Goodbye 2020, hello 2021 – here’s the music that powers us through working from home

It may be the start of a new year, but the events of 2020 continue to impact our everyday lives.

With many of us spending more time indoors, working remotely and looking after loved ones in our homes, we wanted to highlight one thing that always picks us up, keeps us moving forward and helps us stay motivated – music.

At the end of 2020, streaming platform Spotify released its intriguing ‘Wrapped’ feature, identifying the world’s favourite artists, songs and genres over the last twelve months, and insightful stats including how long we all spend humming along to our favourite tunes.

But what are the most popular music genres to listen to whilst you’re working from home? And what effect can music have on our general outlook, wellbeing and productivity?

Listening to music working from home

From feel-good to fierce, the top genres that got us through 2020 included hip hop, rap, alternative rock, punk and house music. Not surprisingly, mainstream artists and chart-topping tunes were amongst our favourite songs, with The Weeknd’s hit ‘Blinding Lights’ taking the crown for most played song, with almost 1.6 billion global streams.

Our music trends also reflected the unpredictable and unsettling nature of 2020 – as many of us turned to nostalgic playlists to perk us up. The most popular decade of music played was the 1980s – the peak of new wave, electronic and hard rock – perhaps a sign of our collective emotional mindset and effort to seek comfort throughout the year.

In line with the nation’s shift away from the office due to lockdown, the creation of working from home-themed playlists grew by more than 1400%, proving our need for inspiring and motivational music to power us through our new working routines.

Spotify Wrapped 2020
Image: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2020-12-01/the-trends-that-shaped-streaming-in-2020/

From relaxing chill out tunes, to fast-paced and uplifting dance anthems, the music we listen to can really optimise our concentration levels and help with overall positivity. Whether you’re looking for a melody to keep you calm or a beat to get you marching through a project, listening to a variety of music during working hours helps to lift your mood and focus throughout the day.

We can also be inspired by our favourite film soundtracks or classical masterpieces – as often the absence of lyrics can serve as less of a distraction when looking for background music.

Podcasts enjoyed a rapid growth in popularity during 2020, and with The Joe Rogan Experience and TED Talks Daily topping the list – it is clear that we search for content featuring inspirational guests, interviews and ideas delivered straight to our earphones.

So, what are team JHPR’s go-to genres to keep us feeling positive, creative and productive?

Our managing director Jennie loves a bit of 90s dance – love, life and laughter is all she believes!

Senior manager Becky has an eclectic taste in tunes, but you can usually find her singing along to 70s disco – young hearts run free, Becky!

Senior account executive Eloise chooses liquid drum & bass to power through her work – high energy and melodic beats combined, sounds like a winning mix to us.

Account executive Tamara can’t resist some RnB – much success, no stress and lots of happiness is her mantra.

Copywriter Georgina loves some chillstep electronic music to help her stay focused throughout the day – relaxed music = a relaxed mind!

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

5 social media ‘dos’ at Christmas time

Christmas is the perfect time of year to work extra hard on your social media and promote your business in a stimulating way. It’s important for you to engage with consumers to grab their attention and nurture your relationships with them.

Whilst many are investing more time online, it makes sense to utilise the festive period to further connect with customers who will be spending money online and making decisions about the new year during the Christmas build up.

At Jennie Holland PR, we spend our time creating engaging content for our clients to bolster brands and connect with audiences, and we have shared our top five social media ‘dos’ for staying engaged with followers over the festive period.

1. Create a Christmas competition 

Social media competitions are a great way to generate engagement and buzz around your brand, particularly if they’re fun and festive! It’s important before launching and promoting a Christmas competition that you identify your business goals and what you wish to achieve. Goals may be to grow engagement rates, drive traffic, or simply boost sales. Most importantly, make your Christmas competition engaging, to help you attract customers and stand out from the competition.

