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We are supporting Feed London

Give the gift of Christmas dinner this year

We are delighted to be helping Miracles Charity which is to launch a major new initiative to support vulnerable families on Christmas Day. Containing all the ingredients to prepare a festive Christmas meal, Feed London’s food boxes will be delivered to some of the 1,000’s families predicted to go without a meal on Christmas Day in London.

By donating £25 people can give the gift of Christmas dinner. Businesses and corporations are also invited to purchase a complete family hamper for £175. Feed London desperately needs the support of the London community – from local business and from local citizens in each borough.

Even before the pandemic, in 2019, the Greater London Authority estimated that 400,000 children aged 16 or under faced food poverty and food insecurity. 

The Feed London Christmas box contains all the ingredients to produce Christmas dinner complete with recipes, traditional Christmas crackers, aprons for the children (so they can cook on the big day), a supermarket voucher, Christmas pudding and vegan options.  

Buy a box and donate at www.feedlondon.org/ priced at £25 per Christmas dinner, or £175 for the complete family hamper.

James Burton, Project Director, Feed London, said; “There are many reasons why a family might be living in poverty but for children it’s simple: they are born into it. We believe in taking a whole family approach. We want to encourage long-term healthy eating and to introduce children to the fun of cooking – because nothing tastes better than food you have cooked yourself.”

Feed London and Miracles run year round campaigns to benefit children living in poverty. London has the highest rates of poverty of any English region. In London there are 700,000+ children living in poverty – that’s more than in Scotland and Wales combined. The 5 Boroughs with the highest rates of poverty (after Housing costs) are; Tower Hamlets, 53%; Newham, 43%; Hackney, 41%; Westminster, 41%; and Islington, 40%.

Save the children’s survey of households on universal credit or working tax credits found nearly two-thirds had run up debts over the past two months, 60% had cut down on food and other basics, and over a third had relied on charities for food and clothes. According to this research over a quarter of respondents said it was harder to afford food compared to the start of the pandemic, while 22% reported using a food bank.

We are helping to raise awareness with PR.

Featured

Lidl’s Middle Class Wine Drinkers

We were blown away with the scale of our campaign for Lidl. To drive trial into a more mainstream ‘middle-class’ demographic we used Lidl’s outstanding and previously unheralded wine selection to make newspapers and magazines reconsider quality and upmarket credentials. The story went viral appearing in all national newspapers, and rippling out into digital channels and international media.

What’s the point of research in a locked-down world?

There’s new research out today from data company, Stravito, in conjunction with independent polling company Censuswide that tells us that two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK companies have commissioned market research in 2020 which has never been used due to the disruptions and delays caused by Covid-19.

The main reason that research has been dropped is because the data is being immediately rendered out of date because of societal changes caused by the pandemic.

I don’t know why, but I really like it that consumers are getting harder to read, and are breaking free from the demographic standard boxes which have captured them. I like to think of myself as not an average consumer, I like to think that I am different and that my consumer behaviour can’t be predicted by algorithms.

Its good news too for us marketers who employ less broad stroke tactics and more engaging and tailored communications strategies. We know that people, ultimately, have a need and that they buy their products because they are good and fit for purpose.

But in the long run people love their brands because they make them feel… something.

How to get coverage in the press right now

How to get press coverage right now

The never ending story of Covid19 is still dominating the news agenda, as it has done for the last 12 months. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any opportunities to get brands impressive coverage in print, broadcast and online. 

We’ve had a look at the editorial output of different publications and this is what we think is working right now for editorial coverage (earned media).

Although it feels like Groundhog Day with national newspapers and that not much is happening, in fact newspapers are in a fortunate position that there is actually ‘too much news’.

The media landscape is swamped right now and ever changing – we don’t know what huge global events are going to break from one moment to the next. It is an unprecedented time in the news agenda.

A story that might have been a front page leading story a year might only make a small nib now. The many tentacles of Covid19 are far reaching and we’ve seen USA election, & inauguration, and social related issues in the UK fighting to take centre stage in the media. These are all big serious issues based news items. 

Unless you have a serious news angle to contribute give a wide berth to piggy backing on these sorts of stories. 

Where we recommend engaging with media is bringing ‘light’ to complement the dark. Nationals are really looking for light and fun stories right now. We categorise ‘light’ as being funny, light hearted, striking imagery, glamour and triumph over adversary. The Tik Tok trend essentially captures this sentiment with silly, catchy, home-made video set to music. 

News outlets are capturing the imagination of their readers with feel-good stories featuring good Samaritans, delicious foods and innovative gifting. 

