AuraTalk issue 2 - PR e-zine for SMEs

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Information about AuraTalk issue 2 - PR e-zine for SMEs

Published on January 3, 2017

Author: AuraPR


1. H E L P I N G S M E S S T A N D O U T I S S U E 2 AURATALK Photography: Martin Shields

2. EDITOR'S NOTE E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F WelcometothesecondissueofAuraTalk! Inthisissuewetalkaboutfindinginspirationeverywhere,anarticleinspired(funnily enough) byPaulSmith,theiconicBritishdesignerwhovisitedGlasgowearlierthisyearfor theHello,MyNameisPaulSmithexhibition. Astimeschangeinpublicrelationssodobudgets.ItakealookathowPRbudgetsare changing,nowwehavetopaytoreachaudiencesandbreakthroughthesheervolume ofcontentbeinggeneratedacrosstheweb.Influencermarketingplaysahugerole. WealsofeaturesomeimagesofthenewMiller& CarterrestaurantinGlasgow.We workedwithGlasgow-basedphotographerMartinShieldstocapturethebrandandthe essenceofthenewvenue,whichhasalreadyreceived30/30fromTheDailyRecord reviewer,GaryRalston. InternationalWomen'sDaywason8MarchandImadeapledgeforparity.Ilookatways wecanhelpsetanequalbar,usingPRasanexample. W W W . A U R A - P R . C O M Laura Sutherland


4. INTEGRATE PR & SEO IT NEEDN' T BE A HEADACHE. IT NEEDS TO BE SCALABLE How to find inspiration... everywhere As part of the Hello, My Name is Paul Smith exhibition, at The Lighthouse, Paul Smith came to Glasgow to speak to students and young designers about finding inspiration everywhere. 5 unlikely places you may find inspiration #1 Embrace your daydreams Daydreaming can you bring you back to a place between real-life and fantasy. Dreams and ambitions can play out and you'll be in a world of your own. Psychologist Malia Fox Mason once said, "By allowing your mind the freedom to roam, the chances that you're going to have an insight are much higher. It's likely that you are going to recombine pieces of information in a novel way.” #2 Pull an all-nighter Sometimes when you're in a non-work environment e.g. the phones aren't ringing and people aren't pestering you with emails, you are more likely to make a link to something or when you're tired, you are more susceptible to the influence of other ideas. "Unfortunately, we can’t feel like that all the time. And yet, in the workplace, we’re always expected to meet -- and ideally, exceed -- expectations ... our inspiration levels notwithstanding. "As someone who has to write and create on a daily basis, I’ve identified (with the help of science ... thanks, science!) some less obvious strategies for upping your inspiration levels." Erik sets out some tips... The funny thing is, everything Paul said made so much sense, but it was almost too simple. Do humans make life difficult for themselves by looking for a deeper meaning or analysing too much? Paul was talking about his fashion collection inspirations and mentioned everyday scenes that he took and made into a design. For example, the shapes and angles which shadows cast, the waves in their various shapes and forms in the sea, a pattern from a piece of furnishing. Finding inspiration for our next campaign or project can be that easy. Nowadays, we have access to huge amounts of data. What is the data telling us? What pattern does it show and how does this translate into the design of our strategy? Sometimes, simple things that are all around us and available to us are the most effective places to look. What about unlikely places though? Erik Devaney @bardofboston says: Knowing the underlying components of inspiration makes it easy to see why it’s such a powerful force. When you’re inspired, you’re not just motivated; you’re thinking in a new way, which can lead you to those big, breakthrough, “a-ha” moments.

5. INTEGRATE PR & SEO IT NEEDN' T BE A HEADACHE. IT NEEDS TO BE SCALABLE How to find inspiration... everywhere#3 Get outside your bubble Everyone has habits whether it is with friends, restaurants, routes to work or television programmes. Breaking those habits will allow you to step out of your bubble. Research suggests (via Psychology Today) that there’s a correlation between openness to experience and how frequently people feel inspired. So if you’re serious about finding inspiration, give your schedule a shuffle and expose yourself to some different perspectives. #4 Write down all your crappy ideas No idea is a bad idea! 100 crappy ideas are better than none at all. Some people are better at working with a starting point on which to build rather than a blank page. Everyone has their strengths when it comes to ideas. A team mate might take one of your bad ideas and turn it into a great one. #5 Forget the coffee, grab a beer We'd encourage everyone reading this to 'drink sensibly', but we do think that having a beer rather than a coffee can stimulate some great ideas. How many times has an entrepreneur said they started out with the idea on the back of a fag packet or napkin?! Apparently, alcohol can slow down how quickly the brain can process information. As we've already identified it's not how quickly you can process information that counts. Unlike alcohol, caffeine (at least initially) helps you focus. And when you’re focused, you’re not able to make connections between different ideas as easily. Breaking that focus is what allows inspiration to seep in.

