Posts from June 2011

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Girls on Film

Spectus Window Systems, one of Refresh PR’s clients, is launching an exciting new marketing campaign for its customers.  As part of the launSpectus Window Systems launches new marketing campaignch activity, marketing manager Joanna Plane prepared herself for the camera and took to the big screen today as she was interviewed by top industry online publication The Glazine.




With not one but two cameras on her, Joanna rose to the occasion and we’re very excited to be getting a sneak preview of the edit on Friday, before it goes live on on Tuesday. 

Refresh PR



Joanna will also be appearing with a specialist marketing column in Glass and Glazing Products magazine this month, so for top marketing tips why not visit the magazine online over the next month?  For more information visit









Tagged with: Built Environment, Construction, Manchester, Marketing, PR, Public Relations

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Refresh PR at Marketing Week Live 2011

Marketing Week Live is taking place at Olympia today (29th July) and tomorrow.  Refresh PR has been at the conference, paying paRefresh PR at Marketing Week Liverticular attention to the online marketing show, and picked up some gems that we thought we’d share with you.


Unexpectedly, a lot of the talk today has been about social media, with audiences during these talks packed in – in fact it was standing room only at some.   It’s a popular subject and people want to be bang up to date with the latest knowledge.  The main messages coming out have been no surprise,but they are still worth thinking about:



1. It’s important to be clear on the purpose of the social media activity: why are you doing it, who are you targeting and what do you want it to achieve?   How does the social media activity integrate with the other marketing activity being undertaken by your organisation?


2. Don’t be scared of interacting with your community online, and don’t limit them.  Share your brand with them and give them the ability to help develop and shape your brand.  This will increase buy in, as seen with The Lynx Fallen Angels adverts which aired earlier this year, fronted by Kelly Brook (see  Lynx sent a brief to creatives and gave them the chance to shape how the campaign would look.  The company found that, amongst others, a graffiti artist come back with some fantastic designs that wouldn't otherwise have been used.  A skateboarder who had always wanted to do something different replied to the brief too, showing off his engraved skateboard.  Usually he would not have had the chance to show off his skill or contribute, but this gave him a chance to do so.  With this extra input, Lynx was able to built a campaign beyond anything they would have done themselves.  Lynx kept a record of this work through photos and videos (see the skateboards here:, which helped bring the Lynx audience closer to the brand, making them feel involved and at the same time generating more buzz around the brand - oh, and more online content too.

 Refresh PR visited Marketing Week Live 2011

3. Remember, you can't force people say good things about your brand, but when they do you can give them something back in return.  A good example here is GiftGaff (, which rewards existing customers with great discounts if they recommend the company to new customers.  A lot of the company’s new customers are coming through this word of mouth online recommendation, so much so it’s considered a top sales stream.


4. Social media activity can be the responsibility of many different people and departments within a company, from the marketing and PR teams to customer services.  Everyone who has a touchpoint with social media must be briefed on the company’s policy, etiquette, limitations and guidelines/best practice.  Without training and being aware of a company’s stance, how will they understand the full implication of what could be, for them, an innocent tweet about an off-day in the office?   Don’t assume everyone knows what you know.


5. A ‘crisis’ or a negative comment about your brand can’t always be managed in the way it traditionally has been.  It’s virtually impossible to control and ring fence a story due to the speed it travels around a global audience.  Companies must give more thought to managing social media. Who monitors it over the weekends and in the evenings, what do they do if a negative comment does appear and how can it be an opportunity to turn things around?  Companies must have a plan in place before they start to grow on any social channel.    In addition, at what point do the alarm bells start to ring – how many RTs or @replies will be considered tolerable before a brand acts on comments to ensure they don’t escalate – and how will a company handle such an event?  Having parameters in place helps everyone involved understand and manage the situation a lot better.


6. Measurement of social media is a hotly debated issue, although no one had a firm solution at today’s show.  How does a company measure social media success and the ROI from a campaign?  When a marketing manager walks into the board room to report on monthly marketing spend, how do they justify work on a twitter feed to the board?  Sentiment monitoring and engagement has been around for a while now - but when a board wants to hear the effect on the bottom line, how can this be made tangible?   Not all companies know what success looks like before they start a social media campaign.

