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.

Writing a Winner – How to Craft an Award-Winning Entry

No matter what business you have or how big it is, you can enter a business award. There are a large variety of awards, stemming from local to national, industry based, or product based, and it provides an incredible opportunity to get yourselves recognised in your industry. It is a great PR opportunity for your company, which can provide free marketing, increased credibility and help to attract new customers. Having drafted many award-winning entries for our clients we wanted to share our ‘must-do’, tried and tested formula with you.

Read Entry Criteria

It may sound simple but ensure you read the entry criteria. It is important to make sure that what you are offering is relevant to what the category is requesting.

Time is NOT of the Essence

Give yourself plenty of time on the award entry, this is a fantastic opportunity for your business to be recognised and your team to be rewarded for its hard work. Entries can take much longer than you think, so start early!

Best Feature Forward

Put forward your best and most relevant feature for the category your entering. It is vital to ensure that you believe what you are proposing is going to win this category, so make sure it’s the right product or service.

Stick to the Facts

It is important to include supporting evidence to validate why you feel that you should win this award, and more so to prove to the judges that you deserve it. Statistics or customer testimonials and case studies can provide confirmation of the work you have done and help persuade the judges.

Proof Read

Ensure you read and re-read your entry, make sure you are happy with it and feel proud of the product or service you are offering. Stick to the word count, say everything you need to say without being too complex and use supporting evidence!

Hopefully, with these tips you’ll craft your award-winning entry and your business will get the help it needs to achieve the recognition you deserve. Good luck!

Technical Marketing & PR Celebrates Regional PR Award Shortlisting

Technical Marketing & PR has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Small PR Consultancy’ category at the upcoming CIPR Cymru Wales PRide Awards. The awards recognise the outstanding work delivered by industry leaders that demonstrate the value of PR in the world of business.
The shortlisting is testament to the hard work and commitment the team has put in to delivering a series of fantastic services, campaigns and initiatives for clients, in addition to wider business growth and development.

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing and PR, said: “We’re so incredibly excited and proud to be shortlisted for Outstanding Small PR Consultancy. The team works continuously hard to deliver the best service to our clients, which has led to us experiencing significant growth as a business. It’s fitting that this shortlisting comes just as we’re celebrating our 7th birthday.”

You can see the full CIPR PRide Awards Cymru shortlist here. Winners will be announced at the Cymru Wales PRide Awards ceremony on 12th October 2018 at Cardiff’s City Hall.

 

Syncro Secures Virtual Marketing Manager Service

Technical Marketing & PR has been retained to provide virtual marketing manager services to Syncro after successfully supporting the business at the Nursing and Dementia Care Expo in April 2018.

The Cardiff-based marketing and PR agency project managed Syncro’s whole stand presence and communications around the expo, including manufacturer liaison and literature production. Steve Long, Managing Director of Syncro, was impressed with Technical Marketing & PR’s delivery, highlighting the ease of integration into Syncro’s team and their ideas for the expo.

“Technical Marketing & PR have done an excellent job at putting the stand together. Due to their support, I have been relieved from all pressure regarding the expo, which has allowed me to focus on my daily business tasks.”

Louise Matthews, Director of Technical Marketing & PR, concludes: “We are proud of the success that we achieved for Syncro at the Nursing and Dementia Expo, and are looking forward to supporting them moving forward on a more proactive basis. It’s been a real pleasure to watch the business grow from a start-up to the success it is today. We’re proud to be able to help them in the next stage of the journey.”

Syncro is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fire and security solutions, with Technical Marketing & PR working with them on a project basis since the business launched in 2014.

Pitching to Your Media

The relationship between the media and PR teams is one that is somewhat interdependent. The media need PR practitioners and PR practitioners need the media. With increasing pressure placed on journalists to increase their content output whilst resources are being squeezed, journalists are relying on press releases and stories to come to them like never before. Yes, this is likely to work in the favour of PR and marketing teams in the process of pitching stories, but it’s by no means grounds to be complacent about your media relationships. If anything, you need to strengthen your position in an industry where journalists’ mailboxes are being bombarded with content. That said, it’s also important that you act responsibly and professionally in your dealings with the media.

Pitching to your media is all about developing strong relationships and is a key part of any successful PR strategy. Here are some of our best tips for pitching to your target press:

  • Do your research

Before sending a press release, ensure that your content is relevant for a specific publication by checking what stories/ topics they cover. Make sure you have specific media lists and that these are regularly checked and updated. It’s far too easy to find a media contacts list online and ping them all a press release. This can be potentially damaging as you risk agitating journalists if you’re sending them irrelevant content. Your decision to target publications needs to be smart and calculated.

