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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.

New kid on the block – Prohibition reveals all about its newest recruit…

Name: Ella Sykes

Position: Account Director

Professional insight:

  1. Ella, you’ve worked in the industry for seven years. Tell us a little about your journey…

I started out as a volunteer at a small food PR and marketing agency. It was a three man team so I was thrown in the deep end, which allowed me to work my way up quickly. It gave me invaluable insight into how a business functions, whilst teaching the importance of organisation from the off. I also worked on a TV project as a home economist at this time, which also gave me a wider perspective of the industry. After two years at Absolutely Food, I made the switch to ilk, then known as Manifest. The business was at a really pinnacle stage in its growth, so it felt great to be a part of something new and exciting. I worked my way up through the company over four and a half years… and then I was introduced to the guys at Prohibition and fell in love with their approach and passion.

  1. What do you love about the industry?

It’s ever changing nature keeps you on your toes, there is always room to learn more and be at the brink of something really innovative and fresh. I also love the way PR and comms has become far more measurable, being in a position to demonstrate the strength of your work to your clients is so satisfying, not least when there’s direct engagement with consumers.

 

  1. Where do you see the industry in 10 years time?

I think things will become far more targeted. The way we reach the consumer these days is so different to five years ago. Naturally we’ll also be shaped by technology, I think the rise in virtual reality and our online profiles will become even more significant. I also think we’ll become more governed by the consumer, which in turn means a focus on integrity and emotion focused comms will become even more popular. The lines between marketing, advertising, PR and sales will also become even more blurred as a result of technological advances in the industry.

 

Personal insight:

  1. What are your passions and how do you spend your free time?

I’m a very artistic person, so I really enjoy spending time being creative; this can involve anything from attending life drawing classes and doing up old piece of furniture, to jumping on my sewing machine or blogging. I guess my main hobby is blogging, but I also spend a lot of time with friends eating out and having a good time. I’m also obsessed with traveling and spreading my wings.

 

  1. If you could take three items to a desert island, what would they be?

I’d take the September edition of Vogue, because the images inspire me so much that I’d never feel lost. I’d also take a big batch of material, so I can fashion up outfits and create a comfy sleeping environment, and finally I’d take a survival guide, because without one there would be a major case of trial and error, and I don’t really fancy that.

 

  1. Finally, if you were invisible for a day, what would you do?

I’d bob into Number 10 and discover all the state secrets, then fly to Russia, and then America to do the same. I’d work it so the time zones worked in my favour. After that I’d set up an incognito blog and reveal things I thought would benefit the people. Either that or I’d sneak into Vogue House and steal all the shoes… either or would set me up for life.

More success for Prohibition!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After celebrating a record year that has seen us double in size and move to larger office we’re now happy to announce the appointment of our new board director.

Following a number of new high profile business wins, including the UK’s largest wholesaler of floristry supplies and artificial flowers, Country Baskets, and national market leader in sustainable housing, Keepmoat Homes, our team has doubled in size to eight.

This includes the appointment of Will Ockenden as board director. Will previously ran the Sydney office of Leeds-based PR and social media agency, Lucre, and prior to that worked at a senior agency level in Leeds. He will be responsible for developing our professional services and B2B offering.

Will is also set to work on commercialising our self-published online student magazine, Student Wire, which is currently the third-largest magazine of its kind in the UK, with more than 60,000 readers. The magazine forms the core of our growing student and youth marketing division.

Other key hires to our team include Rebecca Wharmby, former PR executive at Disney who joins as account executive and Adam Worrall, a professional journalist, as content manager. This month has also seen us relocate to our new, larger office, based in Chapel Allerton.

Our managing director Chris Norton, said of the growth: “The last 12-months have been extremely eventful; we have achieved real success when it comes to delivering non-traditional PR services such as content marketing, online influencer engagement and social media eCommerce services. As such we have experienced strong growth, and have invested heavily in people and technology to ensure we continue to deliver outstanding work. We won the Best Use of Digital Award in November and we plan to enter several of our campaigns this year too. Working jointly with Will, I’m confident we will continue to grow, and offer something genuinely different in a busy market.”

