Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We would like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! What a fantastic year we have had!

Here’s to a successful year of gardening!

Graham & the team

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

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Puja Kotecha (left) and Sarah Bryan (right) joined Paskett PR in November

 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new employees.

To manage the influx of new business and existing clients, Paskett Public Relations, the UK’s leading specialist gardening and lifestyle PR agency, has hired social media expert Puja Kotecha as an account executive. With more than three year’s experience in retail, marketing and social media, Puja joined the team early in November.

Joining Puja to support clients – which include big brands such as BASF, Forest Garden and The Posh Shed Company – is former journalist and account executive Sarah Bryan. In addition to her newspaper experience, Sarah brings with her a background in technology and business PR as we as social media expertise.

Commenting on her new appointment, Puja said: “It’s been great getting involved with both new and existing clients and helping to achieve the best possible results. I’m really looking forward to utilising not only my writing skills but also my social media expertise to help assist the team in the strongest way I can.”

Sarah added: “I am thrilled to have joined the Paskett team at such an exciting time for the business. I have always had an interest in B2C communications as well as gardening so combining the two together is a perfect fit for me. I look forward to embarking on this new adventure.”

Graham Paskett, managing director of Paskett Public Relations, added: “I am pleased to welcome both Puja and Sarah to the Paskett team. Both ladies have great experience and enthusiasm which has shone through right from the onset. With some big plans and ideas for 2019, I look forward to working with the new team to bring it all to fruition.”

Paskett Public Relations specialises in gardening and lifestyle PR and social media support for many household brands.

Social Media is Very Good for Business

The recent wave of international bad publicity for the various social media platforms should not deter the business community from taking advantage of this exciting and constantly evolving tool. Well managed and responsibly created social media content is a positive communication in its own right and also forges strong links to other public relations and communications channels.

At Paskett Public Relations we provide both stand-alone social media support for clients as well as campaigns that are fully integrated into broader PR and marketing activity. Consumers and journalists alike view social media as an essential port of call when investigating brands, products and current affairs. Absence from this platform could result in lower sales than otherwise possible – the same is true for media coverage – if your company does not have a presence on social media then you are unable to fully share positive stories about your brand.

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Managing social media campaigns is time consuming.  Someone must be monitoring activity on a daily basis. This is where our specialist support pays dividends. In many cases supporting the social media output is simply an additional task for an already over-burdened marketing executive.

It can present challenges for businesses, but the opportunities provided by an effective social media strategy, spanning all the appropriate platforms, is key to enhancing brand reputation and value.  It is one of the marketing activities that has a direct influence on sales.

Here are our top five tips to boost the performance of social media activity:

  1. Identify the target audiences you wish to reach. The various platforms are used by specific groups of people of differing ages and interests;
  2. Make your content engaging and relevant to the audience. Put yourself in their shoes; would you be interested in that message?
  3. Take time to talk to people. Share and respond to comments, engage in conversations relevant to your product/business;
  4. Original content is vital; quality photography, videos, blogs and campaigns all contribute to your audience’s experience of your brand, whether they are a potential or existing customer and help boost your position in search results too;
  5. Remember, social media is not a vehicle for over-zealous sales pitches and should be about quality content and conversation.

For further information about Paskett PR, or to discuss how social media can help your business, please contact georginamackintosh@paskett.co.uk or call the office on 01332 258 335.

Why Product Reviews are Important

The importance of great product reviews is simple – people trust the opinions of others more than they trust advertising when choosing which product to buy.

With the majority of our clients in the gardening industry, with practical products such as lawnmowers, sheds and tools, that may require some assembly, maintenance, or may be completely unfamiliar to beginner gardeners, we are strong believers in securing as many product reviews as we can. It helps potential customers know exactly what they’re buying, how it works and importantly, how well it works.

Our clients know it is a worthwhile investment to send journalists products to test for themselves, and then write about it in their publications. We secure honest product reviews for our clients which are then published online and in print.

We also work closely with a large number of gardening, lifestyle and family-focussed influencers and bloggers, who carry out product reviews for us. Many of these bloggers have tens of thousands of followers, all of whom are the prime target audiences for our clients. These followers trust bloggers and see them as the “font of all knowledge” so a review from them truly is a glowing endorsement that can have a noticeable impact upon the sales of a product.

