Giving up my weekend volunteering for Grenfell

Those who were lucky enough to survive the terrible Grenfell Tower fire lost their homes and possessions overnight, leaving them stranded on the streets of London. Londoners donated food and clothing in their droves to the cause, and when Hands on London asked for help distributing the items to the Grenfell families, Sense responded, with me and my colleague Sophie Binskin-Barnes volunteering.

Although delighted by everyone’s generosity, the charity faced a problem. People had been asked to drop off donations at specified tube stations, but their dispersed nature made it difficult to know what was available and where it was located. This was delaying getting the items – some of which were perishable – to those in need, and a call went out for volunteers to help centralise donations.

I was based at Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park stations on a Saturday, where, along with other volunteers, I moved the items into waiting vans. They were then transported to a central storage location in Chiswick where Sophie was stationed ready to unload the vans. From there, the donations were shared with the families.

It was a great experience and I particularly loved meeting my fellow volunteers, who were from such a wide variety of backgrounds. Londoners are renowned from being quite stand off-ish, yet here we all were giving up our weekend to help the Grenfell Tower victims.

It really opened my eyes to the level of work that goes on in volunteering. I knew people were making donations to distribution centres, but I hadn’t thought for one minute about the logistics involved in moving them and making sure they reached the people who needed them the most.

It brought home to me the fact that charities don’t just need donations of money and useful items, they also need people’s precious time. Often we’re reluctant to give that up, but actually I found that it can be so rewarding when you do.

If it wasn’t for Sense launching a volunteer initiative, I may never have found out just how good it feels to donate your free time to help people in need. In fact, I loved it so much I’m returning this Friday 29th September to help load the final lorries with the last of the donations. These experiences have inspired me to do more for others more often. Recently I gave seven inches of my hair to the Little Princes Trust. Hair styling brand GHD were offering free haircuts to anyone who wanted to donate their hair so that it could be used to make wigs for young people suffering from cancer. I hadn’t even heard of the charity before GHD began raising awareness of what they did.

Initiatives like this by Sense and GHD show the power that businesses and brands holds in their hands to do good and give their employees a highly rewarding experience they will never forget – if only more would follow suit.

Phoebe Le Saint is Senior Account Executive at real world marketing agency Sense.

The post Giving up my weekend volunteering for Grenfell appeared first on Sense London.

Account Executives Wanted

Want to work for one of the most exciting creative agencies around?

Want to work on campaigns that provoke genuine engagement?

If this sounds like the sort of thing you want to be doing during the majority of your waking hours get in touch with us and let us know your availability, experience and salary expectations.

Read the detail below first though.

An exciting opportunity for an Account Executive has opened up at our Gold Lion award winning creative agency.

Due to major project wins we need someone to join our client service team. Your primary function will be to support our account managers with the day-to-day delivery of our clients’ projects. Duties will include:

  • Supporting the account managers to ensure that all projects are delivered on time and on budget
  • Researching and sourcing costs for client campaigns and assisting with the creation of timelines, budgets, SOWs, PCAs and seeding plans
  • Attending internal and external meetings including creative brainstorms and client meetings and taking notes when required
  • Research for marketing activity and new business
  • Maintaining and updating internal systems and reports
  • Liaising with 3rd party suppliers and freelancers

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Previous creative agency experience in similar role is desirable
  • Confident self-starter with the ability to take ownership of tasks and respond to requests quickly
  • Great people skills and ability to build rapport/relationships easily
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Able to multitask with a positive, flexible, can do attitude
  • Social media savvy and a digital native

About the company


As one of our clients, Andrew McGuiness, CEO of Freuds Communications and founder of BMB, put it:


“Don’t Panic has answered the question of what an advertising agency should be next”.


We’re an agency of ideas and we use them to build brands, disrupt convention and leave a mark. We deliver messages with humour, intelligence and integrity to inspire people to think in unfamiliar ways and then do something about it. Our campaigns deliver genuine engagement, create word of mouth, make headlines and win awards.

To find out what we’ve been up to recently, visit


The post Account Executives Wanted appeared first on .

