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Top PR Predictions for 2018

20 December 2017 at 17:00

It’s coming to that time of year, when we start thinking about our goals for the following 12 months. But with the ever-changing market, there are several things to consider when you’re putting your plans in place, particularly when it comes to PR. So here at Trailblazer HQ, we’ve put together our top 5 predictions for the new year to help you create an affective PR strategy for 2018.

 

Changes to Google

Another year, another change to Google algorithms. With the latest update, you can expect to see your website disappear into the digital abyss if it’s not optimised for mobile devices. High quality content will also continue to be a vital part of staying high up in the rankings. For the tail end of 2017, ensure that you spend time revamping your website if necessary so that your online presence is unaffected in the new year.

 

Brand Reputation

Over the last six months, the acceleration of recycled tweets from celebrities resurfacing or customers reaching for their social media to leave a scathing review, have been more prominent than ever. Your brand reputation is your best asset, and ensuring you have an air-tight crisis management plan in place is essential when it comes to keeping control over your own narrative. Being on-hand to respond to any negativity is key, as the message can go viral seconds after it’s been posted.

 

Videos & Live Feed

We said it last year, and we’re saying it again. Video streaming has more impact than ever, with 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute. If you haven’t already, NOW is the time to put video content front and centre stage in your strategy. Your customer following want to feel that instant connection to your brand, and keep ‘in the know’ with your latest news. This will only continue to gather momentum in 2018 with the meteoric rise of Snapchat, together with Instagram stories and Facebook Live.

 

Own your Digital presence

In a saturated market, it’s more important than ever to produce original content and stand out – and above the crowd. Building your own online presence isn’t just about creating a profile and frequently posting; it’s about owning your space and curating topics that draw people back time and time again.

 

Influencers

Collaborations with online influencers have become a huge trend since the rise of the blogger/vlogger. Utilising their thousands, or even millions of followers can gain your brand extra publicity. However, in 2018 we’re predicting quality over quantity.

 

With the bigger names of the blogging community these days reaching over 10 million followers, your brand can get lost in translation, as their followers aren’t necessarily sold on their brand, but rather who’s selling it. Stick to the influencers who have a loyal fan base and provoke relevant discussion.

 

If you are looking to build or simply revamp your PR strategy for 2018, get in touch with Trailblazer PR today on info.pr@trailblazerpr.com

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5 Top Tips for Writing Engaging Content

20 December 2017 at 16:58

Content creation is essential in today’s digital world. Fact. So whether your business boasts its own blog or a simple news feed, the ‘blogosphere’ is a saturated market and keeping your audience interested, or growing potential new followers, is becoming increasingly difficult.

 

Here at Trailblazer PR, we recognise how much of a struggle it can be to consistently find or write new material, which can ultimately end up being more of a hindrance than a help on your daily to-do list! To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together our 5 top tips for writing engaging content that will enhance your presence online:

 

Snappy Headlines

Just like the main bulk of your text, the title should be just as short and snappy. Your main headline is the first thing your reader will see, and a strong attention-grabbing title will often determine if they’ll want to read on. Try writing a few down initially, or even waiting until you’ve finished writing to help determine what would best suit your chosen topic.

 

Keep it short and sweet

These days, nobody has time to sit and read lengthy paragraphs. Your content should flow consistently and relay the simple message you want to put across, without the hefty word count. 

 

Stay in the Know

Keep your finger on the pulse by staying up to date on current topics or new trends that are emerging in your industry. This will be the difference between you and your competitors!  It may be easier said than done, but your audience visits your blog to read what YOU have to say - being in the know gives your brand a professional identity and your audience will soon sit up and take note.

 

Use your platform to your advantage

Depending on what platform you use for your content, make sure you utilise Google Analytics to understand what content has captivated your audience the most. Conversely, it can also help you eliminate which topics don’t attract as many views, saving you precious time when researching new content ideas.

 

Be Original

When researching new content ideas, you need to ask yourself these questions: Is this something your followers would want to read about? – and - has this already been discussed? Nobody wants to read the same thing twice, so take the time to put your own spin on the chosen topic to allow your personality to shine through, and keep your specific audience loyal to your brand.  

