How to Maximize Public Relations Placements

One of the most important parts of any PR agency’s job is finding the right media coverage for their clients. Whether it’s a television slot or an interview in a magazine, the right PR placements are a critical part of building brand awareness for any business. Unfortunately, while PR placements might have been the peak of the agency journey a few years ago, that’s not the case anymore.

Once an organization has achieved the right PR placements, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that they get the most out of every piece of coverage. The steps taken after a PR placement appears can make or break a company’s marketing strategy.

Get on Social Media

One of the first things any agency should do after getting a PR placement for their client is to share that coverage on the social media channels of that brand. After particularly important placements, it might be worth using paid advertising on social media and influencer shout outs to build buzz around the coverage. It’s also possible to use social media to build buzz in advance with posts designed to create anticipation.

Share News with Stakeholders

Whenever a brand achieves something great, the first people to know should be the stakeholders. These are the people who have a vested interest in a company and want to see regular evidence that it’s doing well. Aside from sharing news with customers, PR agents can also look into sending presentations and press releases out to stakeholders, employees, executives, and board members too. This may help to generate more trust and credibility for the company.

Put Quotes and Snippets on a Website

There are plenty of ways to showcase an important placement on a brand website. Something as simple as links to a website with media coverage can be enough to develop more credibility for a company. Organizations with multiple placements can even create a “news” section on their site where they show off their most recent coverage. This can also be a great way to increase organic traffic with keywords and phrases.

Make the Most of Email

If the organization a PR agency represents already has a strong email marketing list, they can include their PR placement in an upcoming newsletter for the brand to help add something new to the content strategy. Sharing brand placements via email is a great way to get the attention of customers and clients that might have lost interest in the brand or forgotten about its potential. Companies will just need to make sure that they don’t overwhelm their audience with too many emails at once.

Add Placements to Presentations

Finally, PR placements can be a great way to add more weight to proposals, presentations and other important collateral materials too. Coverage from the right companies demonstrates the success a business has with the media and instantly makes that company more trustworthy. In the right circumstances, PR coverage can even be a great way to improve a brand’s thought-leadership strategy.

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Twenty-Four Thousand Miles of Similar Thinking on Privacy

The world’s a big place, and it’s full of individuals – each with their own minds and thoughts, born from their own different experiences. Despite these differences, we’re only slightly different when it comes to certain things. And so, it should come as no great surprise to learn that we consumers, people the world over, have similar attitudes regarding something as complex as our right to privacy. We collectively enjoy the benefits data brings to our lives and are willing to at least be pragmatic about sharing our data to realise our more informed, frictionless world of social media, online shopping, Google maps and the like.

This is not conjecture. These views are backed by real research from the Global Alliance of Direct Marketing Associations (GDMA) and Acxiom, independently researched and compiled by The Foresight Factory on representative samples of consumers from 10 countries across four continents. What the report titled Global data privacy: What the consumer really thinks told us is that despite the significant cultural differences you’d expect to find, the majority of people (77%) are pragmatic or even unconcerned about sharing their data. This, we believe, reflects the fact that data forms a part of so much of our everyday lives now that we know, one way or another, it is central to it.

This report is an evolution of a report on UK consumer attitudes to privacy now in its third generation, having been commissioned by the UK DMA in 2012, then again with Acxiom in 2015 and 2017. The global report sees the same comprehensive set of questions being asked in 10 countries across four continents to get a new and unrivalled, at this degree of detail, view of how consumers vary or agree in their thinking. At a time of increased consumer awareness about data, especially in Europe with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), understanding how consumers really feel about data privacy is something all marketers need to prioritise.

To help readers gain a high-level understanding of attitudes to privacy, three main segments of consumers were created in 2012 and have carried forward to the present. These are Data Pragmatists who are open to sharing data in return for value, Data Unconcerned, who, like my sons, are very relaxed about sharing data, and Data Fundamentalists who are very cautious about data and reluctant to allow its use. It is worth noting in passing that the trend in the UK has been for a steady decline in the number of Data Fundamentalists, down from 36% in 2012 to just 25% today. We don’t have the benefit of previous data in the other countries but suspect the trends will be similar.

What the research does reveal is that the size of these segments is roughly similar across the countries surveyed, though it does differ to a degree. It was surprising to learn just how relatively unconcerned consumers in Germany were regarding data privacy. However, we believe this is not because Germans don’t care about data privacy; it’s more because they have relatively high degrees of trust in the system in Germany, which leads to lower levels of genuine concern. More interesting differences can be found in the report.

Speaking of trust, this factor remains central to consumer attitudes to sharing data regardless of country. If consumers are willing to share their data, it is on the understanding they can trust brands and their partners to keep data safe, to only have data that it makes sense to have and that they use it to benefit them and not just make more money. On top of this, consumers want transparency about the data we have, they want access to it and they want control about whether or not we can have it; thankfully, these are key tenets of GDPR and so, hopefully, more and more businesses around the world are seeing how consumer sentiment is headed in Europe and are embracing similar values.

