Why having an environmental strategy is VIP for brands

Earth Day this month was just one opportunity for brands to communicate what they are doing to protect the environment, sharing their efforts and striking up inspiring conversations to feed into the national awareness occasion.

UK governments have set the target of achieving net zero by 2050 and so now more than ever, it is important to ensure business strategies include environmental goals – not only for the health of the planet, but to demonstrate how brands are being active in supporting communities and the wider world.

An ESG strategy is pivotal for businesses of all sizes to ensure the net zero transition is as robust as it can be. As well as encouraging buy in from eco-conscious consumers, a clear sustainability strategy that shares your brand’s values and efforts to work towards a set vision, has also been proven to attract investment alongside top talent.

At Jennie Holland PR, environmental protection is close to our hearts, and we have partnered with My Square Metre and Tree Sisters to offset our carbon usage with tree planting and wildflower planting – alongside taking part in local litter picking initiatives often.

As a brand that cares, we have compiled the top reasons why an environmental strategy should be at the core of what brands are doing to promote themselves:

  1. Gets you noticed

Sustainable activity is an optimal element of brand strategy and with so much of the UK working towards being more eco-conscious, any efforts will be well received by those looking to hear more from your brand, so it’s worthwhile shouting about what you are doing through multiple channels.

  1. Adds value

Your audiences want to make the right decision when it comes to investing in a service that they need and alongside having a quality product, choosing brands that show care and support for the environment is what will add value for them and sway them towards picking you – so don’t hesitate to talk about eco-conscious activity whenever possible.

  1. Talent acquisition and retention

Candidates are more likely to choose companies that are demonstrative in giving back to the community and the environment, so alongside attracting consumers, ensuring your sustainability strategy is evident during a recruitment drive is fundamental.

  1. Investor relations

As well as candidates, investors will find your brand more of an attractive option to invest in when you demonstrate value through sustainability. Incorporating this into your ESG strategy provides evidence that you are committed to the future of your business, the communities in which your company operates, and the government’s net zero targets, working towards a greener future.

For more information on how we can advise on sustainability strategy and communications, please get in touch: hello@jenniehollandpr.com or call 0115 998 3048.

ENDS

Using live radio in your PR strategy

88% of the world population listens to live radio on average for 20.3 hours per week. A captive audience, usually listening in the car, on public transport, at work or in the kitchen at home! Radio is highly effective in sharing business messages.

Data shows that people listen more avidly when listening to the radio rather than TV, and while national radio has a larger reach, local radio packs a punch too with high listener figures who tune in for local news and conversation, and to be connected with their community.

As a PR team we work to secure radio interview spots with our clients to help raise the profile of their businesses . Not only are our clients getting the exposure from digital radio, this is also great content for their social media channels and news section on their website.

Want your brand heard by thousands of engaged listeners? Contact us to discuss our ideas for your business.

Beyond Robin Hood: Exploring Nottingham’s hidden gems

By Amber Macey

In the heart of the East Midlands lies a city with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and modern charm.

Welcome to Nottingham! Where every cobbled street whispers tales of legends past, and every corner holds the promise of a new adventure.

Nottingham’s history dates back centuries – renowned for its lace-making industry and the legendary home of the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, the city wears its heritage proudly.

Perched majestically on its rocky throne, Nottingham Castle stands as a guardian of Nottingham’s past. Originally constructed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle has witnessed countless chapters of England’s tumultuous history, from medieval conflicts to royal intrigues. But Nottingham’s history isn’t confined to the castle walls alone. Wander through the Lace Market, where the echoes of Nottingham’s industrial past resonate through the beautifully preserved Victorian architecture.

If you were told Nottingham’s home to over 500 caves going all the way back to the dark ages, would you believe it? Dating back to the medieval times and originally quarried for their sandstone; these caves served a range of purposes from homes, workplaces, storage spaces and even air raid shelters during World War II. Guided tours lead visitors through a maze of passages.

