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Prohibition wins the CIPR’s Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy 2017-18

Thursday night saw the biggest night on our social calendar – the CIPR’s Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards.

This is the night where all the staff get glammed up and ready to celebrate (or commiserate), with a few glasses of fizz along the way and it’s always a bonus if we win.

Therefore, we are thrilled to announce that we won Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy 2017!

The CIPR said:

 “Prohibition was a clear winner in this category. Whilst demonstrating clear business growth and new business wins, the agency really stands out thanks to its commitment to nurturing talent and keeping it in the region. Our industry is changing rapidly, but the agency demonstrated that its focused on staying ahead of the local competition by ensuring campaigns are fully integrated, combining social and digital with traditional PR.”

Not only did we win the highest award of the evening, the team also received the Silver Award for ‘Best Use of Digital’ with ‘The World’s Largest Sleep Census’ for our client Sealy UK, as well as ‘Best Use of Social Media’ for our campaign called ‘Making Christmas Real Again’.

Thanks to our wonderful team for their hard work over the past year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

Leeds PR Agency Prohibition PR is looking for a PR Executive – is it you?

It’s been an exciting time at Prohibition PR. What with new offices in Chapel Allerton and a raft of new account wins, we need to expand the team.

PR Job VacanciesAs you’ve probably figured out, we’re not old fashioned when it comes to PR. While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening,  brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Job details:
In this Account Executive graduate job, your role will include:
• Establishing an understanding of clients’ business objectives and relevant wider industry issues
• Coordinating PR programmes to support clients’ business objectives
• Developing working relationships with clients, media, and other advisers
• Drafting and editing press releases and articles
• Promoting news stories both over the phone and in person to relevant media
• Liaising with advisers to discuss PR and social strategies
• Dealing with new business activities
• Collating and analysing media coverage
• Organising meetings and conference calls
• Attending press launches
• Researching the media and conducting background research

While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening, brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Role responsibilities
• Be responsible for the day to day tactical activities and delivery of press office items i.e. press releases/case studies/features tracking
• Be responsible for admin issues on the account and employ good filing systems
• Stay on top of coverage at all times (scanning, filing, sending and analysing)
• Demonstrate your ability to identify coverage opportunities and target successfully
• Support your account manager on day to day account activity
• Report back to your team effectively, esp if any delays or problems occur
• Ensure you have excellent time management skills
• Be a ‘news junkie’ – regularly monitor key publications across all clients
• Seek opportunities to build relationships with key media
• Stay on top of core media features tracking
• Demonstrate/develop excellent writing skills
• Demonstrate ability to work effectively across multiple accounts

Person specification
We’re looking for someone with a definite interest in all things social media and PR. But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

Skills & experience
All applicants must have a degree.
Degree: • At least a degree with a 2:1
• Prior knowledge of public relations and social media is desirable
• The ability to develop a network of contacts with journalists and influencers
• Fantastic presentation skills, both written and verbal
• Great analytical and administrative capabilities
• Good knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)

Here’s what we’re after:
Preferably we’re looking for someone with at least 6-12 month’s PR experience, with a definite interest in all things social media but if you don’t have any don’t worry. Someone who blogs, knows their Foursquare from their flickr, and at least pretends to understand Google’s spiders.

But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

We’re a small team but growing. If you’re interested in growing with us, and rolling up your sleeves to get involved in all aspects of our client work then get in touch.

Send your CV to hireme @prohibitionpr.co.uk along with a brief overview of why you think we should hire you.

No agencies please.

Why we can’t rest on our laurels when it comes to PR?

The PR industry, much like the advertising industry, has been challenged no end over recent years. At first the rise of internet, computers and connectivity helped to streamline admin, create new and measurable mechanisms and provide communicators with a more coherent way of working. Think emails, building journo relationships, doubling the number of press outlets via online press.

But, with any change comes challenge. Whilst the day’s of faxing journalists may seem like ancient history, and thankfully something I don’t personally remember (I’m still young I promise), it was the start of the PR revolution, much as it was the start of the consumer revolution. The control of the brand became diluted as the consumer grew its share of voice. And so, now we are presented with a new market, a new landscape whereby brands are at the beck and call of the demanding consumer. The consumer that can and will scrutinise a brands moves – be it their CSR or principles.

And with that comes a need for change. A need to embrace the new and perhaps most importantly the need to integrate. Advertising agencies no longer stand in isolation, and with that neither should PR companies. Whilst the phrase integration has become a little over used, it is essential that we truly get under the skin of what it represents, and how that impacts on our role as communicators.

