Author Archive


The Power of Social Media

1 year ago
by guest

How many viral posts have landed in your social media feed today? Chances are a few, and chances are you’ve seen the below posts pleading for travellers in, or going to Thailand to give blood to a young girl who was hit by a car six days in to her gap year. Lucy Hill, who needed blood transfusions of her negative blood type, has had tourists queuing outside hospitals across Chiang Mai wanting to help her, following Facebook posts from friends which went viral overnight.

PicMonkey-Collage-1

Facebook has a global audience, and with a story of this nature, so many people can relate to it and may have been affected by it. Reading the post that went viral earlier this week may have pulled on your heartstrings for various reasons. When I read the post, I instantly thought of my sister who is keen to travel and I felt I had to share it to try and help in some way – maybe someone on my Facebook saw it who knows someone in Chiang Mai?

These posts between them have now been shared over 260,000 times meaning it has probably been seen by more than some regional newspaper circulations. The Facebook appeal was even picked up by national media including The Independent, The Guardian and The Daily Mail, truly demonstrating the power of social media and the good that can come from it.

PicMonkey Collage 2

PicMonkey Collage 3

The world we live in means that news can spread instantly, whether it be good or bad (check out this LinkedIn post which went viral, for all the wrong reasons). Social media has proven it’s here to stay, and we can only expect it to get bigger and even more powerful with the advances in technology that we see every day. If the power of social media continues to save lives, like it did in this case, I think the world will welcome it.

@jowdx


Making the most of your internship

2 years ago
by guest

Ffion's top tips for interns

As a recent graduate this summer, I went through the customary post-graduation panic that most humanities students experience when deciding on a career. So I decided that the best thing to do would be to gain experience of potential career paths, which led me to applying for an internship at Rewired PR.

I am now into the fourth and final week of my internship, and I’ve loved every second of it! From the moment I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the lovely team at Rewired and soon became actively involved in the agency. I was briefed by members of the team on their portfolio of clients, and given opportunities to support the team by taking on a range of challenging but exciting tasks to complete.

I soon came to realise two important things! I had a lot to learn, and University degrees don’t actually teach you everything you need to know. Internships are extremely valuable in giving you the experience and teaching you the skills you’ll need to enter the working world. So, with that in mind, I’ve put together 5 Top Tips to help you make the most of your opportunity.        

  1. Remember, you’re part of a team.

Whether I was compiling media lists, researching, formatting coverage, writing press releases, blog posts or social media posts I was aware that these tasks were important in helping the team reach a larger goal. So, approach every task with enthusiasm – no matter how big or small you may think it is, because what’s exciting is that your work will contribute to the overall future success of your client or company.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When you’re given a task, and unsure of how to complete it, always ask questions. It demonstrates thoughtfulness and willingness to learn but most importantly it will help you avoid making mistakes and will reduce the need for major future edits in your work. Remember, you’re not expected to know everything!

  1. Keep learning.

I’ve learnt that internships are all about learning. My biggest challenge has been to think and write creatively, which has been very different to my degree courses at University. However, with some practice and useful feedback from the supportive and very patient Rewired team, my writing has significantly improved. So, take advantage of the experienced team around you, listen to their feedback, take it on board, learn from it and improve from it, and like me, you’ll soon see the results.

  1. Be Motivated and Show Interest.

Always have a positive attitude! When you’ve finished your task, don’t just sit there doing nothing, ask your team if there’s any other work you can do. Remember, an internship is an opportunity for you to learn as much as you can about that line of work.

  1. Have fun and just enjoy it!

You won’t be an intern forever (I hope)! You’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn and experience new things, so make the most of the opportunity and take it all in your stride!

Thank you very much for the amazing team at Rewired for having me!


Hippodrome Heritage Project

2 years ago
by guest
Front cover of a Birmingham Hippodrome programme 4th December 1905. From a bound volume in the Library of Birmingham, L28.9. Height:22.4cm. Width:14cm.