Nottingham also provides a haven of contemporary expression for art enthusiasts. The city is home to several galleries showcasing both local talent and internationally acclaimed artists. One such gem is the Nottingham contemporary, a world-class gallery renowned for its thought-provoking exhibitions and innovative programming. Situated in the Lace Market, this architectural marvel not only houses captivating artwork but also serves as a hub for students and professionals to peacefully work.

For those who revel in the great outdoors, Nottingham offers an abundance of green spaces to explore. Lose yourself in the beauty of Wollaton park, where the grandeur of Wollaton Hall never fails to impress, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Trent. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse flora and fauna of Sherwood Forest – cycle, hike or simply bask in the serenity of nature.

But Nottingham isn’t just about its rich history and cultural offerings, it’s also a city brimming with opportunities for growth and prosperity, especially for students. Home to two prestigious universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, the city boasts a thriving academic community. Compared to other major cities in the UK, Nottingham offers relatively affordable living costs, making it easier for students to manage their expenses. From accommodation to dining out and entertainment, the plethora of offers, means students can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

So, Nottingham is far from just a city – it’s a living, breathing tapestry of history, culture, and opportunity. Whether you’re strolling through the historic Lace Market district or exploring the winding tunnels of the City of Caves, there’s truly something for everyone. It’s a city where tradition and innovation coexist, where the past informs the present and paves the way for future.

The importance of seasonal planning in any communications strategy

Alongside harnessing reactive opportunities, forward planning should form a core part of a communications strategy.

Planning ahead for the month, quarter and even year is beneficial, to ensure overarching business objectives are intrinsic to tactics and deliverables.

While certain seasons provide mainstay awareness dates to tap into, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Black Friday and Christmas, there are many national and international awareness weeks which will strike up opportunities for your brand to be part of online and offline conversations.

Alongside being the ideal time to talk, brands can look to develop bigger impactful campaigns to get noticed and showcase their product and offering.

However, it’s important to ensure the timing and execution of content is relevant – too early and you’ll miss the buzz, too late and everyone will have moved on – so plan and triple check your content for the best impact.

We’ve compiled our list of reasons for why seasonal content planning is vital:

  • Seasonal content is more emotionally resonant – we’re all aware of the main holidays and have grown up making memories each year during these occasions, so in terms of relatability – annual holidays and awareness dates are a prime time to reach and resonate with your audiences

 

  • Engagement and interaction is higher – seasonal content tends to perform well in terms of garnering engagement, so regular relevant content around awareness days is worthwhile.

 

  • Your brand will be part of the national conversation – join in the conversations and learn insights from others while you’re doing it. A buzzing online or offline space is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what you do and get in front of as many people as possible, which does wonders for your brand awareness.

 

  • You have time to dedicate to good research – planning in advance ensures that you can deliver impactful content and wider campaigns, so use the planning time wisely. It’ll be worthwhile when it comes to your return on investment

 

Could your brand do with some extra love? Speak to our communications specialists for a friendly, focused chat on 0115 998 3048.

The synchronicity of PR and HR services in brand reputation

When it comes to corporate success, brand reputation is a partnership between Public Relations and Human Resources and while seemingly distinct, the two entities share a surprising number of similarities when it comes to safeguarding and enhancing a brand’s image.

As a Public Relations agency, working with a Human Resources client, we regularly observe those similarities in our efforts to shape, protect and raise our clients’ reputations.  We act as diligent guardians of the brand. HR protects the internal brand by upholding values and fostering a positive workplace, while PR is responsible for protecting the external brand by demonstrating positive values and actions.

But like all good relationships, the work we do with brands, as PRs and HRs, must be based on trust and transparency and working with those who believe in doing the right thing. Here’s why…

Custodians of culture

Both PR and HR agencies are the gatekeepers of an organisation’s culture. HR is responsible for fostering a positive working environment, ensuring employee satisfaction, and promoting a culture that aligns with the brand’s values… while PR, on the other hand, communicates this culture externally, shaping the public’s perception of the company.

Communication experts

Effective communication is the lifeblood of both PR and HR. HR tells the internal story, crafting honest narratives that resonate with employees… while PR translates that internal success for external consumption, presenting an alignment in brand perception.

