero feels very different, however famous he or she may be.

    My chance to meet him and to ask him a question came at a business conference run by Entrepreneurs Circle, a group I’ve been a part of for just under a year, to help grow my business and for whom I now write a regular column.

    Fielding many questions, including my own where he revealed that Matthew Pinsent was the best athlete he ever rowed with, he also explained that it was a family and career decision to get back in the boat one more time after Atlanta, that the sheer will to win was behind much of his success and that his medal from Seoul in 1988 doesn’t fit in his medal box, made by his best mate at comprehensive school.

    For a legend, he is incredibly down to earth.

    Sir Steve certainly had huge natural talent but he had to step up and challenge the norm to get to where he got to. It is no good just improving a bit to catch up with your rivals, they will be doing the same, maybe more. To make the GIANT leaps required to close the gap and overtake your rivals, to DOMINATE as he and his Great Britain colleagues did for so long, means you have to embrace change.

    He explained that the team’s original training schedules were not closing the gap on the top nations. He wanted to do something differently. A gamble? That depends how you view it…if the current way of working isn’t closing the gap on your goals, why not change it up? You have nothing to lose.

    This was part of his wider message to the business owners in the audience with me, some 300 of us. You need to set BIG goals, chunk them down into bite sized pieces and then, tweak, refine and improve to ensure that every day, you are moving towards your goal. That might be revenue, customer numbers, market penetration, new products or good old profit. The bottom line for all businesses.

    For me, my goal is to tell 2020 stories by 2020. If I started in January 2018, that’s 1010 a year. Call it 1000. The extra 20 on 2020 are for charitable causes. So 1000 a year, that’s 83 a month. Call it 84. That’s 21 a week and just over 4 a day.

    Thankfully, I started this a while ago now.

    It is still a hell of lot but I have a team now to help me and they know this goal. They know their role in it and they are all working with me to get there. Will we make it? I am positive we will but if we start to miss our schedule, if our performance starts to fall back,  I will not be afraid to make changes to how we work and to amplify our efforts.

    So, what is your big goal for 2018? Share it with me and maybe I can help make it happen, especially if it involves getting your story into the press. If you want a free guide on how to do just that, you can grab it here.

    PS – the other question, who is taller, me or Sir Steve? Well…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

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  • Why you SHOULD make an exhibition of yourself

    Nov 17 • PR Tips & Tricks • 183 Views

    I’ve just got back from supporting our new client, ValueLicensing at Smarter Business Tech Live – a major exhibition with nearly 200 speakers including my client.

    What stunned me was that I was one of very few people there from the marketing support perspective. Most exhibitors focused on getting there on time and standing on their shiny stand hoping people and prospects would drop by.

    That’s crazy, exhibitions can cost a fortune in both time and money.

    So here’s some tips about what you should or could be doing the next time you book some space.

    • Tell your prospects and customers that you are going. They might be too or they might want to join you. Use it as a chance to have a conversation. Send them an eshot, blog about it, share it across social, drop them an email directly. Whatever you do, make sure that relevant prospects know.
    • See if you can get a speaking slot. If you can, you need to push this HARD as it is gold dust. It is a fantastic profile boost which can lead to prospects on the day and a host of new opportunities.
    • Try and arrange an interview with the exhibition show guide, either online, in print or both. They are keen to have as much news as possible as it helps to keep the content fresh and the punters buying tickets.
    • On the day, arrange for one of your team to be a ‘roving reporter’ taking in the show and sharing it on social media. The organisers will thank you for sharing their show with social shares a plenty and you will be positioning yourself as an expert on the industry.
    • If you have got a speaking slot, be sure to take ‘action’ shots of you or your colleague addressing the crowd. This builds authority for later articles and blogs.
    • Be sure to write up a short piece for your website and newsletter summarising the key points for those that couldn’t make it.

    After the show is over, have an honest look at what worked and what didn’t from the stand and lead capture mechanisms to the PR and social element. Now is also a good time to pitch your expert speaker for some guest articles in relevant media. There should be list of reporters who attended that you can get from the organisers or at least the publications they work for. Pitch them first whilst the show is still fresh.

    I hope that helps, don’t forget, when it comes to exhibitions it really is SHOW time so don’t just ‘stand’ around.

    Sorry ;0

    PS if you want more free PR tips and tricks, just click here.

     

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  • Event – your chance to hit the headlines

    Oct 26 • PR Tips & Tricks • 237 Views

    Ever wondered what makes a great story or how to pitch to the media?