Front cover of a Birmingham Hippodrome programme 4th December 1905. From a bound volume in the Library of Birmingham, L28.9. Height:22.4cm. Width:14cm.

Heritage Open Days, England’s biggest heritage festival, is this weekend (10th to 13th September)
Celebrating our history, architecture and culture, there are thousands of free experiences happening up and down the country.

One of 39 events happening in Birmingham is the Hippodrome Heritage Project Open Day, on Saturday 12th September between 10 am – 4pm

Bethan, our office administrator, volunteers for the Hippodrome Heritage Project in her spare time; here she reveals her archiving experiences.

After seeing the project advertised on Birmingham Hippodrome’s Twitter, I knew I had to get involved.
History and theatre are two of my interests, so this project seemed perfect to me.
Initially I went to a training session in May, where I met some of the other volunteers and got to learn in depth about the way the Hippodrome Archive was going to be run.

We were shown archive materials and split into groups to date them based on decade – a surprisingly difficult task! – after correctly identifying the dates, we then had to decide which pieces would be most interesting to display to the public and clip them up on a line.

Courtesy of Matthew Lloyd at www.arthurlloyd.co.uk

Courtesy of Matthew Lloyd at www.arthurlloyd.co.uk

I learned some fascinating facts from this training session and couldn’t wait to start cataloguing and digitising; as a fan of spread sheets, cataloguing quickly and accurately has become my forte.

The Heritage Project Open Day will be a fantastic opportunity to get a look at part of the archive, share your Hippodrome memories or even donate some of your memorabilia.
Digging through boxes looking at old tickets and programmes from the Hippodrome’s rich past has been very rewarding and I feel very lucky to have the chance to help out!

Hippodrome Heritage Project volunteers

Hippodrome Heritage Project volunteers


Publicity stunts of the year

2 years ago
by guest

Since we are over half way through 2015 (already!), I wanted to take a look back at some of the most memorable publicity stunts of the year so far. Their success comes from communicating a message in a unique way, whether visually to a large audience or online via social media. kiribati These publicity stunts have been imaginative, creative and reactive to current events. Here are some of the highlights:

“You’re not you when you’re hungry”

Following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension from the BBC due to a ‘fracas’, Snickers was quick to react, extending its “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. They delivered a box of 48 snicker bars addressed to Clarkson at BBC Top Gear. With over 5,000 retweets of the original post, this is a brilliant example of how to successfully utilise social media to promote a campaign. Social media allows you to react live to current events, creating more impact than a typical press campaign, as well as allowing your audience to engage with the brand. I’m hungry too Snickers!

Snickers

The Dress

Another powerful way to relate a campaign to recent social media activity was exemplified by The Salvation Army and its domestic violence poster produced for International Women’s Day. The charity was super quick to use #Dressgate (I see blue and black) to produce an image of a young woman wearing the white and gold version of the dress, covered in cuts and bruises, titled ‘Why is it so hard to see black and blue?’. Not normally known for publicity stunts, the Salvation Army capitalised on the international popularity of a trivial issue, cleverly twisting it to a hard hitting message.

Salvation Army

The Lump

Cancer Research UK created a real-life visual metaphor in a busy high street; a bulge that grew larger every day. A TV advertisement was created to show how people were oblivious to the growing lump, highlighting the public’s ignorance to possibly cancerous lumps. It sure had me checking.

Check out (no pun intended) the video: http://bit.ly/1NAG0ww

Cancer Research UK

#ChooseBeautiful

Known for its body confidence campaign, Dove set up signs above side-by-side doors in five cities with one reading “Beautiful” and the other “Average”, then filmed as the majority of women chose to be “Average”. It is a powerful commentary on how women perceive their own beauty and Dove commented that “feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves.” Girl power!

Dove

Beer body ready?

Turning a failure into a success, Carlsberg capitalised on one of this year’s most controversial ads, Protein World’s Beach Body Ready advert. Asking consumers if they were beer body ready, the advert also showed a bottle of beer wearing yellow bikini bottoms; a brilliant way of adding a cheeky twist off the back of the controversy caused by Protein World’s original advert.

