Building towards safer site procedures during the pandemic

As specialists in construction and manufacturing, many of our clients have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak – either by closures, interruption of work or even just widespread confusion. In a letter to the construction industry, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has now confirmed that the sector is essential and should continue to operate under specific safety guidance.

In accordance with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice, the Construction Leadership Council has published a set of guidelines to help site managers continue in the safest way possible.

The Council’s advice can be broken down into three key points:

 

  1. Enforce social distancing on-site

First and foremost, all non-essential site visits should be stopped with immediate effect. When on site, all workers should maintain two-metre distances at all times, physical contact should be avoided and any activities requiring skin to skin contact must be halted.

To aid this, site managers can stagger the start and finish times of their team members, reducing on-site congestion and contact throughout the day. Social distancing should be observed not only while working, but also in the canteen, toilets and anywhere else that individuals could congregate.

 

  1. Improve hygiene facilities

Site managers should look into installing additional hand-washing facilities on-site, and making hand sanitiser available where this isn’t possible. Regular hand washing should be encouraged throughout the day, especially following direct contact or use of shared tools.

Similarly, tools and equipment should be cleaned and sterilised between uses – doing so can significantly decrease the risk of the virus spreading.

 

  1. Ensure safe waste disposal

Site managers should be vigilant in ensuring that waste is disposed of regularly and safely. This includes general waste, but also single-use PPE and other disposable equipment. Cleanliness standards should be increased, and closely regulated.

 

In the construction sector, as in wider society, safety must come first in the current climate – but it’s important to keep the industry moving. By following the guidance provided, site managers can enable construction to continue in the safest way possible and protect both employees and ongoing projects.

 

For more advice on ensuring safe operating procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak, use the following links to access relevant resources:

Maintaining a long-term brand strategy during a crisis

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected brands in almost every sector across the globe to varying degrees. Some industries, such as hospitality and travel, have been brought almost to a complete stop while others are adapting to remote working or reduced staffing policies.

Whilst it is a challenging time for all bringing sweeping lifestyle changes, it’s important to recognise that it is a temporary situation. It’s likely that we’ll learn important lessons through the crisis and return to a ‘new normal’, but it remains vital for brands to keep an eye on the future.

 

Keeping marketing in the picture

Ultimately, marketing is an investment, and should be treated as such – rather than as a cost. Although there is no precedent for such an impactful pandemic in the modern era, we can take a few lessons from the 2008 financial crisis, which saw many brands take a hit.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, strength of brand – or ‘brand equity’ – proved to be a significant factor in businesses’ recovery. Brand equity is made up of three key elements:

  • Brand meaning – how is the brand seen by consumers?
  • Point of difference – what differentiates the brand against the market?
  • Salience – how well recognised is the brand?

Of these factors, salience is the greatest indicator of a brand’s ability to recover effectively. It’s having a strong point of difference, however, that tends to indicate growth in the long term.

Brands can improve their salience by ensuring that they have an effective share of voice, which should be equal to their market share, if not higher. Despite the current situation, very few consumers are expecting brands to stop advertising completely, so there’s no reason not to keep developing brand voice provided the messaging remains relevant, reassuring, and avoids profiteering.

Marketing might not be the first thing on everybody’s minds right now – but it certainly shouldn’t be the last, and brands that continue to work proactively will reap the benefits in the long term.

Technical Marketing & PR Named #1 Outstanding Small PR Consultancy in Wales

At the annual CIPR PRide Cymru Awards, Technical Marketing & PR has been awarded gold in the ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ category. The awards ceremony which was held at Cardiff’s Exchange Hotel on Friday 11th October and hosted by TV and radio personality Jason Mohammad, celebrated the best of PR in Wales.

“Since laying down roots in South Wales, Technical Marketing & PR has gone from strength to strength with expansion of the in-house team and growing our South Wales client base. It is incredible to be recognised as the leading small PR consultancy in Wales whilst staying true to our core sectors,” said Louise Morgan, Director at Technical Marketing & PR.

The judges commented: “Technical Marketing & PR’s clear, well thought out strategy has supported profitable growth, with impressive global reach which has seen successful campaign delivery as far afield as Russia. Yet this dedicated agency remains committed to supporting its local community; delivering workshops through the local business network and building strategic partnerships with businesses in South Wales. The judges were extremely impressed by Technical Marketing & PR’s continued investment in its staff, with a strong focus on CPD and ensuring up-to-date knowledge of data compliancy and information governance.”

Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners from the night, there is some incredible PR talent in Wales. See the full list of winners and finalists here.

Managing change in manufacturing

The Technical Marketing & PR team recently attended an expert panel discussion covering change management in manufacturing, hosted by Darwin Gray. Joined by an audience steeped in experience within the manufacturing sector, the panel evoked constructive discourse around how businesses can capitalise on new opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.

Change is inherent in manufacturing – whether it’s the effect of new legislation on supply chain management, or a generational shift in working patterns. It is, as the old saying goes, inevitable. As the discussion progressed, it became apparent that change is not something to be feared so much as seen as an opportunity to excel.

So, how can manufacturing businesses start managing change?

 

Plan for change

Too often, specialist consultants and industry experts are brought in to oversee change management projects during times of crisis. The first thing that the panel was keen to raise was that things don’t need to be heading south for change management to kick in – in fact, it’s much better to take a proactive approach.

There’s always a lot going on in manufacturing, and keeping your ear to the ground can go a long way to making sure you are ready for any changes that will affect your sector. Failing to plan is planning to fail – there’s a lot of clichés we could lean on here, but it’s safe to say that those who plan are most likely to prosper.

 

Encourage a ‘change mindset’

Change management does not have to mean an overhaul of business procedures. By creating a culture that supports growth and change, manufacturing businesses will be able to change gradually and ensure that they are working effectively and prepared for the future.

It’s important to be open to change. This might sound simple, but it’s crucial to recognise that change is happening every day – it’s normal, and we must accept it in order to make the most of new opportunities. By embracing a change mindset, manufacturing businesses can be flexible and take any developments in-stride.

 

Communicate and collaborate

One of the messages that the panel was keen to impress was that there is a wealth of support available to manufacturing businesses. By surrounding yourself with experts in your field, you can ensure that you have access to all the knowledge you might need to progress.

It’s worth being prudent with anyone who you introduce to your business, but the panel agreed that being trusting and finding the right partners can be invaluable. Whether it is involvement in government schemes or engaging more closely with local professionals, there is a huge ecosystem around the manufacturing industry which can be tapped into.

 

While there is a question around recognising the need for change, it seems more sensible that manufacturing businesses take a proactive approach to change management. With a strong team and a willing attitude to change, you can prepare your brand for the future and ensure that you’re evolving day by day.

For advice on how marketing and PR support can help you manage and effectively communicate changes in your business, contact the Technical Marketing & PR team.

Technical Marketing & PR Celebrates Double Shortlisting in Regional PR Awards

For the second consecutive year, Technical Marketing & PR has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ category at the CIPR Cymru Wales PRide Awards. The awards recognise leading agencies and individuals in Wales, and celebrates the successes of PR in many businesses and organisations. Technical Marketing & PR has continued to deliver outstanding campaigns and services for a diverse range of clients, and the shortlisting acknowledges the exceptional work of the team.

In addition to the shortlisting for ‘Oustanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’, Technical Marketing & PR is also celebrating the recognition of its Account Executive, David Williams, who has been shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’. David joined the team in 2017, and his prowess in communication along with a passion for PR has contributed greatly to much of Technical Marketing & PR’s recent success.

Commenting on the news, David said: “I’m thrilled to be recognised for my achievements in the shortlisting for ‘Young Communicator of the Year’ at the CIPR PRide Cymru Awards.  When I joined the team I was just beginning my career in marketing & PR, and in a short space of time I am extremely proud of the progress I’ve made.”

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing & PR, said: “We are extremely pleased to be shortlisted for ‘Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ again this year. We constantly strive to deliver industry leading marketing and PR services for our clients, and the shortlisting is testament to the commitment of our team. David’s shortlisting as ‘Outstanding Young’ Communicator is indicative of this enthusiasm, and moreso of his remarkable development. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are very proud!”

You can see the full CIPR PRide Awards Cymru shortlist here.  Winners will be announced at the Cymru Wales PRide Awards ceremony on 11th October 2019 at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff.

Technical Marketing & PR welcomes a new team member

South Wales’ specialist PR agency for construction, technology and engineering, Technical Marketing & PR, has once again invested in personnel. Having seen an upsurge of client activity both in the UK and internationally, Technical Marketing & PR has expanded its team, recruiting Tom Martin as Junior Account Executive.