 

If you are interested in putting together your own PR strategy, and specifically need help with your content generation, please contact a member of the Trailblazer PR team for a no-obligation chat at pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call the office directly on 01453 887777.

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Grow your business this autumn with a little helping hand from PR!

31 July 2017 at 14:46

September marks a period of change. New season, new school year…new strategy?

 

That’s right, in business the month of September provides the perfect opportunity to review your business development strategy - assess what has or hasn’t worked over the previous eight months and implement vital changes to meet your sales targets for the close of the year.

 

PR plays a vital role here - where the development of creative campaigns can increase awareness of your brand and aid product or service conversions. Interested in finding out more? Here’s 4 ways PR can help you achieve your year-end goals this Autumn:

 

Engage with target audiences

Modern day PR is far more than creative ideas and press releases – it’s about engaging with target audiences by integrating with the wider digital marketing mix. Got an engaging news story? Modern day PR will reach out to your target audience via well-written content distributed across key online channels, from well-researched media outlets to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Reach potential clients

You could have the best product or service in the World, but if no-one knows it exists, it serves very little purpose! An effective PR strategy will work hard to identify and reach your target audiences, promoting your key product or services through genius ideas that increase brand awareness across multiple channels.

 

Improve your position on Google

Since Google changed its algorithm in 2013, fresh and engaging content has played a significant role in where your website positions in the SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages]. Why? Google endeavour to provide the best possible answer to each and every search query, which means the better the content, the better your response will be.

 

A key part of every effective PR strategy is creating engaging content – from blogs for your website right through to case studies and comment pieces. All help with the SEO effort, particularly secured backlinks from authoritative media outlets to your website.

 

Get ahead for Christmas

Yes, that’s right – we said the C word. But in the World of PR, planning for seasonal or relevant events plays a big part in what we do. From teaser campaigns to new product launches, PR is vital for supporting key developments in your business, driving increased sales to benefit your bottom line by year end.

 

Interested in finding out more about how PR can aid business growth? Contact a member of the Trailblazer PR team at info.pr@trailblazerpr.com

Tags: PR | Content Marketing | PR Strategy | Business Development

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Top Challenges Faced by the Modern-Day PR

24 May 2017 at 17:05

Here at Trailblazer PR, we work hard to keep pace with the latest trends and industry developments, boasting an excellent understanding of how PR plays a pivotal role in the ever-increasing digital marketing mix.

From supporting SEO through the creation of effective content, to driving web traffic through social media - PR is now at the centre of increasing brand awareness online – leaving the days of posting [yes posting!] press releases and measuring column inches as distant memories.

But with change comes challenges, and in modern-day PR there are certainly a fair few – with our top three as follows:

 

Less Time to Manage a Crisis

PR firms have always been the ‘go-to’ for crisis communications strategies – helping clients plan for every eventuality ahead of time, in aim to minimise risk and potential damage to a brand’s credibility.

With the explosion of digital platforms and need to be connected 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, brands now have minimal time to react effectively in a crisis, particularly when social media comes into play.

How do we overcome this? Trailblazer PR creates Crisis Communications plans that are now more sophisticated and air-tight than ever before, putting into place key responsibilities, actions and comms strategies that all teams members are aware of, and more importantly, on board with. What’s more, we’re always at the end of the phone when you need us.

 

Multiple Channels, Many Choices

Reaching your target audience used to be a lot simpler, with only three main media sources to choose from: TV, Radio or Press. Today PR’s weigh up multiple social media platforms, email marketing, SMS messaging, direct marketing and online and print media.

The good news? There are now more ways than ever before to reach and engage with target audiences, with accessible data revealing key target audience demographics. The challenge lies in creating an integrated PR and marketing strategy that utilises the right channels, guarantees increased engagement and ensures an excellent ROI.

Here at Trailblazer PR we excel in the above, taking the time to work closely with our clients to understand their goals, objectives and target audiences - incorporating our findings into a long term PR strategy that delivers real results!

 

Time for Training?

Continued Professional Development is key for all modern day PRs. From understanding how you could utilise Snapchat, to finding new and innovative ways to target and engage with the media. The main challenge? PR is an extremely busy and fast-paced industry sector, and for many, the idea of taking time out to undertake training and development is a simply a no no.