Aligning internal and external messaging is crucial for brand consistency. HR and PR should collaborate to ensure that the messages communicated to employees align seamlessly with those broadcasted to the public. This synergy prevents confusion and builds trust.

Employers of choice

HR agencies play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining top talent. It is good managers and a happy workforce that are a brand’s most valuable asset when it comes to hiring the right people… while PR, in turn, projects that positive image to the public, showcasing the company as a true, employer of choice.

Happy employees are powerful brand advocates. HR fosters an environment where employees feel engaged and proud to be associated with the brand… while PR amplifies this advocacy externally, turning employees into authentic ambassadors for the company.

Crisis management

In the stormy seas of crises, both PR and HR agencies must navigate the issue together to ensure minimal damage to the brand. HR will manage the internal crises, addressing employee concerns and maintaining morale… while, simultaneously, PR works externally to mitigate reputational damage and communicate the company’s stance.

For more information on supporting your brand with PR (or HR!), get in touch with us today.

Never choose between being an optimist or a pessimist. Be an activist.

This statement, from the former President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, resonated with me hugely when I heard it on a Podcast this week.

In daily life, we fluctuate between optimism and pessimism. It’s normal and it’s expected. But in PR, there is no such dichotomy. The only stance we can take is that of an activist. It’s not a choice, it’s a responsibility.

At its core, activism in PR signifies a proactive approach to communication and engagement. We adopt an activist mindset by actively seeking opportunities to drive positive change for our clients to promote brand visibility and align them with values and causes that resonate with their audience. So it pays to find agencies that represent brands and industries that interest us and activate our activist selves.

20 years ago, as an entry level in consumer PR, I was an activist for anything that looked, smelled, or tasted good and as a fairly natural communicator, securing coverage wasn’t hard. But times were very different in the early 2000s and a direct dial for Glamour’s fashion desk where the resident junior would actually pick up the phone, was the norm. A new client would arrive in the showroom, and it was a fight for who got to work on the account, who got to manage the photo shoots and if we were lucky, who got to keep some of the product at the end of the season. We were activists and we were hungry for the results we were committed to delivering for our clients.

But as life evolved with relationships and responsibility, so did my interests and I’ve been fortunate to move around the world of PR and experience many brands that resonate with my activist self at various stages of my life.

At JHPR, among our expertise across the Built Environment and Professional Services landscapes, we are Midlands experts, and we know how to gain traction for our clients. We’re also passionate and will happily acknowledge that we’re learning all the time but as activists, we’re fast learners and we’re driven.

There will always be tricky days in PR. Long days researching pitching and hitting brick walls. But because we’re activists we come back fighting, day after day.

Jacques Delors’ words remind us that, as PR professionals, we have the power to drive positive change for our clients and the communities they serve. By embracing activism, we can become architects of positive change, proving that in the world of PR, activism is not a choice. It’s the way we’re wired and it’s very much a responsibility.

 

The importance of employee advocacy in your business strategy

The faces behind a business make the cogs turn – and that’s why we’re so interested to see and hear from them, otherwise known as employee advocacy.

Social media posts from business employees talking about topics in a personalised sense generated 64% more engagement than those that did not, a recent report has shown – and this is testament to the importance of employee advocacy as part of a business’s communications model.

So why do we relate more to these posts?

The answer is because we’re simply human – we relate to other humans, to their thoughts and to their musings, and we’re more likely to connect and trust communication in this form.

The promotion of a business by those who work in it builds credibility and is an easy way for employees to take part in marketing efforts – sharing company messages, demonstrating activities and authentic opinion-driven personal experiences.

Not only is employee advocacy beneficial in terms of optimally reaching audiences in a business sense, but it also plays a key role in professional development through showcasing expertise and involvement with a company’s offering.

Everyone has something to gain from employee advocacy – it’s a chance to raise awareness of a brand, boost credibility, generate engagement and new business leads and attract talent.

For employees – the opportunity to enhance their professional profiles, expand following, network and nurture relationships with fellow business contacts is limitless.

