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Innovate UK competition winners' communications toolkit

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Competition winners' communications toolkit

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Innovate UK competition winners' communications toolkit

  1. 1. Competition winners' communications toolkit 1 Competition Winners'Communications & Media Toolkit Introduction Congratulations!Your project has reached the stage where it has been awarded funding fromInnovateUK. InnovateUK is all about helping innovative ideas to flourish, and effective business communications is a vital part of any enterprise’s path to growth. That is why we encourageyou wholeheartedly to take a proactiveapproach to communications. To help out, we’ve put together this Competition Winners’ Communications & Media Toolkit. It’s intended to help you, no matter how big or small the projector your PR knowledgeis. The toolkit covers: 1. Announcement checklist 2. Your story – in-housePR 3. Social media and InnovateUK 4. Appendices a. PR agencies b. InnovateUK descriptors c. Disclaimer Even if you are a communications expert, we hope that you will find parts of the toolkit useful. We would greatly appreciate your feedback so that we can continuously improvethe supportweoffer, sharebest practice and success stories.
  2. 2. Competition winners' communications toolkit 2 Announcement checklist So you are ready to makeyour announcement. What next? i. Let us know, get in touch Firstly, let us know whatyou plan to do. Shareyour final press release to pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk or callus on 07766 901 150. If wearedoing our own communication activity relevant to your projectwe will let you know. By being co- ordinated we can bestamplify all our communication, so let’s keep in touch. ii. Approval? We are not here to vet or to approveyour announcement; we are here to help if you need it. We positively encourageyou to publicise your projectand wish you every success. Many of the companies we fund find that they get stronger traction in the media or can appear more credible to potential customers, partners or other investors if they can demonstrate their supportfrom InnovateUK. So let Innovate UK be part of the story you tell too. This toolkit shows you how you can do this. iii. Government ministerial support Sometimes governmentministers may wantto make an announcementin which your projectfeatures. If this happens we will let you know and to make sureyour announcement is co-ordinated with governmentto get maximum impact. If you are the lead partner of a consortium, please ensurethat all of the partners in your projectare aware of this approach to media activity. iv. How todescribe the support fromInnovate UK When you mention InnovateUK in your announcement please spell it out in full. We like to be described as ‘Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency’. Here’s our full description weuseon our press releases that you’rewelcome to usetoo:
  3. 3. Competition winners' communications toolkit 3 Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connectbusinesses to the partners, customersand investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successfulproductsand servicesand business growth. We fund business and research collaborationsto accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses acrossall economic sectors, value chainsand UK regions. Innovate UK is partof UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org Also, as a way of linking us to your work weencourage you to consider detailing why InnovateUK funding and supportwill make a difference to your work going forward, perhaps through a quote fromyour spokesperson. Itis vital the funding figures are accurate and wherefunding is split between InnovateUK and businesses within a project(for example, as part of our collaborative R&D programme), please usethe wording such as - “co-fundedby the UK’s innovationagency, Innovate UK”. If your projectis being undertaken by a consortium, makethis clear too. Get approvalfromthe lead partner of the consortium or, if you are the lead partner, ensurethat the other partners are happy. Funding fromInnovateUK comes in various forms, so wehave prepared descriptions of each of them for you use – they can be found in the Appendices. v. Quote request for your press release As you can appreciate, we run severalcompetitions and fund a lot of companies, so we receive a lot of requests for quotes. We don’t havethe capacity to offer quotes on an individual basis to competition winners. However, pleasecheck when contacting us in the first instance as we may have written and shared our own news
  4. 4. Competition winners' communications toolkit 4 story abouta specific competition result and be able to providean agreed quote related to that. vi. Think about who you want to tell about your story When you come to publicising your project, think about who might want to know about your success as this will help you target your communications effectively. This could rangefrom other figures in your industry, an industry body you’rea member of, members of the local community to potential customers and investors or multi- nationals. The media is a great way to reach large and diverseaudiences, but you can also try a more direct approach. For example, we’re often told by MPs and other elected representatives that they are very keen to hear about companies and projects in their areas that have been funded by InnovateUK. So why not drop them a line and tell them about your success atthe sametime you’recontacting journalists – they may even wantto provideyou with a supportivequote for your press release or visit you. You can find contact details for all your local representatives here: https://www.writetothem.com/ vii. Innovate UK brand and logoguidelines Although our logo is not needed on your press release, weencourage you to use it on other stakeholder publicity material. The ‘Funded by InnovateUK’ logo pack can be downloaded from Dropbox here www.dropbox.com/s/vc1knzn9euz3h2x/Funded%20by%20Innovate%20UK%20logo %20pack%202018.zip?dl=0 and should be used for the following purposes:  To highlight funded projects on your website  In promotionalliterature for your products such as posters, event banners and brochures  On vehicles (whereappropriate)
  5. 5. Competition winners' communications toolkit 5 For guidance on positioning please contact the InnovateUK brand guardian: Vanessa.gardner@innovateuk.gov.uk  To ensurelegibility of the logo it should never be smaller than 20mm  The recommended maximum width of the logo is three fifths of the document width Your story – in-house PR In-housePRcan be much more cost-effective. You do not have to spend the time educating an external agency all about your projectand by doing your own PR, you have an even greater stakein its success. Even in a communication world transformed by socialmedia the role of crafting an effective press release is the foundation of effective public relations. You have to put yourself in the place of a journalist. As this guide https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jul/14/how-to-write- press-releasesuggests, ask yourself thesequestions: 1. Is there anything 'new' in my story? 2. Is there anything unusualor unexpected aboutit? 3. Would this be of interest to anyoneoutside my business? 4. Will anyoneactually care? Then you mustcarefully structureyour press release. Startwith the mostimportant information. The introduction should address the who, what, why, when and how of your project. Leave the least important information at the end of the release. This is known as the inverted pyramid structure. The part of the press releaseyou should spend the most amount of your time getting right is your quote. Journalists like to put a name and a face to a story, so the language you use in the quote is crucial, as this often is the only thing they will use.
