Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

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There was a time when Black Friday was mainly an American phenomenon. The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season that climaxed at Christmas. However the growth of online shopping has taken the concept global . So given that Britons spent nearly £6 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year – of which £2.8 billion was online shopping and Americans spent ten times that figure – it’s critical that brands take steps to maximise their efforts to reconnect with existing customers and grow their consumer base.

Below are six tips to ensure brands make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. How many are you already implementing?

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Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

black-friday-2017-1

There was a time when Black Friday was mainly an American phenomenon. The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season that climaxed at Christmas. However the growth of online shopping has taken the concept global . So given that Britons spent nearly £6 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year – of which £2.8 billion was online shopping and Americans spent ten times that figure – it’s critical that brands take steps to maximise their efforts to reconnect with existing customers and grow their consumer base.

Below are six tips to ensure brands make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. How many are you already implementing?

read more
Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

Data proves the strategy behind issuing a Friday press release

press_release_distribution“When is the best time to send my email?” In marketing, there is a host of analysis, best practice and science behind answering that thorny question.

In public relations, not so much. This is an industry that has long relied on qualitative tactics and gut instinct.

Until now. Because data can, in fact, validate whether key press strategies can work for a brand.

Take the case of Ryanair. No stranger to publicity, Ryanair is usually keen to generate as many headlines as possible. But, when it was forced to cancel around 1,900 flights due to administrative errors last month, the airline resorted to a common industry tactic – minimising attention by sneaking the announcement out late on a Friday afternoon.

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Data proves the strategy behind issuing a Friday press release
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Why Twitter’s character limit increase is good news for PR consultants

Twitter’s shares took a tumble on Tuesday with the announcement that tweet character limits might jump from 140 to a massive 10,000 characters.

What will this look like? Re/Code reported that your feed will essentially remain the same on the surface. Longer tweets will display as normal – in 140 characters – and then, if someone is interested enough, there’ll be functionality to click and reveal the full content.

Critics have slammed the move, saying the expanded character limit takes away from Twitter’s simple elegance. Regardless of what you think of the announcement, the reality is that Twitter will still remain an important news channel.

When the expanded character limit is introduced, what should PR professionals be aware of and how should they best use the expanded space?

Simplify access to your message

Before, regardless of whether your tweet was punchy enough to grab the attention of browsers wanting to know more, you had to rely on them clicking on a link which took them outside Twitter. Now, your headline becomes your 140-character tweet and your press release/alert/blog post can easily be displayed underneath – all without the user having the leave Twitter.

Articulate yourself

As content makers, we are used to consolidating our message to create maximum impact with minimum perceived effort. What I mean, of course, is that while we might spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over a few paragraphs, the end product won’t (or shouldn’t) look like it. Our aim is usually pretty simple: spark interest, consideration and action.

Twitter has been good for helping us develop our cut-to-the-chase skills but it doesn’t exactly allow for much more. How can we truly get across a brand’s proposition in a short tweet? Obviously we don’t need to wax lyrical every time, but trying to cram an amazing story into 140 characters feels a bit… hollow. Having more space to creatively build a fuller brand story around that cool new initiative or product isn’t a bad thing.

Increased engagement

Earlier last year Twitter removed the 140-character limit from Direct Messages. Do you even know how much easier this has made it for me to complain about my crappy sandwich or bad train journey? Lots.

In all seriousness though, the 140-character DM limit used to frustrate me so much as a community manager. How can you genuinely respond to a complaint or engage in a broader conversation with a client or a member of the public? I resented having to condense my replies, fearing that the brand was coming across as unsympathetic and definitely not that interested.

The increased DM character space has allowed brands to build more genuine relationships with their followers privately. Having the ability to publicly clarify concerns or provide a more in-depth explanation to a question has the two-fold effect of both increased brand awareness and brand trust amongst followers.

Your blog away from your blog

Twitter is used a lot by brands’ bloggers to help drive traffic to their website. These brands use pictures and snappy headlines to help achieve those elusive click-throughs. Now brands and individual bloggers can host a proper preview of their full post within Twitter. If browsers like the excerpt, they’re likely to click through to the blog anyway to read the rest of your post and/or to see what else you have to say.

Fast access

Quite simply, this ups the chances of more of your content being seen by more of the right people.

By Lydia Lobb

 

What do you think of the proposed character limit increase? Do you think it’s a good or a bad thing for companies and their PR teams?

 

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Why Twitter’s character limit increase is good news for PR consultants
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The Web Summit – Top 10 Startups

Day in day out, at Clarity PR we work with startups of all shapes and sizes, so attending the Web Summit was a no brainer for us. This year’s edition was more special than most others as it was the last Summit to be held in Dublin for at least three years.

