Unlocking effective communication

In today’s social media savvy marketplace, consumers are confronted with a mountain of ‘noise’ from brands competing for their attention. To help your brand achieve the attention it deserves, PR and marketing agencies can help cut-through this cacophony of noise and infiltrate your target audience’s consciousness, writes Gillian Hamill

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15 May 2015 | 0

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Although the media landscape has changed massively over the past decade, with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and more recently, Instagram, the fundamentals of good PR and marketing strategies have remained unchanged. According to American author, speaker and consultant Al Lautenslaur: “What the public wants to hear is a good story. Good PR is the telling of a good story. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations. Of course if the story is especially appealing to those that could be your clients, then you could have a PR homerun.”

In much the same way as press releases must have a significantly ‘newsworthy story’ angle to attract the attention of journalists, PR activations have had to become ever more dynamic and innovative to pique the curiosity of the Twitterati and Facebook brigade. Events that make people stop in their tracks in order to take a closer look – and maybe even a selfie of themselves with a particular activation – are what is needed in order to trend on social media today. Creative examples range from inflatable bridges and fun pop-up shops, to name just a couple of genuinely attention-grabbing ideas. It is also vital to engage with social media ‘influencers’ and bloggers who are perceived as aspirational for their followers and fans, and can have a huge sway over their shopping choices through recommending certain products.

Effective PR will likewise help develop credibility for your business and brand. According to Daniel Blinman of Marketing By Web: “Using PR as a marketing tool also allows you to gain credibility for your business. Reason being, PR presents people with information from a third party. We are much more likely to trust positive coverage about companies that we read in a newspaper, magazine, or on an online press release. Compare that to the only alternative that will reach the same volume of audience, such as using television, billboards, radio or other advertising methods. When you compare the two, you can see why more and more businesses are starting to develop PR strategies.”

Knowing your target audience is vital in order to communicate in a fun and engaging way with followers rather than annoying them with an overly corporate tone. This will help build a loyal following who will continuously engage with your brand. As an article by PR-Squared.com on this topic points out: “Good PR is not just about the over-glorified launch. Good PR helps build and sustain a groundswell of brand support – incrementally changing consumer behaviours via a steady stream of relevant and candid communication to both ‘media’ and ‘consumers’.”

Another valid point is that: “Good PR celebrates the client’s customers in an inclusive, non-exploitive way. And, good PR welcomes the input of ‘neutrals’ and especially ‘critics’, and adapts strategy accordingly.” In other words, not everybody is going to love your product or brand, but it’s how you deal with the criticism that really counts. A startling example of how not to achieve this goal can be seen through the current ‘Are you beach body ready?’ campaign by Protein World, which has been whipping up a storm of controversy in the UK. In fact, at the time of going to print, thousands of people were set to protest against the ads in London’s Hyde Park on the grounds that they promote a negative body image and ‘body-shame’ women. Instead of taking a conciliatory approach however, Protein World’s Twitter account has been responding to those who disagree with its campaign, using the hashtag #getagrip and saying it’s “here to motivate, not commiserate”.

Ultimately, passion is an essential ingredient for any PR company to possess in order to properly do its job. Successful PR agencies are keen to work closely alongside their clients to ensure they deliver the most impactful and relevant coverage possible.


Graeme Slattery, managing director at New / Slang, Notorious PSG

Graeme Slattery, managing director at New / Slang, Notorious PSG

FACTFILE

PR agency

Notorious PSG

Established
In 2014, through the merger of Slattery and Pembroke Communications

Contact name
Graeme Slattery

NotoriousPhone
01-661-4055

Email
graeme.slattery@notoriouspsg.ie

Client list
HB Ice Cream, Lyons Tea, Lipton Tea, Flora, Stork, Hellmann’s, Carling, Molson Canadian, Franciscan Well, Blue Moon, Estrella, Sudocrem, BIC, Keogh’s, Brita, Crown Paint, Canon, Life Style Sports, Gift Voucher Shop, Newbridge Silverware, Teeling Whiskey Company, Topaz.