It seems clear that despite more awareness and some concerns, especially when data is in the news, we can expect greater acceptance of data exchange as part and parcel of everyday life. This is positive news for marketers who believe in data ethics and in transparency, access and control for the consumer. While we’re all individuals, the majority of us, if you were to ask (on a 24,000-mile trip around the world; which we did) seem to agree that getting this right will be key to achieving the win-win businesses and importantly, consumers, really want.

You can find the report, available for download, here on  Acxiom.co.uk

Q&A: Lloyd Blander on design inspiration and motivation

This article originally appeared on DesignRush.

Lloyd Blander is an expert at creating strategic designs and using them as effective marketing machines. Now a creative director at Siegel+Gale, a leading global brand strategy, design and experience firm, he has worked with top clients such as American Express, Facebook and Microsoft, and lead campaigns of all sizes.

He sat down with DesignRush to share where he finds his inspiration, how he motivates his team, and what businesses can do to ensure a successful partnership with a design or marketing company.

DesignRush: You’ve worked with incredible brands as a creative director at Siegel+Gale. Tell us about your day-to-day tasks.

Lloyd Blander: Working in a creative agency tends to mean no two days are the same. My number one goal each day is to ensure our team is stimulated and energized about projects so they can generate fresh and innovative work. Creative ideas have the power to change how people feel, challenge how they think and, even change the world. We need to go the extra mile to deliver something unexpected and fresh.

DR: What are some of your favorite designs or campaigns that you or your team have made and why?

LB: I’ve worked on a wide variety of projects for clients across industries. Recently, I’ve had a number of exciting brand and product innovation assignments for American Express.

SAP Illustrations Lloyd Blander Artwork

Earlier this year, our team created a disruptive new visual experience for SAP. We developed a rich palette of iconography and illustrations that simplify how AI, machine learning and blockchain are changing businesses and consumers’ lives.

We also worked on a series of events for SAP SuccessConnect, which opened with Oprah Winfrey in Las Vegas. It was incredible to drive the overall experience with and push content out live to event attendees and on social.

Last year we partnered with GE to create an exciting brand experience for GE Ventures, which recently launched their new identity and a new way to express who they are, how they work, and why they’re different: GE Ventures helps their clients, find, launch, and grow exciting new ideas that are at the forefront of change.

Some of my past experience includes working on the rebrand of American Airlines and Florida Lottery, as well as partnering with such brands as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Oculus by Facebook.

DR: What are some of the biggest considerations for your team when working on a design engagement?

LB: Brand experience is critical for every designer in our studio. The most memorable brands transcend identity to become experiences. It’s all about being immersive these days—and with new service design, and new technologies like AR and VR, it’s only going to become more so. That’s why it’s critical for companies to clearly define what they stand for and focus on the most important touchpoints of their brand experience. At Siegel+Gale we create four-dimensional brand experiences to deliver: visual, verbal, sensorial, and interactive experiences that are immersive.

Partnering with clients is also essential to a project’s success. Presentations are the new workshops: it’s a creative, agile and iterative process. We lay the foundation for our clients so they have the tools to understand and champion the work. I try to balance being an inspirational leader, a champion of the work and a partner to everyone involved.

DR: Where do you find inspiration?

LB: Inspiration is so easy to access today. I’m inspired by art and fortunate to live in the Chelsea gallery district, so I’m surrounded by astounding contemporary and conceptual work. I love the classic work of Donald Judd, Richard Serra and Olafur Eliasson. But I’m also fascinated by architects like Zaha Hadid and fashion designers like Tom Ford who have created their own unique visual languages that transcend two-dimensional experience. I’m an avid photographer, love films, cooking, and have the friendliest 12- year-old American Staffordshire Terrier you’ll ever meet. His name is Andy and he I go sight-seeing around the city.

Lloyd Blander Art Galleries Dog

I also believe that collaboration inspires great work, I’ve partnered with Carl de Torres, an American illustrator and graphic designer, who specializes in the creation of vibrant and unique visual languages and information graphics—he’s been an amazing partner to work with.

DR: What are some of your favorite brand logos? What do you like about them?

LB: Apple’s logo, although it has evolved over the years, remains such a transcendent classic. It’s striking for its simplicity and. The bite out of the Apple is such a friendly, relatable metaphor that reveals what’s possible when you combine user-friendly design and technology. It’s a call to take a bite out of life.

Siegel+Gale has recently done some work for CVS that I think re-envisions the health category. I’m also a big fan of the work we’ve done for the HPE element. The symbol itself is so simple and yet it’s visionary—it feels like something out of the future.

I admire Lyft’s brand for its simplicity, it’s iconic and approachable use of language and it’s bold and dynamic choice of color. Lyft’s brand is such a great example of a brand that wasn’t just born out of millennial values but also visually captures the culture of a generation that is all about sharing and bending gender norms.

And the Google Assistant logo is fun and playful and challenges conventional stereotypes of AI. We’re going to see a whole lot more focus on building actual personalities for the various AI to make them more relatable, engaging and, dare I say it, human.

