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#PRFest 2017
E-book
The second #PRFest took place at Whitespace in Edinburgh, 15-16 June,
2017 and once again saw 120 senior PR practitioners come together to
learn, share and collaborate.
Professional development and practical learning is the focus of the
festival, so practitioners can take away and immediately implement their
learnings.
This year we saw more practitioners come from outside Scotland and
there was a great mix of in-house, agency and independent practitioners
from a wide variety of sectors.
I'd like to thank main sponsor, PRCA,
venue partner, Whitespace, the
students who helped at #PRFest,
Hannah, Sophie, Karen and
Jasmine, and I'd like to thank
everyone who came and who
continues to support the festival.
#PRFest is about building a community where practitioners feel
comfortable and encouraged to participate throughout. It will keep
developing...with your input.
This e-book is a summary of what was presented and discussed over the
two days.
LauraSutherlandChart.PRFCIPR
ChiefatAuraandFounderof#PRFest
Introduction
Laura Sutherland, #PRFest Founder and Chief at Aura, welcomed attendees to the second PR
festival and thanked sponsors PRCA, venue partner Whitespace, PR students, Hannah, Karen,
Jasmine and Sophie and went on to reveal the findings of the pre-event questionnaire.
Pre-event survey results: # 1 No.1 priority for learning this year -
- Measurement & evaluation
- Social / digital
- Planning and insights
- Crisis comms
- SEO
- Business development
- Business management
Sutherland talked about the importance of measurement and evaluation, as it’s the single biggest
way we can demonstrate a return of investment to clients and demonstrate the impact our work has
made.
Noting a new priority to the list, business development and business management. As public
relations advances and as we relate our work to business objectives, we see the need to learn more
about business. To develop our own and that of our clients.
#2 Biggest thing for PR to succeed at integrating within biz/org:
- Maintain credibility
- Demonstrate then prove value / ROI
- Present on boards
- Become essential
- Educate ‘business’
- Lead the way with essential skills
- Demonstrate leadership
- Work collaboratively
- As fully involved, as early as possible
- Make resources available for businesses to constantly keep learning about PR
Sutherland said we couldn’t disagree with any of these points. It all links back to public relations
asserting its value to businesses and organisations, no matter what role we have.
These two questions and their answers really highlighted how the programme had been
developed.
It was also a day for an announcement as
Sutherland went on to launch a new
collective of independent PR practitioners
in Scotland, the Scottish PR Collective.
The collective, also an initiative by Laura,
has developed a website which makes it
easier than ever to choose the perfect PR
partner by searching for the desired skills
or areas of work. With the rising demand
of an independent practitioner and with
top quality practitioners in Scotland, this is
the first step of turning the agency on its
head and pushing for a partnership and
direct-working approach.
#1 A Whistle-Stop Tour of Influencer Relations by Andy Barr, 10 Yetis
#PRFest 2017 kicked off proceedings with an engaging and insightful glimpse into influencer
relations courtesy of 10 Yetis’ founder Andy Barr. Immediately establishing his charismatic
presenting through fun and high-energy interaction, with some highly entertaining results!
Now, let’s get stuck into the PR conversation. An overload of stats is available to us everywhere,
which only equates to one thing… plenty of noise about influencer marketing! The main focus of
today’s discussion however was Instagram. Why? Instagram are many clients top priority at the
moment, with 87% of 300 influencers targeting Instagram according to Hashoff Survey.
Step One
What can we all do to incorporate influencer relations successfully into future PR strategies? Here
marks the importance of clarifying expectations with the client at the start, also the question of
ownership and most significant of all, the need for a senior level buy-in at director level. The key
question to ask yourselves is what you are trying to achieve with your campaign, be that links,
direct sales or profile increases – it all affects who will be the right influencers for your client.
Step Two
Next stop, idea finding – use ‘BuzzSumo’ as an important analytical tool (more of this to follow from
Day 2 talks), which is a handy content discovery tool. But you need to carefully ask whose content
is it? Returning back to the question of ownership makes it clear you must establish whose
content it is you will be sharing. Will it be your own (riskier) or your influencer’s content?
Step Three
Professionals must get to grips with goal tracking, a
simple fix when utilising Google analytics, but there is
also Bit.ly and UTM Tracking alternatives for a bit of
tracking variety. Final stop is finding those influencers.
It’s time to get tech savvy and utilise those apps readily
at your disposal. Tribe, a tracking app, indicates more
accurately the amount your influencers should be
paid – although there is no right answer for this.
10 YETIS’ TOP TIP : Get these two handy phrases
ready “Emerging” and “Micro Influencer”
Confused? Read on for Andy’s fun explanation…
How to avoid Fake Influencer Marketing
Cut out the BS. There we said it, well Andy did. Using sites such as Status People helps to spot
those influencer fakers by checking accurate social media engagement data to see who’s fake
and who’s not. Keep an eye out for red flags, including engagement rates and a subset of
account followers. Admittedly, on Instagram this is harder to spot. Note: average engagement
rates (comments + Likes / no. of followers) are between 2-6%.
At this point a quick game of higher or lower revealed certain celebrity or high profile accounts
actually constituted lower engagement rates than less high-profile figures. This is where micro-
influencers come into play, by creating stronger engagement rates than those occupying bigger
follower bases. Using micro-influencers also means it’s easier to own the process and enables
cooler brands to gift rather than pay for posts.
Utilise your existing PR skills
Be clear about what you want regarding X posts or X tweets, make sure these key objectives are
ironed out clearly in the contract. PR people are the best for influencer outreach, but just
remember persistence is key (despite potential illusiveness) – so be sure to maintain those
influencer relationships months in advance, just like your ever-evolving media relationships.
Share your results with your influences, keep in touch, then ‘rinse and repeat’.
#2 Diversity in Public Relations
The diversity panel, put together by Taylor Bennett Foundation and Chaired by Sarah Hall,
discussed and made the business case for diversity and inclusion in the PR industry.
Women in PR
Mary Whenman, President of Women in PR, has dedicated much of time over the last two years
creating a successful networking organisation for senior PR women. The aim to increase female
presence at boardroom levels, close the gender pay gap (latest figures state a shocking 9k
difference) and encourage flexible working hours, led to a thought-provoking panel discussion.
A current unconscious bias exists surrounding these issues and panel members highlighted the
necessity to move the conversation on from these issues.
Race & Gender in PR
Ariatu PR’s Ronke Lawal was also on the panel to
share her race and gender experiences. Her
motivational input emphasised wanting to set your
own goals and your own glass ceiling in the face
of such diversity issues. Young people are looking
for familiar faces everywhere and it is important to
ensure the PR industry steps up in this critical area.
Also joined by panelist Anne Groves, a key member of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, where the
great work of the foundation for BAME graduates is strongly advocated. For those unaware of
their great work, the aim of TBF is to help graduates enter the industry, develop career skills and
ultimately change the face of the PR industry, as we know it.
LGBT in PR
PRCA LGBT group Chair, Ethan Spibey, revealed some powerful and shocking statistics. 1 in 4 of
PR employees experience bullying, whilst transgender employee experiences are exponentially
worse.
However, we loved the positivity from Spibey, who made it clear that inclusion and diversity are
opportunities to retain and attract the best talent within and to our industry. After all, it’s up to us to
promote ourselves a bit better and turn this into an opportunity to also influence our clients.
#3 Influencer Campaign Workflow
IOur final session of the morning was led by Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement
Officer at Ketchum, who created a real sense of audience engagement and collaboration by
encouraging shared experiences to create the ultimate ‘Post-It Note workflow’ for campaigns.
Stephen proceeded to focus on one topical theme in particular – influencer relations, following on
nicely from Andy’s presentation earlier in the morning.
Influencer Relations and Engaging Communities
Where can influencer relations be used to engage
communities? Great question. The answers came
flooding in from attendees, including brand,
newsletter databases, local authority planning
permission, wider political campaigns, healthcare,
fundraising and internal communications. Basically,
anywhere that engages activism.
Anne Groves from Taylor Bennett Foundation cited a £50,000 fundraising campaign as one of her
immediate projects, so we worked together to create a workflow which Anne could follow and
action.
How do you plan a campaign?
Begin by looking at customer journeys, by using tools to create a search and select process within
communities. Quick examples of network mapping tools include social media Tracker, Netbase and
Brandwatch.
Finally, find the objective – do so by breaking down public engagement into various constituencies
such as universities, progressive corporates, philanthropists and agency heads. Note: a series of
niche campaigns will work more effectively with different constituencies.
How do I get your attention?
Video content dominated audience responses to this question. The aim: to make the consumer feel
part of the journey and connected in some way. Make your content bold and vibrant by utilising
images, design and graphics, whilst also ensuring consistency. The message here was loud and
clear; make your content drive your audience enough to care and ultimately donate.
Remember: There must be a value exchange during any influencer campaign.
Stephen Waddington will do a follow-up blog with more detail on the workflow. He’s also a call
scheduled with Taylor Bennett Foundation CEO, Sarah Stimson, later this week to discuss the
potential to activate the campaign brainstormed during the session.
#4 Keeping CSR simple
Nick Jones, former No.10 Digital Director and Visa Europe, now HS2, stepped up to share his
experiences and best practice (and some interesting cat memes), to begin Day 1’s afternoon
session on CSR. Corporate social responsibility is about doing the right thing the right way, and now
is the right time to begin engaging with a new generation of communities.
How does PR do the right thing?
