Getting frank with Joe Part 1: “No one cares if you are a startup”

Okay, maybe your friends, family and investors do — but that’s about it. The rest of the world couldn’t care less that you are a startup.

They say they care, they think they care, they like the idea of it and the romance of it all, but they don’t really care. Don’t blame them; I’m sure they are nice people, but at the end of the day, their love of supporting a startup goes no deeper than an immediate reaction.

This might come as a bit of a shock because your business is everything to you. To you. Allow me to run you through a few home truths to help you avoid falling on your face when it comes to managing a successful startup.

Your target market doesn’t owe you anything

You can certainly leverage being a startup in your branding and to tap into natural sympathy and support. You can even cultivate pro-startup audiences and have your brand develop and evolve over time.

But be under no illusion that most people won’t hesitate to drop you if they have any issues or face any barriers.

They will gladly move back to their safe corporate, mass market product if you impact their consumer experience in any way. It’s simply the nature of the beast.

Don’t be a loser

Always be positive around friends, contacts, clients… anyone.

Why? When you talk about your business, even your closest friends are making subconscious decisions about you and your company, and when they have the opportunity to refer you to one of their friends or contacts, they know their reputation and credibility is also at stake.

If all they hear from you is complaints about staff or how tough it is, they are going to form a negative image of you and are less likely to make the referral.

But when you are positive and they feel like you are on the up and up, well, everyone loves a winner.

This is not necessarily a conscious decision. And yes, if you are too positive, you run the risk of not sounding genuine. No one believes any entrepreneur who says it is all smooth sailing.

Try something like this:

Friend: “Hey mate, how’s business?”

You: “Really good. Cashflow is a total pain in my arse but we are getting some really strong traction.”

Boom. You get your gripe out, but the positives outweigh it and you still sound like a winner.

Don’t let your bubble become a crutch

I often come across founders or staff from startups who are extremely tapped into the startup scene, constantly patroning drinks, networking events and conferences. In many ways this is great – you will learn something from your peers in this space and you’ll have a good time. They will be a valuable source of tips, advice and a sympathetic ear, but it does not replace your need to get out into the real world.

Unless your company or brand is aimed at the startup community, no one cares if you are friends with a dozen different CEOs of bootstrapped enterprises. By all means keep your toe in the scene, but the law of diminishing returns exists even for your own time. Instead, think about who your target audience is or what you want to achieve, and go where they go.

Don’t be a wuss

Toughen up. It’s supposed to be hard.

Recently, I was blown away when a startup I was meeting with said they couldn’t meet before 11am because that’s when they arrive at the office. Seeing my shocked expression they followed up with, “Oh don’t worry, we work really late. Like until 8, sometimes 9.”

It was clear they had bought into the romanticised version of their own story – staying up late working over Red Bulls and pizza with the occasional break to play Xbox. Meanwhile they are barely doing a normal day’s work because they don’t turn up until lunch.

I’m all for work life balance, but if you are serious about your startup, you are going to have to haul arse.

There is more to having a startup than proudly proclaiming it.

So basically, ignore the fact you are a startup in your day-to-day work life. Your number one priority is to move your business forward, so focus on that. Don’t let the hype or romanticism blind you. Be awesome every single day and get on with being successful.

If you have any questions just get in touch with us at [email protected].

This blog was first published in Tech in Asia on 19th April 2016

How I got schooled by a 16 year old while trying to do my job

I thought the times of me being put on the spot at meetings were over. I’ve had practice of dealing with different personalities at many different meetings before, both professional and personal. We all have that one difficult friend or client that deserves an honest piece of your advice.

But what I wasn’t prepared for, was a simple, innocent question by a 16-year-old high schooler at a business meeting. I was there to discuss about a social awareness campaign that involved charity work by students from different secondary schools. They were packing meals for the needy.

A client was sponsoring the initiative so we had to step in and help out with some PR. Our conversation went something like this:

Me, overzealous: “I think this is a great media opportunity, maybe we can discuss some great story angles and objectives about the campaign to pitch to the media.”

