FOUR TIPS TO GIVING A QUALITY PR BRIEF


A quality PR brief is your way to finding the right agency partner.  A considered approach, tailored to your needs, will help you to assess if the agencies can demonstrate an ability to support your business goals. Here are our four tips for communications professionals to keep in mind when creating that perfect brief:

Business Goals:

Be clear on what you want in an agency partner.  Know how you want them to fit into your working life, and the goals that you want them to achieve.  You need to be clear on the company’s business objectives, whether this is a specific sales target, sign-ups to a service, or a quality audience to attend an event. Aim to pick out at least three business objectives, that will determine the communication objectives, and ultimately the PR programme.

Know your PR Objectives:

Once you’ve laid out the business objectives, you need to overlay your PR objectives, and outline what the agency will need to work towards and be measured by. We suggest including at least three key messages that a PR campaign should cover.  This helps the PR agencies streamline thinking around your messages, and the programme.  The objectives should ideally be SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic & timed). If you don’t know your messages, then this will need work. Ensure that different stakeholders across the business, and across regions, are aligned on objectives, to save confusion down the line.

Measures of Success (KPIs):

Your potential agency partners need to know what campaign success looks like, which should align back to your business and PR objectives.  You’ll also need to know what you want your budget to achieve. Outlining clear and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) allows the interested agencies to know what they should strive for to meet the objectives.  There are industry best practice measurement approaches to consider here too, but well defined KPIs will eliminate poor fit agencies, and save time for you and them.

Budget Clarity:

The best briefs won’t go down the route of asking what the agencies can come up with, with a blank sheet of paper.  To understand agency thinking, consider giving them an additional ‘project brief’ to test ideas.  But, for the core brief, provide a full understanding (or at least a range) of the budget available, which will allow them to create the right sized campaign plan, linked to the budget available.  This will give you a clearer idea of what can be delivered with the resources available on a level playing field. Budget clarity will also rule out some agencies, if the budget is deemed too small, or too large.

Best Fit Summary:

Investing the time to create a thoughtful, commercial-oriented brief that provides transparency about what your business is looking for in a communications partner is key.  This will help ensure that you see quality proposals and agencies, that are better aligned with business goals.  This is not an exact science, but will help allow you to select the most suitable PR partner, with the right strategy to positively drive your communications programme to the next level.

ELATE HITS FOUR YEARS OLD & UNVEILS NEW WEB SITE


Ok – so, a warning that this post is a little ‘self-puffy’, but here it goes anyway!   Elate Communications has now been in business for just over four years, and we’re ‘elated’ with the success to date.  But, the journey is just starting …

We’ve had the pleasure to work with a quality selection of start-ups, midmarket and blue-chip clients across many technology and B2B sectors, from across the world.  We also work with great staff, and partners, who will go beyond the ‘call of duty’ for our clients, and the business – and for that we are very grateful.

We’re pleased with the progress made to date, but even more energised about the future.  Yes, there will be some political and business uncertainty, amidst a fast-evolving communications landscape, but that’s not unique.  We are cautiously optimistic that the future will be positive, for us and our clients.

Not wanting to sound too much like a ‘happy-clappy’ 1970s Coke Ad, we’ll continue to enthusiastically help our clients – and staff – grow and prosper.  As we grow, we recognise, too, that feedback from our community is essential. Therefore, we’re open to feedback, suggestions and future partnerships.   So, feel free to ping us. Let us know what you really think.

We’ve also updated our web site (www.elatecommunications.com) and we welcome your thoughts. And, if you want to meet up to discuss communications, marketing, business, politics, sport or whatever, we look forward to it.

Public relations will grow in importance during 2017


We had a great 2016, having delivered some impactful PR programmes for our clients. What’s more exciting for us, and the broader PR industry, is what’s in store this year. Here are our five views (and hopes) on how PR can further grow in importance.

Strategic PR Planning:

Businesses destined to stay ahead of the crowd will work with a strategic PR partner, and be increasingly open to a holistic PR approach. To achieve this, they should consider a partner that is not only robust on the execution, but is closely aligned with the business strategy.  Quick fixes & hits can work in the short-term, but having a strategic view will serve your brand better in the longer term.  The CIPR’s recent ‘State of the Profession’ report which indicated that 70% of agency practitioners now play some role in the business strategy, is a positive.

Messaging Refresh:

Many firms will need to look (or re-look) at how they describe their value proposition, the competitive point to their offer and how they identify and engage with audience-relevant issues. Especially in the B2B and technology world, jargon needs to be binned, as firms work hard to combat the ‘so-what’ factor.  Clearly articulating the vision, value and message for an increasingly time-poor audience will be crucial.

Content Marketing Evolution:

Research from The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) found that 66% of marketers expect to increase their budgets and the volume of content marketing in 2016. The winning firms need to get more interactive to appeal. Investigate more photos, video, slideshows, podcasts, infographics to complement the written word.  PR writing skills are not to be neglected, and this needs to be extended from articles, blogs and social media to other marketing disciplines.  PR pros should know the message, and how to write, to make a positive difference.

Better Measurement:

Businesses, quite rightly, want more measurable objectives across their marketing channels. Always a challenging question for PR firms, but we (clients & agencies) need to work together to agree what and how to measure.  The Amec framework (being developed further) is a good start, and enables both parties to plan, monitor and measure results against objectives. It considers all the stages and can show how your audience moves from awareness to interest, preference, action & advocacy.

