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Refresh Reflects: Top Five Songs of 2017



Luckily for us there are very few arguments over the radio or playlists in this office, but we do find a very eclectic mix playing through the speakers at Refresh HQ.
  1. Slow Hands, Niall Horan – the former One Direction star takes the top spot for Refresh PR. The song must feature on at least 50 per cent of our playlists
  2. Noel Gallagher, Holy Mountain – celebrating our Manc roots, MD Laura picked Noel Gallagher’s latest tune as her song of 2018
  3. New Rules, Dua Lipa – our head of B2B, Erin, brought the girl power with new artist Dua Lipa’s song
  4. Justin Bieber, Despacito – it had to appear somewhere and it was B2B manager, Ash, that voted for this catchy song
  5. Blossoms and Chase & Status, This Moment – again celebrating Manchester music, head of consumer, Caroline, voted for this summer anthem, continuing her love affair with the Stockport band

Tagged with: 2017, Lifestyle, music, North West , PR Agency Manchester, Songs, Top 5

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Refresh Reflects: Top Five Adverts of 2017



There’s nothing we love more than seeing how brands are representing themselves through the power of advertising. Here are our top ads of this year.

  1. Spotify – 2018 Goals – the only print ad campaign that made it on to the list, but Spotify’s clever use of its own data and people’s listening habits made us all laugh and possibly re-evaluate our own music taste (read all about our favourite songs of 2017 here )
  2. Peter Kay for Warburtons – it had everything; the comedy, drama and romance, not to mention the local relevance, nods to Peter’s previous adverts and delicious carbs!
  3. Aldi - Kevin the Carrot – continuing a winning formula with the second year of Kevin the Carrot, this time adding a bit more of a storyline to the little vegetable’s Christmas adventure  
  4. Google Pixel 2 – for unashamedly calling out the flaws of iPhones and highlighting how the Google alternative is far superior, it made it on the list for sheer bravery
  5. AA – iconic song, tick. Cute kid, tick. Clever CGI, tick. Three for three for AA this year!

Tagged with: 2017, Advert, Creative Agency, Lifestyle, PR Agency Manchester, TV

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Refresh Reflects: Top Five TV Shows of 2017



As Netflix has taken over TV for the first time ever (in the US at least) in terms of viewing figures, the way we are consuming our favourite shows may be changing, but here are the series that got us all talking in the office.

1.Cold Feet – this Manchester based series is still going strong even after 19 years

2.Line of Duty – returning for season four with a star studded cast this crime drama kept everyone talking

3.Blue Planet ll – what better way to spend a Sunday night than listening to the soothing tones of David Attenborough and learning about this amazing planet?

4.Love Island – love it or hate it, this show swept the nation, divided opinion and caused plenty of controversy. Check out the blog we wrote here

5.Dr Foster – in its second series, Suranne Jones kept everyone guessing with this intense drama


Tagged with: , 2017, Creative Agency, Lifestyle, PR Agency Manchester, TV show

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Goodbye 2016, hello 2017



 

 

 

Well, what a year that was. Many people will be glad to see the back of 2016 and will be looking forward to the challenges and possibilities of 2017.

 

But for Refresh PR, 2016 has been one of our strongest years yet. From client wins and new appointments to award wins and campaign success, it has been a busy but a hugely rewarding 12 months for the team.

 

We will be working hard to mirror this success in 2017, with a focus on creating the strongest team possible and continuing to deliver award-winning campaigns. Emma McCallum joined us in May 2016 as associate director and Caroline Gibson was appointed shortly after as consumer account director, bringing with them a wealth of experience, which will support our existing clients and spearhead our future growth strategy.

 

2016 also saw Sarah Mashiter join the team as HR and operations director, utilising her experience to improve operational processes, implement stronger training programmes and launch the Refresh Academy to provide the highest level of training to our team. 

 

2016 was an interesting year for the PR industry; with consumer demands and technological advances developing at a faster rate than ever, it is becoming a more challenging, but undoubtedly more exciting industry.  We reflect on 2016’s changes, and our 2017 predictions in previous blogs, but only time will tell what this year holds for the PR industry and Refresh PR – watch this space! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged with: 2017, Lifestyle, Manchester, New Year, North West , Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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2017 – What’s in-store for the PR industry?



So as 2016 sped past us in a whirl of elections, weather warnings and Kardashian scandal (just me?), we’ve finally reached a new year and with that brings new technology, trends and challenges. We’ve already reflected on how the 2016 predictions came to light, so now it is our turn to look into our crystal ball and foresee what is to come in 2017:

 

Media Expansion

For years we’ve been told magazines and newspapers are dying, but despite the amount of publications on the shelves decreasing, I don’t think it’s a dying industry – simply changing and evolving. We’ve already heard about Chat and Marie Claire moving into TV production – a brave move, but one that demonstrates their commitment to adapting to consumer trends.

As PRs it is essential that we align ourselves with this media expansion – whether it’s using video messages over a press release or tailoring our content to meet their changing platforms – 2017 will see us working with journalists in new and exciting ways to meet their needs.

 

Micro-influencers

A buzz word for 2016, that isn’t going anywhere in 2017. Yes your mum and dad don’t know who they are, your client might not either – but consumers do and they care about their opinions.

With budgets getting smaller and expectations and competition increasing, micro-influencers are an effective way to engage with your audience. Bloggers have become celebrities in their own right, as explored in our previous blog, and now demand the same fee as the famous folk we’d listen to on the radio or watch on TV. Whereas micro-influencers are respected, but attainable and most importantly engaging.

