Tag Archives: coffee

Christmas campaign round-up 2013

13 Dec

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With Christmas just around the corner, PRs are working at top speed to make the papers with their ‘quick and dirty’ festive stunts.

And because Christmas is the season of giving, I’m doing the digging to present you with the industry’s top campaigns this month. I’m actually giving you two gifts because I’ve just noticed a perfect pun in that previous sentence, but who’s counting?

The survey one
Costa Coffee has banned Sir Cliff Richard’s festive favourite – Mistletoe and Wine – after research revealed that it was most likely to make its customers exit the store.

But Costa has gone above and beyond to make this headline stand out by donating £10,000 to charity Youth Music, to encourage young people to record their own versions of Christmas classics.

The clever one
Retailer GAME has made up for its reduced presence on the high street in recent years by prioritising PR – and it’s paid off.

Hiring nine-year old Joe Leslie this month, as a ‘non executive director’, is a genius way to help clueless parents know their Call of Duty from their Grand Theft Auto.

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The charitable one
St Mungo’s, a charity to help homeless people, has created limited edition Christmas wrapping paper, detailing the scientific viruses that they might face this winter.

For a charity that seeks to tackle homelessness, it’s successfully delivered a fresh message with an innovative angle.

The mad one
To complement O2’s Be More Dog campaign, the network provider is planning a party for the dogs from Battersea Dogs Home – and it’s getting its customers involved.

The more times you tweet using the campaign hashtag – #tweetattreat – the better the party will be. Now you wouldn’t want to let the dogs down would you?

The relatable one
Of all the retailers, I didn’t expect Harvey Nichols to launch a ‘canned laughter’ campaign (you don’t laugh at it, more smirk and think ‘I should get that for someone’ and then never do because it’s fluff).

The brand’s launched a range of gifts for women to give to their loved ones as a token to simply say ‘I spent the money on myself’. From a Christmas lunch in a tin (which has been done to death) to a sink plug, it’s been cited as ‘original and perfectly timed’ by Golden Goose PR. I say, they haven’t read this blog yet.

So, there you go – the top five Christmas campaigns of 2013 to date. If yours didn’t make the list just tweet me your favourites at @dmhwhite. I may even shuffle the leaderboard around!

Merry Christmas Prime Timers and a Happy New Year!

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PRs: How to host the perfect journalist meeting

24 Jan

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There’s no doubt about it. When you’ve been in the PR game for a while, you get lazy. There’s no one turning point as to when this happens, but it’s not too long after you’ve found the gem of a journalist that will put something online moments after you’ve sent it – and they’re nice enough to send you the link. When you have relationships like this, why try?

The answer’s simple: to produce results that go beyond simple coverage cuttings.

With many clients cutting back on PR and marketing budgets, it’s vital that teams show they’re adding the type of value to clients that shows up on their bottom line. That, my friends, is platinum PR (nothing fluffy about it).

Today, I met with a trade journalist to better understand how I can improve my clients’ share of voice within the magazine and connect with its readers.

Don’t take these meetings for granted.
Here’s some tips on how PRs can host the perfect journalist meeting:

1. Make them feel special
It’s not always effective to take time out of the office to meet with just one journalist, but the editor of this B2B title felt flattered that I’d gone out of my way to find out how I can meet her editorial needs. She was so charmed, she bought the coffee for me!

2. Go to their neck of the woods
It’s obvious, but meet in the place that’s most convenient for them. They tend to be more relaxed knowing they’re close to HQ.

3. Come prepared
However well you think they know your client, bring a press pack full of details about the business, along with information on projects and case studies they’ll be interested in. If it’s not relevant to them now, it will be later.

The editor was also touched that the information was personalised for her. Again, a small gesture that goes a long way in showing that you’re genuinely interested in developing a longstanding relationship with the title.

Also have a latest copy of the magazine with you. Think of it as a shield. You wouldn’t go into battle without one, would you?

4. Share the floor
The best PR/journalist meeting is where both parties have something to gain. Talk a bit, listen a lot and talk again to ensure you’re sharing the conversation.

5. Don’t think you know it all
Bounce ideas off each other and discuss the sorts of things the editor and the client would be interested in pursuing. I’d never have thought from my meeting, she’d be offering my client space on a table at an influential industry event. Or, willing to do an industry profile on the business I’m representing (a spot that’s normally reserved for advertisers.)

A little bit of thought goes a long way – and pays plenty in PR value.

What are your tips for when dealing with journalists?

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Peter Andre serves decent coffee from a skip

12 Sep

Celebrity Peter Andre must be ‘Insania’ if he’ll attend the opening of a skip. But, hey we’re PRs; we can make it happen.

He turned up outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to launch United Coffee‘s new campaign, called ‘Make Decent Coffee‘, encouraging people to throw their instant blends away into the skip in exchange for a decent cup of freshly roasted and ground coffee.

One of the country’s leading coffee providers, United Coffee is keen to spread the word that you don’t have to be a Starbucks, Nero or Costa barista to enjoy the taste of real coffee. And why should we? I lose all my self-confidence asking for a fancy ‘skinny grande latte’ under pressure in ‘those’ queues.

It’s not the first time that a coffee company has based a campaign on the experience of enjoying authentic coffee at home, but it is the first that I can think of asking people to trade their instant granules in. It’s a nice idea to directly engage with consumers, raise brand awareness and, depending on how much coffee is collected, generate some additional newshooks for the brand later down the line.

It’s good to have a simple, clear coffee message too. I’m surprised consumers aren’t more confused about coffee: ‘Is it good for me, is it bad for me?’ It generates masses of column inches each week amongst national and consumer press, with its powers changing every time.

Here are some of the most recent coffee stories that made the papers:

1) Coffee offers protection from bowel cancer: Research from the US National Cancer Research Institute has found that drinking several cups a day can cut the risk of developing a tumor by between 15% and 25%.

2) A coffee a day will keep your work pains away: Scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway found volunteers who had a latte before they tackled 90 minutes of intensive screen-based work suffered fewer pains in their neck, shoulders, arms and wrists than those who went espresso free.

3) Latte coffe a day will pile on 10lb: According to the fitness trainers’ body, the Register of Exercise Professionals, one sweetened milky drink from chains like Costa can have over four times the calories of an ordinary cup.

How does that make you feel? If that’s made you thirsty, United Coffee is giving away free samples at London Waterloo and London Victoria stations tomorrow.

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