6. HOW PR BUDGETS ARE CHANGING I N F L U E N C E R R E L A T I O N S PR budgets used to be for fees. As we work to the PESO model we need to ensure there are resources for paid media. Recently a client came to me with one budget that was for ‘PR’. I asked if there was a budget for paid media, after our proposal had outlined the requirement for paying to reach certain audiences, and the answer was no. The budget was the full budget. A few years ago, or maybe even still, most PR practitioners would have taken the full budget as a fee. Not any more. If we’re going to do it right, we need to be more flexible with our working. I quickly worked out a third of the budget would be required for paid media to reach a specific audience we had identified as key. ‘You fool’ I hear you cry. I’ve realised that I will have to sacrifice a proportion of some fixed fees to paid media, especially if the part of the brief is targeted at an audience you’re not going to engage easily through editorial and social posts alone. And in this case particularly, as there are fairly limited channels to use content marketing, for a number of reasons. So within a budget, the PR now has to consider design, photography, filming, media monitoring, occasionally paid platforms such as MailChimp due to the size of database, and now, paid media including paid advertising, bloggers and social media advertising. Forms of paid advertising I work with varies depending on the audience. I’ve covered print ads, advertorials, email ads, online ads and skin take-overs on websites. Design has included everything from ads, email templates to social graphics. Occasionally you can use the likes of Canva to develop your own visuals, but when it comes to campaigns, it’s best to include this within the design brief, for consistency and to come up with cool visuals which work over several graphics.

7. Bentley did a great job on Instagram recently, where it used three separate images, posted at different times, to reveal one fantastic image. Similarly, for the Hello, My Name is Paul Smith exhibition (finishing on Sunday by the way), Paul Smith created three images for us to use, across a Facebook advert, which used the three image ad. The ‘Hello’ was spread across all four images and looked great when it was set in the ad. I had mentioned bloggers earlier. A lot of bloggers, particularly the influential ones which bigger brands use, will now charge for reviewing, sharing and posting. Whilst we must always remember to be transparent about the paid nature of the post, if you work in fashion for example, you are bound to have to pay bloggers (or celebs on the likes of Instagram) to feature products. According to a post I read on PRDaily by Abbi Whitaker, Facing the hard questions about paid content; "ArecentGroupHighsurveyfoundthattoday’sinfluentialsocialmediausersaren’tsettlingforfree productsorpromisesofadplacementsontheirblogs.Roughly70percentofthemexpectcash instead. "Mid-levelusersarechargingfrom$200to$500perpost,andmorethan80percentsaytheyaccept monetarycompensationfrombusinesses.“Influencermarketing” nowlooksmorelikethetraditional advertisingbusiness—monetarycompensationforacontractedendorsement—thanapublicrelations strategy." It’s right. PR practitioners need to start thinking about pursuing and nurturing influencer relationships. Bloggers can be huge influencers and for that they command a fee – a slice of PR budgets. The article also went on to talk about the value of a paid post: "Acelebritywithoutexpertisebringslittlevalue.Inalmosteverynichemarket,however,ahandfulof bloggerswithasfewas10,000followerscarrysizeableinfluence." You should carefully consider who you think is an influencer and ensure they have a shared vision, aligned brand, authentic voice that people will trust and connects with their followers. Does your celeb scream ‘I’m promoting this brand’ or is the tone natural and with their own voice? As with anything you need to attach a goal. What return will you get on your PR budget?

8. When it comes to paid ads, it’s exactly the same. Did you use a specific URL to monitor clicks and visits? Did you have a call to action? If it’s an online ad, make sure you’re monitoring the effectiveness of it – you can easily change the ad or the URL. How are you going to measure your activity? The difficulty in deciding on a budget for paid media is when it comes to splitting the fee for managing the account, creating the content and delivering the results, no matter what the platform. We suggest scoping out a range of media and costs and how they are suited to the client’s brand. You’ll quickly find out which will reach the right audience and fit in with your other plans and that will illuminate some. At the moment, I’m working on a TV commercial for my client, after negotiating audience, spots and overall portion of the budget. For this project TV is the most effective route to engaging this specific audience. The package is cost effective, too. Finally, we need to be mindful of activating the campaign across other platforms, reinforcing the message to the audience. This comes back to the overall strategic plan and ensuring timings and messaging are aligned with audiences, platforms and goals.


