Monthly Archives: January 2011

Press Office 24 – A New Service From Beattie Communications

Beattie Communications has launched a new service to support hard-pressed in house PR departments.

Press Office 24 is available to handle media enquiries after hours or when PR teams are out of the office.

The service which operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year is also on hand to provide back up cover for important media events or support for crisis situations.

All calls will be answered by the experienced Beattie Communications media team who will:

  • Take messages
  • Issue previously agreed statements
  • Provide responses using an agreed Q&A
  • Contact clients immediately if something important comes up

The team, which includes many former newspaper and broadcast journalists, can even get behind the upfront questions to find out angles journalists are planning to take.

Press Office 24 was set up because in house PR departments have slimmed down and overworked staff often have to provide after hours press office cover every day of the year including Christmas and New Year's Day.

The new service means they never have to be on call ever again!

Conducting Market Research The Easy Way

Good data helps us make good business decisions and there's no easier way to gather valuable feedback than integrating social media into the decision-making process.

With 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets a day on Twitter and 2 billion daily video views on YouTube the social media is a hotbed for gathering market intelligence.

Fire out a question on Twitter, for instance, and you will almost certainly receive an immediate response.

When it comes to market research the social media is quick and at times brutally honest.

It's a great way to reach experienced business people who have valuable insights to impart.

If you are launching a new marketing campaign test it on the social media - it's the smart thing to do. 

If you would welcome some free advice on social media marketing and research - give me a call.

Media Train Your Spokespeople

For an organisation that relies so much on goodwill, I could hardly believe my eyes while reading a story about the National Trust for Scotland receiving a multi-million dollar gift from an American benefactor.

79-year-old William Lindsay from Las Vegas had apparently committed suicide to escape going into a nursing home but it was the comments attributed to an NTS fundraiser in the US which left me perplexed.

Johanna Gurland is quoted as saying: "Like many Americans he had a fantasy of Scotland based on the movie Brigadoon and not much else."

Referring to the first call Ms Gurland took from the benefactor, she is alleged to have said: "We get these calls quite often. Most of the time these people are lonely and looking for attention. I was willing to talk to him, but part of my brain was saying it was another nut."

She is also quoted as saying: "If you saw him you wouldn't think he had a dime."

In the 18 months prior to his death Mr Lindsay had given nearly $4 million to the NTS and now they are in line for another windfall.

I am astonished at Ms Gurland's remarks. If accurate, they are patronising, disrespectful and insulting and are likely to stop other generous people donating to the NTS.

When it comes to the press we can all put our foot in it - politicians do it all the time!

There are, however, two lessons for all companies and organisations to be taken from this unfortunate incident:

•    Only allow designated people to speak to journalists
•    Ensure all your people are media trained

The NTS story was splashed all over the front page of The Scotsman. Click on this link if you would like to read the full story: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/National-Trust-for-Scotland-left.6678496.jp
For media training, press office services and crisis PR, speak to Beattie Communications 0800 612 9890.

Emotional Brands Stand Out

If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd, it must have a different ethos and a more vibrant personality than every other brand in your sector.

Great brands don't copy their rivals - they trail blaze. Dyson is the prime example. Their vacuum cleaners burst on to the market with new technology but more importantly - a startling new look.

Dyson captured the imagination of consumers around the world and two decades later, shoppers are still happy to pay more for a Dyson than any other cleaner.

Great brands are never dull - they are emotional. They connect with the mind and the heart.  Look at how Havaianas transformed the humble flip flop into a fashion statement that blew much more expensive brands into a sand storm.

Before Havaianas, flip flops were pedestrian and boring. They served a mundane purpose and every brand looked the same. Havaianas re-wrote the rule book. They produced cool, stylish and affordable flip flops that changed the beachwear landscape for ever.

Specsavers did the same for eyewear. Before Specsavers most sight-challenged people had one pair of glasses. Today, it's not unusual to have a new pair of glasses for every outfit.

Specsavers set out to make eyewear affordable. In the process they made glasses cool. In fact, they went further - they made spectacles sexy. So-much-so that people with perfect sight now wear glasses as a fashion accessory.

If you want your brand to shine like a beacon, inject some emotion into it and like Dyson, Havaianas and Specsavers you'll capture the business, not just the imagination, of your customers.

How Many Websites Have You Got?

Beattie Communications and its various brands have dozens of websites.

Why?

The more websites you've got the more business you will pick up.

It's a bit like fishing - the more lines you have in the river, the more fish you are going to catch.

Of course, you will land nothing if the fish fail to see the bait on your hook.

It's the same with websites - there is no point in having the best looking website in the world if it has no visibility with the search engines.

To win business on the internet you need a commercially-focussed website that's been optimised to sit at the top of the search engines.

All the Beattie Communications and Only Marketing websites are aggressively optimised. As a result, they score well when it comes to keyword searches.

If you want to win more business from the internet, speak to my team at Only w3b. They are the best optimisers on the planet and they will drive your sites to the top of the search engines.