In short people consume their content in new and different ways. The press release and boozy lunches no longer define what it means to be a PR. In fact, as many of you already appreciate, that never truly represented what communications was all about. Yes it’s important to build and sustain relationships, but this shouldn’t be as a result of a fancy lunch and a lavish Christmas gift. It should be as a result of proven and effective communications that delivers results.

The industry changes at a fast pace, so it’s our responsibility as communicators to maintain a level head when it comes to change. When VR surfaced, who jumped on it and used it effectively? How did they make it work for them? And did you miss the boat? If so, why? This is just one example of how a new trend and technology can pass you by without cause if you fail to engage in it fast enough. It’s not about being a ‘me too’ brand, it’s about being a true innovator, and if you want to deliver comms with real impact, it’s your job as a communicator to embrace change, identify relevant opportunities for your clients, and more often than not take a step into the unknown.

If you’re forever playing catch up, you will forever work with brands that don’t truly appreciate the impact PR and communications can have on its brand. In short, this means you’re forever going to be seen as old hat and out of touch. So, don’t rest on your laurels, look at how you can innovate and really make an impact for your clients. Bespoke communications is about tailoring your skills to best suit your client’s audience – don’t be me too, be the communicator that helps to shape the change.

Prohibition Shortlisted in the Top 50 PR Agencies

What a way to kick start the hot summer month of July! Sorry for the shameless self promotion guys but hey it’s our blog so we can write what we want!

July 1st is a pivotal day for most of us, as it usually marks the start of the summer and the long awaited sunshine. However, today proved to be extra special for us as an agency. We’re delighted to reveal that for the first time ever we’ve been shortlisted in the Top 50 PR Agencies 2015 in the North from Prolific North. The list which is released annually, albeit for a bit of link bait, ranks each PR agency according to its financial information taken from Companies House and also from supplementary information from us PR companies ourselves.

The ranking looks at information from more than 200 PR agencies, which are either based in, or have offices in the North. Click here for the full list. There are some great companies in here that we respect so we are delighted to be included in some esteemed company.

This is great news for our company as we enter our 5th year and with a headcount of just eight, we may not be the biggest but we are hoping to become the best.

So there you have it, we are starting to make waves in the Yorkshire region and this year is looking even better than last, so thanks for your support and hopefully we will see you all soon.

ProlificNorthTop50BadgePRfinal20151

Elevating the profile of the UK’s largest independent lift manufacturer

Pickerings Lifts is the UK’s longest established independent lift manufacturer, celebrating 160-years at the forefront of the elevation industry. Working alongside branding specialists Of Creative, Prohibition was appointed to raise the profile of Pickerings across the UK, helping the business increase its market share and realise its ambitious growth plan to double turnover to £40m by 2016.

ipearsonbigProhibition has delivered a multi-faceted public relations strategy, positioning Pickerings as the foremost authority on the elevation industry, while staying true to its extensive heritage. This has included one-on-one press briefings, regional public relations support mapped against the company’s regional office network, as well as thought-leadership activity.

Our central creative campaign involves working with leading futurist, Dr Ian Pearson – who is credited with inventing the text message – to produce a white paper examining the ‘future of elevation’. The outputs of this are wide ranging: including customer briefings, white papers, content marketing and public relations.

 

 

 

 

 

SEO vs. Social Media

A pattern within the younger generation is definitely emerging, with social networks growing in popularity as a method for a discovery resource; in 2010 only 18% of people were using it for that reason, up to 25% in 2011 and then in 2012 it reached 32%. Although the usage of search engines such as Google, is up from 54% in 2012 from 50% the previous year, many are questioning whether to reconsider their marketing strategy and start spending less efforts on SEO.

However, what are the advantages of both channels, and can they be used effectively together?

ID-10069290SEO

· Quality – with social media you may gain a lot of irrelevant traffic, because a person has merely followed a link to your website from their friend’s Facebook. Whereas in the case of SEO that person will have entered into a search engine that exact service/product you offer and so will be a more valuable visitor.

· Brand Reputation – If the search engine has listed your website high, then people are more likely to respect your brand because they trust search engines to give them the most relevant and important sites.

· Web Development – to even be successful in SEO, your website needs to have good navigation and no broken links etc which in itself will push your business to develop an accessible website, which in turn will please your customers because they have a better browsing experience.

Social Media

· Quantity – as mentioned before, although you may get more irrelevant visitors, those you do get may be more interested in your service/ product because of the fact it has effectively been recommended by a friend, with seven out of ten people more likely to use a business if it has a presence in social media (comScore Networks/TMP Directional Marketing)

· Coverage – Experian reported that 27% of internet time is spent on a social media site. This marketing channel will be more successful therefore, simply because that’s where the people are.