5 tips to keeping your Facebook content fresh

downloadHow often do you post an update on your Facebook brand page? Weekly, every other day, daily, more often than that even? There’s not necessarily a right or wrong number of times to post updates, and your appropriate post frequency depends heavily on your brand, the purpose and broader strategy of your page and how interested or engaged your audience is.

Clearly a Gen Y mobile operator or fashion retailer will do things differently to an engineering company or a law firm, but regardless of sector, it’s always worth asking yourself some serious questions to make sure your content is as fresh, engaging and hard-working as possible. Here’s a few pointers to achieving this –

1)     What does your Facebook insights tell you?

Every community manager should spend as much time in the back-end of Facebook as in the front end. That means getting to understand your audience; what day and time are they online, and what content do they engage with most? Act on the insights, even if it means chopping out a day’s content here or there. And be prepared for some surprises: maybe your audience is most active at 11pm on a Sunday night, not at 9am on a Monday morning as you previously thought.

2)     (As tempting as it might be) avoid straying into spam territory

Ok, so we’re not talking spam in the conventional sense, but avoid ‘shouting’ at your audience. Try to keep explicit brand messages to an approximate 1:10 ratio, unless you have good reason to do otherwise. Similarly, if you see your engagement dropping right off, then maybe you’re over-posting (or indeed, under-posting) or just not hitting the mark with your content. Less is often more.

3)     Are you ever scraping the barrel when it comes to content?

You know what I’m talking about here, but don’t try to link your brand to every damn world event or public holiday that’s happening. Obviously if you’re a greeting’s card company then Christmas is perfect for you, but if you’re a wood stain company, then it might not be such a good idea. It’s worth following Condescending Corporate Brand Page for some of the very worst examples of this.      

4)     An image (or video) tells a thousand words

Social media has been hurtling towards rich media content for a while, but only now are we truly reaching tipping point. So that means telling your brand story though imagery, not endless text updates. Think about what imagery you could use as a brand and invest properly in quality photography and design, not tired stock shots.

5)     Embrace Facebook’s new promotional guidelines (sparingly)

As you no doubt know, Facebook now allows you to directly run promotions or competitions on your brand wall, rather than via a third-party app. This can be a double-edged sword; don’t fall into the trap of running competitions or giveaways too frequency, or you risk attracting the ‘compers’, who are only interested in freebies, not what you’ve got to say. But that said, a well-timed promotion or competition can do wonders for your post reach and engagement. Also think of creative mechanisms, such sharing a branded photo or a website treasure hunt – not just a ‘like to enter’.

It takes a brave social media executive to suggest to their client that maybe they shouldn’t be doing social media updates every day, especially when that client pays for said agency’s time, or that there needs to be a dramatic content focus shift. However, Facebook brand pages should be fun, engaging, living, breathing communities, not just a one way conversation. Ask yourself, is your brand page reaching its potential?

Five social media mistakes you should avoid

Social media is arguably the most powerful tool at a company’s disposal when it comes to reaching out to a new potential audience and increasing brand awareness. In fact, around 89% of businesses who focus on social media have reported an increase in brand recognition. Unfortunately though, this is the PR advice of the idealist and it fails to highlight what steps need to be taken to ensure that the reverse doesn’t happen and you don’t isolate yourself from the very people you’re trying to access. Here are five social media indiscretions which could have an impact on your customer engagement and your reputation.


Not realising the importance of your profile

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but people do and your profile is effectively just that. Your profile, regardless of what network you’re communicating from,should be a reflection of your business. You need a photo, preferably a logo or something that symbolises your business, accompanied by a clear bio which tells your audience what it is you do. If it isn’t clear what your company is, no one is going to follow you. The worst type of bio is a non-existent one and it’s believed that around two thirds of twitter profiles don’t even have one which often says one thing to regular users – spammer. A well-constructed bio will not only get more followers, but also more targeted followers so it’s worth taking the time to think about it.


