Monthly Archives: July 2014

email marketing

How to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines

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33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone. It is vital to craft subject lines that are compelling enough to get users to click through.

We have just started working with a new client which is solely based on email marketing campaigns, so we thought it was only right to share our insight of the tips we use to draft open worthy subject lines.

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New year, same me…?

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The queues at gym doors around the country may be dwindling a little bit as we get towards the end of January but the numbers will remain up for a couple more months at least. Similarly, the weight-loss group meetings will be squeezing into village halls across the UK for a little while longer, trailing off after the obligatory six months or so…

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Sharing Team Success for 2016

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Sharing Team Success for 2016!

From your Changeworks team Sue, Claire, Jordan, Sarah-Jayne, Rory and Martine.

As the year comes to an end we would like to thank the clients and strategic partners we have worked with in 2016. Changeworks has had a very successful year and is looking forward to what 2017 may bring. Read More

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There is always room for improvement – but let’s celebrate success as well

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There is always room for improvement – but let’s celebrate success as well

Do you think you are doing a good job or even a great job? If the answer is yes then you can sit back and relax, rest on your laurels and give yourself a proverbial pat on the back.

Or not.

One thing you should acknowledge – no matter how accomplished you are at whatever you are doing – is that there is always room for improvement.

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What The Great British Bake Off Has Taught Us About PR

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Wednesday nights sure have become more exciting with the Great British Bake Off returning to our screens. The ‘Bake Off’ showcases groups of extremely talented men and women who dedicate hours of their time to push themselves to be the ultimate star; watching the show has inspired us and we have definitely learnt a few lessons from watching the show.

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The Importance of Blogging

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Blogging is one of the greatest tools for learning how to become a better writer, connect with like-minded people, showcase your skills and build your brand. Whether you’re a beginner blogger or you’ve been doing it for years, we are sure you are still looking for advice to improve.

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Five ways to get the most out of your copywriters

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There is a trend in this age of zero hours and minimum wage to take on graduates who are desperate for a first job and give them work that is well beyond their capabilities. The inevitable result is that the quality of work produced will not be to the standard that the employer is wanting and disagreements, disappointment and disillusionment will follow.

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The importance of goal setting

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This isn’t going to be the first time when someone has talked about the importance of goals and it definitely won’t be the last.

Putting the clichés aside, understanding the relevance of goal setting is essential to accomplishing great things in the PR world.

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PR Industry all at Sea Over Boaty McBoatface

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The most successful PR campaign of recent times or an embarrassing misfire that’s left scientists with egg on their ‘boatraces’? That’s the question that many in PR circles are debating following the decision to name a research vessel after the UK’s best known naturalist rather than Boaty McBoatface – the suggestion in a popular public vote.

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The Drama Triangle

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Manipulation is all too common in relationships. At the heart of such behaviour is the Drama Triangle. If manipulation is about filling an empty hole inside of you with power and control of others. The opposite of this is about taking responsibility for how it affects you and others.

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Top Tips for a Successful Event

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Event planning isn’t rocket science, but it requires an acute organization and constant attention to detail. If everything goes off without a hitch, it often goes without notice, but if something goes awry, it’s a public display of failure.
1. Start Early: There is no such thing as having too much time to plan an event. For large-scale events, start planning four to five months in advance. For smaller events, one to two months is reasonable. Try to finalize all major contracts (venue and vendors) a full month before the event date.

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Top Tips on Social Media

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Social media is the future of communication. It provides a range of internet tools which increase and enhance the sharing of information. Social media makes the transfer of text posts, photos, video, audio and general information sharing easier. Social media is used all over the world for personal and business users.

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Tops Tips for better Communication

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Communication is a two-way process of reaching mutual understandings within an organisation; employees exchange information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. Communication is connecting and interacting with many people, within the business or with clients. Within a PR agency, communication is key: we can’t operate without it.

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Sad toast

Are you feeling the Monday Blues?

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Our favourite time of the year is coming up. Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year; it is seen as a special day, for those who focus on doing good for one another. This doesn’t mean buying presents for people; it’s acts of kindness.
Blue Monday crops up on the 3rd Monday of January every year, so this year it will take place on Monday 18 January.
This day is a time for people to give and not receive, some need cheering up from the dim, dark days, post-Christmas, back-to-work and school month of January. Oh and obviously it has to be a Monday!

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It always pays to plan ahead for Changeworks

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Yes, Christmas is nearly here and there are still three weeks of December left but at Changeworks our sights are set firmly on 2016.

Just as you buy a magazine from the newsagent in November and it’s already dated January 2016 – some on sale at the end of December even have February on the cover! – in the world of PR and communications you really do have to think well ahead.

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Bending the grammar rules

Does it matter if you don’t get what you write right?

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In a recent episode of Have I Got News For You, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop pointed out a split infinitive. Some people laughed, many didn’t – perhaps they didn’t know what one was – and his opposite number Paul Merton made a comment (deliberately sarcastic, of course) along the lines of how good it was to see Hislop focusing on something that was so incredibly important.

