The PR Guru

September 2, 2013

INTRODUCING ABIGAIL MALBON, OUR NEW RECRUIT…

As the newest recruit here at Richard Swancott Associates it seems only fair that I introduce myself properly – hi there, I’m Abigail. I am thrilled to be part of the team and excited to see what I can bring to the company.

I graduated in July this year with a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism.

I have experience in writing, filming, recording and editing, and have worked with some of the most well known broadcast companies in the world.

University provided me with the skills to gain contacts and liaise with others and, of course, a keen interest in PR. I am hopeful that my enthusiasm and unique set of skills will lead to a long and successful career.

I am particularly looking forward to eventually producing video and audio work for our customers. It’s a great way to reach a new audience and engage people in a new and exciting way.

I also believe producing video material gives the companies we work with a chance to have a little more creative input and feel involved with the process.

Thinking creatively is important to me. Grabbing your audience’s attention in the first few seconds is vital in broadcast, and knowing this pushes me to create unique and dynamic work.

With this in the forefront of my mind, I hope to – as they say – ‘make a splash’ here at Richard Swancott Associates.

I’m confident that my skills and the expertise of my colleagues will combine to create a winning team.

Wish me luck!

#saysomethingpositive

Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

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July 29, 2013

WE’RE GOING GLOBAL!

We’ve been looking for ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition over the past few weeks.

Typically, as they grow, PR agencies morph into full service marketing agencies. They offer a weird and wonderful range of services, including print, design and branding work, and tend to become a jack of all trades – with all that implies.

We don’t blame them for doing that, and we have considered doing the same thing. Indeed, we can provide many of those services already – some in-house, some outsourced.

But we thought it best to focus on our speciality, while at the same time growing the business by casting our net further afield.

With that in mind, we are launching a new international PR service, which will enable UK companies to promote themselves overseas and take advantage of all the opportunities that offers.

And we will also be targeting companies overseas which want to raise their profile in the UK, or perhaps open a UK branch.

We will start by focussing on France and Germany, as we can access media contacts in those countries, and have experience of working with French and German organisations.

We also have the ability to translate our press releases, run social media campaigns in French and German, and organise events there.

Later in the year we will expand those services to include other countries, particularly the big export markets in the US, China and India.

So if you’re looking to export and need to find business in those countries, or know someone else who does, please let them know about us!

We’d love to speak to them about how we can help!

#saysomethingpositive

Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

July 10, 2013

NEW PROJECTS…

We’ve started a few new campaigns recently, which will really challenge us from an event management perspective.

As I said in a recent blog, PR is now moving away from the old measurement model, which focussed on output (how much coverage was generated), rather than the impact on the client’s bottom line.

We’re changing too, and our projects for The Mitchell Arts Centre, the North Staffordshire Special Adventure Playground, and the Pet Care Trust will test our abilities to generate more business.

For instance, we’re promoting various shows at The Mitchell, including the centre’s first stand-up show:

Image

We’ll be judged on how many tickets are sold for events, and how many bookings we generate for their auditorium, meeting rooms, and dance studio.

It certainly focusses the mind! But it’s a challenge we’re excited about and we’re really pleased about the way things are going.

Give us a shout if there’s any way we can help you with your event.

#saysomethingpositive

Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

June 21, 2013

THE DEATH OF AVE

There has been much debate in PR circles over the past few years, on the future of the industry.

A few months ago I blogged about the need for the industry to change, and belatedly it seems the head honchos have come up with a solution – particularly on the tricky subject of PR measurement.

It’s always been a problem because practitioners have focussed on outputs like the amount of articles generated, and their value in advertising terms (AVE), rather than the actual impact their work had on their clients’ businesses.

We’ve been guilty of it as well, partly because it was an easy way of demonstrating our worth, and partly because it was the best option out there.

Our view was always that if we generated quality coverage – eye-catching pieces, with an nice photo or two – that this would constitute a good return on investment, because it would be more likely to generate a response.

These pieces would cover more space and therefore have a greater advertising value than smaller ones (which are read by fewer people too).

We stand by that – quality coverage for clients will always be one of our key objectives.

However, AVE has been discredited as a measurement of PR success, because it was outdated and raised more questions than it answered.

There are a number of reasons for this, which are explained here.

In a nutshell, the industry is taking a more scientific approach, setting targets which mean more bottom line benefits for our clients.

They include increased web traffic; increased sign-ups to e-zines; increased revenue through advertising, sponsorship and ticket sales; improved web rankings; and reduced costs.

We are fully behind this approach. These types of benefits can all be easily measured, and will have a positive impact on the finances of our clients.