    Well, wonder no more.

    If you can get to Nottingham on November 21st, you can hear from a panel of local, regional AND national business journalists about how to take your PR campaign to the next level.

    If you’re a small business owner fighting for media recognition for the incredible stuff you do, there are some really simple steps to take to get noticed.

    We’ve organised the event with Enterprise Nation as part of Greg’s local champion role and he will be on the panel along with:

    • Andrew Lynch, assistant business editor at The Sunday Times
    • Sam Metcalf, editor, The Business Desk in the East Midlands
    • Kevin Stanley, BBC Radio Nottingham

    The event will be chaired by Enterprise Nation head of content, Dan Martin.

    Dan has 14 years of experience as a journalist, writing about small businesses and the issues that affect them. Among the people he has interviewed are Sir Richard Branson, Peter Jones, the Duke of York and Vince Cable.

    To find out more or to book your ticket, visit the event page here or drop Greg a line for more info on greg@pressforattention.com

    Fore more free PR tips and tricks, click here

     

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  • Looking for customers? It’s all about the rhythm baby

    Oct 10 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks • 242 Views

     

    What is a customer worth to you? If you’re a cafe, it might be £3.99.

    A restaurant, maybe £50.

    If you’re a lawyer, let’s face it, it is probably a tad more.

    What about me, the humble PR consultant…well, anywhere from £99 to £27,000.

    You see, I don’t see customers as a one-off transaction, I see them all as long-term clients in waiting.

    They vary from one-off strategy calls to help boost their PR campaign or recurring fees to work with them for a few months. It might be a blog or two, a press release, a mini-campaign or a retainer.

    The costs vary hugely. That larger figure of £27,000 isn’t a finger in the air guess or dream fee. It represents the average fee over the average length of a retainer contract.

    How did I get to that fee and so blinking what?

    Well, my average retainer is £750/m and the average client stays with us for 3 years.

    So, £750 x 12 = £9000. £9000 x 3 = £27,000.

    Wow Greg, I’m REALLY happy for you I hear you say. The next round’s on you.

    The point is, if I know the ‘lifetime value’ of a client is £27,000, I’m now armed with information that helps me make a decision about how much I could/should spend to snaffle that client. So if I’m aiming to win more retainers, I’m not thinking about £750, I’m thinking far BIGGER.

    For smaller fees, I cut my marketing cloth accordingly but again, it is based on facts, not intuition.

    The key thing is, I know what I need and I know how to get it. It is then up to me to play with my marketing strategy to ensure those leads come in at the right rate in terms of time and value and crucially, at the right cost that is acceptable to me, with the knowledge that I convert 60 percent of my qualified leads.

    This is why it is all about the rhythm. It’s no good winning the odd bit of work as a fluke. You need to know your target, your conversion rate, your margin and your lifetime value. Then you can start to look at your marketing budget and how to spend it to get to that goal.

    If you’d like to have a chat with me about how to do this, you’ll be pleased to know there’s no fee for that. Yes, you can have a FREE strategy call with me, I might even buy you a coffee at £2.99 or a sandwich at £3.99.

    You see, I know I can invest this because I know my rhythmic acquisition of customers.

    The question is, do you know yours?

    Grab free PR tips and tricks here

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  • Quick Baldrick, the PM needs a cunning plan

    Oct 5 • Thought leadership • 323 Views

    ‘it started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better — but apart from that it was excellent’

    Not the words of the watching media, party members and viewers of Theresa May’s speech but one Captain Blackadder’s scathing appraisal of Private Baldrick’s attempt at poetry.

    The similarities are clear, at some turns political, at others comic and with an underlying sense of doom lurking on the horizon, the PM’s speech at the Tory party conference was memorable for sure BUT for all the wrong reasons.

    When the intervention of a comedian with a P45 turns out to be the least worse moment of your big comeback speech you know you are in trouble and there is no denying this was one set of unfortunate circumstances after another.

    Damned if she leaves, damned if she doesn’t

    If the PM leaves the podium amidst coughs and splutters, she is perceived as weak. She has to stay. If she shrinks from the P45 interloper she is weak. Remember, Europe and indeed a reinvigorated Jeremy Corbyn are looking on.

    I don’t tend to have much sympathy for any politician but did I feel sorry for her on a human level? Yes. I wonder, will this moment of weakness, this stuttering towards the finish line turn out to be a chance for a new start for Ms May?

