Why having an environmental strategy is very important 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

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.

Keeping your eyes peeled and your options open is the best way to explore future career paths – Finley Knowles, JHPR intern

Starting a university degree that you have always wanted to do is great, you feel like you have achieved something really big and you got there all by yourself, but what if you fall out of love with it?  

Exploring multiple options and trying new things is the best way to learn more about yourself and gain fantastic life experiences, whilst helping to further your career. 

I came to university with my heart set on being a broadcast journalist and although this is still an option, as the course progressed, I realised it may not be for me.  

I chose to do a personal relations module on the course and was so glad I did, as I realised I could be creative, still produce written, social, audio and video content, as well as work alongside multiple brands that I had an actual interest in. 

This led to me seeking a work experience placement at Jennie Holland PR for a month and wow, what a month I have had! 

Throughout my time here I have gained invaluable knowledge from the team and have been involved in many aspects of public relations – attending client meetings, filming and crafting content for social media, sitting in on interviews and drafting press releases, alongside getting stuck into research tasks and competitor studies. 

Access to JHPR’s media and editing software allowed me to be really hands on with creative assets, tailoring content and bringing brands to life through social channels, and it was really interesting to see how powerful these tools are for amplifying brand campaigns and messaging. 

Working across multiple sectors, from jewellery to construction, law and a whole spectrum of professional services, really helped to diversify my understanding of how different industries work and the important role that communications plays in ensuring brands are seen and heard in the right places. 

Being immersed in the brands allowed me to put my university skills into practice and apply them to a real-world setting, highlighting what I enjoyed most about my PR module I had enjoyed so much during my course. 

The placement helped me to understand that public relations is a path that I want to pursue and I’m looking to furthering my career in the communications industry.  

When I joined university, I was convinced I would leave a journalist, but my advice to anyone starting out is to explore your options, as you really will learn so much about yourself and the opportunities that are out there. You can end up doing something you really love, and you will also meet some great people along the way! 

The importance of influencers in PR campaigns

Social media influencers are everywhere today, and subconsciously or not we are influenced by what they say. Followers trust what their favourite influencers say, so working with them is crucial to your marketing strategy for your PR campaigns. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach $16.4B (£13.5B) in 2022.*

What is an influencer?

Influencers, as you may have guessed, influence people via social media by sharing what they do in a day, what they may be buying and their hobbies, typically with a significant following. Not all influencers have millions of followers … nano and micro influencers, for instance, might have between 1,000 and 50,000 followers, whilst celebrity influencers, such as Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande, will have hundreds of millions.

What do influencers add?

Companies will choose the influencers they want to work with based on their business goals. They may want to choose people who reflect their characteristics, such as a baby company wanting to collaborate with a mum; or a company may want to target its audience at an older or younger demographic. When done right, influencers can be the key to boosting a company and its profits.

Successful influencer campaigns

  • Daniel Wellington: In 2011, founder Filip Tysander used $15,000 to launch an influencer campaign on social media, which he now owes much of his success to. In a time when influencers were not everywhere you turned, Tysander took a chance on this new way of marketing, and it paid off. He would exchange a watch to micro influencers in return for a post featuring the watch, quoting the brand. Today, Daniel Wellington is worth an estimated $35.87 million** and partners with the likes of Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner.

 

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 2020 saw the then most followed person on TikTok, Charli D’amelio, collaborate with Dunkin’ Donuts releasing a drink titled ‘The Charli’. Her 95 million followers responded extremely positively to the campaign, and over the next year, Dunkin’ held a competition on TikTok with the #dunkinmenucontest gaining 43.5 million views. Charli and Dunkin collaborated on merchandise that sold out and ‘The Charli Cold Foam’ was released. Since the first drink came out, 3/4 sales skyrocketed; there was a 57% increase in app downloads and a 20% increase in cold brew sales.*** This campaign also allowed Dunkin’ to expand their consumer base to teenagers and children.

 

  • Levi’s: In April last year, the brand worked with six celebrities/influencers, from rapper Jaden Smith to youtuber Emma Chamberlain to climate activist Xiye Bastide, in their ‘Buy Better, Wear Longer’ campaign. For Levi’s, the ad was ‘a call-to-action for Gen Zers, urging them to reuse, repurpose and reduce their consumer footprint.’**** The various industries the influencers came from, and their different supporters, brought a wide variety of potential new customers. After the first half of 2021, Levi’s profits were up 198% … yet another great example of influencer marketing.*****

 

The influencer marketing industry is rapidly growing, so if you are not using this strategy, it may worth your time of day!

Contact our team at Jennie Holland PR for a chat on how influencer marketing could work for your next project.

 

* https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-marketing-statistics/

** https://www.networthspot.com/danielwellington/net-worth/instagram/

***https://neoreach.com/the-charli/

****https://www.thedrum.com/news/2021/04/19/levi-s-enlists-jaden-smith-top-gen-z-influencers-first-global-campaign-3-years

*****https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleykohan/2021/07/08/levi-profits-skyrocket-198-as-denim-trend-continues-to-evolve/?sh=37ef554f4b0d

Lockdown 3.0 and the property market – should the stamp duty holiday be extended?

Despite the uncertainty of the last few months, as well as the government announcing a third lockdown at the start of the year – the property market is one sector that remains strong and buoyant in a period of economic turbulence.

As PR specialists based in the East Midlands, we work with many clients across the country in the property and construction industry, keeping up to date with the latest market news and monitoring its overall performance and ups and downs, to ensure we provide the best service for our clients.