An English Literature and Language graduate from Cardiff University, Tom Martin initially sharpened his skills working in a start-up environment. Deciding to seek a role focused more specifically on marketing and PR, Tom recognised that Technical Marketing & PR’s Junior Account Executive position would allow him to exercise his existing skills whilst developing towards a career in the marketing sector.

Discussing his appointment, Tom said: “I am hugely pleased to join the Technical Marketing & PR team. Not only is it a brilliant opportunity for my own development, I am confident my skillset can add to the agency’s offering. It can be tough to find a job in the right sector after graduating, so I am thankful to find a supportive agency willing to take me on!”

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing & PR, also commented on the appointment: “In a fast-growing agency such as ours, it’s important to have the right team to tackle new challenges every day. I’m very happy to have taken Tom on as part of the team – here at Technical Marketing & PR we have always been committed to helping graduates develop.”

Technical Marketing & PR is always open to providing work experience opportunities and would encourage anyone who is interested in a career in marketing or public relations to get in touch at, hello@technicalmarketing-pr.com

Technical Marketing & PR sends Fraser Bear to the TRIC Awards

Here at Technical Marketing & PR, we understand the importance of supporting local charities and causes.  In March, we were delighted to donate tickets for the TRIC awards to the Believe charity.  The Television and Radio Industries Club Awards were established to celebrate the networking of technological industries and raise money for causes nominated by TRIC.  The awards play host to crowds of well-known celebrities every year.

Believe Organ Donor Support (ODS) is a charity founded by Anna-Louise Bates who tragically lost her son, Fraser and husband, Stuart in a collision in December 2015, but saved a number of lives by donating Fraser’s organs.  She set up the charity to raise awareness of talking about and participating in organ donation and supporting donor families who have been affected by organ donation.

Believe is based in Wales and partners with many other cause-based charities such as Kidney Wales, Donor Family Network and a number of bereavement charities. The charity visits schools to educate children on the importance of organ donation and to encourage people to get involved by purchasing a Fraser Bear to take on their adventures and pose for pictures to raise awareness of the charity and the work it does.

The awards were the perfect opportunity for Fraser Bear to meet celebrities such as Michael McIntyre and Freddie Flintoff at the event. Leila Castell from the Donor Family Network was able to talk to the celebrities about the work the charity does and the importance of organ donation. Having recently become finalists in the Charity Film Awards and relying on votes to secure a win, Believe were also able to promote the video it had produced at the TRIC Awards and encourage celebrities to support and raise awareness for the film.

Anna-Louise Bates, Founder of Believe ODS, said: “We were so excited to take Fraser Bear to the TRIC Awards this year and want to say a huge thank you to Technical Marketing & PR for donating the tickets and supporting Believe. We have had an incredibly positive response on social media, especially from Alan Shearer and Connie Hyde (Gina from Coronation Street) in relation to our film, which will be extremely beneficial in the run-up to the forthcoming Charity Film Awards. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness for Believe as a charity and the animation.”

Louise Matthews, Director at Technical Marketing & PR, commented: “As a marketing and PR company, we regularly develop marketing strategies that best align with our clients’ messages and ambitions. Understanding the importance of Fraser Bear to Believe’s strategy of raising awareness and encouraging discussions around organ donation, donating our tickets for the TRIC Awards to the charity was a no-brainer. At Technical Marketing & PR, we believe in giving something back to charities, and it isn’t always about money – in this case, we saw an opportunity for the TRIC Awards tickets to be put to better use and that was to help raise awareness for such a wonderful cause.”

If you would like to find out more about Believe ODS, please visit www.believe-ods.org.uk.

 

Fraser Bear and Michael McIntyre

Fraser Bear met cricket legend Freddie Flintoff

Fraser Bear meets the ladies of the Cobbles!

Fraser Bear with Alan Shearer

 

My Marketing and PR Insight

I am currently a second-year Business Management student at Cardiff University who has just finished a Marketing and PR insight with Technical Marketing & PR.  I worked alongside the team for one day a week over four weeks and learnt vast amounts about the marketing and PR industry, an area I have a vested interest in pursuing a career in.