The solution? Here at Trailblazer PR, we set aside dates at the beginning of each year to dedicate to training and development, where we spend time developing our skills and understanding in new industry and digital trends.

 

Interested in finding out how Trailblazer PR can help increase your brand awareness? Contact us today at pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call the office directly on 01453 887777.

 

 

 

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Three alternative Easter PR Campaigns worth a mention

26 April 2017 at 11:36

We’ve waved goodbye to the glorious four day weekend, and mountains of chocolate eggs - and here at Trailblazer PR we’re reminiscing over the most alternative Easter PR Campaigns, with our top 3 as follows:

 

Move over chocolate, hello cheese

It received mass press coverage and divided opinion across the country – that’s right, we’re talking about the 'Cheester Egg', created by food blogger Annem Hobson. His newest creation follows his #CheeseNotChoc Christmas advent calendar, which received overwhelming support from cheese loves across the country.

Top PR points for innovation, whilst showing some real personality behind his creation through behind the scenes video content and social media presence.

 

Is it a bird? A plane?

…No it’s a levitating chocolate egg of course! And this one by Hotel Choclat weighs an impressive 19.5kg. The purpose of this Easter campaign – to create a buzz around Hotel Chocolat and raise awareness of its innovative approach in the realms of chocolate.

Top PR points for the element of surprise, by strategically positioning the egg at different landmarks across the UK.

 

Cadburys

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a bit of Cadburys, particularly when you consider the fact Birmingham’s Cadburys Factory produces a whopping 1.5 million Crème Eggs per day – that’s right, per DAY!

And this year, Cadburys didn’t disappoint, teaming up with the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland to encourage families to participate in the Great British Egg Hunt. The best bit? Each Egg Hunt was personalised to each individual National Trust location, with the funds raised from each event utilised to help conserve each National Trust location.

Top PR points for Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] and handling of crisis comms when faced with criticism over not including the word ‘Easter’ in its marketing message.

 

 Inspired to be more creative with your messaging and branding? Trailblazer PR specialises in creative innovative PR campaigns that directly engage with your target audience and drive real results. Contact us today at pr.info@trailblazerpr.com for more information and to arrange a non-obligatory chat. 

Tags: Easter 2017 | Easter PR | Top PR Campaigns

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How Social is your business?

22 March 2017 at 13:14

By the end of 2016, Facebook confirmed 1.86 billion monthly active users, Twitter 300 million and Instagram 400 million plus.

 

We now live in a World where smart phone users pick up their devices on average of 76 times per day – with the highest engagement being on social media. This usage has been increasing year on year since Facebook was first founded in 2004, and today we have access to more user demographic data than ever before.

 

These stats won’t come as a surprise - but what does, is the number of businesses who still struggle with their social media strategy, and the ways social media platforms can really be utilised to increase online sales.

 

With that said, here are Five key, current things every business should consider when updating their social media strategy:

 

Brand Ambassadors

 

How do your team members present themselves on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter? Are their BIO’s consistent and do they use team headshots and branded cover images? Positioning key team members as your social Brand Ambassadors shows both existing and potential customers that your staff are proud to represent your business, and are available online to engage with customers as and when required.

 

Personality behind the brand

 

Remember the saying ‘People buy from people’? Social media provides the opportunity to do just that, by showcasing the people behind your brand, and increasing engagement through personality.

 

What do you think will get more likes and engagement? An image of your new product or a short video of one of your team members introducing the new product and showcasing its USPs? People naturally migrate to people – and showing your team as approachable will organically encourage social engagement and resulting sales. Apps like Twitter’s Periscope are great for things like this.

 

Different channels – different target audiences

 

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook… With so many social media channels available, it’s difficult to know which ones to use to engage with your target audiences.

 

Here at Trailblazer PR, we generally advise our clients to pick three and create a strong strategy around each of them. Although replicating your posts across each can seem like the right thing to do, it is important to think about whether the content in hand is relevant to the audience on each platform. For example, a snapshot of your team enjoying a night out on Instagram, probably won’t be as well received on LinkedIn. It’s also important to note different age demographics for different platforms. For example, Instagram and Snapchat have a younger demographic audience when compared to Facebook and Twitter.