  6. 6. Competition winners' communications toolkit 6 Do not wasteopportunities by using phrases such as “We are delighted...”, or “I am pleased…', becauseas question 4 (above) asks: Will anyoneactually care? Use your quote to state the tangible benefits of your project, such as: How it saves money, how it is good for the environment, how it creates new jobs. Essentially, anything that is positiveand new. Do not neglect the power of images. You are much more likely to secure great coverageif you havecompelling visuals. Business pages arefull of pictures of middle-aged white men in suits, so try to find something that will stand out. If your projectis at a conceptual stage, investing in computer generated imagery or other concept artwork may well be cost-effective. Finally, do not forgetthe basics. Makesureyour press release is dated. State clearly whether there is any embargo. Ensure there are full contact details (phone, email, social media links etc.). Now you need to get your press release to its audience. Firstly make surethat the news section on your websiteis clearly sign-posted. To drive people to your news there are various things you can do. We will address socialmedia later in this guide, but an email distribution list is still an effective channel. Identifying your audience may take a lot of Googling or picking the brains of people you trust with the right knowledge. If you have the budget you may wish to invest in using a media database. There are many on the marketand you will need to investigate which is going to meet your needs cost-effectively. A Google search brings up many competing prod Social media and Innovate UK The way that individuals and organisations communicatehas been transformed by social media in a fantastically shortspace of time. Not all social media channels are the same. A tweet can be very differentto a posting on LinkedIn. Not all social media channels may be right for every company so it is best to prioritise as you can’tbe everywhereand you can’t supportevery
  7. 7. Competition winners' communications toolkit 7 platform. Before choosing which social media channels you may wish to engage with – and bear in mind engaging often means starting a conversation, not just broadcasting – ask yourself these questions?: 1. Who is your audience? 2. What is your message? 3. What value is there to your audience in your post? 4. What tone of voice is right? When you are ready to go, don’t forgetto say hi to InnovateUK by using @innovateuk in your tweets. We’ll say hi back so you know you’reup and running! Appendices a) PR agencies One way of potentially maximising publicity for your project is to engage a PR agency. They have expertise in getting companies’ messages through to the media. That expertise comes fromexperience with dealing with many clients and having frequent contact with journalists, leading to a thorough understanding of the media and its myriad outlets. The most important factor in any PR agency's success with you, the client, is a great relationship based on trustand a thorough understanding of your business. Itcan be a big – and potentially expensive – step to employ a PR agency, so ask for recommendations frompeople you trustand look for testimonials. A good starting point for you is the trade association for public relations agencies in the UK, the PRCA. http://www.prca.org.uk/membership/directory Appendices b) Innovate UK descriptors Standard Innovate UK description:
  8. 8. Competition winners' communications toolkit 8 InnovateUK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors thatcan help them turn ideas into commercially successfulproducts and services and business growth. We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investmentinto R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, valuechains and UK regions. InnovateUK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org Programme-specific descriptions: Catapults: Catapult centres are overseen by InnovateUK and are places where the best of the UK’s innovative businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation. Focusing on areas with great market potential, Catapults open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future. For moreinformation, please visit www.catapult.org.uk Industrial Strategy ChallengeFund: The IndustrialStrategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. The fund was created to provide funding and supportto UK businesses and researchers, partof the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. Itwas designed to ensurethat research and innovation takes centre stagein the Government’s IndustrialStrategy and is run by InnovateUK and the Research Councils on behalf of UK Research and Innovation. SBRI: The SBRI programmeuses the power of governmentprocurement to drive innovation. Itprovides opportunities for innovativecompanies to engage with the public sector and gain contracts to solvespecific problems. Competitions for new technologies and ideas are run on specific topics and aim to engage a broad range of organisations. SBRI enables the public sector to engage with industry during the
  9. 9. Competition winners' communications toolkit 9 early stages of development, supporting projects through thestages of feasibility and prototyping. https://www.gov.uk/innovation-apply-for-a-funding-award#find- an-innovation-funding-programme Knowledge Transfer Partnerships(KTPs): KTPs or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships http://ktp.innovateuk.org is Europe's leading programmehelping businesses to improvetheir competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance. The UK- wide programmeis overseen by InnovateUK, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations. Missions: InnovateUK supports key events known as entrepreneur ‘missions'run in partnership with UK Trade and Investment. Missionsinvolvethepick of innovative and often early-stageUK companies in InnovateUK priority areas or themes including digital, healthcare or clean technology travelling to countries strong in innovation and enterprise, such as the US, China and Brazil. While there the companies have the opportunity to make new connections and meet potential investors, suppliers and customers and grow their business internationally. https://www.gov.uk/innovation-get-support-and-advice c) Disclaimer InnovateUK does not endorseany of the products, services or companies mentioned in this guide. Itmentions sources of information that you may or may not chooseto investigate. InnovateUK does not take any legal responsibility for any courseof action competition winners may chooseto take.
  10. 10. Competition winners' communications toolkit 10

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