· Brand Reputation – instead of relying on Google to rank your business’ importance, you can manage your own reputation. By dealing with negative comments and encouraging positive feedback you ID-10053100 (1)can influence your brands position.

SEO and social media have their own pros and cons, but they can be used together very effectively. Most simply because you are have two positions from which to target people: if they for example are exposed to your product on one site, this may not lead to a conversion to a customer, however t when they then see it again, the second time it may do.

Although the trend is pointing towards younger people using social media more and more, this is may not be true for the older generation. Therefore for a business to be effectively using both means that they are targeting the largest customer base they can.

By using social media to post your services on similar industry pages, you create back links which then enhance your SEO ranking.

Do you think SEO will actually be beaten into submission by social or is that a pipe dream?

 

This was a guest post by Jamila Campbell-O’Connor

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles via. https://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images via. https://www.freedigitalphotos.net

What online PR campaigns can teach us about measurement and ROI

It’s no secret that the traditional PR measurement model is woefully ill-equipped to deal with today’s integrated online PR campaigns, and new, data-driven methodologies have emerged to effectively tackle social media PR.

However, while traditional agencies may still judge the success of a campaign on ‘equivalent advertising value’ or a nebulous ‘PR value’, an understanding of digital PR gives us the opportunity to measure almost every facet of a campaign, and crucially, start making that all important link to ROI.

Not only that, but social media measurement techniques give us the opportunity to apply a new analysis framework to traditional PR campaigns, in doing helping drive forward the industry as a whole. Online PR

This debate is not unique to PR; in every marketing discipline, there exists a lively hotbed of opinions and views into how to best measure a campaign, and more importantly, how to effectively demonstrate ROI. And rightly so. We also like a good debate here at Prohibition PR, so it’s really music to our ears.


Analytics

A starting point should be a good working understanding of Google analytics. If your team doesn’t know what this is then they’re in the wrong job. Set up goals so that you can track conversations, whether that’s a sale, a sign-up or some other strategic imperative. Each piece of media coverage you generate should contain a link, if it doesn’t then ask yourself is it really benefiting the client? A half page in a national might do wonders for brand awareness (and probably will result in some sales you can never prove to your client) but chances are a blog post with a useful link will drive far more conversions for you and you can then track these.

Conversions to sales

Also get a good understanding of your client’s conversion rates. Based on average conversions and basket size, how much of the traffic you’re directing to the site could be resulting in a sale? What’s the value of this and how does it compare with the investment your client’s made in PR?

Similarly, find out how much your client is investing in online media spend and PPC. Calculate an average CPC and cross reference with the traffic you’re driving their way.  Suddenly you’re in a position when you can attribute a monetary value to your activity. Cost per Click is great but cost per acquisition is even better.

This is only scratching the surface, and we’re not going to reveal all of our techniques here (you have you be a client or a friend to benefit from that). But as an industry we need to be more honest with ourselves, especially when it comes to working with brands that are prominent online – are we getting media coverage for the sake of getting media coverage because it has always been our currency, or are we helping them achieve real business results?

While of course, PR and social media is not usually a direct response mechanism in the way that e-commerce or direct mail is, that’s not to say we can’t still be accountable for the services we deliver. In fact as an industry we should strive for this, for the benefit of our whole industry otherwise we could be left behind the digital and SEO Agencies.

Image credited to Stuart Miles, thanks very much via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

PR Interviews: 7 types of question a journalist might ask and how to deal with them

That old saying ‘forewarned is forearmed’ can be applied to many fields – and most especially to when you’re being interviewed by a journalist.

Journalists are generally pretty skilled at asking questions in such as way that will get their subjects talking – whether they want to or not!

But if you’re forearmed – not just by preparing in advance what you want to say, but also with what the journalist might ask – you’re much more likely to go into the interview feeling more confident, be able to take the control and make the points which are important to you and your organization.

Most questions fall into seven broad categories, and once you can recognize them, you then can work out how to answer them well, in a way that delivers your key messages effectively.

1. Open questions

Any question starting with who, what, where, when, how and why (and not forgetting ‘tell me about’). There’s normally no way you can answer these questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

“What does your company do?”

They are often asked at the beginning of an interview, so they give you a great opportunity to take control of an agenda, talk at length and really get your message across.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve asked a question starting ‘tell me about’ working on TV programmes such as Remembrance Sunday, to encourage people to talk about their experiences.

Do beware, though, as they can be used to trap you.

“When will the chief executive resign?”