Student, sassy: “Well, the objective is to stop world hunger and feed hungry people, who are dying everyday from starvation.”

That, I did not expect. It was a legitimate argument, because shouldn’t world hunger be enough of a reason for media to care and write about?

I wasn’t angry, nor did I blame the student. The poor guy was sincerely puzzled and confused.

I calmly gathered my thoughts and realised that it was time to take a step back, and bring it back to the basics. As PR professionals, we need to help our clients understand what it takes for us to do our job properly, while helping to achieve their goals.

So what is it that we do exactly? Here is a simple break down:

  1. Angles (Gathering of information)

We need as much information as possible. With this information, we will pick out the most important angles we can use for the press release. Tell us about the who, the why, the what, the when and the how – we’re all ears.

Stopping world hunger is a legit reason, but what sets Stop Hunger Now apart from Oxfam, Red Cross, or The Salvation Army, who are all sharing the objective of feeding the needy?

  1. Press release (Storytelling)

We help tell the story about your brand, and why it is worth writing about in the media. Yeah sure, we’ll add a bit of fluff in there – but most importantly we only write about the facts, nothing in there is made up or a lie.

  1. Media pitching (Persuasion)

Journalists are very busy people, they get tons of emails and sometimes our emails get buried under piles of other releases. This is when we pick up the phone, and have some one-on-one time with a specific journalist.

It can get quite nerve wracking, speaking to someone unfamiliar on the phone and trying to pitch an idea to them. This, thankfully, only gets better with practice. Once you know the journalists, their style and personality, you’ll gain confidence in persuading and become more eloquent in trying to deliver your message.    

     4. Media coverage (Public opinion)

This is what it’s all about! Getting your story published and hearing people talk about your brand can be a great feeling. People read the news, and we always aim for a positive story. This plays an important part in informing and swaying public opinion, about the good and bad of your company.

We help educate about your brand and to support it. Media coverage is one of the best and foolproof ways to do this.

If you need help with your PR campaign, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

 

3 steps to creating targeted content that sells

Understanding your consumer, their journey and purchase process is and should be the backbone of any content marketing strategy. The material we produce needs to help a buyer with their purchase decisions and address certain pain points.

It should educate and inspire as well as provide helpful tools to steer the buyer’s decision toward a specific product or service that you are offering. If it doesn’t, then the content serves absolutely no purpose and becomes a huge waste of your time and resources.

As well as to educate, your content needs to generate a sense of trust and show the reader that you understand what they need and know how to solve their problems. It should never be a sales pitch.

To understand your consumer means to follow their journey from the awareness stage right through to purchase (and beyond), and a content marketing strategy helps to attract those prospects and convert them to customers. It’s about producing targeted content, always keeping the buyer’s interests in mind, and with so much consumer and industry information available to us online, there is simply no excuse for poor content.

The move to digital has made content marketing one of the most effective marketing tools out there. The most important and fail-proof factor is to thoroughly understand your target audience and address something they cannot solve or are struggling with. This is the key to success.

If you have appeal, gain their trust, satisfy a need and delight them in the process, you could be on your way to converting a prospect to a customer and producing targeted content doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s a simple guide to get you thinking:

1 – Start with market research

Thoroughly research your industry, your audience and their behaviour patterns. What do people need and what are they struggling with? How do they buy?

Consider the buyer journey and start thinking about the sort of information they would require. This is the first step to developing great content that is targeted with purpose.

2 – Develop a buyer persona

Once you’ve done the research, you should by now be able to identify who your prospects are. Now it’s time to develop a few buyer personas.

According to Hubspot a buyer persona represents a semi-fictional version of your ideal customer. Consider their demographic information (i.e job title, role, responsibilities company, industry and budget) and their behavioural traits, such as their concerns, goals and motivating factors. Write it all down with as much detail as possible.

Developing these personas will immensely help with creating engaging content ideas and will help you structure a great content campaign.