Carlsberg

No As, Bs or Os

The #MissingType campaign saw brands, publications and even street signs miss out As, Bs and Os, as to represent blood types, from their text. In order to raise awareness about the shortage of blood donations, Waterstones, Odeon and even Downing Street took part in an attempt encourage more people to #giveblood.

Give BloodGive Blood

“You’re getting sacked in the morning”

Always known for its tongue-in-cheek ads, Paddy Power was at it again, teasing the nation’s politicians. Ready for the tense General Election results, its “You’re getting sacked in the morning” poster was displayed on a giant lorry outside of Parliament and was shared across social media platforms. What better way to remind your politicians of their possible fate in the General Election? It’s definitely not something I want to see as I pass the office!

Paddy Power

Which stunts are your favourite so far this year?


The Intern's Story

2 years ago
by guest

After completing most of a PGDipEd Secondary English teaching course you would think my career path was more or less set out in front of me. However, consistently being filled with dread on a Sunday evening and questioning why I was restricting myself to a schooling environment I realised I needed a change. I knew I wanted to take some time to discover exactly what field I wanted to go into – keen not to commit myself to anything I didn’t enjoy again.

Though I graduated with a BA English Language and Literature degree, I have always held an avid interest in the field of business, marketing and communications. This prompted me to research the sector and discover opportunities that appealed to me. I found that most opportunities that interested me required a Business or Marketing degree or a wealth of experience so I set about securing the latter.

I was fortunate enough to secure a placement with a Premier League football club and their fantastic Marketing and Communications department. The experience exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Thereafter I worked with a fashion PR agency based in London, on a specific campaign that provided me with the opportunity to work with media in New York and London. The two experiences meant I had a well-rounded insight into the industry and I was sure this was the career I wanted to pursue.

I contacted two PR agencies in the city and received unexpectedly swift responses [– note sometimes it can take many CVs, cover letters and emails before a reply so persevere!] After attending both meetings I was lucky enough to be offered both internships. It was a hard decision to make as both seemed to be exciting agencies with impressive clients.

Nevertheless when I met Ruth, the lovely managing director at Rewired PR, she offered me the internship during the meeting which made me feel like she believed in me and was willing to take the time to offer training. This appealed to me as my PGCE taught me how important it is to have an excellent mentor that will be keen for you to continuously progress and develop professionally.

This is now my fourth week at Rewired PR and I love it! The team are really friendly, supportive and inspiring. Working at a small agency means I have had the chance to work with everyone on a range of clientele continuously developing my PR and marketing skills through real and important tasks. I have been assigned a wide range of interesting tasks such as writing press releases, creative brainstorming ideas for a launch event, generating coverage trackers, creating copy content for clients, compiling media lists, attending client meetings and much more.

The close-knit team means I am lucky enough to have a team of mentors rather than just one. They have shown consideration, direction and support on a daily basis that has provided me with invaluable training. I think this is definitely a huge advantage as Wilkins says ‘you are only as good as your team’.

I am happy to share that Ruth has extended my internship here – they would have found it pretty difficult to get rid of me anyway! I am excited for the activity that is coming up on Rewired PR’s busy calendar and I hope to work full time with this incredible team as our portfolio of amazing clients continues to grow!

Me with Lina and Lisa for some social media activity!

Me with Lina and Lisa for some social media activity!


Public Relations myths

2 years ago
by guest

Myth or truth

I often have friends and family ask what it is I exactly do for a living. PR isn’t the easiest of professions to explain and with TV series like Ab Fab and more recently Twenty Twelve hitting our TV screens it is easy to see why there may be some confusion about the industry and how it can actually benefit your business.
Below is some insight into common misconceptions about PR:
1. PR and advertising are the same thing.

Wrong. Advertisers will pay for an agreed space and will have full control on what content appears. Audiences will be fully aware that what they are reading or listening to is an advert, making it a somewhat one way street. PR on the other hand will appear as opinion or news, allowing audiences to engage with the content far more.

