RAR+ Recommended | CIPR | Fresh Awards

The JAM Jar

24.09.15

More and more companies are embracing brand ambassadors in order to get the word out about their product or service, and this is something PRs should be recommending to their clients.

Brand ambassadors provide credible, trustworthy promotion and visibility to a brand. The benefit of a brand ambassador lies in their ability to strengthen the customer / product relationship and introduces a brand to a new audience.

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising, demonstrating the potential power of the ambassador.

The brand ambassador can be asked to take on a variety of PR assignments in return for a fee. They may be employed to engage with your social media channels, publish a bi-monthly article mentioning the brand on their blog, attend networking events as a representative, or provide guest blogs for the brand’s website. The opportunities are endless and, what’s more, you don’t need a huge budget in order to undertake this activity. 

We’ve put together our top five tips to keep in mind before approaching a potential ambassador:

– Do your research

The chosen brand ambassadors should have solid online reputations and have a strong professional network of people in their industry.

– Look for an engaged social media audience

Your chosen ambassadors should have a highly engaged social media following, to allow your brand to be shared among an actively involved audience.

– Choose people that are relevant to your client’s sector

If your product or service is geared toward health conscious adults between the ages of 25 and 40, then target brand ambassadors that match that demographic.

– Educate and arm your ambassadors with all of the knowledge and tools they need.

If necessary, implement a training program that will provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the brand, as well as the product or service. Remember, your ambassadors will essentially serve as the public face of your brand, so make sure they know their stuff.

– Engage with your brand ambassador

Once you have recruited your brand ambassador, listen to their feedback, ask them what works well and respond to their suggestions. It’s important to maintain a positive relationship and ensure that they are a genuine fan of the brand they represent. 

We’re always on the look out for bloggers to work with us! If you’d like to hear more, tweet us @JAM_Manchester or email anna@jampr.co.uk

17.09.15

Us Jammers are avid readers. Not a week goes by when we don’t compare notes on what to read next. So we jumped for joy when we happened upon a recent article on the subject by Michael Hyatt.

Hyatt, an authority on business and leadership, focuses on how reading can make you a better leader – a result of the thinking, people and communication skills that books provide. We’re inclined to agree. But we also think that reading makes you a much better PR person too and here’s why…

– Through constant reading you gain a vast range of knowledge. As specialists in both consumer and B2B PR, we actively make sure we keep up to date with the latest news and trends for our clients, reading absolutely anything we can get our hands on. The more you read, the more you learn, which benefits our clients as we are able to identify possible PR opportunities.

– As PR professionals, words are our bread and butter. It’s important that we succinctly and effectively communicate to both journalists and the public. What’s brilliant is that whether you’re ploughing through a trade journal for work or getting stuck into the latest best seller at home, everything you read is helping expand your vocabulary. Meaning you will write better copy and be more eloquent when selling in to the media.

– In the world of public relations nothing you read is ever a waste. At the time you may think it’s of no use but you never know when an article may spark an idea for a possible press release or feature. It could be the smallest and simplest thing that inspires the best campaign.

– Scientists have found that reading is an effective relaxer and de-stresser. And however much we love our jobs no one can deny that PR can be very stressful. So it is important that we take the time to switch off and re-charge our batteries. In a recent study by the University of Sussex have compared reading to other stress relievers like walking, listening to music or drinking a cup of tea. Reading came out on top – lowering heart rates and relieving tension in as few as six minutes.

Here’s the Jammers’ current reading list:

@Rachel_1999 – Still Alice, Lisa Genova
Alzheimers is not most uplifting or obvious of subjects for a book, but Still Alice manages to be both moving and funny at the same time. Written from the perspective of a 50 year old University lecturer who finds out she has early on-set Alzheimers, it provides an amazing (and scary) insight into how this terrible disease turns worlds upside down. A must read!

@NiamhMcKenna2 – The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
I’m one of those stubborn readers who, unless it’s really horrendous, will force themselves to finish a book even if they’re not really loving it. I’m currently struggling through The Miniaturist; set in Amsterdam, following a young woman who mysteriously receives miniatures for her dolls’ house, that appear to foreshadow the future. If that brief summary piques your interest, I’d say go for gold. Fantasy isn’t really my cup of tea and I’m definitely not doing justice to what, by all other accounts, is meant to be a literary masterpiece.

@AnnaRose_89 – Marching Powder, Thomas McFadden
I am about to begin reading this book. It’s the true story of Thomas McFadden, a small-time English drug smuggler who was arrested in Bolivia and thrown inside the notorious San Pedro prison. I’m not expecting any deep literary prose, but the criminal underworld of South America is fascinating. A good friend recommended this book to me – she read it after visiting Bolivia last year.

