Author Archive


We’re recruiting: Account Executive

9 months ago
by Ruth Pipkin

We’re looking for a talented and self-motivated account executive to join our busy team.

This is an opportunity to make your mark at an ambitious and dynamic agency in the heart of Birmingham. As an account executive, you will work as part of the account team to deliver work for a range of clients across our three core sectors of retail & leisure, education, and community.

The successful candidate will play an important supporting role in ensuring that we continue to deliver an exceptional service to our national and regional client base. Day to day you will be responsible for account admin such as managing press coverage reports, media lists and research as well as developing and implementing social media campaigns. Alongside this you will have the opportunity to hone your skills, including press release and feature writing, media relations, social media and event management.

You will have:

  • Up to a year’s PR experience within an agency, or proven relative work experience
  • Excellent written skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • The ability to multitask and work across numerous projects and campaigns
  • A keen interest in all aspects of media
  • A confident telephone manner
  • A desire to learn and play a key role in a growing agency

For a full job description or further information, please email Ruth Pipkin on ruth@rewiredpr.com or call 0121 236 2132.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 11th November 2016.


In or out? Will the media decide the outcome of the EU referendum?

1 year ago
by Ruth Pipkin

UK EU flag

With just nine days to go until Britain hits the polling stations, both the Vote Leave and Stronger In Europe campaigns have been overshadowed by accusations of scaremongering and reliance on unsubstantiated ‘facts’.

So where should any undecided voters turn to for unbiased critique and impartial commentary? The media? Not likely.

Figures published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in May revealed that the national press were biased towards Brexit during coverage of the first two months of campaigning. 45% of 928 referendum articles it studied were in favour of leaving while 27% supported the remain camp.  19% were categorised as “mixed or undecided” and 9% were classified as “adopting no position”.

EU referendum2

As the Independent reports, the media landscape has changed dramatically since the last EU referendum in 1975. With newspaper circulation dwindling, today’s voters are just as likely to keep up to date on politics via Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post as they are by watching BBC News or reading a daily paper. However, the role of the national daily press is still considerable – not least because it tends to set the agenda for broadcast media – and with 75% of adults relying on TV for their daily news fix, broadcast is holding onto its influence.

Television and radio in the UK have an obligation to be impartial and, in theory, must give both campaigns equal coverage. However, it’s hard to miss the frequent debate surrounding media bias, not least tabloid accusations surrounding the BBC’s and its coverage of the EU.

Social media has become the battleground of choice for political parties – particularly when seeking to engage with new and younger voters. Early on in the EU campaigns it was reported that both sides were favouring Facebook as their medium of choice for reaching out.

Facebook EU

At the time of writing, Britain Stronger in Europe had amassed  471,112 likes on Facebook, with  Vote Leave at 482,885. Not much to give away a potential result there, but the tactical campaigning has potentially had a considerable impact in generating new votes. It has been suggested that the voter registration website crash last week was, in part, a result of a targeted Facebook campaign funded by the remain camp, which encouraged voter sign-ups to anyone over the age of 17.

The New Statesman reported that, on the last Friday before applications for registration closed, Facebook ran an advert linking directly to the voter registration site for 24 hours. 186,000 people applied to register that day, of which around 120,000 were under the age of 34. The total registrations were almost double that of the days preceding.

The Telegraph’s analysis of the impact of extending the voter registration deadline, as a result of the crash, pointed to this resulting in a potential 30,000 extra votes for Remain. With most experts in agreement that younger voters are more likely to vote to stay in the EU, could social media have played the biggest role in shaping the result?

 


What makes a good communicator?

1 year ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Megaphone-Cartoon-940x510

Learning how to be an effective communicator is a valuable skill, and essential if you’re the spokesperson for your business or organisation. Whether you’re making a speech or presentation, speaking to the media or standing up to deliver a killer pitch, here are my top tips:

Be natural

Undoubtedly, the most engaging speakers are those who appear to be able to talk from the heart, without referring to pages of notes. The truth is, the most natural performances are more often than not the most rehearsed: practice makes perfect. Generally, it’s much easier to talk about something that you have lived and breathed and are knowledgeable about, so if it’s not coming naturally, consider if your topic is right or if, on this occasion, someone else would be in a stronger position to make the presentation or attend the media interview.

Tell stories

Take your audience on a journey with you. Paint a picture. Be expressive. Like any good book, think about your start, middle and end. How do you want people to feel at the end of your speech or presentation? If you’re giving an interview, what will the audience take away? Remember, you’ll need to work even harder for radio, so think about lifting your story with appropriate description and colour.