In 2020, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday until 31 March 2021, its aim, to increase public demand for housing and help buyers cut some of the costs associated with getting onto the housing ladder. These efforts to boost the sale of properties during a difficult period proved to be much-needed fuel for the economy.

Moving house during lockdown
Image: www.pexels.com

During the changing lockdown restrictions and circumstances of 2020, the housing market initially suffered a slump during the second quarter when it came to a halt. Following the reopening of the market, pent-up demand saw house prices and sales rise rapidly as people looked to buy and sell quickly and take advantage of the time-limited stamp duty holiday in order to save money.

House prices have since seen a dramatic climb over the last few months – the highest ever in fact – with the average house price in the UK now at a record £253,374*.

As the March 2021 stamp duty holiday deadline looms closer, leading property experts and businesses are calling for the government to extend the holiday to take the third lockdown into account and further drive forward the market.

The positives of extending the incentive would benefit prospective homebuyers and the market as a whole, and given the current lockdown, an extension may be the slice of good news buyers need to take the plunge and complete house purchases.

Despite the housing market adopting a position of ‘business as usual’, the restrictions on staying at home mean that transactions are taking longer – with people unable to complete and submit paperwork quickly, and estate agents, brokers, solicitors and lenders working from home and having to adapt to new methods and practices to accommodate the demand from customers.

Therefore, an extension of the stamp duty holiday would ease some of this pressure, allowing more time for transactions to be completed.

Though there has been some criticism towards the stamp duty holiday, with experts claiming that it may have hindered some buyers from purchasing a home rather than helping them, there is no doubt that the incentive was always designed to be a temporary fix to bolster the market, which seems to have been effective on the whole.

As one of the biggest drivers of the economy, it is seen by many in the industry as vital that the government extends the scheme once more, as we potentially face many more months of national economic instability.

Jennie Holland PR has extensive experience and expertise working with dynamic companies in the property, construction and law industries, including FHP Living, G F Tomlinson, JMP Solicitors, Taggart Homes, ALB Group, Influence, Howard Ward Associates and Land & New Homes Network. We implement targeted PR and digital marketing strategies to bolster your brands online and offline presence; by securing articles with backlinks in high domain authority media and providing a result-driven social media management service.

We can help you become famous amongst your target audiences. Contact us today to start your new year PR journey and let’s meet those targets together in 2021.

*https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1381445/house-prices-rishi-sunak-extend-stamp-duty-deadline

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 during a pandemic – refocusing communications strategies in times of change

In a world where everyone has gone indoors, having an online presence is crucial.

 

We are fortunate enough to be in a digital age, where online communication is one of the most powerful and accessible tools, and it is more important than ever that businesses have a strong online presence, which might mean its time to be refocusing communications strategies.

The team here at Jennie Holland PR has been busy working with clients to refocus communications strategies to ensure that brands are as strong as can be when tackling these unprecedented times.

In this blog, we’re sharing some advice on how brands can adjust and refocus communications strategies during these times.

Going back to basics

Start by reviewing your current communications strategy. Is your business communicating as effectively as it could be? Does your output reflect your brand’s strategy and core values?

During these challenging times, communicating brand identity and values remains at the forefront. Use a range of communications tactics such as press, social media platforms, email and SEO to continue engagement with your target audiences.

Pause for a moment and put yourself in the customer’s shoes – think about what they might need right now rather than what the business needs in terms of growth. Do you have engaging and relevant content? Evergreen content such as blog posts and positive company stories are especially useful as they can be re-worked to suit each platform.

Focus on the digital to maintain visibility

Current events have created a new challenge for business owners that forces them to think of communications strategies outside of traditional channels.

Businesses must now lean towards digital efforts to ensure consistent and timely communication with audiences. Maintaining visibility during this time is essential for long term profitability and continued investment.

Out of sight means out of mind – keep in touch with your audiences or risk losing them. Frequently post on social media platforms to remind your audience that your business is still in the picture.

Audiences may be watching the pennies right now but they are still spending money. They want to purchase the right products from businesses they can trust. Send out personalised, contextualised and targeted messages digitally to existing customers who want to hear your news.

Mindful messaging

It is important during this pandemic to be mindful of the way your business is communicating with stakeholders. Keep communication relevant and timely and avoid overwhelming them with messages. There is an abundance of information around right now and it can be a lot for consumers to digest – try illustrating brand values with imagery and infographics.

Keep consumer engagement alive with positive communications, such as stories of hope and community.

Develop a crisis communications strategy

Increased transparency is important when crafting a crisis communications strategy. Look below the managing director to connect with customers more when reaching out to them. Be empathetic, not everyone will relate to receiving a COVID-19 statement from a managing director that they have never heard of, try directing the message from the customer service manager instead.

Personalise the COVID-19 statement – avoid corporate talk and being too negative. Instead, focus on the wellbeing of others and bring a personal, positive approach to crisis messaging. Consumers do not want to hear about how the pandemic is affecting your finances, talk about how the staff will be affected.

Refrain from neglecting your staff, it is more important than ever to keep a constant communication channel open with them. Set up a virtual quiz or a virtual pub on Fridays to keep everyone in touch whilst working from home.

With an ever-changing digital climate – communicating and engaging with your shareholders and audience can remain undisrupted as long as you have a solid communications strategy in place.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you with refocusing communications strategies, get in touch with the team today on 0115 998 3048 or email hello@jenniehollandpr.com.