 

  • Find out the journalist’s preferences

Every journalist is unique and has preferred methods of communication. Some journalists like to discuss potential stories over the phone, others prefer content to be pitched to them via email. It’s a good idea to try and call the press desk in the first instance for a quick chat, if you have no success getting through, then drop them an email. Don’t be afraid to ask your journalist how they’d like to communicate, it will show them you’re being considerate and will allow you to interface more effectively.

 

  • Be concise

Don’t babble on. Make sure you know exactly what you want to pitch before you contact the journalist. Whether it be by phone or email, keep it short and concise. Journalists have very busy schedules and will lose interest quickly if you don’t get straight to the point. Get all the key details in – the who, what, when, where, and why. Don’t be afraid to explain to the journalist why you think it would make a great story. If you’re passionate about it, then it will seem like a far more attractive pitch.

 

  • Don’t be too persistent

Send your press release once. If you don’t get a response, then it doesn’t mean the publication isn’t going to run with it. If you really want to see if they’ve picked it up, add a read receipt, or if this isn’t successful then give them a quick call and ask if they’d like any further details or offer an interview. Alternatively, you could call the publication in the first instance, very briefly pitch the story and ask who the best person to send it to would be.

 

  • Meet the deadlines

Remember that journalists often have print deadlines to meet, these cannot be changed to wait for your content, so make sure you meet the deadline, or even better send the content ahead of the deadline. If you’re late sending your piece and don’t fulfil your end of the deal, the journalist will lose confidence in you and will be less likely to return to you for content in the future.

 

  • Keep the journalist updated

Keep the journalist updated with any developments to ensure that they know you’re proactively working with them. If they contact you, then you need to respond as soon as possible. If you leave them hanging, they may think you’re no longer interested and give the space to someone else.

 

  • Think proactively

Have the relevant content prepared so you’re ready to provide the journalist with whatever they need, quickly and efficiently. Often journalists will require a strong image, so have this ready to send or even better send it with the press release. If you can provide your journalist with a fully packaged piece, then they will be far more likely to pick it up.

 

  • Safeguard your relationships

Work to develop your relationships with publications on a general basis but also the journalists on an individual level. To have a named contact makes your job far easier as you’ll have a captive audience. Equally don’t abuse the relationship and make sure you’re working professionally with each other’s goals and objectives in mind.

 

If you can do all of these things then you’ll be far more successful in pitching to your media, which should result in more high-quality coverage. Find out more in our Guide to Strong Media Relations here.

 

 

A Technical Experience

Alex Lambden, a 2nd year student at Cardiff University, has interned with us here at Technical Marketing & PR over the last three months, getting involved in creating copy and learning what it takes to be an effective marketeer. In this blog post, Alex rounds up his experience of working with us:

During my placement with Technical Marketing & PR, I have learnt so many new skills in such a short amount of time. From day one, I have been exposed to a variety of marketing activities and become proficient in writing press releases, managing social media accounts, and creating quality content in forms of video and blog posts amongst other things. This experience has not just taught me invaluable professional skills but has definitively confirmed my passion for pursuing a marketing career.

Technical Marketing & PR are very active in their approach to the company’s own marketing, with the team attending business events or producing roving reports. Filming video content for one of our clients was my favourite experience on my placement; we visited Wildfire Communications in Bristol and created a short clip about the Promethean Grant with Education Technology magazine. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it was great to be involved in how promotional videos are created, from the setting up, shooting and editing. It’s the variety of the work that I have been involved in that has made this placement so enjoyable and enriching.

Thanks to my work placement at Technical Marketing & PR, I’ve gathered a portfolio of my work that I will be able to show my future employers. I am sad to be leaving such a great working environment, where each day started with a cup of coffee, and finished with the mastering of a new marketing skill or digital tool.

Keep your eyes peeled in the future for any student placements that Technical Marketing & PR could be offering!

Here’s my advice for students that are looking for a placement and want to work for a business that shares your aspiration to grow, as well as a quick round up of my time with Technical Marketing & PR:

 

Are you GDPR ready?

What is GDPR?

GDPR is the new General Data Protection Regulation which will come into force from 25th May 2018. It will replace the current Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The new regulation intends to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals in the European Union.

 

But what about Brexit?

Even though the UK is set to leave the European Union, the government has fully committed to GDPR. From a global perspective Europe is leading the way with GDPR and although data protection is constantly developing, the rest of the world is likely to follow over time. And if nothing else, all you would have to do is store one EU citizen’s data on your system and you would have to be compliant with GDPR anyway. Any company not compliant with GDPR would face significant difficulty in trading with the EU.

So, what does GDPR actually involve?

Valid Consent: There will be stricter rules surrounding consent to use people’s data. Obtaining consent for processing personal data must be clear and seek an affirmative response or opt in system.