Wesbsite
www.notoriouspsg.ie

Notorious PSG is a new creative brand communications agency. Brand strategy and creative campaign development are at the heart of what we do. Our expertise includes PR, digital and social marketing, experiential, events, advertising and bought media.


HUNTER-COMMS_RGB-1024x215FACTFILE

Lynn Hunter, managing director, Hunter Communications

Lynn Hunter, managing director, Hunter Communications

PR agency
Hunter Communications

Established
2009

Contact name
Lynn Hunter

Phone
01 9056350

Email hello@huntercommunications.ie

Client list
Largo Foods

Arytza – Food Solutions

Deezer

Richmond Marketing

Carphone Warehouse

Brown Sugar

Sugar Culture

Wesbsite
huntercommunications.ie

Hunter Communications is a full-service communications agency that specialises in unforgettable communications campaigns.

Over the past five years Hunter Communications has been joining the dots between brands, media, audiences and talent. The company tells its clients’ stories through words, pictures, events and above all experiences.

To back all this up, Hunter Communications takes care of social media including an overall social media strategy for its clients. The agency’s ethos is to help its clients shine.

In the last year, Hunter Communications has focused on experiential marketing to support brand launches and campaign activations. A key example of this style of activity is Tayto’s extremely successful Tayto Pop-up Shop.

Hunter Communications developed the creative and design treatment right through to activating the online and offline PR campaign.


Mari O’Leary, managing director, O’Leary PR

Mari O’Leary, managing director, O’Leary PR

O'Leary PR LogoFACTFILE

PR agency
O’Leary PR

Established
1994

Contact name
Mari O’Leary

Phone
01-6789888

Email
marioleary@olearypr.ie

Client list
Sally Hansen
Campbells Soup
V8
Irish Whiskey Awards
Whiskey Live
essence cosmetics
HMV/Extravision
Mattel
Skechers
Fitzers Catering
Opel
EA & EA Sports

Wesbsite
www.olearypr.ie

O’Leary PR has worked with an extensive portfolio of clients over the past 20 years. These range from indigenous start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs to international brands that are entering the market, repositioning or requiring a proactive and efficient press office function in the Irish marketplace. As a medium size, independent company OLPR offers the flexibility and versatility to respond to each client’s specific requirements and to offer bespoke solutions based on their individual objectives and allocated budget.

O’Leary PR is a full service PR and digital communications agency specialising in the consumer, lifestyle and corporate PR sectors. The client base incorporates food and drink, beauty, fashion, entertainment and motor accounts. Services include creating and implementing effective PR strategies and consumer engagement campaigns, social media, brand development, media relations – traditional and digital, event management and sponsorship.

The company has built a strong reputation for delivering results and this can be attributed to its ability to become an extension of the client’s organisation and/or internal marketing team. The aim is to work collaboratively to achieve the goals and deliver an impressive return on investment.

The winning combination of industry knowledge and strategic planning has ensured that OLPR delivers results-driven, creative campaigns that work in tandem with the evolving media landscape, to always be relevant and effective in this dynamic industry.


picoFACTFILE

PR agency
Pico Communication

Established
2010

Richard Magnier, PR executive, Pico Communications

Richard Magnier, PR executive, Pico Communications

Contact name
Emma Paterson

Richard Magnier

Phone
087 912 6476

Email
emma@picocommunication.com

Richard@picocommunication.com

Client list
Findlater Wine & Spirit Group
Bodegas Torres
Bollinger Champagne
Cono Sur
Wolf Blass
Penfolds
Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
Stolichnaya Vodka
Masi
Antinori
M. Chapoutier
Louis Jadot
Marqués de Riscal
Katnook Estate
Freixenet Cava
Graham’s Port
Hugel et Fils
Saint Clair
Matua

Wesbsite
www.picocommunication.com

A specialist wine, food and drinks communications agency that is focused, friendly and fun, Pico Communications likes to work as closely with its clients as possible so we can really understand who they are and what they want to achieve in this market in order to deliver the results they are looking for.

At Pico, the team are:
Passionate about wine and food;
Inspiring and committed to its clients;
Commercially-savvy and results-driven;
Hard-working and take real ‘ownership’ from start to finish.