3 – Your prospects matter…all the time

The buyer journey should not stop at the market research stage. Combine the buyer journey with the buyer personas that you have created. Always think about the prospect when producing any sort of content. You should ideally create a content series that covers topics relevant to their purchase journey – it’s not supposed to be a direct sales pitch.

For example, if you have started a fitness business focusing on body transformations, your content needs to work through all the elements that prospects should consider on their health and wellness journey. Talk about diet changes, foods that promote weight loss, what to eat/not to eat before and after a workout, simple lifestyle changes and include some success case studies. In a non-intrusive way you want to educate your customer and show how your services can help them achieve their fitness goals.

Now it’s your turn. Start creating some awesome content!

If you need help creating a winning content marketing strategy, please get in-touch with us at [email protected].

 

Why you need to hire a cross-functional PR and content agency

As PR and content professionals, we’re no longer just writing releases and making calls, we’re producing videos, directing photoshoots, filming vines, writing literature, overseeing design work, and some of us need to breakdance. Okay one of us.

Public relations is one of the fastest moving industries, and that’s mainly due to how much digital has changed the way audiences perceive brands. Likewise, content marketing has been the advertising industry’s hot new potato for the past few years and we have to learn a new skill every quarter.

In order for agencies to keep up with the demands of our clients, we need to be agile and perform roles outside of our departmental silos. At Mutant we have a small team, but we are also flexible ninjas at adapting to new roles. Three of the skill requirements for working with us is 1) flexible 2) digitally savvy 3) parkour.

When hearing pitches from agencies, pay attention to how big their team is. Is it a huge agency where they’re passing clients to juniors down the line? Do you know your main point of contact and content producers? Get to know the roles of each member you’re working with and their skillset.

If you’re not hiring an agency, but want to have a cross functional team, it’s not easy. But it is achievable with some guidelines. It takes a lot of planning, structure, patience, and snacks to get everyone on the same page. Here are some tips on how to build your own cross-functional team.

  • Clearly defined roles: To avoid the “that’s not my job” culture, make sure everyone in the team has a clearly defined job description with expectations of crossover duties. This can avoid any work left incomplete, or tasks ignored. With explicit roles, team members will know exactly what is expected of them, and they’re just not dropping in and out of the conversation and getting involved as they please. I.e. “The content manager is responsible for all video strategy, but contributes 3x weekly social posts.”
  • Set standards: Learning on-the-go is fun, but you can save hours if you spend one day training a newbie on what “done” actually looks like. When everyone has more than one role, there can be some heavy inconsistencies.
  • Creative brainstorms: Getting stuck in your own silo means you’re recycling the same ideas over and over. Once a week, sit down to share some creative ideas across the entire team to see them through (in our case, everyone does PR and content ideas).

This means getting ideas from all departments, because nowadays, data teams could be offering PR teams some killer insight, likewise content professionals might know all the buzzwords that the sales team need to close those deals.

  • Set limits: One of the biggest downfalls of cross-functional teams is work being put on one person. Deadlines for specific deliverables should be set. To set realistic deadlines that get done, don’t overload work on to one person.
  • Be resourceful: We don’t mean re-using post-it notes. Be resourceful with your staff. Not everyone is hired to do the job that they’re meant to do. One benefit of having a cross-functional team is to be able to allocate resources properly. If you see a flailing staff member, give them the option to move onto another project that they might be better at.
  • Have several accountable leaders: With some staff members grinding out the details, it’s hard to see the project as a whole. The trend towards cross-functional teams means we’re losing that old-school hierarchy mentality that inhibits pro-active and creative staff. That being said it’s important to share leadership functions and make sure each project has a different team leader that’s accountable for seeing the project end to end.
  • Training sessions Not everyone will walk into a role knowing how to do multiple jobs. Team training sessions are valuable for staff members to step in if someone is sick or away. A monthly training session on photoshop, content, press releases, pitching to the entire team is essential.

If you can’t change your team or hire staff to be agile, hire an agency that’s able to adapt to new changes in the media landscape.