…by encouraging CSR. There are plenty of hard and soft options available, but practitioners have
the ability to cut through the noise and create thought-provoking content. Post the truth by putting
an emotional response above a logical one, with the Grenfell Tower fire a clear-cut example of how
critical (and potentially damaging) political responses can be. So, be aware to strike the right
balance between the emotional and logical responses of CSR.
Influencing the influencers
We have to learn to flex, express things in a slightly different tone and become more circular with
feedback to gain opinions and concerns. Hard CSR is what investors ask about and is one major
factor that can drive shareholder activism. Always try to tie this back to the bottom line, by aligning
your CSR model to meet social needs. The purpose of CSR is the why and public relations provides
the means by which to bring this to life. Could you help someone find that purpose?
How can we keep the noise down?
It’s all about listening. The more you listen, the more
powerful the impact of explanations and positive
responses. To achieve this, we should focus on educating
and informing clients on the benefits of reaching their CSR
goals. Building trust is vital, given the current climate for
‘Fake News,’ with Edelman’s Trust Barometer proving a
useful measuring tool to decipher this contestable area.
It’s our job to defend our clients, whilst simultaneously
aiming to persuade businesses to step up.
#5 Big Crisis Comms Questions on Cyber Security
Add a touch of humour to a thick Glaswegian accent
and you have the perfect recipe for a crisis
communications chat on cyber security and PR
courtesy of PwC’s Craig McGill.
Cyber is quite simply an issue everywhere. This can
rank from annoying reputational issues on hacked
social media accounts to a client’s worst nightmare of
a corporate or financial security breach. 65% of large
firms detected a cyber breach or attack in the past
year, suggesting low-level security attempts are a
threat to most businesses.
Who is to blame?
Craig was quick to blame Chris Hemsworth for the increase, mainly due to his role as a cyber
hacker in American action thriller Blackhat (2015). But, joking aside, multiple people with multiple
reasons are the unfortunate reality of this paramount cyber issue.
What can we do?
The best we can do is ensure multiple systems are in place to try and deter hackers, and ultimately
be ready to react when, rather than if, a breach occurs. It is better to be prepared and it never
happens, than the other perilous alternative! Internal Communications is also a key issue, as cyber
attacks are not just restricted to external hackers. Insiders remain the biggest security threat of all,
with the top percentage of incidents found to stem from miscellaneous staff errors.
Who you gonna call?
Who do you call and who makes that call? Knowing who does what and when are important
considerations. Maintaining one story and one narrative will mean people turn elsewhere for news
and information, so establishing trust by informing the bigger picture proactively will be better as
updates come directly from you. The best way to restore reputation is by being transparent.
How do you prioritise communication?
There is a continual need to balance who is a contact priority and how exactly they should be
contacted. Multiple methods such as Facebook, official statements, email, Slack and video are
options to PRs. Remember in a crisis, it’s a Comms time to shine when you can do what you need
to do to keep staff happy and customers informed. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
is on its way and is built around these 3 pillars: 1) transparency framework, 2) compliance journey
and 3) punishment regime. So during your final checklist, make sure a fundamental basic Comms
plan is in place with these areas covered.
#6 Broadcasting and PR
STV plc’s Paul Hughes delivered a slice of local
interest as well as providing insight into the future
of media PR during his television chat.
Reinventing the wheel
He recounted the story of STV 2 beginning with
the arrival of STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh.
Then the addition of licences for Aberdeen, Dundee and Ayr to make up a 5 licence channel across
Scotland. It’s Scotland’s newest TV channel that primarily focuses on local stories that viewers can’t
get anywhere else on television.
Great local appetite
After a predictable teething period the channel became known for developing people and ideas as
well as experimenting and taking risks that aren’t possible on the main networks. The result is a
channel that has core local programming at its heart based around STV New Tonight, Live at Five,
Peter and Roughie and the Late Show as well as a host of popular dramas. The channel also covers a
number of Scottish events including a month of daily programmes around the Edinburgh Festival and
the U17s Glasgow Cup final that drew an audience of over 200k viewers.
Myth busting
Television is often regarded as difficult to access by PRs in the UK because traditionally there has been
little in the way of local broadcasting while the opposite is true in the US where local TV is often the
primary goal. In the UK there is also a PR focus on news. Now Scotland has a channel that not only
has more news but also significant non-news, feature programmes as an alternative platform the PR
industry is increasingly engaging with.
STV predictions
Hughes said there is already some evidence that the marketing and PR industry are re-assessing the
balance between digital and broadcast in terms of credibility, engagement and effectiveness. Three
quarters of Scots said television influenced their decision making in the recent elections. He predicted
a noticeable global sway back towards curated, reliable media. Also, that linear TV viewing remains
strong. This, he argued, presents an opportunity to forward-thinking PRs.
#7 PR Management Today
Through the fiercely fabulous delivery of Sarah Hall, MD of Sarah Hall Consulting, #FuturePRoof
founder and CIPR President-Elect, we once again looked at PR as a management discipline and
how this is a real industry opportunity.
During her presentation, Hall built on last year’s deck and referred to the Global Alliance
Competency Framework, which she urged practitioners to benchmark themselves against. It is a
key mission of the Global Alliance to find the standards that unite us while identifying the diversity
among the many ways in which public relations and communication management are practised.
Through this mission, the members of the Global Alliance hope to jointly raise the standards and to
globalize our profession.
Blurred Lines
Hall suggests the blurring of marketing disciplines is positive for the public relations industry as it
creates new opportunities. However to unlock these opportunities, we have to be able to operate
strategically and command the attention of the Board. By approaching PR as a management
discipline, this changes our approach to CPD, and in turn how we approach the C-Suite.
PRs have to educate employers that we are not just a delivery function but the eyes, ears and
conscience of an organisation with the insight to help plan for the future and ability to instigate
positive change. PR delivers incredible value against organisational objectives when deployed
effectively. For that reason, we deserve more respect and increased investment into our services.
Essential function
With many changes in politics, society, media and tech
today, this all has a knock-on effect on how businesses
and industries operate. Management teams are looking to
PR practitioners to help them navigate through this
uncertainty and period of upheaval. Practitioners with
business management and financial skills as well as
tactical proficiency are well placed to capitalise – indeed
many are already.
People also expect more for their brand loyalty during times of upheaval and austerity. PR is the
discipline that manages reputation and builds longterm relationships so is the obvious choice to
turn to. Consider the lifetime value of a customer, which is what PR offers, versus a one off sales
hit. If you were a brand, which would you choose? We have got to speak up in order to be heard.
What is your Legacy?
Reputation is a fragile thing, taking years to grow and a matter of minutes to destroy. Organisations
MUST be able to respond in an agile and responsive manner to issues and truly live their values.
Company with a gap between what they say and do will be called out and judged against it. PR
advisers should make it part of their role to ensure their management teams do the right thing.
History is watching, so what will you make your legacy?
Call to Action
The role of any organisation shouldn’t just revolve around money making and profits – brands
should also add organisational and societal value, especially when times are hard.
PR professionals can and do set the strategic direction where deployed properly by those at the top
of their game. The management demand is there; forward-thinking and engaged organisations
already look to their comms people to help them maintain their legitimacy within society. Many also
ensure all the other marketing functions answer to the public relations department.
So be honest, benchmarking yourself against the Global Alliance framework, can you really call
yourself a strategic advisor? If not, what are you waiting for – go upskill!
#8 PR Stunts or Stunted? by Rich Leigh, Founder of Radioactive PR
We rounded up Day 1 of #PRFest reminiscing over a flurry of highly successful, if somewhat
controversial, PR campaigns, with Rich Leigh out to prove stunts are definitely not a thing of the past.
A True PR Stuntman
Leigh made it clear that stunts are just part of the enjoyment of PR and sometimes we forget how
fun it really is because they “get a really, really bad rep.” The term PR stunt, according to Leigh, as
been co-opted, stripped apart from his interpretation of the term.
Reasons for past failures
Lack of measurability; of course we can measure our successes via Google goals and other
methods. We also can’t dispute the figures when a sharp increase in donations occurs directly
following a campaign.
Not being serious: videos on serious topics can still have the desired impact, it’s just a matter of
developing a creative idea that can be validated to make a difference.
Not good value for money: direct sales can be measured from well-aimed or controversial
campaigns. Never underestimate their perfect headline grabbing potential.
Good Stunts & Common Themes
All good PR stunts have a few things in common.
Usually they are explainable in a sentence, clearly
relate to the product or service, offer visual content
and address clear and measurable objectives. By
reaching your intended audience and provoking a
reaction, this simultaneously answers the client brief
whilst inspiring thought, shock, debate or
entertainment value.
Dos and Don’ts of Stunt Ideas
Do think creatively. This applies to be both reactive and seasonal stunts, as well as longer
campaigns (perhaps seeking to engage then re-engage an audience). Do not shoehorn a good
idea and/or make the mistake of rushing to use a new medium or technology. Neither should you
mistake headlines and re-tweets for success, because outside of PR, who really knows or cares?
The final ‘don’t’ of the day is awards do not a happy client make, for they don’t always guarantee
returns.
#9 Dispelling Integrated Comms Mythology by John Brown, Group Head of Engagement,
Hotwire
Let the fun and games commence on Day 2 of PRFest 2017, with John Brown first up. Mr. ‘Use Your
Common Sense When Doing Integrated Comms’ – John dispels the myths surrounding integrated
comms. See John’s slides here (although they won’t make much sense without the narrative below!)
An Early Disclaimer
Brown has a low tolerance for BS, not to mention made up words and concepts. The term ‘Integrated
Comms’ (IC) is the latest PR buzzword, and honestly, no one really knows what it is or whether they
are doing it properly. IC is just a whole load of hearsay.