Pico Communications believes in these values so much that it has named the company after them! Whether you’re a distributor or retailer, a generic or a producer – Pico Communications will be as passionate about your product as you are. Its company philosophy is very simple: Pico works with people it likes and products it believes in, as this helps the company do the best possible job for clients.


presenceFACTFILE

PR agency
Presence Communications & Presence People

Established
2003

Contact name
Joanne Byrne

Phone
01 6761062

Email
info@presence.ie

Client list
Presence Communications Clients include:

Aldi (consumer), Dundrum Town Centre, Abra, O’Briens Sandwich Cafe, Yo Sushi, Killarney Hotels, The Morrison Hotel, Playertek, Tayto Park, Monsoon, Accessorize, Great Lengths, Lindt, Nestle Cereals, General Mills, Coppinger Row, Fire, The Natural Bakery, IRUPA, ISPCC, Parallel Films, Sony Pictures, Gaiety Panto, The Bridge 1859,

Presence people include:
Niall Breslin, Nicky Byrne, Alison Canavan, Anna Daly, Mairead Farrell, Nadia Forde, Diana Bunicii, Glenda Gilson, Amy Huberman, Darren Kennedy, Lucy Kennedy, Sean Munsanje, Sile Seoige

Wesbsite
www.presence.ie

The Presence team is passionate about the business and territorial about the work it does on behalf of a wide range of clients.
Creativity. Passion. Experience.


Eimear Andersen, owner and PR consultant, Tansor PR

Eimear Andersen, owner and PR consultant, Tansor PR

tansorEstablished
1981

Contact name
Eimear Andersen

Phone
+ 44 1727 800166

Email
eimear@tansor.co.uk

Client list
Please refer to our website www.tansor.co.uk for full details.

Wesbsite
www.tansor.co.uk

Eimear Andersen is a hugely knowledgeable business-to-business PR specialist with 10 years’ experience working in the UK grocery retail industry. She has a small but effective in-house team made up entirely of senior level PR and media experts, with experience in food, drink, retail PR and journalism.

Up-to-date, honest, clear messaging is what Tansor PR offers, in a frank delivery style with great personality.

Andersen says: “I believe that to establish a long term and sustained presence in the media, it’s fundamental to have a continuous stream of activity to remind journalists and their readers of your organisation and the progression of your business.

“My contact book together with my determined, professional, hardworking and friendly approach is what I’m known for.

“I can create and deliver coverage in the leading UK grocery and retail trade media that will enhance your company or brand’s visibility. I am passionate about delivering results for my clients and can provide first rate service.”

Tansor PR offers a full-range of PR services specifically for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures. The company says it offers all the experience of a large PR agency, but with the flexibility that many agencies can’t or won’t offer.

Prospective clients can cherry pick its services to create a PR programme that not only fits your business objectives, but also your budget.

Andersen concludes: “I work with leading retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and consultants supplying the UK retail and grocery market, so if you want to get your business noticed in the UK press, give me a call.”


WPRlogoFACTFILE             

PR agency
Walsh PR

Established
1984

Caroline Heywood, managing director, Walsh PR

Caroline Heywood, managing director, Walsh PR

Contact name
Caroline Heywood

Phone
+ 353 1 6613515

Email
caroline@walshpr.ie

Client list
Walsh PR represents some of the most iconic and respected Irish and international quality food brands, as well as producers, processors, chefs and suppliers. For more information, please visit its website or call the company.

Wesbsite
www.walshpr.ie

At Walsh PR, experienced consultants and dynamic and creative client executives offer a unique mix of online, integrated marketing and traditional PR services.

That includes all aspects of media relations, whether clients are looking to generate positive publicity, manage specific media issues or require media training. Walsh PR is also an expert in corporate counselling and reputation management and its senior team has considerable expertise in issues, crisis and change management.

Walsh PR offers expert marketing support and develops campaigns that integrate PR, digital, social and commercial editorial with all other marketing channels. The agency provides all forms of written content for corporate presentations or social media channels, video scripting, speechwriting or content for blogs, newsletters and internal publication. In addition, Walsh PR manages social media platforms and ensures that social strategy is integrated seamlessly into the brand’s overall communications plan.