@JaimeGee – The State We’re In, Adele Parks.
Chick lit’ at its finest. Despite a megalomaniac male lead and a desperate woman looking for love (aren’t they always in these books?), Parks’ writing is exemplary. Her short, punchy and witty text draws you in and keeps you coming back for more. I’m hooked!

10.09.15

Account Researcher and brand new Jammer, Rebecca, talks about making the transition from being a graduate in journalism to the world of PR…

The last few months have been extremely exciting at JAM. We’ve celebrated account wins and started work on new, exciting projects for our existing clients. We’ve also added three people to the JAM team – there’s me, Rebecca Ore, and talented creatives Alex Cupial-Jones and Lauren Digby.

I am now a full-time Account Researcher at JAM and I am also about to graduate from Salford University with a Masters degree in Journalism.

I am well aware of the fear and anxiety that comes with leaving University and entering the world of work. I’ve had moments when I’ve questioned if I have chosen the right course and wanted to chuck it all in, degree certificate and all! But with more experience and guidance from the lovely JAM team, I’ve found the light at the end of the tunnel… a full-time job before my dissertation deadline!

For any graduate who has been in a similar position to me (stressing over your CV and worrying about exam results) here’s a list of learnings that are worth bearing in mind before you enter the world of PR:

1) Get as much experience as possible

Experience is the most important tool for finding a job in PR. To get a job in an agency you’re most likely going to need at least six to 12 months experience. Plus, if you impress an employer while on work experience, you could be offered your first job! 

2) Don’t be afraid to ask questions

It’s a fast paced and sometimes intimidating industry, so you can’t afford to miss a trick. If you don’t understand something, ASK! One of your co-workers will be happy to explain things in detail and give you a thorough brief (no one was born a PR goddess).

3) Keep yourself immersed in the news

You have to keep your finger on the pulse of all news. Keep up to date with the newspapers and what’s trending on social media, especially looking out for stories affecting your company’s client sectors.

4) Perfect your writing skills

Whatever subject you’ve studied, writing is key for PRs. It can be hard learning to adapt to different sectors and getting used to a company’s house style, but keep practicing and take on board feedback from your colleagues. 

5) Don’t be disheartened by your first sell-in

The art of selling in is one I am pleased to say I have started to master, but that is only after months and months of dreading picking up the phone. I’ve found the key is to plan how you’re going to pitch the story and researching the journalist you are about to pitch to.  After your first hundred calls, it’ll be like riding a bike!

Working in PR means no two days are the same. It’s not all champagne and fancy events, although I’m pleased to say that does happen every so often! But as my colleagues have often told me, if you’re willing to chuck yourself in and learn the ropes, it’ll be a very dynamic and rewarding career.

Good luck!

If you’re interested in working in PR and would like a work experience placement, email JAM’s MD, Jaime Gee, with your CV…or maybe send in cake or chocolate to really tempt us!

04.09.15

For the vast majority of people, uttering the ‘C’ word any earlier than November is considered an act of social indecency. Christmas.

There is considerable debate over appropriate etiquette when it comes to commencing Christmas cheer, but as PRs working with journalists so far ahead in advance, the chance to put off tinsel talk until November would be a fine thing.

Selfridges sparked outrage last month, with an in-store winter wonderland assault on the senses of its Central London customers, a grand total of 143 days ahead of the big day.

While you’d expect such premature Yule-tidings to send shoppers in to a morose mourning of the death of summer, it actually seems they don’t mind. According to data from Shoppercentric, a third of Brits admit to starting their Christmas shopping in September, with this figure increasing to 37 per cent for those aged between 18 and 34.

In the same data released, a quarter of Christmas shoppers said they were influenced by what they read in newspapers and magazines, so the role of PR is evidently crucial to the power of persuasion.

For food trade magazines, we have been focusing on our client, EHL Ingredients’ special festive blends since early June, to ensure they are at the forefront of readers’ minds, well in advance of the Christmas period.

Similarly, we have already been securing coverage for Carl Kammerling International’s Winter Wonderland promotion to professional trade titles, which launched in June.

Ever-important in the PR calendar, Christmas spells party season, and corporate bookings for Christmas party venues start their planning in the summer. Just last week, our client, The Printworks, held a Christmas showcase in Bavarian themed bar Bierkeller Entertainment Complex, to entice potential party-goers to the venue for the festive period.

As such, we at JAM embrace the early onset of Christmas. While we’re certainly not adding Jingle Bell Rock to our Friday playlist just yet, it’s always important to be forward-thinking in our planning, and we encourage brands not to shy away from the huge potential that lies in this fabulous time of year.

If you are looking for PR support for your brand or launching a new product in time for Christmas, drop us a line and we’d be happy to discuss your requirements.