Tag Archives: headline

Our survey says… more please!

7 Jan

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Welcome Prime Timers – to the first blog of the new year.

If you’re struggling with the thought of the five-day working week, then this blog probably won’t help. I’m going to get underneath the skin of a recent survey and debate the PR-Journalist-Consumer relationship. That’s right folks, we’re exploring a three-way relationship.

The Energy Saving Trust has commissioned a survey which reveals that more than half of consumers prefer to see advertising claims backed by facts and figures. A further 41% are more likely to believe ideas supported by a third party expert organisation.

‘This is interesting’ I hear you say. But you’ll be even more surprised when I say just 1% said celebrity endorsement would increase their product loyalty.

So, judging by this report, big brands such as Nike, Pepsi and L’Oreal should scrap Ashley Cole, Beyonce and Kirsten Dunst and re-invest their budget elsewhere, because apparently it doesn’t work!

PR
From a PR point of view, what avenue you go down to get coverage depends on who your target audience is. Top titles such as the Metro and the Daily Mail are packed with survey stories, but you can’t have a conversation with a lifestyle journalist without a celebrity partner as back up.

That’s because celebrities don’t just push product, they market an experience. Are the research respondents actually telling me that when they’re looking for trainers they’re turned on by Which? statistics rather than the thought of looking like a model?

Which sectors should prioritise stats?
1. Financial
2. Technology
3. Healthcare

Consumers
I’m not expecting consumers to believe everything celebrities say. We’re in the middle of a sponsorship era. Do well in youe field, you get offers. Lie, cheat or fail to perform and those offers are taken off the table. So, media savvy readers will know that celebs will agree with almost anything as long as it pays well. These endorsements are PR through and through.

In some cases, celebrities can’t even uphold an exclusive sponsorship deal. In the Evening Standard tonight I saw that in an interview with the Radio Times, actor Ben Miller has admitted to fancying Typhoo Tea opposed to PG tips. He’s rocked the boat and put his personal opinion above his cash cow.

Which sectors shouldn’t prioritise stats?
1. Fashion and beauty
2. Arts and culture
3. Media

Journalists
But, when it comes to securing coverage, it takes far longer to explain your headline stat and sample size, compared to uttering the words ‘Gwyneth Paltrow‘. And, more often than not, she adds more weight.

I’ve actually had a journalist put the phone down on me, not because he wasn’t interested in my pitch but because he simply didn’t believe the figures.

There’s a time and a place for numbers and percentages. When they’re unusual, fool-proof and complement the product or service, they sit well with all everyone involved. But, if in doubt, find someone who will communicate your messages without the hassle.

What do you prefer?

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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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BA needs to make a Big Apology?

15 Jan

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Today there have been four official judgements made on discrimination over religious beliefs in the workplace. Of those four, just one went in favour of Christianity. And it’s not causing the Twitter storm I’d expected.

I’m even more surprised that Tweeters are taking this opportunity to condemn Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane and every other Christian ‘causing a fuss’ saying they’re the same people ‘trying to ban me from wearing skirts at work’.

Tweeters aside, I think it’s the employers – such as global airline British Airways – involved in today’s court hearings that are going to have to work very hard to prove that their ‘corporate images’ were worth be dragged through the courts. BA especially since 2006. (BA amended its policy in 2007 to accept employees wearing symbols of faith.) I can’t see in any way how crosses, or any other faith symbol, affects the type of service it should be delivering to meet customers’ needs.

It’s sad because after its brilliant ‘To Fly. To Serve‘ campaign and gold-medal attempt during the Olympics, persuading people to stay at home and cheer on Team GB, the BA brand has had to start 2013 on a sour note.

To make matters worse BA has so far not even acknowledged the case with even a single tweet, post on Facebook or a statement on its corporate site. A bit of a mistake when they knew the outcome was going to run globally, surely? And I definitely don’t think a headline of ‘diversity and equality’ on the airline’s jobs website is enough of a message or an apology for not protecting Eweida’s rights.

For companies to be the best, it has to have the best people working for them. And to attract the best people you have to allow them to be themselves.

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