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How to be legally compliant on social media

Yesterday morning. the Prohibition team jointly organised a successful breakfast seminar exploring the important issue of legal compliance in social media.

Held in conjunction with leading Intellectual Property law firm, HGF, the central-Leeds seminar was attended by 50 marketing and legal professionals from across the region.

HGF 1Social media undoubtedly provides brands with fantastic opportunities to promote themselves and powerfully engage directly with their customers and stakeholders, as many well-publicised cases show. However, social media can also be a huge trap for those unaware of the potential legal consequences.

The increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and private social media use can pose challenges for organisations, as employees unwittingly go “off message” in their personal social media networks.

These issues were explored in two short, but lively sessions, from Anthony Gold, Partner at HGF, and Chris Norton, Managing Director of Prohibition, as both talked through the challenges, opportunities and risks for brands seeking to expand their use of social media, whilst also discussing some of the key tools for success in this area.

The event was the latest in a series of seminars from Prohibition, exploring all aspects of social media best-practice. Our next events cover online crisis management, and take place at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Ramside Hall in Durham.

Prohibition shortlisted for 2014 CIPR ‘Outstanding Small Agency’ award

What a way to end the week! Here at Prohibition, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the Outstanding Small Agency award at the 2014 CIPR Awards.

Blog Rebecca Wharmby (L), Will Ockenden, Vicki Murphy, Blog Adam Worrall, Chris Norton, Emily Moult (R)

The CIPR PRide Awards for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region are hosted yearly at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, and recognise the highlights from the PR industry in the area for the calendar year. Dedicated to showcasing the work of leading PR teams and consultancies, we’re delighted to say that we’ll be in attendance, enjoying the event again this year.

The nomination for 2014 isn’t the first time the Prohibition team have been acknowledged by the CIPR, having taken home the Gold Award in 2013 ‘Best Use of Digital’ category for our Student Wire campaign.

The great news continues to add to what has been a record breaking year for us, which has already seen our agency double in size, move to larger office and appoint a number of new staff members. We can’t wait to head to celebrate at the Queens Hotel on 27th of November and face off against some of the best agencies in the area. Fingers crossed, and we’ll see you there!

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

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.

The Top Ten PR Campaigns in 2012 so far

If you are hunting for some inspiration on your next PR campaign PR Examples is a great resource for looking at the most recent and interesting things that are going on in the PR industry, and working in an intelligent PR agency obviously means that we all love nothing more than seeing brilliant ideas being executed cleverly.  After a long read I have decided to collate my top ten summer 2012 PR examples, see if you agree with me.

1. Porsche marketing stunt – We all know that very personal direct mail gets better results, but I have never seen anything as personal as this. In a plan to get more test drives of their cars Porsche took pictures of one of their cars looking like it was pulling away from some very fancy houses, then integrated the pictures into their flyers and posted them straight to each of the houses. The campaign got some greats results and five stars off me for innovation.

Pfaff Auto: Instant Direct Mail from Lowe Roche Advertising on Vimeo.

2. Tesco Virtual Shops – Some cleaver mind in the Tesco PR department came up with the idea of putting up virtual shops in airports (on trial in Gatwick). This virtual shop lets passengers that are waiting to board flights order essentials to be delivered to their homes just in time for their return. I personally think that this is a brilliant idea, and cannot believe that it hasn’t been done sooner! There’s nothing worse than coming home to sour milk or no bread.

3. Cadbury send personalised Dairy Milk bars to Team GB athletes – With the Olympics being everywhere recently it’s only fair that we expect to see an abundance of Olympic related public relations, but I think this campaign is great. Just a simple idea, but who wouldn’t like a personalised giant bar of chocolate?

4. Coca-Cola machine swaps hugs for free drinks– I always love Coca-Cola’s vending machine stunts and their newest is no exception. In a world where a good hug can be hard to come by, what better than to be rewarded for your niceness than with a free can of coke.

5. Spraycation give’s Brits confidence Millie Macintosh (Made In Chelsea) and ST Tropez fake tan, toured the UK offering shoppers a free spray tan, in a plan to get people to holiday in the UK instead of going abroad. I’m not sure whether this was more like a PR stunt for Millie and ST Tropez, but I admire the patriotic’ness behind it, and envy the people who got a free stray tan, so I still like it.

6. Post boxes painted gold to honour medal-winning GB athletes – I couldn’t make a top ten list of recent PR without mentioning the Gold post boxes. A big well done to the Royal Mail for doing something that has ended up meaning so much to our Olympic medallists, and got some great coverage.

(Image credit Thanks to Madacam on Flickr for the lovely picture)

7. Newcastle hotel replaces Bibles with Kindle versions in every room – There is not much to say about this one, just that it was a pretty good stunt for publicity. Controversial maybe, but surely that’s a great kindle bible hotelway to get some really

cheap coverage?