To find out more about one of the quickest moving teams in the industry write to us at [email protected].

 

5 signs your business should invest in a content marketing agency

There are a multitude of large and small businesses that think they know best when it comes to content marketing. How hard can it be? A blog here, a social media post there and you’re done! Right?

I hate to break it to you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Put simply, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that relies on the regular creation and distribution of quality content to a specific audience. The aim is to ultimately turn prospects into customers. Read more about what content marketing means here.

An effective content marketing strategy takes time and commitment and everything needs to be written with purpose. It not only yields powerful results, but also becomes extremely cost effective.

There is no point in writing one blog, adding it to your website and then hoping it will automatically translate into sales. It sadly doesn’t work that way. How will people see your content?

With that being said, here are some early signs that should prompt you to consider using a content marketing agency to help you get organised and on track:

  • Lack of regular, quality content

Think about how often you produce content.
Is it once a month? Once a quarter? Or whenever you have a chance to?

Whilst it’s not necessary to create content every single day, a solid content strategy requires consistency and commitment. Creating regular content allows brands to build thought leadership in their area of expertise, create trust and promote engagement with their target audiences – which is more likely to lead to a sale.

  • No visible SEO results

Without relevant and regular content, your SEO efforts may be wasted. Google evaluates how often you update your website with fresh content. It also ranks the quality of the content as well as the length. You can read more about this here.

Another thing to consider is how well the content is tailored to your chosen keywords. Content creation isn’t just about putting some words on a page about a certain topic. You do need to write for your target audience but also for SEO. Fall too deep to one side and you will be penalised on the other, so it’s essential to strike a healthy balance between crafty and engaging content and writing for SEO.

  • Your conversions are suffering

 Writing relevant content that addresses your target audience and their needs is so important. Identify and create a buyer persona that would need your product or service. Who is this person? (i.e Marketing Mary, 35 years old) What is their role? (ie Marketing Manager for an SME) What do they wish to achieve? (Brand awareness, sales etc.) Then look at identifying their pain points and how you can help solve them.

A content marketing agency can be useful to help structure your strategy and make suggestions about why your efforts have not been successful. They will create new ideas and avenues for you to explore.

  • Little to no engagement across your social media

Social media can be an amazing avenue to promote your content and directly engage with your target audience. Using social media helps drive traffic to your website as you are providing your followers with a preview of what they can expect to see if they click a specific link.

If you are doing this already and it’s not working, think about the quality and relevance of the content that you are producing and posting. Always remember that one size doesn’t fit all on social media. Each platform has a different audience, and therefore the language, tone and delivery needs to be tailored every time.

A content marketing agency will pull together a strategic content and social media strategy and create relevant and engaging content that can be used across multiple platforms.

  • Your brand lacks credibility

If you are a new business, it’s so critical early on to establish credibility in the market. A solid content marketing strategy enables your brand to educate prospects and instill their trust in your brand.

According to Hubspot’s 2015 State of Inbound Marketing report, the top two priorities for companies, regardless of size, are to a) increase the number of contacts/leads, and b) to convert contacts/leads to customers.

A successful content marketing strategy can help you achieve this.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 

CTA desingns

 

If you’d like to speak to us about effective content marketing for your business, feel free to get in touch at [email protected].

 

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet To Building A Powerful Media List

Behind every published news article, is a compelling media story and a PR pro’s powerful stash of press contacts. This stash comes in the form of a targeted list, consisting of the contact details of new editors and journalists.

Pulling a new list together for your business is no easy feat, and can take hours on end. With the availability of media database programmes, this task’s been made much simpler. These programmes however, often involve hefty fees.

To those who are feeling the pinch of investing in such programmes, this cheat sheet is made just for you.

Who do I want to read my news?

Building your own media target list is not rocket science, but it does require some thought. For starters, consider who your audience is, and the most relevant media outlets to best reach out to them.

Besides naming these publications, break the publications down into their individual sections – think the business section of a local newspaper, or the food section of a magazine. This will effectively narrow down the scope of your search, saving you a great deal of time.

