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Posts from February 2011

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Manchester Digital Agencies discuss what’s in store for 2011



The Mi Network held a breakfast event at the offices of our client Photolink on Friday (25th Feb).  The Refresh PR Manchester team went along to network with some fellow PRs, meet some new contacts and listen to experts from the North West digital scene, including Craig Johnson from Photolink, Mando Group’s Matt Johnson and Nathalie Gross of Amaze.

 

With the topic of the event billed as “Strategies for digital survival in 2011,” ‘niche’, ‘collaborate’ and ‘listen’ were the definite buzz words. And, aside from having Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’ in our heads for the rest of the day, it was interesting (yet not unexpected) to know that this is the way the experts see 2011 panning out.

 

Collaboration is the name of the game this year as it’s that predicted clients will want to use several agencies which specialise in niche areas (PR, media buying, social media, digital etc) rather than integrated agencies offering everything under one roof.  While there are pros and cons of each, we have to agree that if clients have time to manage several agencies, it can often deliver a better return on investment.  Get the right mix of agencies in place and creative ideas will flow, while specialists will work on their own areas and provide real expertise.  Measurement and return on investment could be easier and more transparent too.

 

It was also interesting to hear the take on the BBC’s move to Manchester.  Promoted as a massive boost for the North West, will the BBC take digital and creative talent from the streets of Manchester and move it to Salford Quays, leaving us agencies drained of resources?  Should it be viewed as a threat rather than an opportunity for the North West creative scene? We’re not so sure on both accounts.  What we do agree with is that in three or four years there will be a lot of creative and digital experts out there looking for jobs and this will most definitely be of benefit to Manchester and beyond.  And can we keep people in Manchester?  Of course we can! 

 

To end this blog post we’ll leave you with Craig Johnson’s thoughts on building relationships and securing new business: “Treat it like going to the gym; do it little and often for best results.”  He’s clearly never seen a record of my gym activity.  It did shame me into spending 30 minutes on the cross trainer this weekend though. Thanks Craig!

 

Tagged with: Manchester, Networking Event, North West

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REFRESH PR PONDERS THE SURPRISE WINNERS AND LOSERS IN FEBRUARY 2011’s ABC FIGURES



We were pretty shocked when the ABC Circulation figures for February 2011 were announced yesterday – not only is there a general downward trend that suggests the predicted shift in Britain’s media consumption habits is finally gaining momentum, but some of the stalwarts of consumer media have been dislodged from their seemingly secure positions at the top of the ladder.

 

It’s not all doom and gloom, though; there are some definite winners emerging triumphant. Publishing houses BBC Magazines and IPC Media are up 0.5% and 1.1% year on year respectively, and despite Natmags dropping 2.4% year on year overall, its Good Housekeeping magazine boasts one of the highest rises in circulation at 5%. Zest, however, has fallen 11% over the past six months – does this mean we love our homes but not our bodies? Not so, if IPC’s Essentials is to be used as a guide; its circulation is up 9.6% in just six months. IPC will no doubt also be celebrating the fact that its seven home titles are also up year on year, indicating that the home is still the Great British public’s castle.

 

Hachette Fillipacchi has cause to crack open the champagne too, with Red magazine posting its highest ever circulation at 231,028, a rise of 2%. Elle is also up 2.6% on last year, taking some of the sting out of the publisher’s difficult decision to close Sugar magazine last month as a result of teens opting to consume media online or using smartphones.

 

Bauer Consumer Media, however, is more likely to be drowning its sorrows than toasting its success. With circulation down 8.6% year on year overall, its former jewel Heat Magazine has dropped 19.3% and Zoo magazine falls an alarming 32.8%. Could we finally have fallen out of love with celebrity culture? It remains to be seen whether this is the case, or whether people prefer the more instant gratification that platforms such as Twitter and celebrity bloggers such as Perez Hilton can deliver. Either way, PR practitioners up and down the country need to keep a keen eye on developments and adjust their strategy and their tactics accordingly – their careers depend on it!

Tagged with: Celebrity, Home Interest, Leisure, Lifestyle, PR, Public Relations, Retail