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Turing Fest 2017 – PR vs SEO

Turing Fest 2017 – PR vs SEO

Last week, Stripe attended Scotland’s largest tech gathering, Turing Fest to further submerge ourselves into the world of digital marketing for a day, with talks from international leaders in the field.

We were glued to speakers such as Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds and Lisa Myers on SEO; Laura Crimmons who gave us an important lesson in connecting with people whether it be clients or colleagues; CMO of ClassPass, Joanna Lord, who talked about the different levels of growth in business and how to achieve it and Purna Virji who discussed marketing in a conversational world, taking a closer look at the use of chatbots.

As someone who comes from a very PR background, the opportunity that lies with digital is fascinating and is something that has increasingly become part of my portfolio of experience as clients look for more than just those traditional pieces of media coverage, but integrated campaigns. The key takeaway for me from Turing was the similarities and crossovers between PR and SEO and how ultimately they can organically support each other.

PRs and SEOs both aim to achieve coverage through compilation of content and media outreach with the difference being that while PRs strive for the highest reach through calculations of readership, followers and unique user figures, SEOs aim for coverage in the form of links, ideally having authoritative sites such as the BBC or The Huffington Post including a link to the client’s campaign web page in their coverage of the story for example, which in turn would help improve the search engine rankings of the brand’s website.

As a comms consultant always upskilling in more digital disciplines, it made me realise that us PRs are already pros in a lot of practices involved in SEO – more of us just need to realise the digital value to our clients of incorporating something so simple as a brand web page link into content and highlighting the importance of that link being included in coverage of the story to our media contacts and voila… we’re on our way to being SEO practitioners.

Having had my eyes opened at Turing Fest to the world of SEO, I’m looking forward to seeing how the disciplines of PR and digital marketing will continue to merge, as clients continue to operate further into the digital space with campaigns and coverage KPIs.

Game, set, match. Wimbledon embraces the new digital age

Game, set, match. Wimbledon embraces the new digital age

Today sees the opening of one of the greatest tennis championships in the sporting calendar; Wimbledon. Here, we take a look at what the event is doing to cater for a younger audience and the preparation being taken for days when broadcast television is almost a thing of the past.

Growing up in the Crate household, there was a constant green screen in the living room for the same two weeks of June every year, as the well-manicured lawns of Wimbledon took over the TV viewing schedule. But with new forms of media continuing to develop as the tournament rolls around each year, Wimbledon has to embrace new platforms and look ahead to the day when TV is no longer watched at the volume it is today and people instead rely on other media.

For 2016’s coverage of the championship, Wimbledon is expanding the level of content they push out, with fans being able to see more than ever before. One of the main platforms they will be making more use of, is its app. They will be adding a Snapchat-inspired ‘Create your own story’ element, allowing fans to share their own experiences for other app-users to see. They’ll also be adding a ‘Plan your visit’ feature, which will be targeting first time ticketholders, offering them tips and personalised content to make their visit the best it can possibly be.

Wimbledon is also looking to make more use of their social media channels this year, promising to share more behind the scenes footage on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. They’re also looking to double its live content on Snapchat with four Live Stories being shared this year and on Periscope, they’ll be broadcasting more footage to an audience that’s grown to 500,000.

For the first time, they will be working with Apple TV to create an app that will enable fans and followers of the tournament to experience live matches and radio online, meaning no compulsory TV watching for fans of the game.

Wimbledon isn’t the only sporting competition which has our attention for the next fortnight though, as the UEFA’s Euro 2016 comes to a close. The two have entered into partnership to mutually attract viewers to both Euro 2016 and Wimbledon, which is a smart move recognising that Britain is a fan of sports in general as opposed to necessarily just the game being played.

It seems like Wimbledon has it sussed, aiming to be at the forefront of sports competitions, doing what they need to do to stay current and engage a younger audience. In a tournament that has been a TV staple for many in the calendar, it’s great to see that Wimbledon has recognised that TV won’t be around forever, as people use their personal devices more and more.

It’s exciting to see the developments in the transmission of such a quintessentially British event that spans fans of all ages and interests. It will be great to see what’s next. Now, I’m off to grab my phone, download the app and indulge in a cream scone!

