Navigating the world of PR – my time with Jennie Holland PR

by Saskia Purdy

Upon completion of my second year studying Business and Marketing at Northumbria University in Newcastle, I had the opportunity to join the team at Jennie Holland PR in my home town of Nottingham.

I’d wanted to broaden my skillset and learn more about the PR industry, so an internship was the perfect opportunity to do both!

As a marketing student with a keen interest in public relations, I wanted to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in a professional setting. JHPR had a broad client base, working across a diverse range of industries and this has been particularly beneficial, allowing me to understand and see in practice, how strategies are altered depending on the requirements of the clients.

From my first day, I was made to feel very welcome. I had never worked in a partially remote role before, so I was apprehensive as to how I would adjust to this new way of working, but we had regular zoom calls and kept in close contact daily, with no question being a silly question!

On the first day of my three-week internship, Rebecca gave me an overview of what tasks I would be working on and I worked with the team on a variety of content – including blogs, social media strategy and content, coverage systems, reports, press content and lots of important client research!

Having previously focused on social media for a house listings role, it was great to put my skills into practice with the social media strategy and I felt like I learned so many valuable time management and organisational skills during my placement.

Attending client meetings was a significantly important part of my internship and it was fascinating to hear the team sharing creative ideas, troubleshooting issues and planning strategies.

My time at Jennie Holland PR has flown by, but the experience has been invaluable in moving forward with my final year of education. I take with me practical experience and feel my skills have developed, and I’m very much look forward to using my new insights into the PR industry, in the future.

With everyone at Jennie Holland PR’s support, I feel my confidence has improved and I feel more equipped to transition smoothly from university into a professional environment.

Using live radio in your PR strategy

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

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

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

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

The importance of seasonal planning in any communications strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The synchronicity of PR and HR services in brand reputation

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

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

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

Custodians of culture

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

Communication experts

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

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

Employers of choice

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

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

Crisis management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to know when the time is right for a rebrand

Your branding is the face of your company; therefore, arguably, it is one of the most important aspects of your business. 

If you believe you’ve reached a stagnant point as a company, or are simply seeking a refresh, then rebranding may be the key to unlocking new potential for your company, 

While the concept may be daunting, it could be worth considering if you’re struggling to align with your customers’ demands and expectations.  

In the past, brands have faced backlash from consumers due to rebranding, as they haven’t done their research or thought about their audience, leading to confusion and frustration. 

So, how exactly do you know if it’s the right time for a brand refresh? 

Your brand image no longer aligns with your vision 

It’s evident that as time goes on, brand names can become outdated due to a flurry of different reasons – from the cultural context changing, to the fact that it may not represent what your brand stands for anymore. 

A strong brand name is your main touchpoint with consumers. 

While helping to differentiate yourself from competitors, a good brand name ensures your company is memorable. 

Remember, if you’re wanting to rename, research is vital as businesses may already occupy the name, alongside trademark vetting and URL research.  

You’re failing to differentiate from competitors 

A key indicator it’s time to rebrand is when you’re failing to stand out against the crowd. 

Branding is all about competitive differentiation, and being able to communicate what sets you apart from the rest ensures you can remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds. 

By focusing on your competitive advantage, you can define your brand

If you’re wanting to tap into a new target market, it could be time to consider rebranding, in order to align with a specific audience. 

Fostering brand loyalty among new segments starts with ensuring your brand is relevant to their needs, so be sure to conduct your research into the behaviours, attitudes and demands of that demographic. 

Essentially, a rebrand enables you to redefine yourself with the goal of reaching untapped audiences. 

Unlocking the power of social media – here’s what brands searching for success should be harnessing

By Tate Foxell, Jennie Holland PR

Social media is constantly changing and evolving, and it can be challenging to stay up to date on the latest trends and insights. Whether you’re an individual user or a business owner, it’s crucial to understand the latest developments in social media to effectively leverage its power.

Here are some of the most significant social media insights to keep in mind:

  1. Video content is key

In today’s digital age, video content has become increasingly popular on social media, with platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube leading the way. It has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to grab the attention of viewers and engage them in a way that text or images alone cannot.

By incorporating this into your social media strategy, your business can showcase their products and services in a more dynamic and interactive manner, with the added bonus of the algorithm favouring video content.

Video content can also be used to share valuable insights and expertise, helping business establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries.

  1. It’s all about UGC

User-generated content is content that is created and shared by users of a particular brand or product. UCG can help provide a more authentic and relatable perspective on a brand or product.

By encouraging customers to share their experiences and opinions through posts, comments, and reviews, businesses can tap into the power of social proof and create a sense of community around their brand.