Think in threes

When it comes to presentations, three is the magic number. The rule of three is a well-used and effective tool to give you structure to your message, and help your audience to remember the key content. Don’t be tempted to try and cover too much, work hard to focus in on the main points.

Consider your audience

 Ensure your audience are sitting up and taking notice by involving them in your presentation. If appropriate, take a measure of the room beforehand to see what people are expecting to hear or learn, and refer to these points during your presentation. Allow opportunities for discussion and conversation, take questions or consider asking for them in advance. If you’re giving a media interview, ensure you have a full understanding of who your audience is, and ensure that your content and answers are relevant to their situation.

Be prepared for all eventualities

You may be put on the spot with a challenging question or be asked to talk about a difficult situation. The golden rule: don’t lie. Not many people set out to be dishonest, but you may feel backed into a corner if you’re not prepared to talk about sensitive issues. Consider any difficult topics in advance and think through an appropriate response.

And last of all, listen

All good communicators have one thing in common. They’re good listeners too. And listening starts right at the beginning. Before you even give your presentation or interview, have you really understood what you’re being asked to do? Listen during your speech or pitch by asking questions and gauging the temperature of the room. And perhaps most importantly, listen to feedback afterwards, learn, and continue to improve.

 


And the winner is…

1 year ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars

So we’ve woken up this morning to the news that Leo has finally got his hands on a much-sought after Oscar, and with debate still raging about the best and worst dressed at this year’s BRITs, awards season is well and truly upon us.

But celebrities are not the only ones who have to perfect both the acceptance speech and the dignified loser’s expression. The opportunities for businesses from all sectors to compete with their peers for the latest industry gong seem to grow every year.

The last month has seen a flurry of entries from the Rewired office for our clients entering everything from local business awards to national industry accolades.

The time, and often the cost, of entering awards can quickly add up. Successful award entries are not the sort of thing you can put together in a spare half hour. They need careful consideration to stand out from the crowd, a lot of research and meticulous attention to detail. So are they worth it? Does a burgeoning awards shelf have the potential to give you or your business an Oscars-style bump?

Here’s my shortlist of why I think entering, and hopefully winning, awards is worth the hard graft.

They provide external recognition for your work

When you pour your life and soul into a project or campaign, it’s great to receive a virtual pat on the back, or a shiny trophy, from a panel of your peers.

They can set a standard

Industry awards are increasingly focused on measurable success, from footfall to marketing reach, community engagement to sales figures. By entering awards you’ll be forced to focus in on your objectives, anticipated results and how you measure them, which might help you to set a standard for all future campaigns or projects.

They give the team a boost

An obvious one this, but being shortlisted and hopefully winning a few titles is great for team moral, as is a night out showing your competitors how to celebrate/commiserate in style.

They can help to recruit

‘Award-winning’ is another useful line to add to your recruitment adverts. In turn, you may well be looking for award-winning candidates.

They can open doors

Referencing a string of awards should help you to stand out from the crowd, but don’t rely on titles alone. Communicate why you earned that success, and what you can do to bring a bit of awards sparkle to your next client or project. Equally, here at Rewired we’ve been approached by a number of potential clients and partners who found us through our industry award wins. You never know who might be paying attention.

Awards make headlines

Winning a coveted title can help you to secure additional positive PR, and don’t be shy: remember to shout about your own success!

 

 


Autumn update

2 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

The trees are changing colour, there’s a definite chill in the air and the first trailer for I’m a Celebrity appeared on TV last night. Summer is now officially a distant memory, autumn is upon us and Christmas will be here before I’ve done any shopping…

It’s fair to say the last couple of months have been a hive of activity in the Rewired office and October will be no exception. Highlights have included celebrating Cadbury World’s 25th birthday (and a few other city milestones to boot) and delivering PR and social media for Style Birmingham Live on behalf of Retail Birmingham – a flagship event during the fantastic Birmingham Weekender.

The Cadbury World team celebrating 25 years

The Cadbury World team celebrating 25 years

Style Birmingham Live

Style Birmingham Live

We were also extremely proud to work alongside Cure Leukaemia to deliver PR, social media and event support for a sell-out Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen at Villa Park which raised over £60,000 for the pioneering blood cancer charity.

Glynn Purnell's Friday Night Kitchen for Cure Leukaemia

Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen for Cure Leukaemia

Our ongoing work with the Mailbox is gathering pace as we prepare to unveil the biggest milestone to date, the stunning new sky-lit Urban Room, on 22 October.