Four Things About #fakenews


Another quarter has rolled around and I’ve written some more random opinions for MarketLeader magazine. As per last quarter, if you’re a WARC subscriber you can read it on their website but they allow me to stick the ‘original submitted version’ on here, as long as it carries the disclaimer “Unedited Version” and the credit “Reproduced with permission of Market Leader, the strategic marketing journal for business leaders. To subscribe visit© Copyright Warc and The Marketing Society.”

As a special bonus for BETC blog readers the ‘original submitted version’ omits a typo that was introduced in the version printed by Market Leader. Spot it and you might win a prize. (You won’t win a prize)

Here it is:

#fakenews is a cultural blob that incorporates the feelings that everyone is lying, that shouting is truth and that feelings trump facts. It’s not well-defined, it’s not easy to poke at, that’s probably its power. But I thought it was worth exploring because we’re all in the business of explanation and persuasion and we’re doing that in a #fakenews world. And, of course, it’s all our fault.

1. We Are The Problem

Ev Williams knows quite a lot about the internet. He was in at the invention of Blogger and Twitter. He did an interview with the New York Times recently and diagnosed the #fakenews problem like this: ”The trouble with the internet, Mr. Williams says, is that it rewards extremes. Say you’re driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behavior like this to mean everyone is asking for car crashes, so it tries to supply them.”  What Mr Williams doesn’t have to say, but it’s worth reminding ourselves of, is that the mechanism that drives this behaviour is advertising. The internet rewards attention with cash because of advertising. We built that model. We didn’t build a model that rewards high quality content or trust-worthy media owners or decent editorial environments. We attempted to abstract all that away, reducing our metrics to disembodied qualities like ‘eyeballs’ and ‘clicks’. We forgot that there were people involved and that our decisions had consequences. It’s understandable, of course, we tried to create a complex, global, interactive media ecology from scratch in a dozen years or so. We were bound to get it wrong. Print newspapers have had several hundred years to sort it out and they’re not much better. But, this is where we are. Advertising is what makes it economically sensible for smart people in Macedonia to make up lies about US politics and put them on the internet.

2. It’s Just Going To Get Faker

The problem now is that all the news is just going to get faker. Machine learning is not far from making it trivially easy to generate, for instance, video of anyone saying anything. Look at the University of Washington’s Synthesising Obama project; they can take a piece of audio combine it with a bit of talking head video and make an entirely plausible video of Obama saying a thing he never said. That, of course, has been possible for a while with special effects and clever technicians, the problem now is that we’re a few years away from it being a 69p app on your phone, something you can do to anyone. This will be an annoyance for politicians and celebrities, but they’ll be able to prove the untruth through detailed, probably expensive evidence of being somewhere else at the time. But what happens when someone uses it to produce evidence of the staff in your shop abusing them? or of a sales person promising them an impossible deal? What happens when technology weaponises fraud and abuse? It’s going to be a mess.

3. The opposite of Fake is Open. And detailed. And boring. Not short sentences.

We’re also going to have to abandon some of the rhetorical styles of sales and marketing. I used to work at Nike’s advertising agency and we use to joke that our key advantage was that we could ‘fake authenticity’ better than anyone else. There are, or were, clear, well known stylistic, rhetorical flourishes that made communications feel ‘true’. Simple, blunt language. Plain-spoken-ness. Regular demotic speech. Short sentences. But that’s how Trump talks too. That’s how #fakenews is spread. That’s what Goop do. If you want a ‘trusted brand’ you’ll have to a) (obviously) be trust-worthy and b) be detailed and precise about explaining yourself. It will feel too long and too boring, it will feel like too much work. But the slogans aren’t working. Not everyone will read the detail but they’ll like to know that it’s there. Hopefully this will spell the end of the empty brand manifesto. All those short sentence. Saying nothing. At length. With that music.

4. Pay attention to the bottom of the page

Part of that detailed work will be at the bottom of your website where the caveats lurk. Clear, honest Terms and Conditions might be the best way to fight #fakenews. You’re probably rewriting them anyway because of GDPR so perhaps you could pay extra attention and really make them sing. Innocent smoothies made the words on the back of the bottle a competitive landscape, maybe GDPR will do the same for terms and conditions. 

(If you want to get a head start on thinking about this stuff have a look at what the design consultancy IF have put together at


Russell Davies is chief strategy officer at BETC, a contributing editor for Wired, and a relentless mucker-about on the internet. Follow @fourthingsabout on Twitter for a stream of links and articles related to this quarter’s topic.