This year’s event was the biggest yet, boasting 40,000 attendees and 1,000 speakers from around the globe, with some of the hottest startups in the world showcasing their wares. Thankfully, this year really did live up to the hype and at Clarity we were lucky to meet some really great startups who have the potential to grow and grow. We highlight the ten most interesting startups below (in alphabetical order):

Bluetens

Bluetens is a pocket sized piece of technology that brings electrotherapy (of a professional quality) to anyone. The equipment is also supported by a smartphone app that controls the physical device. Co-Founder,Boris Dorin, kindly showed how it works and it looks like a seriously impressive piece of kit that will simplify medical care for consumers in a big way.

Credilikeme

Credilikeme is a Mexican startup that sells short term loans online to millennials. It uses gamification to allow users to ‘level up’ if they payback their loans in a responsible way. This means that future loans could also be cheaper for users, due to the level of trust they’ve already built up. Jorge Enriquez, Co-Founder, kindly showed us how the gamification system works and it is a really simple system which will definitely appeal to millennials.

Dott

Losing a pet is quite traumatic right? This was the inspiration which brought Wade Chen, Co-Founder, to found Dott, which hails itself as ‘The Smart Dog Tag’. Slightly bigger than a 50p coin, it is a smart tag which fits around a dog’s collar and will alert you (by your smartphone) if your dog has gone into an area that they shouldn’t have. It is a really simple concept, but Wade has big plans to link with a number of partners (and also build up a community of users) to create a technological solution that enables ‘social good’ – we salute you!

Fairtime

At Clarity, we hate wasting time, as for us, time is money. Fairtime have the same way of thinking. A Spanish startup, they are offering consumers a way to donate their idle time either for profit or for good causes. The app builds an anonymised profile of a user and will ask them to then watch brands’ videos in which they can earn small amounts of money for each view. Manuel Maese, COO, took us through the quality of brands they have on board already and all we can say is ‘well done’!

Gatehub

Fintech can be a somewhat difficult and dizzying topic to understand at times. However, the guys at Gatehub have built a truly impressive offering, which translates easily into everyday life. One of their core offerings is a ‘wallet’ which is in effect ‘money in the cloud’, in which any asset can be sold and in which a transaction takes less than two seconds to complete globally.

Revolut

Another fintech startup that really seemed to be onto a winner was Revolut. Using just an app and a physical card, it allows you to transfer money globally by SMS, Whatsapp and social media. Not only this, if you’re travelling abroad, your Revolut card just needs to be topped up and it automatically converts into the local currency at the most favourable rate. The best part of all this is that there are no hidden fees.

Scheduit

Business networking can be a bit easier at events like the Web Summit. However, if you’re constantly travelling, maximising your networking activities can be quite hard. Scheduit looks to solve this problem as it enables you look for networking opportunities wherever you are. You can search anywhere in the world or at specific events and then also look at your fellow networkers’ compatibility thanks to the ‘Schedumeter’.

Shaw Academy

Given that the Web Summit has been held in Ireland since its inception, it’s surprising to see so few Irish startups at the event. However, one startup is making huge inroads globally. The Shaw Academy is an online educational platform which has over 35,000 student on its books. It’s aimed at skilled professionals looking to upskill or fill a gap in their skills set. Each course is a minimum of 10 hours long and measurement of how successful the course is for users is based off a whopping 840 metric. The entire operation is completely bootstrapped, making it quite an impressive startup to come out of Ireland.

The Pigeonhole

Book clubs probably seem quite old fashioned and parochial in the digital age. However, with the rise of the eBook readers, novels have become easier to read, share and discuss. The Pigeonhole looks to marry the old with the new by creating a global book club. You can read with complete strangers or create your own private group, while The Pigeonhole serialises books (called ‘Staves’) so it can fit into even the busiest lifestyles

Weddinghero

As some members of Clarity can attest to, weddings are stressful events as much can, and sometimes does go wrong on the big day. Weddinghero aims to put lovers’ minds at ease by helping them organise every facet of their wedding, from venue to wedding clothes. On the flipside, it offers wedding suppliers the chance to showcase their services and goods to an audience who is looking to buy.

By Dave Claxton

@DClax67

 

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The Web Summit – Top 10 Startups
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How Branded Content is Changing Journalism

It goes without saying – in the 2015 media landscape, content is king. The days when an entire country was reading just a handful of publications to get their news and entertainment are gone. Now, in addition to skimming the investigative long form story on the New York Times homepage, consumers are flitting through interactive quizzes on Buzzfeed and the latest viral video from Coca-Cola posted on Facebook. The line is blurred – popular content no longer just originates from the journalism school grad. It can come from anyone.

The fact that brands can, and are, some of the world’s most prolific content creators isn’t exactly new. Brands have always been associating themselves with the mass media in an effort to ingratiate themselves with a target demographic. Proctor and Gamble for example was the inventor of the radio soap opera back in the 1930s, in an effort to subconsciously reach the bored housewife – a partnership that extended up until the cancellation of As The World Turns in 2009, the last P&G sponsored soap.

But with the advent of the internet it has become easier than ever for brands to start producing their own content. From native advertising to thought leadership there is a content marketing solution for every company depending on how much time and creativity they are willing to expel in the name of ingratiating themselves with consumers.