For the third year running we’re working on behalf of the Chewing Gum Action Group to launch a national PR campaign to highlight the importance of disposing of gum responsibly, and reducing gum litter. The campaign launches later this month and will be the most high profile to date.

We’ve also welcomed a number of new clients from across our key sectors of retail and leisure, education and community.

We’re delighted to be working with Lookers Vauxhall to support their Birmingham dealerships in spreading the word about their community involvement, from grass roots sports teams to national charities.

In September we were appointed to spread the word about the new plans for one of Birmingham’s most iconic bars and restaurants, Metro, and we know we’re not the only ones who can’t wait to try the new Pan Asian menu when it launches in early 2016.

We’ve also been working closely with Academy Transformation Trust to develop a robust marketing strategy to support the organisation to achieve further growth.

With a number of other new clients to announce in the coming weeks, we’re on a recruitment drive to find more exceptional talent to join our team. If you’re interested in working with us, keep an eye on our jobs pages and Twitter, as new roles will be announced there first.

 


Did social peer pressure boost voter turnout?

2 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

It would be difficult to write my blog this week without discussing the General Election in some form. But where to start… The power of personality in politics? The meteoric rise of Nicola Sturgeon? The uncertainty of opinion polls? Why you should never say “I’ll eat my hat…?”

One statistic I am particularly interested in is voter turnout. I’ve written before about the need to promote the vote, particularly amongst young people who will inherit the consequences of the decisions made at the ballot box.

Voter turnout across the UK has traditionally lagged behind our European neighbours, and countries including Australia and South Korea. Note that the graph below from Forbes refers to the 2010 General Election in the UK, where voter turnout stood at just 61.1%.

How Britain's voter turnout measures up_Forbes

Encouragingly, the number of young people (aged 18 – 24) using their vote is seeing a marked increase. In 2005, only 38% took to the ballot box. By 2010 this increased to 52%. Reports this morning suggest that the figure for this election has risen to 58%.

According to Sky News, 89% of 16 and 17-year-olds registered to vote in the Scottish referendum last September and in April this year, 320,000 young voters joined the electoral roll in a single week. And all this despite Russell Brand…

So what is driving this growth (which admittedly still has some way to go)? Clearly there isn’t a straightforward answer, but I’m pretty confident that the way young voters consume their news will be a major factor. Political commentary is no longer confined to the pages of the newspapers and a 10.30pm slot on Newsnight. The rise of live blogs and multi-channel reporting has brought this campaign to life. The biggest change I’ve seen since the last General Election is the way it infiltrates our day to day lives, with heated debate amongst friends and family over the past few weeks on social media.

Twitter reports that more than 1.3m tweets were sent about the election yesterday and Facebook’s ‘I’ve Voted’ feature was used by millions, with 22% aged 18-24.

Did this social peer pressure encourage votes? I’d like to think that it was a greater influence than the weather. Let’s hope that the trend continues and we can celebrate even greater democratic engagement by the next election.

 


The rise of the one man brand

2 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Evan Tube

One of the best examples of how social media has helped to explode marketing reach is the phenomenon of the ‘one(wo)man brand’ – the sudden rise to fame of individuals thanks the power of the social web.

Much has been written about the YouTube stars who command more in earnings (and audience figures) than most TV personalities (including 8 year old Evan Tube who reportedly nets $1.3 million a year from posting his toy reviews).

As new platforms are launched and find their way into the mainstream, they’ve given a leg up to a whole host of personalities and entrepreneurs who now have no limits to the size of the audience they can reach on a global scale.

One of the most successful one man brands to have found his way into my social network over the past few months is Mr Lean in 15 – aka ‘The Body Coach’ Joe Wicks – who has amassed a huge, loyal following on his channel of choice, Instagram.

The-Body-Coach

 

Having started to build his #teamlean following on Twitter, Joe launched his Instagram account in January 2014. In just over a year, he now boasts 147,000 followers (and counting).

Making the most of Instagram’s video feature, Mr Lean posts short 15 second videos demonstrating healthy, nutritious and most importantly, easy meals to support a lean lifestyle. Interspersed with his recipe videos are progress pictures from his mass following of ‘team lean’ fans, who have signed up to his personal training regime.

Joe’s rapid rise to fame on the social web has enabled him to cross over into the mainstream media from broadsheets to consumer magazines, TV appearances and photoshoots. His ‘brand’ is very clearly on the rise.

There’s much that larger organisations and corporations can learn from the success of the one man brands. But at the centre of it all, it boils down to the importance of that one, core idea that captures the imagination and is communicated with authenticity and passion.