Thinking it’s a direct marketing tool

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make on social media is bombarding its audience with product promotions. It is not a sales channel. A potential audience wants to be engaged and interact with you on an almost personal level and not feel like they’re following a robot. Therefore it’s important you develop some kind of personality in your updates.You’ll find that if you start swamping your followers with just a steady stream of sales pitches, that you’ll soon only have a small pool of followers to pitch them too.


Ignoring audience interactions

The premise of social media is that it’s a two way conversation and it’s important that your business plays its part in this exchange. Customers expect you to be keeping tabs on you whether it’s a just comment, a question or even a complaint. Failure to respond to these will make your audience feel ignored and suggest that as a company, you don’t care. It’s no use just deleting negative comments as this can make the situation worse. While social media means that all your skeletons can be displayed publically, it also offers the opportunity to rectify them publically and this can provide a great PR boost.


That more followers mean more sales

Having lots of followers and likes is great because it makes you feel like you’re doing something right. However it’s important to remember that quality is definitely better than quantity when it comes to social media. Some businesses will do almost anything to get more followers, even to the extent of buying them, but followers don’t equal sales. It’s more valuable to have 5,000 fully engaged fans or followers who will interact with the business, than to have 10,000 followers who have no interest in your brand. This is why you should focus to build a strong, long term bond with your followers who are more likely to support your brand going forward.


Not committing to social media

A lot of businesses naively set up social media accounts thinking that it’s a simple way of increasing your brand awareness and one that requires very little effort. This is simply not the case. To fully reap the rewards of using sites such as Facebook and Twitter you have commit to them and ensure that they don’t go unattended.  An inactive account is far more damaging than not having one. Customers will assume that either you’ve gone out of business or that you just don’t care so it’s important that you update frequently and don’t ignore customer interactions.

Social media is increasingly important in modern business and it’s easy to fall behind your competitors, especially those who have bigger budgets and can dedicate whole divisions to managing their online presence. Avoid the mistakes above, and you’ll more than hold your own in this potentially destructive online battlefield after all social media is fun.
This was a guest post from Dan Whitelegg, journalism student at Leeds Metropolitan University

 

 

 

Prohibition PR CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards 2013!

We are thrilled to announce that Prohibition PR has been shortlisted for both ‘Best Use of Social Media’ and ‘Best Use of Digital’ for the CIPR awards for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

We have been shortlisted for both of these awards because of one of our current campaigns ‘The Student Knows Best’. This is a campaign for a client of ours, Phoenix Software ‘Student Store’ who wished to engage with students more effectively. Central to this campaign was the creation of the new online community Studentwire. It focuses on all aspects of student living from how to make cheap meal to the cheapest holidays. In order to ensure we engaged with students, we created the online community to be written by students for students.

We are so proud to be shortlisted. The team here at Prohibition PR have been working really hard on achieving the highest quality PR and online communication…and it looks like all the hard work has paid off!

We are now looking forward to the dinner at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.

For any more information about CIPR and the full shortlist, please click here.

Prohibition PR MD Writes Chapter for Best-selling Book!

Prohibition PR MD Chris, along with three other Yorkshire PR professionals, has written a chapter for ‘Share This Too’: the sequel to the best-selling PR book of 2012, ‘Share This.’

‘Share This Too’ is a practical guide to social media, supported by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).  Based purely on pre-sales figures, the book is already at the top of Amazon’s hot new releases in Sales and Marketing, and is also in the top 20 PR books.

STT

The 33-chapter book is full of tips and guidance from PR, social media and digital marketing experts, and is an ideal read for anyone looking to professionally manage their online communications presence. ‘Share This Too’ evaluates what is current in the theory, delivery and evaluation of 21st century public relations and organisational communication.