“Why didn’t you call in expert help when you knew there was a problem?”

2. Closed questions

A closed question is one that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example:

‘Do you think that your company provides good media training courses?’

Or

Does your company also offer video production as one of its services?’

(the answer to both these is ‘yes’ by the way)

The way to spot these is that they generally invert the pronoun and verb in a sentence, so they might start with ‘Is it …?’, ‘Do you …’, ‘Will you …?’, ‘Have you …?’ or ‘Has your …?’.

When you answer them, it’s generally advisable to expand on what you’re saying and don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, particularly in a print interview where your answer might be turned into a quote by the journalist anyway.

Sometimes, however, you will disarm the interviewer by simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, which can be very powerful.

3. Leading questions

These invite you to make judgments about your activities, and are highly likely to be asked if you’re under fire for some reason.

“Your track record running this hospital is hardly one to be proud of is it?”

In these circumstances, it’s probably best to ignore the premise of the question and deal with the issues factually, clearly refuting the points made. So you might list your achievements and describe the measures you have taken to overcome the current difficulties.

4. Incomprehensible questions

Interviewers do sometimes get in a muddle, especially if they know little about the subject of the interview. Don’t judge a journalist too harshly in these circumstances – they may have had only a moment’s notice of the interview and had no time to research. Rather than pointing it out the journalist’s ignorance, take the chance to answer the question you hoped they would ask, and deliver one of your key messages.

5. Multi-element questions

This is sometimes the sign of an inexperienced or over keen interviewer:

“With me now is Barack Obama, the President of the United States. So Mr President, can you tell me how you defeated the Republicans, but it’s all going a bit wrong now isn’t it, are you concerned about how the Democrats will do in this week’s elections, and what does it feel like to be the first black president of the United States?

Just pick the nicest question – ie, the one which will allow you to get your messages out best – and answer that.

6. Hypothetical Questions

The type of thing you may face from an aggressive current affairs journalist.

“Will you resign if the investigation proves that your department approved that shipment of illegal arms?”

To deflect this type of question, simply refuse to be drawn and turn the conversation to a positive point, repeating the statement you have made to other reporters.

7. The Cul-de-sac Question

This is designed to catch you out, no matter what you say.

“Mr Mullins, your organisation is responsible for leaking sensitive medical records. As managing director, you must surely be considering resignation?”

The only thing to do is refute both parts of this question – and stick to your own agenda.

Whatever kind of question you are asked, the most important thing in any media interview is to remember the reason you agreed to it – to promote yourself and your business or organisation. Good preparation – both in anticipating questions and in deciding on and polishing your key messages – will make that task far far easier.

 

We would like to thank to Ann Wright for providing us with this brilliant guest blog, Ann is the co-founder of Rough House which specialise in media training.

Why branding yourself properly is key to getting a job in PR

With the boundaries between private and public becoming ever more unclear these days, it is essential that you represent yourself properly on all the different social media channels. It is quite shocking to see that, even in the present day, with social media having been around for a number of years people are still unaware of the damage that their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare or Pinterest accounts can do to their aspirations for getting that dream job in PR.

I realise it is quite obvious that uploading drunken pictures, writing rude posts and posting provocative material on your page is a sure fire way to ensure you will be going nowhere in the industry because, after all, if you cannot show yourself in a good light, then why would PR companies trust you to represent them?

clip_image002Valerie Forrestal from slideshare has discussed in a slideshow how the wrong material can jeopardise your chances of scooping a job. Using examples, such as the woman who was denied acceptance onto a degree course due to drunken images on her Facebook page, she has highlighted the pitfalls of not branding yourself properly.

Companies in all industries want respectable employees that they can trust. In the US, businesses have even taken the drastic step of asking applicants for their Facebook login details, so they can run the rule over them to ensure that potential employees are suitable.

Whilst this may be seen as over the top to some, really it is a logical step. If companies cannot access your private account, then is there something for you to hide?

The LA Times previously talked about how important it is to represent yourself properly in today’s social media-driven society, highlighting the need to “be sure your profile is cleaned up so it won’t put off any potential employers.”

Obviously, the more personal sites such as Facebook do not have to be covered in boring material. But to talk about how stoned or drunk you got last Saturday is certainly not going to endear yourself to your future employer.

Everyone is aware how powerful social media is in today’s society but, unbelievably, many are still not taking the necessary steps to represent themselves properly, which is harming their chances of progressing into professional employment.

It is only simple steps that have to be taken to ensure your social media channels are not your downfall.

Have you seen any interesting examples of people not representing themselves properly on their social media? If you have share them with us in the comments.