How To Use Sitebulb Website Crawler & SEO Site Auditor To Manage Your Onsite SEO

Sitebulb (Disclosure – I am an affiliate and I would make money from clicking on some links on this page) is a new website crawler and site auditor from the folks that give us URLProfiler (which I like a lot, hence why I am an affiliate of SiteBulb. Any such links are marked (AFF)). Read […]

Read the full article here How To Use Sitebulb Website Crawler & SEO Site Auditor To Manage Your Onsite SEO

© Copyright 2006-2017 Shaun Anderson

5 Ways PR Can Maximize Your Next Marketing Move

By Alise, Associate Vice President, Beauty & Wellness

The best approach to marketing is an integrated, 360-degree view.

Consumer brands often think their big sale, fundraiser or ad campaign is newsworthy on its own, or, they fail to consider a media strategy entirely. Each is a 180-degree perspective falling short of its full potential.

It’s important to remember that journalists and influencers don’t serve a brand’s business objective, they serve their readers. Creative public relations strategies can bridge the divide between corporate and editorial, generating content that is of value to media while supporting company priorities, maximizing resources and appealing to the larger consumer audience – All making the original marketing dollar stretch further and more effectively.

If you’re investing in a marketing endeavor without asking how PR can maximize results, you’re likely missing out on exposure, customers and return on investment. Here are five examples of marketing strategies where results can be boosted via a 360-degree PR campaign.

Consider a Public Relations strategy if…

You’ve Landed a New Retail Account or Are Expanding Globally

While your sales team focuses on sell-in, training and retail displays, a PR campaign can ensure media, potential investors and consumers recognize your growth and know where to find your products. Media support also shows retail partners you will help drive their business. 5W client, jane iredale recently expanded into Neiman Marcus, a success complemented by a secured feature in Women’s Wear Daily. For a separate launch, 5W partnered with YouTube influencer Tati Westbrook to spotlight a brand expansion into CVS, driving immediate traffic and sales. Strategies can also include personal appearances and in-store events, location-based influencer campaigns and media relations work driving traffic to your partners’ websites.

Lipstick - cosmetics prYou’re Sponsoring an Event

5W client, It’s a 10 Haircare recently sponsored the 2018 Miss America Competition. Instead of accepting the sponsorship package at face value, 5W launched a PR and social campaign surrounding the brand’s promise to give free products to every person in the crowned Miss America’s state. This resulted in more than 50 stories, including brand profiles with Refinery29 and Elite Daily recognizing the brand’s generosity. The team even coordinated custom hair care packages to each Miss America contestant, drumming up more than 3 million organic social impressions and winning over the contestants as brand advocates. The campaign turned a sponsorship into a meaningful, direct connection to fans, and captured more than 100,000 new customers.

Miss americaYou’re Participating in a Trade Show

This year 5W had the honor of representing Indie Beauty Expo, the largest trade show for independent beauty brands. (See our recap here.) Our multi-faceted PR campaign included pre-show media meetings, mailers and story coordination to secure coverage for exhibiting brands before the show opened, culminating in a special media preview day with more than 300 press attendees. As a result, participating brands received media coverage with Allure, Well + Good, InStyle, Marie Claire, Domino and more, in addition to the show’s retail and consumer exposure. Other PR trade show activations include securing broadcast coverage on site and setting up one-on-one meetings with industry press, allowing executives to make an impression with buyers and media in one event.

beauty expo prYou’re Airing a Commercial

If you’re partnering with a celebrity face, there are likely opportunities to offer media exclusive behind-the-scenes access and tease the campaign to press in stages to build buzz for your big launch. 5W worked on a Super Bowl commercial this year and leveraged the brand’s underlying motivation for the commercial to tell a richer story across more than 390 media placements, exceeding 2.6 billion impressions and driving the commercial to win several awards and reach trending status on YouTube.

commercial - media placementYou’re Giving Back

beauty brands that give back

Today’s population places more importance on brand values than its physical “stuff.” As our client shared with Inc., “Don’t sell your products, sell your purpose.” A brand’s ethics and giving must be specifically and concretely described, and told through their own channels as well as third-party editorial.