2. Design and post festive content

A simple yet effective way to make your social media fit for the festive season, is by creating festive visuals and content for your social media feeds/pages. For example, you could edit your brand logo or social profile picture by adding a Christmas filter, or introduce festive colours such as red and green across your pages to add a seasonal, inviting touch. Although, be careful not to steer too much away from your own brand identity.

3. Don’t stay quiet

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of the year for most businesses, but it’s important that your brand and its communications are louder than ever during the festive build up. Competition is likely to be highly increased around this time and it’s vital that you give consumers a reason to shop with you over your competitors, in an oversaturated market – so consider how you’re promoting services, use high quality visuals to ensure your brand resonates, and engage with customers as much as possible.

4. Wishing your customers well 

One of the best ways to connect with and develop relationships with your customers is by wishing them well and thanking them for their business during the festive season. Customers feel really valued when you acknowledge them and even a simple Merry Christmas and Happy New Year message goes a long way to showing the personality behind your brand and the fact that you care.

5. Launch a blog 

If you don’t have a blog on your website at this stage, the new year would be the perfect time to launch one. Blogs are a really useful tool for increasing traffic to your website, as well as creating an identity for your brand that consumers can engage and resonate with. There are tonnes of new year related themes that you could kick start your blog with, to get your customers reading and engaging – starting with business resolutions for the future.

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

Cracking Christmas campaigns of 2020 (so far)

Christmas is usually an opportune time for brands to utilise PR, social media and digital marketing to spread some Christmas cheer.

We can all agree that Christmas 2020 will be different, but whatever festive cheer means to you this year, we think you will be able to enjoy some of our favourite Christmas campaigns of this year (so far).

Action for Happiness: December Kindness Calendar

With all kinds of new advent calendar concepts popping up – Action for Happiness has launched a downloadable December Kindness calendar, its aim – to boost our mental health and happiness during these uncertain times. We may not have been able to have as much control as usual over our lifestyles this year, but we can always choose to be kind to ourselves and others.

Christmas is a time for appreciation and showing love to those around you, so we can certainly all try to be more kind, especially during this festive season.

Take a look and download the free kindness calendar here: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/december

Image: Action for Kindness

Spa Seekers: Mulled wine hot tub spa

After the year we have all had, an entire hot tub filled with mulled wine would certainly go down a treat!

Taking boozy to a new level, a campaign launched by Spa Seekers invites holiday goers to try a spa session which features a soak in the mulled wine hot tub, a festive massage and a free bottle of booze to finish.

Take a look and book a session here: https://www.spaseekers.com/spa-insider/inspiration/mulled-wine-spa-day

Image: Spa Seekers

Money.co.uk: The world’s favourite Christmas films

Using Google search data, Money.co.uk were able to rank the most searched for festive films around the world.

It’s no surprise that Love Actually was at the Top of England’s list, with a search volume of nearly 1million! That’s our weekend planned…

Image: Money.co.uk

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

Brand profiling in a pandemic

As a result of the pandemic, brands have had to become more resilient and forward-thinking, tweaking PR and communications strategies to ensure alignment with fast evolving consumer habits.

Whilst also focusing on the here and now, business owners need to be setting their sights on long-term security, and through well executed social media, PR and digital marketing, brands can better respond and communicate with audiences in these unprecedented times.

As we’re coming to the end of 2020 and looking to the new year, it’s more important than ever for brands to set sights on the future and ensure communications are strong. As PR professionals, we have shared key brand profiling considerations to help business owners adapt, survive and thrive.

Flexibility

There is a real emphasis on flexibility in terms of communications strategies, and planned content can change quickly, influenced by recent affairs. Consumers are looking for brands to be in tune with what is going on in the world and press and social content must reflect cultural and social issues.  To simply sell products and services is not enough anymore – consumers purchase with brands that are environmentally and socially conscious, so they feel happier when spending, so brand messaging needs to reflect this.

Shifts in consumer behaviour

With this shift in spending habits, consumers are now more open to exploring new brands, and value, quality and purpose are all key attributes that consumers look for. They are happy to move away from go-to brands, choosing alternative companies if they feel they are offered more. This change in consumer behaviour has opened up the market for brands to adjust reach and target key demographics.