Four easy ways to kick start employee advocacy are:

1- Share expertise as often as you can

2- Use storytelling to show authenticity and build trust

3- Celebrate achievements and activities to show the human side of the business

4- Be transparent about what you do – business wise and personally – audiences appreciate this

To talk strategy and find out more about the valuable role that employee advocacy can play in your business, please get in touch with Jennie Holland PR on 0115 998 3048 or by emailing hello@jenniehollandpr.com.

The September State of Mind: How the nostalgic ‘Back to School’ mentality influences the adult workplace

Written by Becky Muldoon

As pencil cases are packed with brand new sharpies and name labels are stuck into uniforms (sewn in if you’re old skool or you’ve got Grandma on hand!), September ushers in a wave of nostalgia for many of us. It’s a time etched in our memories as the season of new beginnings, fresh notebooks, and the anticipation of what the school year might bring. But interestingly, this ‘back to school’ mentality doesn’t seem to vanish with age; instead, it often filters into the workplace, influencing our attitudes and behaviours, regardless of age.

Here are some of my favourite September ‘back to school’ workplace practices that I am certain will be with me for many years to come.

 

1. A time to embrace change

September symbolises change – the season, the school year – and change is a fundamental part of working life. But it can come with a little angst and anticipation, which, in the workplace can actually sometimes be just what we need to push ourselves outside our comfort zones and build resilience. Whether starting a new job, embarking on a project, or simply seeking personal growth, adopting a ‘back to school’ mindset can be incredibly beneficial and surprisingly emboldening.

 

2. Set new goals

My new term books began life with my very best handwriting. It somehow made me feel like, that year, I meant business. Even if I didn’t know it, I was laying mental foundations and setting goals for myself. A goal to make the netball team? To get a part in the school play? In PR, goals at this time of year will always be around a big push to the end of the year. A time to revisit those all-important KPIs… take a look over the shoulder at what the competition is up to… and a make a plan to ensure that, come Christmas, coverage is dancing off the pages.

 

3. A desire to learn

Education doesn’t end with School or University, and neither should our desire to learn. At 41 my desire to learn is probably greater than it was in secondary school, because now I get to make my own choices on what learning looks like. What I love to do at this time of year is plan the best books to read in the evening, the best podcasts for my daily bus commute (because it’s far too cold for the bike!), and perhaps steal 5-minutes of my teenagers’ The Week so I can catch up on what’s going on around me. Work is no different. I want to know my clients’ industries and trends and I enjoy taking the time to do that. New legislation often presents itself in the new year and I want to know what I can expect for my clients.

 

4. Record of Achievement

Commendations… Team Captain… Duke Of Edinburgh awards… The only difference now is that the achievements I like to celebrate are wins on behalf of my clients and colleagues. A recent piece of coverage in ‘inews’ has pretty much granted me access to the Teachers Lounge in my head. I don’t need the medal, but I need the peace of mind that I’m working hard to achieve something worth celebrating. We need to acknowledge and appreciate workplace accomplishments. It undoubtedly boosts morale and motivation and as the chilly autumn months arrive, we can all do with a little extra motivation.

 

And finally, my favourite back to school habit that will never leave me…

 

5. It’s almost time to get out my ‘big coat’ (IYKYK)

All the feels. All the memories. And because no office will ever let me pump the heating to the level I truly love!

The ‘back to school’ mentality is a poignant reminder that the spirit of growth, exploration, and resilience lives on within us, no matter our age. It teaches us not only to adapt to change but to relish it, to set goals with unwavering determination, and to cherish the ongoing journey of learning. This mentality encourages us to rally with our colleagues as a cohesive team, and to face challenges with the same determination we once brought to the classroom. Most of all, it reminds us to pause and savour the wins, whether in a classroom or a meeting room. So, whether you’re a recent graduate filled with youthful zeal or a seasoned professional with wisdom etched in your soul, don’t hesitate to channel your inner ‘pupil’ and embrace the ‘back to school’ mentality in the workplace.

 

If September has given you the feeling that it’s time to refresh your marketing strategy, get in touch!