One product that we’ve had tremendous success with is www.cocktail-hour.com – these are beautiful themed cocktail boxes delivered to your home with accoutrements, music, food and drink guides. It has really captured the imagination with its emphasis on luxury, quality and treating yourself well. Bloggers and journalists alike have snapped up imagery and samples generating a good result in terms of return on investment for the business.  The Cocktail Hour has been featured in, to date, The Evening StandardThe Sun, The Mail, The Telegraph amongst others. 

Exclusivity can help win you bigger coverage. Rather than blanket coverage try and consider delivering an exclusive with one publication to secure stronger key message delivery, and potentially more space. 

While page space is squeezed in national newspapers online is essentially infinite! There are infinite opportunities for coverage online and in the same media brands, just their online versions. 

While print is limited by space, online publications are technically infinite, it is still not a case of  ‘slapping it up online’. There are huge pressures on online journalists to not only create a huge amount of content but achieve huge clicks too. The news agenda online still remains quite different to their print counterparts and that is driven by their readership number and targets. 

Celebrities are I’m afraid universally popular so anywhere you can attach talent to the story then all the better. 

I love a survey but sadly they are increasingly disliked by many editors. If you do a survey make sure that you have a significant number of respondents (2k+) and ideally work with a reputable survey company

Producing outstanding stories

No matter what sector, brand or product quality stories are what all media and online news outlets want. But, right now, it is more important than ever to create outstanding stories and here’s why:

People often ask me if we still do ‘press releases’ or if there’s some other more digitally advanced way of communicating. In reality we use a whole box of tricks to get our stories noticed – and we need to because it has never been more competitive to get into the press.

Many different bodies are all fighting over the same space in rapidly reducing newspapers. Papers themselves are smaller than ever with less advertising and more expensive printing costs, the number of pages in a newspaper has been reduced across the board by an average of nearly 20 per cent making it harder than ever to land coverage.

We know about the switch online, but when you consider that the front pages of all newspapers contain the biggest international news of the day, the back is dedicated to sport and the middle to lifestyle features, you can see how the space for products, brands and people is massively reduced and therefore only the most outstanding stories will land successfully.

Reduction in national newspaper space:

PublicationNumber of pages November 2019Number of pages November 2020Difference in pagesPercentage difference in pages %
The Sun64568-12.5
Daily Mirror726012-16.7
Daily Star56488-14.3
Daily Express72608– 16.7
Daily Mail1008812– 12
Daily Telegraph40346– 15
The Times76724– 5.3
Metro723636-50
Guardian564016– 28.6
     
Average page decrease   19%

Mooncup

We are delighted to be helping Mooncup turn 18 and take its mega cool brand even further into the mainstream with a national consumer PR campaign.

Mooncup has just launched its latest campaign, starring real Mooncup Users where women share their own diverse stories in a virtual ‘word of mouth’ campaign celebrating 18 years of the Mooncup menstrual cup, and its impact in smashing menstrual taboos.

Mooncup Director, Kath Clements said; “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our shout out to our community to share their experiences as part of the #RealMooncupUser campaign. It’s been such a privilege to hear from so many, telling it like it is, without shame.  The success of the Mooncup® has always been driven by word of mouth recommendations, and these days even more are choosing to take control of their bodies and make the switch to a positive, ethical one-off purchase. Many have told us that it feels empowering, all the more so with growing awareness of the environment, and our social and cultural structures.”

People took part by posting a photo of themselves to Instagram in their ‘natural habitat’, showing what makes them unique finishing the sentence, “I love my Mooncup because….” The real Mooncup users feature as ambassadors telling their stories in a digital campaign.  

Choosing six inspirational stories, Mooncup menstrual cup users Michelle, Lizi, Emilie, Jaineesha, Helen and Holly came to Mooncup HQ in Brighton for a weekend shoot to talk about periods;

  • Emilie Woodger Smith, has a degree in environmental science and was inspired to use the Mooncup menstrual cup through her work in the recycling and waste industry
  • Lizi Carey is a personal trainer and self-confessed ‘gym bunny’ who uses the Mooncup for environmental reasons, but also for comfort and convenience while exercising
  • Michelle Hopewell is an actor and body positive model
  • Jaineesha Solanki is make-up artist based in the Midlands who specialises in the Asian bridal industry and switched to the Mooncup to reduce the amount of plastic she uses
  • Helen Bowman is a teacher from Brighton who has found the Mooncup indispensable in positively managing her perimenopause
  • Holly Matthews is a student and illustrator who loves the convenience and the amount of money that she saves by using a Mooncup