 

Social Media Advertising

 

With 67% of internet users now clicking the Google ad over organic search results, the use of Google’s PPC platform has become increasingly expensive, and for many small businesses unaffordable. The good news? Social Media advertising is extremely cost-effective in comparison, and when implemented correctly can fetch an excellent return on investment. Facebook in particular boasts an impressive advertising platform, with targeting tools such as ‘Look-alike audiences’ for maximum impact.

 

Video

 

It’s no secret that video is booming! In fact, over one third of all online activity is currently spent watching video – with the average internet user exposed to 32 videos in a 1 month period. For some businesses, it can be difficult to know how to utilise video effectively in order to increase engagement.

 

From showcasing products or services to offering top tips for others operating within your industry sector – video has the potential to really transform your social media, whilst driving new customers to your business. The only downfall is that it will take time to create, but the return is likely to be well worth it.

 

Interested in finding out more about how an effective social media strategy can support your business growth? Contact a member of the Trailblazer PR team today at info.pr@trailblazerpr.com  

Tags: Social Media Management | PR | Social Media Cheltenham | PR Agency Cheltenham

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PR and SEO ... The need to know!

21 February 2017 at 13:50

Ever heard the phrase ‘Content is King’? Aside from dominating the world of SEO, the importance of content has also transformed the PR and Marketing sectors in recent years - particularly, in how PR and SEO work together.

 

Once upon a time SEO was about sourcing as many back links as possible to your website – where Google believed that the more links a website had, the more authoritative it was. But it wasn’t long until search engines started to really understand how individuals use the internet, and focused more on improving user experience by providing the best possible results for their search term or query.

 

This is where content comes into play. The better, the more unique and the more relevant your content is, the more it will be valued by Google – whether that’s content hosted on a third-party site with a backlink - or unique, engaging and fresh content regularly uploaded to your own company news or blog page.

 

So, with that in mind, how do PR and SEO work together? And what do you need to consider in the world of SEO when creating a new PR strategy? Trailblazer PR explores:

 

Improve Content

 

As you may have already guessed, content plays an imperative part in every PR strategy. From updating your own website with fresh content on a regular basis, to creating ‘guest articles’ for relevant media sites – well-written content really is King. But how can you make it more ‘SEO friendly’?

 

First off, avoid duplication and keep your content unique – no matter how tempting it is to regurgitate old articles. Secondly, avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ and ensure any mentions of relevant search terms are implemented organically. Where relevant include internal and external links within your blog content – where linking to content within your own website will help to build relevance between pages, linking to external content hosted on authoritative sites will help support your website’s position within the SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages].

 

Finally, work hard to secure guest articles or comment pieces on relevant third party media sites likely to have high traffic volumes - and for the icing on the cake, ensure they include a ‘follow’ link back to your website in return.

 

What can you change onsite?

 

Gone are the days when PR was deemed ‘unmeasurable’, so long as you create a Google Analytics account. Aside from showing you how many website visitors you received and in what time period, Google Analytics will also detail how web users got to your site and what pages they viewed – so you will know exactly how successful online press coverage can be in driving website traffic and securing new sales or enquiries.

 

Prior to implementing Google Analytics, make sure you take the time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Websites lacking in content, effective meta titles, an organic use of key search terms, and broken internal links, for example, will really struggle in the SERPs.

 

SEO aside, it’s important to remember that your website is like your shop window – you want target audiences to land on your page after reading or seeing something exciting about your brand and continue this level of engagement as they scrawl right through to your conversion point. If your website isn’t up to scratch, potential customers will quickly click off, and straight on to your competitors.

 

Don’t forget Social

 

Does your social media strategy integrate with your PR? As it certainly should. In fact, Social Media works brilliantly with both PR and SEO, but not so much as a direct support for your search engine rankings, but more as a tool to increase brand awareness, build your reputation and drive new traffic to your website.

 

Key things to remember here are ensuring you include links with your posts, and that you share useful and engaging content in different rich media formats – from video to infographics.

 

There’s no quick fix

 

Both PR and SEO take time to deliver results. Neither offer an overnight solution, but both can be extremely effective for increasing your brand awareness and achieving your business objectives for the long term.

 

Interested in finding out more? Contact the Trailblazer PR team today at pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call 01453 887777. 

Tags: PR | SEO | Content Marketing | PR Strategy | SEO Strategy

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