Attitude really is everything

Companies select PR consultants based on a proven track record of results and return on investment, and a clear strategy for their brief. Gelling with the PR team also plays a really important part in the decision-making process of which team is the right fit.

These elements will often win you the work, but they don’t guarantee you keep the work.

At JHPR we have long-standing client relationships which are built broadly on quality results and trust, but our client feedback tells us that it is the attitude of our team above all else that keeps them engaged with us.

Attitude is a difficult one to define or to know why some have a certain attitude to life and some have a very different one. Our attitudes are shaped and built by our experiences, from   childhood, through education and into our work life and beyond. Many factors affect it including age, experience and generation, and as a business owner, I have seen that attitudes vary wildly.

In life, attitude really is everything. Your attitude will define how you deal with things, your success and happiness, and this is particularly true in the workplace.

As seasoned senior PR professionals, we are used to things changing quickly – it’s a daily occurrence for us – be it a fast turnaround media deadline, influencer requests, viral social media posts, a breaking news story, or a client needing us to move our attention to a new priority, it’s why we do what we do. Being agile and tenacious is part of the job but having the right attitude is critical.

Attitude plays a key role not just in healthy client relationships but also within the team. Working with like-minded professionals who want to do their very best for their client and in turn be the very best version of themselves at work, are usually the ones who enjoy the most success, have long standing client relationships and go home with a sense of pride in what they have achieved.

As a senior-only PR team we share a can-do attitude and belief that client is king, or queen 😉. It’s what we pride ourselves on and is why we work with so many great brands, usually led by people with the same attitude and work ethic as us.

By Jennie Holland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

How the pandemic has changed our shopping habits: The rise of the subscription box

If there’s one business model that has thrived as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the subscription box. From beauty boxes to craft and recipe boxes there’s truly a subscription box for everyone.

According to Royal Mail’s recent UK Subscription Box Market report, the sector in the UK has grown rapidly and is set to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.

The report shared statistics around the highest number of subscription boxes per adult in the UK in relation to area, and in third place after London and the North East, were subscription box shoppers in our area, the East Midlands, which averaged 4.6 boxes per person per year![1]

For many people, food subscription boxes specifically became something that they relied on during lockdown when eating out was a distant memory and going to the supermarket was a weekly mission fraught with sanitising stations and queues.

Despite restrictions being lifted, the seed of convenience has already been sewn in minds of the customers that gave recipe or food subscription boxes a go. The idea behind this B2C model is that long-term relationships are forged between buyer and seller built around convenience and quality.

Delivery boxes, specifically recipe boxes, are paving the way when it comes to food and packaging waste in several ways. Firstly, as they are pre-portioned you get the exact amount of ingredients needed for a dish so you don’t need to throw any excess food. Secondly, when ordering online, we tend to only order what we need rather than being tempted by extra items that we don’t really need in supermarkets which leads to waste.

It’s not just big companies like Hello Fresh and Gousto that are offering food subscription boxes, many smaller, independent businesses are delivering this business model and thriving.

We are very pleased to have started working with local business Kerry’s Fresh who have also benefitted from the rise of the subscription box.

Kerry’s Fresh have been operating in Nottingham since 1885 where they began selling livestock from a stall in Nottingham’s Old Market Square. Over the last 136 years, the business has gone from strength to strength and adapted to meet the need of its customers. Kerry’s Fresh adapted their offering in response to the thousands of orders they were receiving during the pandemic, creating an online shop and delivering fresh produce in Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Due to their success during lockdown, Kerry’s Fresh has employed more staff and partnered with DPD so that they can deliver their products nationwide.

Their range of products now includes dairy, meat, fish, bakery items, vegan friendly products and even a selection of craft ales and wine. They expanded their range to during lockdown to include customisable boxes for family favourite meals such as roast dinners and stir fries which have been an enormous success.

What does the future hold for the subscription box? The Royal Mail report suggest that the popularity of the subscription model will remain strong as it promotes high levels of loyalty. Fewer than a quarter (24%) of subscription box shoppers said they intended to cancel their subscriptions any time soon – convenience is king, after all.

[1] https://www.royalmailgroup.com/en/press-centre/press-releases/royal-mail/consumers-drive-growth-in-uk-subscription-box-market-as-popularity-soars/

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.

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.

Four ways to keep communication strong during the pandemic

With numerous local lockdowns and the UK government enforcing a six-person maximum rule for social gatherings, it’s clear that COVID-19 restrictions are tightening once again and businesses are bracing for what’s to come.

We’re all sick of hearing ‘new normal’ and ‘in these uncertain times’, so whilst including ‘COVID-19-esque’ content in a communications strategy is both timely and relevant at present (this blog included), it’s nice to be reminded of life pre-COVID, so we should ensure that comms don’t solely focus on this.

Whilst many business owners may feel cutting communications is one way in an unpredictable climate to bring down costs in the short-term – having a presence on social media and in the press, and ensuring company news, services, team culture, ethos and brand values are still communicated, will keep consumers informed and instil confidence that a brand is still active and healthy, otherwise you run the risk that both existing and potential customers will think your brand is suffering or worse, no longer in business.

As PR professionals, we have worked with clients across a variety of sectors to refocus communications during the pandemic, ensuring brands are as strong as possible when tackling the many issues that came with an economic crisis. Reflecting on the last year since March and looking to the future, we have compiled four ways to keep communication strong at this time.

