Posts Tagged ‘PR’

We’re hiring!

November 3, 2011

Alright everyone, it’s time to dust off those CVs.

Skywrite is looking for both account managers and senior account executives to assist across our portfolio of corporate and consumer accounts.

Work would include everything from technology and telecoms accounts to pure play consumer. This is a great opportunity to work across a broad spectrum of different clients – including some of the biggest brands out there!

Email emma.hazan@skywritepr.com for more information!

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Mind the generation gap

June 20, 2011

I recently heard Hotwire advisory board member, Charles Davis of the CEBR (centre for economics and business research) speak on the topic of consumer austerity, and I was pleased to hear his message that it’s not all doom and gloom in the consumer market.  There is plenty of good news out there – it just gets buried underneath the bad.

Consumer austerity is a particularly relevant topic in the world of public relations; according to our research performed with the Holmes Report 32% of communications professionals have seen their budgets stay static this year, with 18% seeing a drop.  Alongside this, almost a quarter of respondents stated that the money conscious approach being adopted by both consumers and businesses has affected their campaigns,  forcing them to become more innovative in order to make them work harder and penetrate a less receptive and more careful market.      

As a PR agency we think we understand how recession is affecting today’s markets, but are we aware of how it will affect future generations of consumers?  According to an article by MediaCom, 71% of junior school children already understand the term ‘credit crunch.’  Moreover, many parents are using the recession as an opportunity to educate their children to be more financially aware.

This reaction to the economic crisis could lead to an interesting generation of financially savvy shoppers.  And though many PR professionals and marketers assume that money-saving behaviours will become obsolete on exiting the recession, with this educational approach our successors are likely to learn from our mistakes.  Perhaps we in turn will have to learn to adapt our campaigns to suit a more cautious and financially aware audience.

The lighter side of politics

May 12, 2010

I followed the whole general election debacle with much interest, particularly around the debates. I also took a keen interest in the PR stunts that some agencies did off the back of the election, such as the great ‘designer’ kitchens from Ikea, where each one was made to represent one of the potential 3 leaders.

Another big talking point amongst more of the fashion and beauty focused people was the impeccable smoothness of DCam’s shiny and super smooth forehead. Now, everytime I looked at him, I couldn’t help but wonder where I’d seen that face before. And no, not in politics, but just someone else who had an uncanny likeness to him. And then it came to me. Don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t mind our new prime minister…but this looky-likey..well, judge for yourself!

From L-R: Jake Tucker, Family Guy; David Cameron, our new Prime Minister

Boom Box

August 6, 2009

Apple faced  a burst  of negative PR this week, after an iPod Touch exploded.

Ken Stanborough accidentally dropped his daughter’s iPod: “It made a hissing noise,” he told The Times, “I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour”. Mr Stanborough rather sensibly hurled the gadget out of the back door: “Within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air”.

Touchy subject: the offending iPod

Touchy subject: the offending iPod

Interestingly, the media did not attack Apple for the technical problems. And with good reason. For years now, hardly a month has gone by without a news story on someone who was singed, scorched or otherwise lightly toasted by an exploding battery. Unfortunately, the elements that make up our current Lithium Ion batteries are just not very stable and high-speed impacts or extreme heat can tip them over the edge. Despite this the technology is still pretty safe. How many people do you know who have seen their phone or laptop spontaneously explode? It is extremely rare, but when it does happen companies are understandably keen to keep a lid on it.

No surprise then that most of the negative fallout focused on how Apple’s legal team handled the incident: trying to silence the Stanborough family with a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for a refund. That was when then the real fireworks began.

Death of the Retainer?

May 8, 2009

Skywrite has ruffled some feathers with a recent research report entitled “The death of the retainer”. The report questioned 140 PR and marketing managers, with thirty-two per cent saying that monthly PR retainers were outdated and thirty-one per cent agreeing that more flexibility was needed in PR budgets.

Major brands like Vodafone and 3 have been quick to enter the discussion, as this recent article in  PR Week demonstrates.

Read the full report and decide for yourself here.

Money makes the world go round...

Money makes the world go round...

Amazon.com – covers all your worldly needs, from DVDs, CDs, books to cheese!

February 11, 2009

Can you say cheese?

The other day I was wondering how unhealthy goat’s cheese was for the average person… as you do… and so I Googled it. One of the hits, pretty high up the page, was telling me that you could buy cheese from Amazon

Amazon, I hear you cry?! Yes, apparently they’ve been selling gourmet food since 2003.

After a bit more digging, I discovered that food is only available on amazon.com, not amazon.co.uk, hence why I probably haven’t heard of the service before. However, this got me thinking about how difficult it can be to change perceptions of a brand once those perceptions are set in the minds of consumers.

The ‘Got your number’ campaign from direct assistance service 118118 is a good example of how PR can be used to change perceptions.  Last year the company recruited a PR agency to realign the 118118 brand with texting and support their ‘Safe Text’ campaign. The client apparently reported an 11 per cent spike in text volume around the launch, which is certainly impressive.  