Brand response

It has been found that around one in four social media posts now mention COVID-19, and consumers are really engaging with content geared to health, support and people. Creating more empathetic and impactful content is key to resonating with audiences, so tailor social and press materials to include relevant contextual topics.

Supporting the local community is also proving strong during the pandemic, with many pushing the ‘buy local’ and ‘support small’ initiatives. Brands that have successfully removed the outlook of ‘them vs us’ have done well during the pandemic, with consumers favouring the ‘all in this together’ approach, with real voices being heard.

Keeping consistent whilst acknowledging big shifts is also important for instilling trust in a brand. A strong and resilient company is one that a consumer can rely on at any point and brands that communicate with respect, clarity, honesty and consistency, will find consumers returning time and time again.

 

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

Functions of social media for businesses

Having a presence on social media is VITAL for any business, and it’s becoming even more important in the modern age.

There was a time when social media was just for networking between friends. Now, it is arguably the biggest communication channel in the world. Updates can reach audiences in seconds, with user-created content making impressions across the globe.

For business owners, social media is a free online communications tool which should contain the most accessible and up to date information about your business.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has grown to be even more valuable for companies, as a first port of call for up to date information. How many of us headed to social media pages to check if businesses were open or looking active during lockdown?

Whether you own a B2C or B2B business, having a presence on social media is still vital to show current and potential clients what your business can do, what your brand represents and of course that your business is open for communication.

We’ve outlined some of the key functions of social media for businesses:

To build your reputation

Social media is a way to project your brand’s personality through short written updates. Using specific language and tones can indicate to others what your brand stands for and the kind of business you are – friendly and casual, or serious and professional.

As a customer service advisor

Potential customers looking for quick answers can communicate quickly and effectively by sending direct messages on social, or by commenting on the feed of a specific channel.

Through utilising the messenger and comment features of channels, you can interact quickly and efficiently with customers for better service.

An up to date image gallery

Posting regular images will give clients and customers a visual idea of your business. Post images of your office, team and offering to let people know what you are up to and how you are evolving.

Attracting talent

Social media can be a great way to show off your office culture, attracting potential future employees to the team. You can show people why your business is truly a great place to work and leave a good impression for when you are next recruiting.

To let people know you are modern and active

If you don’t post on social media regularly, it can be questioned as to whether your business is still operating. Ensure posting is frequent so you are always in your followers’ minds, and to show social visitors you are still up and running.

At the very least, try to have at least one active social channel to show people that you are a forward-thinking business that utilises modern technology.

Showing support

Social media is a good way to engage with others and show your support. Whether this is support for the local community, a charity, or other affiliated businesses. It’s a useful tool for networking and connecting with those who are important to your business.

Speak to us at Jennie Holland PR, we are an experienced and skilled social media management team who can put the above and so much more into place for you. We will guide you through it and bring your business real results.

Social media consumption post lockdown – what’s changed?

It’s been six months since the UK went into lockdown, and with so many people saving commuting time or being placed on Furlough Leave from their job, many of us had more free time than we have ever had before. The time spent on social media in the UK surged, with the average user spending four hours and two minutes a day scrolling through social media apps as a way to soak up free time.

Apps like Tik Tok are notorious for creating that casino slot machine lost time experience. It notably doesn’t have the time or a clock visible on the screen when using the app. Is this to ensure users lose track of time and continue to scroll through the infinite content? With increased screen time and saturation of content, many users are starting to pay close attention to how they are using social media platforms, to ensure that they are getting the most out of it without letting it take over their life.

What can brands learn from this and how can they ensure that their social media content is engaging and ethical?

Use trusted sources only

Users want credibility behind the posts and the content they are consuming. We all remember the misinformation and WhatsApp forwards that were circulated at the start of the pandemic – posts which stated that drinking lemon juice or taking hot baths could help fight off coronavirus – spread like wildfire across the internet. These were later ruled as false, misleading information. As a reaction to this, WhatsApp launched its ‘Coronavirus Information Hub’ in March 2020, which aimed to work alongside UNICEF UNDP, and WHO to tackle the spread of fake news and keep its global users informed about the pandemic.

