Archive: May 2009

The Race is on for the face of Blush 2010

22 May 2009
Brides to be Anna Pringle, Louise Barr and Lucy Evangelista launch the search for the Face of Blush 2010

After a hugely successful campaign to find the Face of Blush for 2009, Blush bridal boutique has once again launched the competition to find a new Face for its 2010 advertising campaign.

Louise Barr from Fermanagh was ecstatic to win the 2009 title and has enjoyed her year so far as the Face of Blush, starring in a fabulous photo shoot and appearing in numerous magazines in Blush's advertising campaign and interviews, telling her story of how she came to be the Face of Blush 2009. It was the only time I would ever get to be a model for the day; it was so much fun and has really added to the whole experience of getting married and preparing for our big day. It's been fantastic! stated Louise.

This time round, Blush has decided to add an extra element to the extravagant prize package for 2010, already consisting of the winner's pre-ordered bridal gown, a mother-of-the-bride outfit and a photo-shoot with a top fashion photographer including hair and make up; by introducing luxurious wedding cars as part of the winning package, ensuring the bride and groom are chauffeured in style on their wedding day.

Owner of the boutique, Aileen Wilson was so overwhelmed with the success of the first campaign to find a real bride; We had a huge number of entries from across Ireland for Face of Blush 2009 - from as far away as Tipperary, and we found our real bride in Louise, who just encompassed everything that Blush was about. This year, we are extending our search even further across the board, and are encouraging every bride to be to enter - the prize package is just fantastic, so we are hoping for an even greater response this year.

Aileen explains why Blush is looking for a normal bride; You don't have to be model material to get through to the final stages, we look for glowing brides who just beam with happiness and have the right spirit for our campaign, which is what the Blush ethos is all about.

To be in with the chance of becoming the Face of Blush, simply call in to Blush Boutique on the Lisburn Road or visit the website at Entrants must be real brides, getting married within the next year. Closing date is 31st October 2009.

With PR on the Rise, Here's a Refresher Course in the Basics

15 May 2009

Earned Media Isn't Paid Media and Five Other Principles to Keep in Mind
This is an article from by Jonah Bloom. Marketers can sign up for weekly newsfeeds and forums in the industry.  Here at CMPR, we've also included the comments as we think they make interesting reading too.

Marketers are spending more on PR and getting excited about it, too. Talk of earned media has gone from conference rooms at PR shops to center stage at the Ad Age Digital Conference, where it was given a big shout-out by Unilever CMO Simon Clift and venture capitalist Fred Wilson.

Veronis Suhler said that U.S. spending on PR rose 7.1% in 2008. WPP noted PR was the fastest-growing discipline, and the holding company was up 17.3% in the discipline in 2008. That's great, because PR is underused and underfunded. But based on much of what we see and hear, there are a lot of marketers out there who don't seem to understand the principles or ethics of the discipline. So here's a refresher on the rudiments of PR. Even if you don't need them, I know you know someone who does.

Earned media isn't paid media. Any place that'll take cash for editorial credit isn't worth your time and isn't credible. (The fashion mags are a possible exception to this rule, unfortunately.) What's more, your pay-for-play approach may end up hitting the headlines for trying to deceive the public.
Earned media requires being interesting and open. You have to have a story to tell, a real, meaningful story that a journalist, blogger or tech-empowered consumer will think is worth listening to and sharing.
Listen to the people you paid to help you. Don't hire a PR person or agency and then ignore them when they tell you that the story you're presenting is either too boring, a lie or, even worse, a lie that'll get found out. I've heard 100 PR people say yes, I know it's bullshit, but it's what they wanted to say. Not only is going against their advice a waste of your money, but it's also going to undermine your PR people's credibility and therefore your ability to earn media when you do have something to say.
You can't control the message. Despite the popular tabloid moniker, your PR person isn't a doctor and shouldn't be spinning. PR helps you communicate something demonstrably true. If you need to know how the message will look when it is shared with the public, stick to ads. When it doesn't come out quite like you'd imagined, don't scream at the PR person or the journalist or blogger in question. You'll just make influential enemies. If your message comes out exactly as you'd hoped, make a note that the journalist in question has no integrity and will soon have no readers, or thank your stars that you got lucky. (Note, however, lucky ain't scalable.)
PR isn't cheaper than advertising, or more expensive, just different. PR agencies have done little to dispel this common misconception, for obvious reasons. But it's like saying that throwing a party is cheaper than renting a fleet of trucks.
PR doesn't replace advertising. Sometimes you need one, sometimes the other. Ideally, you probably want both operating in harmony, orchestrated by the same conductor. Also note: Without advertising, there'd be no editorial publicity or, indeed, editorial. Unless, that is, you're assuming that Mark Zuckerberg is going to find another way to fund Facebook, while the state-funded BBC and nonprofit NPR carve up the rest of the media world between them.

