Tag Archives: new business

If the cast of Friends joined Prime Time

20 Sep

This is brand new information!

Ok, I fooled you. It isn’t really. But, shame on you if you’ve missed the media banging on about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the first episode of Friends. It’s literally been everywhere!

And, not wanting to miss out, I’m going to give Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe some airtime of my own. No, it’s not a “20 things you didn’t know about Friends” blog. (Thank goodness, that feature idea has had more re-runs than the show itself).

No, I’m doing something much more industry focused. This, Prime Timers, is the definitive list of where I’d place the characters in my PR and marketing company.

Novel? Yes. Necessary? No. So, bear with me.

Joey – Reception
Imagine how happy you’d be if you rang up Prime Time HQ and were greeted with a friendly ‘how you doing?’

Joey is very much a people person and I’d want to exploit that on the front desk. He also knows how to act (I’m confident about that). So, if a client was getting pushy about why they were being kept waiting in the lobby (because we were obviously putting the finishing touches to our pitch presentation), he’d be able to devise a ‘believable’ cover story.

Note to self: Joey must not be allowed to change the TV station in reception to Days of our Lives. It must remain on BBC News at all times.

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Rachel – New business
Rachel isn’t getting this job based on the efforts she displayed as a waitress at Central Perk. Because, quite frankly, she wasn’t very good. But, when she worked for Bloomingdale’s and, later, Ralph Lauren, she showed that she had an eye for emerging trends and was able to work effectively and efficiently with models, suppliers and buyers. This is perfect for identifying new clients and securing briefs.

Note to self: Don’t allow her to recruit an attractive PA; it stunts her productivity.

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Ross – Research
Some might find this role boring but, with Ross’ scientific approach to problem-solving, he’d be great. Tasked with researching markets and ideas and pulling together competitor reports, he’d be able to justify all of our PR moves to clients with hard facts and figures.

Note to self: Don’t allow him to take breaks during office hours. It gets him into trouble and brings up bad memories for Rachel.

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Phoebe – Marketing
Imagine Phoebe heading up a brainstorm – she’d be brilliant. To create award-winning campaigns, every idea needs to be explored.

As they say, no idea is a bad idea in a brainstorm. And Phoebe would be able to bring the best out in her team by not limiting creativity – due to budgets, timings and resource – at the first hurdle. Even if clients don’t opt for those big ideas, it’s important they know we’re capable of producing them.

Note to self: Always ask her a secret question that only she’d know the answer to, to check her twin sister isn’t doing her job for her.

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Chandler – Social media
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why isn’t Chandler in advertising?’ He did a great job in the show’. I’m telling you, he didn’t. Slogans and jingles are one thing, but clients expect substance and strategy behind their new product launches. I’d want to harness Chandler’s wit on social media – encouraging him to engage with consumers, start topical conversations and conduct focus groups – giving us, and our clients, the edge.

Note to self: Ensure he wears a name badge at all times, so people know exactly who he is in the office.

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Monica – PR
Monica gets what she wants, always. She’s fierce, competitive and knows how to play the game. From writing impactful features and interviewing powerful case studies to selling-in stories and securing coverage, she’d be a PR machine.

Note to self: Leave a note to the cleaners to ensure her desk is thoroughly cleaned each evening.

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So, there you have it. An all-star agency dream team.

Do you agree with my recruitment decisions, or would you make some internal shuffles?

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A bad relationship means bad PR

9 Mar

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The more I think about it, PR is very similar to an awkward relationship. Not quite there yet? Let me show you what I mean.

First date best behaviour
After a successful new business pitch, you’re bound to have butterflies in your stomach and that’s also how I feel after a first date. Your mind runs away with ideas about the future and you believe that anything is possible. Cheers to that.

But, after the novelty wears off it’s not out of the ordinary for client relationships to become strained:

Keeping them entertained
There’s times when you need to entertain the clients that you’re not particularly keen on. Chaperoning marketing managers to industry events is one thing, but ‘get together’ drinks and leaving parties?

I know, I know. Suck it up – this is a relationship you probably can’t afford to say goodbye to.

They leave their stuff everywhere
Look around the office, in the cupboards and on your desk. When was the last time you saw the original walls? Too long. That’s because you’re drowning in samples, literature and ‘those’ props that you bought that despite the client approving them, they changed their mind once they arrived. But, you’re holding onto them just in case.

You agree with them, even though you’re right
We make our recommendations, we push back and we challenge their ‘no news’ stories. But, if we do it too often they might accuse us of not understanding. So sometimes we just go along with it.

You resist threesomes
Sometimes clients bring in other agencies for you to work with and generally make your life more difficult while decreasing your PR budget. Grrr.

When it all gets too much…
…they leave you for your rival. Broken hearted, you’re forced to play the field and get a replacement as quickly as possible to show them you’re not bitter. Did they care about us at all?

What other ways are clients like a relationship? Send me your updates and I’ll add them to the blog.

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Social media – a lot like putting your pants on.

27 Feb

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This morning I popped into the Technology for Marketing and Advertising (TFM&A) exhibition to sit in on a few seminars.

This morning’s best talk was on ‘social brand management’ led by Scott McKee from Birddog, a digital and brand consultancy, and Gareth Case from Xuber, a specialist commercial insurance company. They addressed the challenge faced by community managers everywhere, particularly for B2B brands: ‘I’m social, My brand isn’t.’

It’s well-known that some B2B brands aren’t the quickest to recognise and respond to new trends. Some even think starting a conversation on LinkedIn is a risk.

But, as McKee explained, LinkedIn has stabilised unlike Twitter and Facebook – which recently celebrated hitting the one billion user mark. So, it doesn’t make business sense to rely on this channel alone.

The problem is clients are desperate to know the ROI. They’ll happily invest in events, print advertising and a good-looking website without a second thought, but they expect instant results with social media.

Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford once said:

You may as well ask what’s the ROI of putting your pants on every day. There is a value to it but it’s hard to measure.

Damn right it is. But it feels good doesn’t it? So, why hold back on social?

PRs, marketers and brand consultants need to be really clear with their clients: new media, new rules, new KPIs. And, with 98% of the UK and US using social media, can they really afford not to give it a proper go? Done properly brands could end up with a loyal social community around them who do they talking for them.

What surprised me was how McKee and Case, his client, met. Case ended up on Birddog’s mailing list and from there, they listened and engaged with eachother on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs. A chance ‘meeting’ that wasn’t taken for granted by Birddog. McKee gave Case reasons to keep his business front of mind – long enough until he had a generous marketing budget. Then, who did he turn to? The company that had already won him over.

Together, they did the usual ofdefining objectives, audience, and competition, but also fleshed out a content plan, put their community manager to work to engage 24/7 and monitored reports to respond to what people did and didn’t like.

In just four months, Xuber reached more than 3.3 million people as a direct result of its social media activity. More than this, it generated seven new business leads worth £3.7m. Not bad for an instance company remember.

The golden nugget of this seminar was when Case was asked how he got management buy-in to go ahead with his plans. He said, they set all the managers up with their own social media accounts and let them play around with them. When they struggled and fought against each other about how many followers they each had he said: ‘you can either do it yourself or marketing can help you do it better.’

It makes sense.

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