Myth 1 – Media Relations is bad
Media relations can’t be bad in itself. In fact, it can be a tasteful and extraordinary way to achieve fast
results. This is a priority area and should be used well as it’s absolutely a measurable outcome. When
used well, it’s actually pretty damn good.
However, there is a darker side to media relations. The problem lies in it being a tactic rather than a
strategy. So when entering the planning stage, do so with an open and empty mind, so as to avoid
the pitfalls of pre-prescribing an answer we don’t yet know the question to.
Myth 2 – Digital is good
We are living in an era where digital comms is taking
a bit of a battering. 42% of people want to see face-
to-face events or live interactions when asked about
what experiences they look for in content.
A human-to-human first approach is therefore
fundamental. We should be looking to mimic a
human experience to connect us in real human
terms. Digital can be good, but face-to-face will
always trump other forms of communication.
Myth 3 – Everything has to lead to an action
It can build up and up but we don’t always need to agonize about the audience. This trail of thought is
more of a barrier or hindrance when believing that every step must lead to an action.
The Lego Movie in 2014 is a winning example of putting entertaining people first. By spending $50
million entertaining people, they generated $4.9 billion worth of sales. Since this success, building
trust and loyalty by entertaining first has become a leading mantra in their company philosophy.
Myth 4 – We must take our audience on a journey
These journeys do not have to be long. Why create a long-winded marketing journey when a really
short A to B is the best strategy? As long as there is real purpose behind it, there really is no need. By
shortening an audience’s journey, you are giving yourself more time to be impactful and smarter.
Myth 5 – Using paid is cheating
It’s wicked, but why?
If a person takes a brand name or maybe even a product, what are they going to do to find out more?
Google it. In this case, PPC and paid advertising then really becomes effective and not a bad practice.
Myth 6 – It’s all about marketing
True integrated campaigns focus on integrating the company and working together. The
departments you bring in are just as important as those media channels used. Everything will work
seamlessly if this is achieved in harmony.
Myth 7 – Video is a must
To be clear, video is a superb media. However, there is a problem. Everyone has a video inside of
them and for some people that is where it should stay…
The three musts of video are insight, the idea and the execution, and there is a graveyard out there
littered with corporate videos that didn’t combine these crucial elements. Warning: Video is
expensive and damaging if you get it wrong.
Myth 8 – Everyone else is doing it
People are really not doing Integrated Comms that frequently. Fact.
Myth 9 – Twitter research rules
Don’t take one sample size from one platform. Go back to basics and utilise small focus groups
because it’s more important to go to a CFO with relevance and context provided by actual
consumers.
Social does not show real life and is biased towards a sample size. To combat this, this needs to be
complimented with context and quantitative research.
Myth 10 – Your message counts
Tone and personality are what people are buying from a brand or individual. The message can
come later. So you are better off spending time investing in identifying a personality, as that will help
gel a campaign together.
Myth 11 – Sensitive emotion is key
Be very careful here. Very few storytelling and brands can do this well.
Myth 12 – Plan, Plan, Plan
Getting your ethos and purpose right first will allow you to be agile and reactive, as well as proactive,
later. Don’t be afraid to allocate a small test budget first to get the ball rolling.
#10 Do you have a seat in the ’war room’?
Amanda Coleman, Head of Corporate
Communications at Greater Manchester Police,
was confirmed as a speaker at PRFest late last
year, to talk about crisis communications. Little
did we know what would happen in
Manchester on 22 May, just weeks prior to
PRFest.
We would like to offer our thanks and gratitude to Amanda Coleman, who a) used the attacks as an
example in her presentation, expertly discussing scenarios, planning, what her team were doing in
the midst of a national atrocity and b) most importantly, all of the ‘human’ elements of being in and
dealing with a major crisis situation, including the way it affected her, personally.
Amanda dealt with the sensitive and emotive nature of the topics discussed with poise and dignity
and PRFest thanks her for taking the time to re-write her presentation so it was bang up-to-date and
for using one of her only days off to come to PRFest and tell us her story.
Due to the nature of the event we have not added Amanda’s presentation to our Slideshare and we
have left out sensitive information in the round-up blog post.
Raw emotional response
The past four weeks following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack have been “really odd” and
understandably so. They really illuminated why planning is so important, given the highly sensitive
nature of this event. It also highlighted that to combat such a crisis you really need to have the full
trust of the organisation. That way you will sit next to the key people in the ‘situation room’ in order to
give the right advice, help make the best decisions and to get things done quickly and effectively.
Amanda told us that her comms team pulled together, acted with integrity, compassion and
empathy and she was grateful she had them to work with.
Operational response
The sequences of events that follow an incident all occur within minutes.
Incident occurring > Informing the media > Updating the media
Alternatively, following a major incident, inaccurate or false claims can equally spread like ‘fake
news’ wildfire.
Comms response
There is a real need to understand the ‘mood’ because this heavily impacts on what you deliver or
release into the press and wider public domain. The ‘golden hour’ for communication responses
is now more like 30 minutes, proving speed is critical to coordinate agencies and implement team
plans.
Never underestimate the importance of correctly reacting to the community side – the human
side. We need to work harder to help those people who are impacted and living with the
consequences. The perspective post Manchester has shown communicators do not think about
them enough during a crisis.
Making families the priority and center of everything should be your main focus. We need to share
in a crisis, creating agendas that involve family aftercare plans. There is a real need to share our
learnings and this concept nationally, for all police forces to implement.
Role of the Media
Media engagement is vital as this helps set the narrative or tone of your crisis response.
Everybody has a view on everything nowadays, from citizen journalists to bloggers, so be aware
of immediate analysis and responses to your outputs.
International media have different roles and operate differently. You need to accept that rather
than controlling content, now it’s all about coordination.
Handling the Manchester Terror Attack
The Comms team responded by sending out their first tweet within 20 minutes of the incident.
This immediately recognised the issue, whilst serving to preserve and protect life by keeping
people away from the area.
The next step was to start their plan and investigation phase. Further family support was
implemented and Greater Manchester Police were on camera just four hours after the incident
took place.
There are so many teams and people to consider in a time of crisis, internally. Where are they? Is
anyone on holiday? Can any additional resource be brought in?
In times of crisis the comms team pulls together and works all the hours they need to ensure they
are handling and managing the situation.
Dealing with the Legacy
Comms will always be dealing with the legacy of this horrific terrorist attack, so we need to start
planning now.
Remember the key elements learnt here:
-Putting victims and their families at the center
- Honest and accuracy of information outputs
- Understanding the mood or tone
- Maintaining a regular flow of information
- PLAN AND PREPARE
**Cue standingovation**
#11 Trends, Challenges & Opportunities in Global PR
We were joined by the main sponsor of PRFest and PRCA Director General, Francis Ingham, to
conclude our morning session, for a data-driven treat on what challenges and opportunities the
global PR industry faces.
Follow the presentation slides on Slideshare.
The Bigger Picture
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation, (ICCO), has gathered detailed
survey information from 55 countries to establish global trends in conjunction with PR Week
magazine. They have been producing this magazine for over 15 years to track industry trends
across the globe.
The surveys highlighted where areas of industry optimism are highest in Western Europe,
compared to at their lowest in Africa and Latin America. Similarly, industry confidence in
profitability is strongest in North America and closely followed by the UK, whereas Latin America
is showing the least confidence levels.
Two Big Global Headlines
- The industry is optimistic.
- The industry is profitable.
What is driving growth?
CEOs are increasingly valuing corporate reputation, which pushes PR to the forefront of any
organisation. Also, marketing spend is moving over to PR agencies who are offering more non-
traditional services to clients. The expectation here is for these trends to continue to progress
positively in the future. There lies the opportunity.
What is growing?
Practice area growth in 2016:
- Digital and online
- Corporate reputation
- Marketing
- Public affairs/government relations
Identical growth in digital/online is forecasted for next year, whilst public affairs are predicted to
overtake marketing comms in practice area growth.
Tech and consumer came top in sector area growth in 2016, whilst next year’s predictions
suggest healthcare will overtake tech.
Industry Problems
In a growing and vibrant industry, densely populated with talented people, staff retention and
recruitment where the biggest recorded issues. Talent is a global issue and the key issue in the UK,
and if we don’t face up to it we will decrease the value of our industry.
Our To-Do List
Retain key talent
Find people from non-traditional backgrounds
Start hiring senior staff
Begin training and develop junior/mid-level employees
What are the skills of the future?
Clear trends point towards social media management skills, so follow our To-Do List to begin
plugging the existing gap in PR talent skillsets.
#12 SEO Home Truths for PR Practitioners
To jump-start our afternoon session, Threepipe’s Jim Hawker delivered some harsh but fair
comments that all PR professionals need to hear. The reality of SEO is that this is a $70 billion
opportunity that is simply too big to ignore.
What is driving SEO growth?
Given the higher frequency of search users and growing use of non-traditional search engines,
these are two major contributing factors to SEO importance. The biggest example of all is
Amazon, the king of online product searches.
Why aren’t PR Agencies in SEO?
Whilst 54% of PR agencies are claiming to offer SEO services, the reality is that PR people don’t
necessarily make good SEO generators. Instead, they are choosing to focus on other areas,
including investing in different growth strategies, opening regional/international offices and
valuing creativity over analytics.
SEO vs. PR Agencies
Established SEO agencies are gradually emerging into the PR world,
with the ability to offer something slightly different to traditional
agency services. Their focus on analytics and data insight enables a
technical understanding within SEO campaigns that PR agencies
appear to lack.