Look into major newspapers and relevant magazines

Luckily for us, most newspaper journalists have their email addresses embedded alongside their news stories. If a writer touches on a topic or story you consider to be relevant for your business, take his or her email address down.

For the magazines, check out the foreword section. It will give you a quick overview of the magazine’s editorial team and the details of the various magazine section editors.

With this, you are well on your first step to building your targeted media list.

Get online and social

If you can’t seem to locate a particular journalist’s contact details within the print publications, tapping into the online counterparts of the news outlets can be helpful. If not, move on over to the journalist’s social media pages such as LinkedIn, Twitter or even blogs.

Along the way, you will probably even learn much more about the journalist – everything from their high school, the event they have just attended and a collection of past stories they’ve covered. This knowledge can come in handy as talking points when you are in touch with the journalist.

‘Make up’ the journalists’ email

If you pay enough attention to the email addresses of journalists from the same publication, you may begin to notice how the make up of their emails remain consistent across the board.

When necessary, play around with the journalist’s first and last name to try and “guess” his email address in context of the others in the same publication. If you have the journalist’s name right, chances are, you will get the email right as well.

For example: A journalist’s email in a certain publication could look something like [email protected], combining the journalist’s first and last name to create the email address.

Suppose you’re seeking the email of another journalist within the same publication or group, your guess would then reflect the above.

If still you still can’t locate a journalist…

Simply pick up the phone and get in touch with the editorial department of the various media outlet. When on the line, be clear with the purpose of your call and whom exactly you are after.

I’m sure these friendly folks will be more than glad to assist you.

Retain the list, keep it up-to-date

Getting your list ready is one of the stepping-stones to getting the word out about your business, but the work does not end there.

Due to the nature of the industry, journalists move around, and they do it fast. As such, you will need to be on top of these movements, ensuring that your media lists are always updated with the freshest press contacts, or risk having your news stories fall off the face of the earth.

Repeat the steps above over and again – including new contacts when you spot them, and removing contacts when their emails stop working.

Need assistance on maximising the reach of your press materials? Get in touch with us directly at [email protected].

 

How to write a razor sharp content brief

You have a great idea but can’t put it into words. So, you hire a content marketing professional to package all those thoughts and visions into something easily digestible to potential clients.

The thing about content marketers, is that we are wizards of words and want to read your mind too, but we can’t. At times, hours can be spent going back and forth on a piece of content because a brief wasn’t clear enough. This can cost a client and agency money, and an extra $2 for the panadol required for the headache.

To save time, here are some questions we need the answers to, in order to write the content you want.

Why do you need this? There is nothing worse than someone reading your material and going — What is the point of this? A good digital content marketer front loads your key messages because they know how impatient people are while reading online. Without your goals for the content campaign, we will be writing aimlessly.

A client should make clear what the piece of this content is beyond pure lead generation (education? entertainment?), and the piece should be part of that client’s overall content strategy.

What’s the tone? If you have the time, speak to your writer on the phone so they can have a feel for your attitude towards the topic and ghostwrite the article to sound like you.

If not, share with them an article online where you liked the tone, and show them examples of what they define as “professional, friendly, authoritative” because those descriptions can mean different things to different people.

What’s the length? If you don’t tell us, we’re going to make it a standard 600 word post. This is about the longest a post can go before people stop losing interest – this is the average, not a rule. If for some reason you would like the next great American novel published, let us know a word count.  Tip: An A4 piece of paper is about 400 words.

What’s the context? Let the content writer know the other blogs you’ve done or the ones you want moving forward, that way, the article can fit seamlessly with the others. Without context, especially with a freelancer, it will look obvious your article is outsourced.

Before getting your words of wisdom out on paper, make sure you have all the information required to have an effective piece of company branding.

Give an example. To make your brief sharper than the fangs of a saber-tooth tiger, link to a similar blog, thought leadership article, website content that you thought was really well done so we have more of an idea of what you’re looking for.