10. On International Women's Day (8 March), I made a pledge for parity. I first attended an Adam & Co International Women’s Day event about eight years ago. I was invited along to drink cocktails and chat to other women in business. At the time it felt more like a ‘girl power’ social event, not really getting to grips with the challenge of gender equality. It wasn’t until I really had the opportunity to hear from a passionate CIPR board colleague Sarah Hall in 2014, where she led on a piece of work with the CIPR, which issued a commitment to its members and the wider Public Relations profession to tackle the issue of equal pay for women and gender balance in the workplace. Sarah then went on to use the CIPR’s report to call the PR industry to action, to grow up and take equal pay seriously. The CIPR’s research in 2015, “highlighted that a clear pay inequality gap of *£8,483 exists in favour of men, a figure that cannot be explained by any other factor such as length of service, seniority, parenthood, or a higher prevalence of part-time work amongst women. Findings also reveal the biggest influences on the salaries of all public relations professionals; with gender identified as the third biggest influence on salary, more so than education background, sector of practice, graduate status, and full-time/part-time status.” In January this year the CIPR also held a debate at the House of Commons. The motion ‘Requiring large firms to publish pay data will end the gender pay gap in a generation’ was proposed by Mary Whenman, President at Women in PR and seconded by Lisa Townsend, a lobbyist and former Conservative parliamentary candidate. Sarah Pinch, CIPR Past President, led the opposition of the motion, and was supported by Stuart Bruce, CIPR Council member and Founder of Stuart Bruce Associates. The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2015 estimates it will take until 117 years to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. 117 years until companies and governments are equally led by men and women. And 117 more years of talent pipelines and professional promise not fully realized. Read more here on the EY website. It’s right when it says “The world economy is driven by sustainable value and business growth, which depend upon attracting, optimizing and retaining all talent. It’s in every organization’s and every nation’s best economic interest to fully utilize and optimize the talents of women.” This is not a tick-box exercise and it’s not for the feel good factor! What can we do? #1 Recruitment and selection process – fair decisions on salary and work #2 Better access to training #3 Encourage mentoring #4 Expertise and knowledge, systems and processes ensuring equality #5 Equal work within jobs #6 Best practice with job reviews #7 A path to leadership with career advancement opportunities #8 Consider paternity leave and flexible working in your corporate culture #9 Build supportive environments The CIPR’s gender pay resources is a good place to start and the IWD website hosts many resources too. THE GENDER BALANCE play your part

11. 8 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE PINTEREST Pinterest is a platform for research, planning, buying and doing – the possibilities for business is huge and it marries well with how PR strategies can engage in a creative way. There are 1 million business users now on Pinterest! Here are some example of how Aura currently uses Pinterest for PR and marketing and some ideas we’d love to work on with clients: #1 To develop creative Start a board and start pinning posts to it – use the search function adding key words. It’s inspiring and you’ll come across ‘layers’ of pins. We’ve started using this for pitches, rather than fully developing creative concepts. It means you can share the board with the client and you can develop it together, so when it comes to developing the final creative, you’re all on the same page #2 To build a library Using Pinterest as a showcase for images, creative design works etc is a good way of collating a library for using in creds #3 Reaching a new audience With over 100 million monthly users on Pinterest, there is a platform ready for crowdsourcing, as well as considering Pinterest as a platform to showcase products and services across the globe #4 Increase traffic to websites Image-led pins with a snappy caption are winners, from how-to’s to products. It helps if you know what your audience will search for, using the right key words so it’s in the right category, but always remember to add a URL!

12. #5 Customisation Customisation is a must for any PR engagement strategy. Getting to know your audience on Pinterest is all about looking at what they pin and what they are into. In the age of customisation, brands have a big opportunity to customise their products and services to their audience. This is also replicable across other platforms with sharing. #6 Competitions and live engagement Brands can get their audiences to talk about what they are doing and post pins with hashtags to follow the story. For example, automotive brands can invite their audiences to take part in a competition or live activity and ask them to pin pictures as they participate. It could be something as simple as a campaign for a specific model of car to take part in ‘the world’s biggest car tour’, with pinners from across the world being engaged with their own cars. Or if they are really extravagant, the brand could hand pick one ‘Pinfluencer’ from each country and give them a car for a week. #7 Recruitment By using pins created to demonstrate qualities and skills required, build Pinterest boards to recruit great talent and ask applicants to build their own boards to demonstrate how they fit the bill #8 Activate your brand ambassadors – your employees By getting your employees to pin products to their boards and with genuine recommendations, tips and pointers, consumers can buy products already having done their research Final tip – remember to ensure your products and images on your website always carry a Pin button! It's not all about pretty pictures - what story do they tell?

13. SCOTLAND'S FIRST PR FESTIVAL - BY AURA Collaboration will be key to driving forward change and improving the knowledge and skills of practitioners 16-17 June in Edinburgh. Book tickets via the website. Last year, Aura announced it would be develop and organise a festival for public relations, which would bring together all sectors and areas of public relations. As PR moves into marketing, digital and advertising spheres, PR has a real chance to develop strategies which engage across multiple platforms. The festival was born out of frustration of too many events which neither inspired or were in-depth enough to help practitioners in Scotland improve their knowledge and skills. If we're not careful, PR could be left behind! Laura Sutherland carried out research amongst the PR community to ensure the programme would be informed and relevant. Of course, bearing in mind, that sometimes, people don't know, what they need to know! Bringing key people from across Scotland, England and as far as Belgium, New York and Stockholm, the programme covers a wide range of topics, from automation and tools to future proofing and diversity. The festival will hopefully be an annual event, with plans already underway to confirm the venue and dates for 2017. Support has been given from the two key PR member organisations, CIPR and PRCA, as well as business support from Hiscox and Press Data. We've also made headway with our relationshihp wiht AMEC - the international association for measurement and evaluation of communications, which we will take a live feed from into the festival. There's no point in reinventing the wheel, but there is a point in bringing quality events such as The PRofessionals to Scotland - it's crying out for substantial learning events, which inspire, encourage collaboration and share best practice.

14. Aura works across the UK with a wide range of clients, large and small. We'd be delighted to hear from you should you have any enquiries. T: 0141 337 6712 E: Tw: @AuraPR

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