But wait, all is not lost. SEO agencies do not have the storytelling craft
or media relationships to forge link building in the same way as PRs.
Instead, PR agencies have been delivering accidental benefit for SEO
rather than deliberately by design.
SEO vs. PR Workers
The major differences between an SEO and a PR is predominantly data, with those in SEO happy
to be dealing with numbers and stats. Many US (and some London-based) agencies are springing
up and are purely focused on independent data analytics as providing the backdrop for media
transparency.
Content strategy and planning are assisted by SEO, making it easier to build search and insight
trends. This also helps to focus the budget in terms of content creation and learn what content
works well on client platforms. Brainstorms become more effective with more data driven insight
and trends can be more easily seen to develop. Ultimately these results allow for a more
commercially aligned strategy for clients.
What about In-House?
There is a limited degree of SEO engagement with those working in-house. But with SEO
agencies and PR agencies arguably competing for the same accounts, what does the view from
in-house PR look like?
The truth is, those working in-house need to be coordinating their efforts between the PR and
SEO teams. There needs to be more coordination and efficiency when driving content creation.
Making Space for SEO in PR
One small step for SEO, one giant leap for the PR world. We need to step up our SEO
engagement to incorporate it more fully into our industry. If you factor in the additional expense of
PPC and paid searches, then SEO can be seen as a more long term and cost-effective strategy.
#13 Working with and influencing the Board
Two award-winning senior PR practitioners take to the high stools to discuss how not every
boardroom experience needs to be as intense (or traumatic) as Lord Sugar’s. Sarah Pinch and
Bridget Aherne chose to interview each other in their session, bouncing off each other with
example experiences, feelings and some home truths about why boardroom experiences aren’t
always the best.
Influencing the Board
There are many “brilliant and challenging things” about being a senior person advising a board, as
you are playing a vital role as a communications professional in helping an organisation make the
right decisions.
Facts regarding the higher proportion of women in low end rather than higher end of the industry
echoed the importance of Mary Whenman’s advocacy of the need to increase industry diversity
at senior levels. (Hyperlink)
Some women already on boards don’t take kindly to new or younger women coming onto
boards. This needs to change. Equally, we need to know how to handle the situation.
Boardroom Surprises
People on boards are surprisingly not strategic! There are also differing degrees on professional
jealousy experienced by some, with Aherne advising that in this scenario you need to work on
yourself and ask others for support, build a strong network and don’t be afraid to ask for help, in
order to build your personal resilience. We need to move away from competitive point scoring by
creating a proper behavioral environment for the whole team, because a board is and should
operate as a team.
When the going gets tough…
Having a great relationship with your own team members is essential but there’s a fine line with
knowing them, showing them you care and ensuring you look after their health and well-being,
getting the best out of them and being their friend. One day you may have to discipline or even
dismiss them. If the lines are blurred then the response will likely be “but I thought we were
friends?”
How important are issues of titles?
There was a yes and no response to this question from
both women, with differing experiences depending on
the organisation. In some sectors, especially the public
sector, titles and whether you do sit on the board, is
indicative of seniority and that can be interpreted by
some, to be an indication of the scope of your
influence and authority. We heard a split response as
some jobs work well regardless of titles whilst others
are dependent on progressive organisations.
Advice to aspiring boardroom entrants
Do something else outside of work in a role such as school governor or charity trustee, because
having other board experiences running concurrently with your paid career will give you
experience to draw upon. Consider this additional experience and training of governance,
politics and dealing with different audiences.
Have a voice. Be heard. Your opinions, experiences and advice matter. If you’re not being heard,
then you need to find a way to be heard and the value of support from a strong network, to help
you, should never be underestimated.
What would you say to yourself?
- Listen first, don’t go in too fast too soon.
- Don’t confuse friendship with management. You’re not friends, you’re their boss.
- Get your armor together for tough meetings – whatever works for you.
- Allow people to speak, influence the culture of the board for the positive.
- Support women to have an amplified voice in the board room.
#14 Mental Health and Meaningful PR
Working as an independent digital consultant and being in PR for over 20 years, Paul Sutton discusses
how his depression started to affect his work and how he dealt with it.
Mental health in public relations is a serious issue and for someone to give firsthand experience is a
privilege for those who heard Paul at PRFest.
The Power of Blog Content
Sutton was first diagnosed with depression 13 years ago when the stress of a marriage breakdown
was exacerbated by the poor response from and treatment by his then employer. Some years later, he
bravely wrote a blog post focused on storytelling that revealed his depression to the world for the first
time. He received an amazing response with great feedback from people who could relate to him, be
that friends or complete strangers, and that gave him the confidence to talk more openly about it.
Current state of mental health in PR
In the CIPR’s 2016 state of the profession survey, 30% of PR practitioners classed themselves as
‘somewhat’ unhappy or not happy at all in their current jobs. 12% of those surveyed who changed
jobs had chosen to leave PR altogether, whilst 59% of practitioners have been diagnosed with or have
experienced some form of mental health issues.
When a third of UK staff persistently turns up to work ill and 57% of PR practitioners feel uncomfortable
talking about their mental health in the work place, this suggests there is still a stigma attached to
discussing what we might perceive to be a weakness, and perhaps something to be embarrassed
about.
Recognising and Re-educating ourselves
PR regularly features as one of the top five most stressful jobs, mainly down to long hours, the
demanding nature of clients and always being on call. In our industry, jobs and clients come first and
personal lives and circumstances are often treated without the respect they deserve.
As a result, PR practitioners don’t always fully
recognise the symptoms of stress or
depression. But low motivation, tiredness,
exhaustion and finding it difficult to socialise
can all negatively impact your work life. And yet
PRs are taught not to show weakness for fear
that it could affect your career, so presenteeism
among those who need a break is a serious
issue. We need to re-educate that mindset.
How can we help?
Be proactive, be open and address the mental health issue that is commonplace within the industry.
We need to develop a culture that frequently acknowledges mental wellbeing in the workplace to
see any positive change. Everyone should be watchful of others and supportive to combat mental ill
health in the industry. And organisations can be doing more to help with things like flexible working
hours and offering counselling services or CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) in the workplace.
Sutton's key message is "don’t just talk, do something about it". Once people start acknowledging
this issue it will be the start of a road towards improvement, particularly in the PR industry. Remember,
it’s the same as if an employee has a physical illness and should be treated as such, but handled
carefully in terms of adjusting workloads and sharing the responsibility together.
refully in terms of adjusting workloads and sharing the responsibility together.
#14 Using data and analytics to Inform Strategy
Andrew Bruce Smith, Director at Escherman, was
invited back to Scotland after he spoke at the first
CIPR Scotland conference PRFest Founder, Laura
Sutherland, organised as Chair of the Scotland group
back in 2013.
Laura knows how important data is to inform strategy and her work has proved the value. This
subject was one of the areas most practitioners cited as ‘unknown territory’, so it made sense to for
practitioners to hear from Andrew, who is renowned for his work in this area. Data can come from
unusual places and we need to start considering what role we want PR to play in the future.
PR strategy process and the role of data
One of the first questions we ask in the strategic process is WHY we are doing this and WHAT role we
want PR to play.
- Define goals and objectives
- Audience research
- Planning
- Resource allocation
- Implementation
- Monitor and evaluate
These organisational goals define the PR goals. When setting these objectives, the HiPPO’s need to
align with the PR objectives otherwise that makes PRs job much harder.
Data Issues
Common issues when using data to inform strategy involve confusion with visibility and a lack of
“line of sight” to organisational objectives. There is also the issue of no quantitative evidence,
instead based on outputs rather than outcomes and impacts. This begs the question; what do
measures look like if they are not tangible?
Bigger issues to consider are how we can trust the data. Facebook has overestimated key video
metrics for two years, so the data we rely on needs to be more regulated or checked by third party
verification examinations.
Truth First
Steer towards data that gives an insight into what’s actually going on! Status People provide free
analysis of fake, inactive and good followers on social media platforms. Don’t just accept the
numbers or data at face value, especially when small fees can buy you thousands of followers.
Spoiler Alerts
Social media driving traffic to websites doesn’t work. Data has proved this rarely happens, however
just because it sends a lower number, doesn’t mean its less important or valuable.
Similarly, BuzzSumo teamed up with Moz to analyse the shares and links of over one million
articles in 2015. The results proved there was no correlation between social sharing and linking.
They are two completely separate and distinct activities and should be treated differently.
Data & Strategy Summary
Strategy is about what you are going to do but also about what you’re not going to do. Data is
about making smarter decisions on strategy. But don’t just rely on output data.
Data-driven PR starts with objective setting, which needs to be specific, measurable and impact
orientated. Relying on the obvious data sources would be a mistake. Practitioners need to use data
analysis techniques that reflect the reality of modern day media consumption.
#16 What you could and should be PR measuring
Our final speaker at PRFest 2017 was Jerry Ward, Director of
Press Data and Director at AMEC. We received our final lesson
about how using the wrong data or metric can be detrimental
by destroying your credibility.
Sample, Measure and Evaluate
Communications is about changing something, be it attitudes,
perceptions or behaviours. Identifying how you can get from A
to B by capturing it with any form of data you can actually find
is what PR does.
One of the key takeaways in this session was how we should think creatively about what it is that
makes the difference between sample and measure. You need to be bold to take on those
internally who don’t quite understand the value of these metrics.
The Bad News
We are asked for AVEs in 50% of pitches.
However, just because metadata is possible to attain, doesn’t make it desirable.
This needs to be reset.
What can we do?