DR: You’ve won some incredible design awards. What advice do you have for creating an effective campaign or design that is also beautiful and cutting-edge?

LB: Dive deep to understand the business strategy and ask lots of questions at the outset of an assignment so you can create a simple idea. Then understand the context, space and how it relates to cultural references—past, present or future—to make it powerful and relatable. Then develop something disruptive that takes that simple idea and magnifies it.

What advice do you have for creating a brand identity that is creative and effective at capturing consumers at the same time? What things should designers and/or businesses keep an eye out for in order to achieve both?

On the organizational side, get everyone “in the same boat” and agree on what you’re trying to do at the get-go so everyone’s clear on what the goals are.

Then, do something with humor or humanity. Personality will always stand out and speak to people with more resonance than something that’s completely abstract. It’s a balancing act between delivering on the scope of work and winning the hearts and minds of people.

DR: What advice do you have for clients who are hoping to hire an agency for a design project? What questions do you wish they would ask or information you wish they would provide to make the process easier?

LB: It often helps when clients share not just their marketing challenges but their business challenges, too. This enables us to address the bigger picture and get brand aligned with the business strategy which ultimately impacts the creative expression. In many situations, what we need to do goes beyond the initial scope of work.

Logistically when partnering with an agency, ensure you have alignment organizationally with leadership engaged at the beginning. Clients need to embrace collaboration internally. Brand lives across the organization—well beyond the marketing organization—that old model limits the ability of the organization to reach its full potential. Today’s best brands are firing on all cylinders with the brand being expressed through user experience, through user interface design, it’s helping to redefine how people work and how human resource department engage with their workforce.

Teams need to work in tandem. We should be collaborating on how to address problems, not working in silos. Staying organized and communicating openly allows organizations to innovate faster.

DR: Any final thoughts, comments or words of wisdom?

LB: I keep coming back to this: keep an open mind. This always leads me to fresher, unexpected creations.

Lloyd Blander is creative director at Siegel+Gale.  

The post Q&A: Lloyd Blander on design inspiration and motivation appeared first on Siegel+Gale: Brand Consulting, Experience, Strategy, and Design.

Grand Visual Kicks-Off an Augmented Reality Football Experience for Coca-Cola

Today, Grand Visual has launched a unique, large-format Augmented Reality experience at Zürich’s main train station for Coca-Cola. The campaign celebrates the soft drink brands continued support of football and gives lucky football fans the chance to experience firsthand, what it’s like to play alongside Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri on Friday, 15th and 22nd June.

Coca-Cola AR

Participants are treated to a show of skill from Shaqiri and are invited to get involved and play a few shots against the Swiss star. At the end of the experience, the user is prompted to take a photo moment with Shaqiri, with the option to enter their details to receive a copy of the photo and a chance to win a FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball.

The campaign was created by Top-Spot and market leading DOOH creative services firm Grand Visual, who also directed and built the bespoke creative technology set-up. Project initiation and promotion consultancy were performed by GroupM Out of Home. Media planning and buying was by Top-Spot and Mediacom. Anthem provided video assets and delivered a social sharing App to further engage audiences on-the-go.

Coca-Cola AR

Robert Percze, Senior Brand Manager, Coca-Cola Switzerland said:

“Coca-Cola Switzerland is pleased to offer a new type of experience for football fans. It’s the perfect way to get people into a perfect football mood right at the beginning of the FIFA World Cup 2018.”

Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Technology Director, Grand Visual said:

“It is great to be working with Cola-Cola again on a project that taps into the most coveted cultural event of the year. The appetite to innovate and collaborate, right from the start, has made the delivery of this project seamless. Clever use of technology has produced a memorable experience that participants can share online with family and friends.”

The post Grand Visual Kicks-Off an Augmented Reality Football Experience for Coca-Cola appeared first on Grand Visual.

The latest 2018 paid search benchmarks

Mobile vs Desktop average CTR

Knowing what device your potential audience is using for their search query is important. you need to make sure your desired landing pages are optimized for mobile use (not that it shouldn’t be anyway), but if you’re paying for a user’s click you want to be getting their conversion too. Mobile CTR was far higher in Q4 2017 than desktop averaging 10% CTR.

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Read full article here. 

The military has been drinking toxic water, and the White House tried to hide it

Government officials tried to delay the release of a disturbing report on toxic substances.

A month ago, Politico reported on a federal study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that the White House and EPA head Scott Pruitt tried to suppress. The study looked into nationwide water contamination–and government officials feared its release would set off a “public relations nightmare.”

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Retailers can’t out-Amazon Amazon, but they can change the rules

One marketer and privacy expert says consumer brands should double down on customer service, not Amazon-esque data tracking, to differentiate themselves.

I work in marketing, which means I’m always trying to sell you something. It’s a tough business, made even more so by the fact that people react negatively to persuasion. Worse yet, for many consumer brands and retailers, “marketing” entails various forms of data tracking, another practice that (if we’ve learned anything from Facebook’s recent travails) isn’t exactly popular among ordinary consumers.

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