Four LinkedIn features you should know about

LinkedIn is quickly becoming a favourite social media platform – accessible to all, not just the business crowd! Originally designed to connect professionals with jobseekers, the platform has now become an effective tool to network across the world, expand knowledge, share topics you’re passionate about and grow your own personal profile and brand.

No different from any other social media platform, LinkedIn is ever evolving. It can be a challenge to stay up to date with the latest features, algorithm updates, and changes but it is so important to do so.

Here are four features on LinkedIn that you should know about:

 

  1. Creator Mode

Creator mode is a profile setting that gives you more ways to engage with your audience by enabling access to select tools. This feature allows you to share your profile topics and hashtags that you post about the most, making it easier for other LinkedIn members to discover your content and follow you. Creator mode also gives you access to the following tools – collaborative articles, LinkedIn Live, audio events, newsletters, and a follow link on your profile.

You can turn on Creator mode in your profile settings, underneath resources.

 

  1. LinkedIn News

On the right side of your newsfeed, you will find LinkedIn News. This is a ‘daily rundown’ of news delivered by a team of international editors at LinkedIn. This is a very convenient and quick way to see a top-line view of the latest stories. By clicking on an article from the list, you will see a short overview followed by a collection of member posts, that provide further information and opinions on the story.

Sometimes the best features are hidden right in front of our eyes.

 

  1. Top Skills

One of the newest features on LinkedIn is that you can now add your Top Skills to your profile’s about section. This feature adds more credibility to your profile and emphasizes specific skills you want to highlight, resulting in a better chance of being contacted by hiring managers as they can see specific skills you are highly qualified in.

This is a great feature to utilise if you are looking for work.

 

  1. LinkedIn Showcase Page

The Showcase Page is a great feature to utilize on your LinkedIn company profile. It works like an add-on feature and provides you with a custom template to spotlight a particular area of your business such as a service, product or sub-brand. You can create up to ten showcase pages, and there are many options to tailor each one to your liking. If your company offers a range of products or services, then showcasing pages is an effective way of segmenting your audience and delivering bespoke content to each.

A must-have feature for businesses on LinkedIn.

 

LinkedIn is continually advancing its features in ways that open up further opportunities for its users, and we are excited for its future.

Flying the nest – what does Twitter’s rebrand to X mean for social media?

On 23 July we said ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to Twitter.

Since Elon Musk’s infamous takeover back in October 2022, the established social platform has been undergoing changes. The most significant so far being its controversial rebranding to X, which has seen the platform ditch its iconic blue bird logo in favour of a black and white X.

The announcement was made after the X logo was projected onto the side of the San Francisco headquarters on the evening of the 23 July, and this new identity came after it was announced that users were going to be capped on the number of posts, they can read on the app each day.

CEO Linda Yaccarino, announced how X Corp (formerly Twitter, Inc) plans to make X ‘the future state of unlimited interactivity’ with the app now being ‘centred in audio, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities.’

She claims that there is ‘no limit to this transformation’, setting new goals for the company to transform the platform into an ‘everything app’, to reshape the brand into a ‘global town square’.

Musk’s idea of creating an ‘everything app’ has been inspired by the Chinese app – WeChat – which has a very different approach to other traditionally used social channels. It has all features in one place including messaging, social, video calls, payment, and mini apps encouraging users to be loyal in using the platform for multiple purposes.

The app remains popular with over one billion active monthly users and at present it’s functions remain the same as Twitter. As X evolves, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop as new competitors such as Threads and the Tik Tok text post feature come to the fore.

Scanning the social and news scape, it’s clear many are questioning the rebrand and how much planning actually took place with Domain Name Systems (DNS) not even up to date, suggesting Musk was too eager to launch. The basic precautions for registering similar domains had not been taken and are putting many users at risk of computer bugging, hacking, and having their personal data leaked.

With very little confirmed information on the future of X, we’re unsure how quickly rumoured changes will start to be introduced, but Musk has said that the app will be powered by AI, connecting us in ways we can only begin to imagine.

We can likely expect the most immediate change to be adapting the current retweeting function with plenty more on the horizon