Four ways to keep communication strong during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Take media opportunities as they come

As well as proactive media relations that will increase the online visibility of your brand – an invaluable part of public relations in this increasingly digital world, it’s important to jump on and take advantage of ad-hoc opportunities as they arise. Whether a journo request is looking to speak to industry experts or a particularly relevant news story has landed in the press and a proactive comment can be drafted and issued to key media – journalists will often put feelers out there on social channels, looking for comment and insight into particular issues (both COVID and non-COVID), so if a topic is relevant to your brand, then it’s beneficial to capitalise on these opportunities, at a time when communication is so important to maintain and strengthen the reputation of your firm.

  1. Keep social active and engaging

Social channels are essential for marketing your business, and keeping channels populated helps to demonstrate what you do to wide audiences, bolstering overall brand awareness, shaping tone of voice, connecting with existing and potential customers and ultimately driving leads and sales. Social platforms often have regular business-friendly updates, a recent one being Instagram’s shop tab, currently in its testing phase, which will allow platform users the option to browse and buy from top brands and creators without leaving the app. A good PR will always keep abreast of social updates that can be beneficial for clients, and will advise on how to utilise functions wherever possible.

  1. Be proactive with contact

Being open with communication is so important when it comes to keeping existing clients reassured, and of course contacting potential new clients. Updating social channels, websites, sending emails and picking up the phone for a few minutes is incredibly valuable and shows an element of care. Personal contact is not to be underestimated, especially at a time when everyone is monitoring an economic crisis in which many well known businesses are suffering – customers deserve to know what’s going on and it’s important to let them know.

  1. Go above and beyond

Buying attitudes are changing constantly and now more than ever consumers are looking for more than just single products and services. They want to trust what you are offering as a company is both high value and quality, so demonstrating authenticity, provenance and corporate social responsibility in terms of charitable and environmental efforts adds credibility to brands and will do wonders for reputation and consumer interest.

Instagram is making some big changes – here’s how your business can benefit from them

Social media is a key part of any wider PR and marketing strategy, so it’s important to ensure that your business is staying up to date and utilising free and available tools whenever possible to bolster your brand.

At a time when the world is facing global challenges and economic uncertainty, Instagram is rapidly developing new features that are tailored towards its business users.

The social media app is notorious for constantly releasing new updates and removing features, so it can become hard to keep up with exactly which functionalities are out there and how they can benefit your brand.

To help you stay up to date with the latest Instagram developments, we have listed the most recent updates and explained how your business can benefit from them.

 

Support Small Business sticker

One of the most welcomed Instagram developments during the COVID-19 pandemic is its growing support for small businesses. The social media app introduced the ‘Support Small Business’ sticker which enables users to show support by advertising small businesses on their Instagram stories. Once your brand is mentioned on a sticker, you can repost the content to your story and direct message anyone who views it.

At a time when supporting local businesses for the sake of the economy is so important, Instagram really hit the nail on the head here. The tool has already proven to be extremely effective for many struggling businesses, helping them to stay connected to their customers whilst reaching new consumers at the same time.

 

Instagram Shop update

Instagram has announced that testing is underway for a new shop tab feature, allowing users the option to browse and buy from top brands and creators without leaving the app. The most significant aspect of this development is that it will involve the swapping of the activity (heart) icon on the navigation bar, to be replaced with the shop (basket) icon – representing a monumental shift in the purpose of the app. With a greater emphasis placed on e-commerce, Instagram is laying the foundations to be a potentially vital tool for future business transactions.

Whilst users can already purchase items on a brand’s website via a tagged link, this change will see businesses being able to sell their products and services entirely through the Instagram Shop app, potentially cutting costs for many smaller businesses, as well as streamlining purchases. It will also provide an excellent platform to both advertise your brand and sell products without customers having to go elsewhere. However, it has been suggested that a small selling fee will be implicated to brands using Instagram’s Checkout feature, which is something to keep in mind when considering utilising the app for sales.

 

Instagram Reels

Instagram has also announced the launch of ‘Instagram Reels’, a new short-form video feature expected to rival the app TikTok. Reels will allow users to record short videos with audio soundtracks and will exist inside the app’s Stories feature.

This year, many brands have hopped on board the TikTok bandwagon, using the platform to creatively showcase products and appeal to younger audiences. The announcement of ‘Instagram Reels’ comes following speculation that TikTok could soon be banned in the USA or sold. Therefore, TikTok users could migrate to ‘Instagram Reels’, providing brands and businesses with an alternative established platform to deliver creative video-based content.

 

Instagram Guides feature

The final feature announced is a new Instagram Guides element, which enables users to access curated content from specific brands and creators. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the app is partnering with a small set of organisations around the world to create content focusing on ‘wellness’. Guides allows creators to merge a variety of content into one place under a certain category or topic. To view Instagram Guides, users can click on the new pamphlet-like icon on a participator’s profile, or search within a creator’s Story for mention of a new Guide.

The Guides feature is currently exclusively focused on mental health and wellness; however, it is likely to expand to cover a range of industries and content types. It is predicted that the feature could be extremely beneficial to brands and businesses, allowing companies to connect with consumers on a more authentic, targeted level.

 

 

 

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.