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Why Medium is still a great option for B2B brands

A couple of weeks ago Ev Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, came clean about some of the problems he was facing with his online publishing platform Medium.

He explained why 2016 had been a stellar year for Medium with “key metrics, such as readers and published posts up approximately 300% year on year.” Williams acknowledged, though, that the main ploy he had hatched for monetising the business – a native advertising solution – hadn’t worked out how he had envisaged. He added that he was having to make 50 staff – mainly in sales – redundant, while he and his team pondered a new direction for the platform.

So is it time, as some critics appear to have done already, to write off Medium as a long-term publishing prospect?

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Why Medium is still a great option for B2B brands
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How to get the best out of working with a PR agency

Entering into a relationship with a PR company isn’t something to be taken lightly. Carefully selecting the right agency is important – they need to understand your company and product, and have a clear vision of how you can work together. We’ve written before about how to select a PR agency – this article will guide you through what to do next.

1. Be prepared to work together
The key word here is ‘together’. You can’t simply sign the contract and assume that the coverage will start to roll in from that point on. It takes time to develop relationships with target media on your behalf, and for the agency to craft your story into something that will interest journalists. This requires your help and input – they’ll need to be able to pick your brains and really get to the bottom of what it is and the whys and wherefores of how you’re doing it.

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How to get the best out of working with a PR agency
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7 questions to help you choose a tech PR agency

No matter whether you are an established business that has been trading for decades, or a startup working out how to get the most from your angel investment, chances are that somewhere on your to-do list will be employing a tech PR agency.

There are many types of business communications that you can use to attract new customers or increase brand awareness, but in terms of value for money there is no more effective way of getting the message out about your services than working with a PR agency.

Tech PR agencies have evolved and become even more useful to their clients in recent years. For example, when Clarity started half a decade ago our focus was largely on media relations – in other words securing press coverage for our clients.

Now we specialise in integrated campaigns that often include content, social media and advertising as well as good old fashioned PR. We position ourselves as your trusted business adviser; someone who is there to challenge you and help your business to evolve. We can cover a lot of marketing areas for you and ensure that they work seamlessly in delivering a unified message.

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7 questions to help you choose a tech PR agency
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In seeking to destroy it, Donald Trump may make media more sustainable

Legacy media, namely national newspapers and print-based magazines, on both sides of the pond have undergone a torrid decade.

Transitioning readers from print to digital while getting them to continue to pay for content has proved to be a very real struggle. And the rise of social platforms has meant that income from display advertising hasn’t proved as lucrative as the media companies had once hoped.

There are many technology providers looking to create solutions, especially around native advertising – Clarity boasts two clients in this space Anyclip and Adyoulike – but mainstream media, while not exactly on the ropes, would seriously benefit from a new sustainable business model.

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In seeking to destroy it, Donald Trump may make media more sustainable
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The future of the PR agency – and the PR agency of the future

The discipline of public relations is changing fast, and this will be to the benefit of everyone: From the end customer; the client; the journalist, to the PR professional. The only ones set to lose out are those who don’t anticipate the changes and refuse to adapt their ways of working. So what does the PR agency of the future look like?

Content will play a bigger part
Brands are recognising that they need to offer their customers, fans and advocates better ways to engage with them. While ‘earned’ media placements give credibility, and paid media (advertising) leads to greater recognition, brands need to go beyond simply having a presence on social media channels to make their audience feel valued. Traditional PRs are (or should be!) great at getting coverage for their clients, but the PR agency of the future will have to pay much more attention to conceiving wider ‘integrated’ campaigns involving interactive video, websites, graphics and the like. These will live on clients’ ‘owned’ channels, and be promoted through social (and possibly paid for advertising) – all of which will require a approach that ties in with the bread-and-butter media relations activities.

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The future of the PR agency – and the PR agency of the future
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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – How not to handle crisis comms

Samsung has finally revealed what caused several of its Galaxy 7 Note smartphones to overheat and catch fire.

It turns out that there were several separate issues in batteries which it had sourced from two different suppliers. Samsung has spent the last few months testing 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries at a test facility to find out what these issues were, and held an event yesterday to explain its findings to the media.

But despite Samsung’s obvious commitment to solving the technical issues, this whole incident has exposed shortcomings in Samsung’s crisis communications procedures. Two major mistakes were made:

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – How not to handle crisis comms
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Germans and the startup community – part II

In the last blog post about the German mindset I talked about the challenges and possibilities startups face in Germany, especially in the fintech and security tech sector. This time I want to discuss where this mindset comes from and what the crucial takeaways for startups are.

Employment costs and risk management
If you are concerned with the need for social security and slow, steady-growth businesses like the more traditional Mittelstand (SMEs) you have to think about employment costs and managing your risks in investment too. Working for an international agency like Clarity showed me the difference in relation to, for example, the UK or US job market.

The most obvious may be the so called ‘hire and fire’ in the US. Working under German employment law it is clear that there has to be a notice period, payment in case of sickness and a minimum wage. Disregarding your political opinion about minimum wage and notice periods, the latest report by ZEW showed that the minimum wage in particular affects the startup sector. But sticking to the language of startups, you shouldn’t complain and turn this into a possibility – even with higher employment costs there is an opportunity hidden.

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Germans and the startup community – part II