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crisis

How should you respond in a crisis?

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Anyone who has been in business will know that things go wrong, people make mistakes and crisis do happen.

“Crisis” is a much over-used word these days and is usually on the front page of at least one daily newspaper – the NHS is in crisis, the England football team is in crisis, the government is in crisis, and so on – so let us agree here that when we say crisis we mean something that has gone badly wrong and needs to be fixed.

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newsletter

Top Tips For Creating A Company Newsletter

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newsletterIt used to be that a company newsletter was one of the best ways of communicating with existing clients, future prospects, the media and staff.

A hard-copy printed newsletter was ideal for taking to exhibitions and handing out to visitors. It could be slotted into press packs to give journalists vital background information and it was a useful tool for announcing the very latest developments within the business – including new contracts and employee achievements and awards.

Then came the advent of the electronic newsletter, which made perfect economic sense given the cost of printing all those newsletters and the logistics of transporting them around in cardboard boxes. However, it’s true to say that there still remains a serious question mark over how well read an e-newsletter is when attached to someone’s e-mail. The technology may be very clever these days in that you can ‘turn’ virtual pages, even with the sound of the paper simulated, but unless the reader has a significantly large screen, reading the type can prove difficult and zooming in and out can be awkward.

With all of this in mind, if a company believes that a newsletter is definitely the right way to go, there are six issues that we believe are crucial:

1. What is it for? You say you want a newsletter, but why? Do you just want a form of internal communication within your business or do you want to speak to the wider world? Before embarking on the time-consuming exercise of a newsletter, consider whether it will achieve your goals and – if not – if there is an alternative method you could use.

2. What will be in it? It sounds obvious but any newsletter has to be worth reading. This means its content must be directly relevant to the audience and easy to digest. If you are thinking of an internal newsletter why not ask your staff what they would want in it. And if you want prospects and customers to receive the newsletter, ask yourself what you would like in a newsletter that informed every time it came through the mail or e-mail. There is no point producing something that people either skip through or ignore altogether. A well-written newsletter with content that is beneficial to the reader can be a very powerful sales and customer support tool.

3. Be consistent. If you say your newsletter will be produced monthly, you must stick to this timeline. If you say it will always include an interesting case study, you must make sure that it does. Which means you must have the material to meet your promises. Consider whether you will have enough good stories to maintain a monthly output or will you be struggling? If you struggle, the project will suffer and inevitably fail. Consider a bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter if this would be easier.

4. Encourage feedback. If you want to communicate with your staff or your customers, make sure they can get back to you – and easily. Allowing two-way communication means people feel involved, it shows that you care about what they think, and it highlights what sections of the newsletter people find most interesting. Once you know that, you know if you are on the right track or if you need to make any changes to your newsletter content or format.

5. As mentioned earlier, you need to decide whether to go down the road of a newsletter in print or digital format. If you want the newsletter to be interactive – ie your readers can watch video or use targeted apps or respond to your Twitter feed – then digital is the only option. Likewise, if you want to send your newsletter to thousands of people, this is easier done electronically (indeed, automatically). However, you might consider how much you personally like to hold what you are reading in your hand. Do you like reading a digital version of your favourite newspaper on your tablet or ‘phone or do you prefer to have a printed copy? What do you believe is best? You will often find that what you prefer is also what your clients would prefer.

you need to decide what ‘voice’ you are going to adopt in the newsletter. Will it be chatty or will it be formal? Do you want to use headlines that are informative or funny (these often don’t work, though, because everyone’s humour is different)? Decide on your typeface – and choose one that is fairly common and easy to read, not a fancy one that gives people headaches after a couple of paragraphs. You must also decide on the length of pieces in the newsletter. Short is best but you may need to include something a little longer sometimes. And finally, decide if you want to ‘signpost’ the newsletter’s content, for example by including a simple contents page that allows the reader to see what is on offer and to navigate the newsletter easily.

To do the job properly, you would need someone whose role it is to create and collate the newsletter’s content, you would need a decent design creating and you would need someone familiar with inserting content into a newsletter template. Then, of course, you need someone to co-ordinate distribution and deal with ‘returns’, for example if the intended recipient has moved or they no longer want to receive the newsletter.

Essentially, the decision is yours – compare the effort and expense that you will need to put into a good quality newsletter with the rewards that you expect to gain. If the latter outweighs the former, you have your answer.

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When it comes to creating powerful content, people matter

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A person is a person through other persons - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Between 70 and 80 per cent of the companies I talk to are struggling. They are not struggling financially, cash flow and sales turnover are buoyant. They are not struggling for leads: their markets are strong and their brand reputation is good, they have a healthy lead pipeline. What is putting their business success at risk is the difficulty in recruiting good people. A company’s identity, its reputation and its success, is determined by its people. And whether it is engineering, public relations, mobile technology, or retail, from what I can see we are all struggling to recruit the people that will make the difference to our business. There are many people applying for jobs but few of them have the skills to do the job to the level that is required.

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