From campaigns that build wells in developing countries, to companies that stand for cruelty-free initiatives, to campaigns surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 5W specializes in casting a light on causes that matter and telling the stories behind the brands we serve.

What marketing strategies are you pursuing? It may be time to ask how a PR team can take your work to the next level.

The post 5 Ways PR Can Maximize Your Next Marketing Move appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

The power of personalisation

We’re all slightly self-obsessed. I bet you think this post is about you, don’t you? Brands have clocked onto this and are forever striving to make the customer feel special. By offering a curated service or product, the brand acknowledges each individual’s weird and wonderful quirks. Done correctly, you’ll maintain loyal customers, but also intrigue new ones.

Why does it work so well? Firstly, time is precious. If a product is made exactly the way a customer knows they need it, there’s a lower chance of returning or exchanging the order. If an online supermarket already has a customer’s favourite grocery products ready to go, this avoids spending hours in a heaving store.

Also, everyone loves a brag on social. In the past when brands have successfully pulled off personalised products, a social media buzz has ensued. Capitalism has moved beyond simply owning a product and proving ourselves via material worth, now we cultivate our own online brands through our purchase decisions. Of course the best example of this is Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. In the US, it resulted in increased sales volume for the first time in roughly four years. You can also customise your own Share a Coke bottle online; this means the more obscure names get a slice of the action, so Felicias and Bartholomews rejoice.

Consumers also like to stick to what they know. If a customer already trusts a certain shoe brand’s quality, they may stick with the familiar but change it up with a new version of their favourite trainer. This worked well with NIKEiD where customers were invited to ‘Create your signature shoe.’ By granting the customer more agency in how the product looks, they’ve already invested a deeper personal interest.

Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ provides a personal playlist of 30 songs, curated and released each Monday based on a listener’s habits. Within the first 10 months of launching, Discover Weekly saw 5 billion song plays. This brilliant service plants lesser known songs in our laps; perfect for lazy listeners who thrive off ‘I knew them before they were famous’ bragging rights. In the beauty world, the sheer volume of products available overwhelming so the bespoke trend is hitting makeup bags too. If we’re going to plaster cosmetics over bodies, we want to know they suit our skin down to a tee. The most stellar example is Amazon’s on point (verging on creepy) personalised service. Every customer’s homepage is littered with finely targeted recommendations ‘For a Night In.’ They’ve nailed the curated customer experience, helping them discover something new by tempting users with dreamy basket fillers.

How do brands follow suit? It’s important to make an impact but avoid diluting the message. For bigger companies, their strong logos are recognisable so they can afford to play with customisation. Smaller brands be wary. With marketing tactics, permission is important, otherwise it can seem aggressive and insincere. Retail brands should categorise their users; a customised email or ‘recommended for you’ list may seem unnerving if you’ve only clicked on the site once. For a regular user, this could come across as extremely impressive – the same way your favourite waiter knows your name and wine preference before you even order. Above all, make sure the recommendations are helpful and relevant, rather than off-putting. Brands need to find the sweet spot between offering a bespoke service whilst conserving both their reputations and relationships.


AR and Digital OOH Promotes Cinematic Release of IT

The much anticipated cinematic remake of Stephen King’s 1986 novel ‘IT’, was released globally to critical acclaim and supported by an extensive digital OOH campaign.

The American supernatural horror film tells the story of seven children in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, who find themselves terrorised by an evil being in the infamous form of Pennywise the clown. The adaptation has become not just the highest grossing September release, but the highest grossing horror film of all time both domestically and worldwide.

To support the film release of ‘IT’, Grand Visual produced a wide range of digital assets, including original creative treatments which were hugely popular with the 30 Markets that were supplied.

Grand Visual also created a successful Augmented Reality activation for Brazil, Mexico and Spain with a social video from the Spanish application garnering over 100k views. The AR activation was created so that it could be easily executed for eager markets.

With a global marketing campaign for the film that saw wider experiential activations used, the AR element complemented the overall campaign. Such an extensive approach contributed to helping ‘IT’ break international box office records.

As film release marketing campaigns continue to expand and diversify, we are seeing an increased interest in new technologies and experiential activations and notable growth in overall digital OOH spend.

The post AR and Digital OOH Promotes Cinematic Release of IT appeared first on Grand Visual Creative.