To begin, we can put measurement at the start of the planning process. Thinking about what you’re
going to measure at the beginning is vital, as by the end it will be too late! Also, measuring outcomes
as well as outputs and impacts can be used to inform your outcomes for future success.
It’s time to identify the difference communications has made and be creative so as to find the best
solution to help hone PR strategies. Leverage the data already existing within your organisation, as
behavioural changes can be tracked alongside increased sales and higher customer satisfaction.
What is available? Website and social media analytics. Sales trends. Consumer polls pre-campaign
and post-campaign. The list goes on.
Stay Tuned
An imminent webinar session is coming soon to discuss in greater detail AMEC’s integrated
evaluation framework. Keep an eye out in your inbox or tweet @ThePRFest to find how you can get
involved.
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Venue partner
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#PRFest 2017 e-book - festival of public relations

  • 2. The second #PRFest took place at Whitespace in Edinburgh, 15-16 June, 2017 and once again saw 120 senior PR practitioners come together to learn, share and collaborate. Professional development and practical learning is the focus of the festival, so practitioners can take away and immediately implement their learnings. This year we saw more practitioners come from outside Scotland and there was a great mix of in-house, agency and independent practitioners from a wide variety of sectors. I'd like to thank main sponsor, PRCA, venue partner, Whitespace, the students who helped at #PRFest, Hannah, Sophie, Karen and Jasmine, and I'd like to thank everyone who came and who continues to support the festival. #PRFest is about building a community where practitioners feel comfortable and encouraged to participate throughout. It will keep developing...with your input. This e-book is a summary of what was presented and discussed over the two days. LauraSutherlandChart.PRFCIPR ChiefatAuraandFounderof#PRFest
  • 3. Introduction Laura Sutherland, #PRFest Founder and Chief at Aura, welcomed attendees to the second PR festival and thanked sponsors PRCA, venue partner Whitespace, PR students, Hannah, Karen, Jasmine and Sophie and went on to reveal the findings of the pre-event questionnaire. Pre-event survey results: # 1 No.1 priority for learning this year - - Measurement & evaluation - Social / digital - Planning and insights - Crisis comms - SEO - Business development - Business management Sutherland talked about the importance of measurement and evaluation, as it’s the single biggest way we can demonstrate a return of investment to clients and demonstrate the impact our work has made. Noting a new priority to the list, business development and business management. As public relations advances and as we relate our work to business objectives, we see the need to learn more about business. To develop our own and that of our clients. #2 Biggest thing for PR to succeed at integrating within biz/org: - Maintain credibility - Demonstrate then prove value / ROI - Present on boards - Become essential - Educate ‘business’ - Lead the way with essential skills - Demonstrate leadership - Work collaboratively - As fully involved, as early as possible - Make resources available for businesses to constantly keep learning about PR Sutherland said we couldn’t disagree with any of these points. It all links back to public relations asserting its value to businesses and organisations, no matter what role we have. These two questions and their answers really highlighted how the programme had been developed.
  • 4. It was also a day for an announcement as Sutherland went on to launch a new collective of independent PR practitioners in Scotland, the Scottish PR Collective. The collective, also an initiative by Laura, has developed a website which makes it easier than ever to choose the perfect PR partner by searching for the desired skills or areas of work. With the rising demand of an independent practitioner and with top quality practitioners in Scotland, this is the first step of turning the agency on its head and pushing for a partnership and direct-working approach. #1 A Whistle-Stop Tour of Influencer Relations by Andy Barr, 10 Yetis #PRFest 2017 kicked off proceedings with an engaging and insightful glimpse into influencer relations courtesy of 10 Yetis’ founder Andy Barr. Immediately establishing his charismatic presenting through fun and high-energy interaction, with some highly entertaining results! Now, let’s get stuck into the PR conversation. An overload of stats is available to us everywhere, which only equates to one thing… plenty of noise about influencer marketing! The main focus of today’s discussion however was Instagram. Why? Instagram are many clients top priority at the moment, with 87% of 300 influencers targeting Instagram according to Hashoff Survey. Step One What can we all do to incorporate influencer relations successfully into future PR strategies? Here marks the importance of clarifying expectations with the client at the start, also the question of ownership and most significant of all, the need for a senior level buy-in at director level. The key question to ask yourselves is what you are trying to achieve with your campaign, be that links, direct sales or profile increases – it all affects who will be the right influencers for your client. Step Two Next stop, idea finding – use ‘BuzzSumo’ as an important analytical tool (more of this to follow from Day 2 talks), which is a handy content discovery tool. But you need to carefully ask whose content is it? Returning back to the question of ownership makes it clear you must establish whose content it is you will be sharing. Will it be your own (riskier) or your influencer’s content?
  • 5. Step Three Professionals must get to grips with goal tracking, a simple fix when utilising Google analytics, but there is also Bit.ly and UTM Tracking alternatives for a bit of tracking variety. Final stop is finding those influencers. It’s time to get tech savvy and utilise those apps readily at your disposal. Tribe, a tracking app, indicates more accurately the amount your influencers should be paid – although there is no right answer for this. 10 YETIS’ TOP TIP : Get these two handy phrases ready “Emerging” and “Micro Influencer” Confused? Read on for Andy’s fun explanation… How to avoid Fake Influencer Marketing Cut out the BS. There we said it, well Andy did. Using sites such as Status People helps to spot those influencer fakers by checking accurate social media engagement data to see who’s fake and who’s not. Keep an eye out for red flags, including engagement rates and a subset of account followers. Admittedly, on Instagram this is harder to spot. Note: average engagement rates (comments + Likes / no. of followers) are between 2-6%. At this point a quick game of higher or lower revealed certain celebrity or high profile accounts actually constituted lower engagement rates than less high-profile figures. This is where micro- influencers come into play, by creating stronger engagement rates than those occupying bigger follower bases. Using micro-influencers also means it’s easier to own the process and enables cooler brands to gift rather than pay for posts. Utilise your existing PR skills Be clear about what you want regarding X posts or X tweets, make sure these key objectives are ironed out clearly in the contract. PR people are the best for influencer outreach, but just remember persistence is key (despite potential illusiveness) – so be sure to maintain those influencer relationships months in advance, just like your ever-evolving media relationships. Share your results with your influences, keep in touch, then ‘rinse and repeat’.
  • 6. #2 Diversity in Public Relations The diversity panel, put together by Taylor Bennett Foundation and Chaired by Sarah Hall, discussed and made the business case for diversity and inclusion in the PR industry. Women in PR Mary Whenman, President of Women in PR, has dedicated much of time over the last two years creating a successful networking organisation for senior PR women. The aim to increase female presence at boardroom levels, close the gender pay gap (latest figures state a shocking 9k difference) and encourage flexible working hours, led to a thought-provoking panel discussion. A current unconscious bias exists surrounding these issues and panel members highlighted the necessity to move the conversation on from these issues. Race & Gender in PR Ariatu PR’s Ronke Lawal was also on the panel to share her race and gender experiences. Her motivational input emphasised wanting to set your own goals and your own glass ceiling in the face of such diversity issues. Young people are looking for familiar faces everywhere and it is important to ensure the PR industry steps up in this critical area. Also joined by panelist Anne Groves, a key member of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, where the great work of the foundation for BAME graduates is strongly advocated. For those unaware of their great work, the aim of TBF is to help graduates enter the industry, develop career skills and ultimately change the face of the PR industry, as we know it. LGBT in PR PRCA LGBT group Chair, Ethan Spibey, revealed some powerful and shocking statistics. 1 in 4 of PR employees experience bullying, whilst transgender employee experiences are exponentially worse. However, we loved the positivity from Spibey, who made it clear that inclusion and diversity are opportunities to retain and attract the best talent within and to our industry. After all, it’s up to us to promote ourselves a bit better and turn this into an opportunity to also influence our clients.
  • 7. #3 Influencer Campaign Workflow IOur final session of the morning was led by Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, who created a real sense of audience engagement and collaboration by encouraging shared experiences to create the ultimate ‘Post-It Note workflow’ for campaigns. Stephen proceeded to focus on one topical theme in particular – influencer relations, following on nicely from Andy’s presentation earlier in the morning. Influencer Relations and Engaging Communities Where can influencer relations be used to engage communities? Great question. The answers came flooding in from attendees, including brand, newsletter databases, local authority planning permission, wider political campaigns, healthcare, fundraising and internal communications. Basically, anywhere that engages activism. Anne Groves from Taylor Bennett Foundation cited a £50,000 fundraising campaign as one of her immediate projects, so we worked together to create a workflow which Anne could follow and action. How do you plan a campaign? Begin by looking at customer journeys, by using tools to create a search and select process within communities. Quick examples of network mapping tools include social media Tracker, Netbase and Brandwatch. Finally, find the objective – do so by breaking down public engagement into various constituencies such as universities, progressive corporates, philanthropists and agency heads. Note: a series of niche campaigns will work more effectively with different constituencies. How do I get your attention? Video content dominated audience responses to this question. The aim: to make the consumer feel part of the journey and connected in some way. Make your content bold and vibrant by utilising images, design and graphics, whilst also ensuring consistency. The message here was loud and clear; make your content drive your audience enough to care and ultimately donate. Remember: There must be a value exchange during any influencer campaign. Stephen Waddington will do a follow-up blog with more detail on the workflow. He’s also a call scheduled with Taylor Bennett Foundation CEO, Sarah Stimson, later this week to discuss the potential to activate the campaign brainstormed during the session.