Need help with your content? Contact us at [email protected].

 

Finding the right social media influencer for your brand

In this day and age of social media, the rise of influencers can no longer be ignored. Social media influencers are often a powerful channel for driving engagement. Perhaps, a personal touch is just what a potential consumer needs to make a decision. In this blog, we’ll take you through the definition of social media influencer marketing and how to best use this for your business.

What is social media influencer marketing?

According to GroupHigh, social media influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Influencers are basically your bridge to a whole new pool of end-users. No matter the size of the following, these influencers will be able to help you reach consumers via their social networks and blogs that your brand may not be able to.

As you can see from this little diagram by Affinio, target your audience through various influencers who share the same following.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.30.37 am

From finding the right influencer for your brand to having them represent you, you will need to identify them, market to them, market through them, and then market with them. Here’s how:

  1. Identifying influencers – rank them in order of importance and relevance.
  2. Marketing to influencers – increase awareness of the brand amongst influencers.
  3. Marketing through influencers – using influencers to increase market awareness.
  4. Marketing with influencers – turn influencers into brand ambassadors.

Why social media influencer marketing?

Because a whopping 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust advertisements!

In the eyes of the consumer, a social media influencer is that cool kid in high school and whatever he or she is into is the next cool thing. Most importantly, there is an authenticity and trustworthiness that comes with your influencer’s recommendation that advertisements lack.

How to get into social media influencer marketing?

Develop and build your relationships with the social media influencers that you think will best represent your brand and reach your target audience. Simply drop them an email with what you have in mind for your collaboration. Here’s how to find the right influencer for your brand:

  • Find an influencer who is pretty much already an ambassador

That means that the influencer’s content is already aligned with your brand’s message. Look through an influencer’s archived content to find out what kind of consumer they are.

  • Engagement vs. reach

Your choice of influencer should not only be able to reach a great number of your target audience, but should also be able to engage them to respond, comment and share. The relationship between your influencer and his/her readers should be meaningful and not just superficial.

  • Look out for authentic and organic content

The more organic the content, the more likely your target audience is to trust his/her recommendation.

The key is to find a social media influencer that allows for a mutually beneficial relationship. And don’t forget, a great relationship between your brand and your influencer of choice will definitely make activating your marketing goals more seamless and effective!

Need help with your social media? Drop a message to [email protected] 

 

mutant-bloggers-cta

 

Inviting the media: the do’s and don’ts for a full house

Media events are a crucial part of the work we do at Mutant for clients both big and small. From intimate food tastings to large festivals, we’ve done them all. Much more than just a boozy knees-up, a well executed media event has the ability to build the hype and momentum needed to give a campaign gravitas.

Once the event has been decided on, the venue booked, budget confirmed and itinerary planned, all you now need to do is get the right people attending. It’s harder than you might think when you consider that your event is just one in an ocean of other media engagements.

Here are some of the most important do’s and don’ts to ensure that no seats go empty:

DO –  Think about who makes the list.

It’s not just about going for numbers. You need to ensure that your ultimate campaign objective is front and centre of everything you do, and that starts with knowing who you want to attend.

You should always have clear objectives. What is your event trying to achieve? Media coverage? Lead generation? Having a clear objective helps decide the kind of target numbers you should aim for. Decide all of this before you pick up the phone.

Small-scale intimate events like food or drink-tastings mean you have to be super selective about who you invite, otherwise you risk compromising the quality of the event. For a small intimate event you want ideally no more than 10-15 people. This allows you and/or your client to spend quality time with each of them. If lead generation is your aim then you want media to come in droves and don’t need to be too picky. 30 or more would be ideal for this although bear in mind that the size of an event space makes a big impact on how busy an event feels.  

DON’T – Ignore the plus ones

This can seem counterproductive and a waste of  budget but members of the media are actually just like you, with social lives, and friends. Torn between a work event and dinner with a friend – many would choose the latter.