On that note, let's also remember that the idea of the media isn't to cheer for you, your brand, your company, your industry or even the country. The media's job isn't to be positive or negative, it's to bring skepticism and questioning to the issues of the day. If it had done a little more of that, and a little less cheerleading, over the last two decades, not only might it feel a little more relevant today, but we might just have rooted out some of the financial and regulatory idiocy that got us in this mess in the first place.

Jonah, thanks for writing this. All too often, those coming to the earned media side of the equation from the paid media side simply don't understand that journalists bristle at the first hint of being manipulated, i.e., their editorial integrity compromised. As the marketing disciplines blur, the mistrust spawned by these pay-for-players will only grow worse - for all.
What's not covered in your op-ed is the trend of PR digerati to encroach on advertisers' and direct marketers' traditional turfs - through the production and syndication of compelling content for direct consumer consumption. On this front, I bet there are a few creative pointers PR folks can glean from those on the other side of the marketing aisle.
Peter Himler
Flatiron Communications LLC

Jonah, a big part of PR IS about controlling the message and there's no reason it can't be done to a highly significant degree using an intelligently crafted strategy. For example, in times of crisis, such as what recently happened with Domino's and KFC, PR is a vital tool in explaining what is being done about the problem, the speed in which the solution is taking place, and how it will be handled in the future.
Drew Kerr
Four Corners Communications

Jonah, this is a very good piece on earned media. I think it's also important to point out that publicity is only one element of public relations. Increasingly, marketers are turning to public relations not only to secure placement in a shrinking media universe, but also to guide them on social media strategy, direct communication techniques, community relations programs, employee communications, crisis communications and corporate reputation management.

Those of us in the public relations field are thankfully being judged less on the number of clips we generate than on whether we drive people to take action. You hit the nail on the head when you said you can't control the message, at least in terms of what an article will report. You can, however, control what YOU say. Rather than guiding clients on how to answer media questions, successful PR practitioners are those who guide clients on how to communicate a consistent message no matter the situation, whether it be an interview, an investor meeting or community presentation.
D Ward

Jonah, excellent piece. I am a long time practitioner of both PR and marketing, so I have seen the different disciplines from varying perspectives. Your explanation of earned media is spot on. Two additional comments. At the start of your commentary you noted that a lot of marketers don't seem to understand the principles or ethics of the discipline. Agreed! I would like to see even more discussion around the ethics of PR and earned media. That is a huge differentiator with other forms of media marketing, and a big cause of the misunderstandings of how PR works, and the role it plays (and should play) in business and media, etc.

There was a time when I would have said that it's mainly marketers who don't understand nor appreciate the ethical dimensions of PR/earned media. Unfortunately, these days I would have to add that many PR people also don't get the ethical aspects of their own profession -- mainly because it is no longer taught to them by the senior pros or their companies. Ethics have become an afterthought in the PR profession, and that is very sad.

That is the essential difference in earned vs. paid media, and why the earned version is so much more powerful than the paid kind.
Mr. Caprityme

Millars Pies endorsed by Paul Rankin

01 May 2009

No Pie in the Sky: Business Takes Off at Millar Savoury Foods in County Derry

Business took off in County Derry recently as local company Millar Savoury Foods, which was established in 1969, announced a partnership with celebrity chef Paul Rankin to create a luxury range of pies for the supermarket sector.

The family owned company, which has been in business for forty years and manufactures a range of savoury food products for retail & foodservice sectors including sausage rolls, burgers, pies, and scotch eggs; expects to increase turnover by almost 200 per cent by 2012 partially due to the Rankin Selection addition to the range.  Expansion plans to the company's new site will also see it double in size to 30,000 Sq ft with employee numbers expected to grow from thirty-eight to sixty over the next three years.

Commercial Director Clarke Millar said: After our own market research throughout the UK and Ireland we identified what we believed to be a major opportunity within the savoury food category. Subsequently we met with Paul Rankin to discuss the project and are delighted it has reached fruition as it compliments our current offering. There is currently no chef endorsement in the savoury pie product category anywhere in the UK or Ireland, so we are excited to be the innovators in the market.

There will be five key fillings for the single serve pies, including Irish Potato, Leek and Goats Cheese; Irish Steak and Roasted Root Vegetable; Chunky Chicken and Leek; Peppered Venison and Mushroom and Irish Steak and Kidney. The recipes, which have been carefully developed with involvement from chef Paul Rankin at every stage of production, use all fresh ingredients which are local where possible. No artificial flavours, colourings, preservatives or non hydrogenated fats or oils have been used and Millar's is recognised as an authority in pastry making in NI.
The pies will be sold through most supermarkets and are available from this month.


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