Users want to know where the information they are consuming is coming from and whether they should believe it. When brands are posting content, it’s important they are from a trusted source or backed up by factual information as to not spread misinformation.

Take responsibility

Users are also taking time out from social media for mental health reasons. One of the more recent campaigns was the #digitaldetoxday on 5 September, where users announced to their followers that they would be taking 24 hours away from their screens to bring awareness to the way social media affects users’ mental health. The campaign was created by YouTuber, Zoe Sugg, mental health organisation #IAMWHOLE and Lush, to encourage users to reflect offline about how they live their lives online, and to introduce boundaries into their social media usage. Love Island presenter, Laura Whitmore, announced to her 1.2 million Instagram followers that she would be taking part in the campaign by taking a brief social media break to focus on herself.

The way users consume social media has changed dramatically over the last six months. Users are hyper-aware and expect truth and credibility when viewing posts. It is important that brands stay transparent when communicating with consumers and customers and are using social media platforms responsibly.

If you’d like help to ensure your social media channels remain engaging but credible, please get in touch with Jennie Holland PR.

The importance of nurturing client relationships

In the PR world, doing our job well requires knowing our clients’ brands very well.

And that is why building lasting client relationships is a key part of what we do – so we can understand businesses and those who they are selling to.

Besides entering into an engagement for a contract of work – the best client relationships require careful management and are sustained and nurtured through regular and close communication, transparency and going the extra mile.

Especially during these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that clients are well looked after, as businesses face some of the toughest times in the current economic climate.

We’ve compiled our fundamentals for keeping and looking after important client relationships, to make sure clients are content and working relationships are the best that they can be.

Gain trust

Client trust is vital in a good working relationship and this can be built through open communication, agreeing realistic goals and delivering campaigns with tangible, solid results. We work with our clients to communicate as often as possible so that we can be sure we are meeting their needs and they can be safe in the knowledge that they are being listened to and that our work is of value. Also, being on hand as often as needed is important to talk and guide clients through situations and opportunities that may arise, offering professional input and solutions.

Be transparent

There is no point promising the world and under-delivering, as this will only spike distrust in a working relationship. In terms of deliverables, these need to be carefully considered and agreed  upon following meetings, in which the identification of targets and business needs takes place. It’s always fine to discuss ideas and to say what will and won’t work for a client. Certain ideas may be potentially more risqué and ground breaking, which is also great as it’s important to keep ideas fresh, however – it’s important to proceed with caution when handling any and all plans to ensure the best interests of the client are at the heart of any strategy. Transparency is of total importance from an agency point of view, to ensure that you negotiate and understand plans of action, which will stop you from entering into any unresolvable situations.

Go the extra mile

Clients notice the cherries on top, and any PR agency worth its salt will go above and beyond to meet and exceed client expectations – offering advice and ideas for added value regularly. Whether it’s offering proactive opportunities for media interviews when a particular relevant new topic crops up, or ensuring your brand is a trendsetter in it’s industry with out of the box ideas that pave the way in terms of leadership – there are always plenty of opportunities for news to place and your brand to get noticed – so it’s always worth going the extra mile, and clients will remember.

Be flexible

From budget, to deliverables – every client is different and a one size fits all approach is never the best option to suit varying client needs. Sitting down with a client and getting under the skin of their needs is the best way to devise a strategy that is bespoke to them – which meets the needs, requirements and target audiences of their services and products.

Whatever direction your business is going in, communicating your brand is so important, contact Jennie Holland PR to find out how we can help you, and to find out how to get the best out of your PR agency, read more here.

PR campaigns need a 360-degree approach  

When it comes to planning your next impactful PR campaign, it goes without saying that you need to consider all aspects of your approach. PR is not just media relations; it encompasses all external communications, and with so many digital platforms available to share content on, and the impact and reach of these constantly evolving, your PR campaign needs to be managed strategically.