    Whether she likes it or not, gone is the robot. Will this new vulnerable version of the PM, the leader who struggles to make the human connection her rival Jezza does with ease, turn out to be more of a vote winner?

    Will it save her or bury her once and for all?

    Time will tell.

    Grab free PR tips and tricks here

     

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  • John Lewis – won’t somebody think of the children?

    Sep 5 • Thought leadership, Uncategorized • 380 Views

    X Factor auditions, the return of Strictly, John Lewis adverts dominating social media…yep, the end of the British summer is right on schedule.

    Only this time, it seems we’re not cooing over Buster the Boxer, the Man on the Moon or Monty the penguin, this time, we’re worrying about labelling, and we all know that’s wrong don’t we children?

    It has ’emerged,’ as the media likes to report, that the nation’s favourite retailer, bastion of battenbergs, picnic baskets, meritocracy and all things thoroughly pleasant, has OUTRAGED the nation by harmonising their new children’s range under one label – Girls AND Boys or, for the sake of parity, Boys AND Girls.

    There is an equal split you’ll be relieved to read, gentle reader.

    Of course it may well depend on what media you consume about whether you are outraged about this. It also depends on how many clicks and sales said media wants to generate and your knowledge of your readers’ own politics.

    However, what does the retailer itself say? Well, apart from pointing out they did this last year, here’s their thinking behind the move.

    Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear at John Lewis, said in a statement on Monday:

    “We introduced new non-gender specific John Lewis stitched labels and combined ‘Girls & Boys’ swing tags to clothing for John Lewis own label collections in 2016.

    “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”

    Now, all good retailers know their customers intimately. John Lewis isn’t doing this as a publicity stunt or to APPEAR politically correct. It will be doing it because to them, it makes business sense. It may well generate a tonne of publicity, both positive and negative. It may well alienate some people, many of whom shop there now and many of whom have never shopped there BUT this will be a strategic decision based on risk v reward.

    The question is, is this a risk worth taking? For my part, I’m totally neutral.

    Hey Greg, I’d love some PR tips and tricks please.

     

     

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  • You silly sausage…we don’t know WHAT you’re selling

    Sep 1 • PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks, Uncategorized • 456 Views

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that marketing folk are so busy with buzz words that they forget to tell us WHAT they actually do.

    This actually makes it hard to buy what they sell. Not a good thing.

    Why? Well…it seems we often don’t know what it is we are trying to sell.

    We’ve all heard about features v benefits. People don’t actually want to buy a drill. They want a hole in a wall.

    I had a good think about this the other day and came to a similar conclusion about PR. Marketers are not actually desperate to sign up a PR consultant or agency. They want the result of that purchase. They want coverage and awareness.

    All too often when I come in for a brief with a potential client and ask them what they do and for whom, they really don’t seem to know.

    They talk about “best practice”, “robust strategies”, “whole of market offerings” and “holistic approaches”.

    Waffle

    couple waffles being soaked in syrup.

     

    WHAT do you do? What actually changes once you are hired or your product is sold? What is the tangible ROI?

    My colleague, Martin Rockley, will head up our new copywriting service, ‘Press For Copy’, from September. Martin lives by the mantra “sell the sizzle, not the sausage”.

    Benefits. Results.

    So I asked Martin (or in current marketing phraseology I “reached out” to him) and asked him what he does.Here’s his reply worked through to the end:

    “Does a copywriter write copy? No. A copywriter sells stuff by using written words. We are the print or digital equivalent of the door-to-door salesmen we have replaced – we reveal how we can improve lives rather than describing the product features.

    “Nobody employs me because I’m an advertising Dostoevsky. They employ me because I can help them sell their products or services. I’m a problem solver. Someone who knows what buttons to press and how to press them.

    “So I’m a problem solver, salesperson and button presser – or copywriter for short.”

    Before anyone begins a marketing or PR campaign, they need to know their audience (their who) and their message (their what). So, can you tell me yours?

    What do you actually do? What changes once I make a decision to buy from you?

    Nail that and then we can talk about how I can help you tell other people that.

    I’d love some free PR tips and tricks please

     

     

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  • Stop selling vitamins, start curing headaches

    Jul 1, 17 | PR Tips & Tricks, PR tips & tricks

      Imagine you’ve just had a really stressful meeting. Your head is thumping. You’ve got 20 minutes until your next one. What will you do? You’ll find some paracetamol NOW. You’ll leave the office if need be. You’re curing a problem and you NEED...