Why Piggies Need Their Backs Better Looked After: A Peek At A Better Way To Respond To News

  In traditional, ‘agency’ PR, there’s a well-established technique called ‘piggybacking.’ The idea’s straightforward enough, and is suggested well by the name: x event happens, so we produce comment on it from our client. Sound idea – but invariably terribly badly done Journalists want things they can use to take a story on to the next level, of course they do. Say the Town Hall burns down and the Fire Brigade says that it was caused by faulty wiring. It’s perfectly legitimate for electrical safety consultants to next day go to the press and suggest ways such disasters can be avoided in future – or for, say, insurers to remind us all that it’s always worth protecting yourself against the unexpected, and so on. Unfortunately, in hi-tech at least, what happens is this: Bad Thing Happens. Reporters get 100 emails the next morning – sometimes the same day – saying, ‘Oh, That bad Thing? If only enterprises had bought my

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The Three Most Important Things You’re Going To Read Today About The World. Trust Me!

We’ve won a big Award. Doubtless, you are delighted for us. But it’s ok.  I’m not going to bang on about it. What I am going to do is something I hope is a lot more useful: draw out the main lessons that I think this triumph of ours might have for fellow practitioners of the dark arts of B2B communication.  Which means that you will get something out of reading this, beyond just the joy of one of my regular rants. OK, joking aside: The team here at Sarum, has done exceptionally well in a prestigious, cross-industry , global competition that highlights media campaigns and ranks how well they performed. Actually, that’s only half of it. There are a whole bunch of criteria used by the judges, all genuine branding and marketing experts. So they look at the aesthetics of the work done, the look and feel of the collateral, as much as the metrics of its impact. And

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Sarum’s Award Triumph Is Great – But It Also Has Relevance For All Of Us In B2B Marketing

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate blowing my own trumpet. Thankfully, as so much of the work is down to the amazing team we have here at Sarum, I can today blow it on their behalf. We’ve had something of a major win in terms of recognition by our peers in the communications business. To make all this even more satisfying, it’s a global win. I am amazed to be able to say that our client work has been honoured by one of the most prestigious bodies in the business, who evaluated no less than 1500 submissions from right around the globe – and found our project worthy of very high praise indeed. What’s happened is that The League of American Communication Professionals , or the LACP, a group set up to create a space for the world’s PR practitioners to mark of best-in-class practices within the field, while also recognising those teams demonstrating “exemplary communications capabilities,” have

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Time to Stop the Mindless PR Spin Cycle

So I chat to another disenchanted software company today that’s been through the standard model of B2B PR and they’re pretty fed up with it all. Their experience is sadly very typical and so they come to Sarum in the hope of something a bit brighter, a bit more intelligent, a bit more engaging, a lot more imaginative and creative. Let me explain how the dreaded and standard B2B PR model works. The senior, good people on the PR agency side do a kick-ass, raise the rooftops pitch that blows the client’s socks off. Twelve months later, after a disappointing and mediocre run, the contract ends. Client goes back to market. And we start again. What’s wrong with this picture? Why hasn’t it changed in years despite its obvious flaws? My view is this.  There’s one fatal element in the model: juniors, aka Account Executives. Because they are the ones that delivered the pitch that their senior colleagues sold to

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PR is Dead. Long Live Well – Something Better?

So, after a bit of a narrow escape for #LFC in Europe, and a dull draw on Saturday, I am now calm enough to open up a very big can of worms with you guys… I hope you are ready. Is there any need for PR anymore? (Sounds of huffs, scoffs and dropping of jaws right across the hi-tech B2B landscape!) Given that I work in PR and that I still (sort of) call what we do here  ‘PR’… that a lot of my clients think they are paying for what they think is PR… Have I finally lost whatever marbles I have left? Well, hear me out here. For a start, the death of PR is hardly a new prediction inside the industry itself: we have been hearing doomy statements about the impact of social media and so on for some time. The usual counterblast to suggestions that all clients need to do is get a Twitter account –

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What A Blog Is and What It’s Not: The Birtie Perspective

Hola! I just want to rather quickly finish off what I started to say last time on the best way to produce social media if you are an IT software and services company. Which is don’t write it yourself … but then don’t let someone else write it either! Sounds contradictory? Let me explain the method behind my madness, then. We had already discussed the importance of finding good people in your team to blog. We’ve also spoken about the importance of it not necessarily being the CEO or the CTO: these guys should be leading the charge out in the field and I think it can look a bit weird if the boss is seen as having so much time on their hands that they’re cranking out a communiqué every few days (check out THE THREE ‘Ws’ OF HI-TECH BLOGGING – 1: THE ‘WHO,’ WHO SHOULD BLOG?’). So internal subject experts are your obvious option. These are often experienced, cool people with great

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