POSTED BY Zahra Abedi

The PR toolkit to communicating and presenting

We often hear about the importance of having good presentation skills in life. But while for some, the idea of presentations seems exciting and a great way to communicate their thoughts – for others the idea of public speaking and presenting can understandably fill them with dread. It can be an utterly nerve wracking experience standing up in front of a crowd – no matter what the subject matter is. However, presenting skills are crucial in the art of communication, and particularly important when pitching for new business, training a team or if you are involved in public speaking.
Maximising your brand through a winning PR strategy

Maximising your brand through a winning PR strategy

Branding and PR are key ingredients to the success of any business. Therefore, from the word go it’s important a company has established its brand identity, message and image it wants to put out there. Similarly, in order to maximise your brand, a PR strategy is a vital tool for helping organisations grow an industry presence, communicate their message and further their reach. In essence, to get the most out of your business you need the two to work in tandem as they influence each other. With this in mind, here are three key ways a PR strategy can help build and maximise your brand. Consistency is key for brand identity Look at Coca Cola for example – it’s one brand that we all value and recognise across the globe. With stats showing 98% of the world’s population recognise the brand name, while it certainly is impressive – this didn’t happen overnight. Sometimes unknown to the naked eye, it takes a PR and marketing strategy that is consistently and succinctly driving home a company’s message, its brand image, latest news and communicating this with a targeted audience. In this instance, Coca Cola is all about enjoying a light carbonated drink – so the PR strategy is all about making sure audiences and consumers associate good and positive feelings with the brand. A case in point, the company’s latest motto is “Taste the feeling” which is linked to all the new flavours the business has recently launched.

Inspiring PR Strategies: Key takeaways from the Cision CommsCon event

Joining hundreds of PR professionals for a day of insight, debate and discussion, I recently attended the #CommsCon 2018 event hosted by Cision. Designed to inspire PR and comms strategies for the year ahead, attendees heard first hand from major brands and journalists, topics included: how roles in the industry have changed; what stories they want to hear from PRs; how to ensure your creating content with a purpose; and the best approach to crisis management. Below are the key takeaways from the event to help inspire your 2019 PR strategy. Purpose driven content … why does it matter? While most organisations recognise the value of creating content based on news, shared interests or worthy causes – to have content with a real purpose extends beyond that. As Peter Heneghan, Head of communication at LADbible said during the discussion, “We often get asked, what are the core ingredients to make something go viral – actually, the intention shouldn’t be to go viral but to make content an audience will love and relate to.”

Disability in Recruitment – what’s the next step?

We recently attended a roundtable hosted by The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), which aims solely to break down the barriers facing disabled people in the workforce. On the day, attendees came together to discuss the hurdles disabled individuals face and how the recruitment industry must work together to truly make a difference. The main theme centred on how we can enable technology for disabled talent and the impact it is currently having. Attendees discussed the types of technologies available which are designed to help those with impairments and disabilities. Challenges voiced ranged from ways to alter the application process, how to change attitudes and the importance of reasonable adjustments. Currently 75% of disabled people believe their condition is a barrier to employment, while the Business Disability Forum has found that 71% of disabled people will click away from websites they struggle to use or access content on. With this in mind, it is crucial that recruitment firms take a fresh look at how accessible application processes are to disabled candidates if they are to tap into this valuable pool of talent.

The Nike scandal – what can PR professionals learn?

You may have heard about the bold move from global sports company Nike, selecting Colin Kaepernick, (ex-NFL player and US civil rights activist) as the new face of its global advertising campaign.

Women in Recruitment - what’s the next step?

As partners of The Recruitment Network (TRN) we recently attended the Women in Recruitment roundtable where industry representatives came together to discuss the biggest hurdles facing females in recruitment today. The main themes focused on why increasingly talented women are leaving roles early in their careers before they reach senior positions and the reasons behind this. Challenges voiced around the table ranged from the gender pay gap in recruitment, potential discrimination such as age, and the lack of role models in the industry. In particular, we looked at whether the culture of recruitment means that women either leave the industry altogether or don’t view it as a career of choice. With this in mind, here are some top strategies to get the ball rolling to encourage and empower more females in recruitment today: It starts with surveys Getting back to the root cause is key. For organisations to master retention and engagement, surveys of all female employees are a great way to identify the top factors that make them want to stay with the company and let’s employers know what to delve deeper into. Focusing on bite sized chunks and information gathering is the first step towards progress.

Do shock tactics in PR really work?

We know all too well; the same generic type of careers pages can sometimes fail to engage and attract the best individuals which can result in top-talent going amiss. For many businesses and marketing teams there is the challenge of being tasked to regularly provide informative, creative and attention-grabbing PR campaigns. And while this will often be tailored to certain objectives or showcasing new products which can affect how the campaign is executed – there are still key strategies to bear in mind. Recently we have seen things going awry with big brands under fire for their somewhat suggestive adverts. For example, Heineken being called out for its low-calorie beer advert labelled as “terribly racist” and the question is…could we be seeing a new trend of businesses deliberately choosing to cause uproar and conflict in order to raise their profile in the media and create a stir around their PR campaigns?
The magic of ‘piggybacking’

The magic of ‘piggybacking’

Jumping on the latest news can be one of the most effective ways to generate content for your recruitment agency. Not only does it show that you are ‘on the ball’ and efficient but also dedicated to the client and their reputation. But in a digital 24/7 world, you have to act fast amongst the rest. Recognising the appetite for pressing subjects and topical events such as International Women’s Day and National Apprenticeship Week are great ways to keep you one step ahead and achieve prime time coverage. So here are some top tips to maintain a rapid smart-proof response to the hot topics and build your brand further with your target audience. 1. Plan your approach While this may seem obvious, monitoring the daily news agenda, spotting opportunities online and staying on top of current events is key to ensuring nothing gets missed. Being aware of important dates and times is also essential to be ready in advance for a related story that might get released last minute. Calendar events such as International Women’s Day are highly celebrated throughout the media and covering the story fast before anyone else is the beauty of preparation, at a time when the press you’re targeting might be looking for comment or writing on the story themselves.

Getting ROI from your PR: A round up from Recruitment Agency Expo

Last week was the annual Recruitment Agency Expo at London Olympia, where recruitment professionals gathered to hear from industry experts, network with peers and get all the latest info on the UK’s staffing sector. Among the many influential speakers stood BlueSky’s very own Managing Director, Tracey Barrett. So for those that missed out, here’s a roundup of Tracey’s presentation on Getting ROI from your PR. Firstly let’s start with the basics, why does PR and marketing really matter in recruitment and why should you bother? As Tracey discussed at the conference, it’s a crowded market out there. Last year alone saw 9,000 start-up agencies, so differentiation is key. Really ask yourself if your company has a USP or are you promoting the same generic selling points that clients and candidates are all too familiar with? An analogy Tracey used was to aim to be that purple cow in the field, and think about whether the value you are adding sets you apart. The value you add could be through market intelligence or thought leadership, but consider how you are going to communicate this.