The reasons why Venture Capitalists need PR
It is incredible to think that it was ever the case, but there once was a time when Venture Capitalists were perceived by entrepreneurs as almost mythical creatures – shy individuals who shunned publicity and were barely traceable online.
That clearly isn’t the case anymore as VCs jostle with each other to garner the most followers for their blogs and Twitter accounts. So why this sea change? What has happened in the VC world to bring this about, and crucially do VCs really need to employ PR companies?
General Election 2017 – who is winning the PR war?
We’ve had a little over a week to get over the surprise of a snap General Election being called for 8 June. Political analysts seem to be fairly unanimous in their reading of the strategy – it looks as if it will help the Conservative party boost their majority and weaken opponents, easing the course of the hard Brexit the UK is heading for.
While some may argue that tactical voting might actually cause this move to backfire, and others warn of the dangers of believing opinion polls after the 2015 General Election, I want to focus on how the party leaders are presenting themselves from a communications point of view.
None of the party leaders will want to get caught in comms disasters such as Gordon Brown’s “bigoted woman” remarks, or do anything to make their positions untenable – such as promising a referendum on EU membership like David Cameron did. But against a backdrop of fake news and the “post-truth” era, candidates need to think hard about how they present themselves and their policies.
Five ways Twitter can help boost your PR efforts
When engaging in a public relations campaign, companies tend to rely heavily on building an audience solely through media coverage, without capitalising on other ways to amplify their presence alongside it.
Social media, and Twitter more specifically, serves as a complementary tool that can be used to add greater value to media coverage achieved, helping to prolong the life of the coverage and bring further reach to a brand. Understanding the various tactics in using different social media channels can help a brand gain greater traction and attention, adding further value to any PR campaign.
Here are five ways Twitter can be used to help boost your PR efforts:
Clarity and charity: boosting the STEM sector
Since the company was formed in 2012, Clarity has worked with charities such as Alive and Kicking and Restless Development with the aim of doing our bit to make the world a better place. But as a small company trying to establish itself and grow a sustainable business it hasn’t always been easy to dedicate as much time and resource to charity as we would have liked.
This year, however, we are giving our charitable efforts new impetus and direction. We’ve now connected with partner charities in both the UK, where we were founded, and the US, where we have a fast-growing office in New York. We’ve also carefully selected charities where we think our skills and expertise can help to make a real difference.
The issue of education is one that is very close to our hearts. As an agency that works primarily with technology companies we have a deep understanding of the issue of skills shortages in both the UK and US when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. In both countries there simply aren’t enough students retaining an interest in these areas or achieving meaningful qualifications that would set them up for careers in these industries. Increasingly talent needs to be brought in from outside the country or businesses need to relocate some or all of their operations overseas in order to meet this shortage.
United: How not to manage a PR crisis
Another week, another brand forced to refer to the PR Crisis Communications Playbook. In fact, I would think that United Airlines’ copy of this publication is looking rather dog-eared by now, given the recent debacle surrounding appropriate clothing for passengers.
A much more serious PR crisis arose, though, when footage and witness accounts of an ugly incident involving a passenger being forcibly removed from an airplane for refusing to give up his seat on a flight that had been overbooked.
Let us remember that this is a company that has won plaudits for its PR in the past. We should also remember, though, that it also has form for this kind of incident.
Rather than focus on the rights and wrongs of what happened on the plane itself, or whether the policy of overbooking flights needs to be cracked down on, I want to focus on the mistakes made in United’s communications after the event.
Pepsi: Why your brand’s message needs to be clear
Pepsi. Has there ever been a brand that lived more in the shadow of its closest rival? The perpetual challenger, which has provided us with “over 100 years of fun and refreshment”, finds itself in the public eye for all the wrong reasons right now.
The company has provoked some strong reactions – pretty much all of them negative – for a new campaign featuring Kendall Jenner. In the ad, Jenner leaves a protest of which she is part to present a can of Pepsi to a police officer.
The links to the recent protests by the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality are clumsily obvious – whether intentional or not – and Jenner’s participation in the advert is proving as controversial as her actions.
The ad has high production values and will have cost a great deal of money to make. But the damage it could potentially do to Pepsi’s brand is very difficult to put a number on.