2. It’s all down to luck.

Those who don’t know much about the industry often think it’s all down to luck or that a quick call to a journalist will guarantee results. The truth is good PRs spend a lot of time planning and strategizing to ensure clients’ objectives and needs are met.

3. PR can’t be measured.

Traditionally PR’s effectiveness has been measured on the number of column inches secured, often citing PR values or advertising value equivalency as measurable figures. There is a lot of debate within the industry as to whether these are effective tools; however the truth is PR can be measured. Understanding your client’s business objectives at the start of any campaign is crucial so any work can be benchmarked against these priorities.

4. PR is all spin.

PRs have often been referred to as ‘spin doctors’ who take the truth and spin it to suit their client’s agenda. Although PRs will craft messages, they are not there to lie or to try and pull the wool over their audience’s eyes. A good PR should be able to create trust and understanding, achieved by being honest, open and engaging when creating content.

5. PR is just about media relations.

It might have been the case that PR was traditionally just about distributing information to print and broadcast media. However, PR is so much more and if used correctly can be used as an extremely useful business tool. PR manages reputation and is a planned and sustained effort which creates rapport and understanding between an organisation and its audience.

And finally, it’s not all glamour, parties and champagne! Don’t get me wrong, we’re a sociable bunch but it’s a tough industry and certainly not a 9 to 5 job! And no, that’s not spin.


The Conservatives on track to spend £1 million to make you ‘like’ them

2 years ago
by guest

Conservatives

It was revealed this week that the Conservative Party is reportedly spending more than £100,000 a month on its Facebook presence, a rate which would see the Tories spend over a £1 million ahead of the general election in May.

The BBC published an invoice sent from Facebook to the Conservative Party referring to September last year which amounted to £122,814 in total. Of this, about £13,000 was spent buying likes for the Conservative Facebook page, and £11,800 on likes for specific posts.
Labour has admitted that it fully expects to be outspent by its rival, and has even used this as part of its campaign – telling the BBC its equivalent spend was less than £10,000.

The Conservatives obviously see this as a worthwhile investment, especially where competition to secure votes and reach a younger audience is so crucial – and the strategy seems to be paying off. The party currently has over 341,000 likes on Facebook, whereas Ukip has around 333,000, and the Labour party is trailing behind with just 211,000.

As the countdown to the general election gets well and truly underway it will certainly be interesting to see whether David Cameron’s significant spend can truly make the public ‘like’ him.


New Year PR Resolutions

2 years ago
by guest

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

As we hurtle towards the end of 2014 much of my last month has been reviewing the work we’ve done over the past year so we can build on the successes and prepare for an even bigger and better 2015. With that in mind I thought I’d take this opportunity to jump on the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon and offer my top PR resolutions to help you ensure next year gets off to a headline grabbing start:

1. Review your communications strategy. Take a good look at your communications activity from the past year and be honest about what has and hasn’t worked. Are there things you could have done differently or improved upon? A communications audit might help with these answers.
If you didn’t have a communications strategy for 2014 then this will help focus you for the year ahead…..

2. Create a PR strategy. A PR strategy will help you be far more targeted and will steer you in the right direction to ensure you’re talking to the right audience in the right way. Set yourself some clear goals and make a plan and stick to it.

3. Celebrate success. New client wins, award success, new starters or products or services all provide the opportunity to profile your business in a positive way.

4. Read the news. Be that your local newspapers, national news or trade press relevant to your sector. Knowledge is power and understanding your industry and what your target media writes about will help you recognise what you need to do to get a bite of the cherry.

5. Try a new platform. A lot of businesses are successfully using Facebook and Twitter but are there other platforms out there which could further help you connect with your audience? Make sure you stay one step ahead of your competitors and explore alternative platforms such as Vine or Instagram which has seen a huge increase in active users and has recently overtaken Twitter.

6. Speak to your customers. This might sound obvious but how often do you speak to your clients or customers? Are they happy? Do you know what they need? If you even hesitated before answering any of these questions then 2015 needs to be the year you contact your customers more often.

