Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Summer time and everything is easy

I still have the feeling that even though we left school some time ago the school clock is still running in regard to businesses.

July, August and December are often ruled out as times to look for a decision to be made or a contract signed as is Easter.

Of course people have families and take holidays. So is this the time to go with the flow or make hay? Well in terms of PR December is a brilliant time to send that big release as the flow of information to journalists lessens. As of getting out and about, making contacts signing contracts I am not so sure. And then when you ask businesses some concur with the seasonal flow of activity, others not, and others say that it cannot be predicted how a month will turn out.

I, for one, am looking forward to September when everyone looks to forge ahead.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How things change

I came across a news piece about the sudden demise of Banks Love, a marketing agency with PR, sales promotion and digital divisions.

At its height the Dublin based agency (with Manchester offices) had 30 staff and big ambitions to expand. Only last year it had a turnover of 7 million Euros annually. Clients included Diageo.

Just a loss of a pitch for Carlsberg and a high level departure seems to have got the ball rolling to being wound up. To be fair who outside the agency knows the reasons fully? What is clear is how precarious agency life is for owners and staff alike.

I was talking to a friend who is a freelance PR and she was commenting on how effectively you feed the fire, that is find work, to little and revenues cannot support the agency, too much and the agency cannot support the clients. A fine balancing act indeed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

PRs beware: blogger lives here

Journalists might be frustrated with being thrown releases, regardless of its possible interest, in the PRs' hope that some publication might use it - "mud against a wall" works even if you annoy many others in the process.

Bloggers are more likely to become more infuriated
as demonstrated by Tom Coates
. A furious entry makes one point effectively do not see me as another pliable, unthinking, anonymous outlet for whatever message that any PR wants to promote.

For many bloggers their blog is more personal than a journalists' relationship to their paper or magazine although I am sure many journalists share the blogger's sentiment. However, what it does demonstrate is that if a PR wants their release featured on a blog they should invest time in learning about what content the blog features and building a relationship with a blogger - good manners and commonsense.

If the blogger is not interested in any releases - fine. But at least the approach would have been professional.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Marketing salary survey - digital media wages soar

Marketing title The Drum has conducted a thorough survey of marketing salaries outside London.

Using data supplied by 20 or so recruitment agencies they give figures on PR, design, marketing and digital salaries from account executive to managing director.

My overall impression is that in-house and agency seem to correlate. I had been under the impression agency staff often go in-house because of salary rises, perhaps from an agency to a blue chip they do. Other than that there were a few regional variations and the point that money is not everything.

The real interest for me is the digital media salaries. Apparently in London salaries are kept in check as there is an abundance of staff with the developer, designer or SEO skills. In the hinterland this is quite the reverse.

North West salaries are as follows:

Developer £24,900
Senior developer £31,100
Designer £24,400
Senior designer £31,200
Account executive £20,500
Account manager £25,400
Account director £38,200
Business development director £40,800
Online marketing manager £34,200
SEO manager £29,600

They do not seem much greater than there offline counterparts, which is surprising. A PR account manager earns £24,900 while a advertising account manager takes £24,000 in the North West.

I do not have last year's salary or any other benchmark but it would not surprise me if these figures have made a notable rise over the year as new media skills become increasingly hard to find in combination with increased demand. They should be up substantially next year if trends continue.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Are captions essential for images?

Not in this case. Never mind lads concentrate on the relegation battle and not each other and you might have a chance next season at Eastlands.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Should I stay or should I go

David Brain, president & CEO Edelman Europe, has an interesting piece on his blog about exploring career paths abroad.

David believes that many PRs are too career minded or at least they follow a predictable path to a well paid director position by staying long enough somewhere and counting the days.

He proposes that developing personally by working abroad is an option that many should explore and which will add value to anyones career. You will be a much more marketable proposition.

I am not sure as one comment points out that this is always appreciated and is sometimes seen negatively.

I think you have to do what you will enjoy, be it at home or abroad. Whether you will get a higher wage or better career is something else.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Manchester Confidential vs Manchester Evening News

Stephen Newton, Manchester PR, has written an interesting piece on the rise and rise of Manchester Confidential.

Stephen puts forward that although Manchester Confidential does not have the reach of the Manchester Evening News, it is more forthright in championing the city's issues and it taps into a richer seam of readers.

I think the Manchetser Evening News wins on a number of counts and I am not sure, even if proved, that this assertion can compete with the following:

  • It primarily uses editorial and not advertorial
  • It has paper based and online versions
  • It has a stronger depth of editorial
  • It has a wider range of editorial
  • It works with PRs and consequently has a supply of fresh editorial; Manchester Confidential has editorial from mid-July up on the current pages for some sections.
I am a little surprised though by the Manchester Confidential website, which offers some interesting insights, but not enough. In fact I generally do not read their e-mail and simply go for the competitions.

Alternative views? Does anyone supply editorial and not advertorial to Manchester Confidential?