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At one stage, I worked with an email marketing company founded, in part, by a clever Croydonite called Tink Taylor.
And one of the biggest things I discovered is that there are dozens of lessons in email that can be applied to smart, modern PR campaigns.
Think about deliverability, for example. Between Gmail’s multiple inboxes and overzealous spam filters, how suicidal does an agency have to be to risk its domain not reaching inboxes by spamming out messages indiscriminately?
And how many activate authentication systems like DKIM, just to be safe?
For the last two years, the PRCA, the UK’s professional body for the PR industry, has run a project looking at what the PR agency of the future might look like.
We’ve debated topics around revenue models, structures, specialisms and employee motivation and, while looking to the future is always a fascinating pursuit, this year we decided to look a bit closer to home and investigate and celebrate examples of innovation that are already happening within the industry.
Today, we’ve released a series of case studies looking at five UK PR agencies that have already taken steps to innovate. We hope they will prove to be a source of inspiration to agencies looking to futureproof themselves.
Here are five key themes that run throughout the case studies and, of course, the case studies themselves.
The Festival of Marketing (London's answer to Cannes Lions) will be upon us in November.
I've been rounding up some content to whet your appetite, including this collection of content and strategy slideshows relating to some of our speakers.
Check out the Festival website for more information, including a full lineup of speakers.
Product Hunt is brilliant. People share new products they’ve found and, in the manner of Reddit and HackerNews, the crowd of readers vote the best to the top.
You know that guy/gal you follow on Twitter who always seems to be a source of neat things? These are the secret places they spend their time.
Because there are plenty of startups watching, one category of product that shows up fairly often is PR tools.
Young companies that aren’t eager to spend thousands on a retainer still realise they need to get their story out to the people who count.
But, based on the selection of tools showing up on ProductHunt, you’d think the future of PR was press releases and spamming media lists.
As you probably know by now, SEO and PR are getting more closely related. But there is one aspect that both have always had in common, and that is that both have long been labelled a supposed ‘dark art’.
PR and SEO; mysterious art forms that deal in the unknown, experts fixing things unseen, like wizards behind the curtain.
It has suited both industries, to be known this way.
“Oh, yeah, we just need to curbudgle your whojamaflip. It’s absolutely essential, or you’ll get befluddled. You don’t want to get befluddled. Yes it’s an extra thirty grand.”
I’m trying my best to sound literary in this post - the pseud’s headline, the confessional first line.
I was tweeted by an author this morning. The whole uplifting experience was enough to slap me in the face with the wet fish of Twitter’s usefulness to the author and publisher.
I thought suddenly, I should write this up for the blog! One of the great things about the blog is the opportunity it affords us to commit the bonne pensée to a medium slightly less fleeting than mere conversation.
The story is this: I was tweeted by an author and subsequently decided to buy her book. These things happened for a number of reasons.
I’ll detail the exchange and then discuss why this case study is symptomatic of Twitter’s use and usefulness.
As we all know, digital marketing ceased to exist last year. In January 2013, Forrester announced it was to be the year that ‘digital marketing’ became just ‘marketing’.
I’d like to posit that something similar happened to PR. In fact I think it happened earlier, though we have yet to have had the debate.
There’s no doubt that the internet has changed marketing’s function and activities, but its impact on PR has simply been to expand the discipline’s footprint.
In a world where everyone is a communicator, PR’s influence is all-pervasive. It’s for this reason that I find the term ‘online PR’ to be so reductive.
When it comes to the success of a brand, there is one thing that is of the utmost importance, regardless of size or capital and that is reputation.
An overriding opinion on a business can turn it into a worldwide success or see it fail to connect with its target audience.
A key component of creating a strong reputation lies in the way that a company chooses to monitor and maintain its character. This has become imperative because of the increasing volume of PR activities that occur on digital platforms.
Monday next week I'm to appear on a webinar panel talking about journalist relationships. You can sign up for it here if you’ve always wondered whether I talk in dulcet tones or a high pitch falsetto.
However I wanted to write a piece of my own, partly to draw attention to the upcoming webinar hosted by Vocus (let’s not veil the truth) and partly to add an Econsultancy staff blogger’s opinion to the debate.
So what are the best ways for PRs to engage with Econsultancy's writers? I’m going to start with some entertaining flippancy that nevertheless holds more than a grain of truth and then move on to some best practice for PRs.
A lot of these are dos and not don’ts, but to fit the commandment theme I’ve had to use a few double negatives. Forgive me.
PR is no longer the future of SEO. It already is PR.
SEOs recognise this, and the majority are now carrying out online PR: whether they call it that or not, all decent SEOs are now creating content and reaching out to online influencers.
General marketers realise this. In a survey we recently conducted of 250 UK marketers, 52% said that PR and SEO work closely together in their organisation, and a whopping 71% think their PR agencies are experts at SEO.
But how are those PR agencies performing in their newfound position as SEO experts?
The practise of blogger or influencer "engagement" is one of the most widely-used tactics in marketing these days, done by almost everyone, from PR agencies to SEOs, social marketers to spammers.
It's also one of the most commonly derided amongst the recipients and much-debated amongst bloggers and professionals - but rarely addressed by marketers themselves.
If you're doing it well, why share the secrets with your competitors? Sadly, a lot of marketers are doing it very badly indeed, and something needs to be done about it...
So, you want to get noticed, earn respect, fans, more money, more sales. You want to pepper the web with your beautiful little avatar in search of career development.
You want to become a brand that stands for something.
Well, it’s surprisingly easy to do this, with time and effort made in the right places. So I thought I’d write up a checklist showing how to go about it.
Some of this is going to sound like best practice for a PR person, but essentially that’s the task in hand. Being as visible as possible is the best part of building a personal brand.
NB: this is aimed more at those fairly new to the world of marketing, but there's a few presumptive tips for those already established.