Some might see this as a daunting prospect, because the industry is losing the AVE safety net.

We’re excited by the changes because they will be a massive boost for us – we will be able to demonstrate, finally, just how important PR is for businesses, and safeguard the industry’s future as a result.

#saysomethingpositive

Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

 

May 16, 2013

GUILDHALL PIPS THE REST TO WIN MAJOR AWARD

Last week our client, The Guildhall Shopping Centre, fought off competition from the likes of Liverpool One to win a major retail award!

They won the Purple Pip, which is a very prestigious industry award, for their Design a Jubilee Plate competition – or more specifically the marketing campaign to promote it – in May/June last year.

Well done team! We’re delighted for you!

Here’s a pic of the Centre Manager George Demetriou and Claudia Winkleman, who presented the awards.

Purple Pip presentation 2013[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit of a feather in our cap too, as we work very closely with the Guildhall and are responsible for handling their PR – award applications included.

Putting this particular application together was a fun task and was a team effort between us, the centre’s Marketing Manager Anne Graham, and graphic designer Ruth Beck.

We specifically tailored the content so that it ticked all of the boxes on the given criteria and could be read in a certain way, instantly increasing the chances of success.

As the application got short-listed and the centre went on to win – we can safely say that this is fantastic news for us, as well as the Guildhall! 🙂

Awards are fantastic because they generate their own PR opportunities. It’s another person – usually one of your peers, from the world of business or your own specific sector – saying you’ve done a brilliant job.

And as a result it can be a great way of raising staff morale.

So let us know if you’d like us to handle your next award application.

#saysomethingpositive

Richard Swancott Associates provides bespoke PR and social media campaigns for businesses of all sizes and descriptions. Through their partners, they also offer search engine optimisation, email marketing, and telemarketing services.

All campaigns come with money-back guarantees, based on our performance. So if you don’t get a good return on your investment, you don’t pay anything!

For further information, contact Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

June 20, 2012

THE BUSINESS BOOST AWARDS

Filed under: Uncategorized — richardswancott @ 12:39 pm
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The Business Boost Awards for 2012 are now open!

Businesses in the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme with fewer than 250 employees can apply for one of five awards and there are cash prizes of up to £6000 on offer!

Here are the categories:

Impact on the Borough (first prize: £1500)

Entrepreneurial Spirit (first prize: £1500)

Customer Focus (first prize: £1500)

The Apprenticeship Award (first prize: a 12 month day-release apprenticeship placement worth £6000)

The Judges Special Award (a discretionary award given to the judges’ pick of the most innovative business, with a £1000 prize)

To enter, submit your application – which must make a strong case on how your business boosts the local economy – before the deadline. (This is still tbc as they haven’t changed the date on the website. Last year it was the 29th July so at a guess the deadline will be around the end of July again this time.)

Successful applicants will then need to submit a business plan, and then a handful will need to present to the judges to help them make a final decision.

The winners are then announced at a ceremony in September.

It’s well worth taking the time to apply, because as well as the cash prizes there are also PR opportunities for the successful applicants. And just think what a boost it would be for your business, to have a panel of judges say you’re doing a great job and reward you for your efforts!

There is a bit more info available at www.businessboostawards.org.uk.

December 10, 2009

Talking of winning stuff…

Speaking of winners (see my last blog), a brilliant way to get free media coverage for your business is to win an award.

Like many PR companies in Staffordshire, well anywhere in fact, we would be happy to handle this on your behalf. For a small fee of course. 🙂

But you really can do it yourself. All it takes is a bit of research to find the competitions in your trade and/or area. Perhaps you could even go for a national award.

As my granddad used to say: “Reach for the moon and you might get the stars.”

Where do you start? Well, like most searches these days, you can get a decent start from Google. Everything else you’ll pick up from your local paper, or your leading trade mag.

As with any PR agency in Stoke-on-Trent, we would first point you in the direction of the Sentinel Business Awards (deadline just a few days away folks), but there are hundreds!

Next year, you could try the Midlands Business Awards; the British Chamber Awards (enter from March 2010); the Switched On Awards (deadline May 14th); or the Lord Stafford Awards for the innovators amongst you (deadline in June).

On a national level there are the Business in the Community Awards, run by the Financial Times.

Winning one would be a huge morale boost for your staff and, because they are usually backed by a newspaper or magazine, they are bound to give you some coverage on their pages.

Awards ceremonies are brilliant networking and lead generating opportunities too.

So build award applications into your PR strategy: for the sake of a couple of hours spent on your application, it could make a massive difference to your business-and all at no cost.

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