The PR Guru

February 1, 2013

BIG DAY FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS TOMORROW

It’s a very important day in the Young Enterprise calendar tomorrow.

Our teams of young entrepreneurs will be exhibiting their wares at the Potteries Shopping Centre, Stoke-on-Trent, for the annual trade fair.

It’s the first time most of them have sold to members of the general public – a great experience!

It’s all part of the Company Programme, a national competition which seeks to find our best company and the Richard Bransons and Peter Joneses of tomorrow.

It would be great if we could have a team from North Staffordshire at the national finals in the summer!

But to do that, they need tomorrow to be a success, so it it would be great to see you lending your support at the Potteries Centre, between 9am and 6pm.

If you would like to get involved in Young Enterprise by the way, we are always looking for volunteers from the local business community to mentor young people through the journey.

Give me a call on 01782 472035/07880 733138 for more info.

#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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January 25, 2013

ACTION FOR BUSINESS LIVE IS BACK!

We’ve set a date for the next Staffordshire Marketing Academy event.

Action for Business Live 5 is on Friday 22nd March, between 9am and 1pm, at the Best Western Moat House, Festival Park.

And one lucky business will get a free marketing makeover from our panel of experts, worth more than £2000!

All you have to do to qualify for our free prize draw is book your seat before Saturday 16th February, via the EventBrite website.

The winner will be the focus of our presentations on the day, receiving tailored advice from us on their visuals (i.e. the branding and their website), their content (copy and social media), their marketing (particularly their PR) and their sales.

Everything will be rounded off by a fab keynote speech from Chris Daffy, customer service expert and author of Once A Customer, Always A Customer. There’s more info on Chris here.

So don’t delay, book your place today, and guarantee your seat at another inspiring, motivating, and above all, fun event!

We guarantee you will pick up some nuggets of advice which will help you transform your marketing.

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.

January 4, 2013

WE ARE RECRUITING!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wanted to finish the first week back on a high and announce that we are looking for one or two people to join the team here at Richard Swancott Associates!

We have two positions to fill – Account Executive and Account Manager.

The Account Executive position would suit someone new to the #PR industry, maybe just out of college and looking to get started, while for the Account Manager vacancy we would need someone with at least three years experience, who can handle campaigns and bring in business themselves.

We would be happy to speak to anyone with a passion for #PR, or any kind of #PR and/or #marketing experience, so if that’s you (or you know someone who’s interested in a career in #PR) please give us a shout on info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Have a great weekend people!

#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.

December 9, 2011

TEN WAYS PR CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS

There are many ways you can promote your business. Ideally they would all be part of your marketing mix, but that’s not always possible – there’s only so much money to go round.

So why should you consider PR, instead of advertising, networking, SEO, telesales, direct mail and the myriad of other options?

Here’s a quick run-down of the 10 biggest reasons:

1. You can bring in more enquiries – PR is a proven lead generator, and the longer your campaign, the more likely you are to bring in enquiries.

2. Media coverage has more impact than adverts – people buy newspapers and magazines, visit websites, listen to the radio and watch the telly not for the ads, but for the information they convey. Few people pay attention to the ads for that reason.

3. Reach the biggest possible audience – with each media title you get into, you are adding their audience to the overall total. In Stoke-on-Trent alone, you could reach more than 230000 potential customers by just getting into one local paper (The Sentinel), one magazine (Staffordshire Life) and one radio station (Radio Stoke).

4. Or target a niche market – alternatively, you can filter your list of target media right down, to reach the people most likely to buy your products/services. For example, if your company supplies adhesives, you can narrow the field down to eight target publications in the UK, with a combined readership of under 50000. It’s a much smaller market but, because they are in your industry, are more likely to buy from you.

5. Spread your investment – because you are getting into lots of different media, you are getting a better return on your investment. If you were to advertise in each one, you’d have to pay for each title you went into. An expensive business. With PR, you would get into the same places for a one-off price, if you’re using an agency – or free if you do it yourself.

6. Become the industry expert – if you become known as the local expert on pensions (for example) through radio phone-ins and/or newspaper columns, people will respect your opinion and will probably look you up when they want some help.

7. Extra credibility – we all crave third party endorsements in business, usually in the form of client testimonials. If someone else says you’re great, it carries more weight than if you say it yourself. With PR, that endorsement is coming from a respected, independent media organisation, like your local paper or industry journal.

8. Improve your reputation – you can use PR to give away information, such as advice on new legislation, and become highly-regarded as you are helping people, rather than selling to them.

9. Approach prospects from different angles – if you are using PR as part of a marketing mix, it improves your chances because people will be hearing about you in many different ways. Your name will stick in their mind.

10. Improve your search engine rankings – you can use press releases to reach page one of Google, by refreshing content, and using keywords and backlinks.

Hope that’s cleared things up a bit for you! There are plenty of resources on this blog and our website should you want to have a go yourself.

Here’s a good place to start – it’s our free e-book on writing press releases.

March 11, 2011

10 Reasons to use PR, #5

Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed various reasons for doing your own PR.

Here they are if you need a recap:
1. Spread your marketing investment
2. Gain third party endorsements
3. Become the industry expert
4. Reach the largest possible audience

To follow on from those, we have handed over our blog to a good friend of ours this week – Peter Brough of Cybernautix, the search engine optimisation specialists.

As well as generating coverage in offline media, namely newspapers, magazines and broadcasting, you can also use press releases to improve your online presence. And one of the major benefits of that is the boost it will give to your performance in the search engine rankings.

So reason #5 is this: GET TO THE TOP OF GOOGLE. Take it away Pete!