Some aspects of ‘traditional’ PR, for example press releases, are mainstays, but you are more likely to have a successful campaign if you implement aspects of digital PR alongside traditional efforts.

To get the best results for your campaigns, applying the PESO media model will help to ensure that any PR strategy implemented is covering all ground.

The acronym stands for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) media, and this framework is most beneficial when used as a planning tool to integrate different forms of media.

This framework was first introduced by Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of marketing and communications firm, Arment Dietrich, in her 2014 book – Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age.

The PESO Model

Paid

Paid media is fast becoming a top feature of PR campaigns. This form of media uses; ambient advertising, sales promotion, PPC and SEO to place money behind the content to boost and control its distribution. When using paid media, it is important that you choose platforms to target according to the right audience, to yield the best results and avoid wasting your money.

You can monitor the average click through rate percentage and average cost per click to see if the advert is on track to achieve the objectives set at the beginning of the campaign. Selective and tailored messaging on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will ensure that any messages resonate.

Earned

Earned media is a form of third-party endorsement. This can be achieved through more traditional media relations or through blogger and influencer relations. When used correctly, influencer marketing can generate 11x the ROI of traditional ads*.

The use of influencers can help your brand to reach new niche audiences with dedicated interests, while raising your profile across channels and platforms, in addition to many other benefits.

Shared

Shared media is also referred to as content marketing. It is centred around pushing content through social channels, but can also include affinity marketing, review sites and partnerships.

Affinity marketing is an aspect of PR that consists of a partnership between a company and an organisation that gathers persons sharing the same interests, to bring a greater consumer base to their services, products and opinions. A long-lasting relationship can be formed using this concept, in which both parties’ benefit. This can be rewarding especially during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owned

Owned media describes any content and channel over which your company or organisation has complete control. It includes websites, publications, presentations, research, podcasts and webinars.

When used correctly, owned media channels can be successfully used to establish your company or organisation as thought leaders, whilst building long-term customer relationships.

At the centre of the PESO model is Authority. Optimised, shareable and engaging content should be a golden aim for any campaign alongside Google authorship.

The most successful PR campaigns have a tailored and strategic approach and utilising the relationship between all the media forms in the PESO model can ensure that your next PR campaign is launched with a foolproof strategy behind it.

Get in touch with us today to discover how your next PR campaign can reach its full potential.

*https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/the-brand-value-of-influencer-marketing-in-2018-infographic/520810/

 

The importance of responding to new consumer buying habits

As a Nottingham-based PR agency, we are always looking at evolving consumer attitudes and buying habits, so we can ensure that our client content and marketing strategies work in reaching the right people and resonating with target markets.

Consumer buying habits are changing now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, and consumers are seeking more from brands than just simply products or services.

We’ve rounded up some of the top things that businesses can be doing at the moment to go the extra mile in terms of PR, marketing and social media efforts.

Let people know about your CSR activity

COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, and people are looking at how brands have responded. Did you support the NHS or emergency services? For example, our client 200 Degrees donated 1,000 acetate sheets to create vital PPE, as featured in the Mirror.

Maybe you donated to a charity who was struggling? Here at Jennie Holland PR, we have been supporting local charity Footprints CEC, offering PR services for three months for free.

CSR has always been a key part of business, but more and more people are looking to see what businesses are doing ongoing, especially through times of hardship. If your business has done something good or charitable, you should be letting people know, shout about it on social media or tell press, as it further highlights and promotes the causes that you are trying to help.

Offer added value

Consumers are looking for more than just a single product or service now. They want to trust that what you are offering as a company is both high quality and of good value. Throughout lockdown many people have been looking to better themselves through online courses or reading.

Webinars and online panels are also increasingly becoming more popular, and taking part in them is a great way to position yourself as an industry leader, even if it’s just hosted internally.

Why not post top tips on your social media or a series of blogs on your website to advise and help customers?