It doesn’t have to be a product review, either. Thanks to the nature of gardening products, many of them are only truly put to the test over a period of time. We’ve set up various trials with different bloggers to report on their experience using the product initially, and how, over time, they have found the product performs. All of this provides the bloggers with great, original content for their blog, which encourages comments and engagement from their audience, and provides us with more valuable coverage for our clients.

If you’d like to discuss how Paskett PR can help your business grow, contact hello@paskett.co.uk or call 01332258335.

We love a spreadsheet, but is that enough?!

We love a spreadsheet, but is that enough?! – by Holly Daulby

In recent times, here at Paskett PR we have changed the way in which we analyse coverage. PR evaluation and measurement isn’t just about simply listing the pieces of coverage generated. We analyse the quality of the coverage, the type of feature, the targeting of the publication and its demographic in relation to our clients and their goals. Due to the seasonality of what we do, we also take into account the date of coverage to ensure we’re reaching the right people at the right time to be generating sales and business.

This year we’re trialling a new scoring system and have introduced live updating results dashboards so we can jump in at any point and check that things continue to go in the right direction. We’ve got plans to continue to grow these systems, factoring in more share of voice, tonality and competitor analysis. The most important aspect to all of this is not just having the reports, but then using the information and data to shape strategy and plans going forward.

Going to such detail means that our coverage logging can be quite time consuming (let’s just say we’re always glad when end of year reports are complete and we can close down the spreadsheets… until the end of month at least) but the Paskett PR team fully appreciate the value of them and believe it to be a vital investment.

Prior to joining Paskett PR, my background was largely in pr theory and analysis so I’m a big champion of coverage reports and analysing everything we do. To further this I recently attended the PRmoment.com’s PR Analytics Conference which had great line up of speakers giving their insight into their stance on pr analytics and sharing their practices that they use.

So many issues were raised and it’s not possible to encapsulate that all in one blog but the overriding theme was that there is no one size fits all approach, and that the pr industry still has a long way to go in terms of evaluation. There was unanimous agreement that simply measuring outputs is not enough, and that outtake and outcomes need to be evaluated too. It’s all well and good generating 20,000 pieces of coverage for a client but if it doesn’t have any impact upon their customer’s behaviour, and subsequently generating new business, then what’s the point?!

The speakers discussed how analytics are more important than ever with a growing momentum in the industry for the need to justify pr spend. Linked to that is the justification to clients about how to attribute results to pr. How can you identify the trigger that changes a behaviour, or determine what it was that triggered a conversion  particularly with ongoing brand awareness campaigns and integrated marketing campaigns?

Definitely some food for thought and we’ll be continuing to evolve our analysis methods to incorporate the points raised.

Helping Businesses Grow

2017 was a very successful year for Paskett Public Relations and our clients. Between all of the brands that we look after, the coverage we achieved reached more than 230 million people. That’s 3.5 times the population of the UK!

It isn’t just coverage that we generate for our clients. We also provided social media services, event support, new product launch ideas, press days and secured product reviews, competitions and giveaways in national newspapers and leading consumer magazines.

To read more about our successes, view our case studies here:

…and we know we’re tooting our own horn, but we aren’t the only ones who love the work we do. Click here to read what journalists and our clients have to say about us.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help your business grow, please send us an email to hello@paskett.co.uk or call the team on 01332 258335.

Social Media for Business: 3 Must-Do Tips for Success

It’s fair to say there are A LOT of social media platforms out there, and far more than just the largest ones; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, the list goes on…

This presents a challenge for businesses: how can you use it to effectively engage with your customers, raise awareness of your brand and ultimately drive sales? It can all be quite time-consuming, which is where we can help!

For us, providing social media services for our clients is an exciting task, because there are plenty of ways to be creative, engage with people and put our clients out there in the digital arena. It is a fantastic tool that instantly puts you in front of potential and existing customers.

Know Your Audience

It is vital for businesses to have a presence on social media, but thinking that you need to be on EVERY social platform can be a mistake. Consider who your target audiences are; different platforms are used by people of varying age groups and backgrounds, and for different reasons.   The key is matching the two together.  That’s our skill.

Quality Over Quantity

Bombarding social media users with constant updates from your business can have the opposite effect to the desired impact you want.

We make sure the content we create for our clients is engaging and relevant to their audiences. Too many posts of poor quality will sound ‘salesy’ and in a world where advertising is EVERYWHERE, it can quickly turn consumers off to your brand and your message.  Part of our role is acting as the social media listening post for your business.