If you have ever wondered how websites are found easily at the top of search rankings for words associated with their services or products then here’s your answer: Search Engine Optimisation.

Google and other search engines want the most relevant websites at the top to deliver the best experience to their users. The ranking is decided by a sophisticated calculation and SEO aims to understand this and ‘tunes’ a website to get the strongest, and most relevant, result in the algorithm.

It can be distilled down into three distinct areas, all of which are critical to success.

The first, and most important factor is: keywords. These are the terms people are using to search out your services, and must be carefully researched, because although you might know your message very well, it might not exactly correspond to how most people would look for it. Proper keyword research is essential to any SEO activity.

The second stage is to integrate these keywords into your press release. As you will be sending your release to lots of websites, as well as posting it on your own, using your keywords will help you rank highly on Google et al.

Stage three is showing the search engine that you are an important and recognized website by having links from other websites to yours. This is one of the most overlooked phases, yet it is critical to success.

One very good way of creating back links to your website is by writing press releases and submitting them to online PR distribution sites, such as i-newswire, PR Log and PR Fire. In the press release you can usually include a link, or links, back to your website as a point of reference and to improve your ranking you should use sites that do allow links.

The press release should be written naturally so editors will approve your article. It can be made more effective by using headings, and bold and/or italicized writing to emphasize important points (especially those including your keywords).

This works because part of Google’s algorithm is determining the relevancy of text to a link.

If the text is very relevant to the outgoing link then it will have a higher impact. If the link points to a page on your website that is also optimized for that particular keyword then you have the highest relevancy and have created a strong link that will improve your ranking on that keyword.

If you are writing your own press release , make it as interesting and well-written as possible, because journalists monitor press release distribution sites and will often pick up stories from them. It may also be copied around other PR websites, further circulating your link and helping to drive your website up the rankings naturally.

Thanks Pete! For more information on SEO, visit the Cybernautix website: www.cybernautix.co.uk They can help you research the most popular keywords in your field, and build those all-important back links from other sites. And they are also pretty good at web design!

We have commissioned Cybernautix to do our SEO work over the next few months, so keep an eye open for the Richard Swancott Associates website appearing on page one of Google very soon!

October 28, 2010

October 14, 2010

Even Museums need PR

In order for museums to be improved, the North West has called in a Manchester-based PR agency called Creative Concern to help generate interest in natural science.

The mammoth task awaiting Creative Concern is deciding how to raise awareness of the eight million natural science specimens held at more than 30 museums. The project has been funded by Museums, Libraries and Archives.

If you are interested in getting funding to put towards getting PR from us here at Richard Swancott Associates, we can help you apply for something called The Director Development Programme, which means you can claim up to £1000 to put towards business development. However, applications for the DDP will close at the end of the year so you need to be making a start on that now to make sure your grant arrives in time.

The Creative Concern campaign aims to generate curiosity around science, knowledge and sustainability.

Local business Koko Digital, located at Keele Science & Business Park, have recently released a new viral game called Eruption Disruption (on behalf of the exam board OCR) which had over a million hits in its first week. The game is a new fun way for children to learn about volcanic ash.

It seems that technology is generating more curiosity over science than trips to museums are.

Creative Concerns has decided to run a PR campaign through national, regional and local media, as well as communicating with interest groups and using social media.

October 13, 2010

October 8, 2010

The Apprentice begins, but how do you make a good sales pitch?

As a new series of BBC’s The Apprentice begins, Richard Swancott Associates have decided to give you some advice on how to make a good sales pitch.

Making a good pitch is an essential form of marketing for a small business because it gets your ideas across to potential customers and investors.

Programmes like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice have attempted to teach businesses how to pitch correctly but it is still quite a complex thing to do, especially when under pressure.

It is essential that you are passionate about your product and that you know enough about it to be able to answer any questions people may ask you; which could be anything. Make sure you target the presentation to each audience and do not just do a carbon copy of a speech you have done before.

Use a story to get your points across and to show the audience what your product can do to solve specific problems and how it can be used in a business-environment. The more you can allow the listener to picture using the product the more likely they will be to take action.

As per usual when presenting, never read directly off the slides but use them as a way of highlighting the main points you are trying to make and never put too much information onto them. A great way of structuring your presentation is to make it no more than 10 slides, no longer than 20 minutes and size 30 font. You should start preparing the pitch months in advance and never at the last minute.

Avoid making contradictions and inaccuracies because investors will always notice them; and be sure to complete a spelling and grammar check too. It is also a good idea to read over the presentation a few times to check for any errors. Investors always focus on financial information, so this must be correct. They will want to know turnover/sales figures, break-even points, gross and net margins (profits) etc…

And most importantly of all, make the presentation as exciting and intriguing as possible. Play on your unique selling points.

October 6, 2010

PR disaster as Hipp Organic makes false claims about product

Here at Richard Swancott Associates, we are always amazed at the extent to which some companies will go to make money.

In our press release workshops we always tell people to tell the truth, whenever submitting an article, and to be honest. The following is what can happen if you don’t.

The latest PR failure is that Hipp Organic, a manufacturer of Baby Milk, has had an advertising campaign banned for claiming the their product helps to develop a child’s brain.

The advert for Hipp Organic claimed that the milk contained Omega 3 fatty acids, which make for healthy brain and nervous system development.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority have now ruled that this was misleading and that the claims cannot be used in any more promotional material.

Hipp Organic have obviously defended themselves by saying that they were telling the truth and that the magazine advert was not about mental performance. It just suggested that a specific health benefit could be gained by using the product.

So, there you have it folks. Be honest and tell the truth – because no good will ever come of making false claims… only bad PR.

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