 


10 dates to look forward to in 2015

3 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

chips

National Chip Week: 16-22 February

Yesterday saw much of the mainstream media jump on reports of a debt and divorce-fuelled January, exacerbated by our bulging waistlines and broken resolutions. Brands weren’t slow in jumping on the bandwagon, with Twitter positively fit to bursting with RT to win offers for everything from crisps to suncream poised to help us beat the blues…

Whether or not you subscribe to the theory that Monday 19 January was the unhappiest day of the year, it certainly feels like new days, weeks and months are being proclaimed at such a rate that the Gregorian calendar is creaking at the seams. Many of course are engineered by marketers and PR types and awareness days have also been a huge boost to charities, providing a focused opportunity to educate, inform and raise funds. What would November be now without seeing our men-folk battling it out in a month-long beard-off.

I, for one, would certainly miss a year without some of the more quirky, interesting and informative dates in the diary, many of which are recognised across the globe. Here are 10 of my favourite dates to look forward to in the year ahead:

  1. National Chip Week 16 – 22 February. A great opportunity to celebrate a British institution.
  2. World Book Day 5 March 2015. Generally accompanied by frantic Facebook posts about children’s fancy-dress costumes…
  3. International Women’s Day 8 March. Celebrated since the early 1900s, look out for thousands of events taking place across the globe.
  4. National Pet Month 1 April – 4 May. Any excuse to share more cat photos.
  5. Record Store Day 18 April. A welcome American import celebrated in the UK since 2007.
  6. Roald Dahl Day 13 September. A personal favourite, I’m looking forward to re-reading some of Dahl’s classic tales in the years to come.
  7. Cask Ale Week Thursday 24 September – Thursday 4 October. A good enough reason for some serious beer tasting.
  8. Chocolate Week 12- 18 October. A must for fellow chocoholics.
  9. Global Entrepreneurship Week 17 – 23 November. Thousands of events will take place across the country to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
  10. Small business Saturday – December 2015. A timely reminder to support small businesses and independent retailers in this crucial trading period.

New arrivals

3 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin
Lina Patel, Bethan McKnight, Natalie Merrix and Lisa O-Keeffe

New arrivals at Rewired: Lina Patel, Bethan McKnight, Natalie Merrix and Lisa O’Keeffe

 

Working in PR means that we’re generally planning Christmas campaigns when most people are lying on a beach. Despite this, the end of the year has still managed to sneak up on me with alarming speed so, before we’re tucking into turkey sandwiches, I wanted to celebrate some of the latest arrivals at Rewired.

I don’t usually indulge in personal news on this blog but I will make an exception for the biggest arrival in my year, Alex, who arrived fashionably late in July. By all accounts he can’t sit still and has plenty to say. Clearly his mother’s son.

We’ve also welcomed four new faces to the Rewired team. Natalie, Lina and Lisa have joined the Rewired ranks to work across our retail and leisure, education and community portfolios, bringing a breadth and depth of experience with them. Bethan completes the team as our office administrator.

Rebecca has overseen a busy six months delivering campaigns for new and existing clients, from national brands including Poundstretcher and Pet Hut to a number of leading names closer to home. We’re particularly proud to have launched Cadbury World’s new zone, 4D Chocolate Adventure, supported Hyatt Regency Birmingham with their £6 million refurbishment and unveiled Millennium Point’s Young Innovator Prize.

It’s certainly been a year to remember and with 2015 set to bring some big announcements for many of our clients, not least the hotly anticipated launch of the new Mailbox, it’s good to be back!


What's in a name?

3 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Car-phones-450x375

There was plenty of talk in the media last week regarding the £3.8bn merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse– with the new Dixons Carphone laying out its vision to become the ‘world class retailer for the digital age’.

Much of the coverage focussed on Dixons Carphone looking to own the retail agenda around the ‘internet of things’ –  improving connectivity between household objects and the internet through mobile technology.

Carphone’s Chief Executive, Andrew Harrison, confidently declared: “This is a merger that is ahead of the curve, not behind the curve, and is thinking about how the world is changing for customers.”

Great. If they pull it off It all sounds very necessary, very now. But what about the name?

I have an issue with Carphone Warehouse every time I pass one of their stores. As a child of the 80s, I remember my dad coming home with his first carphone. Wow, did that feel like the future.

Fast forward two decades and holding on to the Carphone name seems overwhelmingly behind the curve, rather than racing ahead at the speed of fibre broadband.

Why go through the motions of reinventing an offer without reinventing the brand? If the company is serious about selling its future vision to a new generation of customers, surely it’s time to consider a new identity to support that vision?