Is an Industry Giant About to Outshine Your Client? Not So Fast…

This post was first published by Stephanie Jackman on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

When strategizinannouncement hijackingg with clients on the ideal timing for a big announcement, the golden rule for tech PR pros is to avoid holidays, Fridays, and, if it can be helped, dates when you know an industry giant is going to unveil its own big news or product. The logic is simple – the media landscape will be consumed with covering the market leader’s latest news, and a client’s announcement risks being outshined.

Depending on how you look at it, this can be either a blessing or a curse for tech PR pros. On the one hand, having to work around other companies’ announcement dates can be frustrating. But, on the other, the date of a market leader’s big announcement offers the opportunity for a different kind of visibility.

With the tech media heads-down, writing articles that recount what’s just been announced, PR practitioners can engage in an “announcement hijacking” strategy in which they offer journalists quick commentary for their articles, from clients in the same space. This commentary offers journalists an outside perspective on questions like: “What does this mean for the industry?”, “who will benefit the most from this announcement?” and “how will this impact customers?”

The key to a successful “announcement hijacking” campaign is speed. Within a few hours of an industry giant’s big announcement, tech companies and their PR teams must work quickly to draft thought-provoking comments and sell them into the media before the next news cycle comes around.

This kind of fast collaboration was integral to the success of the work we did with client, mobile proximity commerce provider Proxama, on September 9th around the Apple Pay and Apple Watch announcement. With a great deal of credibility in the UK mobile payment industry under its belt, Proxama saw Apple’s foray into mobile payments as the perfect way to make its thought leadership debut in the U.S. Within a few hours of Apple’s announcement, we worked with Proxama’s experts to draft commentary around what Apple’s news meant for merchants, what the security considerations were and more, ensuring Proxama’s thought leadership and credibility shined through for a variety of verticals and segments we were pitching.

With speed and thought-provoking commentary on our side, the results were strong – quotes from Proxama’s executives were included in 10 articles about Apple’s announcements. The articles ranged from business and financial press, such as Banking Technology and TheStreet, to payments and retail IT publications, like Multi-Channel Merchant and Internet Retailer. Not to mention, our ability to offer quick, relevant commentary allowed us to build longstanding media relationships, because of which journalists have since turned to Proxama for their opinion on other industry news.

So, while a Proxama announcement on September 9th may have been out of the question, we found a way to leverage that date in a different manner, using a strong issues-based PR campaign that amounted to far-reaching results.

Keys to — and an Example of — a Memorable Product Promo Video

This post was first published by Brendan Reilly on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Product promo videos should recreate environments familiar to the target audience.What makes a good promo video? Do you need a huge budget and a Hollywood film director to pull it off?

The answer to the second question is a simple “no.” The answer to the first question is a pretty simple one, too. Take the video below as an example. This comes from Triune Films, an independent production company that runs a very popular YouTube channel, Film Riot. FYI,while they do absolutely amazing work, they are neither operating with Hollywood level budgets (not even close), nor are they spending any more than the amount of money that most CMOs could find between their couch cushions. Read more

Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for New PR Pros

This post was first published by Rebecca Ferrick on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

New Year's Resolutions 2015

My usual New Year’s resolution is to avoid making resolutions. In the past, I’ve been guilty of setting myself up for inevitable failure. I’ve made countless resolutions that I know I will never actually remember to keep (like 2012’s resolution to floss everyday…) nor be able to achieve in 365 days.

However, having just begun my tech PR career, I’m resolving to be more resolute. I’ve been an account coordinator at March for two months now and have learned an incredible amount, including what I need to work on as a new PR professional. Hey, you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes right? Read more

SEPERATING THE FIX FROM THE FAD: An insight into the growing health and fitness habits that are here to stay

Fitbit Force, Jawbone Up,  Fitbug Orb, Nike FuelBand SE


This month I can seamlessly predict what your daily media digestion will mainly consist of – I suspect you have just finished reading about the New Year being THE time to discover a new you? Or maybe you’re wincing at the reality of being one of the 50% of people that have already ditched their diet and fitness resolution. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately the commercial hype around embarking on a healthy lifestyle in the New Year has somewhat diluted what actually is a very important message. The effects of yoyo dieting, blowing out one month and compensating by depriving yourself the next, is actually more dangerous than if you were to find a constant happy medium.

