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In episode 15 of the Customers Who Click podcast I spoke with David Fraser, the founder of Ready10 Media, a London based PR agency.
David Fraser is founder and Managing director of Ready10, the current PRCA Agency of the Year and whose clients include McDonald’s, Paddy Power, MoneySuperMarket and TotalJobs. David set up the agency after 12 years at Frank PR, where he went from work experience to Deputy Managing director. For a decade, David was Lord Sugar’s personal publicist as well as directing PR campaigns for a number of household names and brands. As well as running one of the industry’s most talked-about young agencies, David is also a keen podcaster and is founder and host of the award-winning QPR Podcast.
In this episode we’ll be talking about PR and how it fits into the marketing mix, the common myths and misconceptions about it (turns out its not having nice dinners), and the key things to consider if you’re looking in to PR for your business.
Get it right and PR can work wonders for your business, get it wrong and you can easily waste tens of thousands of pounds before you realise.
02:47 - 04:01 - Will’s take on PR - I’ve always seen it as a bit of a nice to have, a luxury that bigger brands pay for. Press releases, media relations etc, very difficult to track and so not something startups can afford if they need to be justifying every penny of spend.
04:06 - 10:45 - David’s explain PR - PR is about getting 3rd party endorsements. Consumers are really savvy about advertising now, but they really value (even more so now maybe) social proof, and endorsements. It can do wonders for a startup purely in terms of signups and sales, or it can be useful if you’re trying to get investment. PR is earned media.
10:54 - 14:17 - How does Ready10 start with a new client? - What is the problem you’re hoping PR will solve for you? What results are you trying to achieve with PR? It’s really crucial that you know why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve, otherwise you can’t put a campaign together, you can’t get your message right.
14:26 - 22:18 - Myths & Misconceptions about PR - Long lunches and spending loads of time buttering up journalists is the main one. It probably has happened, and maybe certain people did use those opportunities. The other is that the media is definitely interested in your story. Lots of brands and founders are obviously excited about themselves and what they’re doing, but they dont see that its not really news worthy. You do have to have a great story to share.
22:38 - 25:57 - What are some key things you should consider when approaching PR - Really nail your message, and what you’re trying to say. What do consumers actually want from you? Go ask people outside your brand what they think about it, what they want from your product or service and how they feel about your market/industry. Give the journalist something to talk about as well, don’t just hand them your story and brand and hope they make something of it. Finally, get a professional, and spend money on them. No PR is better than PR done badly, it’s just waste of money. So don’t pick based on price, really look for a professional who shows an understand of your business, seems interested in you, and can show off what they’ve done before.
26:07 - 30:15 - Big and common mistakes in PR - Companies doing these one-off, random PR stunts and stories looking to generate coverage for the sake of it. Everything should be linked in a way and building that overall story and appearance for your brand, and crucially, it should all be linked to an end goal, which surely would be revenue generation. You can generate yourself 100 pieces of coverage a month, but if it doesn’t impact your bottom line, what's the point?
30:33 - 35:42 - What will be the big trends in PR in the next 12-18 months? - PR will get a seat at the table within the broader marketing mix, marketing is more and more linked to purpose and purpose messaging, so PR will be essential for helping marketing align with consumer sentiment.
35:51 - 41:16 - David’s marketing pet peeves - Vanity marketing. Running campaigns that are just there for the sake of being there, and don’t contribute to the business objectives. People come up with these exciting ideas within a company, but don’t really think about the impact that will have. That’s not to say dont do these weird and wonderful stunts, just make sure there’s a reason for it.
41:24 - 42:09 - Which marketing tactic would David kill off? - To a certain degree, influencer marketing. It’s become a bit meaningless, there’s a lot of rubbish going on and it’s not really influencer marketing, it’s just another form of advertising. Influencer marketing should involve someone giving a genuine opinion on a product they’ve enjoyed, to their audience which should also enjoy it.
If you’d like to hear more from David you can find him on LinkedIn, or check out the Ready10 website.