26th April | Grace Oliver back

Who needs social anyway… JD Wetherspoons says no thanks

Last week it was announced that JD Wetherspoons was deleting all of its social media accounts – a bold move in a world obsessed with social! Chairman Tim Martin said that it had consulted its pub managers before making the move, and “90-to-95% felt that using social media was not helping the business” – though of course it’s possible Wetherspoons wasn’t utilising the platforms in the business-helping way it could be. However, Martin, always the contrarian, maintains: “We’ve got a massive commercial advantage because everyone else is wasting hours of their time”. There’s a difference though between not having the resources to do the job (and maybe pub staff shouldn’t be “wasting hours” tweeting) and not doing the job very well. It could be argued that after a brand or company gets to a certain size, social media becomes less relevant. Wetherspoons is so ingrained in the British culture (cheeky pint at Spoons anyone?) that we doubt they’ll see an immediate downturn in business due to the move. However, they also won’t see any of the potential benefits. Because there’s another, and perhaps more important side to social media than churning out pub-related social media ‘brandfill’ is more likely to annoy potential punters than lure them inside. Dedicated social media accounts mean an immediate connection with your customers, on a platform they regularly visit, and want to read. The suggestion in some media that Wetherspoons’ customers are not social media users is patronising in the extreme and to cut off one of their communication channels to the business seems short-sighted. It suggests that they don’t want to know what their customers think. Social channels mean customers have somewhere easy they can go to when they want to complain about, or praise, a brand or company. While complaints and negative comments can overtake the positive, the trickier a complaints process, the more annoyed your customers will be. While brands may be much more likely to receive complaints via social than positive comments, this probably says more about us as a species than social media as a platform… Responding directly to your customers shows them that you care.   A brand interaction, no matter how small, can reinvigorate a consumer’s interest in a brand and make them feel like a valued customer, not just a nameless face in a crowd. A ‘like’ from a big brand goes a long way! It remains to be seen whether this is a good move or bad for Spoons, but if the perception that it doesn’t want to hear from customers gains traction, it could do more commercial harm to the brand than letting pub staff tweet for 10 minutes a day.

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

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3rd October | Grace Oliver back

How To Make Friends, Influence People – and Obey the Rules

We all know, influencers are a BIG DEAL. By working with influencers, you can get your brand’s name out there, reaching what can often be a huge audience – and one that is both engaged and trusting of the influencer’s opinion of the goods or services that you’re offering. Better still, working with influencers can be a cost-effective way of reaching your target audience, in comparison with traditional advertising. As Editor in Chief of PR Week Danny Rogers put it at a recent PR industry briefing: “I believe that the influencer phenomenon is the third age of the internet.” Told you – BIG DEAL. But as working with influencers on campaigns becomes ever more mainstream, how we can ensure that the influencer community is regulated in the same ways as traditional consumer advertising? Firstly, we all need to be clear on when an ad is… well…an ad. Have you paid your chosen influencer to post about your brand? Have you had a say in what they will post? Then you’ve got yourself an ad my friend. But what if you send an influencer a gift, no strings attached, and they post a glowing review, telling all of their followers about your amazing brand? Well, with no payment, no control of messaging, and an organic review, then it classifies as editorial. And what about that all-important hashtag? When working with influencers, it’s essential to ensure they are making it clear to their followers that they are working with a brand. Disclosure must be immediately obvious – and in no circumstances should the disclosure be hidden, or on a separate page which you have to click through to. So is #ad or #spon the one for you? In our opinion, #spon can be ambivalent, implying sponsorship rather than payment, so always best to stick with #ad. That way everyone’s covered! The Advertising Standards Agency is unequivocal about the rules governing such posts – it insists responsibility for adherence primarily lies with the brand and the agency, not individual influencers, but rules will be enforced at every level. It’s also becoming more and more apparent that the influencer community is starting to self-monitor, calling each other out when they spot their peers not disclosing payment. So, with the ASA and rival influencers all on the lookout, it’s more important than ever to make sure the influencers you work with are operating within the rules – you’ve been warned!  

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

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See our latest work
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2nd August | Grace Oliver back

Kickin’ It Old School

With 3.77 billion internet users worldwide, over half the globe’s population using a smart phone, and 2.8 billion social media users worldwide, it’s safe to say that in 2017 we’re living in a digital age. But with so much communication now done through a screen, and with an ever-changing media landscape, how can we as PRs build and maintain those essential relationships with journalist contacts? As a forward-thinking agency we do, of course, make full use of the digital communication tools available to interact with journalists and drive award-winning coverage – just click here for proof – but we also understand the importance of meeting with journalists face-to-face in order to build and maintain valuable relationships that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders – and have done since our business was set up in 1930 by two PR ground-breakers, Suzanne Richmond and Marjorie Towers. For while things may now be very different from that pre-digital (and essentially pre-television) world, there are still some things we can learn from our past – you might ask, what’s the point? Isn’t it cheaper to brief a journalist over the phone? Wouldn’t it be more time effective to whack over an email and be done with it? Well, here’s the case for mixing old methods with the new in order to maximise cut through… Read the signs Body language can add a whole other layer to any kind of conversation. Journo yawning? Rolling their eyes? Looking for the nearest escape route? Probably not one for them – and you never would have known over the phone! Keep them interested How do you feel when someone calls you, rattles off a load of info, and doesn’t let you get a word in edgeways? Not happy, I’ll bet. In person, you can have a REAL conversation and let them know about your brand without overwhelming them with facts and figures. BFFs How many lasting relationships have you built where you’ve never met the other person face-to-face? Point made. By getting to know your contacts on a more personal level they’ll let you know what they want, when they want it. Making everyone’s lives that little bit easier! Investing time Meeting journalists and influencers may take time, but it yields rewards. No one likes to invest time for nothing, including journalists, which is why getting face to face is not only likely to yield more meaningful, longer term relationships, but also more coverage, too. So while we may be social media, content and digital experts, and R&T may contain more than a few tech heads, we’ll never forget that while a picture can speak a thousand words … … a face-to-face meeting can speak more than a thousand unread emails!

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news