If bringing a partner or friend sways their decision, then think about how important their attendance really is. If the cost of an extra ticket means that an influential journalist comes along and writes a full page feature, then it is money well spent in the long run.

Talk to the journalist, see if they have an angle in mind and help them find one if they dont. If you can bring them to the point where a story angle is already well formed in their head, then you can be more confident in justifying the extra expense of a plus one to your client.

In the end, use your discretion. Is the potential coverage worth an extra seat? If so then do it.

DON’T – Be afraid of hand-holding

It’s simple – make it very easy for the media to come along. This can range from sending comprehensive written (or even video) directions to find the event space, to organising their own private parking space (I actually have had to do this before). Think long-term, you want this to foster a lasting relationship with the media. Try to delight them as much as the client and they will trust you as a source of a good story, and come back again.

DO – Think Willy Wonka.

A bit of mystery and intrigue goes a long way.

Spill the beans from the start and the media little incentive to come along. The event needs to provide some exclusive value to them whether it be an interview opportunity, an announcement or an experience so always explain the value that this event will provide them. This is why we generally avoid providing the menu for a food-tasting beforehand, so that the media arrive curious. It’s good to find a balance between telling them the information they need to know, but still keeping a bit of the mystery alive.

Need help with media invites? Drop a message to [email protected] 

Press-event-CTA

Happiness at work

More and more companies are starting to subscribe to happiness as a business philosophy. These firms are focusing on happiness from the inside out and with happiness comes creativity. In our industry, creativity is a crucial element when it comes to  creating content or communicating information and strategies. A happy employee is one that is productive and engaged, and owns their own tasks. Similarly, creativity is stimulated in a productive and engaging environment.

There are many solutions to achieving happiness for oneself, and here are just some which you can also implement at your workplace:

1. Take a breather. Go for a walk!

According to Stanford study by Opezzo and Schwartz, walking triggers a free flow of ideas and improves work performance by an average of 60%. And even after your walk, the positive residual effects can still be felt long after you are back at your desk!

2. Spend your money on experiences

This Harvard study, aptly titled ‘If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right’, tells us to spend our money on experiences and not on things if we want to be happy. Simply because 83% of people mentally revisit their experiential purchases more than material purchases. You remember exactly how you felt the first time you had a cronut on the streets of New York City and when you rode a donkey up a hill in Santorini, but do you remember how you felt when you bought that Prada bag?

Staff lunches, employee days and events can all create a feeling of gratitude, and the friendships created as a result will make for happy employees in a happy office!

3. Control over your own workspace

By allowing employees to have more control over their workspace, productivity can be increased by up to 32%! Read all about it here. You never know how much more you can get out of your employee when you allow them to decorate their work desk however they like with limited rules.

Focusing on employee satisfaction and happiness can provide great returns for the companies who have hopped on board the happy train. Jump on, and we will see you on the other side!

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 

 

Web

What a legendary Hollywood talent agent can teach you about PR

We’re in the business of shining the spotlight on other businesses. So to do a little research,  I watched a documentary on sixties Hollywood talent agent, Shep Gordon and learned a thing or two about what it takes to make other people famous.

It’s alright if you haven’t heard of him, that’s his job – to make other people famous.

In the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon you see the talent manager’s chain of life events unravel, and along the way, I picked up tips on about how he successfully managed the world’s most famous personalities at the time. If iPhones existed in the sixties, Jimi Hendrix, Dalai Lama, Janis Joplin and Alice Cooper would be WhatsApping him on the regular.

Here are the qualities that separate a novice from a true PR professional:

Mr Nice Guy wins

Professionals who work in public relations have a clear swagger to them. They have the magical ability to smooth over gaffes as if they were all part of the act. But PR agents don’t need to be overly polished snobs like Samantha from Sex and the City. PR is one of the few jobs where being nice actually gets you everywhere.

Shep’s was the king of normcore style. He was low-key, if not a little Terry Richardson-esque (sorry) in the wardrobe department.  But he was known for his amazingly warm demeanour and was super easy to get along with. This is what matters in PR. Keeping it real gives you an edge.