  • 8. #4 Keeping CSR simple Nick Jones, former No.10 Digital Director and Visa Europe, now HS2, stepped up to share his experiences and best practice (and some interesting cat memes), to begin Day 1’s afternoon session on CSR. Corporate social responsibility is about doing the right thing the right way, and now is the right time to begin engaging with a new generation of communities. How does PR do the right thing? …by encouraging CSR. There are plenty of hard and soft options available, but practitioners have the ability to cut through the noise and create thought-provoking content. Post the truth by putting an emotional response above a logical one, with the Grenfell Tower fire a clear-cut example of how critical (and potentially damaging) political responses can be. So, be aware to strike the right balance between the emotional and logical responses of CSR. Influencing the influencers We have to learn to flex, express things in a slightly different tone and become more circular with feedback to gain opinions and concerns. Hard CSR is what investors ask about and is one major factor that can drive shareholder activism. Always try to tie this back to the bottom line, by aligning your CSR model to meet social needs. The purpose of CSR is the why and public relations provides the means by which to bring this to life. Could you help someone find that purpose? How can we keep the noise down? It’s all about listening. The more you listen, the more powerful the impact of explanations and positive responses. To achieve this, we should focus on educating and informing clients on the benefits of reaching their CSR goals. Building trust is vital, given the current climate for ‘Fake News,’ with Edelman’s Trust Barometer proving a useful measuring tool to decipher this contestable area. It’s our job to defend our clients, whilst simultaneously aiming to persuade businesses to step up.
  • 9. #5 Big Crisis Comms Questions on Cyber Security Add a touch of humour to a thick Glaswegian accent and you have the perfect recipe for a crisis communications chat on cyber security and PR courtesy of PwC’s Craig McGill. Cyber is quite simply an issue everywhere. This can rank from annoying reputational issues on hacked social media accounts to a client’s worst nightmare of a corporate or financial security breach. 65% of large firms detected a cyber breach or attack in the past year, suggesting low-level security attempts are a threat to most businesses. Who is to blame? Craig was quick to blame Chris Hemsworth for the increase, mainly due to his role as a cyber hacker in American action thriller Blackhat (2015). But, joking aside, multiple people with multiple reasons are the unfortunate reality of this paramount cyber issue. What can we do? The best we can do is ensure multiple systems are in place to try and deter hackers, and ultimately be ready to react when, rather than if, a breach occurs. It is better to be prepared and it never happens, than the other perilous alternative! Internal Communications is also a key issue, as cyber attacks are not just restricted to external hackers. Insiders remain the biggest security threat of all, with the top percentage of incidents found to stem from miscellaneous staff errors. Who you gonna call? Who do you call and who makes that call? Knowing who does what and when are important considerations. Maintaining one story and one narrative will mean people turn elsewhere for news and information, so establishing trust by informing the bigger picture proactively will be better as updates come directly from you. The best way to restore reputation is by being transparent. How do you prioritise communication? There is a continual need to balance who is a contact priority and how exactly they should be contacted. Multiple methods such as Facebook, official statements, email, Slack and video are options to PRs. Remember in a crisis, it’s a Comms time to shine when you can do what you need to do to keep staff happy and customers informed. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on its way and is built around these 3 pillars: 1) transparency framework, 2) compliance journey and 3) punishment regime. So during your final checklist, make sure a fundamental basic Comms plan is in place with these areas covered.
  • 10. #6 Broadcasting and PR STV plc’s Paul Hughes delivered a slice of local interest as well as providing insight into the future of media PR during his television chat. Reinventing the wheel He recounted the story of STV 2 beginning with the arrival of STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh. Then the addition of licences for Aberdeen, Dundee and Ayr to make up a 5 licence channel across Scotland. It’s Scotland’s newest TV channel that primarily focuses on local stories that viewers can’t get anywhere else on television. Great local appetite After a predictable teething period the channel became known for developing people and ideas as well as experimenting and taking risks that aren’t possible on the main networks. The result is a channel that has core local programming at its heart based around STV New Tonight, Live at Five, Peter and Roughie and the Late Show as well as a host of popular dramas. The channel also covers a number of Scottish events including a month of daily programmes around the Edinburgh Festival and the U17s Glasgow Cup final that drew an audience of over 200k viewers. Myth busting Television is often regarded as difficult to access by PRs in the UK because traditionally there has been little in the way of local broadcasting while the opposite is true in the US where local TV is often the primary goal. In the UK there is also a PR focus on news. Now Scotland has a channel that not only has more news but also significant non-news, feature programmes as an alternative platform the PR industry is increasingly engaging with. STV predictions Hughes said there is already some evidence that the marketing and PR industry are re-assessing the balance between digital and broadcast in terms of credibility, engagement and effectiveness. Three quarters of Scots said television influenced their decision making in the recent elections. He predicted a noticeable global sway back towards curated, reliable media. Also, that linear TV viewing remains strong. This, he argued, presents an opportunity to forward-thinking PRs.
  • 11. #7 PR Management Today Through the fiercely fabulous delivery of Sarah Hall, MD of Sarah Hall Consulting, #FuturePRoof founder and CIPR President-Elect, we once again looked at PR as a management discipline and how this is a real industry opportunity. During her presentation, Hall built on last year’s deck and referred to the Global Alliance Competency Framework, which she urged practitioners to benchmark themselves against. It is a key mission of the Global Alliance to find the standards that unite us while identifying the diversity among the many ways in which public relations and communication management are practised. Through this mission, the members of the Global Alliance hope to jointly raise the standards and to globalize our profession. Blurred Lines Hall suggests the blurring of marketing disciplines is positive for the public relations industry as it creates new opportunities. However to unlock these opportunities, we have to be able to operate strategically and command the attention of the Board. By approaching PR as a management discipline, this changes our approach to CPD, and in turn how we approach the C-Suite. PRs have to educate employers that we are not just a delivery function but the eyes, ears and conscience of an organisation with the insight to help plan for the future and ability to instigate positive change. PR delivers incredible value against organisational objectives when deployed effectively. For that reason, we deserve more respect and increased investment into our services. Essential function With many changes in politics, society, media and tech today, this all has a knock-on effect on how businesses and industries operate. Management teams are looking to PR practitioners to help them navigate through this uncertainty and period of upheaval. Practitioners with business management and financial skills as well as tactical proficiency are well placed to capitalise – indeed many are already. People also expect more for their brand loyalty during times of upheaval and austerity. PR is the discipline that manages reputation and builds longterm relationships so is the obvious choice to turn to. Consider the lifetime value of a customer, which is what PR offers, versus a one off sales hit. If you were a brand, which would you choose? We have got to speak up in order to be heard.
  • 12. What is your Legacy? Reputation is a fragile thing, taking years to grow and a matter of minutes to destroy. Organisations MUST be able to respond in an agile and responsive manner to issues and truly live their values. Company with a gap between what they say and do will be called out and judged against it. PR advisers should make it part of their role to ensure their management teams do the right thing. History is watching, so what will you make your legacy? Call to Action The role of any organisation shouldn’t just revolve around money making and profits – brands should also add organisational and societal value, especially when times are hard. PR professionals can and do set the strategic direction where deployed properly by those at the top of their game. The management demand is there; forward-thinking and engaged organisations already look to their comms people to help them maintain their legitimacy within society. Many also ensure all the other marketing functions answer to the public relations department. So be honest, benchmarking yourself against the Global Alliance framework, can you really call yourself a strategic advisor? If not, what are you waiting for – go upskill! #8 PR Stunts or Stunted? by Rich Leigh, Founder of Radioactive PR We rounded up Day 1 of #PRFest reminiscing over a flurry of highly successful, if somewhat controversial, PR campaigns, with Rich Leigh out to prove stunts are definitely not a thing of the past. A True PR Stuntman Leigh made it clear that stunts are just part of the enjoyment of PR and sometimes we forget how fun it really is because they “get a really, really bad rep.” The term PR stunt, according to Leigh, as been co-opted, stripped apart from his interpretation of the term. Reasons for past failures Lack of measurability; of course we can measure our successes via Google goals and other methods. We also can’t dispute the figures when a sharp increase in donations occurs directly following a campaign. Not being serious: videos on serious topics can still have the desired impact, it’s just a matter of developing a creative idea that can be validated to make a difference. Not good value for money: direct sales can be measured from well-aimed or controversial campaigns. Never underestimate their perfect headline grabbing potential.
  • 13. Good Stunts & Common Themes All good PR stunts have a few things in common. Usually they are explainable in a sentence, clearly relate to the product or service, offer visual content and address clear and measurable objectives. By reaching your intended audience and provoking a reaction, this simultaneously answers the client brief whilst inspiring thought, shock, debate or entertainment value. Dos and Don’ts of Stunt Ideas Do think creatively. This applies to be both reactive and seasonal stunts, as well as longer campaigns (perhaps seeking to engage then re-engage an audience). Do not shoehorn a good idea and/or make the mistake of rushing to use a new medium or technology. Neither should you mistake headlines and re-tweets for success, because outside of PR, who really knows or cares? The final ‘don’t’ of the day is awards do not a happy client make, for they don’t always guarantee returns. #9 Dispelling Integrated Comms Mythology by John Brown, Group Head of Engagement, Hotwire Let the fun and games commence on Day 2 of PRFest 2017, with John Brown first up. Mr. ‘Use Your Common Sense When Doing Integrated Comms’ – John dispels the myths surrounding integrated comms. See John’s slides here (although they won’t make much sense without the narrative below!) An Early Disclaimer Brown has a low tolerance for BS, not to mention made up words and concepts. The term ‘Integrated Comms’ (IC) is the latest PR buzzword, and honestly, no one really knows what it is or whether they are doing it properly. IC is just a whole load of hearsay. Myth 1 – Media Relations is bad Media relations can’t be bad in itself. In fact, it can be a tasteful and extraordinary way to achieve fast results. This is a priority area and should be used well as it’s absolutely a measurable outcome. When used well, it’s actually pretty damn good. However, there is a darker side to media relations. The problem lies in it being a tactic rather than a strategy. So when entering the planning stage, do so with an open and empty mind, so as to avoid the pitfalls of pre-prescribing an answer we don’t yet know the question to.