 Refresh PR at Marketing Week Live 2011

7. Lastly, we picked up some tips on how to keep an online conversation going:

a.       Allow conversations to continue and flow – don’t cut comments off

b.       Engage different communities across different channels - speak with everyone, even if they wouldn’t be considered your traditional target audience, and spread yourself across these audiences too

c.       Ensure all channels are working together, for example on the BBC Magazine Facebook page fans can sign up to the BBC newsletter.  This works well so fans don’t navigate away from the page

d.       Trust your consumers – give them the opportunity to talk about your brand and be honest.  They are a good sounding board and all feedback is useful – if it is negative, use this to make improvements and show them that you have listened

e.       Make a lot of small bets – the team behind the Lynx Fallen Angels campaign started off with one big campaign idea and some smaller ones.  It turned out that some of the smaller (and cheaper!) ideas were the ones that had the most success.  It’s okay to hedge your bets and watch how things roll out


Zoe will be at Marketing Week Live tomorrow so watch out for another report with tips from Day 2.  Contact or call 0161 212 1695 for more information about social media campaigns.



Tagged with: Facebook, Networking Event, PR, Public Relations

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All's well in Clerkenwell!

Refresh PR’s senior consultant, Katie Burbidge, was out pounding the pavements of Clerkenwell at the end of last month, taking in the sights and sounds of the celebrated design festival, Clerkenwell Design Week:

Manchester PR agency hits Clerkenwell

60 showrooms, 150 events, countless pop up exhibitions and three journalist meetings. I am pooped! Ok, so I didn’t get to all 60 showrooms and all 150 events, but I gave it a good go. Here are (in my humble opinion) the best bits of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), the festival that celebrates design’s creative richness, its social impact and its power for change:

Haworth Showroom: The Lunch Lab - A clever way to entice weary festival goers, Haworth’s Lunch Lab provided a haven from the CDW hubbub, looking at the relationship between food and mood. Experts shared their wisdom on all things food: food to make you happy, food to affect your mood at work, and when best to eat it, taking the term ‘power lunch’ to a whole new level. Oh, and there was cake there too. Lots of cake. But it was ‘Caketecture’ and therefore all in the name of work. 

Lulu Guinness ‘Be A Pin Up’ – Remember those retro Pin Art toys you used to stick your hand (or face) in to make a 3D imprint? Well, Lulu Guinness commissioned a huge version of this, which was placed along the route from the Farmiloe Building to the House of Detention, to mark the launch of the Clerkenwell Lips Clutch. Visitors were queuing in their droves to create full body poses and portraits. I don’t blame them; Lulu Guinness will be creating a gallery of all the pin impressions sent in from visitors on its Facebook page and will be giving away the Clerkenwell Lips Clutch (worth £450!) to the owner of photo with the most ‘likes.’

Camira Fabrics - A company Refresh PR’s client naughtone does a lot of work with, Camira teamed up with emerging graphic artist Emily Forgot to create a pop up showroom in the Farmiloe Building with a fun twist on a nostalgic British theme. Cheeky seaside peepholes and a swinging pendulum leg lured mischievous visitors to Camira’s corner of the Farmiloe Building, where they were treated to a sneak preview of David Fox’s new Nuna collection.

Camira's beach side theme was a hit with this Manchester PR agencyCheck out naughtone's Pinch stools bottom right!

House of Detention – scary. But cool. The Victorian prison housed an international design exhibition showcasing some exciting contemporary talent. Exhibitors went to town to customise their cells, with most of them creating one-off installations just for the show. I’m afraid my photos don’t do it justice – I was a bit overcome and only ended photographing the less eerie artefacts on display.

Farmiloe Building – This former lead and glass merchants’ house exudes dilapidated sophistication. When it’s not being used to showcase some of the most exciting names in design during CDW, it’s usually being decked out as a film set. This year, principal sponsor Jaguar had scattered its cars among exhibitors including Muuto, Ella Doran and Material Lab to give a satisfyingly eclectic edge.

And finally, there was one team of exhibitors that divided visitors, filling some with dread and others with hope: the Milliken Street Style Spotters. Who would be deemed stylish enough to have made the grade? If you didn’t get chance to check out the fashionistas that were chosen to feature on the ‘street style’ wall at 5tudioMilliken during the show, head over to Milliken’s Style Spotter blog to see some Clerkenwell Style Icons:

This year’s exhibitors have clearly set the standard high, and I’m told that many more hopefuls were turned away than were given a space – it’s not a case of ‘pay now, decide later’ with this exhibition. Companies keen to take part next year will have to pitch to – and impress – CDW’s organisers, who are by their own admission an unashamedly discerning bunch. And boy is the proof in the pudding – what a show!

Tagged with: , Camira, Clerkenwell, Clerkenwell Design Week, Farmiloe, festival, Jaguar, Lulu Guinness, naughtone