Chris’ chapter on ‘Crisis Management’ includes practical guidance on how to effectively manage communications in an unforeseen crisis, and best practice for this scenario with regard to managing reputation and communication with its publics.

Share This Too is widely available from today in both hardback and digital formats with an RRP of £19.99.  Congratulations Chris!

App or crap? Our Pinterest Competition.

We have been busy in the office this week – check out our new shiny social wall courtesy of the inimitable Sally Cossins.App or Crap? #apporcrap

So to celebrate our work and following the kindness of one of our lovely clients Audio Technica, we’re able to offer one of you lucky people the chance to win a fabulous pair of ATH-CKS55 In-Ear Headphones, worth £45! They offer outstanding noise quality and cutting edge bass and even come with a pouch so they don’t get tangled up in your pocket when you are out and about.

We wanted to poke a little fun at the social media marketers world and so all we want you to do to win is come up with an amusing and unique name for your latest imaginary social media channel. We all know they have daft names that mean nothing (FaceTube) so we thought we might as well create a few funny ones ourselves and have some fun with it.

So, imagine you were thinking of inventing the next Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube or Skype, what would you call it and what would it mean?

We have had a think about this and we would call ours BuzzClunge Beta (we have copyrighted this – so be careful using it lol). We are looking for funny and creative ones but if you are stuck for a good idea you can always try a tool like this to generate your app name although I think you can do better than them.

To enter, just for fun, or to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is re-pin our pin on the above image on your own Pinterest account, including the name of your new channel in the description box and use the #apporcrap hashtag.

The winner will be selected on Monday 25th March by us and announced here on the Prohibition PR blog. Our decision is final and all that jazz.

Enjoy!!!

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations

Prior to my internship with Prohibition PR, I had no idea what Public Relations was and how it worked. Having gained three months experience now, I am amazed at how much I have learned in such a short period.

Here is my list of tips that I have learnt from working with the Prohibition team:

– Firstly, to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Be it writing a press release, a blog or presenting a proposal, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media, but this applies to employment in general.

– Ask questions. When you start work in the industry, you’re bound to not understand everything, so it is vital that when you’re stuck, you are prepared to seek advice. To really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

– Be pro-active. PR is a competitive business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas when under pressure.

– Prepare. Before you even step into a PR firm, buy The Social Media Handbook as this will give you a good base of knowledge to help you get ahead of the game on the social media and digital side of things.

– Understand the importance of your clients. They are the core of business, so keep them happy!

– Make the most of social media. An immensely powerful channel, working at Prohibition PR I created several blog posts including one about the effects that social media has had on the music Industry, which was shared in loads of places including on the official CIPR website.

– Try and grasp the techniques of how to write a good strong blog article. Develop and 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 and their clients.

– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. See it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed.

Work experience is a great way to prepare for the working world and broaden your knowledge, so make the most of it!

Prohibition PR’s Leeds client receives random social mention

As always the team and I have been slogging away in the Prohibition PR caves to make sure that our clients get mentions and gets talked about online. Our job is to find the right people to talk about our products and get their expert feedback rather than a scattergun approach. It’s all about the targetting if you want to make an effective splash, so imagine my surpise when I stumbled across this video.

One of our clients is Audio-Technica and received a mention in the video below. I found this on Google+ from a good online friend of mine called Shel Holtz, I have never met Shel but I listen and read his and Neville’s podcasts and blogs religiously as they are liked minded forward thinking PR people. I am hoping that one day I can be a guest on the show and give a Northerner’s opinion on the ever changing world of communications as maybe we have a different perspective.

This video is a bit random and if I am honest I don’t think apple will be making any of these on a mass scale anytime soon but have a look and see what you think. It did amuse me and he built it in a video which is just two minutes which is something we always recommend to our PR clients when using their YouTube Channels.