Sharing user-generated content showcases the authenticity and diversity of a brands customer base, while also building trust and credibility with potential customers.

Not to mention, UGC can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviours, helping businesses improve their products and services based on customer feedback.

  1. Ecommerce on social media

While social media has always been a place for users to encounter promotions, it has now evolved into a marketplace where users can make direct purchases.

With this shift, businesses have a unique opportunity to promote and sell their products or services in the same place, turning their social accounts into lucrative sales channels. Within just a matter of clicks, brands can make sales through a seamless and convenient purchasing process.

Platforms like Instagram shop and TikTok shop have all grown in popularity over the past year, encouraging more brands to try out this new avenue of selling.

Yet it’s important to note, this change also means that social media users are now being exposed to more commercial content, so it is vital that your brand stands out in this competitive environment.

  1. Algorithms

Algorithms determine what content a user sees on their feed. However, these algorithms are constantly evolving, so simply posting content is not enough to guarantee success- it is vital to understand the algorithm to achieve optimum engagement.

For example, Facebook’s algorithm now prioritises content from family and friends over business or promotional content, whilst Instagram prioritises content based on engagement rate, and TikTok’s is primarily based on the users’ interests.

We’ve put together a few ways brands can take advantage of the algorithm:

  • Consistency

The more frequently a brand posts, the more likely its content will be pushed out to its users.

  • Hashtags

Relevant and trending hashtags are an easy way to increase the reach of your content, making your posts far more discoverable.

  • Engaging with your audience

By actively engaging with your audience through comments, direct messages and other forms of interaction, businesses can signal to the algorithms that’s their content is engaging and generating discussion.

So, whether is creating high-quality video content, encouraging UGC, or leveraging e-commerce features, social media presents endless opportunities for growth and success of your business.

For advice on how to grow your company social channels, get in touch with one of our team!

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

JHPR teams up with charity to promote UK’s first live mental health event of its kind

We are extremely pleased to be working with Birmingham-based charitable organisation Be;Live, in the build up to its greatly anticipated, first-of-its-kind, live mental health event, taking place in Birmingham next weekend (2nd April).

We have a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector and have been appointed to provide digital PR services on a pro-bono basis for Be;Live — to build awareness and maximise ticket sales for the upcoming event.

Be;Live was founded by James Crystal who began the organisation after suffering abuse as a teenager which manifested into several years of substance misuse and criminal activity, eventually leading to a prison sentence and a diagnosis of PTSD and depression.

Now aged 28 and five years sober, James’ and the event’s aims are simple: to educate, inspire and empower people around the topic of mental health and ultimately contribute to reducing the UK’s stark mental health statistics.

Be;Live brings together not only professionals and specialists but also those with lived experiences, who have survived serious adversity, to share their stories, support and advice in order to change the way we all see mental health, providing tools for attendees to take the first steps in creating positive mental health.

Taking place at Gas Street Central in Birmingham on Saturday 2nd April 2022, the event – which can be attended in person or virtually – will feature a range of guest speakers, including former Sky Sports presenter, Simon Thomas and ex-premier league footballer, Clarke Carlilse among many others, who will be sharing their own personal stories around mental health.

The JHPR team have been busy providing publicity services to Be;Live by securing print, online and broadcast media coverage for the event, as well as influencer marketing services.

Georgina Mackintosh, our senior PR manager, said: “We are honoured to be working with Be;Live – James is a hugely inspiring and humble individual who, after going through traumatic events and facing mental health struggles of his own, is now striving to help others and let them know that no one has to go through hardship alone.

“As a midlands-based digital PR team, we are proud to be able to offer our expertise to help promote this unique and important event – which is open to everyone and free for students.

“Be;Live is an event unlike anything the UK has seen before and it will make a real impact on people’s lives, both those who want to improve their own mental wellbeing but also those who simply want to have a better understanding of mental health to support friends and family. We look forward to attending this year and for years to come.”

James Crystal, founder and managing director of Be;Live, said: “We’re overwhelmed with the amount of support we’ve had from businesses who are extending the work from our small team here at Be;Live.

“The team at Jennie Holland PR have delivered so much more than we could have hoped including an interview with Global and several PR pieces in press to help drive awareness of our event. It goes without saying, it’s the people behind these supportive brands who have understood how important an event like Be;Live is and we honestly felt Jennie and her team were just as passionate about our cause as we are. We’re eternally grateful for all of their support.”

Ticket sales and brand sponsorship of the event will raise funds for independent mental health charities who provide free mental health services on the front line.

In person event tickets start from less than £23, and virtual event tickets costs just over £10. Further information about the event can be found at www.belive.org.uk.