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Putting the Public Relations back into PR

Posted by Louise Andrews on 28th June 2010

I imagine many a PR person been questioned by their parents in a similar vein:

“So what exactly is it you do dear?”

“I do PR Mum”

“PR?”

“Public relations Mum”

“Oh, so what’s that then?”

“It means talking to journalists and getting them to write about the brands I represent”

“Oh. So it’s not really about relations with the public then?”

“Errr…”

To be fair, my old Mum’s got a good point.  Many a PR agency still spends most  of its time building relationships with the media to drive awareness of their clients. And why not? It’s a tried and tested formula that’s still working well for many of the tech brands Wildfire represents.

Take Humax as an example.  A hard-working product reviews programme, ongoing product news, thought leadership campaigns,  media events and interviews are generating over 100 pieces of coverage every month keeping  the set-top box specialist in pole position amongst its competitors

But social media, also gives us Wildfire e an opportunity to put the public relations firmly back in PR and help our clients interact directly with the people who buy and use their products or services.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done with Humax in 2010.  We’ve worked with them to launch and manage a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel.

The @HumaxDirect Twitter feed has built a steady following of over 700, we’re growing the Humax UK Facebook fans numbers by hundreds every month and our How To product videos have generated over 25,000 views so far on YouTube.

Last month we took our online engagement strategy a step further and  launched  Humax Cup Classics.  This integrated campaign capitalised on mounting World cup excitement  with a video competition hosted on a bespoke microsite to drive engagement with the Humax brand..

We emailed a Humax database of 30,000 to encourage clickthroughs to the website, encouraged the uploading of competition videos on YouTube, used the Humax Twitter and Facebook handles to promote new videos and consumer research to push our message out to the media.

The results? 25,000 sign ups for a free pack on the microsite that created 18,000 new contacts for the Humax database; more than 50,000 unique visitors to the site in three weeks, email clickthrough rates of 36%, over 45,000 votes cast in the competition; and media coverage worth £25,000 in advertising equivalent value.

All of this represents an impressive ROI.  But the true value of these figures can only be understood when we look at the impact this new ‘public relations’ activity is having on the brand.

We’re reaching the right audiences – Humax is targeting predominantly males aged 35-55, and around 60% of their Facebook fans fit this demographic.

We’re encouraging interaction – Facebook interactions (number of likes, posts and comments) is upwards of 100 per week, with Humax actively responding and initiating discussions.

We’re boosting market share – Humax has almost 50% share of the UK free-to-air market for digital TV recorders, making it the best-selling brand in its category..

Now, that just can’t be argued with.

picture credit

Louise Andrews

Deftly switching between business and consumer accounts, the focus for Louise remains the same; how can Wildfire tell clients’ stories in a way that is faithful, relevant and engaging? Her wide technology PR experience makes Louise an agile and versatile Associate Director and fantastic resource for the team, combining the strategic management of PR programmes with a hands-on approach to get under the skin of clients and motivate her teams.