  • 14. Myth 2 – Digital is good We are living in an era where digital comms is taking a bit of a battering. 42% of people want to see face- to-face events or live interactions when asked about what experiences they look for in content. A human-to-human first approach is therefore fundamental. We should be looking to mimic a human experience to connect us in real human terms. Digital can be good, but face-to-face will always trump other forms of communication. Myth 3 – Everything has to lead to an action It can build up and up but we don’t always need to agonize about the audience. This trail of thought is more of a barrier or hindrance when believing that every step must lead to an action. The Lego Movie in 2014 is a winning example of putting entertaining people first. By spending $50 million entertaining people, they generated $4.9 billion worth of sales. Since this success, building trust and loyalty by entertaining first has become a leading mantra in their company philosophy. Myth 4 – We must take our audience on a journey These journeys do not have to be long. Why create a long-winded marketing journey when a really short A to B is the best strategy? As long as there is real purpose behind it, there really is no need. By shortening an audience’s journey, you are giving yourself more time to be impactful and smarter. Myth 5 – Using paid is cheating It’s wicked, but why? If a person takes a brand name or maybe even a product, what are they going to do to find out more? Google it. In this case, PPC and paid advertising then really becomes effective and not a bad practice. Myth 6 – It’s all about marketing True integrated campaigns focus on integrating the company and working together. The departments you bring in are just as important as those media channels used. Everything will work seamlessly if this is achieved in harmony.
  • 15. Myth 7 – Video is a must To be clear, video is a superb media. However, there is a problem. Everyone has a video inside of them and for some people that is where it should stay… The three musts of video are insight, the idea and the execution, and there is a graveyard out there littered with corporate videos that didn’t combine these crucial elements. Warning: Video is expensive and damaging if you get it wrong. Myth 8 – Everyone else is doing it People are really not doing Integrated Comms that frequently. Fact. Myth 9 – Twitter research rules Don’t take one sample size from one platform. Go back to basics and utilise small focus groups because it’s more important to go to a CFO with relevance and context provided by actual consumers. Social does not show real life and is biased towards a sample size. To combat this, this needs to be complimented with context and quantitative research. Myth 10 – Your message counts Tone and personality are what people are buying from a brand or individual. The message can come later. So you are better off spending time investing in identifying a personality, as that will help gel a campaign together. Myth 11 – Sensitive emotion is key Be very careful here. Very few storytelling and brands can do this well. Myth 12 – Plan, Plan, Plan Getting your ethos and purpose right first will allow you to be agile and reactive, as well as proactive, later. Don’t be afraid to allocate a small test budget first to get the ball rolling.
  • 16. #10 Do you have a seat in the ’war room’? Amanda Coleman, Head of Corporate Communications at Greater Manchester Police, was confirmed as a speaker at PRFest late last year, to talk about crisis communications. Little did we know what would happen in Manchester on 22 May, just weeks prior to PRFest. We would like to offer our thanks and gratitude to Amanda Coleman, who a) used the attacks as an example in her presentation, expertly discussing scenarios, planning, what her team were doing in the midst of a national atrocity and b) most importantly, all of the ‘human’ elements of being in and dealing with a major crisis situation, including the way it affected her, personally. Amanda dealt with the sensitive and emotive nature of the topics discussed with poise and dignity and PRFest thanks her for taking the time to re-write her presentation so it was bang up-to-date and for using one of her only days off to come to PRFest and tell us her story. Due to the nature of the event we have not added Amanda’s presentation to our Slideshare and we have left out sensitive information in the round-up blog post. Raw emotional response The past four weeks following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack have been “really odd” and understandably so. They really illuminated why planning is so important, given the highly sensitive nature of this event. It also highlighted that to combat such a crisis you really need to have the full trust of the organisation. That way you will sit next to the key people in the ‘situation room’ in order to give the right advice, help make the best decisions and to get things done quickly and effectively. Amanda told us that her comms team pulled together, acted with integrity, compassion and empathy and she was grateful she had them to work with. Operational response The sequences of events that follow an incident all occur within minutes. Incident occurring > Informing the media > Updating the media Alternatively, following a major incident, inaccurate or false claims can equally spread like ‘fake news’ wildfire.
  • 17. Comms response There is a real need to understand the ‘mood’ because this heavily impacts on what you deliver or release into the press and wider public domain. The ‘golden hour’ for communication responses is now more like 30 minutes, proving speed is critical to coordinate agencies and implement team plans. Never underestimate the importance of correctly reacting to the community side – the human side. We need to work harder to help those people who are impacted and living with the consequences. The perspective post Manchester has shown communicators do not think about them enough during a crisis. Making families the priority and center of everything should be your main focus. We need to share in a crisis, creating agendas that involve family aftercare plans. There is a real need to share our learnings and this concept nationally, for all police forces to implement. Role of the Media Media engagement is vital as this helps set the narrative or tone of your crisis response. Everybody has a view on everything nowadays, from citizen journalists to bloggers, so be aware of immediate analysis and responses to your outputs. International media have different roles and operate differently. You need to accept that rather than controlling content, now it’s all about coordination. Handling the Manchester Terror Attack The Comms team responded by sending out their first tweet within 20 minutes of the incident. This immediately recognised the issue, whilst serving to preserve and protect life by keeping people away from the area. The next step was to start their plan and investigation phase. Further family support was implemented and Greater Manchester Police were on camera just four hours after the incident took place. There are so many teams and people to consider in a time of crisis, internally. Where are they? Is anyone on holiday? Can any additional resource be brought in? In times of crisis the comms team pulls together and works all the hours they need to ensure they are handling and managing the situation.
  • 18. Dealing with the Legacy Comms will always be dealing with the legacy of this horrific terrorist attack, so we need to start planning now. Remember the key elements learnt here: -Putting victims and their families at the center - Honest and accuracy of information outputs - Understanding the mood or tone - Maintaining a regular flow of information - PLAN AND PREPARE **Cue standingovation** #11 Trends, Challenges & Opportunities in Global PR We were joined by the main sponsor of PRFest and PRCA Director General, Francis Ingham, to conclude our morning session, for a data-driven treat on what challenges and opportunities the global PR industry faces. Follow the presentation slides on Slideshare. The Bigger Picture The International Communications Consultancy Organisation, (ICCO), has gathered detailed survey information from 55 countries to establish global trends in conjunction with PR Week magazine. They have been producing this magazine for over 15 years to track industry trends across the globe. The surveys highlighted where areas of industry optimism are highest in Western Europe, compared to at their lowest in Africa and Latin America. Similarly, industry confidence in profitability is strongest in North America and closely followed by the UK, whereas Latin America is showing the least confidence levels. Two Big Global Headlines - The industry is optimistic. - The industry is profitable.
  • 19. What is driving growth? CEOs are increasingly valuing corporate reputation, which pushes PR to the forefront of any organisation. Also, marketing spend is moving over to PR agencies who are offering more non- traditional services to clients. The expectation here is for these trends to continue to progress positively in the future. There lies the opportunity. What is growing? Practice area growth in 2016: - Digital and online - Corporate reputation - Marketing - Public affairs/government relations Identical growth in digital/online is forecasted for next year, whilst public affairs are predicted to overtake marketing comms in practice area growth. Tech and consumer came top in sector area growth in 2016, whilst next year’s predictions suggest healthcare will overtake tech. Industry Problems In a growing and vibrant industry, densely populated with talented people, staff retention and recruitment where the biggest recorded issues. Talent is a global issue and the key issue in the UK, and if we don’t face up to it we will decrease the value of our industry. Our To-Do List Retain key talent Find people from non-traditional backgrounds Start hiring senior staff Begin training and develop junior/mid-level employees What are the skills of the future? Clear trends point towards social media management skills, so follow our To-Do List to begin plugging the existing gap in PR talent skillsets.
  • 20. #12 SEO Home Truths for PR Practitioners To jump-start our afternoon session, Threepipe’s Jim Hawker delivered some harsh but fair comments that all PR professionals need to hear. The reality of SEO is that this is a $70 billion opportunity that is simply too big to ignore. What is driving SEO growth? Given the higher frequency of search users and growing use of non-traditional search engines, these are two major contributing factors to SEO importance. The biggest example of all is Amazon, the king of online product searches. Why aren’t PR Agencies in SEO? Whilst 54% of PR agencies are claiming to offer SEO services, the reality is that PR people don’t necessarily make good SEO generators. Instead, they are choosing to focus on other areas, including investing in different growth strategies, opening regional/international offices and valuing creativity over analytics. SEO vs. PR Agencies Established SEO agencies are gradually emerging into the PR world, with the ability to offer something slightly different to traditional agency services. Their focus on analytics and data insight enables a technical understanding within SEO campaigns that PR agencies appear to lack. But wait, all is not lost. SEO agencies do not have the storytelling craft or media relationships to forge link building in the same way as PRs. Instead, PR agencies have been delivering accidental benefit for SEO rather than deliberately by design. SEO vs. PR Workers The major differences between an SEO and a PR is predominantly data, with those in SEO happy to be dealing with numbers and stats. Many US (and some London-based) agencies are springing up and are purely focused on independent data analytics as providing the backdrop for media transparency. Content strategy and planning are assisted by SEO, making it easier to build search and insight trends. This also helps to focus the budget in terms of content creation and learn what content works well on client platforms. Brainstorms become more effective with more data driven insight and trends can be more easily seen to develop. Ultimately these results allow for a more commercially aligned strategy for clients.