Within a few minutes of my first day at Technical Marketing & PR, I was being shown how to create a media list on a media database and distributed a press release for a client, something I can now take away with me.  I then looked at how to complete forward features research for clients to find opportunities in trade magazines.  I also took responsibility for the Technical Marketing & PR Twitter over the course of the insight and learned how to schedule social media posts using various platforms.

I feel like I have learnt lots of new skills and accomplished a variety of tasks, and that was after just one day! Over the next three days, I was able to work on an article for an education magazine, continue researching PR opportunities and manage the social media output.

I am most proud of the article I produced as that was the primary task I worked on during my time at Technical Marketing & PR which will eventually be published on behalf of the client.  I can now add this to my portfolio to show future employers.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Technical Marketing & PR – the team are so friendly which made it easy to ask for advice and guidance if needed.  I would like to thank Louise and David for taking me on and teaching me such an array of skills and increasing my knowledge about all things marketing and PR.

Sophie Williams

 

Advice: Finding the Right Partner

There are many reasons businesses may be looking to work with a marketing & PR agency, whether it be for projects, additional resource or to fulfil a year-round function. We know the process can be long and time-consuming, and it isn’t a necessarily a bad thing, as it’s crucial that you find an agency that works well for your business, so you can reap the benefits. We spoke to some of our clients about how they went about working with us and the best advice they would give to businesses currently in the process.

 

 

  • Your objectives

First and foremost, you need to think about exactly what you want from an agency and what role you would like them to play. Only when you know what you’re looking for can you begin to invite agencies to submit proposals. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to add elements on, it just means you need to be able to communicate your core intentions. You should also agree a budget spend in principle for the agency to work with.

 

  • The significance of specialisms

For our clients, specialisms are one of the most important points they raised. If only it was as simple as any agency being the perfect fit for any business. There are an array of business types out there, and there are also many different types of agency. If your business is in the manufacturing sector, find an agency with manufacturing experience. If your business in the technology sector, find an agency with technology experience. If your business is retail, then find an agency with retail experience. For something that is quite logical you’d be surprised how many businesses sometimes overlook the link. If an agency has proven experience in your sector, the chances are they already understand the principles of how your business works and have existing relationships with the trade media in your sector.

 

  • Team work really does make the dream work

Your agency should be an extension of your own team and work in sync. Ask to meet the team, visit each other’s offices if time allows. It’s important to get a feel for what the relationship might be like, it’s a bit of a dating game, you need to find that spark and be excited about working with one another.

 

  • The nitty gritty stuff

Request a portfolio and have conversations about the types of work the agency has been involved in for other clients. Find an agency that is focused on producing quality output and campaigns. Client testimonials are also useful to help you evaluate the work of an agency.

 

If you’re on the lookout for an agency for the first time, or thinking of reviewing your current partnership, we hope these tips from professionals who have been there, done that, and got the right t-shirt will help you out.

5 Reasons to Visit us at the Introbiz Expo

On Thursday 22nd November 2018 we will be returning to the Introbiz Expo, Wales’ largest business expo at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. Here are 5 reasons why you should come and visit us on stand 259:

 

  1. A face to face conversation

Never underestimate the value of a face-to-face conversation. The Introbiz Expo is the perfect opportunity to come and say hello to us in an informal setting and see what we’re all about! Meeting face to face is really important for developing meaningful relationships and networking.

 

  1. A prize giveaway

Fancy winning a gin afternoon tea for two at the Park Plaza in Cardiff City Centre? This unique afternoon tea experience includes elements of a classic afternoon tea combined with Hendrick’s cucumber gin served in a teapot. Come and enter the prize draw on stand 259!

 

  1. Some great freebies

What do we all love most about a good business expo? FREEBIES! We’ll be doing a survey about what freebies people love most and posing the question of what value freebies have on stand at an expo. Come and share your thoughts with us… (we will also have some good freebies)!

 

  1. Some free advice

Take advantage of our team being available. We’re happy to share our advice and answer any PR and marketing questions you may have.

 

  1. A fantastic networking opportunity

The Introbiz Expo is completely free to visit and a great opportunity to network with over 200 exhibitors. You’ll also get to hear from a line up of world class speakers. And in a first for Wales, headliners, Lord Sugar and Grant Cardone will be taking part in a special Q&A session – be sure not to miss this one!

 

We hope to see you there on stand 259! You can register to visit the expo here.