A Little More Conversation

We make time to go beyond the routine posting, and talk to people and influencers who matter to your brand. Even before you decide to start using social media, some of your customers may already be talking about your products or services online.  It is important to share and respond to their feedback as often as possible. This ‘social listening’ also means we can seek out people talking about topics relating to your business; they have a problem, your product could be the solution.

Social Gardening

Our key speciality, and favourite topic, is gardening. Social media is the perfect tool for this sector; it lets you be creative, visual, advisory, green and educational. Conversations around the subject of gardening are constantly ongoing on social media platforms – people share photos and ideas, and we like to put our clients content bang in the middle of all of it, offering tips, tricks and best practice advice.

There are also plenty of gardening and lifestyle bloggers and influencers out there, and we make it our role to engage with them, strengthen our relationships and seek out new connections for the benefit of our clients.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss investing in social media for your business, please contact us at hello@paskett.co.uk or 01332 258 335.

5 of Our Biggest PR Peeves!

How to evaluate pr is a hotly debated topic in the pr industry, and in the Paskett PR office!

The issue regularly comes up and there seems to be no set formulae for the best way to put a value on what we do and the results that we achieve. Certain factors such as circulation, breakdown of the coverage by publication type and readership are key metrics but there is no best practice for putting a price on the coverage to help clients calculate their ROI.

AVE (advertising value equivalent) was the system once used in the industry whereby a value is placed on the coverage to represent what the space would have cost if it were bought as advertising. However, there are many flaws with this – it doesn’t take placement within the publication account or perhaps most worryingly, the tonality and sentiment. The epitome of all publicity is good publicity?!

Last week we took part in a live webinar discussing the “alternatives to AVE that actually really work” and it was very valuable, as well as sparking some interesting discussions among the team.

The overriding message of the webinar is that AVE is dead and that it is not the value of communication.

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I’m a firm believer in this and we’re constantly striving to find new ways of evaluating our work. Therefore I’m putting AVE in my list of PR Pet Peeves – here’s my top 5 list (in no particular order)

  1. AVE
  2. The use of phrase “pr that” – it doesn’t make grammatical sense! “PR” isn’t a verb! (On that note, whilst writing this I found a great post from @abrinkman about the topic – https://www.cision.com/us/2010/04/to-pr-or-not-to-pr-pr-is-not-a-verb/
  3. Similar to the above, the use of “pr” to describe a job title for pr practioner. “I’m looking for the pr for” – again, this doesn’t make sense!
  4. On a less ranty note, poor images. These can really make or break a client’s chance of getting coverage. Not just the content of the photo but also the resolution and quality of the shot
  5. Getting a bite but not reeling it in – when you get a lead on a story that will be a big hit and make the client very happy. You send over all the information but then hear nothing back!

Rant over! What are your PR Pet Peeves?

Holly

Garden centres to benefit from generous pr discounts

The UK’s leading gardening public relations agency has partnered with The Horticultural Trades Association (The HTA) to offer public relations and social media services for considerably discounted rates.

The “From Acorn to Oak” scheme grants HTA members the chance to utilise Paskett PR’s vast experience in both the gardening and retail sectors. The partnership is part of the The HTA’s Preferred Partner Scheme and has two packages for members to choose from.

The Oak package, at £350 per month, grants HTA members 10 press releases and two promotions per year. The second package is the Acorn, for £200 per month, for which Paskett PR will work with the garden centre and its local media on six press releases and an annual promotion. In addition to these there is also the option to add social media services too.

The scheme will launch at the HTA’s Marketing Forum in November where Paskett PR will give delegates a pr masterclass, explaining what pr is and how it can be used to grow businesses, whilst highlighting best practice methods and explaining what to do in a pr crisis.

Holly Daulby, account director at Paskett PR commented: “We have two main sectors that our clients operate in. The first is gardening and lifestyle, and then we also look after many shopping centres across the country to drive footfall so working with garden centres, and The HTA, unites this perfectly.”

The new partnership comes following a string of successes for Paskett PR which started last year when the agency expanded to offer clients a new social media service. This was followed by new account wins and the agency being appointed to handle the pr for Town & Country. The agency then announced that it is now working with the National Garden Scheme (the NGS) on a charitable basis and then topped that off with being shortlisted for Best PR Campaign at the recent UK Agency Awards for its “Memory Tree” campaign that it created at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for Hillier.