Transparency: People will have a right to see what information you hold about them. You must be able to tell any one person at any time how their data is being used.

The Right to Correction: Individuals will have the right to rectify any information that is incorrect.

The Right to Erasure: In some cases, people will have the right to have their data completely erased.

Data Portability: People will be able to request their data is moved from one service provider to another.

The Right to Object to Automated Processing: Individuals will have a right to object to certain types of automated processing.

 

How will GDPR impact PR & Marketing?

GDPR will impact all areas of businesses, it’s not just an issue for compliance teams. GDPR will arguably change the way in which marketing departments operate. In marketing we work with a lot of data, particularly when it comes mailing or analytics. Communications data such as name, email, phone number and address, all fall under the GDPR remit.

With GDPR in place, marketers will only be able to mail people who have opted in to receive messages. The sign-up process must include information to subscribers about the brand that is collecting consent, and outline information on the purposes of collecting their personal data. Records need to be kept of the given consent.

But what about people like journalists who make their contact details readily available? Although you are unlikely to face consequences for mailing journalists you must not be complacent. Only send journalists relevant content and do not abuse the access you have to their information.

There is no allowance for data collected without consent prior to GDPR. Many companies will want to work with marketing and PR firms to make themselves visible in new campaigns to retool and build brand awareness to encourage new opt ins.

You might think that there is going to be a mad rush to collect new data, but this is where ‘privacy by design’ comes in to play. Privacy by design is about being responsible users of information and only collecting the minimum amount of data required to conduct business operations. The data must also not be stored for any longer than is necessary.

Working with other organisations

In an increasingly globalised world of information sharing and collaboration, businesses often work with other partners or services to outsource areas of work. The original data owner is responsible for ensuring there is a procedure in place to confirm the data is used appropriately. There needs to be a formal control in order so that the information is only used for the purpose agreed. This could take the form of a contract or formal assessment of data security and privacy. It’s all about showing that you have effective regulation and control processes in place.

 

“GDPR won’t impact small businesses like mine”

GDPR will impact all businesses. Rightly so, larger businesses and corporations will have a lot more work to do to make sure they are GDPR compliant, as they often have large databases that feed in to one another. It will become mandatory for large businesses processing high volumes of data to appoint a Data Protection Officer. But small businesses also need to be able to prove they are compliant, even if it’s in the form of a 1-page document. You need to have some sort of document you could show a compliance officer to demonstrate you are GDPR ready. Any business you work with inside the EU, where sharing data is involved will be required to assess you to some extent in terms of GDPR. So, it’s worth getting it right.

 

What are your obligations?

Accountability: Demonstrate compliance by maintaining accurate data processing records.

Data Transfer: You are only allowed to transfer data if the appropriate safeguards are in place.

Data Security: All data must be kept secure and protected.

Data Breaches: Data breaches must be reported within 72hours.

Data Protection Officers: DPO’s will be mandatory in organisations processing large volumes of data.

Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA): DPIA will be mandatory if you’re processing activity results in a high risk to any person’s data rights.

 

What will happen if you don’t comply?

Regulators are super serious about data protection and responsibility this time around. Regulators in the UK have begun a serious recruitment drive, so companies will certainly be subject to checks. Data Protection Authorities and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will be able to flag companies that are not compliant and carry out an assessment. Consumers and individuals will also gain power from this perspective as they will be able to make complaints about any organisation they feel is using their data irresponsibly. Hefty fines will be placed on businesses who are not compliant with GDPR.

 

What next?

There is certainly a lot of information to take in surrounding GDPR and it is important to do your research and make sure your business is compliant. The emphasis is on being responsible data users and being able to demonstrate how you comply rather than defending yourself if you don’t. GDPR is a great opportunity for businesses and organisations to get into shape and promote how you control data use in a professional manner.

 

Benefits of GDPR

Enhance customer trust

Improve brand image and reputation

Strengthen data governance

Tighten information security

Increase competitive edge

 

It’s important to do your research and get the correct protocols in place. The ICO website is a great place for more information on GDPR. Check it out here.

Online Content: ‘The Perfect Mix’

In celebration of ‘Pancake Day’ we thought we’d give you a sweet treat to indulge on. We all know if you get the pancake mix wrong, they can end up being a disaster. Online content works in exactly the same way, you need to start with the right ingredients to come up with something that will appeal to your audience. So, here’s what we believe to be ‘The Perfect Mix’:

 

  • Start with a captivating title 

The chances are the first thing your reader will see is the title. You need to make sure that you grab their attention by telling them what the content is about, but equally don’t give away the punchline. It needs to be a teaser that pulls them in and drives traffic to your page or website.

