Hello and welcome to our Ten Stories High website. As you can see it's more of a blog really. That's because we wanted to take a less predictable route - we love what we do, we enjoy talking about it, and, this way you'll get a more effective insight into the way we work.
We hope you find reading about our clients and their projects interesting and thought provoking. And that as a result you come to us for something a little less ordinary and predictable; creative but well planned and expertly executed marketing, PR, and copywriting.
There are no guarantees when it comes to PR – all we can do is fight the good fight for precious column inches and create stories to capture interest as well as headlines – so we were thrilled to receive this email regarding the success of our RHS Chelsea campaign for garden designer, and our client, Jo Thompson:
“Six months after the event, it is great to see our show garden still being cited positively in the news.”
What’s more, the content of the above linked report in the Telegraph indicates that the garden and its profile have captured the attention of environmental policy-makers at a national level:
“Over the past year it has been ash dieback that has captured the headlines and it took centre stage at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show when it featured in the “Stop the Spread” garden, designed by Jo Thompson and sponsored by FERA (Food & Environmental Research Agency). From the garden (which included an avenue of dead trees), Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Environment, announced a series of recommendations from the Plant Health Task Force in an attempt to counter severe criticism that earlier government intervention could have prevented ash dieback from entering the country. Quite what kind of impact this disease will have on our landscape remains to be seen.”
We’re filing the email in our ‘proof’ folder, to which we turn when someone questions the value and impact of PR.
Top tip: In spite of the lack of guarantees, PR should be a fundamental part of every marketing plan. A good practitioner will be happy to stand by their record – the number and frequency of mentions connected to the story, the tone of the coverage (was it on message?), the share of the voice (how did their coverage compare to that of others trying to capture the same space?), the audience reach of their coverage, and the changes in behaviour as a result of the story.
There are lots of clever and ‘free’ ways to build brand awareness and communicate your business values. Our local weekly paper, The Westmorland Gazette, recently crowned the best Weekly Newspaper in the North West at this year’s O2 Media Awards, has a new column called ‘my bucket list’. Carefully written it’s a good way to raise awareness of our clients’ businesses via the individuals who work within them. Here’s an unedited version of one that will appear in this week’s paper from the Quaker Tapestry and its general manager Bridget Guest:
Every August we welcome the Japanese girls from the Tokyo Quaker School to the exhibition in Kendal. They come to explore the “Westmorland” area – the place where Quakerism began. I learnt some basic phrases in Japanese a few years ago and I would love to take the Tapestry Roadshow to Japan. I am fascinated by the country, the delightful people and their exquisite embroidery. (NB: To discover the worldwide appeal of this fabulous colourful modern embroidery there’s FREE entry to the museum 2-14 December, Mon-Sat (10am to 5pm).
Visit the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in autumn and be part of the Walton’s household, gather for a chat on the veranda, laze about on their swing seat and sing along to Hillbilly music with harmonies, preferably with my partner Roy and a band playing fiddle, banjo and auto harp in the background. The town of Schuyler (Sky-ler) is the childhood home of author Earl Hamner and was the inspiration for the Walton’s television series. I have all the DVD box sets!
I’m not sure that my grandchildren would appreciate it but I would like to attend all of their 50th birthday parties, the youngest is three!
I was totally star struck after meeting the singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan at his concert in Liverpool two years ago. I sent him copies of my own music albums and he was kind enough to write back to me with some lovely comments!!!! I would love to meet him again and sit by his piano, drinking tea and perhaps write a song or two together!
Brunch with my family on USA Mother’s Day at the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco reputedly the best vegan restaurant in the world…. followed by an evening meal of course, then watch the sun set over San Francisco Bay!
Anyone a fan of TwentyTwelve and the unforgettable Siobhan Sharpe from Perfect Curve? Well, her approach to PR is not that unusual – jargon, vagueness, a wing and a prayer, and a healthy dose of airheadedness (if that’s even a word) are alarmingly common in this industry.*
So we had another giggle this week when we found this great blog from freelance journalist, David Thame. His spiel to both newbies and experienced PRs is laugh out loud funny:
“Polite note to public relations persons:
It’s always a good idea to know and understand the requirements of the publication. Reading it regularly is best – second best is checking out their online archive for relevant stories before getting in touch.
Before responding to a synopsis on behalf of a client please have a clear idea – genuinely clear, please – of what exactly your client can offer that I couldn’t get from someone else, or from my cat. Announcing that they are a top 20 law firm or chartered surveyors or God almighty himself is not *ever* a reason to be interested in what someone says.”
top tip: if you’re thinking of giving your own PR a go, take David’s advice and really get to know your target publications. If you’re thinking of outsourcing, avoid the Siobhan Sharpes.
*We are, of course, excepting ourselves from this damning judgement.