Watch all the stories at https://www.mooncup.co.uk/real-mooncup-users/ where they talk about first periods, menstrual cup folds, first Mooncup impressions, and what they love about the Mooncup. Or watch on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/mooncupltd/ and on the Mooncup blog https://www.mooncup.co.uk/blog/what-kind-of-person-uses-a-mooncup/

Orthopaedic Specialists

We are delighted to be working with leading Orthopaedic Specialists as their health PR agency to expand knowledge of their newest techniques to treat a variety of conditions. These guys deal with trauma and degenerative conditions to change people’s lives and get them mobile again.

We often look for the most unsual stories because new and not seen before treatments make the best national features in publications like the Daily Mail and The Mirror. But it doesn’t just have to be the unusual stories, great feel good stories about relationships, about lives changes, and overcoming hurdles make for great PR content.

This is very exciting work for us because it is about communicating at the forefront of new orthopaedic technologies. It makes us proud to be tapped into the very latest developments in healthcare as a health PR agency.

We are extremely proud to be working with some of the most talented Orthopedic surgeons in the world. We have the challenge of communicating some of the amazing work that they do to treat people to the mainstream media.

Some of the things that they do are incredible and they change people’s lives. Just one case is Keith who was treated by the inspirational, Mr Nima Heidari, who was able to replace bone with a cage. Thanks to the Mail On Sunday you can read all about Keith and Nima’s story here… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8559627/The-3D-printed-cage-spare-hundreds-Britons-leg-amputations.html

One of the best things about being a healthcare PR agency and working in wellness is speaking to case studies and hearing stories about how their lives have been changed for the better.

We often deal with the most unusual and outstanding stories – because we understand what makes a good health feature. But its a reminder of just how hard the medical profession works to take care of us.

As a health PR agency we nuture relationships with leading national journalists to ensure that our clients and the stories of the people that they have helped get heard.

Unspun

We created the brand, look and feel for this new marketing blog and community site which compares agencies from different sectors and ranks them by user review. We worked with our partner design studio, Mr Gresty to achieve a stunning overall visual appearance.

Unspun.agency is an interactive database of marketing agencies where clients themselves are able to leave reviews for the agencies that they work with generating a star rating.

There are thousands of agencies in the database from more than 12 different countries around the world and growing all the time.

The brand work needed to resonate authority with an audience of professional marketing and designer experts.

Check it out yourself http://www.unspun.agency

Red Tractor

At the very heart of the UK food industry we have powered communications for Red Tractor dealing with consumer awareness raising campaigns to strategic crisis communications.

The UK has some of the highest food standards in the world which frequently find themselves at the centre of the national news agenda.

By the same merit we need educate UK consumers about the food that they purchase and how it has been produced safely and with care.

Does PR work?

Does PR even work?

We got nothing back.”

Yes we can!

I hate to start on a negative but I can’t tell you the amount of times that a potential client tells me that they had a ‘bad experience’ with a PR agency.

Although it’s tempting to tell them that they would have a better experience working with us, I never do. It always gives me the insight that something broke down in the relationship, whether it was planning, expectations, perhaps the job was far bigger than the agency imagined it could be. Perhaps the agency was terrible. Perhaps the client was difficult. Probably the budget was out of sync with the scope of work.

There are a million reasons why a campaign might deviate and meander from what was originally agreed. No one said it would be easy, but the smart thing to do is react and change within the campaign restrictions

I had a bad experience with a builder

Photo by Anamul Rezwan on Pexels.com

I tend to think of it in the same way that I would with a builder. I’ve had a bad experience with a builder. In fact I’ve had loads of bad experiences with plumbers, mechanics and electricians. This does not mean that I fundamentally do not believe that bricks hold up houses, or that I won’t get my tap fixed because I previously had a bad experience. Or that I’m not going to have electricity in the house because I got ripped off and overcharged by an electrician.

PR still works. Managing your reputation still has value, and is still crucial even though things might not have panned out as well as you would like.

“We got nothing back”, some clients say. But there will be a reason why and the smart thing to do is to work through and find the solution. There is no business, no product and no individual who cannot benefit from a strategic PR campaign.

So the next time a potential client tells you, woefully, that they’ve had a bad experience of PR – tell them that you’ve had a bad experience too yet on we go. Yes we can!

Ask the client, how can we make this work? Where exactly did it go wrong? What can we learn from this? How must any new campaign come to life in the light of what has gone before.