This proliferation of branded content has made the public relation professional’s role of capturing native coverage all the more critical for brands. With publications turning to branded content to bolster their digital revenues, and brands jumping on the opportunity to publish their own content on widely recognized platforms, the space for organic coverage of exciting new companies shrinks. After all, why would a journalist write about you for free when his publication can get paid for you to write about yourself?

This is where public relations matters more than ever – media relations professionals are able to leverage relationships and build story angles that journalists will deem worthy of organic coverage. Simultaneously, the modern PR-person takes on the responsibility of honing their client’s branded content to be both on-message and engaging to a broader audience. In the same way that companies and publications have brought their distinct realms together through branded content, so too has the PR industry had to adapt beyond media relations. Today’s PR agency houses a team of content creators capable of producing stories that can authentically promote clients within the news trends of the day.

Journalism sure has changed thanks to the continued rise of branded content, but rest assured – the PR world is changing right along side it.

by Tess VandenDolder

@TessVanden

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How Branded Content is Changing Journalism
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Team Clarity, Assemble!

Here at Clarity we love an excuse for a great social event, and last weekend we were lucky enough to take a weekend trip to Berlin to network and spend some quality time with our global counterparts.

The weekend was jam-packed: meeting clients, new team members, new faces in the startup scene at the TechStars networking event in a thumping underground venue – in true Berliner party style!

The Berlin contingent were excellent hosts and hooked us up with the best venues so we got a real flavour of the city – sampling some real Bavarian food, and a considerable amount of German beer on our boat party!

After two super busy days, we had a bit of spare time to learn about Berlin’s culture too. Walking everywhere with a guidebook (and Bethany’s excellent narrating skills) meant we could soak up the city and learn along the way about Berlin’s history. We managed to cram a lot of hotspots into an afternoon, including the stunning Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.

The trip served as an invigorating reminder of why we do what we do, and how lucky we are to work with some of the most exciting startups across the globe. The weekend was also a great opportunity to meet our newest team members, Marie, Paul and Anthony who bring a wealth of experience and ideas to Clarity and will be dotted across the globe in London, Berlin and New York respectively.

It also gave us the chance to reflect and think about what’s next; with inspiring presentations in Berlin’s Rainmaking Loft from Bryce on the agency’s phenomenally fast growth, Sara on the future of our identity, Sami on our rebrand and Clarity’s short but eventful journey so far, with a brainstorming session at the end on what’s to come.

Rest assured there are more exciting things in the pipeline for Team Clarity… Prost!

@RobynEmilyD

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Team Clarity, Assemble!
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5 Tips for Making The Most Of Your Internship

I remember my first experience as an intern. It was for an investment bank when I was 16 years old – young, ambitious but utterly clueless as to what actually happened in the working world, let alone the “exotic credit division”. One thing that I did appreciate was the experience of being in the apotheosis of a challenging, vibrant and noisy working environment, especially when so young. It gave me a feel of what the real world was like, and made me begin to think about my future in a serious way.

I have gone from a grungy teenager paradoxically dressed in a suit and thrust into the finance world, to an indie mophead working at a music magazine, to a clean shaven ‘Harvey Spector’ wannabe in a law firm, to finally a PR professional. During all of these internships (and identity crises), I have learned how to ensure the internship process is as valuable and productive as possible – and not the stereotypical experience of tea making and photocopying.  

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5 Tips for Making The Most Of Your Internship
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5 Reasons Your Startup Needs PR

Getting your startup off the ground and running can be challenging. A large part of developing a business plan is thinking strategically about the ways you want your business to grow from an early stage startup to a fully established enterprise. Doing your homework is critical to understanding how to amplify your brand and prepare for market entry.

Alas, you hit ‘Enter’ on your Google search: “Does my startup need PR?”  Over 11 million results are now at your disposal – and you thought deciding on dinner was going to be difficult.  The Internet is crowded with various opinions and conflicting ideas, each providing their own merit and judgment for why a startup will or will not benefit from PR.

Here are five reasons in favor of having PR as a core strategy for your startup:

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5 Reasons Your Startup Needs PR
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How to retain staff: 6 ways to keep your employees happy

Regardless of your organization or industry, attracting and retaining talent will always remain a priority. As the employment industry continues to rebuild itself after the 2008 financial crisis, employers are looking for ways to retain qualified talent. Finding a candidate that fits a role can be challenging. Ensuring that the talent you acquire stays engaged and committed is becoming another task that companies must dedicate resources towards.

According to a Gallup poll, less than one third of the U.S. workforce are engaged in their current jobs. For many growing companies, this proves to be a daunting statistic. Recruiting talent that is invested in the job, as well as your company, is crucial towards building a core team of internal employees. The more engaged your employees are, the more likely it is that they will represent your brand well, both inside and outside of office hours.

Here are six ways to retain talent and keep your employees happy:  

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How to retain staff: 6 ways to keep your employees happy