So why do we find ourselves becoming so absorbed with the quirky fads that will be a long forgotten come the Summer? Particularly when there are actually a lot of growing trends emerging that offer a much more holistic approach to fixing our psychology towards health, food and fitness. These are the solutions that offer a real lifestyle change.


Recent stats released by Google show that the Paleo diet retained its first-place crown for a second year as the most searched for diet of 2014. Surprisingly, given that both aren’t new, gluten free and vegetarian diets also made the top ten list this year. All three of these have a common thread in that they generally promote the consumption of real, whole, unprocessed foods.

This is interesting, as it would appear that as a nation we are increasingly becoming savvier about the provenance of the food we are consuming. This is supported by figures from the Soil Association, who for the first time ever reported that organic food sales grew at a higher rate than traditional grocery.

Speaking about the report, Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification said: “To see the organic market showing such strong signs of growth, particularly when grocery sales as a whole are slowing, shows just how much potential there is in this sector. Research shows that organic shoppers expect to buy more organic products this year than last so we have reason to be positive about the outlook for organic this year and beyond.”


Wearable technology is by no means a new concept, however research company IDC predicts that 2015 will be the year when the market really explodes. From electronic wristbands to smart-watches, it expects a 70% year-on-year increase in shipments of wearables products to the end of 2015. Over the next 12 months FitBit sales alone are set to exceed 43.2 million, according to the analysis company Canalys.

Interestingly, Google also recently released an analysis of its Google Play Store activity, which suggests that Health and Fitness was the fastest growing app category over the past year. Figures published in a paper on the mHealth app development industry estimates that there are now 100,000 apps dedicated to mobile health available for Android and iOS, a figure which has doubled over the last two years. The report shows the global health and fitness mobile app market is currently worth about $4 billion, but this could increase to $26 billion by 2017.

For health industries the developments in wearable technology are particularly poignant, as brands like Samsung are even starting to look beyond fitness into chronic disease management. The Guardian even reported today that the future of wearable technology isn’t in the device itself, but what can be done with the data they collect. Smart watches already monitor activities like heart rate, calories burned and kilometres travelled, but is it too farfetched to think that these devices may at some point prove to be your lifesaver?


Have you ever blamed your office environment for piling on the pounds? It was only a few years ago that being desk-bound was said to be fuelling Britain’s obesity epidemic, with one in three workers attributing their workplace for weight gains of up to one stone.

The American College of Sports Medicine recently released its annual Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2015, citing worksite health promotion at number 11. In just a few years, the corporate world has in some instances done a complete U-turn in their approach to health and wellbeing in the workplace, as employers increasingly understand the impact on attitude and productivity.

There are a growing number of programmes, many housed physically within companies, which have been designed to improve the health and well-being of employees, alongside services that evaluate health, health care costs, and worker productivity. Additionally, there is also an increasing number of corporate incentives such as the Global Corporate Challenge and Workplace Challenge which are increasing in popularity.

As many of us undoubtedly spend more hours during the day with our office colleagues, it’s promising to see that business owners and senior management teams are recognising the importance of encouraging physical activity within the working environment. This is an emerging trend that has the potential to make a huge different to our general health and wellbeing. As one of our core client sectors is sport and leisure PR, this is certainly one trend that we are naturally engaged with, as five Escapade PR team members are set to take on the upcoming The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run!

Here’s to 2015 being your happiest and healthiest year yet!

Rhianon Williams, Escapade PR

Will “Serial” Transform Journalism and PR As We Know It?

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Serial could usher in a new wave of podcasts and audio content.