 

8. Giant 3D street art unveiled in Madrid to promote Batman – I have seen loads of 3D street art pieces popping up, and I think they are brilliant. It may be a bit of a bandwagon that Batman has jumped (or is that flown) onto, but it still looks great and surely will be something that people are bound to share and talk about.

 

9. Male and female parking bays provide tourism boost – The Mayor in a small German town has taken the slightly controversial plunge and created male and female parking spaces. The male spaces deemed to have a higher level of difficulty. Despite being a women myself, I completely agree that men are better parkers, and am actually surprised that this hasn’t been done before. Getting

international coverage for a car park by doing something so simple is brilliant.

10. Panda-Monium – Ok so flash mobs have been around for a while now and to be honest I think that they are a bit stale, but when it came to

 

Panda awareness week in early July I loved seeing Panda’s pop up all around London. Their live Twitter feed, and #HugaPanda conversation really got people involved and had everyone guessing where they were going to pop up next.

So there you have it these were favourites but do you have one you want to share which you think should have made the top 10? If you do why don’t you share it with the rest of the Prohibition team right here?

 

 

Leeds PR agencies battle it out to find the best in CIPR Yorkshire pub quiz

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year, but we are very excited here at Prohibition to be involved in organising the annual CIPR Pub Quiz, in the memory of an old dear friend, journalist Nigel Scott.

As many of you may know, Nigel, the former business editor at the Yorkshire Evening Post, sadly died of cancer in 2009, and for the last two years our MD, Chris Norton, has organised the quiz event which invites PR consultancies, freelancers and in-house PR teams from across the region to remember Nigel and to raise money for the charities that helped him in his final days.

The previous events have been a great success with more than 200 people attending last year and a fund of £2,000 being raised for the chosen charities – Prince of Wales Hospice, Pontefract and Macmillan Cancer Support. Nigel’s close family attended the previous event and we all look forward to inviting them back again this year too.

After last year’s success, the CIPR has decided to hold the event at Alea Casino at Clarence Dock again and are inviting people from the Leeds PR and Media world to have fun and battle it out for the ultimate title and raise some money for a couple of great causes in the meantime.

The event will be on Thursday 4th October and proceedings will kick off early evening. Tickets are priced at £20 per person, which helps towards the cost of the food – supplied by the award winning James Martin restaurant – and the rest of the proceeds will go to the chosen charities. You have the option to book a table for ten for your group, or a spot just for yourself.

Unfortunately as a team we have never won the quiz, but the Prohibition PR team is already swatting up for success at this year’s event. It would be great to see some new faces this year so why not book yourself a place now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/3612307509/eorg?ebtv=C

See you there.

Prohibition PR a PR Company based in Leeds and York

Prohibition PR is a specialist PR agency which advises businesses of all sizes on how to use public relations and social media effectively. As a Yorkshire based business we cover the ever-changing public relations, marketing and digital sectors. Our objective is to help companies, of any size, communicate more effectively both online and offline.

As a business we help our clients engage online properly raising their profiles and in-turn improving their overall business performance. Although we are thoroughly focused on online communications, we hold the strong belief that the strategic discipline of public relations should be engrained in all of our team. We firmly believe that a company which has a team of experienced public relations practitioners is always best placed to advise and engage with these new and evolving communities.

Our team is made up of leading specialists in their relevant fields. We have industry specialists in web design, web development, business development, search engine optimisation, digital marketing and online word of mouth.

Our managing director, Chris Norton, is an award-winning public relations practitioner, with more than ten years’ experience in the PR industry having worked both in-house and in a number of consultancies. He is listed in the UK’s top 15 PR bloggers and his blog posts and articles on social media have appeared in a variety of marketing titles such as PR Week and Revolution. You can check out his blog Norton’s Notes here: www.chrisnorton.biz.

Prior to working as Head of Campaign Strategy at his previous employer, Chris worked at one of country’s largest national consultancies where he was responsible for planning, directing and delivering a variety of public relations programmes for clients including the Institute of Directors, Land Rover, Learning & Skills Council, Lloyds TSB autolease, Camelot, Bradford Council, Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Home Office, Mitchell’s & Butlers and several projects for BT. He was also seconded to work in Learndirect Business’ marketing team to help set-up an in house role.

Most recently he has directed a large social marketing project for the NHS and been heavily involved in traditional PR and social media campaigns for a variety of clients. Some of the latest campaigns he has been involved with include projects for Sony Ericsson, Phillips, SOTO, Fronter, NHS, 4X Currency Corporation, 186K Ltd and energywatch. In January 2009, his team won the CIPR’s Grand Prix award for Outstanding Small Consultancy of the Year.