7. Network. It can become far too easy to get caught up with the day-to-day activities of running a business or attending networking events with the same circle of people. Prepare a schedule of networking events you can attend in 2015 – aiming for one a month. Make sure these are relevant to you and your business; requesting a delegate list or agenda prior to attending might help.

8. Keep an eye out for key milestones. Scope out a timeline including key milestones for your business and the industry you operate in. Once these have been identified you should have a consistent list of opportunities to connect with your audience.

9. Become a public speaker. Speaking at relevant conferences and events is a great way to position yourself and your company as a thought-leader in your industry. Start off by choosing a relevant topic you feel confident talking on and then identify networking groups which provide opportunities for guest speakers to attend.

10. Make sure your website content is up-to-date. Your company’s website is often the first glimpse a potential customer gets of your business. As you head into 2015, make sure the content is the best is can possibly be.

I hope these simple tips prove useful; here’s to a happy and successful 2015!


Something Wicked this way comes

3 years ago
by guest

Wicked

Earlier this month Sam Harrison and myself were lucky enough to attend the Birmingham Hippodrome’s premiere of highly anticipated musical extravaganza, Wicked!

Focusing on the story behind The Wizard of Oz’s ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ and ‘Glinda the Good’, Wicked tells the untold story of the witches of Oz; focusing on the pair from their school days and revealing how the Wicked Witch, formerly known as Elphaba, really became wicked.

Already a favourite of mine, the performances definitely did justice to the fantastic script and when the well-known ‘Defying Gravity’ number was played, there wasn’t a person left in their seat.

Attending with Leading Ladies, we were also privy to some great networking and delicious snacks, like this amazing cake created by the Hippodrome’s amazing catering team.

Wicked Cake

All in all, a fantastic evening!


Work Experience: where do I start?!

3 years ago
by guest

Guest Post by Anna Hughes, Work Experience at Rewired PR

Anna Hughes Work Experience

Work Experience at Rewired PR…where do I start?!

I was surprised to find myself (unnecessarily) nervous about starting on Monday, spending the weekend worrying – really not recommended before starting any kind of placement. However, upon arriving at the office on Monday morning, these niggling thoughts quickly dispersed and what at first seemed like a daunting experience, quickly became an exciting one, and one I’m very glad to have taken part in.

Although I’ve only been at Rewired for a week, I have already learnt heaps about the PR industry and the ways of the PR world. I have found it really helpful just being alongside the team, as it has given me a taste of what it is like to work in an office like this one. It has been great to work alongside such engaged and driven individuals who, it is obvious, love their job. So far, Rewired PR has encouraged my interest in the field massively and has offered me a window of insight into what it is like working in such a career. From all that I have learnt in the first week, I am eager to see what is in store for me in the second!

I have particularly learnt about the importance of social media in creating engagement and interest in a brand or company through platforms like Twitter and Facebook. I found this particularly interesting as, to me, my Facebook feed is full of selfies and my Twitter is covered with people I know bemoaning about their day to day lives.

I never really noticed how much brands and companies infiltrated on to my pages and how much I actually paid attention to them by clicking their links or visiting their sites until now! Even though it was right in front of me, and I was in fact responding to posts in the way they wanted me to, I did this without really realising. Evidently, with the messages being thought-provoking and interesting but not forceful or overpowering, it meant that I was still extremely receptive to them. I’ve learnt the importance of getting this just right when using social media in PR.

I have also enjoyed spending time doing research for certain projects and clients. In fact, I think the one element that I have particularly loved about PR at Rewired is the diversity of their projects. Everything I have done has been completely different to the next thing and I have found that really appealing as it keeps work interesting and different.

I am extremely grateful to the whole team for giving me the opportunity to join them for these two weeks and for making me feel extremely welcome. The experience I have gained is vital and something I could have only achieved by doing a placement like this. Safe to say, the experience has made me really inclined to pursue a career pathway in PR. So on that note, I would like to say thank you to everyone at Rewired for a great first week of work experience!

Anna Hughes