  • Keep paragraphs short

Smart phones and tablets are now the most popular devices to view content on, so make sure you consider this when you’re writing. Short and concise paragraphs mean that when viewed on a mobile device the content won’t appear too ‘heavy’ and the reader is more likely to remain engaged. A few sentences per paragraph are generally ample.

 

  • Add a strong image

People are far more likely to remember content if paired with a strong image, they’re also more likely to click on it. People love visuals and are programmed to better remember information if associated with images. If your content includes lots of data, why not use an infographic?

 

  • Avoid using industry jargon

While you may be proud to know a wealth of industry jargon in your sector, it can be hard to decipher and off-putting to your audience. Say what you have to say in the simplest way possible in plain English, it’s far easier for your audience to digest.

  • Break content up into sizeable chunks

When writing, break up your content into small sections that you can later extract and use on social media. This is an easy way to make sure you have strong bits of content that you can push through your social media channels and direct traffic back to the original content piece.

 

  • Consider using video

Popularity of video content is on the rise and represents an increasing amount of internet traffic. All you need to do is take a look at your social media feeds to see that video content is everywhere, it’s easy for people to view and make sense of, even on the move. Because of subtitles, most videos don’t even rely on sound. The best videos are visual, short and concise and generally last less than a minute. You don’t even need a camera, the quality of the video recorded on your smart phone or tablet is sufficient for online use and there are apps available to help you to edit your video content so that it looks professional.

 

  • Make your content relevant

When sharing content on social media look out for opportunities to capitalise on your output. Tailor your content towards international days or celebrations that are likely to trend on social media, it will likely increase the amount of traffic to your post. Whether you coincide your content with general or industry specific days/ events, targeted and planned output tends to be more successful.

 

  • Add hyperlinks

Think about your content and whether it relates to anything in your wider content portfolio. If so, add some hyperlinks linking through to the content. The chances are, if people have made it as far as reading the body of your content they will also be interested in other content you’ve shared. Hyperlinks are an easy way to direct and increase traffic to different areas of your website or social media platforms.

So, there you have it, the perfect mix for online content. If your business needs support or advice on online content, then get in touch. We are more than happy to offer up some of our time for a free consultation.

 

 

Facebook: What does it mean if you’re B2B?

Facebook is another potential channel to reach your customers or prospects (or employees)… so the answer lies in whether these people are engaged with Facebook more so than any other social media channel. If you decide ‘yes’ then you need to then make sure you have access to content and the resource to manage this content – if these building blocks are in place then read on for a few best practice B2B tips…

Facebook Page

This is your opportunity to officially promote your company, where you can take ownership of your online reputation via a ‘Page’. Consider your Facebook Page as your second website, while you can use it as a tool to drive traffic to your corporate website, your Facebook Page will allow you to connect with your audience in real-time. Use it to write targeted posts and to showcase your employees and the work your business does day-to-day.

Drive sales

If you’re using your Facebook Page to share timely and relevant content, there is a probability that you will be able to convert some of your ‘Likes’ into new business leads. You can either do this organically via sharing regular updates and hoping they convert to sales, or take advantage of Facebook Ads. These will enable you to increase your reach and target the right audience, and you can set a budget that meets your business’ needs. You can also use Facebook Insights to provide you with valuable information about how your audience is engaging with your page, enabling you to better tailor your adverts with the aim to drive sales.

Customer testimonials 

Facebook allows you to host customer testimonials on your page, so encourage your best brand advocates to post something on your behalf. This will make your page stand out to first-time visitors – and even cheeky competitors having a snoop! With permission these testimonials can be a rich source of content you could use for case studies or in media interviews and press releases

Share videos

Facebook isn’t just about having a text heavy page, bring it to life with videos, in doing so you can capture your audience’s attention for longer. You can either upload exclusive video content or link directly from a YouTube account. You can use it to show features of your products, or have a designated in-house ‘Vlogger’ who can talk briefly about best practice or industry topics.

Engage with the Facebook community

Through your Facebook wall you can post content that will be of interest to your advocates, but also encourage them to communicate with one another. Ask them for feedback on latest products, or provide sneak previews on new products. Be a useful resource to customers, find out any concerns – be those general industry concerns or specific to you – and address them if you can. Don’t leave them to fester; as you want to be seen as a solution provider, this will build empathy and trust with your audience.

As the above points cover, Facebook can be a valuable marketing tool and a current way of connecting with your target audience and beyond. If you’re thinking of making the step and using Facebook as another communications channel, ensure that you have the resource to manage it efficiently. A dormant or barely used page isn’t attractive to customers or potential clients, and if customers are using it as a point of contact for customer service make sure you respond in a timely and professional manner.

Above all have some fun with it, Facebook is a great opportunity to show your brand personality and normalise your brand to the man on the street – keep it professional – but don’t be afraid to show that you’re human too!