Today marks the conclusion of Serial, the podcast that is making waves around the world as it combs through evidence surrounding the 1999 case of Adnan Syed and his potentially wrongful murder conviction. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here!)

For listeners, like me, who have been following along for all 12 episodes, it’ll come as no surprise just how popular the podcast is… Apple reports Serial as the fastest podcast ever to reach five million downloads, averaging 1.26 million downloads per episode, according to the Wall Street Journal. But, beyond its sheer popularity, is Serial transforming journalism as we know it? Will PR pros soon be pitching a series of contributed audio spots instead of multi-part written bylines or guest blog posts? Read more

PR Trends in Serbia 2014

Bojana Stankovic

Our pre-christmas contribution to our current PR series comes from our partner in Serbia. Mrs. Bojana Stankovic, Account Director at Smartvision is the author of today’s post.

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How Business School Can Help You Prepare for a PR Job

This post was first published by Patricia de Groot on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Business school can teach you a lot about PR.When I graduated from business school, a whole world of professional options opened up for me. I could become a business developer, a financial consultant, or even a marketing rock star.

I chose to step away from the conventional career path and enter the fascinating world of public relations. Then a big question struck me: had business school prepared me for the PR sector? The answer was a resounding yes.

Here are five ways business school can give you the tools you need to be successful in PR. Read more

INFOGRAPHIC: Are the UK’s more mature customers actually the most diverse and savvy?


There has been so much debate about just how modern day brands can engage and remain engaged with that all important trend setting Millennial audience.

But, there has been nowhere near that level of interest or focus on marketing to the UK’s more mature customers.

This is slightly bemusing, as we are all very aware of the UK’s aging population, but maybe we have been side-tracked by the very real social impact that our aging population will cause?

And perhaps, in this digital age, the over 50s are not seen to be such an exciting or receptive audience?
But be under no illusions, the over 50s are diverse, savvy and increasingly important for the success of an awful lot of household brands.

In the UK, over 50s make make-up more than 35% of the population and by 2020 the total number of people over 50 is set to reach 25.5 million.

The over 50s have the highest disposable income of any age group. In fact, KPMG estimate that over the next ten years, two thirds of retail spending growth will come from shoppers aged 55 plus.

Today, more than 11 million people in the UK are now aged over 65, which already represents some 17.1% of the total population. This means that the number of people in this age group has increased by 17.3% since 2003.

And, this trend is set to continue with estimates showing that by 2050, there will be more than 19 million over 65s.

Just like when marketing to Millennial, great care should be taken not to group the more mature audience into one huge group, and beware if you think that they are not digitally savvy, they are.
It is clear that this new generation of mature customers behave very differently to generations that came before summarised beautifully by the fact that 40% of over 70s don’t consider themselves as old!

Consumer PR agency Escapade has undertaken some research into this growing audience. Take a look at its infographic for some fascinating insight into the behaviours, lives and opinions of this diverse and savvy group.

Research undertaken in October 2014. Sample 1,000 over 50s.

2015 is the time to tighten your belt – PR Trends Russia



Our blog series continues with a contirbution from our partner and friend Sergei Trofimenko, CEO of Point Passat, GlobalCom Partner in Russia.

Some interesting facts about the past yeasr as well as a prediction for 2015.

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How Social Media Can Help You Survive the SEO Hunger Games

This post was first published by Blaise Lucey on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

SEO is The Hunger Games. Here's why.Google has essentially become the Gamemaker of “The Hunger Games” and every piece of content is a Tribute trying to survive the search environment. With a sweeping change to the search engine’s algorithm, Google can instantly transform promising pastures into volcanic wastelands, burning old search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to ash.

Did you see what that poison fog did to Katniss in “Catching Fire”? That’s what Google can do to the content you’ve tirelessly spent creating and optimizing for search.

That’s left brands in a bind. Google is the only logical choice when you’re trying to build your company’s presence in search. No matter what Bing and Yahoo try to say, Google has about 68 percent of total U.S. search engine share. That number is growing, too, which means the search giant is only getting bigger. Read more