  • 21. What about In-House? There is a limited degree of SEO engagement with those working in-house. But with SEO agencies and PR agencies arguably competing for the same accounts, what does the view from in-house PR look like? The truth is, those working in-house need to be coordinating their efforts between the PR and SEO teams. There needs to be more coordination and efficiency when driving content creation. Making Space for SEO in PR One small step for SEO, one giant leap for the PR world. We need to step up our SEO engagement to incorporate it more fully into our industry. If you factor in the additional expense of PPC and paid searches, then SEO can be seen as a more long term and cost-effective strategy. #13 Working with and influencing the Board Two award-winning senior PR practitioners take to the high stools to discuss how not every boardroom experience needs to be as intense (or traumatic) as Lord Sugar’s. Sarah Pinch and Bridget Aherne chose to interview each other in their session, bouncing off each other with example experiences, feelings and some home truths about why boardroom experiences aren’t always the best. Influencing the Board There are many “brilliant and challenging things” about being a senior person advising a board, as you are playing a vital role as a communications professional in helping an organisation make the right decisions. Facts regarding the higher proportion of women in low end rather than higher end of the industry echoed the importance of Mary Whenman’s advocacy of the need to increase industry diversity at senior levels. (Hyperlink) Some women already on boards don’t take kindly to new or younger women coming onto boards. This needs to change. Equally, we need to know how to handle the situation. Boardroom Surprises People on boards are surprisingly not strategic! There are also differing degrees on professional jealousy experienced by some, with Aherne advising that in this scenario you need to work on yourself and ask others for support, build a strong network and don’t be afraid to ask for help, in order to build your personal resilience. We need to move away from competitive point scoring by creating a proper behavioral environment for the whole team, because a board is and should operate as a team.
  • 22. When the going gets tough… Having a great relationship with your own team members is essential but there’s a fine line with knowing them, showing them you care and ensuring you look after their health and well-being, getting the best out of them and being their friend. One day you may have to discipline or even dismiss them. If the lines are blurred then the response will likely be “but I thought we were friends?” How important are issues of titles? There was a yes and no response to this question from both women, with differing experiences depending on the organisation. In some sectors, especially the public sector, titles and whether you do sit on the board, is indicative of seniority and that can be interpreted by some, to be an indication of the scope of your influence and authority. We heard a split response as some jobs work well regardless of titles whilst others are dependent on progressive organisations. Advice to aspiring boardroom entrants Do something else outside of work in a role such as school governor or charity trustee, because having other board experiences running concurrently with your paid career will give you experience to draw upon. Consider this additional experience and training of governance, politics and dealing with different audiences. Have a voice. Be heard. Your opinions, experiences and advice matter. If you’re not being heard, then you need to find a way to be heard and the value of support from a strong network, to help you, should never be underestimated. What would you say to yourself? - Listen first, don’t go in too fast too soon. - Don’t confuse friendship with management. You’re not friends, you’re their boss. - Get your armor together for tough meetings – whatever works for you. - Allow people to speak, influence the culture of the board for the positive. - Support women to have an amplified voice in the board room.
  • 23. #14 Mental Health and Meaningful PR Working as an independent digital consultant and being in PR for over 20 years, Paul Sutton discusses how his depression started to affect his work and how he dealt with it. Mental health in public relations is a serious issue and for someone to give firsthand experience is a privilege for those who heard Paul at PRFest. The Power of Blog Content Sutton was first diagnosed with depression 13 years ago when the stress of a marriage breakdown was exacerbated by the poor response from and treatment by his then employer. Some years later, he bravely wrote a blog post focused on storytelling that revealed his depression to the world for the first time. He received an amazing response with great feedback from people who could relate to him, be that friends or complete strangers, and that gave him the confidence to talk more openly about it. Current state of mental health in PR In the CIPR’s 2016 state of the profession survey, 30% of PR practitioners classed themselves as ‘somewhat’ unhappy or not happy at all in their current jobs. 12% of those surveyed who changed jobs had chosen to leave PR altogether, whilst 59% of practitioners have been diagnosed with or have experienced some form of mental health issues. When a third of UK staff persistently turns up to work ill and 57% of PR practitioners feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health in the work place, this suggests there is still a stigma attached to discussing what we might perceive to be a weakness, and perhaps something to be embarrassed about. Recognising and Re-educating ourselves PR regularly features as one of the top five most stressful jobs, mainly down to long hours, the demanding nature of clients and always being on call. In our industry, jobs and clients come first and personal lives and circumstances are often treated without the respect they deserve. As a result, PR practitioners don’t always fully recognise the symptoms of stress or depression. But low motivation, tiredness, exhaustion and finding it difficult to socialise can all negatively impact your work life. And yet PRs are taught not to show weakness for fear that it could affect your career, so presenteeism among those who need a break is a serious issue. We need to re-educate that mindset.
  • 24. How can we help? Be proactive, be open and address the mental health issue that is commonplace within the industry. We need to develop a culture that frequently acknowledges mental wellbeing in the workplace to see any positive change. Everyone should be watchful of others and supportive to combat mental ill health in the industry. And organisations can be doing more to help with things like flexible working hours and offering counselling services or CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) in the workplace. Sutton's key message is "don’t just talk, do something about it". Once people start acknowledging this issue it will be the start of a road towards improvement, particularly in the PR industry. Remember, it’s the same as if an employee has a physical illness and should be treated as such, but handled carefully in terms of adjusting workloads and sharing the responsibility together. refully in terms of adjusting workloads and sharing the responsibility together. #14 Using data and analytics to Inform Strategy Andrew Bruce Smith, Director at Escherman, was invited back to Scotland after he spoke at the first CIPR Scotland conference PRFest Founder, Laura Sutherland, organised as Chair of the Scotland group back in 2013. Laura knows how important data is to inform strategy and her work has proved the value. This subject was one of the areas most practitioners cited as ‘unknown territory’, so it made sense to for practitioners to hear from Andrew, who is renowned for his work in this area. Data can come from unusual places and we need to start considering what role we want PR to play in the future. PR strategy process and the role of data One of the first questions we ask in the strategic process is WHY we are doing this and WHAT role we want PR to play. - Define goals and objectives - Audience research - Planning - Resource allocation - Implementation - Monitor and evaluate These organisational goals define the PR goals. When setting these objectives, the HiPPO’s need to align with the PR objectives otherwise that makes PRs job much harder.
  • 25. Data Issues Common issues when using data to inform strategy involve confusion with visibility and a lack of “line of sight” to organisational objectives. There is also the issue of no quantitative evidence, instead based on outputs rather than outcomes and impacts. This begs the question; what do measures look like if they are not tangible? Bigger issues to consider are how we can trust the data. Facebook has overestimated key video metrics for two years, so the data we rely on needs to be more regulated or checked by third party verification examinations. Truth First Steer towards data that gives an insight into what’s actually going on! Status People provide free analysis of fake, inactive and good followers on social media platforms. Don’t just accept the numbers or data at face value, especially when small fees can buy you thousands of followers. Spoiler Alerts Social media driving traffic to websites doesn’t work. Data has proved this rarely happens, however just because it sends a lower number, doesn’t mean its less important or valuable. Similarly, BuzzSumo teamed up with Moz to analyse the shares and links of over one million articles in 2015. The results proved there was no correlation between social sharing and linking. They are two completely separate and distinct activities and should be treated differently. Data & Strategy Summary Strategy is about what you are going to do but also about what you’re not going to do. Data is about making smarter decisions on strategy. But don’t just rely on output data. Data-driven PR starts with objective setting, which needs to be specific, measurable and impact orientated. Relying on the obvious data sources would be a mistake. Practitioners need to use data analysis techniques that reflect the reality of modern day media consumption.
  • 26. #16 What you could and should be PR measuring Our final speaker at PRFest 2017 was Jerry Ward, Director of Press Data and Director at AMEC. We received our final lesson about how using the wrong data or metric can be detrimental by destroying your credibility. Sample, Measure and Evaluate Communications is about changing something, be it attitudes, perceptions or behaviours. Identifying how you can get from A to B by capturing it with any form of data you can actually find is what PR does. One of the key takeaways in this session was how we should think creatively about what it is that makes the difference between sample and measure. You need to be bold to take on those internally who don’t quite understand the value of these metrics. The Bad News We are asked for AVEs in 50% of pitches. However, just because metadata is possible to attain, doesn’t make it desirable. This needs to be reset. What can we do? To begin, we can put measurement at the start of the planning process. Thinking about what you’re going to measure at the beginning is vital, as by the end it will be too late! Also, measuring outcomes as well as outputs and impacts can be used to inform your outcomes for future success. It’s time to identify the difference communications has made and be creative so as to find the best solution to help hone PR strategies. Leverage the data already existing within your organisation, as behavioural changes can be tracked alongside increased sales and higher customer satisfaction. What is available? Website and social media analytics. Sales trends. Consumer polls pre-campaign and post-campaign. The list goes on. Stay Tuned An imminent webinar session is coming soon to discuss in greater detail AMEC’s integrated evaluation framework. Keep an eye out in your inbox or tweet @ThePRFest to find how you can get involved.
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