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 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

Marketing trends to transform your strategy

The marketing sector is ever-evolving and at times it may feel overwhelming to keep up with all the tips and tricks to smash your marketing strategy. We know how that feels, so that’s why we have taken the load off for you and compiled some trends we think you should be honing in on.

  • Evoking emotion

Content that evokes emotion or hooks consumers to your message are more likely to succeed. In order to do this, you really need to understand your audience and work out what type of content works for them and what doesn’t. This means exploring with your content and analysing how each post performs, giving you a clearer insight into what your future content should also look like.

  • Utilise video content and live streaming

According to LearnHub, video content is 1200% more successful than other content – meaning that it can generate more shares and likes than both text and image content combined*. Beyond video content on stories and reels, 80% of consumer stated that they enjoy interacting with live videos and streams as this allows them to engage with influencers to discuss products and services in real time.

  • User-generated Content (UGC)

Named one of the most compelling ways to build your brands credibility, UGC is on the rise more than ever as consumers tend to trust in brand reviews made by other customers over claims made by the brand itself. When done right, UGC will drive awareness, increase conversions and social engagement, expand reach, and cost-effectively grow your business.

  • Share your values

Showcasing your brand purpose is essential for growth with 77% of customers claiming that they prefer to buy from brand who share their values**. Consumers have started holding brands even more accountable, and have shifted to mindful purchasing habits (which shows no signs of slowing down). Using your platform to showcase your brand’s values allows your audience to connect with your brand further.

We believe incorporating these points into your marketing strategy will open your brand up to a more engaged and loyal audience – ultimately resulting into more sales and leads.

Do you need help putting your strategy into practice? Get in touch and to see how you can make the most out of your marketing strategy via our email hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk or call us on 0115 998 3048.

* https://www.future-marketing.co.uk/how-to-use-live-video-streaming-on-social-media/

** https://bit.ly/3M7hJk2

Calling all social media whizzes – we are hiring!

If you are passionate about and skilled in social media and have a minimum of one years’ industry experience, then we are looking for you!

We are a boutique agency in the heart of Nottingham’s Lace Market in the city centre, with coffee, cake, access to the shops and everything else you could wish for during the working day right on your doorstep.

Our environment is creative, inclusive and supportive of talent and progression, and we work smart and celebrate success (both work and personal). We offer flexible working with a blend of home and office days and additional annual leave days for keeping the mind happy, as well as team outings.

In this role you will be working alongside the wider team on a varied portfolio of great brands, across a number of sectors – and we can guarantee no day with be the same!

If you are looking for an opportunity to use your skills and creativity to wow our clients and make a real difference to their businesses, then this is the role for you.

We offer progression, ongoing training and development, and a fun place to work where you can thrive. There are no big agency politics or the ’sink or swim’ approach. Here you are a key member of our team and will be supported.

Job description:

o Social media strategy and implementation

o Develop optimised social media content, organic and paid and create design assets

o Content scheduling across multiple platforms

o Online community management: build quality followers and create engaged online communities

o Identify timely social media opportunities and action activity in response

o Keep up to date on the ongoing functionality changes of the platforms and embrace

o Auditing and analysis of social media channels to drive reach and results

o Creation of other non-social media content such as blogs

o Client liaison and meetings (with senior team members)

o Social media results reporting

Experience and skills required:

o 1-2 years of experience working in a social media role

o Social media content creation; organic and paid

o Track record of managing social media accounts and delivering campaigns

o Comprehensive understanding and a real passion for social media – the features and opportunities presented by the major platforms

o Digitally minded and driven

o Confident communicator and an excellent writer

o Enthusiastic and organised self-starter with lots of creative ideas

Salary dependent on experience and attitude.

To start your journey with us, please send your CV to hello@jenniehollandpr.com.

Applications close on Monday 29th November 2021.

How work experience can help you on your career path

Graduating is such a minefield and can be a really daunting time. I have experienced this intimidating unknown twice now. I finished my undergraduate degree in the summer of 2020, which was overwhelming for obvious reasons. And while I knew everyone else was in the same position, it was difficult to not compare myself to those (and only those) who seemed to have their whole life sorted.

Now, I am facing my second experience of graduating. I am at the end of my Broadcast Journalism MA at Nottingham Trent University, a course that I applied to after the pandemic panic took a firm hold of me the first time around.

I knew I wanted to go into media and I figured by gaining more skills and experience in the subject, I would be in a better position a year on. And I definitely am. I am so grateful and glad I took the opportunity to pursue a Masters because I have learnt so many transferrable skills. So, what is the next step for me?

This choice can be huge and frightening, which is why I endorse anyone who wants to do work experience.

Gaining valuable professional experience is a fantastic way to learn more about not only your chosen sector but also yourself and how you work best; your preferred ways to work, your favoured tasks, your passions and what excites you. A placement can be the step you need to make sure that the direction you’re going in is right for you. While academic experience is extremely valuable in so many ways, I think it misses the mark on the learning you can do in a professional setting.

For me, my time at JHPR has shown me how creative and exciting the industry can be and how creativity is something I definitely need in my future career.

For example, I love how social media is all about the users’ and customers’ experience, and how impactful this can be for a business. I spent a lot of time creating social media content during my work experience, contributing to clients’ overall business strategies, considering target audiences and tailoring my work according to each platform. It’s highly rewarding to see the process from start to finish – planning content, writing, creating artwork, scheduling and monitoring, and seeing how well our content performs.

Not only was my time at JHPR valuable in terms of learning about the industry, but I learned so much from being a part of the lovely JHPR team. My ideas and questions were always encouraged and welcomed, and I was trusted and supported in trying different tasks for a variety of sectors, from writing press releases and listicles, to writing and scheduling social media posts.

If I can pass any wisdom on to other students and graduates who are currently wading through the uncertainty is that you can only benefit from a placement.

You will learn and develop the skills you already have and it will give you the confidence you need for your next step. Do research into the sector beforehand so you have an idea of what the placement will bring but also to ensure it’s a sector you see yourself going into. And finally, make the most of your work experience, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, and enjoy!

Interested in applying for work experience at JHPR? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email with a few details about yourself, what you’re studying and why would you like to join us to hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk

By Lucy Hilton

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.

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.

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.