The sky’s the limit.

Shep had the most out-of-the-box ideas for PR stunts. He invented the concept of ‘celebrity chef’. He was the first to introduce top chefs to the entertainment industry – inviting them to appear on shows and act as ambassadors for cooking products. There are many avenues that go beyond traditional media to achieve brand awareness – he went against the tried and tested method and achieved one of the best strategies to reach out to the crowd.

Take risks – it’s okay in PR!

When getting truly creative, you always have to take a risk – it is a make or break situation that can get people talking. For Shep, any PR was good PR.

The American agent came up with a PR stunt in London, staging a breakdown of a huge truck in Piccadilly Circus, displaying a risqué photograph of a nearly naked Alice Cooper, his modesty preserved by a strategically placed snake. The streets went wild, it literally stopped traffic. Everyone wanted to know who Alice Cooper was.

 Get social (offline)

You need to be a social person to be in PR. You need to be comfortable around people and have confidence. If you’re not a social butterfly, it’s time to practice.

Every chance you get, sign up for gallery openings, networking events, after parties. Being around new people makes you more aware of how to manage different personalities, and make new friends.

Be genuine

You’ve heard it so many times – but you hardly find sincerity and genuine people, especially in the PR industry. We get flak for always wanting something in return – a piece of coverage, or a pitch. Stop this stereotype and try meeting people without a motive – have a genuine interest in the other person and always make sure to ask them about themselves before blabbing about the client you want to promote.

In a Forbes article about him, Shep was quoted, “What’s really important for me is to do compassionate business.” We need some love and compassion – and it can start with PR. It is a tough job, but Shep reminds me about how amazing it can be when done right.

#PR4EVA

For help on making your business shine, get in touch with us at [email protected]

Go small or go home: Why boutique PR agencies are crushing big firms

At the speed of digital trends, do you want a PR agency that’s agile like a fox or sturdy like a buffalo?

Big PR firms have the manpower, resources, and contacts to execute campaigns quickly, but advances in technology means brands need the flexibility to pivot to suit the mood of today’s on-demand audience.

Here are a couple reasons why you should hire a boutique agency over a big firm:

Skilled Staff

More manpower doesn’t mean a higher quality of work. At some larger agencies, smaller accounts may be handed down to junior members or even interns.

At a boutique agency, there is a specialist for everything. By nature, these smaller companies follow lean organisational structures stripped of multiple management levels and stringent systems and constant revision. This makes the team more nimble, enough to weave past unnecessary approval processes that eat up your billable hours.

They’re part of the ‘hacker generation’

Smaller companies tend to have a startup mentality: Fearless, resourceful, unorthodox problem solvers.

They are known to approach barriers from the outside and sometimes, through the backdoor instead of waiting for the higher-ups to approve a solution. On top of that, staff at leaner agencies enjoy taking the unconventional routes that keeps them on track with or sometimes even ahead of the consumers.

They thrive on change

Change is the constant of boutique PR firms, and they are well-equipped to move along with key industry trends and developments. Rather than fearing new technology, smaller agencies race to be the first to use a new platform or tackle a new social media trend.

With fewer people, revisions are also easier for boutique agencies. If an internal structure is holding back results, managers at small agencies will not hesitate to remove or reform them, to power your business and theirs forward.

Skilled Staff

With the internet bubbling over with too much information, brands need more creativity, quicker.

It’s become clear that advertising is no longer just the business of selling your product or services. Instead, it is now all about making their brand a part of the customer’s everyday life. In order to be there with the customer every step of the way, brands need to be able to tailor strategy at the very last minute.

This is typically where the big players have struggled to keep up, given their internal business reglementations put in place to ensure consistent organisational structures.

What I feel is imperative for businesses today, is to steer themselves away from the traditional view of how bigger or more is better. This can be done through re-evaluating business goals and looking further into what the boutiques can bring to their table, helping business owners get the best bang for their buck.

Need more advice on choosing the right agency for your business? Contact us at [email protected]

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.