 

Photo credit: StuartSlavicky/shutterstock.com

Conquering the Regional Powerhouses

Conquering the Regional Powerhouses

When dealing with big brands, it’s easy to forget about the unique cultures and personalities of the regions and aim everything at a UK-wide audience. It’s important however for brands to tailor their campaigns and give a nod to those who identify with their regional culture just as much as they do their UK identity.

It was a visit to Liverpool last week for the personal appearance of the world’s leading make-up artist, Charlotte Tilbury at the John Lewis branch, which really highlighted just how much of a media pool there can be serving just one city and showing the worth of a brand addressing a city outside of London directly.

Stripe worked with Charlotte Tilbury’s PR agency to invite Liverpool’s media to a lunch time press session at John Lewis Liverpool, giving the local media what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Charlotte Tilbury and get some of her celeb-worth tips in an intimate afternoon tea setting, surrounded by all of her sought-after products.

These lifestyle journalists and bloggers, like many of their Liverpudlians take the beauty industry seriously and so when I first met with the journalists there was lots of excitement and anticipation. This was certainly the perfect location for John Lewis to have launched their only Charlotte Tilbury counter and for Tilbury to make an appearance. We often get plenty of thanks from media after events; for the experience and goody bags etc, but never have I seen such appreciation, truly flabbergasted.

The media opportunities are vast when working with regional media, whether it be around retail or food and drink. Each region from Scotland, to the Midlands, to the far depths of the UK in Cornwall, have their own niche media pool with their mix of glossy magazines, online lifestyle publications and local city newspaper – some ‘local rags’ reaching circulations of 80,000 and more. And if you do have a national message you want to share regionally, Trinity Mirror’s shared content unit compiles content for all of their city publications from the Birmingham Mail to the Manchester Evening News, with a successful collection of online news sites reaching a multi-million size audience.

We can’t forget about the blogger and vlogger presence too. In a media world that’s shifting ever more into the digital world, we’re working more and more with regional bloggers, whether it’s inviting them to parties hosted by Sourz or getting them in to try the latest new restaurant in their city, they certainly have a presence in their home cities which can be utilised. It’s no longer about just reaching the UK-wide audience, but getting somebody who lives and breathes the region’s culture and blogs or vlogs about it to their fellow Geordies or Brummies or whoever it may be.

My piece of advice for conquering the regional media pool; get on the phone, make an appointment for a  face-to-face meeting, visit the city and get to know the region’s personality and the publication is yours to fill.

Stripe goes to Holi Festival of Colours

Stripe goes to Holi Festival of Colours

We’ve enjoyed a colourful 2015 so far with one of our fave Friday drinks, Sourz, what with the launch of Sourz Rainbow Ice at the beginning of the year and the Club MTV tour during the summer. But this weekend we hit the ultimate, as Stripe’s very own resident shot-girls took our PR machine to London for the Holi Festival of Colours, which Sourz was sponsoring.

Alex & Rebecca at Holi Festival

Myself and Rebecca – shot-girl-in-the-making and newbie to Stripe – headed over the border to my homeland to give journos from the likes of ZOO and Bar Mag the Sourz’ Holi Festival of Colours experience, complete with many helpings of Sourz Rainbow Ice and bags of coloured powder. We can even go as far as to say, one journalist received a marriage proposal in the Sourz tent – genuinely. She said yes too – congrats Lucia! This defo wasn’t part of our running order.

We had some great fun in the experiential tent, striking heaps of poses in the gif booth – there was just as much powder paint in the tent by the end of the day as there was in the main stage arena. With a Sourz Rainbow Ice bar, there were plenty of shots on offer to keep people refreshed. The tent was an opportunity to give fans and festival-goers a souvenir to take home – some classic snaps of the great time they had with their best mates.

We were also able to showcase a new piece of video content they’ve just released, ‘Sourz presents: World of Colour’, which sees Sourz visit 8 cities across the world in 10 days – a megahunt for colour captured in a one minute film.

The weekend was the perfect way for us to round off our summer of colour. It was great to be able to see how well two brands can fit and it gave us the opportunity to experience the famous coloured powder explosions of the global Holi Festival of Colours, giving our media friends the opportunity too.

Until next time…