2014 was a busy year for Notorious PSG with the roll-out of the global HB Goodbye Serious campaign, which is now in its second year

2014 was a busy year for Notorious PSG with the roll-out of the global HB Goodbye Serious campaign, which is now in its second year

Q & A with…

Graeme Slattery, managing director at New / Slang, Notorious PSG

Can you talk us through some of the most effective campaigns you have created for FMCG brands and the results these have delivered for your clients?

HB Ice Cream has been a client of ours for the past seven years, and we run its social media through our digital agency New / Slang and day-to-day PR campaign work through our creative brand communications agency Notorious PSG. 2014 was a bumper year for us with the roll-out of the global Goodbye Serious campaign, which is now in its second year. Year one saw us take the brand on to Twitter for the first time, which together with the work we did on Facebook garnered a DMA (Digital Marketing Award) for Best Use of Social Media for a brand, and a RaboTweetie for the Best Twitter Campaign for a brand.

One of the highlights of HB Ice Cream ‘Goodbye Serious’ campaign by Notorious PSG, was the launch of Ireland’s first inflatable bouncy bridge over the Grand Canal in Dublin

One of the highlights of HB Ice Cream ‘Goodbye Serious’ campaign by Notorious PSG, was the launch of Ireland’s first inflatable bouncy bridge over the Grand Canal in Dublin

With a packed schedule of creative PR and social activations across the summer months, one of the highlights of the Goodbye Serious campaign was our launch of Ireland’s first inflatable bouncy bridge over the Grand Canal in Dublin, as an antidote to commuters’ most hated ways of getting from A to B. The PR coverage resulted in a reach of 5.6 million, and we trended three times on Twitter, reaching more than 300,000 Irish Twitter accounts for that one activation. Notorious also works across a number of other Unilever food and beverage brands including Lyons Tea, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Flora and Stork.

We also represent Ireland’s fastest growing brewer Molson Coors, working on its corporate and consumer PR, which includes its beer portfolio: Carling, Molson Canadian (which we launched in 2013), Estrella (which we launched in April 2015) and its craft beer range which includes Franciscan Well and Blue Moon. A lot of the work we do concentrates on driving brand awareness through innovative online influencer outreach campaigns. For example, last June as part of the Molson Canadian Red Fridge campaign we made 50 influencers honorary Canadians by sending them personalised Canadian passports and the chance to win a holiday to Canada if engaged with the campaign via social media though our campaign hashtag. This singular piece of activity saw us reach 660,000 Twitter accounts over two weeks.

Why do you believe it is more effective for brands to use Notorious PSG as opposed to separate agencies for social and PR?

Having social and PR sitting under one roof just makes sense for consumer brands, and we find that clients benefit hugely from a combined, holistic approach to both. There’s a few reasons for this.

Firstly, a lot of what happens on social is deemed to be news by the media outlets we deal with from the PR perspective. For example, our recent April Fool’s day gag for HB where we unveiled the new Irish water flavoured ice pop, got a huge amount of attention on social media, and as it started to trend, we were able to immediately jump on the momentum and PR it out to news outlets and take advantage of joined up thinking and real time action. Similarly, our big PR wins can make for great social media activations and should spark off each other symbiotically. Immediacy is the key, and this rarely happens when social and PR are in separate agencies in separate buildings.

Secondly, because the lines of traditional PR and social media have blurred so much, and journalists are some of the most prolific influencers in the social world, it helps that the relationships with this valuable audience are already in place with the PR team. We all know how potent an influencer interacting with a brand campaign can be, and the best way to effectuate this is through the combined PR and social approach. While stand-alone social agencies rely heavily on big social advertising budgets to drive reach, having PR and social combined can drive phenomenal organic results and brands that adopt this holistic approach can look to invest the money they save in other areas.

What are the top factors that make Notorious PSG stand out from other companies in your field?