Closer Partnerships:

This relates to even closer and more fruitful partnerships between brands and agencies (or multiple agencies) that truly understand each other’s goals and motivations. Real listening and empathy have a place here, and will go a long way to ensuring that objectives and thinking are aligned for mutual benefit.  Being polite, humble and kind also goes a long way, but that’s for another day…

Nothing rocket science here (we don’t think) but the challenge is for both parties to focus on the above during the year.

Have a productive and happy 2017!

WE’RE LOOKING FOR TECHNOLOGY PR TALENT


We’re looking for new joiners again, at account executive level – those that have some proven experience in the fast paced and dynamic technology PR & Communications world.

The candidate will initially be required for a maternity cover role, for approx one year, but there may be opportunity to shift to a permanent role, during that period.

We’re working with, and winning; exciting new clients. So, if you’re at the right type of level, and you’re keen to take that next step, you should definitely get in touch for an initial chat.

The role will include: PR planning, content development, media relations, analyst relations, digital and social media management, event support, reporting and client liaison – all sprinkled with a good dose of agency marketing and new business activity.

You will have a natural aptitude and curiosity for media and social media, be highly organised and client-centric. The client base consists of a great set of technology brands, that have compelling stories to tell, both in the UK and beyond. The sky is the limit for the right candidate.

The right can-do attitude is key, but career mentoring and training is part of the deal. The primary location will be in central London, but flexible working is possible.

To apply, just email us on: info@elatecommunications.com with your up to date CV and a paragraph of why you’d be a good fit.

Elate appointed to drive the UK PR for mobility leader, Kony


The PR challenge is focused on helping Kony to communicate the commercial benefits of an enterprise-led mobile strategy to UK CIOs, business function heads and the developer & designer communities. Analyst firm, Gartner, recently named Kony as a leader amongst mobile application development platform providers.

The UK programme will include messaging, media relations, analyst relations, event support and social media. Working closely with the US Corporate Comms and EMEA teams, Elate will bring on PR partners across EMEA, as appropriate.

Jean Kondo, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Kony Inc, said: “We were looking for a UK PR partner, which could help us build on our technology leadership, and extend our awareness and impact amongst key enterprise decision makers in the region. We found that ability and experience with Elate, and look forward to a productive partnership with them.”

Simon Glazer, MD at Elate Communications said: “This is a great new client win, and we are delighted to be working with such a marquee mobile technology brand within this high growth and exciting market.”

More client wins, news and insights on the way, so stay tuned.

Elate selected by energy technology pioneer, Tendril, to deliver its european PR programme


We could not be more excited about one of our newest clients, Tendril, a Colorado based Energy Services Management company.

Selected to support this disruptive firm with its European PR programme, our focus will be on helping Tendril build its profile amongst European energy utility firms. The challenge – which we’ve already started tackling – is to explain the value of Tendril’s cloud-based software platform, which is capable of delivering more personalised energy services to business and residential customers.

Our support is not limited to the UK, as we’re also spreading the word about Tendril and its game-changing offering to target audiences in France. For this programme, we’ll be hands on with messaging, media relations, analyst relations, event support and social media.

Brad Langley, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications, Tendril said: “We were looking for a European PR partner, which could help us extend and localise our US leadership to the European market. Following a kick-off project, we found that the Elate team had the right strategic thinking, European contacts and executional know-how to take us to the next level. We are looking forward to continuing this productive partnership with them.”

Simon Glazer, MD at Elate Communications said: “This is a great new client win, and we are delighted to be working with such a recognised and innovative technology brand within this exciting and evolving market.”

More client wins, news and insights on the way, so stay tuned.

HOW MARKETING & PR NEEDS TO SUPPORT THE EVOLVING SALES FUNCTION


Progressive technology & B2B firms recognise that their prospective buyers are far more sophisticated than before.

They are assessing your digital footprint, before you’ve even met. Data from Forbes found that 78% of salespeople using social media to sell, out performed those who weren’t. This has big implications for marketing and PR teams, in supporting this evolving sales function. Smaller and forward thinking firms can have a distinct advantage over their larger competitors. Here are ‘some’ basic tips on how to maximise the potential.

Audience Focus:

Take time to consider who your audience really are and where they are likely to be, across the numerous social platforms. This takes some work, but it is important. Don’t be tempted to spread yourself too thinly across all channels, and be everywhere at once. Start small and do it right – then build from there.

Valuable Content:

The business narrative has moved from product benefits to value provided. Across your audience, do a little research to assess what they value, the market & competitive context and how your proposition can add value. Focus your messaging around how you solve business problems, not the speed of your widgets.

Take a Position:

Linked to the above, position yourself as an expert in your field or take on a more challenger or niche role. You should be creating new, content and highlighting new initiatives or thinking. Or take a different slant on an existing client problem.

Build relationships:

This is a tough one, but as in normal life, this takes time and effort. Find out what your customers want and where are their pain points. Be honest and try not to be ‘too marketing’. If you can’t help them, perhaps you know somebody that can? The greater the engagement, the better it will be for your brand and sales efforts.

Keep Track:

Once you’ve got the basics in place, you need to monitor progress and quantify it, as best you can. There are tools available, in assessing what this social activity is actually doing for the business from social metrics up to sales.

There are no sure-fire answers, but if you are not part of the right conversations, in the right places, your competitors no doubt will be. Get going and re-focus, to help your brand and sales grow.