However, in 2017 we will see marketing professionals explore different ways of working with these micro-influencers to get maximum impact.

 

Standing for Something

With so many new brands coming to market, consumers now have more choice than ever before – meaning brands need something to differentiate themselves. So, in 2017 I think we will see more brands choosing to stand for something more than just their product or service offering. Research has shown that customers are looking to support brands that feel part of their community, so for national companies they must look at their operations and marketing to find how they can immerse themselves in the local area, to have this consumer appeal.

 

The Death of B2B

OK, so not quite – I exaggerated for a good headline – but we will see more brands begin to treat their B2B target audience as the everyday consumer they actually are. With trade titles no longer appealing to the full spectrum of professionals, especially in areas such as construction, we must look at ways of communicating a business message, in an engaging, fun way that appeals to the target audience, and beyond.

Our Food Porn Awards for STM Photography is a great example of this, already in its second year, and seeing more success than ever before, we’ve created a campaign that communicates with the hospitality industry, while still being of interest to the everyday consumer – meaning we have more avenues for press coverage, and we expect to see more B2B campaigns adopting this approach in 2017.

 

 

 

 

Tagged with: , 2017, B2B, Marketing, New Year, PR, Public Relations, Social Media

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2016 PR trend predictions – where are they now?



At the start of each year industry experts join together to identify the big trends developments in the sector. Like any other industry, it is important for PR and marketing professionals to stay ahead of key trends, utilising the latest technology or consumer insight to create effective campaigns.

 

But now, as 2016 is drawing to a close, we take the opportunity to look back over the past 12 months to see which of this year’s predictions have had a real impact.

 

Using PR Week’s Consumer PR: Predictions for 2016, we take a look to see what became a reality, as well as trends’ impact on the industry and our work.

In the article, M&C Saatchi’s Chris Hides talks about Shopper Marketing and the importance of understanding how customers shop and how campaigns can interlink with these habits. This is one of the key predictions that really stands out, as it further demonstrates how customers are demanding more from brand experiences than ever before. River Island is the perfect example of effective shopper marketing with the launch of its ‘Snap & Share’ Snapchat partnership in August.

 

The campaign took advantage of Snapchat’s growing popularity, especially within River Island’s key target audience, with the view to engaging with shoppers and making their experience more fun.

 

This trend - and specifically the focus on customer engagement - won’t be going anywhere in 2017, particularly with consumers becoming more savvy to advertising. Now it is more important to create an opportunity for two-way conversation in a natural environment, rather than a creating platform to communicate a brand’s messages.

 

Another prediction from Hides is nothing beats a great idea – it may seem an obvious one, but for me it is what makes this industry so exciting. From the resurgence of National Blood Week’s ‘Missing Type’ campaign, to Paddy Power’s ‘Juan Direction’, as PR professionals we have the opportunity to make consumers sit up and take notice.

 

In 2016, Refresh PR’s creative campaigns have been recognised with a number of industry award wins – from the Food Porn Awards to the Window with a View competition – we have been able to use our creativity to come up with campaigns that have a genuine impact on our clients’ business objectives.

 

Going into 2017 there will be more demand for these creative approaches; whether utilising new tools, or reinventing the way we approach traditional methods in a busy and noisy marketing environment, we need to be able to create that cut-through.

 

Stir PR’s Alicia Mellish continues the predictions with her thoughts on evaluation and measurement. With brands still cautious with their budgets and spending, there is more need than ever to provide metrics above and beyond PR value and reach. By working closely with the client from the start to identify genuine business objectives, we have been able to create measurable campaigns that impact consumer behaviour, to deliver the brand’s needs.

 

Earlier this year, our client, The Glass and Glazing Federation, launched a consumer facing website, MyGlazing.com - the PR campaign had one very clear objective; drive traffic. By creating the Window With a View competition, we successfully managed to exceed the target of 100,000 hits to the website, proving that the coverage generated was having a genuine impact on consumers.

 

The challenge of measurement and evaluation is an ongoing one for our industry and something all professionals need to concentrate on. We know nothing beats a good idea, but we need to be able to prove its worth!

Mellish also predicts the ever changing media landscape will continue to develop, largely through the commercialisation of bloggers. Moving away from opinion-led commentary, the biggest bloggers are now businesses, with a team of people growing their brand. Our previous blog  explores the movement towards micro-influencers as mainstream bloggers continue to grow in popularity, which will continue into 2017.

 

The final trend prediction we explore is Hides’ thoughts around talent. In Manchester specifically we have seen a marketing boom, with more agencies opening and services expanding, making it a vibrant and exciting place to work. But, for many this is leading to a skills shortage – meaning there isn’t enough talent to deliver what has been promised. Here at Refresh PR we are tackling this by focusing on in-house, high level training to upskill our talented team. The Refresh Academy offers our staff the chance to learn and grow and develop the skills we need to keep pace with this fast moving industry.

 

The Refresh Academy is still in its first year, so in 2017 we will continue to see it grow and develop. As the industry changes, the training we provide our team will grow with it, to ensure we can deliver high-standard service and offering that clients have come to expect.  

 

So onto 2017, where I am sure we will see even more developments and changes in this exciting sector and watch this space for our PR predictions.

 

 

 

Tagged with: 2017, consumers, Marketing, media, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, predictions, Social Media