Very simply, we are relentless in our goal of producing brilliant work that we can be proud of, and make the brands we work with famous! We are very commercially minded and share our clients’ drive for creating preference for their brands and becoming market leaders. For Notorious, it all starts with research and insights that help inform a clever, well thought out strategy. We then develop innovative, attention grabbing creative that we know will get the right cut-through that our clients need.

PSG Communications is unique in that it is the only communications group that operates five distinct agencies under one roof. Notorious PSG deals solely with consumer brands, New / Slang does all things digital, PSG Plus focuses on corporate PR and reputation management, PSG Sponsorship is Ireland’s leading sponsorship strategy and activation agency, and PSG Health focuses on pharma and healthcare. We are all in the same building and we have many clients that we do cross agency work for. This structure enables us to provide either a stand-alone, or an holistic service offering depending on what’s required. It means that all aspects of a client’s external communications efforts are absolutely in line with each other, and we can capitalise on opportunities across business areas better than anyone else. It also makes life a lot easier on a client that might ordinarily have multiple agencies to brief and liaise with, who can often end up working in silos.

Perhaps new or less well-established brands may feel hesitant about approaching a communications company or concerned about the potential costs involved; how would you encourage them to get in touch?

This isn’t New York or London where costs can be astronomical. You can do a lot with a little in Ireland, particularly if you have great strategy and creative as the foundation of a campaign, and a brilliant agency team that knows how to implement it within budget.


Q&A with…

Caroline Heywood, managing director, Walsh PR

Can you talk us through some of the most effective campaigns you have created for FMCG brands and the results these have delivered for your clients? 

We’ve had the pleasure of working with many indigenous Irish and international brands on really creative and fun campaigns and I’m really proud of the results we achieved.

Most recently we secured great cut-through across all media channels for MyMilkman.ie, a dedicated team of milkmen delivering fresh dairy to the doorstep. This is the sort of campaign where PR comes into its own. Using the stories of the milkmen themselves, alongside creative communications tactics, we excited print, broadcast and online media. Not only was the online aspect of the service heavily promoted, but we also tapped into the nostalgia of the milkman generation to remind people of the benefits and convenience of doorstep deliveries.

We’ve also had a lot of fun supporting Dr. Oetker who recently celebrated 10 years of the Ristorante brand being on sale in Ireland with a 10k diamond giveaway; the launch of Avonmore Protein Milk and developing the current Flahavan’s #OfficeOats online campaign.

Why do you believe it is more effective for brands to use Walsh PR as opposed to separate agencies for social and PR?

As communications professionals, managing and developing digital channels on behalf of our clients is second nature. We all know that content is king and I’d say that at least 60% of our executive team’s day is taken up by researching, developing, creating and disseminating content for all media channels. We eat, sleep and breathe content for the brands and businesses we represent.

What are the top factors that make Walsh PR stand out from other companies in your field?

I could not feel more passionate about what makes Walsh PR stand out. We’ve just recently rebranded and our new look was created to reflect the young, skilled and enthusiastic talent mixed with maturity and experience, which we bring to our work.  Our business approach has three key elements – Communication-Innovation-Reputation. That’s our formula for success and the reason why 70% of our current clients have been working with us for over three years and 40% for over 20 years.

Perhaps new or less well-established brands may feel hesitant about approaching a communications company or concerned about the potential costs involved; how would you encourage them to get in touch?

No business, no matter how well established, should ever feel hesitant about talking to us. Working with new or less known brands and businesses is an area that we have considerable experience in. Whether its food, FMCG, health, lifestyle, toys, tourism, construction, small charities and NGOs or environment, we have worked with numerous individuals, start-ups, emerging brands or businesses trying to get a foothold on the Irish market.

This area is not just all about launches, it often requires business mentoring, strategy development, media training and sales advice, social media management or simply being the eyes and ears of an organisation to report on market trends, carry out research and track reputation. Our independence as an agency is also an asset to new or less-well established brands. It allows us to be flexible in providing full-service PR support or on one-off projects. And we’re always conscious of the bottom line. We set clear objectives and KPIs and work hard to achieve tailor-made communications solutions within controlled budgets.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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