So what’s next – HMV selling popcorn to accompany your DVD of choice when you buy online? Play.com forming a partnership with Ben and Jerry’s so you get a free tub with every purchase? Well Blockbuster already offers these sorts of deals in store, so why not online?

In my mind, if brands stick to their ‘roots’, so to speak, then consumers are more likely to see it as a natural progression and more likely to make that all important purchase. Right now, it seems a random leap for me for Amazon to go from books, DVDs etc, to gourmet food…

That said, the goat’s cheese from Madam Chevre does look pretty appetising… and it’s at better price than any other generic online supermarket…  

Now where’s my purse?!?

Thin enough? Sure. Catchy enough? Not sure.

February 6, 2009

blogpic

Whilst casually browsing the internet today I stumbled upon this gem of a story: Sony using a plus-size modelto advertise the thinnest LCD TV ever.

Ian Morris from CNET, has highlighted the irony of using Katie Green,  who ‘famously’ refused to lose weight when her agents told her it would beneficial to her career, and I have to say I agree with him.

Ignoring the TV, which I admit does look rather fabulous, I can’t help but wonder who came up with the idea of using the ‘Thin Enough?’ campaign. I can’t say it’s the most original advert I’ve ever seen.

Surely it’s going back to the ‘sex sells’ angle – which Sony clearly think is the case in this instance. Maybe this advert will appeal to men in the first instance, purely because it features a half naked, gorgeous woman – who looks remarkably thin, I might add. But as for reeling in women – a notoriously hard market to captivate in technology – a picture of a semi naked woman isn’t going to cut it.

The Mousetrap

December 5, 2008

 

Everyone loves mice

Everyone loves mice

The consumer technology giant Logitech has just seen the billionth computer mouse roll off its production lines. Their publicity machine merrily declared: “It’s rare in human history that a billionth of anything has been shipped by one company”. Well, actually that must happen quite a lot. If there are one billion mice, it stands to reason that there must also be a huge number of monitors, keyboards and other technology – not to mention companies that produce FMCGs…

Regardless, the first computer mouse ever produced is just about to hit 40 years of age. It was 9 December 1968 when Douglas C. Engelbart and his group of researchers at Stanford University put the first mouse through its paces. But Gartner analyst Steve Prentice has claimed that “the mouse will no longer be mainstream in three to five years”, given the arrival of touch-screen technology and other advances. Seems like a hit or mice statement to me.

A credit crunch Christmas

November 24, 2008

 christmas_tree1

 

A year ago, few people had heard of the dreaded term ‘credit crunch’, but the phrase has now entered dictionaries.  We PR people were probably amongst the first to start splashing the financial crisis all over the media and already by Christmas 2007 we were already bored of talking about it.  This year, however, there is really no escape, with the credit crunch having now pervaded the lives of everyone in the UK in one form or another.  Employment figures dropped alarmingly fast this year, and as of exactly one month ago today, the Office for National Statistics announced figures showing negative economic growth meaning that we are on the brink of recession.  This doesn’t bode well for the millions of UK businesses that rely on the festive season to boost their yearly revenues. It is actually estimated that the Christmas shopping season can account for as much as forty per cent of a retail store’s annual revenue and as much as three-quarters of its annual profit.  But not this year!  

As the Guardian’s Steve Henry points out, there is a silver lining to every cloud, and this year it is the fact that Tesco has been the first of the UK’s biggest retailers to recognise that we’d really prefer not to be bombarded with celebrity-riddled luxury Christmas advertising this year (“Compare Tesco, who have – in my view – won the PR war by apparently ditching the overpaid celebs. That’s doing something new. That’s interesting.”). As he outlines the various advantages and disadvantages of spending millions of pounds to jump on Britain’s obsession with celeb culture at Christmas time, he asks us: “Is it time for advertising to explore new ways of talking to people? Is it possible that the credit crunch will force us all to look afresh at advertising and demand that it is more relevant, more authentic, and less wasteful?” – I hope so!  Even the biggest brands may not be able to afford to pay celebrities to dress up in silly Christmas outfits next year…

Now even birds are going on strike…

November 21, 2008

  

 

Bird Strike!

Bird Strike!

Apparently, the aviation industry’s troubles are continuing and now even nature has turned against them…

“Multiple bird strikes” forced Ryanair flight FR4102 from the sky and into an emergency landing last week.  Ryanair immediately released pictures of the blood splattered plane – presumably believing this to be some kind of PR coup.

Interestingly, lessons seem to have been leant from Ryanair’s handling of previous crises and they apologised profusely for the disruption. Near-misses like these are always a PR challenge for companies, but full disclosure is a good policy. They also correctly mentioned the efforts of the crew to keep the passengers safe.

An airline cannot really be blamed when a flock of birds decides to commit mass-suicide-by-aircraft-engine, but any negative PR is something to be avoided in the current climate for the aviation industry. Whilst most people may choose not to fly because of the credit crunch, there must be some who just don’t like the idea that their multi-million dollar passenger jet can be brought down by a depressed seagull…


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