Let consumers know your plans as soon as possible

The pandemic has shaken up how a lot of businesses operate, for better and for worse, with any initial year-long PR and marketing strategies likely to be out the window and last-minute reactive opportunities on the rise.

With changes happening so rapidly, it’s important to inform consumers of your plans and next steps as soon as you know them to ensure that you are keeping your customers regularly updated, especially on your social media channels. Long-term followers will be thrilled to see that your business is back up and running, and with things changing so rapidly, consumers will be checking social media frequently for the latest updates.

If you are reopening your business for takeaway services or even have plans to reopen safely to the public, tell consumers on social channels and by reaching out to media. 

Increase your online visibility

With more and more people spending time online, now is a good time to work on your SEO strategy to ensure your business is getting maximum visibility online. As well as providing website audits, we specialise in achieving ‘backlinks’ – these links act as a vote of confidence from other websites which works to increase your position on the search engine. Google has confirmed that backlinks are one of the top three ranking factors in SEO.

Whatever direction your business is going in, communication is key. From using social media to the advantage of your business, to regularly liaising with media, and updating your website with good, regular content – it’s important to get the right messages for your business out there.

Contact Jennie Holland PR today to find out how we can help you.

Life at a PR agency in Nottingham – why we love the city we work in

As a PR agency in Nottingham, the Jennie Holland PR team is always keen to shout about our great city and the opportunities there are here in the East Midlands for growth.

From its fascinating history to its thriving student scene, Nottingham is a gem in the Midlands and continues to develop openings for businesses, tourists and residents.

But what makes being a PR agency in Nottingham so special to us? We’ve listed three big reasons why we believe Nottingham is an exciting hive of culture, food and drink and events.

The skyline is always changing

Wherever you stand in Nottingham city centre, you will be able to see a crane in the skyline. Developments are popping up everywhere – whether its student accommodation, office space and apartments buildings – Nottingham is growing at an exciting rate, becoming a great place to live, study, work or set up a business.

From the highly anticipated Broadmarsh shopping and leisure centre and Grade A office spaces, to the £30million Nottingham Castle renovation project and the £100million redevelopment at Nottingham Forest Football Club, the city is alive with change and we’re proud to be supporting some of the East Midlands-based companies that are making it happen through our PR and marketing activity!

A modern city with historical significance

Nottingham is an historic city and has long been an important spot on the map due to its strategic position on higher ground in the middle of England, with Nottingham Castle – the country’s first fortress built by William the Conqueror – allowing for views in every direction for miles, and Sherwood Forest providing a natural barrier and excellent protection against attacking forces.

From tales of Robin Hood to Lord Byron and Oliver Cromwell, Nottingham has many hidden corners, folklore and fascinating architecture dating back thousands of years. The cobbled Bridlesmith Gate was once part of the first A1 route (and it was also the narrowest part!) built during the Roman period between AD 43 and 410.

First known as the ‘land of cave dwellers’, Nottingham is famous for its labyrinth of caves, many of which are still being discovered as more developments take root in the city.

A popular student destination

As a desirable place to study, Nottingham is only growing in popularity when it comes to students. With two fantastic universities including Nottingham Trent University, which was crowned University of the Year 2019 by The Guardian, it’s no wonder that students count for around 70,000 of the city’s population.

This in itself presents great opportunities for businesses that can strive to meet the demand for student accommodation, nightlife, events, food and drink and activity venues such as escape rooms, that means there is plenty to explore and try. We love to see plenty of independent retailers, cafes and bars popping up everywhere which proving popular amongst consumers, especially in areas such as The Lace Market, Hockley and Sneinton.

From supporting independent coffee shops and restaurants to letting agencies and major construction and architecture firms, we enjoy delivering creative PR and social media campaigns that shout about our clients’ successes in the region (including the articles linked in this blog!).

Interested in learning more about our PR and social media services? We can help. Get in touch with Jennie Holland PR for all things communications on 0115 998 3048 or hello@jenniehollandpr.com.